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Wilkins Rises Up The Ranks In NYC

Jason Barrett

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It’s not an easy road for an aspiring network-level sports play-by-play personality, but not much deters Jacob Wilkins.

He only knows one way to pursue his dream job — with passion and persistence.

Wilkins, who earned his broadcast journalism degree from Penn State in 2010, works as a sports update anchor for WFAN-AM (the nation’s first all-sports station), CBS Sports Radio and Sirius XM Radio. Based in New York City, he also handles play-by-play duties for Stony Brook University women’s basketball.

Just four years after leaving the College of Communications, where he stayed busy in a variety of roles with ComRadio, Wilkins has already handled play-by-play duties for a short-season Class A baseball team and completed assignments for mlb.com, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, MSG Varsity, CBS Sports and YES Network.

“There are just so many opportunities out there,” Wilkins said. “So far, New York has been a great place. It’s where I’m from, not that I’m tied to the city, but I’ve been able to stay busy.”

As if balancing several jobs was not enough, Wilkins created more work for himself last fall, launching a regular podcast titled “Let’s Talk” that recently welcomed College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock. Previous guests include New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, Fox Sports play-by-play man Kenny Albert and YES Network host Bob Lorenz.To listen to the podcast, click here.

Wilkins has also interviewed Penn Staters for the show, including Carmen Finestra (Class of 1971), the co-creator of “Home Improvement” and former supervising producer for “The Cosby Show,” and Mitch Lukevics (Class of 1976), director of minor league operations for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Wilkins, 26, had pitched an interview-style show to a few outlets but found limited interest. After brainstorming with a family friend, he decided to do the show himself, hoping the podcast would eventually draw interest and wider distribution because of its quality.

“The toughest part was getting the first guests. It was sort of streaky,” Wilkins said. “Fortunately, we got a couple of good ones early, and it’s found a rhythm. It’s still not easy — and I spend more time working on the podcast, just lining up guests and scheduling, than the other jobs — but it’s worth it.”

As Wilkins pursues his network dream job, his commitment to networking, with a sincere interest in getting better and getting to know people in the industry, provides an unmistakable calling card. He’s driven and sincere about meeting media and sports personalities. He’s authentic, not a schmoozer or someone simply collecting contact information.

“I’m constantly learning and networking is something you try to improve on,” Wilkins said. “It’s about developing relationships and learning how to better present myself as well as really listening to people. I’ve tried to be fairly ambitious and find people who support that ambition.”

To read the rest of the story visit Penn State University where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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