By Barbara Gutierrez
UMTV’s SportsDesk and NewsVision—along with the 15 students who worked on the shows—have been nominated for Television Academy Foundation awards.Two University of Miami television shows have received nominations for the Television Academy Foundation’s 41st College Television Awards, which recognize excellence in student-produced programs from colleges and universities nationwide.
The competition, considered the Emmys of college productions, will announce winners at the awards ceremony on March 26.
The University’s nominations are in the “News and Sports” category for NewsVision and SportsDesk, two student-produced shows on UMTV. NewsVision is a 30-minute live news show that airs on Thursdays and covers local, state, national, and international news.
SportsDesk is a 30-minute program that airs live on Fridays and highlights the best of the week’s sports with Miami Hurricanes athletes and coaches, commentary, and in-depth analysis of upcoming games. SportsDesk won awards from the Television Academy Foundation in 2019 and 2020.
Fifteen students who worked on the shows have been acknowledged in the nominations. For SportsDesk, they are: Gianna Sanchez, Danyel De Villiers, and Jenna Weiss, producers; Julia Hecht, director; and Michelle Ng-Reyes, Brendan Reilly, Maxwell Trink, and John White, writers. For NewsVision, the students recognized are: Spencer Askinazy and Jenna Weiss, producers; Jackson Dill, Jessie Lauck, Michelle Ng-Reyes, and Tyler Walsh, writers; and Ben Ezzy, director.
Julia Hecht, UMTV’s current general manager and former director of SportsDesk, credits the professional nature of the program as one of the main reasons why they earned the nomination.
“I think what catches people’s attention with SportsDesk is how fast-paced it is,” said Hecht, a senior broadcast journalism major. “A lot of college TV shows often sit on one anchor or one picture for a long time. What we try to do is make it as a similar to a real newscast as we can.”
She said UMTV shows do not linger on the anchors; instead, they cut to video, integrate news packages, and keep the show moving.
Hecht, who also is an associate producer with WPLG Local 10 in Miami, credits her work at UMTV for teaching her all the skills she needed to enter the real world of television broadcasting.
Edward Julbe, senior lecturer at the School of Communication and faculty advisor for SportsDesk, gives all the credit for the show’s success to the students.
“What really makes SportsDesk special is the hard work and dedication that our students put into it each week,” Julbe said. “It’s always an honor when industry professionals acknowledge those efforts. We are thrilled to be nominated for the third year in a row!”
Boriana Treadwell, senior lecturer at the School of Communication and faculty advisor for NewsVision, believes the show has been consistently nominated for the College Television Awards (CTA) because of its professionalism, a testament to the tremendous work ethic of the students.
“I am extremely proud that NewsVision has been nominated for the most prestigious CTA award for a third year in a row,” she said. “And that’s just one of the many competitions where the show has been recognized. The judges in all these competitions are consistently impressed with the high journalistic standards of NewsVision, the professionalism of the students, and the quality of their work.”
Designed to emulate the Emmy Awards, student entries are judged by College Television Academy members; three projects are nominated in each category. Criteria for the awards reflect industry standards of excellence, imagination, and innovation.
The awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with the foundation’s College Television Summit, a three-day educational event featuring panel discussions with media-industry leaders. Held March 24-26, the summit is available virtually and free for college media arts students nationwide.
Nominees and winners of the 41st College Television Awards automatically become members of the Television Academy Foundation’s alumni family, gaining access to year-round networking opportunities, events, and professional development resources.