The students who produce the live broadcasts of Hawks sporting events are doing so from a new, state-of-the-art control room thanks to a generous gift from Trustee Emeritus and former board chair Charles T. Parton ’01HN and his wife, Trudy.
Since December, all Monmouth Digital Network (MDN) broadcasts have emanated from the Parton Broadcasting Center, which is located on the second floor of the OceanFirst Bank Center.
MDN had previously used a mobile trailer for its broadcasts. MDN’s production team is composed mainly of students, and the ultramodern facility allows them to work with industry-standard digital production and broadcasting technology, says Andrew Kurtz, assistant athletic director for live broadcasts. Among the equipment the new center features is a bigger board for cutting between the multiple cameras deployed during games, a replay machine, an audio control station, a more powerful graphics machine, a LiveCut station for editing and posting big plays to social media during games, a new router for inputting feeds from different locations on campus, and three large TVs to monitor the action.
In addition to the technology upgrades, the center provides considerably more space than the old trailer. Kurtz says that makes it possible to add workstations in the future, and—equally important—facilitates on-the-job training for new students, who can now sit with and observe their experienced peers during live broadcasts.
“We could maybe squeeze seven people in the old trailer,” says Kurtz. “Now we can have 14 students working at once learning skills they can take with them should they want to pursue careers in sports broadcasting.”
The new center puts Monmouth “ahead of the game” compared to similarly sized schools in terms of live-event broadcasting capabilities, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the Partons, says Kurtz. “They are constant supporters,” he says. “They always come to our games and stop by the center. And they’re so happy to see our students learning and thriving in this new space.