George Mason University

News at Mason

No days off for these two aspiring sports journalists

September 29, 2016   /   by Kristen Dalton

Senior communication major Becker Alshowk (left) and senior finance major Amro Tashman (right) host the popular sports radio talk show “The Plugs” on George Mason’s student-run radio station, WGMU. They interviewed Fabien Lewis, the founder and event director of Central Sports Management, former Mason soccer player and alumnus, and an ex-professional soccer player. Photo by Evan Cantwell.

Senior communication major Becker Alshowk and senior finance major Amro Tashman discovered they could combine their passion for sports and journalism after attending an information session for George Mason University’s student-run radio station WGMU their sophomore year.

The two wanted to interview prominent names in the sports industry and debate professional sports, and WGMU gave them the platform to do just that. They host the popular sports radio talk show “The Plugs.”

“We wanted the show to have more information about professional sports than what you can find on Google, while also making it entertaining,” Alshowk said.

Alshowk and Tashman wanted to shoot for the big leagues when they started the show. Their focus on professional sports, rather than collegiate sports, came from their future goal to cover professional sports once their time at George Mason comes to an end.

The show features interviews with professional athletes, coaches and renowned sports journalists from all over the Washington, D.C., metro area. Notable past guests include Charley Casserly, former NFL general manager (and executive in residence with Mason’s Sport Management program), and Renaldo Wynn, former Redskins player.

“We get so many renowned guests on the show by utilizing connections with our professors and highlighting that we are looking to pursue careers in sports media,” said Alshowk.

The talk show has gained notable recognition since its first year in 2015 and recently won the spring 2016 RadioStar award for Best Music Show, presented by RadioFlag. The winners are chosen based on efforts to grow an audience, connect with listeners, broadcast with quality sound, and showcase an innovative format with original content.

“I love talking about the financial aspect of professional sports,” said Tashman. “Becker and I disagree on almost everything, but we have great chemistry. It makes for a very entertaining show.”

Rodger Smith, faculty advisor for WGMU, said the student-run radio station gives students a unique learning experience.

“You have to give listeners a reason why they should be listening,” Smith said. “The hosts of The Plugs learned how to make themselves stand out and attract knowledge experts.”

Hosting this radio show is the ideal hands-on experience for an aspiring sports journalist, Alshowk said.

“We take it very seriously. We have full responsibility and control over the station and manage all the social media platforms.”

WGMU gave them a microphone and a radio signal, but the two sports informants’ dedication and passion made it the successful show it is today.

Hear The Plugs and much more WGMU exclusive content on www.wgmuradio.com, Mason Cable Channel 8.2, TunedIn and RadioFlag.