BGSU media students work with alumnus Steve Hartman with CBS ‘On the Road’ segment


When a Bowling Green State University alumnus needed a hand with a national television broadcast, a handful of BGSU students and faculty stepped up to make the idea a reality.

Steve Hartman ’85, a longtime CBS News correspondent who does the “On the Road” segment for Friday broadcasts of the CBS Evening News, came to Bowling Green to do an update on the Eckerts, a Gold Star family whose inspiring story he had covered previously.

But to make the segment happen on time, Hartman and his team needed some help collecting enough footage. The “On the Road” team reached out to Jasmine Crighton, an assistant teaching professor in the BGSU School of Media & Communication and the adviser for BG24 Falcon Media, to see if she knew any students who could help with a video shoot.

Crighton sought the help of students involved with BG24, including senior broadcast journalism student Ryan Dick, as well as teaching professor Jose Cardenas, who enlisted more student volunteers from media production.

The next day, the BGSU team was on a planning call with CBS to coordinate the shoot. Later in the week, the team was at their location, hauling equipment and turning the story premise into a real segment.

For a student like Dick, a Grand Rapids native who is works part time with Toledo-based WTVG as a news producer, the process of assembling a crew and seeing the behind-the-scenes of a national broadcast brought a valuable new experience.

“It was really neat for me because I’m already going into the news field and that’s my goal for my career,” he said. “I’m in a slightly different part of the field, but I’ve also had experience shooting video through Falcon Media. That helped me not only do this project, but doing this for a national TV network has given me a perspective that I had not really experienced.”

Hallie Holbrook, a junior media production student from West Chester, said she gained a new perspective on just how much work goes into a single segment.

“It was really hands-on, which was cool because I had never really done production for TV live before,” she said. “You’re kind of taken aback with how much goes into one 30-second segment.”

For someone who hopes to be in video production as a career, Holbrook said it was useful to see how precise the CBS shoot was in the process of gathering footage.

“Yes, it may only be 30 seconds, but we spent two or three hours filming and making sure we had the perfect shot for every second of the segment, so I think I really learned the perfection and time management that goes into it,” Holbrook said. “Being hands-on and asking questions takes you so far.”

Seeing a segment move from conceptualization to production was a useful learning opportunity for students, Crighton said.

“The entire process was a great experiential learning opportunity for the students, from the planning to the execution of the production,” Crighton said. “It showed them what goes into getting the right shots and clear audio in a tight space, which was a living room in one of the campus sorority houses.”

Hartman graduated from BGSU in 1985 with a bachelor of science in broadcast journalism. He interned at WTOL, the Toledo CBS station, while at the university and quickly ascended the ladder in broadcast journalism, landing as the host of the CBS segment, “On The Road.”

Hartman and photographer Bob Caccamise came to campus weeks later to finish the segment, giving BGSU students an opportunity to interact with media professionals as well as a prominent alumnus in the field.

“Besides it being a good learning experience, it was also a lot of fun,” Crighton said. “Meeting Steve a couple weeks later was a great perk, and I’m glad the students had a chance to talk to him and ‘On the Road’ photographer Bob Caccamise. They had a lot of great stories and advice.”

The “On The Road” segment, featuring a follow-up on the story of the family of Gold Star wife and now-BGSU student Tiffany Eckert, was scheduled to air March 10.

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