Sean McMenamin, a rising sophomore communication studies student, has found that Temple University provides him plenty of opportunities to express his love for sports — but this is nothing new. Already a member of the sports press before enrolling at Temple, he is now an intern for the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) and will begin as an intern for The Sports Fan Base Network in the fall. Additionally, he is one half of WHIP Radio's Philly Philly Sports Podcast with Owen Boyle, a rising sophomore media studies and production student, and is loving every minute of creating his own sports media.
McMenamin grew up in Philadelphia's suburbs and knew that Klein College of Media and Communication was the perfect place to develop his sports journalism skills. Thanks to Ricky Wegryn, founder of the Philadelphia Sports Nation media platform, McMenamin started blogging about the Philadelphia Union soccer team for the platform in high school and even attended press conferences for the Union. When he arrived at Temple, he became the beat reporter for the men's soccer team and gymnastics at The Temple News while continuing to blog with Union Nation.
It was not until he met Boyle, who was the WHIP Radio beat reporter for Temple men's soccer and eventually men's basketball, at a soccer game that McMenamin started working with Temple broadcasting. The Philly Philly Sports Podcast allows them to talk with journalists and athletes like Shaun Bradley, a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles and a former player for Temple's men football team, about Philadelphia sports.
"It's been great having some of these guests," says McMenamin. "Obviously the coronavirus brought out some bad things but in a way, it's good because people are more open and free to come on your show or help you out in whatever way possible."
The two podcasters put on a live stream during this year's NFL Draft, racking up about 15 hours of content over the three days of the draft. They also decided to raise money for the NFL's Draftathon, which helps support those who are in need due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. McMenamin and Boyle personally pledged donations based on the number of new followers they gained on Twitter. They also received donations from family, guests of the podcast and the podcast's audience, which resulted in an overall Draftathon donation of $200. Boyle believes that their approach to interacting with their guests and listeners and creating engaging media is worthy of a closer look.
"We want to...just continue to grow our following where we get bigger in terms of a podcast because we feel like we've had some pretty big guests on but we haven't gotten the attention or notice that we think we deserve. But we want to push hard to continue to grow ourselves," Boyle says.
McMenamin's evident drive helped him secure his internships. In April, he took initiative and reached out to Scott S.D. Weiss, KLN '15, a remote announcer and producer for CWPA, after a Zoom call between aspiring sports journalists and members of several sports media outlets. After Weiss gave him the contact information for Ed Haas, CWPA's director of communications, McMenamin's experience and professionalism earned him a paid position. The pandemic's disruptions to a normal schedule have prevented him from contributing as much as an intern normally would, but he did interview and pen a story about Heidi Ritner, a women's water polo goalkeeper for the University of Michigan.
McMenamin is also looking forward to the upcoming fall semester, when he will begin his internship at The Sports Fan Base Network and work as a camera operator and technical director for high school sporting events. He says that while the position will undoubtedly prepare him for his future career in sports broadcasting, his development with Temple media is the confidence booster that has truly made a difference.
"[Temple media has] helped me in a way in getting these internships," he says. "As young as I am I think it's been a great step."