It’s an experience that has helped launch countless careers since 1947, when the station was founded. That fall, a Fordham junior and future Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, FCRH ’49, called the Fordham-Georgetown football game “by Western Union wire, some three hundred miles from the actual scene,” he wrote in The Fordham Ram, providing a sense of the way “a quiet radio studio in Keating Hall” was “transformed into a beehive of activity, where at least ten men scurry busily but without sound to the staccato beat of the telegrapher’s key.”
Since then, the technology has changed but the character of the experience is pretty much the same. And the WFUV sports legacy has grown to include Michael Kay, FCRH ’82, voice of the Yankees; Mike Breen, FCRH ’83, voice of the Knicks; Chris Carrino, GABELLI ’92, voice of the Nets; Dan D’Uva, FCRH ’09, voice of the Vegas Golden Knights; and Tony Reali, FCRH ’00, host of Around the Horn on ESPN, among others.
“It’s incredible,” said Julia Moss, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Fordham College at Rose Hill in 2023 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public media at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “Words could never do it justice, what WFUV does just to get you prepared for the real world. Specifically in New York, people look for WFUV on resumes—for good reason.”
For students like John Warner, a junior in the Gabelli School of Business, being part of a broadcast crew is a dream come true.
“I was that kid when I was very little, playing fake announcer in my head while running around with a football or running around with a Wiffle ball,” he said with a smile. “Being able to do that at the level WFUV allows us to, it’s pretty amazing.”
In October, Fordham Magazine joined Warner and his fellow WFUV crew members for the annual Homecoming game at Rose Hill, when Fordham football rallied for a last-second victory against Lehigh. Here’s a glimpse of what the experience was like behind the airwaves.
10:31 a.m. The station, located in the basement of Keating Hall, begins to fill with students who are a part of the gameday crew, which is supervised by Bobby Ciafardini, sports director for WFUV.
Will Tallant, a junior at Fordham College at Rose Hill and the on-site producer for the game, packs the broadcast kit—headsets, microphones, and other pieces of equipment—before he and play-by-play announcer Lou Orlando, a junior at Fordham College at Rose Hill, and color analyst Brian Rabacs, a senior in the Gabelli School of Business, head across Constitution Row to the broadcast booth at Moglia Stadium. It’s a wet walk, with a steady rain coming down.
10:52 a.m. Julia Moss, the game’s studio producer, gets settled behind the board in Studio 2. “When I’m producing, I make sure [the broadcast] is going, the highlights are going, the engineering is going,” says Moss, who is also the sports manager for the station.
There’s an additional challenge this morning: Some members of the WFUV sports staff are in the main sports studio to pretape interviews for One on One, New York’s longest-running sports call-in show. That means that while the microphones are live, Moss and her gameday crew need to find creative ways to communicate with each other without making a sound.
“We do a lot of nonverbal cues—like your highlights,” she explains, gesturing to Warner, who will be hosting the halftime and postgame shows that day. “I always count him down, ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1,’” she says, “but [only] with hand signals.”
“We also go on Snapchat—black screen—and then type something and make it bigger,” she says, showing how she holds her phone up over the board to communicate with Warner and Chris Carrino, the update anchor, a first-year student at Fordham College at Rose Hill—and the son of Brooklyn Nets broadcaster Chris Carrino, who got his professional start at WFUV in the late 1980s.
Working as a Team
11:32 a.m. Orlando and Rabacs, who had already called at least five games together in 2023, go over their notes for the broadcast. “I think it helps a lot—having the same crew together, you can kind of feel each other out, know what each other’s tendencies are,” Rabacs says. “Also, Lou and I are very close friends.”
Earlier in the week, Orlando had finished his “boards,” where he keeps details about each team to reference during the broadcast. But as he starts to lay them out, he realizes that the spot where he usually keeps them is wet, as the window in the booth was slightly open to allow for the broadcast team’s “crowd mic” to capture the sounds of the fans.
He decides that taping the boards to the booth’s wall is the best solution to keep them dry.
