Year-in-Review 2019

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

There are a number of things that still out in my mind as I reflect back on our 2019 at the RCN-TV studios and with the “RCN SportsTalk” show.

A few of my personal highlights…

DIVERSITY IN OUR COVERAGE THIS YEAR

While football, basketball and wrestling get the lion’s share of media attention in Eastern Pennsylvania, our coverage reached out to every sport in both the EPC and Colonial Leagues during each season and we were able to include every Lehigh Valley school and several schools in the Delaware Valley and DVM broadcast regions as well. We also covered more games for local leagues (Lehigh Valley Legion and Northampton County League) that we had ever covered before.

On a national scale, women’s sports of late have been disappearing from network programming, with more and more events pushed off to regional channels or internet-only broadcasts. High school sports have been receiving less and less press in print and very rarely around the country is a full-time writer assigned to dedicated to female sports.

On the contrary, we reached out and included more female-related sports on our show over the past 18 months, including doing a show on prompting female high school wrestling–something that has been around now for a few years, but most people don’t even know that several local schools have more than one female wrestling competing and that schools are trying to field an entire (albeit smaller) squad to complete on the same level.

The RCN staff works very hard covering ALL local sports (in addition to other duties and obligations they have in non-sports areas but enjoy the opportunity to feature different sports, schools and events.

The studio staff members are anxious to start on our 2020 coverage after the holidays to cover even more great stories and interesting people from different backgrounds.

I’m optimistic that seeking new ways to expand our reach into the community will expand even more in the new year!

DIVERSITY IN OUR STUDIO & SKYPE GUESTS

We featured guests from the top members of the PIAA administrative staff, District XI representatives, local leagues officers, coaches, administrators, athletic directors and student athletes from large schools, smaller schools, public schools, private schools, and charter schools in 2019.

Our guests included former and current professional athletes, sportscasters and writers from national and regional perspectives who touched on everything from their private lives and “life lessons learned” to controversial topics in sports. We featured former writers, athletic directors and administrators (who could speak freely without worrying about having to adhere to their supervisors) and could give honest views on issues that students, parents and coaches have to deal with. We’ve heard various opinions that are different from others and enjoyed having professional exchanges and conversations when discussing opposing viewpoints.

We expanded our partnership with our friends at DKN Sports in the Washington DC area to bring you even more features and guest interviews than ever before.

We featured a number of issues away from the fields and courts and brought you stories of sports personalities going through their own personal struggles.

We brought you inside looks on teams from state champions (Bethlehem Catholic girls basketball team) to national NCAA Champions (Fox Beat Reporter Jermain Ferrell, who covered the University of Virginia’s men’s basketball teams run all season long).

We interviewed former high school greats from our coverage area like Easton alum/current Towson University running back, Shane Simpson, who talked about his relationship with current NFL great Sa’quon Barkley (who was a guest on our show a couple years ago before the draft), along with his own personal steps he’s taking for rehabilitation to hopefully be drafted himself next spring.

Plus, many other great stories from friends in our coverage area in 2019.

THE EFFORTS OF “EVERYONE” BEHIND THE SCENES

I thought that we received tremendous support from many names and faces most customers don’t get to see or hear about.

There are many components to a television entity and frequently, when people approach me with suggestions and ideas, almost always is there at least one element of broadcasting that they said they had never known about before or I get a chance to share with them something they had never even considered that is involved in a production (and I’m probably one of the last people in our studio that one would approach to learn about all the intricacies of the technical side of a broadcast).

From marketing and promotion to scheduling and broadcasting, there are so much people involved in visual broadcasting, and even other media members that I encounter in other areas of communication often fail to grasp the many moving parts and necessity to put your trust in others while working in television (please note that I’m not saying one is “better” or “harder” than another field in broadcasting).

When I first moved from a career largely in print and radio areas into more television on a full-time basis, the thought of having so many people control what’s “happening” to you, with things in motion that are completely beyond your control, is an experience that is quite daunting. I’ve known quite a few individuals to really struggle with it and a few could not make that transition, because it is very difficult to allow so much that falls upon yourself, but put in so many other people’s hands.

However, I feel extremely blessed for my colleagues at RCN and was extremely happy with the work we were able to produce as a team in 2019 … the bar is already quite high as we embark on a brand new year!

Keep an eye out for more “year-in-review” thoughts on “SportsTalk” and videos as we turn the calendar to a brand new year!

Chris Michael About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

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