WLUTV 14 Kicks Off 10th Year of Football Broadcasts

WLUTV 14 Kicks Off 10th Year of Football Broadcasts

It all began 10 years ago in 2007 when Theresa Gretchen and a team of a half a dozen students pulled cable over the grassy hills of Russek Field. The hours of setup involved with stringing cable to 4 cameras, linking it to what was commonly called, “The Force,” a stack of blue boxes containing the necessary equipment to record a football game. Housed under a pop up tent just above the bleachers of the old stadium, each home game was successfully recorded and rebroadcast on WLUTV 14 to about 30,000 households. The television station was just a little over a year old, but complete broadcasts on WLUTV were just on the brink of existence.

Fast forward 10 years and although the concept remains the same, the process is a much simpler one and the facilities greatly improved.  Jared Thompson, Senior Producer and Engineer for WLUTV recalls the changes he’s witnessed to the programs. “It’s been really great to watch the program grow over the years and to see all of the improvements that have been made. The addition of the new press box facility and the West Family Stadium has made our job a lot simpler in terms of setup, and it provides a higher level of comfort to our announcers and camera operators.” Additionally, the reach has extended to over 110,000 households on cable and a 24 hour web stream, including live webcasts of every game.

With the upgrade from the original blue boxes to a state of the art and climate controlled production truck, Theresa Gretchen and Jared Thompson have been producing every football game for the greater part of the last decade alongside a team of students. The production truck was purchased in 2012 and has been not only a great production tool for students, but a great recruiting tool as well. “This is something that very few other schools have. It’s a unique addition to our program, as well as to any school in the state!” said Thompson.

Unique is a term that can be used to describe almost every aspect of the program. “The students do everything from direct to run camera and sideline report,” Gretchen, the Executive Director of WLUTV, stated. “It’s truly a unique opportunity for them to create a product that is viewed by thousands of people!”

This year, WLUTV is excited to bring Kyle Patrick, a junior broadcasting major from Glen Dale, WV to the booth to serve as the color analyst next to Play by Play announcer, Todd Ullom. The season kicks off with the home opener on Thursday, August 31st against Urbana University. All games will be broadcast live on WLUTV 14 with re-airs throughout the week.