Marist College, ESPN, and WGNY Launch New Sports Program The Classroom

Sports radio, college-style



marist the classroom radio programPhotograph courtesy of maristnewswriting.wordpress.com

There’s no shortage of national sports talk radio out there, what with ESPN, FOX, and NYC stations serving up a tidal wave of scores, highlights, and jock banter. There is, however, a lack of locally produced sports radio — until this fall. That’s when the Marist College Center for Sports Communication, in conjunction with ESPN and its Newburgh affiliate, WGNY (1220AM, 97.3FM), teamed up to offer a live Saturday morning program called The Classroom. It airs from 10 a.m. to noon from the college’s broadcast facility, and is created by student interns who research, produce, write, engineer, book guests, and otherwise learn the behind-the-mic details of sports radio.

The show, though local, avoids covering Marist athletics. Instead, it looks at larger issues in sports, such as the scourge of concussions in the NFL, says Keith Strudler, associate professor of communications and director of the Center for Sports Communication, who cohosts the program with Geoff Brault. “We try to take a smart look at these topics,” he says, noting that Marist President Dennis Murray was a recent guest (he discussed college sports ethics). Marist alum and ESPN contributor Ian O’Connor appeared on another show; Strudler hopes they can tap into other ESPN talent in the future.

But it’s still sports, so there is also fun and games. “I do football picks against my six-year-old son,” Strudler says. The main objective is to give students majoring in sports communication an extraordinary learning opportunity. “We believe this is the first partnership between an academic center and an ESPN affiliate in the country,” Strudler says. “The students are getting the kind of experience you just don’t get in college.”

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