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Chicago Bulls Announcer Shares Expertise with UM Broadcast Students

An NBA broadcaster who has spent more than two decades in the sports industry and 12 as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Bulls recently shared his expertise with broadcast journalism classes at the University of Mississippi.

Chuck Swirsky, who enters his 22nd season as an NBA broadcaster and his 12th season for the Chicago Bulls, talked to students about staying ahead of the pack in the competitive world of sports promotion.

He spoke to a TV Reporting class about the art of listening, asking questions and knowing your subject matter, and discussed how to succeed in business and find your skillset in a Media Performance class. He also met with the staff of Rebel Radio and with the NewsWatch staff.

“I hope my experience and passion for people and journalism will create awareness and curiosity about the ever-changing industry we are currently in,” he said.

Swirsky is the pre- and post-game reporter for Bulls TV for all home games. He contributes regularly to Bulls.com, and also can be found on Twitter communicating with Bulls fans. He joined the Bulls from the Toronto Raptors, where he served as the team’s television play-by-play announcer for seven seasons. Before that, he called action for the Raptors radio broadcasts for three seasons.

Students interested in sports journalism can learn a lot through being coached by a broadcaster at the top of his game, said Debora Wenger, assistant dean for innovation and external partnerships in the School of Journalism and New Media.

“So many of our students love sports journalism that, when we had a chance to bring Chicago Bulls announcer Chuck Swirsky to campus it was a no-brainer,” she said.

Swirsky said he was introduced to Ole Miss by a friend whose daughter was attending.

“I fell in love with the campus and Oxford,” he said. “I visit frequently and truly enjoy the people and lifestyle. I’ve always had a passion to share and give of myself to others, and when Dean Will Norton suggested I instruct for a week, I accepted immediately.”

Swirsky was host of the Chicago Bears Radio Network for 10 years and held similar responsibilities for the Chicago Cubs Radio Network for 12 seasons. For the past five seasons, he has filled in as play-by-play announcer for the Chicago White Sox on the club’s television network. He is a member of the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame, the WGN Radio Walk of Fame and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

“My advice to people interested in sports broadcasting is to be yourself,” he said. “We are all unique. We have a different vibe. That’s beautiful. The key is to take your skillset, and polish your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

“You can’t teach fire, passion and enthusiasm. We can teach technique, process and writing. I intend to encourage, inspire and engage students during my week at the University of Mississippi.”

Courtesy of UM Communications

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