Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media’s (SCM) next-level plan kicked off with their sports portion of the SCM 2.0 celebrations.
Broadcasters, radio broadcasters, journalists and so many more were greeted with CBS Sports: A Conversation with Studio Host Adam Zucker and Exec VP/Exec Producer Harold Bryant.
Held in the Presentation Hall of the SCM, Zucker and Bryant came to speak with the students of Montclair State, giving them a behind-the-scenes and an inside look into the business aspect of sports television. This included helpful tips for talent on-air as well as getting a job and moving up in the ranks.
Bryant, who is now executive producer and executive vice president for CBS Sports, has been with the company for 23 years, working his way up through his exceptional work ethic and determination. Even as a successful man in the business, Bryant mentioned how he is constantly looking toward higher aspirations and more challenges.
“It’s been a long run where you start off as a mid-level production person and eventually I let my work speak for itself,” Bryant said. “Always prepared and always thinking of what’s the next thing, what’s the next technology, what’s the next story we are going to tell. ‘Executive Vice President’ is a big title, but in the long run, it is about putting on good content, good stories, games and events that people like to see. It’s a passion of mine.”
Zucker works at CBS Sports as a reporter and anchor for weekly sports shows. He told students how much he enjoys his work, saying it is a friendly environment in the sports media industry. He also talked about how they are constantly striving to be innovative with content and are working hard to reach more viewers.
“[On] our weekly conference call that we have on Wednesday heading into Saturdays, our producers always said, ‘Hey we tried it,’” Zucker said. “Our producers are encouraging us to try things, try cool new stuff and have some fun with it, and we do have fun.”
Jack Barteck, a senior television and digital media major, benefited greatly from this event, given this is exactly what he wants to do after graduating college.
“I think it is really cool hearing about industry professionals that have had so much success in the field,” Barteck said. “I want to have the same success. Nothing can replace the wisdom of the people who have done it.”
The SCM has been growing its sports media curriculum by creating a new major called “sports communication.” This lined up perfectly with the campus’ latest guests.
Campbell Donovan, a senior sports communication major, attended the event, and with his newly declared major, it was the perfect opportunity to speak with these decorated minds. He is currently a broadcaster for the Red Hawk Sports Network (RHSN) and is trying to learn as much as possible from the resources given by the university.
“I got to learn from the people I admire,” Donavan said. “I got to know about broadcasting and working with the Red hawk Sports Network. It helped a lot.”
Barteck is also a member of the RHSN and is the sports director at WMSC, Montclair State’s radio station. He is very thankful for what the SCM has to offer and is proud to be a part of the program that is constantly growing and wanting more for its students.
“I don’t think it gets the credit it deserves on a national scale or even a regional scale,” Barteck said. “Montclair State is etching its name in the country as one of the great broadcasting schools. [Even] Zucker said it – the opportunities you can get here are some of the best – [and] Montclair State has just done a great job.”
Montclair State has revamped the television and digital media production aspect of the school over the past few years. Not only through RHSN, but through other organizations such as Montclair NewsLab. Students get the chance to learn how to work in a control room and also get to build on their skills as an anchor, reporter, camera operator and other related opportunities.
Bryant went on to express why it is so important that these young sports fans go into this industry considering the countless opportunities available.
“It is a great industry and there are so many avenues,” Bryant said. “We came out of this pandemic and went ‘Oh, there are so many jobs right now.’ We are in this business not only to put on these great broadcasts but also to bring more people into this industry.”
Getting to see and hear top-tier professionals in the sports journalism field is not something you experience every day, and Montclair State students showed their gratitude as they attentively absorbed every bit of information. With both Zucker and Bryant having a great relationship with the university, it just goes to show how many opportunities await sports communication majors.