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WMC Produces College Games For ESPN Plus

WMC crew producing for ESPN Plus
WMC has forged a partnership to produce University of Memphis sports coverage for ESPN Plus. (Image credit: WMC)

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. 

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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.” 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.