The New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA) presented four awards to SUNY Oswego broadcasting students honoring top-tier work in television, radio and digital storytelling.

May 2023 broadcasting graduate and current master of business administration major Zachary Nusimow earned two College TV awards, with a “Rich N’ Pour” package winning Best Use of Local News Video while “Run to Wonzones” was named Best Promotional Announcement or Series. For the second year in a row, Kyle Spisak earned the award for Outstanding Editorial/Commentary in the College Radio category, this time for “The Kyle Spisak Show-Syracuse Blunders.” Kaley Richmond received the Outstanding Classroom Digital Project award for “Roots of Rivalry: Oswego & Plattsburgh Hockey.” 

Nusimow created “Rich N’ Pour” as a package for communication studies professor Michael Reicke’s “Broadcast News Reporting” class for this new cafe that opened on campus, managed by a student team as part of a business class. For the video, Nusimow collected behind-the-scenes footage in the weeks leading up to opening the cafe, as well as coverage of the location’s grand opening and operations. 

The “Run to Wonzones” package involved the creative execution of promoting a connection between a campus speaker and a popular local business.

“I was the marketing director for Wonzones Calzones, created and ran the Instagram page, made merchandise, held fundraisers and went to school events with the owner Jason Shi,” Nusimow said. “Jason was asked by the school to be interviewed by the famous host of the show ‘Hot Ones,’ Sean Evans, and so I made the  ‘Run to Wonzones’ hype video for this huge event. The video is one of the most viewed videos on the Instagram page with over 22,000 views.”

Nusimow plans on creating his own video production company in the future and appreciates the support he received while producing these projects. He thanked Riecke for pushing him to submit his work to the NYSBA, as well as Jim Kearns of the university’s Office of Communications and Marketing and fellow broadcasting student Cletus Tepas IV for helping put together the “Run to Wonzones” video.

Back-to-back wins 

Spisak and his show on student-run radio station WNYO 88.9 FM also earned the Outstanding Editorial/Commentary honor in 2022. The show consists of Spisak breaking down college football and giving his thoughts, opinions and analysis on teams, games and transfers.

“My show is honestly very just me,” Spisak said. “I host it, I produce it, I decide what topics I’m going to talk about, how long I talk about certain things. I’ve done it as a solo show with occasional guests for the last two years because that’s just the way I like doing it, it fits my style well because I get very passionate and start rambling about parts of CFB (college football) that average fans or people who aren’t college football fans wouldn’t understand.” 

The show will return for its third year with multiple improvements, Spisak said, and he hopes for even more awards from the NYSBA but also a national award as well. 

“Winning the awards back-to-back years definitely has put my name on the map more in the broadcast world and it’s something a lot of employers notice when they look at my resume,” Spisak said. 

Exploring tradition

Richmond’s award was a digital project for her “Broadcast News Reporting” class –- also taught by Riecke, who submitted it for award consideration. 

The specifics of the assignment were to make a social media news story to post on Instagram, Twitter, etc,” said Richmond. “Our professor allowed us, if we wanted to, to take a news package that we had created earlier in the semester and make it more of a social media post with a different angle if we could not come up with a new idea.”

This project allowed Richmond to gain more experience and knowledge in producing web and digital content. Through this project she also learned a lot about traditions at Oswego and the stories behind them. 

I mean, who knew that students used to throw bagels onto the ice? Not me!” Richmond said. This longtime tradition – which sometimes resulted in penalties against the Lakers, including a crucial one in their last game in Romney Fieldhouse – was discontinued in 2006 when the games moved into what is now the Deborah F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Hall in the Marano Campus Center.

“Coming to a new school and hearing about all the school’s traditions made me want to learn more about the individuals that started this rivalry and how the tradition has held on for so long because of the sense of community Oswego hockey brings to not only the school,” but to the whole community, Richmond noted.

-- Written by Lila Boudissa of the Class of 2023