Montgomery’s All Caught Up in The MIRE
The Montgomery News – September 19, 2014 – Read the full story online
By Matt Gutierrez 2014-09-19 06:47:03
When you think of high school athletics, you don’t think of radio broadcasting. At Montgomery High School, the two go hand in hand. The Montgomery Internet Radio Experience (MIRE) has broadcasted dozens of MHS varsity football and basketball games since January 2011, when Keith Glock, a counselor at MHS, founded the program. The MIRE is one of only a handful of top-notch high school radio stations in the state, and is only getting better. However, as he will tell you, it’s been a work in process for the MIRE.
On a good night, Mr. Glock and the MIRE would get only a handful of listeners, sometimes less. That was back in 2011, when the MIRE received a generous startup fund from the Montgomery Township Education Foundation (MTEF), the same foundation that aided in the construction and renovation of Cougar Stadium. Now, fast forward three years to the boys’ basketball state playoff game held at MHS, when a few more listeners tuned in-a little over 3,000, to be exact.
“Nobody knew who we were,” said Glock, describing his radio broadcast station, which recently upgraded to a digital audio platform. “We were hurting, and we knew it,” he admitted. It’s easy for Glock to laugh about it now, though. Since 2011, he has made numerous improvements to the MIRE, ultimately increasing listenership. “We’ve sorted out a lot of what was going against us. Getting our own website and better digital audio quality was humongous. I also think that we’ve developed a personality that listeners like.
“It takes 4 years to build a culture at MHS. This is the 4th year of the cycle. We’ve been killing it. I hope everyone now is used to listening to the MIRE. Hopefully the senior class students are saying to one another, ‘Are you going to (the away game) this week?’ ‘No, we’re just going to listen to the game on the MIRE.”
Many professional sports teams have commentators who are synonymous with the team they cover. Each commentator is often referred to as “the voice” of his team. Keith Glock is what you would call the voice of Montgomery athletics. Since his on-air debut in 2011, he has drawn comparisons to the likes of Gus Johnson (formerly at FOX) and Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN). In the end though, Glock will tell you, he hopes his style of broadcasting is his own.
Mike Holinko, a teacher at MHS, accompanies Glock in the booth. Holinko, a special education teacher, developed broadcast radio skills while covering athletic events at Marist College, where he graduated in 2011. Glock says their pairing has been seamless. “It’s gone well. It’s been a fun partnership. Off the air we are friends. I make fun of him a lot, the stuff he says. It’s fun because he plays his character so well. He just adds so much to the broadcast.”
Social media has also added to the MIRE broadcasts; MHS students and Montgomery fans alike have made the MIRE a more interactive and community oriented experience. “I want people to enjoy the experience, be engaged and tweet at us. We ultimately hope to keep students, parents and alumni connected in what their peers are doing.”
“I love this job. The only way I would ever leave (Montgomery) is if I got a job in the NFL. I just love what I do here.”
From its first broadcast in 2011, to its coverage of this year’s opening football game against Westfield, the MIRE has grown enormously. What’s next? Only time will tell, but for now, Montgomery’s all caught up in the MIRE.
Get caught in the MIRE on mireradio.com, the MIRE Radio App, or through Twitter @MIREradio.
The MIRE Promoted on TCNJ’s Campus
In this day and age, social media has taken over our lives. Lost are the days when people listen to the radio or even go to sporting events. It’s simply much more convenient to check your smart phone and get on with your life.
A sports writing at the College professor Keith Glock is integrating the two in order to make the process even easier.
Glock is the founder of The MIRE, which stands for Montgomery Internet Radio Experience, a program that broadcasts Montgomery High School in Pennsylvania sporting events where Glock is the guidance counselor, and will now be broadcasting basketball games for the College. It began when Glock was operating a blog while doing the PA system for Montgomery basketball games. He blogged for parents who were out of town and wanted to follow the games, but found it to be difficult and inefficient.
“Eventually I said, ‘There’s got to be a better way to do this,’” Glock said. “Parents were telling me they were there hitting the refresh button and just waiting for an update. There had to be a better way to do it live.”
As a solution, Glock decided to make The MIRE, but still felt like it could be improved because of the decline in radio usage and rise in computer and smart phone usage. Therefore, Glock has made The MIRE accessible for any PC or smart device.
“Who even has a radio anymore?” Glock questioned jokingly. “We feel like we’re more accessible given that you can access us on any PC or smart device that you have.”
Glock graduated from the College in 2003 with a degree in journalism. His senior year, he won the College’s journalism award at graduation. Between 2000-2006, he was a sports reporter for The Trenton Times, where he covered the Philadelphia Phillies.
