Ground breaking position for grad

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By Gianna Battaglia-Marketing and Communications Intern

Rosie Langello '16 named first female sports director at Alabama TV station

Sports have been a huge part of Rosie Langello’s life from an early age. From playing soccer as a child to coaching the Lebanon County Special Olympics soccer team with her father, Langello always knew she wanted sports to be part of her life in some way.  What Langello could not have imagined, was that she would be named the first female sports director at WSFA-TV in Montgomery, Ala. in the station’s 67-year history. But to get to this groundbreaking position required lots of challenging work. 

Langello graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2016 with a degree in mass communications then went on to earn a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. But her BU journey did not start with mass communications. Instead, she originally enrolled at BU as an exercise science major. For Langello, her career goals changed when a national controversy erupted by a tweet from a former university baseball player.  

“It was the day I changed my major and a Bloomsburg baseball player tweeted something very derogatory about Mone` Davis, who had become a star during the previous year's Little League World Series. The tweet went viral, so I just went out to the quad and asked students questions about what they thought. It sparked my curiosity and passion for journalism.” 

From that point on Langello worked to make up for lost time in her new major. 
“I went to meet with Dr. (Richard) Ganahl in mass communications who was a great help with his advice,” said Langello. “Next, I landed an internship in the sports information office with Tom McGuire interviewing student-athletes which gave me very practical hands-on experience.”  

While studying at Bloomsburg, Langello was also president of her sorority Chi Theta Pi. This position has given Langello leadership skills that she now incorporates into her job as leader of the sports department. Langello also worked with BUnow.com and had her own show on the campus radio station. 

After graduating from Northwestern, Langello worked as a producer at WBRE/WYOU-TV in Wilkes-Barre, then took her first on-air job at WTAJ in Altoona. At WTAJ she covered Penn State athletics before landing her first big break when she was hired at WPRI in Providence, RI. There Langello had the opportunity to cover Tom Brady’s return to New England, as well as covering the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics and the four NCAA Division I team in the state. Langello, who is continually active on social media, also increased coverage of local high school sports. 

When Langello saw the opening at WSFA, she decided to apply for the position. 

Scott Duff, the general manager at WSFA, was thoroughly impressed with Langello’s work ethic, experience, and leadership qualities. In his email welcoming her to the staff, Duff explains the excitement their team feels about Langello’s ability to hold this prestigious position as the first women sports director in the 67 years of business. 

“I feel her previous experiences have prepared her to lead our sports team. She brings strong storytelling abilities, a fun, bubbly spirit as well as a commanding presence. Her energy is infectious and her passion for sports is as strong as I have ever seen” Duff states, "She comes highly recommended. I learned she is an extremely hard worker, great person, super co-worker, kind, humble, positive, uplifting, a taskmaster, a leader as well as a strong planner.” 
 
As one can imagine, being named the first female sports director in the station’s 67 years of history is a phenomenal accomplishment. “I’m very proud to hold that title especially at a historic station like WSFA but I know it’s going to come with a lot of responsibility, not just within my department, but to other females looking to take on a role like this one.” Langello states.  

Langello is a prime example of someone who took advantage of her resources while at college. With her success story being so inspirational, what advice does she have for students who want to get into the sports media field? 

“Take the job right out of college even if it’s not what you want. I took a production job and I wanted to be a sports reporter. Getting your foot in the door is more important than starting on-air right away. I produce every single day. I am so thankful for that first production job. So, if it is offered, take it!” 
 

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