MCTV and WMAR: Your Future to Communicate

The opening title screen of MCTV's "Red Fox Rumble"

The opening title screen of MCTV's "Red Fox Rumble"

According to the Marist website, “the Communication program at the School of Communication and the Arts offers the most popular undergraduate major at Marist.”

With so much interest in the communication major, the two main communication clubs, Marist College Television and Marist Radio have necessitated recent overhauls. In the past two years, both MCTV and WMAR have seen ups and downs, but according to their respective presidents, are on their way up.

“I think the future is now,” said MCTV president Brian Smith. “We’re now 100 percent high-definition on campus. … At the end of the day, all that truly matters is programming. When I got started here [three years ago], we had good variety, but then the next year, we had technical issues that blacked us out for a few months, then crippled us the rest of the year.”

Smith says that MCTV has grown into its own, boasting a roster of over 40 students active in the weekly operations of the network.

“It’s incredibly valuable to those involved,” Smith said. “I’m one who believes MCTV, radio, and even [Marist student newspaper] The Circle should be required for communication majors, either as extra credit or additional class credits. In this major, it all comes down to hands-on experience, and MCTV experience is extremely valuable.”

Often, MCTV members will find themselves in the proverbial trenches, editing packages, manning cameras or boom microphones, or producing shows, gaining experience Smith feels is essential to getting job opportunities in television fields outside of school.

MCTV is broken into three departments: news, entertainment, and sports. Sports director Jacqueline Goode has been one of the many people involved with renovating the club.

“When I first joined MCTV,” Goode said, “the sports department was strong, we had really good people in charge and we put a lot of content out on the air. Last year, even though we covered a lot of games, not as much was accomplished as I would have liked. So, this year, we kind of started from scratch. We are focusing on getting more people involved so that they are prepared for next year.”

Goode is responsible for creating “The Red Fox Rumble,” a weekly episodic sports talk show for the network, replacing its successful successor “The Foxden,” which faded from Marist television screens last year. In addition to the “Rumble,” MCTV covers multiple home basketball games in live or live-to-tape fashion, and does highlight packages for almost every other home athletics contest.

“It’s good for our members to have a well rounded view of all sports,” Goode said, “not just basketball, which we cover so heavily.”

WMAR is in a very similar situation compared to MCTV. After changes in the presidency for three straight years, Matt Esposito became president this past spring. He, a class of 2011 senior, is looking to establish a sense of stability in the program.

“We’ve slid from where we were when I came in freshman year,” Esposito said, “but we’re still accomplishing a lot and building strength in the future.”

WMAR runs content via their internet stream 24/7, 365 days a year. Each day, 16 of those hours are filled with content provided by Marist students live, in two hour show formats. Esposito estimates that, incorporating turnover semester-by-semester and part-time involvement from some, approximately 100 students put in significant work towards WMAR.

“We’ve done concerts, benefits, programs, you name it,” Esposito said. “This spring, as always, we’re coordinating a yearly band showcase. People really get experience in not only planning their own individual shows, which is valuable itself, but planning and orchestrating events, which helps you in any field.”

WMAR Sports, once its own entity on a separate internet feed, was absorbed into the main WMAR feed into 2008. At that point, Dan Kopf took over as sports director for the club.

“It hasn’t hurt us,” Kopf said. “From that point, we’ve called every home football game, essentially every home basketball game, and a huge amount of home baseball games.”

“Not only that,” Kopf continued, “but starting late last semester, for the first time in many years, WMAR started going on the road to call away basketball games.”

On Feb. 27, WMAR will go on the road again, calling a Marist men’s basketball game at the Times Union Center against Siena. WMAR and MCTV alike both travel to the MAAC basketball tournament every year for remote coverage; MCTV does highlight packages, while WMAR puts out live broadcasts of each Marist game.

“The experience that you get in both radio and television at Marist is outstanding,” Kopf said, “and more people should be taking advantage of it. It’s not easy to get the reps that we give broadcasters, producers, or any kind of  communications talent outside of Marist.”

Zak Lansing

Zak Lansing is a senior at Marist College. He is a Communications major with concentrations in Sports and Journalism. He also interns at Marist Athletics in the Sports Information Department, and is heavily involved with WMAR Marist Student Radio, calling and directing games.

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