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SoCJ students’ Halftime Report expands with SB Athletics TV deal

A student sits at the anchor desk in front of a monitor with the School of Communication and Journalism logo

A student sits at the anchor desk in front of a monitor with the School of Communication and Journalism logoThis winter, a record number of Stony Brook men’s and women’s basketball games will be broadcast on linear television with SNY. As part of the partnership, students from the School of Communication and Journalism will offer a record number of halftime reports.

“It’s wonderful that this new package extends the reach of Stony Brook Athletics and of our hard-working student-athletes,” said Laura Lindenfeld, dean of the School of Communication and Journalism and executive director of the Alda Center for Communicating Science. “I’m thrilled that this deal also gives SoCJ students the chance to expand their halftime report and share more Stony Brook stories with our region.”

The games started airing in the beginning of November and will go through early March. 

“SNY provides a tremendous platform to showcase Stony Brook University to an expanded television audience across the northeast region and beyond. We view our relationship with SNY as a powerful mechanism to promote not only Stony Brook men’s and women’s basketball, but also the institution as a whole, and SoCJ students are a big part of that,” said Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron.

For each 3-minute show, a team of SoCJ students select and create stories, write scripts, and rotate through the different responsibilities of producing a news show, including running cameras and teleprompters, cueing people and cameras, and anchoring.

“I’m impressed with what the team is able to put together each week. Students often introduce events or people that the rest of the class hasn’t heard of, and, if it fits in the rundown, they are free to pursue that story,” said John Neri, a senior journalism student from North Babylon. “I want to go into media production, so the most challenging part of Halftime Report is raising the bar for myself week by week. It’s quite the opportunity.”

The halftime show started in January 2022, when SNY and Stony Brook Athletics signed their first contract to air a total of 13 games during basketball season. Students who were eager for more experience in the School’s professional-caliber production studio asked if they could produce a halftime show to accompany the games. Lindenfeld and Phil Altiere, the school’s production supervisor, agreed to let them see what they could do. 

The partnership with SNY continued through the spring 2022 and fall 2023 seasons, and SoCJ students have been part of the broadcasts ever since.

“This halftime report was something that our students really wanted to start two years ago,” said Altiere. “I’m so proud that it’s continued – and grown – over the years. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain some extra experience, and for all of us to share some of the incredible things that happen at Stony Brook University.”

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