WMU Media Services, a unit of Information Technology, located in Dunbar Hall, has produced the weekly series "Bronco Review" for the past eight seasons. In collaboration with Bronco athletics, "Bronco Review" is a 30 minute program cablecast regionally on WLLA, Web-cast on the WMU athletics website, and is part of the programing on Sports Time Ohio. The University recognizes that athletics are often the gateway for admissions for many students, and fosters continued interest and support from alumni. The production also serves as an internship for select students (primarily from the School of Communication), offering unique opportunities to videotape at schools in other conferences like Idaho, Nebraska, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Connecticut.
"We produce 22 programs each year, covering all football games and five shows each for Bronco hockey and basketball” says co-producer and director Steve Kettner. Robin Hook, “Voice of the Broncos”, co-produces and hosts the show that reviews highlights from that week’s games with the coaches. The program often includes short features on non-revenue sports and scholar-athletes, too.
Staff and student interns shoot highlights from the sidelines, then edit segments for the program. A typical weekend includes overnight travel with the team and about five hours of shooting during the game. Another 10 to 12 hours are spent editing and preparing for the studio production, scheduled each Tuesday in one of the Dunbar Hall studios. Lastly, the game highlights, studio segments, commercials, music and graphics are compiled, dubbed, and distributed in time for airing on Thursday evening.
According to Kettner, “it’s a challenge pulling everything together to meet deadlines, but our interns are exceptionally talented, dedicated students who value this real-world production experience. At the end of the season, they are much more competent videographers and editors." Interns have gone on to get employment in various sports related venues, including graduate Nick Miller who is employed by the Minnesota Vikings. With as many seasons Media Services staff have under their belts, they’ve got this production down pretty good! Good enough that the program series received national recognition by winning a Telly Award in 2008.
Considering "Bronco Review" provides exposure of the University's athletic programs and serves as a hands-on training ground for student interns, it's a win/win situation.
The show can be seen on Charter Communication channel 5 on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Or simply visit the WMU athletic website and look for the animated Bronco head icon where previous programs are archived.
Photos: intern Derek Wilds editing; "Bronco Review" studio set; former intern and graduate David Taborn operating camera; former intern and Minnesota Viking video staff Nick Miller; intern Patrick Cahoon on sideline.