Student athlete gets early career start in sports broadcasting

MacKenzie Tyree '14 has interned as Fox 21/27's "Friday Night Football" sports reporter this fall.

MacKenzie Tyree '14 has interned as Fox 21/27's "Friday Night Football" sports reporter this fall.

MacKenzie Tyree '14 covers high school football for a local television network.

This article was featured in the Roanoke Magazine, Issue 2, 2013. The full issue can be seen here.

After impressing the staff of WSLS 10 (the Roanoke Valley's NBC affiliate) during a summer internship, MacKenzie Tyree '14 has become the face of the Fox 21/27 Friday Night Football this fall. Not only is Tyree keeping tabs on local high school football, the Daleville, Va. native is also the defensive specialist for the Roanoke College volleyball team.
In October, Kayla Fuller '14, a student writer for the College's Office of Public Relations, asked Tyree about her experience in sports broadcasting and how she has juggled it with academics and athletics at Roanoke.

Tell us about your job this semester with Fox 21/27.
Tyree: I cover one local football game a week. I go in on Fridays to do the live morning show with the anchors on Fox to preview the football game and talk about the match-up. Later, my cameraman and I go to the game. We stay as long as we need to get enough footage. I write my story and then go back to the station to cut the video and voice track the highlights. That goes on Fox News at the end of the 10 o'clock news and then on WSLS at the end of the 11 o'clock news.

What has volleyball taught you that will help you with your future in news broadcasting?
Tyree: Especially with a communications type of job, you work really closely with people and talk to people. Sports in general, and especially volleyball, help you learn to work with people and help improve your communication skills.

How do you balance school, volleyball and your job at Fox?   
Tyree: I have been able to balance it pretty well. My coach [Blair Trail '99] has been really understanding when I'm not there on Fridays because she knows this is a really great opportunity. At times it's been a little hard. Of course, [volleyball and football] had to fall in the same season, but in a couple weeks they will both be over, and I will have so much time on my hands. So I'm just enjoying it while I have both of them right now.

What have you learned from your experience at Fox?
Tyree: On Fridays we go to the football game and then come back [to the station] to get everything done by 10:30 p.m. to go on the air.  I have learned how to turn something around quickly but still do quality work. It has been good to get my foot in the door with this. I am learning so much so quickly with all this hands-on experience.

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