Jonathan Mitchell, VP and general manager of WMC, turned up in Memphis with sports production in his background, having led a team that built a local sports network on a diginet years ago when he was the news director at KHQ Spokane, Washington.
He worked out a partnership with the University of Memphis to produce the university’s sports games for ESPN Plus. The venture began in December with men’s and women’s basketball, and has moved on to soccer and volleyball. Baseball and softball games happen this spring.
Mitchell described the sports broadcasts as “network-quality.”
The mission is off to a solid start. “It’s been a really neat project, especially in challenging times,” he said.
When COVID issues subside, the enterprise will provide production experience to college students who may end up pursuing a career in local television. “Hopefully it develops a pipeline, not only for WMC, but for [parent] Gray Television as a whole,” Mitchell said. “We’re always looking for talent.”
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