In a field as competitive as broadcasting, Lanny Frattare, assistant professor of Communication, knows exactly what it takes to give his students an advantage before they enter the marketplace.
Frattare first started teaching at Waynesburg University in 2009 and since has brought in countless professionals in the broadcasting and communication field to speak. Each speaker brings a different story to the classroom, which, Frattare said, is important for students to hear.
“What is true about the broadcasting business is that there is no set way to get where you want to be,” said Frattare. “Consequently, when you hear stories about individuals and you hear the different stories as to how they ended up being successful.”
The most recent speaker that Frattare brought in was Tony Caridi, the voice of the West Virginia University Mountaineers. Caridi said guest speakers, like himself, also bring a change of pace to the classroom, which is important for the students.
“I think sometimes students may raise their attention level when someone new comes in with a different perspective,” Caridi said. “I think that’s really important, especially in broadcasting.”
Along with the differing perspectives from the guest speakers, Caridi said students also gain an updated view on the field.
“[Frattare] is allowing students to get an up-to-the-minute – literally – idea of what’s happening in the business,” Caridi said. “[And also] what’s happening in the world of broadcasting, and I think that is invaluable.”
Another speaker that Frattare has brought in over the years is Randy Gore, who is an alumnus of Waynesburg University, owner of the PAC Sports Network and is also heavily involved in announcing for Saint Vincent College and other schools.
Gore said that it is important for students to hear about both the positive and the negative side of broadcasting.
“I’m at the point in my career where you kind of live through things both positive and negative,” Gore said. “It can kind of provide some advice to some of the current college students in terms of what to expect once they graduate.”
One of the biggest areas of advice Gore has for broadcasting students is versatility.
“The biggest thing in my mind is for students to be as versatile as possible because you never quite know where your first opportunity will be,” Gore said. “Where you get your foot in the door you have to take advantage of it, regardless of whether it be exactly as you want it to be.”
It isn’t just individuals with a fully developed career that Frattare brings in, but also recent graduates.
“I try, every semester, to bring former students in, mainly to give the students some insight,” Frattare said. “These are individuals that are new in the business, and therefore, they are able to give the students the challenges of coming out of college.”
Other guest speakers that Frattare has brought to Waynesburg include Jim Leland, former manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates; Greg Brown, Pirates announcer and other professionals, including radio and television executives.
Through it all, Frattare said with each speaker that comes into the classroom, it allows students to tailor their own broadcasting habits and ultimately their futures.
“There’s a lot of different philosophies about what you should do as a broadcaster… there isn’t one set way – [my] way isn’t automatically the right way,” Frattare said. “If you hear a lot of advice and then you decide which point – which particular advice from which individuals is well suited to who you are.”