12:07 p.m. Back in the studio, Moss and Crinieri go through all the pieces they’ll need for the broadcast. There’s a pregame interview with Fordham coach Joe Conlin, for example, spot promos for the station that feature alumni like NBA Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Breen, FCRH ’83, and graphics for the station’s YouTube stream.
“I’m kind of like the glue that holds the production together,” Crinieri, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill, says laughing. “If there’s a problem with the highlights, I go and help. If there’s something wrong with the Tieline, I’m in communication with the on-site producer to try and help any way I can.”
12:24 p.m. With the rain pouring down, the Tieline—the device used to connect the booth at Moglia Stadium to the main studio—goes down, and Crinieri’s help is needed.
After a few minutes of adjusting the connection, and a retest, Tallant says they’re ready to go again. “Now I’m making sure all the right buttons are pressed, the right levels are adjusted where they need to be,” he says as he turns the broadcasters’ microphones back off following the test. “So, they sound good. And they sound good in the studio as well.”
After troubleshooting the situation, Crinieri discusses a backup plan with Moss. If the line goes down again, the broadcasters would call into the studio on their phones.
And We’re Live!
12:51 p.m. Crinieri checks in on the student trainees who are in the studio to cut audio highlights of big plays during the game. Some of those clips will be played on the air during the halftime and postgame shows.
Moments later, Moss officially “takes over the station” from WFUV DJ Delphine Blue by playing the prerecorded intro to the Fordham football pregame show, hosted by Rabacs and Orlando.
1:31 p.m. As the first quarter wraps up with Lehigh holding a 7-0 lead, Orlando and Rabacs send the broadcast back to the studio for a “scoreboard update.” For Carrino, that means highlighting scores from around college football—and other sports—in a minute or so.
It’s a tight window to fit in all the scores he wants to share, so after the update, he works with Warner to remove a few games from the list for the next update.
1:43 p.m. The game had started slow for Fordham, with rain-soaked conditions making it hard for the offense to get going, but with 12 minutes left in the half, quarterback CJ Montes runs the ball in from the 4-yard line for the Rams’ first touchdown of the day, tying the game at 7.
For the studio crew, that means cutting the first Fordham highlight of the day. The live broadcast is fed into two computers in the newsroom, and trainees, under Crinieri’s supervision, are responsible for capturing that piece of the recording and saving it as a new audio file.
2:13 p.m. With halftime approaching, Moss checks in with Warner to confirm the highlights she has ready. “It’s super collaborative because I have to make sure [the team knows] what I’m putting in here,” she says, gesturing to the audio board. “He has to narrate it and then I play it, so we’re constantly making sure the script is exactly the order that I have.”
Warner, meanwhile, has spent the game tracking plays and writing notes about some of the big moments in order to host the halftime show. “As those come in, I’m simultaneously writing one- to two-sentence scripts,” he says. “It’s fun too because it’s an opportunity to insert a little bit of your personality.”
A Walk-Off Win
4:03 p.m. With just about 11 minutes to go in the game, Fordham trails by 11 points in front of a resilient Homecoming crowd that has been cheering on the Rams through hours of pouring rain. But now, as the rain eases up, the Fordham offense really turns it on.
First, CJ Montes throws a 14-yard touchdown pass to MJ Wright. Next, Brandon Peskin kicks a field goal to tie the game at 35. With less than a minute to go, the Rams get the ball back and drive 62 yards on seven plays, including an 11-yard reception by Garrett Cody, who goes out of bounds with one second on the clock.
“Fordham and Lehigh tied at 35, Fordham looking for their first conference win of the season,” Orlando tells listeners as Peskin returns to the field to attempt the game-winning kick. “Forty-four yards out, the kick from Peskin—it’s up, it’s through the uprights! Fordham wins 38-35, Brandon Peskin the hero in the final second!”
As Orlando’s voice crescendos in the booth, fans cheer in the stands, and the Rams rush Peskin on the field before heading to the Victory Bell in front of the Rose Hill Gym to celebrate their Homecoming win.