NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– Westminster College has a number of grads working at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. Alumni include Bob Braulich, a vice-president of remote broadcasts. Denny Wolfe heads up the features unit for the network. Sebastian Salazar works on-air as a Major League Soccer anchor and sideline reporter. And then there’s Ben Webber. He’s a 2000 Westminster alumnus and an award-winning television journalist. In 2016, Weber received the National Edward R. Murrow Award as the producer of the SportsCenter feature “The Courage Game.”
Reporter Natalie Fox has the story of this 2000 grad’s journey from Titan Radio basketball announcer to his current role as a television features producer for the world leader in sports.
FOX: The Westminster College broadcasting department always has students coming and going all striving to achieve greatness in the field upon graduation for one Westminster grad that goal came true. Ben Weber, a 2000 graduate from the program, fulfilled his lifelong dream of making it to the big shots. ESPN with the help of a well-known alum right out of school I got a job as a production assistant ESPN
WEBBER: Thanks in some part probably a major part to another Westminster alum Danny Wolff who helped me through the interview process and got my foot in the door and that you know the Westminster education kind of cooking.
FOX: From a young age. Weber knew that he would grow up to work in broadcasting despite the highly competitive field. The opportunity didn’t come easy, however. The group had to work its way up in the business and constantly prove himself. He soon realized that sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned.
WEBBER: Probably since I was about 10 years old maybe even earlier it was kind of obsessed with ESPN and wanted to work in sport, and I wanted to do broadcasting. You know first I wanted to be on the air. I think as most people do when they start to go down that path, and then I slowly realized that it might be much fun to be behind the scenes and that’s where I ended up.
FOX: After contacting Dr. Barner a well-known broadcasting professor at the college I was able to learn what he remembers from having Ben as a student. Although it’s been 20 years since he last saw Webber, he still remembers one special story.
BARNER: The thing I most remember about Ben as a student was we had tryouts for basketball announcers for the Titans, and we had this gentleman that was thought he had the job sewn up and then was competing against him. And the first student that came through was very well prepared for the broadcast at all, but Ben came in I was super prepared. And so, as a result of that preparation, we actually chose bend over the other student.
FOX: Both Ben and Dr. Barner are huge advocates for the broadcasting department here at Westminster. The program provides the hands-on learning experience for all students including filming audio and video for sporting events to prepare for the future.
WEBBER: I mean I think it was it was amazing. I think it prepared me as well as any program in the country could have along with the confidence Ben had with his degree after graduation.
FOX: He explains what makes Westminster’s broadcasting program different from other schools.
WEBBER: Just to have the opportunity to do as much as I did as early as I did. There was a huge benefit to me just you know kind of a variety of things that we could do I had a radio show hosted Coach’s Corner worked on inside North County and kind of every capacity directing producing hosting anchoring the color commentary for football and basketball.
FOX: Westminster’s broadcasting department never ceases to have great feedback. It continues to thrive and allow students to succeed and achieve their dreams. Just like Ben Webber for WCPN 24/7. I’m Natalie Fox.