With CBA offering more media opportunities to its students, it is only fitting they get to spend some time with a pro.
Tony Reali ’96, longtime host of ESPN’s Around the Horn, welcomed two groups of CBA media students to ESPN’s South Street Seaport Studios in New York City.
Both the Digital Network broadcasting team and the Academy Torch newspaper group experienced a day-in-the-life of a ESPN host, as they spent the day touring the facility and watching a taping of Around the Horn.
“The lessons I learned at CBA still teach me every day and make their way into every telecast of Around the Horn,” Reali told the students. “I challenge you to view the show as you would view other parts of the word: recognize representation and inclusion is for all.”
ESPN opened their South Street Studio last year, building a state-of-the-art filming spot for Around the Horn and other shows. Reali makes use of virtual technology in his fast paced, debate show, which is the style he always envisioned for Around the Horn. He has filmed over 3,600 episodes of the show, dating back to 2004 when he was just 24 years old.
Reali got his start at ESPN after graduating from Fordham University, where he was heavily involved in their student broadcasting offerings. After bouncing around as a writer and researcher, he found a home at ESPN with Pardon the Interruption, where he served as an on-air sidekick to well-known personalities Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.
After filling in as the host of Around the Horn for some time, he was offered the full-time spot and hasn’t looked back.
While the Academy men were in his studio, Reali offered timeless wisdom to students who are looking to pursue a media career.
“The media industry is always changing. The job you want as a high school student may not exist in 10 years,” Reali said. “The jobs you’ll build your career around haven’t even been created yet. The lesson there is the lesson for life: keep your eyes open, adapt and evolve.”
The students explained to Reali the expansive media offerings at CBA nowadays, including journalism classes, a live broadcasting group, graphic design and more.
His ultimate advice for all forms of communication?
“Tell me a story. Make it relatable and unpredictable. Be authentic and human.”