Former OHIO and WOUB student Larry Katz establishes fund to support WOUB Sports student leaders and productions

Published: September 18, 2023 Author: Amanda DeWees

Former Ohio University and WOUB Public Media Student Larry Katz is paying his WOUB Public Media experience forward with a $100,000 gift commitment to establish an endowment and provide immediate-use funding to help current students enhance the real-world, hands-on professional media training they are getting as part of the WOUB Sports department. The Larry Katz WOUB Sports Student Leadership and Production Fund will provide general support for sports productions and content produced by students working at WOUB. It will benefit students working on productions like Gridiron Glory, Hardwood Heroes, The Bobcat Sports Showcase, Ace Nation, SportsBeat, NewsWatch and others. The fund will help pay student wages and/or supporting costs including student travel to cover sporting events.

“I was one of those kids who used to sit in front of the TV with a make-believe microphone watching sporting events and doing play by play,” said Katz. “So, as soon as I got to Ohio University, I started working in sports at WOUB. I knew that people like the late Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Announcer Joe Tait had worked there. And the opportunities I had as a college student working in the WOUB Sports Department were amazing. I was able to cover local, college and even major league sports and interview people from high school to the pros. I look back at my four years, and I’m in awe of the opportunities I was exposed to. I’m so grateful.”

Katz graduated in 1977 and moved to New Orleans to work at his family’s clothing manufacturing business for what was supposed to be six weeks.

“Six weeks, turned into 20 years, and I never pursued a media career,” said Katz. “I eventually moved out of clothing manufacturing and started a chain of restaurants in New Orleans, Dots Diner.

And even though Katz never worked in media, he knows the skills he learned at WOUB helped him throughout his career. That’s why he felt it was so important to give back to students working there today. 

“I learned to handle pressure-packed situations, meet deadlines and work with a team with the expectation of all of us doing really good work together,” said Katz.

As a dedicated former WOUB student, Katz has been a member of the WOUB Alumni Engagement Group (now the WOUB Alumni Network Engagement Group) for nearly three years. The group has helped create the WOUB Mentoring Program, the WOUB Job Connection Program and WOUB Wednesdays, which all connect current and former WOUB students and leverage the professional connections alumni have to help current students with their careers in the media industry.

Katz has also established a scholarship through Ohio University named The Larry and JoAnn Katz Family Scholarship. It is awarded annually to a student with involvement in WOUB, especially in athletic programming.

“It is important to give back to the places that have impacted you profoundly,” said Katz. “Ohio University, specifically WOUB, was at the top of my list. I so enjoyed Ohio University and Athens, but I loved WOUB. I hope to not only make it easier for current students to have the experience I had, but also, to maybe help someone become another Joe Tait someday.”

About WOUB Public Media

As a member station of both NPR and PBS, WOUB Public Media is a trusted source of news, local content and educational resources that have proven to be worthy of the time, effort and support of our users. WOUB, an experiential-learning unit of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, is a non-profit, community-supported multimedia organization which provides online and broadcast services, along with non-broadcast educational services and student professional development. WOUB serves 55 counties throughout southeastern Ohio, western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky with its broadcast signals. WOUB Radio’s FM Network has transmitters in Athens, Chillicothe, Ironton, Zanesville and Cambridge, while WOUB AM serves the immediate Athens area. WOUB TV is made up of seven television channels (WOUB HD, WOUB Classic, WOUB World, WOUB Create, WOUB Ohio, WOUB Kids and WOUB Voicecorps Reading Service) which are broadcast from two transmitters.

Through its support of public service, teaching, research and administrative missions, along with its high-quality local content and programming, WOUB enriches, enhances and expands the lives and horizons of the people in the communities it serves, as well as Ohio University faculty, staff and students.