Thursday, August 30, 2007

We're On the Air!

I'm ready for my close-up

I'm heading to Westchester today for an interview on White Plains cable TV about Columbia football and the Ivy League in general. I should have the info tomorrow on when and where you can view it.

Meanwhile, the Columbia Athletics Department has just released the following announcement:

Columbia Athletics Announces Expanded Audio Coverage for 2007 Football Season

NEW YORK – Columbia Football will be broadcast on internet and terrestrial radio in 2007 at no charge.

The insightful commentary of Jerry Recco and Jake Novak can be heard on New York-area radio station WWDJ-970 AM for five Columbia games during the 2007 football season. All 10 games will be streamed live for free on

"We are excited to offer a variety of outlets to follow the Lions in 2007," says Alex Oberweger, Associate Athletics Director for Strategic
Communications and Event Operations. "We will continue to seek ways to provide our fans with comprehensive options for tuning in to hear Columbia sports on the air and over the internet."

WWDJ will broadcast the Lions' home opener vs. Marist on September 22, and four road games: at Princeton September 29, at Lafayette
October 6, at Dartmouth October 20, and at Cornell November 10. Broadcasts will feature the 30-minute Lions Countdown pregame show prior to kickoff. WWDJ will also broadcast select men's basketball games in 2007-08.

"Our relationship with WWDJ offers current and potential sponsors the opportunity to reach the many Columbia alumni throughout the Metropolitan area," says Barry Neuberger, Associate Athletics Director for Sports Marketing.

For the second straight year, Columbia fans can subscribe to the SideLION Pass premium content service of for live video of select home and away football games. Subscriptions to the SideLION Pass are available on a month-by-month basis ($12.95/month) or for an entire year ($69.95/annual).

In addition, Columbia University-owned radio station WKCR-FM will continue to provide student-broadcaster coverage of select Columbia athletics events in 2007-08.

Getting WWDJ to replace WSNR is a great development. For one thing, WWDJ broadcasts in a rarely-used language called "English," as opposed to the Russian -language broadcasting that dominated WSNR and probably confused hundreds of fans last season who thought they were tuning into the wrong station.

Also, I've been told that support from the WWDJ people will be much more prevalent, so we should get a better broadcast overall with fewer problems.

Meanwhile, the Ivy League is working on a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio and we do hope one or two Columbia broadcasts will make on Sirius this season. I know the Sirius-Ivy deal has already been announced weeks ago, but the specific game packages have still not been hammered out.

As you read this, I am hard at work with some other very hard-working Columbia administrators on a quest to secure some great football stars of the past to be my guests for halftime interviews. Our wish list is really spectacular, and I can promise you that if even half of the people agree to do interviews, we'll have something really special for the listeners.

A further note about practice and what I can report:

Fear not! We are in the progress of working out some guidelines for what I can and can't report from practices and inevitably I will be able to discuss more than just the weather at some point. I'm just erring on the side of caution for all the reasons I, and some commenters, have mentioned already.

No Respect

A commenter in the previous post notes that the Boston Globe has picked the Lions to finish 7th this season, which I believe is the lowest position anyone's put us in so far in their preseason predictions.

Learning from the Best

Georgetown is not on our schedule this year, but the Hoyas are playing three Ivy teams, (Yale, Cornell and Penn), this season. One of the players who really impressed me last year in the GU-CU game was QB Matt Bassuener, who came into the game in relief of starter Ben Hostetler and darn near brought the Hoyas back from a 20-0 deficit in the game Columbia eventually won, 23-21.

Well, it turns out that Bassuener spent part of this summer as a counselor at Michael Quarshie's '05 football camp in Finland. You can read about it here.


At Thu Aug 30, 10:27:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Boston Globe is a rag. Ignore it.

At Thu Aug 30, 11:23:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need the "Wilson Summary." See the next thread.

At Thu Aug 30, 11:26:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are people presuming that Coach Wilson wants go go public with a summary? Why would Jake be withholding information if transparency was a goal for the program?

At Thu Aug 30, 11:30:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Well, there will be a report from probably the assistant coaches about camp sometime soon on the CU website. But a daily update from Norries or anyone else is a tall order, technology or no technology. The schedule during training camp is positively brutal, from the early wake ups to coaches' meetings deep into the night. I'm not saying no one would be willing to do it, but there is a time factor to consider here.

