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February 05, 1993 - Image 51

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-02-05

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Spartan Voice

Jason Hillman wants to turn his MSU talk show into a career.


emember the name Jason
Hillman. If this 20-year-
old Michigan State
University student gets
his way, he will become
the next Jewish sports-
caster to hit the airwaves
in Detroit.
Mr. Hillman, a Hunt-
ington Woods native, is
the creator and host of an
award-winning weekly
campus talk show called
"Spartan Sportswrap." It
is a one-hour show offer-
ing a comprehensive look
at MSU sports.
Mr. Hillman's interest
in journalism began at
Detroit Country Day
when an English teacher
convinced him to write for
the school paper.

Hillman's one-hour
show is broadcast
weekly on campus.

"I wrote a column on
the Lions and I ended up
getting an interview with
Wayne Fontes, which was
a real neat thing to do as
a junior in high school,"
he said. "I decided I liked
the perks and I was
always athletic and I
knew I was not going to
play professional sports.
This was a way to stay in
touch with athletics."
Mr. Hillman's high
school resume also
includes working with
Fred McLeod, the former
sports director at WRIF-
When Mr. Hillman
came to East Lansing he
continued to work for Mr.
McLeod, covering Spartan

basketball and football.
"When I came to State,
I was shocked the campus
station did not have a
sports talk show. By cre-
ating one, I was able to
bypass any hierarchy,
including formal train-
ing," he said.
"Sportswrap" took to
the airwaves in December
1991 and has included
appearances by George
Perles, Jud Heathcote,
Mike Peplowski and
numerous other Spartan
sports personalities.
"The goal of the show is
to highlight not only the
major sports but also the
sports that don't get
media attention," Mr.
Hillman said.
Although his success
has come in radio, he
would like to eventually
make the switch to televi-
"My ultimate goal is to
stay in Detroit and in
sports. I would love to be
in the position of Don
Shane, Bernie Smilovitz
or Eli Zaret, where I can
do things for other people
in the community and for
the Jewish Sports Hall of
Fame," he said.
"You can only benefit
from growing up in the
community. I was always
a big Detroit sports fan
and I have gained invalu-
able amounts of knowl-
edge about Detroit sports.
I think there is a lot to be
said about a home-grown
Mr. Hillman hopes his
determination to succeed
in such a competitive field
will pay off.
"People try and scare
you out of this field. I
took that skepticism and
turned it into a positive. I
said, 'Watch me. I am
going to prove you wrong.'

My parents were skepti-
cal but they have turned
about-face," he said. "No
matter what the sacrifice
would have to be, I was
going to do whatever I
could to make myself so
marketable that people
would be calling me.
There are a ton of people
out there doing as much
as I, if not more.

"I was always a
big Detroit sports
fan and I have
gained invaluable
amounts of
knowledge about
Detroit sports.
I think there is
a lot to be
said about a
home-grown kid."

"The most rewarding
thing for me is having so
many people say you're
going to make it. The fact
that others believe what I
have done will lead to a
successful career is all
worth it."
Last month, Mr.
Hillman spent a weekend
in New York, where he
was offered a summer
internship at ABC work-
ing for either "Good
Morning America,"
"Prime Time Live" or
"Although I have the
option of spending this
summer in New York, I
am leaning toward work-
ing at WDIV-TV with
Fred McLeod. Staying in
Detroit this summer
could be a quicker path to
landing a job here," he
said. ❑

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