Discovering a gem at TCU

TCU 360/Alexandra Plancarte
TCU 360/Alexandra Plancarte
Alright, alright… I know, I know… This blog post is going to sound like an advertisement for TCU’s sports broadcasting program. I swear, though, that they didn’t ask me to write this post. (Although, as I found out, the Mexican food at Joe T. Garcia’s is so dang good, that perhaps I could be bribed. I joke. Maybe.) Anyway, here’s how the story played out…

Last fall, I published a blog post about the top sports broadcasting schools in the country. Afterward, I received an email from Charles LaMendola at TCU. Even though his school wasn’t on the list, he was complimentary of the list. He also wanted to politely let me know about the wonderful things TCU was doing in its sports broadcasting program. Ultimately, he invited me to Fort Worth for a sports media conference on the TCU campus.

The conference was last week and what I experienced was eye opening. There are many common traits among top sports broadcasting schools that make them outstanding. Here are six of them, as applied at TCU.

6 traits of top sports broadcasting schools

1. Active alumni
At least four of the speakers at the conference were TCU alumni. A fifth, NBC Dallas morning news anchor Deborah Ferguson, was in attendance and visited with students afterward. Alumni also serve on TCU’s College of Communications Advisory Board.

2. Enrichment programs
Events like the Leaders in Media Conference are unique and outstanding extended learning opportunities.

3. Networking
Last week’s conference included four opportunities for students to meet with panelists before, during and after the event.

4. Campus radio and TV outlets
KTCU FM 88.7 and TCU 360 offer hands-on experience for aspiring radio and TV broadcasters. What is especially unique at TCU, though, is the opportunity for students to produce and direct live nationwide coverage of TCU sporting events on the Big 12 Sports Network. Looks pretty good on a resume.

5. Top-notch facilities
In addition to KTCU and TCU 360, students have access to a robust film library, state-of-the-art editing suites, high-definition cameras, a Foley stage, sound studios, and two news studios.

6. Quality instructors
Charles LaMendola, Russell Scott and Mike Martin are just three of many outstanding and passionate professors on the TCU staff. I can’t tell you how many times during my visit to campus I heard an alumnus say, “I learned it in Chuck’s class.”

After visiting TCU, I felt compelled to amend my list of the nation’s top sports broadcasting schools. The revised post now includes the gem in Fort Worth.

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