Campus sports coverage just got more exciting, thanks to two School of Media and Public Affairs freshmen.
Andy Weber and Sean Grant are leading the production of “Unstoppable,” a revived GW-TV sports news program that has been off the air for more than a year. The show officially reappeared on Feb. 12. The self-declared “destination for all things GW sports” reports on the university’s varsity teams and features guests from the athletic community.
Weber and Grant, the show’s executive producer and anchor respectively, said they became interested in working on a sports news show after noticing a “void around campus.”
“We saw how the Hatchet and WRGW had established sports departments, but TV didn’t,” said Grant. “So we’re approaching this holistically. We want people to read about, listen to, and now watch, sports.”
Plans to revive “Unstoppable,” which petered off in 2013 after several GW-TV members graduated, began this past August. Weber reached out to GW-TV Station Manager Andrew Desiderio about getting involved with a sports program.
“Before I even got to campus, I knew I wanted to do a sports broadcast,” Weber said. “Andrew explained how “Unstoppable” hadn’t been on air for a year, but how we could bring it back. Everyone was super excited.”
Weber and Grant spent much of last fall preparing for the show’s spring premiere. During that time, they learned how to operate the SMPA production studio by assisting with other GW-TV shows including “GWeek” and “DC2LA.” They practiced writing scripts, created graphics, and recruited another anchor, sophomore Casey Decker, to the team.
“It’s not easy. There are a lot of nuts and bolts, so we needed time to plan everything and make sure we were doing the show the right way,” said Grant. “Now, we’re ready to go.”
This isn’t the first time Weber and Grant have worked together. The two journalism and mass communication majors were classmates at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Ill., where they participated in their school’s broadcast journalism club. Though both have pursued different activities at GW—Weber a member of the men’s track team and Sean a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity—the two decided to team up once again.
“Andy’s specialty is news, while I know every sports team and their players,” said Grant. “This show is a great way to combine that.”
Weber agrees. “I can probably name every broadcast new organization and their syndicates. The show has a good balance, and we work well together,” he said.
The show’s pilot included a segment devoted to the GW basketball season and an exclusive interview with GW Athletic Director Patrick Nero. The pair says they are pleased with their first attempt, but are looking for ways to improve.
“Live coverage is the goal,” said Weber. “I would love to eventually have live broadcasts from the actual sporting events. We’re also looking to incorporate more visuals and graphics, as well as more easy going conversation between anchors.”
For now, their priority is to form a deeper connection with their audience: the GW community. Efforts to make the show more recognizable include a Twitter account and Facebook page.
“We want “Unstoppable” to have more of a presence and have more of a community feel. We’re really excited about where this is going,” said Grant. “I think the name of the show says it all.”
The next episode of “Unstoppable” is scheduled to shoot mid-March.