Media professor shows students how MSG produces live Devils games
By Alex Wisniewski | Published Dec. 11, 2016
One adjunct professor at Kean University used his experience as a former sports reporter to give students a more-hands on approach to learn TV studio production.
George Falkowski, a Kean alum, took his students on a field trip, as he does every semester, to a Devils game at the Prudential Center in Newark. The trip allows students to get a behind-the-scenes look at how MSG airs a live game.
“Everybody knows me, everybody knows my passion for hockey and for the Devils especially,” said Falkowski. “The whole thing for me is if I can take you into my old world and show you what it’s like, it’s more than you’ll ever get in four years of education at any college because there’s nothing like seeing it up close.”
Falkowski has worked in sports broadcasting since 1983. Some of his gigs include New England Sports Network, Sportschannel NY, and News 12 New Jersey, where he worked until 2013. Over the course of his career Falkowski has won four Emmy awards, and worked as an artist, writer, and on-air personality reporting on Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, New York Islanders, and New Jersey Devils games.
But he credits his career to his guru, Stan Fischler, a hockey historian for MSG. Falkowski connected with Fischler, also known as “The Maven” after he became an intern for him in college.
“I’ve been with so many interns over the years… and there are some interns that remain in the fold, so to speak, as friends,” said Fishler. “Established, longtime, friends… and George is one of them.”
Falkowski used his previously established connections to arrange the trip. He took the students on a tour from the press box high above ice level, to the media deck directly above center ice, and to the Devils dressing room following the game.
On the trip Falkowski led his students on a tour of the building, showing them the behind-the-scenes process that goes into putting a hockey game on television.
“It was really awesome listening to the directors and hearing what they have to say and what they want from the production and actually watching the game and hearing what [the color commentators] are saying about it,” said Katie Kidney, a junior Communications major.
Anyone who has taken the tour with Falkowski knows that at the Prudential Center he is a very familiar face.
“I’ve always had professors who’ve talked – I know this person, I know that person, but they never actually showed it,” said senior Communications/film major Edward Karmin. “But the fact that [Falkowski] was able to show… I did this I did that, and then also you actually go see that he did it you’re like ‘okay, this guy’s legit.'”
Falkowski is friendly with the staff, courteous with the fans, and has a rapport with the professional hockey players and coaches. Eleven-year veteran Devils player Travis Zajac, who has known Falkowski since beginning his career in 2006, recognized him during the post-game interviews.
“He’s usually coming in either the day before a game or game day and just around the players getting quotes of who’s coming in, what the team needs, things like that – what’s going on in the Devils locker room these days,” said Zajac. “It’s good to have guys around who understand the team and want to report on things like that.”
Falkowski teaches media performance, TV studio production, and intro to TV news. Today, he still creates stories online at http://www.yo-georgetv.com/.