Student Spotlight – Chad Richards

Student Spotlight – Chad Richards

Junior broadcasting student Chad Richards

Tell us a little about yourself.

    Well I was born in Titusville, Florida which is a small town right on the coast of Central Florida, just across the way from where NASA launched the Space Shuttles. To make a long story short, we ended up in my dad’s hometown of Parkersburg, WV where I went to Parkersburg High School. In my junior and senior years, I was in the county’s Broadcasting Program where I did many things, including working on our news program, editing concerts, and calling high school sports.
How did you hear about WLU’s program. Why did you decide to come here?
     I originally wanted to go to Marshall, but my high school Broadcasting teacher suggested I would like the program better at West Liberty, which I hadn’t heard of at the time. I got a tour and saw the facilities and was definitely interested. I learned more about the program through a few more visits and really liked all the hands-on experience, which I wouldn’t have at Marshall. Plus it was significantly cheaper, and not as large as Marshall, which worked out well for me.
You are involved in almost everything the crew does. What is your favorite duty on the crew?

     It’s not really a specific duty, but I always really like doing the football and basketball games. I like working live events because of the spontaneity of it all; you can never expect what’s going to happen (especially when you put a horse on live TV). They’re also fun because I get to sit in a truck with a great group of people for a few hours, make live television for the valley and have a great time doing it.

Chad Richards directs during the 2017 UVA Wise Football Game

Word has it you are a master of the 3 Play instant replay machine. What’s that like?
      Instant replay was one of the very first things I did on crew for the football games, and I wanted to make sure I did it right. So I worked on it most of that season and studied how to use it, and now I can crank out replays at incredible speed. It’s definitely an important job, because it gives the people watching the game a second chance to see something that happened that they might not have seen live, and in slow motion too. It’s really important during the postseason, and I got my first taste of doing replay review for the officials at the most recent Atlantic Regional Basketball tournament, where I got to see firsthand the importance of using replay to get the call right.
You used to want to be a meteorologist, right? I hear you write great weather packages for the news.


      I always said that if I had stayed in Florida, I would’ve gone to college for either aeronautics (planes) or meteorology. I think my appreciation for weather comes from my being raised in Florida, where the weather was especially important not just because of the hurricanes, but because storms tended to move in quickly. You could walk in the store on a sunny day, come out 5 minutes later and there’s thunder and lightning and heavy rain. I would often watch the local newscasts for the weather people because I liked the weather that much.
You’re also a producer for Jock Talk. What’s that like?

Chad running camera for a WLU Toppers Baseball broadcast

We’ve switched it up to having a group of people working to produce the show together rather than just one, and it’s worked out great so far. I offered to step onto the production team because of my knowledge of sports (college sports especially) and it’s great to put all that knowledge to use to help produce a great show. I was on a sports radio show on WGLZ last semester, and I think that really helped me to refine my knowledge and be able to write out good notes and pick out which games are good and which are not.

You’ve worked with Metro News on several occasions, including most recently in the football game of the week. What is that experience like for you in comparison to working on WLUTV?
     It’s definitely a different environment and different production. It’s more of a higher-end production, because they need to reach a larger audience. At the same time, they still do a lot of things the same. Its a great experience being able to work alongside people who have been doing this much longer than I have and help make a good show.
You also have served with WTOV 9. What did you do with them?
     Right now I’m in my second year of working with them, so my job hasn’t really changed, but I have gotten better at it. I usually travel with them on Fridays to help them produce their High School Football Game of the Week. I help set up the cameras and run cable, and during the game I go down to the field to grip and help out the handheld camera operator. It’s a different kind of show, and it’s a great experience that I’m not able to get just at West Liberty alone.
How hard is it being a minion for Theresa? 
     I wouldn’t say I’m a minion for her, I’m usually the closest one to the Media Arts Building when something needs fixed with the TV station or when something needs to be done quickly. As far as working for her on road trips, I suppose that’s what comes with sitting in the front seat of the van all the time.
Finally, you are well into your junior year of college. We’re trying to pay off your professors to fail you so you can stay around longer, but if we can’t come up with the money for that, what are your plans after college? What would be your dream job?
     I still like working the games and producing the live shows, and I hope to make a career out of it. I hope to be working for a sports production company, but the dream is to be doing sports for CBS or NBC doing college sports and NHL (Go Pens). I definitely would stay longer if I could, and if the school wants me to come back some time in the future, I’d be happy to do it.