Communication Studies alumna Laura Britt is front and center on the 120 Sports network.

Communication Studies alumna Laura Britt is front and center on the 120 Sports network.

Photos courtesy of Laura Britt

Laura BrittLaura BrittIn the world of year-round sports and 24/7 social media commentary, Laura Britt, UAB alum and new member of the online network 120 Sports, sees opportunity.

120 Sports content partners include equity investor Time Inc. (owner of Sports Illustrated) as well as the NHL, NBA,, NASCAR, the PGA TOUR and leading collegiate conferences via Campus Insiders. The concept for the network—delivering news and commentary in real time alongside legions of fans who are themselves sharing news and commentary—fits Britt’s personality and work style perfectly. “My title is ‘update reporter,’ and I’m on at the top and half-hour of every hour from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.,” Britt says. “Most broadcast jobs are no more than two hours on the air, but this is eight hours of live video programming. It’s long hours, but it’s such an exciting place to be. I want people to feel like this network is really for them, and we are putting in the time to make that happen.”

Britt relies on the team in the network’s “social den” who monitor social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to see what people are talking about online. “The latest thing Johnny Manziel is doing, the Donald Sterling developments, anything,” she says. “And then we go on the air and discuss it with our analysts.” Each story is only covered for two minutes—or 120 seconds—hence the network’s name. Since the video programming is available as a free native application for mobile and tablet devices as well as a web experience at, additional information on the subject Laura is covering can be linked, allowing viewers to access more information immediately, rather than have to listen to a longer segment on a traditional television network. The 120 Sports video user experience is complemented by a series of patented, interactive data cards that also allow real-time integration of sponsor messaging . “They appear at the bottom of the viewer’s device,“ Britt says. “We have a second team that is doing the research for that data and they post it the form of stats, videos, that kind of thing. So every two minutes, they have to have a new set of data cards ready to go with the story we’re talking about on the air. You can imagine how hectic it is if we have a breaking story come in.”

It’s a fluid way of covering a fluid subject, and it takes a lot of preparation, Britt admits. “It’s a lot to know,” she says. “Every day you’re learning something—multiple things. I love my job, because I’m passionate about things that people are passionate about. Sports make people happy. They love it. It’s what they do in their off time. That’s a great job to have.”

The Newsroom

While Britt didn’t consider sports reporting as a career when she was in college, it became an option almost immediately after she graduated. She received her B.A. in Communication Studies with a concentration in Mass Communication-Broadcasting, and minored in Communication Management and Spanish. And as a student, she interned at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham and the Fox News Channel in New York City. When she finished school, Britt landed a job as a sports reporter at WDBD Fox 40, the Fox affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi. Although her role was somewhat unusual since not many women worked in sports journalism, Britt threw herself into the job, working in the field (shooting, producing, editing and writing her own spots), filling in as anchor, and hosting a 30-minute high school football show once a week.

"Laura was a unique blend of intelligence and personality that comes across great on camera. — Dr. Larry Powell, Communication Studies
In time, she found herself on the station’s morning show—again, launching herself into a challenging situation with confidence and passion. “When my boss announced that they were going to start the morning show, I just asked him if I could be a part of it,” she recalls. “Some days, I would be on in the morning, go home and sleep, then come back at night to cover sports. It was a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.”

At ABC 33/40 and Fox 40, Britt says she learned the fundamentals of how a local affiliate station works. “Local stations and national networks are similar in a lot of ways,” she says. “Until I worked there, I didn’t really know how they operated. The morning meetings, how the stories are identified, how the reporters work in the field, all the basics.”

But it was her internship at Fox News that really opened her eyes to the possibilities. “I went there the summer just before I graduated in December,” she says. “Fox News Channel really made me dream bigger. I realized how many different opportunities were out there. Producers noticed my hard work as an intern and gave me the chance to host an online show. That was a big moment for me. Being around people at that level made me want to go for it.”

Good Advice

Laura BrittLaura and Blaze at the 2008 homecoming game, at which Laura was recognized as a finalist for Ms. UAB.Yet Britt is quick to say that the foundation for all of her opportunities was laid at UAB, thanks in no small part to the guidance she got from one of the advisors. “I was a General Studies major for as long as you possibly could be,” she laughs. “I remember sitting in the advisor’s office holding a sheet of paper with all of the majors—I literally still have it to this day and I’m looking at it right now—we talked through all of the choices and eliminated what didn’t fit. There are Xs over what we rejected and a big circle around Communication Studies.”

Britt notes that her instructors and professors, namely Chris Pollone, Dr. Larry Powell and Dr. Jean Bodon, were also big influences. “Chris Pollone taught Newswriting for Broadcasting as an adjunct—he was working for NBC 13 in Birmingham—and I learned skills in his class that I still use to this day,” she says. “Dr. Bodon’s Fundamentals of Broadcasting class was also influential.”

