ESPN3 expands to include new studio and program for fall

Jenna Eason, Photography Editor

Mercer University’s broadcasting program is turning a new leaf with a television studio and the Mercer Video Productions program (MVP) developing this semester.

“I’m super excited. It’s going to be challenging, but I think I’m ready for the challenge,” said Avery Braxton, a member of the student leader board for MVP.

A television studio should be up and running by the end of fall semester for students to produce studio shows and build content for WMUB — a local television station for Macon and Warner Robins — Michael Fox, coordinator of Mercer Video Productions and video productions, said.

“We believe that we can serve both the Mercer campus and the community,” Fox said.

He said Mercer’s athletics department is building the new MVP program with ESPN in which 20 returning students will produce content for ESPN3 and the Southern Conference (SoCon) Digital Network.

MVP began in April of this year and was launched the week before classes started with a student leadership board of seven students, which will reduce to six students once the spring semester begins.

The board is responsible for producing and directing games and managing their own crews with the oversight of the professional staff, Fox said.

All SoCon Digital Network games will be aired live on WMUB, which will be the first time an athletic event will air live on a local television station.

“It’s a huge resume builder for students. It’s very accessible,” said Fox. “We are not discriminating between majors.”

The returning students will help with the mentoring and training of 20 incoming students, who will also help with MVP, he said.

Emanuela Rendini, a returning student worker, said she is looking forward to mentoring incoming students and working together as a team to produce broadcasts.

Fox said the staff works hard to create relationships with the students while maintaining a professional work area for the students to understand how broadcasting works in real life.

“We strive as a staff, on our side, to be able to accommodate and train those that want to be pushed harder and train those that just want to learn the basics,” Fox said.

He said their goal as a staff is to have a 100 percent employment rate for outgoing students.

ESPN contacts the staff to ask about who the top students are and to keep track of them throughout their college career, Fox said.

Braxton said he and the other returning students will be placed in leadership positions this year and run broadcasts mostly by themselves.

“For them to trust us with that responsibility that just really means a lot to us, and we take it really seriously,” Braxton said