One of the things we keep going back to at Columbia, and in the industry, is to give more young women a chance in this male dominated business. I have been lucky enough to have learned a great deal from a wide swath of women on the professional side of sports, and have had the great fortune of helping mentor a growing number of young professionals throughout the years, and it is my hope that the positive side of #Metoo leads to more opportunities for capable young women for years to come.
Also as a fan of college radio, and having seen how the medium continues to shape the careers of young professionals, I am always on the lookout for the unique; those who have the skills and the chops to cut through the clutter and use the spoken word to help get them to any career of their choosing in sports and entertainment.
So it was with great surprise and interest that some news was passed along through colleague Marc Ernay; Hofstra University and its great radio station WRHU, which not only covers the Pride but also is the home of the Islanders, the Cosmos, the Long Island Nets and other pro sports outlets, took three of their rising stars…all women…and let THEM call the men’s game together December 30 against William and Mary.
The trio who worked together…Steph Ruscio, Megan McGuire, and Victoria Conway…are a rarity in media for any sport college or pro where men are on the court, the field, or the ice…but I’m sure they will not be the last group to call a men’s game, and hopefully, as we continue to see with any host of great storytellers who happen to also be smart, professional and outstanding women, this won’t be an anomaly somewhere down the road, it will just be good audio that no one even thinks about.
“The three are without a doubt three of the best young professional sports broadcasters in the country today!” added Hofstra’s John Mullen. “They have a demonstrated consistent track record of producing a large quantity of quality live radio sports broadcasts for Hofstra’s teams and the NHL New York Islanders franchise. ”
For the record…here was some detail on the three;
Steph Ruscio – Senior – Journalism Major – Color Commentator on the broadcast.
She has been a key member of the WRHU sports dept for four years. She is and has been our top sports live broadcast engineer for the last three years. She has engineered and / or produced over a hundred live NY Islanders game broadcasts WRHU syndicated to WFAN AM/FM, WCBS 880a, Salem 970A, Salem 570 AM, WRCN FM LI, Sirius / XM, and NHL Game Center App. Steph Ruscio engineered live broadcasts from U.S. Open this past year. Steph engineered for Mike Francesa when he broadcast his live WFAN show from WRHU Hofstra in June 2016 during the TALKERS Convention. Steph also engineered for Boomer and Carton when the duo did play by play for a NY Islanders game at Barclays Center during the 2016-17 NHL season. Steph has also engineered, produced, and / or hosted, about a hundred Hofstra Pride live game broadcasts or webcasts and Hofstra Pride sports talk shows including our weekly hour long show “the Locker Room” which covers all 17 Hofstra Pride teams.
Megan McGuire – Senior – Journalism Major – Side Line Reporter on the broadcast.
Megan has been a very active member of the WRHU sports department for four years. She has covered Hofstra’s men’s and women’s basketball teams as a sideline reporter, including when the men’s team faced #1 Villanova at NYCB Live Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum recently. Megan has interned for The Chris Mannix Show on NBC Sports Radio (included running social media, booking guests, occasionally used for on-air role and created segments like “Hockey or Hollywood”; Now – New York Islanders Gameday PR Intern (includes working all NYI Islanders home games for the Public relations staff, helping assist staff with media relations, credentialing, stats, and more, while also writing for the Islanders
At WRHU she also did many in studio broadcasts as an update anchor, engineer, producer, color commentator, sideline reporter and served as assistant sports director this past year and produced an hour long Hofstra sports talk show every Sunday called “The Locker Room.”
Victoria Conway – Junior – Communication Major – Play-by-play for the broadcast
After playing basketball in high school, Victoria became (and is) a very active member of the WRHU sports department. She has performed in studio on-air roles for Hofstra basketball broadcasts although her focus has been mainly on volleyball & softball broadcasts. Victoria did Hofstra radio play by play for 2016 CAA softball tournament and play by play for multiple Hofstra volleyball games, and hosted Hofstra talk shows, “The Locker Room” & “Batter’s Box.” She Interned at News 12 (Sports department) Local Long Island TV station – on field reporting for high school’s games. Cut highlights, logged games & wrote scripts for on air talent. Victoria also interned for NBC sports (Chris Mannix Show) Radio talk show on Sirius XM… handled social media accounts & booked guests.
Now who knows whether the trop will go on to work professionally, however you can see by their CV’s that they have, and are, doing what it takes to find their way and lead in whatever area of sports business or entertainment they choose.
Was the night unique? For now, yes. Was it historic? Maybe. Was it worth noting? For sure. Many of us have built lifelong relationships from our time on the college airwaves, and these three young and fast growing professionals also fit that mold. Congrats to all three, and for WRHU for making it happen.