New York—When the Rams battled UNC Charlotte in the Rose Hill Gymnasium on Feb. 18, two recent alumni in a long line of Fordham-trained sportscasters were on hand to call the game for the radio station where they each found their voice.
Spero Dedes (FCRH ’01) and Tony Reali (FCRH ’00) returned to campus to host WFUV’s (90.7 FM) pregame show and call part of the men’s basketball game, which was televised nationally on ESPN. It was a chance for them to reflect on their broadcasting roots.
“I wanted to be a sportscaster as soon as I came out of the womb,” said Reali, the host of ESPN’s Around the Horn. “And I knew I was going to have a chance at Fordham to work in the biggest market in the world, to work at a professional station and to be afforded things I would never have at another college.
“[WFUV] is not college radio,” he added. “It’s a 50,000-watt radio station run by professionals who let you work on a professional level.”
While at WFUV, Reali was the voice of the football and men’s basketball teams, a beat reporter for the New York Yankees and a host of One on One, New York City’s longest-running sports call-in show.
Dedes, Reali’s friend and former colleague at WFUV, has also used his experience at the station as a platform to land his dream job. In June 2005, after working for the YES Network and NBA-TV, he was named the radio play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I’m there because of Fordham,” said Dedes. “Usually when you graduate and you’re an aspiring sportscaster you have to leave school and it takes you five, six years to build up your resume. But [at WFUV], you have a chance to do that while you’re a college student. Its invaluable.”
Dedes and Reali continue an impressive legacy of Fordham alumni sportscasters who got their start at WFUV, including Mike Breen (FCRH ’83) of the New York Knicks, who recently was named to succeed Al Michaels as ABC’s lead play-by-play announcer for NBA games; New York Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay (FCRH ’82); Bob Papa (FCRH ’86), the radio voice of the New York Giants; and Hall of Fame sportscaster Vin Scully (FCRH ’49) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
WFUV-FM is an affiliate of National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Radio International (PRI) and offers an eclectic mix of music programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Licensed by the FCC in 1947, the station serves nearly 300,000 listeners per week in New York City’s five boroughs, Long Island and the northern New York suburbs, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as across the country with streaming audio at wfuv.org.