ESPN's John Buccigross speaks to future journalists
Jan. 31, 2014 - Quinnipiac hosted a 45-minute question-and-answer session with ESPN anchor John Buccigross in the Clarice L. Buckman Theater on Jan. 29. The event was presented by student-run television station Q30 with support from the graduate journalism program in the School of Communications.
"Certainly there was a time in my life when I was in your seat--cold, poor, eating pizza off of paper plates," said Buccigross. "But no more. Now I get to work with Sage Steele and Lindsay Czarniak and wear makeup and talk about sports, so it's all worked out pretty well for me."
Now a co-host of SportsCenter, Buccigross said he landed his first job in the broadcast news industry by opening up the phone book, calling local stations and offering to work for free.
"When I first started off in the business as a 23-year-old kid, I wanted to inform, entertain and inspire by telling stories," he said. "Those three things were always kind of my foundation."
Buccigross eventually worked his way up from night photographer to the main anchor job at Cape 11 News in Massachusetts. After five years, he moved on to WPRI-TV in Providence, R.I. where he covered the local college and Boston sports scenes. Buccigross said the two years he spent in Providence solidified his love for hockey, and college hockey in particular.
In addition to his SportsCenter duties, Buccigross serves as the play-by-play announcer of the Frozen Four NCAA Hockey Championship and calls regular season college hockey games on ESPN networks.
He said his main criticism about watching college hockey on television is the lack of effort on the part of broadcasters to take the time to learn players' uniform numbers and names.
"These players deserve their name to be said when they have the puck and when they make a play," he said. "It's hard work and I really have to grind, but I feel like I owe that to the players and viewers."
Jon Alba '15, general manager of Q30 and a broadcast journalism major, organized the event.
"John was honest in his thoughts, which I think was important for many aspiring journalists in attendance," Alba said. "He was humorous and brought a fresh perspective while representing a network that is, quite frankly, a machine."
Buccigross also offered advice to students with career aspirations in the media industry.
"Whatever you want to do, it's there for the taking right now," he said. "Especially if you have any kind of energy, any kind of heart, willingness, humility and a little bit of confidence. Whatever you're going to do, just love it to death and try to be really good at it."