Youngstown State University has given students many opportunities to prepare themselves for the real world.
Job opportunities, internship opportunities and student organizations have given students the tools necessary to better themselves in their respective fields. One of those opportunities is “Penguin Rundown,” a sports show that is completely student produced.
“Penguin Rundown” began several years ago but was put on a brief hiatus. The show made an appearance again when students wanted to bring it back in 2016.
Since 2016, the show has been completely student run, primarily by students in the telecommunications field. Currently, Christina Sainovich, a junior sports broadcasting major, is the executive producer.
“We are so glad its back and doing well,” Sainovich said. “Hopefully, it can continue and develop into something much greater in the years to come.”
Rundown covers every YSU sport and gives every sport equal coverage.
“Football and basketball are easier because they are the most popular,” Sainovich said. “We have some great guys in the athletic department that help us out with setting up interviews and giving us practice schedules.”
Each show is its own individual process. It starts with a meeting on Monday which is when every student gets assigned a position. Each production has roughly 14 students who put the show together.
The meetings consist of writing the script, timing everything down to the second and assigning positions.
Wednesday is when the shooting actually commences.
“We are in the studio recording the show and it takes between two to three hours depending on the week,” Sainovich said. “Thursdays [are] when [we do] preproduction for the following week.”
Preproduction consists of scheduling interviews, getting B-roll of teams and going to the different teams practices and games. The crew tries to have people at every sporting event on campus or in the surrounding areas such as Eastwood Field in Niles where the YSU baseball team plays.
The production team takes pride in every aspect of the show, but like every student-based organization, there are difficulties. The main problem the show faces is viewership, pulling between 100 and 200 viewers per episode. The crew still does everything in their power to bring a strong show.
Chris Colella, a senior sports broadcasting major, has been a part of Rundown since 2016.
“We always look to keep the attitude as positive and upbeat as possible,” Colella said. “You’re getting the opportunity to learn how to work through issues that sometimes get presented, and it’s about how you can turn that into a positive.”
The show gives students a feel of what it’s like to produce a live show.
“Those involved have the opportunity to go out in the field and get to see firsthand what it takes to put a television show together,” Colella said. “Being a part of Penguin Rundown is a priceless experience.”
All that experience leads to professionalism and can even lead to an opportunity for a job in that field.
Corey McCrae was a part of “Penguin Rundown,” and now he is a sports reporter for 21 WFMJ.
“Rundown gave me the opportunity and a head start in applying everything I learned in the classroom,” McCrae said.
Episodes of “Penguin Rundown” can be found on the YSU Penguins’ YouTube page every Thursday at 10 a.m. Other content can be found on the crews social media pages @penguinrundown1 for both Twitter and Instagram.