Blute on NBC Nightly News from Med School TV Studio

November 04, 2011

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Michael L. Blute, MD, speaks about cancer research in the new TV studio on the B-level of the Medical School building.

Michael L. Blute, MD, the Mary C. DeFeudis Chair in Cancer Care and Research and professor of surgery, was on NBC Nightly News on Thursday, Nov. 3, commenting on new research connecting cancer to a sedentary lifestyle. Despite receiving a call from producers at NBC Nightly news less than three hours before the broadcast, Dr. Blute was able to use the new TV studio on the B-level of the Medical School building to get his expert commentary on the national airwaves.

See the full story here: Physical activity lowers risk of cancer.

See Blute’s full interview in an msnbc.com web exclusive: Exercise helps “reduce risk” of cancer.

The call came into the Office of Communications shortly after 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, from producers at NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, who wanted to speak with a national expert on the research. Because the media relations team had recently connected with producers at NBC, alerting them to the addition of the new TV studio on campus, they knew UMass Medical School had the talent, and now the technical ability to connect accomplished faculty with a national television audience.

The state-of-the-art studio includes everything needed to shoot digital video that can be sent live via satellite to any of the major broadcast outlets. The camera, sound and lights are operated remotely by VideoLink, a company in West Newton, which also hosts a database of the school’s TV-ready experts for network producers and bookers to access.

“Our great public medical school is a leading academic health sciences center that has accomplished faculty making a local, national and global impact," said Edward Keohane, vice chancellor for Communications. “With the support and vision of Chancellor Collins, our office is committed to bringing our people and our stories to major media outlets. Whereas network television once hesitated to make the trip from Boston to Worcester, this studio allows us to connect to any major news outlet within minutes, all from B-level of the Medical School."

Blute's appearance marks the second time in two weeks that a UMMS faculty member has offered expert insight on NBC Nightly News. A story about the Centers for Disease Control recommending that 11- and 12-year- old boys receive the HPV vaccine included comments from Darshak M. Sanghavi, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric cardiology.

“These kinds of appearances are incredibly important. NBC Nightly News is the ratings leader, drawing millions of viewers each night,” said Keohane. “NBC can go just about anywhere for expert commentary. The fact that we now have the technical resources to accommodate reporters who want to talk to our faculty is a fantastic step forward for UMass Med.”

Related links:

Worcester Business Journal: Live From Worcester, It's UMass Med School
NBC Nightly News: CDC Recommends HPV vaccine for boys