Powell says, “Laura was a great student and is also a great person. She was a unique blend of intelligence and personality that comes across great on camera. Add to that her work ethic and ambition, and it’s no wonder she’s been as successful as she has. I’m very proud of her.” Pollone shares similar sentiments about his former student. “I’m not surprised by anything Laura does,” Pollone says. “Fox News had a campus affiliate program when Laura was at UAB, and they chose two students on college campuses across the country to go out with a microphone and camera and file their own stories that would appear on a national college website. They gave Laura a Fox News mike flag and a camera and off she went. I thought it was impressive for Laura to do something like that on her own. Truth be told, she has tremendous natural ability—some have to work at it. But she was producing things then, even before taking some basic courses, that were extremely good.”

Pollone says he suspects that it won’t be long before Britt makes another major career leap. “There are a million things that Laura can do,” he says. “From the moment she walked in the door [of my class] until this day, I thought, ‘This girl has star written all over her.’ I hope that she always gets to exercise what she wants to do. I really think she could be a [broadcast]personality, and not everyone has that.”

An opportunity to build, from scratch, the BlazerTV channel was also a big factor in Britt’s future career. “My graduating class created that,” she says. “Unlike a lot of universities that had stations that were only available to upperclassmen, UAB didn’t have a station, and that really benefitted us. It didn’t exist, so we just did it ourselves, under the direction of Dr. Jean Bodon in Television Production I and II. I learned skills on that project that I still use: I wrote stories, I worked behind the camera, I used the prompter, I was a reporter. Every job in the business—we did it.”

Bleeding Green and Gold

As for why she chose UAB, Britt notes that it was almost pre-determined. “UAB is in my blood,” she says. “My dad received a M.S. in Head and Neck Anatomy, finished Dental School and did a periodontal residency all at UAB. My mom has a M.S.N. and Ph.D. from the School of Nursing and is currently on their faculty. My brother has a Master’s degree in Computer Science and will soon complete a Ph.D. from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and my sister took two years of classes at UAB before going to Wyoming to work.”

Britt’s future seems bright, but she’s trying to savor each chapter. “I’m just enjoying the moment,” she says. “I’m learning a lot. Michael Kim worked for ESPN for almost 20 years. And Dave Ross, he was so influential in the DC market for 18 years. They are incredibly talented and knowledgeable. Getting to work with people like that, being able to have people like that as mentors—it’s such an amazing opportunity and I love learning from them.”

“I don’t want to be ‘the next’ someone else. I just want to be the best version of myself.” she says. “I want to keep every door open.”
  • Letter from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
    Our fall semester is in full swing and the momentum is building in the College and across the university.
    posted a while back 763 views
  • Finishing Strong

    We finished the academic year with a major exhibition at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts and celebrated another joyful, thrilling commencement ceremony, at which more than 2,000 UAB students graduated.

    posted a while back 726 views
  • College Alumni Community

    Our former graduates have had a great year of events and celebrations, all organized by our Alumni Board led by president Wes Calhoun. 

    posted a while back 819 views
  • Faculty Receive University Awards

    Renato Camata, Roger Gilchrist, Samiksha Raut, and Nitesh Saxena were all recognized this year for their excellence in teaching, mentorship and advising.

    posted a while back 1156 views
  • New Chairs, New Faculty Join the College

    This fall, we welcomed several new faculty members, a new chair for the Department of Sociology, and three interim chairs. We are proud to have all of them in leadership and academic positions and are excited to see what they accomplish at UAB.

    posted a while back 1308 views
  • Nine Departments Welcome New Faculty Members

    This fall, new faculty members join the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Criminal Justice, the Department of English, the Department of Music, the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Social Work, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Theatre.

    posted a while back 1298 views
  • New Degrees, New Department Names

    At recent Board of Trustees meetings, two new degrees and two new department names were approved.

    posted a while back 959 views
  • New Building Groundbreaking

    Dean Palazzo, along with President Ray Watts and Provost Pam Benoit, joined several invited guests to celebrate the groundbreaking for our new arts and sciences academic building on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

    posted a while back 1122 views
  • Remarkable Generosity

    Donors establish five new endowments in the College—the most ever received in one year.

    posted a while back 889 views
  • Personal History

    Love and learning are the two recurring themes of Sol and Rita Kimerling’s incredible story.

    posted a while back 1412 views
  • Strike Up the Band!

    Under the leadership of new director of bands Dr. Sean Murray, the marching blazers are ready to retake the field this fall.

    posted a while back 1509 views
  • Risk Takers

    From changing majors to changing sports, these former football players, cheerleaders, majorettes, and Blazerettes stepped outside their comfort zones and transformed their student experiences–and future careers.

    posted a while back 3801 views
  • Just This Once, A little Health Advice

    Am I the only one who feels bombarded by unwanted health advice? You can’t open a newspaper (remember those?), a magazine, the internet, or turn on the television without stumbling across someone dispensing tips for living a longer, healthier life.