At Thu Aug 30, 11:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm kind of confused here, so Jake or someone, please clarify. I think I get now that Mother Columbia prefers I listen to Columbia games on a commercial station, with, appropriately, commercials!

But does that mean WKCR won't be covering ALL the games in its own usually inimitable (and, in my opinion, likable if sometimes bumbling) fashion? I even always liked how, a block from Baker FIeld, KCR's signal is often semi-blocked by an apparent neighborhood pirate dance music station (with very local commercials indeed, such as for nearby bodegas).

Someone please help me here!


At Fri Aug 31, 12:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we're talking about generally is how best to use the Columbia Athletics Website to publicize Columbia Football not just during the pre-season, but the entire year. Specifically, however, pre-season publicity is particularly important as you want to create as much interest and enthusiasm as you can for the program, which will inevitably lead to higher ticket sales and improved morale. No one is suggesting that Coach Wilson or any other coach take the time to prepare a daily summary. Rather, the idea is simply to have someone in the Sports Information Office, or otherwise, prepare and distribute a favorable report on the Columbia Athletics Website after talking briefly to Coach Wilson or another Columbia coach. Call the report whatever you want, but do take advantage of modern web technology for the sake of the team.

At Fri Aug 31, 12:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding WKCR, I assume they will broadcast all the football games as they have always done. It was gracious of the Athletic Department to remind people that WKCR will be broadcasting too, but it was a little rich to qualify it by saying select events--as if the Athletic Department provides comprehensive coverage. WKCR will still be providing broader coverage than the Athletic Department. And of course you can listen to WKCR over the internet--you don't need the radio signal.

"In addition, Columbia University-owned radio station WKCR-FM will continue to provide student-broadcaster coverage of select Columbia athletics events in 2007-08."

At Fri Aug 31, 01:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KCR will cover all the games.

It's sort of disgusting how CU Athletics is putting on fewer commercial feeds than last year. When I spoke with Barry last season, he said that simply breaking even would be a success. Even if they didn't do so well on WSNR, I can't believe that they'd find it hard putting together the funds for a full season deal elsewhere (like the religious radio station they'll be using this season).

Is there any other team in the league that doesn't have full commercial coverage of every game on terrestrial radio?

At Fri Aug 31, 01:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've listened to some WKCR broadcasts in the past, and I was not impressed. The new guy Recco sounds much better. And I assume Jake's insight will only add quality to the broadcast, making it a truly entertaining experience.

At Fri Aug 31, 01:18:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would also be nice to see more advertisement of the coverage on campus and to alumni. When I was still in school, I was never once told how to tune in to Lion games, this is inexcusable. A few well placed, but tasteful fliers at key points around campus would help lister numbers greatly. There are plenty of kids who would tune in to listen to away games. Also, this info should be widely disseminated on alumni sites. There's just no excuse for the lack of publicity here.

At Fri Aug 31, 02:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for night/day coverage maps of WWDJ, the commercial AM station:

At Fri Aug 31, 02:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason that the night coverage area is smaller is
Daytime Transmitter Power 50,000 Watts
Nighttime Transmitter Power 5000 Watts

At Fri Aug 31, 02:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Boston Globe article lists the Ivies in order of finish, but doesn't include Harvard. It also shows Cornell finishing third. Hmmm. Where did they pick Harvard to finish?

Interesting to see that every Ivy coach possesses either a winning record or a 500 record except Teevens, and for him they are only showing the games from his last two seasons. The league has a strong coaching corps these days.


At Fri Aug 31, 04:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Leonlion said...

More practice tidbits -- in different media formats -- would please some of us junkies now. But let Coach Wilson set his own terms about that, and let him focus on the real work of preparing the team for the real challenges ahead. We all want more than pre-season tidbits and we all by now should be well versed in patience.

At Fri Aug 31, 06:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will there be any coverage of the upcoming scrimmage with Harvard?

At Fri Aug 31, 06:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Wien Stadium is WI-FI friendly? It would be nice to listen to the internet feed right in the stands.

4th N Ten

At Fri Aug 31, 09:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The internet feed would be useless at Wien, if I understand the announcement. The AM station will cover only away games plus Marist.(
Watching the Col video at the game is....
An FM radio that gets WKCR looks like the way.

At Fri Aug 31, 09:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The monthly subscription to full Sidelion pass is $13 . Last year it was $9, I think. (the increase to cover Jake's exorbitant salary plus limo?)

