ESPN, FOX among networks represented at Leaders in Media Conference

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    Students will have the opportunity to network with professionals from ESPN, FOX and other organizations at the Leaders in Media Conference on Feb. 14.

    The conference, held in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center, will feature panels covering topics related to the sports industry, sports production and on-air talent.

    Panelists include MLB player agent Rich Thompson, Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Steve Lamb of WBAP and Dave Keeney, broadcast producer for FOX Sports Southwest.

    “This is a very specialized business,” said Charles LaMendola, assistant professor of professional practice in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, “and usually the jobs come about by knowing somebody who knows somebody who recommends you to somebody.”

    Keeney, a 1995 alumn, said both talent and networking are essential in obtaining a job in the sports broadcasting field.

    “It’s all about who you know, and it’s all about whether you’re good at your job,” he said.

    In addition to offering networking possibilities, the conference will provide students with insight into the careers available in sports broadcasting.

    Keeney said he wants students to realize that the sports broadcasting industry offers opportunities beyond the conventional on-air jobs like commentating and announcing. 

    “You can make really good money in this business by doing other jobs,” Keeney said.

    He said he hopes the conference will correct misconceptions about the field.

    “It’s great that they get a chance to go to school and learn about some of this stuff,” Keeney said, “but really, you don’t understand what the industry is really about until you get out there.”

    Tyler von Richter, a senior sports broadcasting major, said he hopes to identify job opportunities and make connections at the conference.

    “A slogan that I always use is, ‘It’s not about the tests you take – it’s about the hands you shake,’” von Richter said.

    Editor’s note: This story was updated on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 4:45 p.m.