ComRadio set for NFL Draft coverage

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After months of preparation, “The Road to Radio City” and the NFL Draft concludes this week for several Penn Staters -- and they are not members of the Nittany Lions football team.

Two students from the College of Communications will anchor coverage of the draft live from Radio City Music Hall, and a team of nearly three dozen students has worked months preparing for the assignment.

Coverage will air on ComRadio beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, and continue the second and third days of the draft on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27.

ComRadio was the first broadcast outlet from a college or university to cover the draft. Since that inaugural effort five years ago, the trip to New York City has been one of the highlights of the year for students -- and for listeners because of the hundreds of hours of preparation invested in the coverage.

Senior broadcast journalism major Jeff Lowe, from Cedar Park, Texas, and junior journalism major Patrick Woo, from Millington, Md., will be on site for the coverage.

Other members of the on-air coverage team include:
-- Jon Blauvelt (senior-broadcast journalism, political science), Murrysville, Pa.;
-- Mike Esse (sophomore-broadcast journalism), Grosse Pointe, Mich.;
-- Kevin Gallagher (senior-broadcast journalism), Newtown, Pa.;
-- Willie Jungels (junior-broadcast journalism), Northfield, N.J.
-- Marco Ranzi (senior-broadcast journalism), Ramsey, N.J.;
-- Dan Smith (senior-broadcast journalism), West Chester, Pa.; and
-- Troy Weller (senior-broadcast journalism), Hatboro, Pa.

During the draft, those students will rotate in and out of ComRadio’s on-campus studio every half-hour to discuss picks and make predictions. Others will be writing blog posts as players are selected.

The team has worked hard in the months leading up to the event, interviewing high-level draft prospects while conducting a weekly radio show and even creating a television show, “The Road to Radio City,” that aired on Campus Cable. They created a Twitter handle (@NFLDraftShow) and all of their work has been archived online.

“We have done dozens of stories, lots of interviews, social media interaction, the creation of a 400-plus prospect profile book we publish and, of course, Web video series,” Lowe said.

“This preparation is the key to the process of putting on a good show both in the ComRadio studio and at Radio City Music Hall for the draft. It demonstrates how dedicated our members are to making this the best show possible,” Gallagher said.

Lowe was on site for the draft last year and Woo will be making his first trip to cover the event.

“The most exciting experiences are always the interactions with players from across the nation,” Woo said. “Being able to connect with them and talk to them about their careers in college and what excites them the most about a potential future in the NFL is intriguing.”

ComRadio’s coverage of the draft began five years ago when Dan Krupinsky, who earned his journalism degree in 2010, initiated contact with the NFL. As a result, ComRadio was the first college station allowed to cover the draft.

“The students have been extremely professional in their approach and seem to dedicate a great deal of time to their work,” said Michael Signora, the NFL’s vice president of football communications. “We look forward to having these talented broadcasters on site at the draft again this year.”

Jeff Brown, general manager of ComRadio, is pleased with the relationship that has built with the NFL. “The NFL has treated our broadcasters like kings. In the ensuing years, nationally known broadcasters have come by for on-air chats,” Brown said. “It has really grown into something special -- all because one of our broadcasters had the initiative to make some phone calls and ask some questions.”

Established in 2003, ComRadio is an Internet-based radio station operated by the College of Communications. This year, there are 207 students involved with ComRadio, working on teams for news, sports, production, sales and management. The station produces a variety of public affairs and talk shows, broadcasts a nightly newscast and provides coverage of most Penn State sports, as well as many State College Area High School athletic events.


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Last Updated July 11, 2014