National sports journalists, executives headline Final Four lecture series at Cronkite School

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

In the lead-up to the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Phoenix, top journalists and executives from CBS Sports, ESPN and Turner Sports are taking part in a special series of talks at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The public lecture series in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum features Rece Davis, ESPN’s prime-time host for on-site coverage of the NCAA Men’s Final Four, as well as members of the NCAA Final Four Media Coordination Committee and television public-relations executives. Davis, who joined ESPN in 1995, hosts the “College GameDay” college football and basketball shows.

The discussions kick off at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, with a panel on public relations in sports. The talk features Jerry Caraccioli, CBS Sports communications executive director; Scott Kuykendall, Marquette University associate athletic director; Chevonne M. Mansfield, American Athletic Conference communications director; and Nate Smeltz, Turner Sports communications vice president. The moderator will be Cronkite faculty associate Josh Rawitch, senior vice president of content and communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

At 3 p.m. Thursday, March 30, Davis will discuss ESPN’s coverage of the Final Four with Brett Kurland, director of the Cronkite News Phoenix Sports Bureau.

“We are thrilled to welcome some of the best in sports journalism,” Kurland said. “Both talks offer the opportunity for students and the public to get an inside look at the coverage leading up to the Final Four in Phoenix.”

The discussions are free and open to the public. The Cronkite School is on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus at 555 N. Central Ave.

Inside Public Relations at the Final Four

What: Panel discussion by Jerry Caraccioli, executive director of communications at CBS Sports, Scott Kuykendall, associate athletic director of communications at Marquette University, Chevonne M. Mansfield, director of communications at the American Athletic Conference, and Nate Smeltz, vice president of communications at Turner Sports. Moderated by Cronkite faculty associate Josh Rawitch, senior vice president of content and communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

When: 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 29.

Where: First Amendment Forum at the Cronkite School, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

Behind the Scenes at ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’

What: Rece Davis, host of ESPN’s “College GameDay,” gives a talk moderated by Brett Kurland, director of the Cronkite News Phoenix Sports Bureau.

When: 3 p.m. Thursday, March 30. 

Where: First Amendment Forum at the Cronkite School, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.