Sportsathon Testimonial: Joe Misulonas

WNUR Sports Director Joe Misulonas (@jmisulonas) explains what makes WNUR Sports so special and how listener contributions can help the station. Donations are now being accepted. If you would like to contribute, click here, select “WNUR” under “Give to Other Northwestern Areas,” and thank you for your help.

This Friday, WNUR Sports is kicking off our third annual Sportsathon. For 24 straight hours, the airwaves of WNUR 89.3 FM Evanston-Chicago, one of the premier college radio stations in the country, will be filled with content produced by the sports staff. One month into their collegiate careers, many of our freshmen staffers will get their first on-air experiences. Hopefully they will be hooked as I was three years ago.

When I signed up for the staff listserv at the Medill Activities Fair my first week on-campus, I did not know that WNUR Sports would become one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. In the past four years, I’ve done both play-by-play and color for Northwestern football, basketball (men’s and women’s), baseball, softball, and lacrosse. I’ve broadcasted live from Assembly Hall, Spartan Stadium, Memorial Stadium (in Indiana and California), Carver-Hawkeye Arena and, of course, Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena. Last may, I went on a weekend trip to Philadelphia to call the Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse Final Four game.

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald on a weekly basis. I’ve had dinner with Northwestern women’s basketball coach Joe McKeown and the rest of his coaching staff. I’ve spoken with Brady Hoke, Michael Wilbon, and players on Northwestern sports teams. This does not include the great group of people on the staff that I get to work with throughout the school year, with whom I have forged friendships that will last a lifetime.

Joe (left) had the opportunity to meet ESPN's Mike Wilbon during a broadcast last year.

Joe (left) had the opportunity to meet ESPN’s Mike Wilbon during a broadcast last year.

Every year, a new batch of Northwestern students join our staff, and my goal, as Sports Director, is to ensure their involvement on the staff is as enjoyable as mine has been. At other universities, you spend three years working menial tasks until your senior year, when you’re finally allowed to go on-air. That’s not WNUR Sports. Our staffers have on-air opportunities from Day 1. It takes four years of valuable experience to train the next generation of broadcasters.

Besides training the future of sports broadcasting, WNUR Sports provides a valuable service to the Northwestern community. As the official broadcaster of Northwestern Women’s basketball, we are the only outlet for fans to listen to those games. And we remain the only way to listen to Northwestern baseball, softball, and lacrosse for free.

Last Spring, we created a new WNUR UStream page. With it, we plan to broadcast more basketball, baseball, softball, and lacrosse games than ever before, both allowing listeners to hear these games as well as creating more opportunities for on-air experience for our broadcasters. This past fall, we added men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and field hockey to our broadcast schedule, providing even greater coverage of Northwestern sports.

For the next two weeks, starting today, you can help continue all the great things we do at WNUR. Even the smallest donations can help. Whether it’s helping pay for hotel fare so we can call Northwestern women’s lacrosse’s next National Championship, or allowing us to order new windscreens for our headsets to provide superior audio quality on our outdoor broadcasts, every dollar donated to WNUR Sports is put to good use. By contributing to Sportsathon, you are helping to continue and expand the great tradition of this radio station.

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