By Vinny Mutone
When I finished my junior year at Stony Brook, I was so nervous because I knew I had to get an internship. I had made it a personal goal to have an internship by the time I finished junior year. I attended Professor Selvin’s internship fair, and I landed one with the Fire Island Chronicle. I was ecstatic because I landed an internship, I’d be reporting, and I’d evenbe making some money. The only problem was that I am taking the broadcasting route over the writing route. I was still very grateful for the internship, so I took it and even wrote a story for the paper.
But then I was offered a spot on a radio show. Now this was my dream starting to come true. I did play-by-play for the Roth Regatta, and the next day I was offered this internship, my own segment on a sports radio show. This internship, which practically landed in my lap, is the kind of thing that has been a dream of mine since I started my college career. I cordially parted ways with the Fire Island Chronicle and started working for World Wide Sports Radio Network.
Following the Roth Regatta, I received a message from the host of the show, applauding me for my work, and asking me to work with him. I was humbled that just after my first on-air performance, I was offered a spot on a radio show. He offered me an hourly news segment where every hour, on the hour, I would bring up the latest sports news. As well as this, I’d also take part in banter with the other members of the show and make contributions to the show whenever I felt necessary.
This was an absolute dream come true for me. I’ve spent so long listening to shows like ESPN’s “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith and “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Fox Sports Radio, and now I was actually part of one.
I didn’t really know what to expect. The only thing I had to base any predictions on are the shows I watch, but those are super-professional and have multimillion dollar studios, so I knew not to expect anything like that. When I walked in on the first day, the studio reminded me of Joe Rogan’s podcast room. The way the mics and cameras were set up made it feel like we were doing a podcast, and that helped with some of my nerves.
On my first day, I stayed relatively quiet and only spoke during my hourly segment, but as time went on, I started to talk more and more. As I got more comfortable, I started to bring up ideas, spark debates and conversations, and even created some of my own segments.
About a month ago, we moved to a new, much nicer studio. This studio is set up in a café environment, almost like how 106.1 WBLI would set up in a mall, if you can imagine that. I really love this new space because it’s very open, and we even have sort of a live audience like there is on “First Take.” With the new layout, people actually have the opportunity to come and talk to us, join conversations in person, and just be part of the show. For instance, we were having a debate about what’s most important on an NFL football team, and it was really cool having other people contribute to our conversation and give us their opinions.
My favorite part about the internship was the phone calls we would get. We took callers, like most sports talk shows, and it was just so interesting doing that. It made me feel really legitimate, and so did having guests on the show. Our guests included announcers, ex-professionals, analysts, combine reporters and others. They show you respect, and it’s very humbling. One of my favorite memories will always be the day a reporter for Bleacher Report called in.
Even though I started my summer with one internship and ended with another, I’m so grateful for my experiences this summer. I learned how a radio studio runs and operates, and I actually took part in the show as a main contributor; it was a dream come true to have had the opportunity to work for WWSRN, and even more gracious that they offered me a permanent spot on the show during the school year.