Student embraces sports radio internship in New York City

Trey Miller
June 15, 2016

(Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of stories about College of Communications students completing summer internships.)

Before his freshman year in high school, one Penn State student decided he wanted to get into sports broadcasting. This summer, he’s continuing to make strides toward that goal by interning for one of America’s leaders in sports radio.

Brandon Pelter, who finished his freshman year in May and plans to major in journalism as well as marketing, is spending his summer learning about sports broadcasting and getting hands-on production experience with Westwood One in New York City.

“What really means a lot is that this work is being used,” said Pelter, a Somers, New York, native. “I can hear my work being used on the radio. How many times can a college student say that, ‘Yeah, I actually did something that was put on air and wasn’t kind of swept to the side?’”

Pelter has had a variety of experiences already in the position, which started May 23. So far, he has done a lot of writing and compiling scripts for broadcasts, including helping to write the opening piece for the Women’s College World Series broadcast. He has also been working on one-minute segments for a project called “Road to Rio,” which introduces some of the United States’ Olympic athletes.

In addition to his hands-on work, Pelter has had the opportunity to shadow staff members during live broadcasts to see what goes into a production. In early June, he was able to shadow a producer for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, which aligned with Pelter’s future hopes of becoming a play-by-play broadcaster for the NHL.

“One thing they’re really big on, especially when we shadow, is come in and have a notebook ready,” said Pelter. “The best part about it is the people producing those games, is I’m working with them on a day-by-day basis for the most part, so if I have any questions it’s so easy to just talk to them to hear why they did have that part there or why they left something out.”

Pelter spends three days a week in the studio, usually going in around 11 a.m. and leaving around 6 p.m. On days when there are broadcasts, his hours start and end a bit later.

Despite just finishing his freshman year at Penn State, Pelter felt prepared going into the internship. In his first year on campus, he was an active member of ComRadio, calling multiple sporting events and doing play-by-play for three Big Ten Network Student U wrestling matches. In addition, he traveled to Madison Square Garden in New York City for the NCAA Wrestling National Championships.

“I think, similar to Westwood One, ComRadio kind of threw me into the fire,” said Pelter. “I was lucky that the management team kind of realized that they saw I had some talent. They also worked with me to make me a much better broadcaster through one year. They let me get broadcasts; they let me do games. That was huge.”

In addition to helping prepare him for the internship, Pelter’s connections at ComRadio were important to getting him the gig at Westwood One, including fellow Penn Stater Alex Bobbyn, a rising junior broadcast journalism student who spent last summer with the station.

“I know three Penn Staters who have had that internship in the past, and all three were ComRadio members,” said Pelter. “They all told me about Westwood One, which really intrigued me just because of how high up it is in sports radio. (Bobbyn) told me he had a really great time and was able to do meaningful work and meet a lot of great people. That really piqued my interest, and from there I talked to some of the other guys who had the internship in the past.”

While Pelter is learning a lot, he has also made important connections, including Larry Costigan, the Westwood One producer who hired him. He hopes to meet and learn from more of the talented people who work for the company, including Brandon Gaudin, who, among other things, is the voice of the “Madden ’17” video game and was recently brought on by Westwood One.

“I’ve met a ton of people already,” said Pelter. “I’m so fortunate to be working with some of the top people in sports radio. These guys are really high up in the industry.”

  • Brandon Pelter radio

    Brandon Pelter

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated June 02, 2021