Claire Smith, KLN ’79, co-director and namesake of the Claire Smith Center for Sports Media, looked over the vast crowd at Klein College of Media and Communication’s Annual Sports Media Summit on February 2, 2024, and felt a sense of pride.
The Red Smith Award honoree and Temple University alum provided the opening remarks at the twelfth installation of the event. She welcomed the high school, college and community members in attendance.
“I felt proud that Klein College would lend the center’s name to this event,” Smith said. “And I guess going forward, it will always be there. The large audience said to me that not only are our students and high school students paying attention, but the broader campus and school districts are, too. I think we won really big.”
The event was highlighted by keynote speakers Billy King and Nicole Briscoe. The duo provided insight into the industry, the media’s relationship with teams and plenty of advice for aspiring journalists.
King, a former general manager of the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, who also served as team president, kicked off the summit after brief speeches from Smith and Klein College Dean David Boardman.
King spoke about his time in Philadelphia and his interactions with the media, but he focused on preaching the importance of believing in oneself to succeed.
“Philadelphia is home to me,” King said. “It’s been over 25 years now. Temple’s always been a special place. Coach [John] Chaney was somebody I cherished, and Louis Katz was a dear friend. I wanted to be able to give back.”
King’s speech resonated with the audience, particularly Chris Frey, a community-hosted North Penn School District internship coordinator. Before working at North Penn, Frey graduated from Temple in 1997 and rowed on the crew team. Frey’s wife, Patti, also graduated and later worked at Temple.
“We talked a lot to students about opportunities,” Frey said. “To know you’re highlighting a great school – and it’s my school – and that there are kids that want to do this, it’s what Billy said: if you want to do something, go talk to someone’s who’s doing it.”
Briscoe closed out the event with the inspiring story of her career. The ESPN Sportscenter anchor recounted her struggles through her journey and provided advice to the students in attendance.
As the event ended, Smith felt the importance of the shared stories and experiences hit home with the students. She said 2024’s Sports Media Summit was the best way to learn about the expanding business while honoring those who came before.
“We concentrate so much in our classes on the present and future,” Smith said. “We don’t realize that this is a vivid reminder of history through various individuals’ eyes and what that history has done to help shape the industry.”