Tony Symanovich: Engineer in charge


Tony Symanovich is shading for a broadcast. Symanovich is the engineer in charge of TCU’s sports broadcasting.

By James Creange

For every sports event that is broadcasted, there is one person whose job it is to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

This person is called the engineer in charge.

Tony Symanovich is TCU’s EIC for all of their broadcasted sporting events.

Symanovich, broadcast engineer at TCU, said he coordinates all of the equipment for TCU’s sporting events.

“I make sure everything is working and the system is up and going,” Symanovich said.

Symanovich said that he more or less does quality control for the events.

Unlike most EICs, though, Symanovich’s role extends past just working with the equipment.

“Here [at TCU] I get to do a lot, including video shading,” Symanovich said.

This means he is in control of all of the colors involved in a sporting event and how they will look on the TV. He constantly has to adjust how the colors will look on each camera shot.

This double duty can sometimes lead to issues during the production.

“If he has to do something engineering-wise to fix something, it takes him away and he is no longer able to shade the cameras,” said Mike Martin, assistant professor of professional practice at TCU.

Yet, most of the time, Symanovich is able to seemingly be in two places at once and keep the production running smoothly.

“If there is ever a problem with the vast advanced technology, he is the guy to go to,” said Jack Hurlbut, a senior sports broadcasting major.

When he is not fixing things at sporting events for TCU, he is involved with technical upkeep in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication production studios.

“Anything that is not working or needs to be fixed keeps him pretty busy during the week,” Martin said. “And students keep him pretty busy with stuff that they tend to break.”

Symanovich also helps to put together the recorded sports shows that Martin produces nearly every week.

“I kind of put my track shoes on for [Mike Martin’s] video production shows because I do both audio and visuals for that,” Symanovich said.

This means that Symanovich has to constantly run from the room with the audio board to the room with the tape recording to keep the production running smoothly.

The kind of work that Symanovich does for TCU seems to run in the family.

“My dad had started a company that had mobile units, and it was one of the first companies like it in the country,” Symanovich said.

Symanovich said that he was raised around production trucks and decided that it was what he wanted to do in the 1970s.

He then took control of the company from his dad and ran it until 2006 before working freelance and then eventually for TCU.

Martin said Symanovich’s daughter Katy is now following in his footsteps.

“When my daughter was very young she said to my wife, ‘I hope Dad doesn’t think I’m going to go into this business,’ and I never thought that she would,” Symanovich said.

“After she got out of school she started freelancing [as a video operator] and now she loves what she’s doing, which is great,” Symanovich said.

Martin said that Katy is both an awesome worker and person.

“It’s a pretty male dominated career path, so I know that she has had to fight that stigma along the way,” Martin said. “But she does a great job, and everywhere she goes people are happy to have her.”

Just like his daughter, people are happy to have Symanovich around.

“He is always helpful and understanding in the control room,” Hurlbut said. “As a person Tony is one of the nicest guys I have met at TCU,” Hurlbut said.

Martin echoed these words.

“He’s very personable, easy to get along with, and a hard worker,” Martin said. “He’s great to have, a great addition to the staff.”

For Symanovich, the work he does is all about the people.

“I really enjoy working with the faculty and the students in this department, it’s a great experience,” Symanovich said. “They’re enthusiastic, and it’s great to see the students that are trying to get into the industry. I’d take the job just for that.”

Symanovich doesn’t know how long he’ll stay at TCU, but he doesn’t expect to leave any time soon.

“I’d like to stay in this position as long as I’m still having a good time,” Symanovich said. “And I really am.”