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ESPNU Seeks ‘Campus Connection’

4/26/2006 9:08 AM Eastern

ESPNU wants to get closer to campus life.

The college-sports-focused network will soon select 10 interns who will spend this summer working at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters before returning to their schools in the fall to engage in promotional and editorial activities.

In its first year, “ESPNU Campus Connection” will host one student apiece from Alabama A&M, Howard University, Morehouse College, North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Northwestern, Penn State, University of Southern California, Southern University and the University of Virginia (Charlottesville).

ESPNU vice president and general manager Burke Magnus said the interns will be assigned to work at a department at ESPN and also be schooled in ways of coordinating on-campus promotional contests and hospitality events. Moreover, they will provide editorial feedback.

“If a team is having a good year or a coach gets fired, we’d like to get reaction,” Magnus said, noting that the interns could contribute in the form of blogs on ESPN.com (espn.go.com), on-air segments or reports on broadband service ESPN360 (broadband.espn.go.com).

Campus Connection also figures to expand. “Once we announced the program, we started receiving unsolicited calls from rival schools,” Magnus said.

Now 13 months after its launch, ESPNU counts some 8 million subscribers through distribution deals with DirecTV Inc., EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network, Insight Communications Co. Inc., Mediacom Communications Corp. and Adelphia Communications Corp., according to Magnus.

September