Cole Weintraub is a first-year broadcast and digital journalism major with an impressive résumé and an eye on sports broadcasting.
An avid sports fan, Weintraub researched the paths of TV and radio broadcasting stars like Mike Tirico ’88 and Bob Costas ’74 and discovered something they had in common: the Newhouse School. After learning more about the school, Weintraub applied for early decision admission and was admitted.
After the excitement subsided, he decided to jumpstart his broadcasting career while still at home. He wrote sports articles, interviewed athletes and broadcasters and created sports podcasts that he continues to produce while at Syracuse. Weintraub admits that it can be intimidating, as a self-taught broadcaster, to come to a school with so much experienced and more formally-trained talent, but he’s confident that, with the guidance of the Newhouse faculty, he will develop the skills he needs to thrive in such a competitive field.
Why did you decide to create your own podcasts?
Before I started making podcasts, I wrote sports-related articles and conducted Q-and-As that were later published. It was incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to talk with people like YES Network’s Jack Curry, former MLB All-Star Torii Hunter and ESPN Radio’s Chris Carlin, just to name a few. I looked up to the major broadcasters and was looking for something new to experiment with, so when a friend of mine who is also attending Syracuse as a broadcast and digital journalism major approached me with an idea to make a podcast, I jumped at the opportunity. We called the podcast “Orange Spotlight” and interview[ed] athletes at Syracuse University so that incoming students could get to know them. Although we didn’t do many episodes of this specific podcast, it was a great way to get my foot in the door and get some first-hand experience.
What other type of work did you experiment with in this field?
After Orange Spotlight, [Falk student Zac Van Arsdale] and I created “Dive For The Pylon,” a podcast… about things going on in the world of sports. We discussed news and games [in] the NFL, NBA and MLB, with weekly episodes from December of 2020 to February 2021. I also created a podcast called “Monument Bark” with another incoming Syracuse student, Luke Profaci, who is attending Falk College for sport management. I edited, distributed and promoted these podcasts myself, with the help of my partner Luke, which has opened my eyes to all of the possibilities this field has to offer. My next goal is to start filming live game reactions, so that I can share my initial thoughts on the games with my viewers and give them insight into how passionate I am about what I do.
Do you have any advice for anyone who may be looking into a career in a similar field?
My best advice would be to find something that you are passionate about so that it doesn’t feel like a burden. If you truly love what you are doing, then you won’t need to rely on success to keep you motivated, and you will begin to use your failures or setbacks as learning opportunities.
Jessica Zabbia is a first-year student in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.