Angelo Di Carlo, a sports anchor and reporter for WNDU-TV in South Bend, came to the interview dressed for work: a blue, button-down shirt, green tie, blue blazer — and then, below the waist, short pants, white socks and blue canvas shoes.
With that striking image, Di Carlo reminded 20 young journalists from Write on Sports that his work is for the camera, seated behind the anchor desk, in the the WNDU studios — and the shorts and canvas shoes will never make it on TV.
Di Carlo described a job with “a lot of perks” that would be the envy of any sports fan. He’s on the field to cover every Notre Dame home football game, and he interviews players and coaches afterward. He followed the Notre Dame women’s basketball team through Final Four action in Nashville in the spring.
But that opportunity comes at a price. “As much fun as it is to cover sports, sometimes it’s more fun to just watch sports,” he said. “It’s hard work. Except for four or five weekends a year, I’m working every weekend.”
Di Carlo said he became a sports reporter for the love of sports, not the money. He described poring over the sports section in the newspaper when he was growing up in Allentown, Pa., copying and memorizing box scores by the age of 4. If he were working for money, he said, he would have become a lawyer. Instead, he got his first job at TV 2 in Allentown when he was 16 (courtesy of his older brother, Al, who was also a TV reporter).
When asked to name his favorite sports, he said football and baseball (watching in person), football and NCAA basketball tournament (watching on TV) and soccer and baseball (when he himself is playing).
The chief meteorologist for WNDU, Mike Hoffman, entered the room just after a student had asked Di Carlo which word he would use to describe himself. After a pause, Di Carlo suggested “energetic.” Then Hoffman added, “He’s probably the hardest-working and best sportscaster I know.” Without missing a beat, Di Carlo said, “Let’s all make sure to write that in our stories.”
The students also had a chance to tour the WNDU studios, courtesy of Seth Conley, a Goshen College professor who worked for the station part time as a weekend news anchor and continues to fill in as needed. He reminded the students to keep their voices low while visiting the newsroom, where Maureen McFadden, a longtime news anchor, and other staff members were at work on the evening newscast.
Earlier in the day, the Write on Sports campers visited the University of Notre Dame, where they learned about the role of media relations for the university’s 26 athletic varsity programs, toured the football stadium press box and met with Jack Nolan, the longtime “Voice of Notre Dame athletics” and the director of media productions for Fighting Irish Digital Media.