You may think that sports broadcasting is just for the boys, but Ohio University graduate, Allie LaForce, is changing that one broadcast at a time. LaForce, former Miss Ohio Teen and bobcat is currently a sports reporter for Fox 8 news in Cleveland, Ohio.
She decided to peruse a career in journalism through family jokes and pageant applications. “ My family would always make comments about my deep, raspy voice and my mom said it’d be good for broadcasting.” In high school, her life revolved around sports, and she couldn’t picture it any other way. She decided that sports broadcasting would be the perfect fit for her voice and love of sports.
With sports being so important to her, Allie wanted to go to a college where she could continue to play basketball. After applying to numerous ivy league schools, it came down to Ohio University and Northwestern University for journalism. Why’d she decide to become a bobcat? The Scripps School of Journalism and the opportunity to join the women’s basketball team as a walk on won her over.
As for being involved while at Ohio University, Allie spent most of her time playing basketball. For journalism extra curricular activities, she was highly involved at WOUB as an anchor on Gridiron Glory as well as producing and reporting for Bobcat Blitz. She would especially like to thank Thomas Hodson ( interim director and general manager of WOUB) and his wife for getting her so highly involved in sports broadcasting. If not for Thomas, she would have never reported for the women’s basketball team on the radio, adding to her sports broadcasting experience. Thomas’s wife helped Allie to become a student of the Honors Tutorial College, further maximizing her learning experience. “The classes really helped with critical thinking. Sometimes a class was just a professor with three or four students.” Challenging herself academically, Allie continued to make good of her time as an OU student.
Working as a reporter and anchor for Fox 8 News in Cleveland, Allie is thankful to be a part of the team. She loves what she’s doing and is “always being challenged” with her career. She always finds herself doing something different, from packages to reporting- she’s never bored. This year, Allie got to host Fox 8’s Friday Night Touchdown, a thirty minute show about local high school football teams. Every Friday, LaForce and the hosts would break down 30 high school teams across the viewing area. Growing up in the area, Allie was highly familiar with the teams she reported on. Friday Night Touchdown was named number one in the country for a local sports show (based on viewers) this year.
One thing Allie wants future journalists to know is “there is no substitute for experience.” The most important advice she gave was about getting involved and challenging yourself. “Don’t just do enough to get by, challenge yourself, everything you learn in class really does apply to the real world.” She also learned the importance of listening to and trusting professors, they have experience for the career they’re in. They know what it takes to make it, and want you to know the same.
Allie hopes one day to find herself reporting for a national network. Her time at Ohio University prepared her for a great sports broadcasting career, and she is taking full advantage of that at Fox 8 News in the sports department.