2013 Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit; Steve Levy returns

SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy will be on campus Wednesday for the 2013 Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit.

This will be the ninth media summit Oswego State has had since 2005, when Louis A. Borrelli Jr., class of 1977, donated funding for the event. A panel discussion headlines the media summit and typically hosts panelists from the media industry.

This year’s theme for the summit is sports, with the slogan, “Get in the game.” Borrelli will be moderating the panel of John Kucko, class of 1987, Jay Beberman, class of 1989, Donna Goldsmith, class of 1982, and Levy, class of 1987.

Kucko is currently a sports anchor at WROC-TV in Rochester, where he has been since 1991. Since 1989, he has covered sports for the Rochester area and covered four Buffalo Bills Super Bowl teams, the 1989 U.S. Open and 1995 Ryder Cup, as well as the 85th PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

Beberman comes from Bloomberg News, where he is the managing editor for sports and has been since 1994. He has led the company’s coverage of sports throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Beberman began covering sports for Bloomberg in 1992 when he ran the sports team in North America. He began with ABC’s “Good Morning America” as a researcher after earning his bachelor’s degree in communication studies at Oswego State.

Goldsmith was named Forbes’ second most powerful Woman in Sports in 2009. She is known for her brand-building knowledge, negotiating and leadership skills. She worked on global licensing and merchandise with both the National Basketball Association, where she was vice president of consumer products, and World Wrestling Entertainment, where she was chief operating officer.  Starting in February, Goldsmith worked with LeadDog Marketing Group as managing director until October. She helped the company incorporate their new San Francisco office with their headquarters in New York. Goldsmith was also the general manager of operations for the NY/NJ 2014 Super Bowl host company. She implemented plans for projects for the events leading up to  the 2014 Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium.

Levy, for whom the Campus Center Ice Arena press box is named, is currently a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN, which he joined in 1993. From 1995 to 2005 he did play-by-play for the NHL on ESPN. In addition, he handled play-by-play for college football on ESPN 2 from 1999 to 2002 and the NCAA Division 1 men’s ice hockey semifinals and finals in 1998 and 1999. Levy was also studio host for The NFL on ESPN Radio and would cover football games on Sunday during the season. Levy worked as an anchor/reporter from 1992 to ‘93 at WCBS-TV and hosted Sports Desk on the Madison Square Garden Network in 1989. Levy worked at The Oswegonian as the sports editor.

Marissa Sarbak, a junior, is one of two student event directors who have been working on the event along with professor David Moody.

“Dr. Moody has been working on [the media summit] longer though, with Lou Borrelli and the rest of the committee,” Sarbak said. “Each year the planning begins pretty soon after the last one ends.”

Janelle Francisco, a senior, is the other student event director and has been involved with the summit since her freshman year. She said the event is a great opportunity for students.

“Bringing in the panelists, the topic of conversation and informing students, I just think it’s all fun,” Francisco said.

Sarbak said that the team of students working on the summit is roughly 45 members strong, but that Moody plays a big part in organizing the event.

“Obviously, I would say that Dr. Moody  plays the largest part in making the summit possible. He’s the event director. Janelle and myself are the student directors and we’ve all been working very closely to create a great event,” Sarbak said. “It’s definitely a combined effort, though, between the communications department, the alumni office, Lou Borrelli and the rest of our committee. Plus, of course, the student team.”

Francisco said that a big reason sports was chosen for the topic was the Super Bowl was being hosted in New Jersey, where two New York teams call home.

“A lot of big sports things are coming to New York/New Jersey, so why not make it sports broadcasting?” Francisco said. “There was a sports theme four or three years ago, so it was time to bring it back.”

Sarbak said that each of the panelists are carefully selected based on the theme and that each of this year’s panelists and career connector has a background in sports media in their own way.

Francisco said that Borrelli is moderating the event in order for students to learn more about Levy, who was originally asked to moderate. She added that at 8 a.m. on the morning of the summit, Borrelli and Levy will be in the Campus Center room 132 (the auditorium) for a breakfast, “Wake up with Steve and Lou” event. Anyone is welcome at the event and Francisco said that students can ask questions and socialize.

The panel will begin at 3 p.m. in Waterman Theater in Tyler Hall. Students will ask questions to add to the discussion, and after there will be career connectors in the North Gallery to talk with students about getting jobs in the industry.

“We’re very excited for this because so many of our students are really interested in his line of work,” Sarbak said.

Both student event directors hope the event will draw student interest.

“Students should definitely come to the summit this year because, as usual, the professionals coming to give their time and knowledge to the students are truly impressive. We’re also very proud that every single one of the panelists and career connectors that are coming are Oswego alumni,” Sarbak said. “This is the first time that this has ever happened. We hope that students understand how each of the professionals started off right where we are now, as a student at SUNY Oswego, and worked their way up to the success they’ve had.”

Francisco said that she expects the theater to be packed full and there is even an overflow room. She suggests students arrive around 2:30 p.m. to ensure they get a seat.

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