Professor Andy Hershberger: From the newsroom to the classroom

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Andy Hershberger is a new Adjunct Professor at New England College for the 2023-2024 school year. This semester, Hershberger is teaching Sports Reporting and Broadcast writing. These are concepts close to his heart because before becoming a professor at New England College, Hershberger was a reporter for WMUR, a television news station in New Hampshire.

Hershberger graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and comparative literature.

Hershberger worked as a reporter for 30 years and began in a small market.

“My first TV job I was a one-man band which is where you shoot your own stuff, do your own interviews, you are your own cameraman, you write all your stuff, and you edit everything. You do everything by yourself. I was a young reporter in Lebanon Pennsylvania a small town with an even smaller TV station that is no longer in existence,” Hershberger said.

During his long career he had some memorable moments, including being starstruck by a rock legend.

“It’s a little bit of a lengthy story but whenever anyone asks what my most memorable moment was it was this, there was a band that was called Bill Haley’s Comets and back in the 1950’s it was Bill Haley and the Comets. Bill Haley had since died but they had a song called Rock around the Clock which was the intro to the TV show Happy Days. It is considered to be the first rock and roll song and anyway, so Bill Haley had died, and Bill Haley’s Comets a bass player and the drummer were still doing tours and they came to Lebanon, and I was going to do a preview of the show that night. So, I asked to talk to one of the members of the band, and they brought me the original bass player for Bill Haley and the Comets. I asked if he still liked touring and doing shows and he said, “When we first invented rock and roll” and I froze,” Hershberger said.

He then went on to Northwestern University in Chicago where he earned his master’s degree in journalism science. By chance, a connection with a professor at Northwestern University helped Hershberger get a job with WMUR but not without proving himself to the new News Director.

“By the time I graduated from Northwestern and the time I got offered the job at WMUR, the News Director I had been working with got let go. So, I was dealing with a brand-new News Director. I called him on his day in the office and I said, “I was talking to this other guy, but I sent you a tape” and he said, “here it is let me look at it I’ll call you back” and he called me back and I got the job,” said Hershberger.

Hershberger has noticed some differences between being a reporter and a college professor.

“There’s huge differences, honestly being a reporter and a journalist professionally is a very high pressure, fast-paced, difficult, and challenging job, especially in television because of the increasing deadlines between social media, online and being on air there is a lot of pressure to it, it’s speed and immediacy. Teaching is totally different, you slow down and make sure you go methodically step by step,” said Hershberger.

Hershberger has enjoyed his time teaching at New England College.

“I like everything about it (NEC). I think it’s a really good college in terms of its size. I went to Penn State, and I had a class with 600 people I didn’t know anyone students, or the professor. At NEC in my Broadcast Class I have ten people, I get to know all of them, and I like that individual contact,” said Hershberger.

Hershberger will teach Broadcast Writing II in the Spring semester.

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