'SportsCenter' anchor, WWE exec to appear for sports-themed Media Summit

ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Steve Levy (pictured) and former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Donna Goldsmith will headline an accomplished panel of sports media and business professionals at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, in Waterman Theatre for SUNY Oswego’s ninth annual Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit.

Steve LevyOther panelists for the sports-themed summit, titled “Get in the Game,” will include Jay Beberman, managing editor for sports at Bloomberg News, and John Kucko, sports anchor at WROC-TV in Rochester. All of the panelists—Levy and Kucko in 1987, Goldsmith in ‘82 and Beberman in ‘89—graduated from SUNY Oswego.

This year’s theme should resonate strongly with a broad audience, attracting but going well beyond students aiming for careers in sports journalism, broadcast production or public relations, said David Moody, a communication studies faculty member leading the summit’s organizational committee.

“With the Super Bowl coming to metropolitan New York City—along with the college and professional basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer around here—there is top-of-the-mind awareness of sports in this state,” Moody said. “The traditional way we view sports has changed. There are branding issues, marketing issues.”

As a sign of the times in communication, the Media Summit will be televised live on student-run WTOP-TV, live-streamed on the college’s and students’ Media Summit websites and posted, shared, liked, tweeted and Instagrammed online. Seating is free but not reserved.

In-person networking opportunities also will abound for students Nov. 6, as panelists and alumni career connectors appear in classes and other forums. This year’s career connectors—all recent graduates of SUNY Oswego—will include Lewis Karpel, photojournalist for CNYCentral.com; Samantha Shelton, assistant web editor for Fitness Magazine; Ben Amey, anchor/reporter for WETM-TV in Elmira; Maria Urda, promotional log editor for the new Fox Sports 1 network; and Stephanie Robusto, video journalist and field reporter for WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

‘Team effort’

Louis A. Borrelli Jr., a 1977 Oswego alumnus whose generosity launched the Media Summit in 2005, will moderate. Borrelli, a cable television pioneer, new and traditional media executive and recognized industry leader, currently is chief marketing officer for and an investor in nimbleTV.

Students play a strong role in organizing the summit, Moody said. For example, students in journalism and broadcasting classes have been asked to help craft questions about sports performance on-air and on the field, broadcast production, business models and programming.

Questions about how “SportsCenter” has affected local-market sports segments may be directed to Levy, who has been an anchor/commentator for the show since joining ESPN in 1993. Questions about roles of women in sports media from the broadcast booth to the sidelines could come the way of Goldsmith, who also was general manager of operations for the NY/NJ 2014 Super Bowl Host Company and named the second most powerful woman in sports, by annual sports revenue, in Forbes magazine in 2009.

Among the student assistants for the Media Summit, junior communication and social interaction major Marissa Sarbak and senior broadcasting and mass communication major Janelle Francisco have coordinated the effort with their peers and faculty.

“They’ve been a big help,” Moody said. “They do a little bit of everything. They run the student meetings we have every Tuesday night. They do the (classroom) appearance grid we have for the speakers that day. They help put together the itineraries for the panelists, the flyers, the posters, student web pages and other campus promotion.”

Sarbak, who helps coordinate the efforts of more than 30 fellow students, said the event-planning experience has been invaluable. “It’s definitely been a challenge to me, something new—and that’s been my favorite part about it,” she said. “I really feel like it ties in every aspect of a communication major.”

Using a sports image, Moody agreed the summit has been a team effort: “So ‘Get in the Game’ and play ball with us on Nov. 6,” he said.

Following Borrelli’s 2005 founding gift, 1976 SUNY Oswego graduate Al Roker, weathercaster and co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, provided additional funding in 2007 to rename the summit in memory of longtime professor O’Donnell, a seminal figure in the college experiences of Borrelli and Roker.

Parking for those without a campus sticker is $1. To obtain a one-day permit, visit www.oswego.edu/administration/parking.

More information about SUNY Oswego’s 2013 Media Summit is available at www.oswego.edu/mediasummit and at the student organizers’ website, www.mediasummit.org.

(Posted: Oct 23, 2013)

Tags: steve levy, sports broadcasting, media summit, louis a. borrelli jr., lewis b. o'donnell media summit, john kucko, jay beberman, donna goldsmith, broadcasting