HBO Sports Jon Frankel Kicks Off "Distinguished Pro in Sports Communication" Series

This spring semester, we will be offering a unique special topics course in sports communication to launch our “Distinguished Pro in Sports Communication” adjunct series from the Marist College Center for Sports Communication. Through this program, top names from the industry will teach one course at Marist, where they cover their area of expertise and give students a unique opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business.
Launching this program this spring semester is Jon Frankel, a television correspondent for "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" on HBO, a show he joined in 2006. The course is titled “Producing the Sports Documentary” (Com 319) and is open to students from all majors and concentrations as long as they have the pre-requisite experience and interest (see below for the course description and how to apply for the class). The course will be Wednesday evenings at 6:30.
Frankel specializes in long-form sports stories that highlight the intersection of sport and society. Among his most impactful stories on Real Sports were the profile of rehabilitated baseball star Josh Hamilton; the use of performance enhancing drugs in horses; the unique bond shared by George and Coby Karl; an investigation into the death of boxer Arturo Gatti; and the impact of budget cuts on local high school athletic programs in the state of Ohio.
Frankel is also a documentary film producer and director. Among his credits is the documentary "Hellfighters," a film about a high school football team in Harlem, New York, that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was later bought for broadcast by ESPN.
Frankel has also worked extensively as a sports and general broadcast journalist. He served as a correspondent for CBS on "The Early Show” before coming to Real Sports. He previously served as a general assignment reporter for ABC News, reporting for "World News Tonight," "Nightline," "Good Morning America," and as a substitute anchor for "World News Now."
Frankel has also worked for NBC as a correspondent for the "Today" show between 1995-1997. He also served as a sports anchor for WNBC-TV New York, WPLG-TV Miami, and WPEC-TV West Palm Beach.
Frankel began his broadcasting career in 1986 as an associate producer for Bob Costas' nationally syndicated radio talk show, "Costas Coast to Coast,” during which time he was also a producer and editor for NFL Films.
Clearly, Jon Frankel is a unique talent with incredible experience in the area of long-form and documentary sports production – both on the talent and producing sides. For students who truly want to learn about this area and create portfolio quality work with one of the best in the business, this class is a fantastic opportunity. While Frankel is the first in this “Distinguished Pro in Sports Communication” series, the Center for Sports Communication will have other top professionals in future semesters. So if you aren’t ready for (or don’t get into) this course, there will be more.
Below is the course description and how to apply for the course. Please note that we will choose 18 students for the class – you must be junior or senior standing. Please read the description and application process carefully. If you are hoping to take the class, it’s vital that you are prepared to take it seriously. We want the experience to be good for everyone involved.
COM 319  ST: Producing the Sports Documentary
In this course, students will learn to produce professional quality sports video documentaries. Under the expert guidance of Jon Frankel of HBO Real Sports, students will take stories from concept to content, using strong writing, production, and editing techniques, ending up with portfolio quality work that connects sports to larger issues in society. Students will begin the course by studying award-winning long-form sports broadcast journalism and documentary films, deconstructing content, writing, production, and editing techniques. Students will then learn and perform the art of pitching, researching, writing, and producing their own long-form sports broadcasts that go beyond games, wins, and losses. Then, in groups, students will create original sports documentaries. Students will perform extensive interviews, capture video and sound, and create stories that connect sports to the world around it. By the end of the course, students will have written and produced a 15-30 minute sports documentary that meets professional standards and builds their professional portfolio.
Students can enroll in this class by application only. The course is open to juniors and seniors from all majors and concentrations, but they must have experience in producing sports media. They should have a strong interest in sports and society and have experience both in using video camera and with editing software (preferably Adobe).  While there are no specific grade and internship requirements, students with strong academic, professional, and campus media credentials will be highly considered.
To apply for the course, students must write a one page letter of application which should include the following: Reason you want to be in the class; experience in sports media, including writing, producing, talent, editing, and otherwise (can be from classes, campus media, internships, jobs, etc.); proficiency with video editing software (Adobe, Avid, etc.); and, if selected for the class, possible ideas for a sports video documentary. This application letter should be 1-2 pages (and no more than 2). Please submit the application to the Communication Office in Lowell Thomas to the attention of Keith Strudler, Director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication.
If you have any questions, contact Strudler at