Students Debut the Rival Live

By Erin Shanahan

The Fordham Rival debuted its first live broadcast Tuesday Feb.14. The broadcast was streamable via Facebook and the official Rival webpage. (Julia Comerford / The Fordham Ram)

The Fordham Rival debuted its first live broadcast Tuesday Feb.14. The broadcast was streamable via Facebook and the official Rival webpage. (Julia Comerford / The Fordham Ram)

The debut episode of “The Rival Live” at Fordham, a student-run news satire and variety program, aired this afternoon on their official website and Facebook page. According to the managing editor of The Rival at Fordham University, Jess Mannino, FCRH ’17, ‘The Rival Live”program is an extension of The Rival brand which aims to produce a satirical, late night show in conjunction with several other Fordham students who are interested in working in television and broadcast media.

This multi-faceted show consisted of “Weekend-Update” style desk dialogue between two co-hosts Tyler Bailey, FCRH ’18 and Kyle Morton, FCRH ’18. The two discussed Fordham-centric news stories with a comedic bent. Events discussed included the naked man who was pinned down by police in front of the Fordham Lincoln Center campus last October, student protests in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election, racial divides reported on campus and the closing of The Blend Cafe.

Following the news brief, the character of Lynndonna, Josh’s mom played by Danielle Gallagher, FCRH ’18, was introduced. Next, Carlos Vierra’s, FCRH ’17 interview with students regarding “fake news.” The show also featured a creative commercial from Rams Deli Plus followed by an interview with former Blend Cafe employees conducted by Jack Byram, FCRH ’17.

The Rival Live plans to air their next show on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The show’s inception began at the end of last semester through the collaborative efforts of Mannino as well as Lexy Leeds, FCRH ’18, Tyler Bailey, FCRH ’18 and Kyle Morton, FCRH ’18. Leeds, Bailey and Morton were part of Fordham Nightly News (FNN) before the program closed its doors last semester.

“I wanted to provide an outlet for people to produce creative, satirical news in a multimedia format,” Mannino said. “The production of the vision could not have been possible without the help of Lexy.”

Mannino reached out to Leeds at the end of last fall semester and shared her idea. Leeds, a former Tech Director at FNN, has been working with the Communications and Media Studies (CMS) department to reboot a student-run television news program. FNN was formerly operating out of Walsh Library and was shut down when the library experienced budget cuts and lost a key technician.

Leeds said that bringing back a news show as a part of CMS and as an OrgSync-approved club will take time.

Beth Knobel, associate chair of CMS, said the department is currently in the process of developing a space for student television to operate.

In the meantime, Leeds and many other FNN veterans will be working on The Rival Live with Mannino and about 40 other Fordham students.

“I truly believe that we have been so lucky to bring 40 of the most talented kids on campus together,” Leed said. “It’s been amazing getting to know everyone so well over just a few weeks.”

The Rival Live’s staff of 40 students is broken up into several teams. There are three writing teams for sketch comedy and monologues. In addition, the staff members are also a part of a small strategy team, videographers, production assistants and on-air personalities.

Mannino was inspired to create a late night news show at Fordham after watching a simple late night show sponsored by The Rival at University of Maryland. At the time, this show consisted of a reporter at a desk as well as a live studio audience and a band.
“I really wanted the show to be satirical and multi-faceted. I wanted there to be not only news and humor, but also sketches, monologues and commercials,” said Mannino. “I wanted it to be really creative and cool.”

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