At Fri Aug 31, 10:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how much it would cost them to simply "coil" the home stands to allow fans to pick up Jake's broadcast. Of course they won't do it, but it's a thought. I bet it would be dirt cheap too.

The internet stream will be on at least a 15-20 second delay. Probably more.

At Fri Aug 31, 06:28:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, #71 is no longer on the roster. Who has left the team?

At Fri Aug 31, 08:28:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe "71" was Rich Ingold or Pat DeFazio's number. Old news from several weeks ago that they're not on the team. One poster advised that Ingold transferred to a small school in Ohio named Ohio Methodist. The current roster numbers a lucky "100" in total with defensive back Stephen Hancock as the latest addition.

At Fri Aug 31, 08:42:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to whoop Harvard's ass!!!

At Fri Aug 31, 08:44:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

A couple of clarifying points:

1) The audio for every game is now for free whether you choose to listen on, WWDJ, or WKCR. This is a great development. More is more.

2) The athletic dept. only said "select games" available on WKCR because no one from KCR informed them of their plans for this year yet. Rule #1 in PR and journalism is to never assume facts.

3) The cost of airtime in the NYC area is much, much more than anywhere else in this country. We're assuming too much about the financial power of the athletic dept. Yes, CU has a lot of money, but only a small portion of it goes to athletics. If the department exceeds its budget, it's on its own for the most part.
So the cost for the more basketball coverage this season has to come from somewhere.

4) That said, special provisions will be made if some of the home games become huge events like with title implications.

5) I remain a supporter of WKCR and student broadcasting in general. Competition is a good thing if the kids are looking at it that way. Plus, if you're wanting more from the media departments etc, remember that the commercials pay for a lot of that. It's one thing to say you want more but aren't willing to pay for it, and it's another thing to say you want more and you don't want ANYONE to pay for it. That makes no sense.

Look, overall we are getting more than ever before when it comes to audio and video packages. People outside of the NYC area have gone from getting no coverage at all to getting free audio, low-cost video, and 24/7 website discussions of the football team and more. And this is a bad thing?

At Fri Aug 31, 09:19:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I'm confused by 1. in that the AM station is not a choice for home games other than Marist, if the statement on the AD site is what's going to happen. And, your last paragraph isn't completely correct. We outside of the area have been able to listen to WKCR on line for a few years.

At Fri Aug 31, 09:21:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Yes, WWDJ is only an option for 5 games... but when you cobble it together with the feed you have all 10.

And yes... my meaning was that just a few years ago, (before the KCR feed), nothing was available.

At Fri Aug 31, 09:42:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to hearing Jake every Saturday, but I have a horrible feeling that the WKCR is going to start crying about not getting to cover every game followed by a scathing editorial in Spec about how awful it is that CU Athletics is selling out to AM radio. (expect it to probably come shortly after the "BakerGate" editorial blasting the athletics department for not moving the opener - and Baker Blast - to a non-holiday, akin to Harvard/Brown).

You know, in a sense, it's really too bad that they can't get the "pros" to do the KCR feed. Some schools with powerful stations actually choose the big guns over student coverage for athletic events, possibly providing a separate internet feed for the kids (or using Barnard's WBAR internet station). For the record, I think KCR does an, uh, not so hot job (and I'm a student that's, after three years, so glad that we've got someone like Jake at the mic).

It's clear that there's still a lot of room for improvement, but this is a start.

At Fri Aug 31, 10:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my ignorance (I'm not at the games), I find the KCR play-by-play acceptable-to-good and wouldn't like to have "pros" do the games. Said pros are an inconsistent group, although I do think the p-b-per on the commercial station did a very good job last year.

At Sat Sep 01, 01:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can't expect the coach to give us updates on a regular basis. I am as starved for information as the rest of this group. But all I can say is that all signs point to a very well conditioned and talented group who will be highly motivated by a great HC and staff. I have heard, however, that Mitchell, Bayo and Nico Gutierrez have been very impressive so far.

At Sat Sep 01, 03:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Roar ee said...

I don't think there's any harm in very generic updates on specific players and their general progress during pre season. This doesn't need to come from the coach, it can come from anyone who has observed a practice or scrimmage. The Harvard scrimmage will be a good time for this since Harvard's staff will have tape of the scrimmage anyway and there will be nothing left to hide.



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