‘Homework Express,’ an international success


The “Homework Express” crew will represent Youngstown State University at the international Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts from April 7 to 10. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Hogan.

Youngstown State University’s “Homework Express” recently placed second in the Broadcast Education Association’s Studio Production category of the Student Video Competition.

For the past eight years, “Homework Express,” a call-in homework help TV show aired live from the Bliss Hall studios, has reached out to more than a million households throughout northeast Ohio.

Junior telecommunications major Jeffrey Hogan produced the winning episode, which aired on Dec. 6.

“As soon as we faded to black, our control room clapped like we had just won an Emmy,” he said. “That show just felt so special to us, and that’s why we decided to submit it.”

Hogan said the broadcast was executed almost perfectly, mainly because of the amount of callers received and various live interviews.

Fred Owens, project director for “Homework Express,” said it was only a matter of time before the crew received recognition for their hard work.

“I was full of exuberance and delight when I heard the news,” he said. “Our staff consistently produces two live shows per week, and that is a feat nobody else comes close to doing.”

Owens added that working on “Homework Express” helps telecommunications studies students attain and develop skills that will be useful for their future careers.

“It provides the crucible in which students can make audience-centered programming,” he said. “Students at other colleges and universities don’t have that kind of access to content production.”

Bill Brophy, executive producer of “Homework Express,” said the show is special to crew members.

“‘Homework Express’ is unique from other college programming because our target audience is tweens,” he said. “Our crew is great because they think on their feet, and the element of live television always adds excitement to their performance.”

Brophy added that the show’s crew should be proud of the work they have done; they’re helping millions of students and representing YSU in the process, he said. Hogan agreed.

“We may take criticism from our peers in the studio, but once we leave, we are all best friends,” he said. “Part of working in live television is the stress that is placed on every crew member, but we really do have a fantastic crew.”

“Homework Express” crew members will accept their award at the international BEA Festival of Media Arts, which will be held in Las Vegas from April 7 to 10.

Homework Express is broadcast live on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Time Warner (Channel 23) and Armstrong (Channel 20).