Cronkite School hosts Fox Sports Arizona for Suns away-game broadcasts

In a continued effort to increase sports journalism opportunities for students, the Walter Cronkite School is partnering with Fox Sports Arizona for their broadcasts of Phoenix Suns away games this season.

The programming will consist of a halftime broadcast and 30-minute pre- and post-game shows, said Brian Hogan, senior vice president and general manager of Fox Sports Arizona.

The first broadcast from the Cronkite School will take place Nov. 4, when the Suns take on the Magic in Orlando. The Suns play approximately 50 road games this season.

Fox Sports Arizona will begin broadcasting Phoenix Suns away games from a studio in the Walter Cronkite School Nov. 4. The studio will be available to Cronkite School students and classes. (Connor Radnovich/DD)

Students’ roles haven’t been solidified yet, but will likely be similar to internships, Cronkite School Assistant Dean Mark Lodato said.

Students could do anything from helping the show’s producers to working as runners, likely receiving credit from the school.

Specific talks about a partnership began in June. So far, Hogan said, the program is only set up for this season but could continue, depending on its success.

“We think it’s going to be beneficial for both entities,” Hogan said. “We’re looking forward to making this a long-term deal.”

Fox Sports Arizona will broadcast from one of the studios on the sixth floor of the Cronkite School, currently used for student practice and classes such as studio production. Cronkite NewsWatch — the school’s student-run 30-minute nightly news program — uses the studio next door.

Students were unable to use the practice studio for the past couple weeks as Fox Sports Arizona set up, instead working in the other studio. But they will be able to return within the next couple weeks.

The studio will still be available to classes and students, Lodato said.

When fully set up, the studio will hold two sets — the practice one that solely occupied the space before and Fox Sports Arizona’s.

Members of classes such as studio production will be able to use either desk, depending on which is readily available at the time. Students using the studio for practice will only be able to use the practice set, the same as before the partnership.

With this addition, the Cronkite School now hosts three major broadcasts — Channel 8 KAET, Cronkite NewsWatch and now Fox Sports Arizona — creating opportunities that administrators said could help draw in new students.

Cronkite School students can also cover spring training for several publications across the country, work as a sports reporter for Cronkite NewsWatch, The Blaze or The State Press or work on SportsWatch 101.

“I think if I’m a perspective student and I’m looking for a top-flight university that will offer me the best opportunities, I think this is going to be tough to beat,” Lodato said.