West Virginia University journalism student Chip Fontanazza says he lived “every kid’s dream” on Jan. 30 when he reported live for ESPN during the men’s basketball between the Mountaineers and Louisville at the WVU Coliseum.

The broadcast news senior from York, Pa., appeared three times during ESPN’s coverage of the game. Fontanazza appeared on-air pre-game and then once during each half. He spoke to ESPN producers about content prior to the game, and they gave him a Flip video camcorder to do a behind-the-scenes look at student fans and traditions.

Fontanazza’s appearance on ESPN is part of the network’s Campus Connection Week. Students from more than 40 schools, representing 15 conferences and 21 states, plus Washington, D.C., will have the opportunity to serve in various roles during games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

The P.I. Reed School of Journalism has had an official partnership with ESPN since the fall of 2008. The student-generated content initiative, designed to provide college journalists hands-on experience with the network broadcasts, also crosses over to the ESPNU.com website and other ESPN Inc. platforms, including ESPNU, ESPN2 and ESPN radio.

Fontanazza, who served as the sports anchor for “WVU News” during the Fall 2009 semester, was selected to report for ESPN by broadcast news professor Gina Martino Dahlia. “WVU News” is a student-produced newscast by the P.I. Reed School of Journalism, which airs on West Virginia Public Television and on Time Warner Cable in North Central West Virginia. It is available online at http://www.youtube.com/westvirginiau and at http://iTunes.wvu.edu/.



CONTACT: Kimberly Brown, School of Journalism
304-293-3505 ext. 5403