Former Cincinnati TV Sports Anchor John Popovich conducts sports storytelling workshop with WOUB students
When John Popovich graduated from Ohio University in 1973 with a telecommunications degree, the media landscape for sports anchors and reporters was very different than it is today. Over his 40-year career as a sports anchor and reporter at WCPO TV in Cincinnati, the now retired Popovich learned that being a sports journalist was about more than reporting the scores. It was about telling the story of the athletes whether they were on a high school team or playing at the professional level. Popovich shared that knowledge and his tips and tricks for telling great sports stories during a Sports Storytelling Workshop for WOUB students this past weekend (April 14-15).
Popovich watched and critiqued WOUB’s nightly news program, NewsWatch, on Friday night then spent the day with students on Saturday going over sports storytelling techniques and reviewing their work.
“I really enjoyed working with the students and offering them feedback. The students asked me some really good questions. They even stumped me a bit,” said Popovich with a laugh. “But their stories were fun to watch. They are getting great training and opportunities to learn and grow at WOUB.”
Popovich was initially hired in Cincinnati to do sports features on high school and college students. He was eventually asked to start an 11:30 p.m. Sunday night program called Sports of All Sorts, a program he hosted for 33 years.
Students have the opportunity at WOUB to work on two half-hour programs focused on high school sports. Gridiron Glory covers regional high school football and airs during the fall. Hardwood Heroes covers regional high school basketball and airs during the winter. WOUB’s Sports Editor and Studio Production Manager Molly Kennedy is the professional supervisor of those programs and attended the Popovich workshop.
“Having John here to speak with our sports broadcast students was a pleasure,” said Kennedy. “He discussed the importance of telling a story rather than just giving information. Everyone had great questions, gathering as much information from the local Cincinnati celebrity they could. Even I learned a few new things.”
Popovich’s workshop was funded by the Doug Drew WOUB Student Professional Development Fund. Drew established the fund to help current WOUB students enhance their skills and take their careers to the next level through professional development experiences.
"We are truly appreciative of the funding Doug Drew has provided to give WOUB students the opportunity to strengthen their skills and be prepared for their media careers,” said WOUB Community Engagement and Membership Manager Cheri Russo. “Workshops like these with industry professionals are amazing opportunities for our students to learn and grow.”