He founded The MIRE in 2009, and after doing two seasons of basketball at Montgomery he branched out to the school’s football games. He will also be broadcasting Montgomery basketball this season, but is excited to expand to the College.
“I wanted to get involved with The College of New Jersey because I realized that ever since I was a student there, this is the kind of thing that TSR covers occasionally but not consistently,” Glock said. “I thought it was a logical spot because there’s nothing going on at TCNJ in broadcasting these games that’s accessible.”
Glock has a background in radio and does all of the play-by-play for The MIRE. Broadcast journalism is something he truly loves to do, which certainly makes The MIRE a better product.
“It’s fun for me. It’s something that I’ve always really enjoyed and probably wish I did a little more of in college. It kind of comes naturally to me,” Glock said. “Let me do something I really enjoy and if I’m going to put in extra time doing something, let me make it something that’s fun and this certainly is something that’s fun for me.”
However, Glock also realizes the importance in his product in terms of the actual broadcasting aspect. Regardless of convenience, he wants to make, The MIRE as entertaining as it can be to not only attract listeners, but also to keep them tuning in.
“One of the things I understand about doing things on the radio is that you want to have a product that people can get updates for and have real time information,” Glock said. “But if the broadcast isn’t listenable, people aren’t going to listen regardless.”
There has yet to be a profit made in The MIRE. Until Glock can make money from advertising, it will continue to be Glock doing the play-by-play and asking others that he knows who are good and have the time to do it. Glock truly wants to expand, and he knows the key to doing that is to get advertisers.
“I have a bunch of local businesses that I know TCNJ students frequent, so if you listen to The MIRE during games, you’re going to get some access to some deals to local eateries and local places that I know TCNJ students shop,” Glock said. “That’s all coming.”
In addition, Glock’s desire for helping others in the field of journalism goes beyond The MIRE. He wrote a blog for Montgomery Athletics called Glock’s Blogs, and uses it now to get students at Montgomery who are interested in journalism to cover sports and “get bylines.” He wants students to have active clips and experience for when they want to do internships, even if that is in the distant future for high school students.
For this basketball season at the College, The MIRE will be covering both men’s and women’s basketball games on Wednesdays for the double headers. It will be starting 30 minutes prior to the first game of the double headers.
This is the first step in what Glock hopes to be something special for the College’s athletics. Enabling people to listen to the games in an easy, enjoyable and efficient way is the ultimate goal, and one that certainly seems attainable.
“We want to have fun doing this and broadcast basketball games to people that might not always have a chance to be at the game,” Glock said. “Parents and students, we get them to stay connected because we know how busy they are in their lives being parents and students.”
“The MIRE was recently spotlighted by The Signal – the student newspaper at The College of New Jersey. The MIRE is covering TCNJ’s home basketball season for the first time in 2012-2013.”
A New Partnership Yielding Results for The MIRE
The following article appeared in the Friday, September 21, 2013 edition of the Bridgewater Courier News:
SKILLMAN – Two years ago, Montgomery High School guidance counselor Keith Glock sat at a table in the school’s gymnasium acting as the public address announcer for the boys’ basketball game.
Simultaneously, he was blogging in-game results on a Web page for fans and parents not in attendance.
“I had people telling me that they were on the road and they were sitting there hitting refresh every few seconds on the website waiting for an update,” said Glock, a sixth-year counselor at Montgomery High School in the Skillman section of Montgomery Township, and former sportswriter for the Trenton Times. “I just thought there had to be a better way to do it.”
So Glock developed a new way: the Montgomery Internet Radio Experience (or MIRE).
Glock approached Wade Martin, treasurer of the Montgomery Township Education Foundation, for funding to purchase equipment to make the MIRE a reality.
With the Education Foundation’s support and financial backing, Glock and the MIRE needed a platform to help him broadcast.
“We used two providers that I wasn’t very happy with for the first two years of MIRE basketball,” Glock said. “The audio quality and customer support weren’t to the level that was necessary.”
This summer, Glock was approached by Bruce Pearson, chief operating officer of BroadcastVenue, a Flemington-based company that specializes in audio and video broadcasts over the Internet. The relationship has been a rousing success.
Glock has been working as the play-by-play voice of the MIRE and is joined by other school faculty members as their schedules allow.
“A year ago, we wanted to broadcast our football games along with basketball, but a glitch in the software made it impossible,” Glock said. “With Bruce, he’s been there for us every step of the way. He had us up and running for our first football game, which was a huge hit in our community, He’s been out to our school twice already to make sure we’re happy and things are going the way they need to.”
Pearson said he reached out to schools in Somerset and Hunterdon counties to explain the opportunities of live-streaming over the Internet.
Pearson said his firm can enable groups, organizations and businesses to take advantage of the benefits of communication and marketing via the Internet.