Amanda Pugliese of News 12 Varsity knew from the onset she made the right decision, choosing to attend Quinnipiac University. Feeling that attending Fordham University might yield too much competition, Pugliese said she was accepted immediately as a freshman. She did sideline reporting and called both men’s and women’s basketball games and hosted a lead-up show called Sports Paws. Pugliese also handled hourly updates for the radio station.
“I really jumped right into when I was 17 or 18 years old and I had an idea I really wanted to do this, stuck with it and took off,” Pugliese told Double G Sports.
While attending Quinnipiac, Pugliese completed internships at WFAN, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and Madison Square Garden.
“In college my first internship I did was with WFAN in their traffic department where I made sure commercials were supposed to be playing and that time was cool to be in radio but I did not want to be tracking commercials,” said Pugliese. “A good experience and got to meet some good people.”
“The following winter I interned at ESPN Radio in New York City for a month and loved it,” she explained. “I worked on the Brandon Tierney Show and I admire him so much and the Michael Kay Show,” she continued. “I got to meet Michael Kay and Don LaGreca who were great people and took the time to sit down with me, talk to me about what I wanted to do and give me advice.”
“I really loved it even though I did it for a month and spoke to the internship coordinator about coming back to get the full experience and helped out with pre-show, helping book guests and screen calls. When I graduated from college I did another independent study that is now MSG Interactive where I worked on the New York Knicks and the Rockettes websites. I also got to go out with producers and watch them produce a piece from start to finish.”
While working at MSG Interactive, Pugliese found a job at a local Patch.com in Long Island. “My first paying job out of college as a freelancer doing general assignments and working in Pearl Washington where I’m from and covering anywhere from three to five towns a week,” she explained. “I did a mix of covering high school sports and town hall meetings. A great first experience for me out of college but I’m not going to lie, I did not enjoy covering town meetings.”
In January of 2012, Pugliese received a call from what was MSG Varsity about a position that had opened up and she did not hesitate jumping on the opportunity immediately. “It wasn’t on the air right away, but I know I wanted to be in high school sports on Long Island and Tri-State Area.”
DGS: What is the best part about working at News 12 Varsity?
AP: I love meeting the high school kids, their parents, coaches, and teachers. I played sports in high school and know what the grind is like. Six to seven practices a week, putting the work and effort in and watching friends’ going on vacation when you can’t go anywhere. To get and meet these kids and hear their stories, I have the greatest job in the world. I have a respect of the games and type of commitment.
DGS: What is your daily routine at News 12 Varsity?
AP: No day is ever the same and some days I’m in the office all day. I run our social media account and some days I’m strictly at my desk running all the News 12 Varsity accounts. Other days I have to run over to Hauppauge where the studio is and shoot a segment for the show I host, Huddle Up. And other days I’m there on production days. A few weeks ago was National Signing Day and a big deal for us, that was a 12-hour day, constantly going all day without breaks but my favorite kind of days. I rather be doing 12-hour days of sports, reports and sports researching that sitting at a desk for seven hours typing up reports.
DGS: Are there any mentors that helped you along the way?
AP: Brandon Tierney at ESPN Radio in New York. When I was done with my internship, he sent my dad an e-mail saying what a hard worker I was and if I were to continue that work ethic he would see me when I graduated from college. One day on Twitter he found me and sent a message saying congratulations and knew you would find your spot in this career and I believe he was a person that believed in me.
The News 12 Varsity team because it’s a small group and the production team is fantastic. If I come up with a crazy idea they say okay and let’s do it. It’s been so wonderful to work in that environment and everyone is encouraged to do their best and make the network the best it can be. In the last two years, I have been able to grow because of the people I work with.
DGS: Are there any female sports journalist you look up to?
AP: I love watching Tracy Wolfson because she is so versatile and watching her during football and March Madness on CBS. She is everything I want to be eventually, the way she presents herself in such a professional manner and knows what she’s talking about better than half the people I’m watching. When you’re a woman, it’s very hard to convince someone you know what you’re talking about and not just a pretty face on camera and taken seriously.
DGS: What are some of your hobbies/interests?
AP: There is never a rest day. I’m usually checking out News12Varsity.com and what live games we have going. I don’t go to as many games as I used to do before because I’m exhausted at the end of the day. I’m a huge Quinnipiac hockey fan and do normal 27 year-old things like work out, hang out with my friends and take my dog to the beach.