    posted a while back 1052 views
  • Message from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
    Right now is such an exciting time on campus, and not just because the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. With the approval of our new Arts & Sciences building, scheduled to be open in Fall 2019, we are embarking on an exciting journey to construct a stunning space for our faculty and students.
    posted a while back 3417 views
  • A Vibrant Fall Semester
    There was an explosion of creativity and celebration last fall with AEIVA and the Institute of Human Rights kickoff event at the Alys Stephens Center.
    posted a while back 3358 views
  • Senior Wins Gilman Scholarship
    Jane Murphy, a student in foreign languages with a concentration in French, has been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad.
    posted a while back 3730 views
  • Dean's Award Winners
    Congratulations to these deserving undergraduate and graduate students, who were nominated by their professors for this prestigious recognition.
    posted a while back 3030 views
  • Neuroscience Major a Finalist for Gates Cambridge Scholarship
    Hriday Bhambhvani, a double major in mathematics and neuroscience, was named a finalist for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship
    posted a while back 4359 views
  • Lamario Williams Wins Scholarship and Travel Award
    Physics major Lamario Williams received a PhysCon MSI/HBCU Travel Award to attend PhysCon 2016 in San Francisco.
    posted a while back 3163 views
  • Students, Faculty and Alumni Win Big at 2017 ADDY Awards
    Students, faculty, and alumni from the College of Arts and Sciences make a strong showing at the ADDY Awards.
    posted a while back 3848 views
  • New Degrees in Computer Science, Digital Forensics, Immunology and Genetics and Genomics Sciences
    The College of Arts and Sciences is proud to offer new degrees in Computer Science, Digital Forensics, Immunology, and Genetics and Genomics Sciences.
    posted a while back 4723 views
  • Public Relations Certificate First in State
    Majors in public relations and other communication studies will now have the opportunity to boost their resumes with the addition of the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations.
    posted a while back 3648 views
  • Dr. David Schwebel Receives Multiple Honors
    Dr. David Schwebel, professor in the Department of Psychology and associate dean for research in the sciences, receives multiple honors.
    posted a while back 3452 views
  • Dr. Christopher Lawson Named Chair of National Research Nonprofit
    Dr. Christopher Lawson, professor in the Department of Physics, has been elected board chair of a national nonprofit coalition.
    posted a while back 3354 views
  • Dr. Sarah Parcak Launches TED Wish, Receives Additional Recognition
    Dr. Sarah Parcak, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, launches GlobalXplorer, a project funded by her $1 million 2016 TED Prize.
    posted a while back 3644 views
  • Dr. Shahid Muhktar Receives Large NSF Grant
    Dr. Shahid Mukhtar, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, has been selected to receive a three-year $800,000 grant for his research from the National Science Foundation.
    posted a while back 3492 views
  • Two Biology Faculty Members Elected as Fellows in American Association of Advancement of Science
    Department of Biology faculty members Dr. Charles Amsler, professor, and Dr. Steven Austad, distinguished professor and department chair, have been elected fellows of the American Association of the Advancement of Science.
    posted a while back 3419 views
  • Psychology Professors Part of New Alabama Regional Autism Network
    Dr. Fred Biasini and Dr. Sarah O’Kelley, professors in the Department of Psychology, are part of a new Alabama regional autism network.
    posted a while back 3829 views
  • Dr. Melissa Harris Receives Award from PanAmerican Society
    Dr. Melissa Harris, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, has received the 2016 PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research (PASPCR) Medrano Award.
    posted a while back 3371 views
  • Dr. Margaret Johnson Awarded NIH Funding
    The Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a five-year MIRA R35 grant to Dr. Margaret Johnson, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry.
    posted a while back 3667 views
  • NSF Grant Funds New CyberCorps Scholarship Program
    After years of collaboration between the Departments of Criminal Justice and Computer Science, The National Science Foundation has awarded a $2.1 million Scholarship for Service grant to address cybersecurity challenges.
    posted a while back 3426 views
  • One for the Books
    Congratulations to our 20 faculty members who published 21 books in 2016.
    posted a while back 3556 views
  • 2017 Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction Dr. Heith Copes, Department of Criminal Justice
    Dr. Heith Copes, professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, has been named the 2017 winner of the Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction.
    posted a while back 3787 views
  • 2016 Alumni Awards
    Our 2016 Alumni Award winners represent another outstanding class of graduates who have made—and continue to make—a tremendous impact in their respective fields and in the larger community. This year’s winners graduated with degrees in Computer and Information Sciences, Political Science, History, Physics, and Public Administration, reflecting the breadth of scholarship and study in the College.
    posted a while back 2942 views
  • Class Notes
    We want you to share your accomplishments! Update your alumni information.
    posted a while back 2970 views
  • The Power of Two
    Couples Jim Sokol and Lydia Cheney, Lee and Brenda Baumann, and Jane and Jim Ed Mulkin discuss their strong ties to UAB.
    posted a while back 6535 views
  • Write On
    Tucked into Sterne Library is one of UAB’s best kept—and most powerful—secrets: the University Writing Center.
    posted a while back 3545 views
  • Body and Mind
    College of Arts and Sciences researchers investigate what actually happens when we age—from our cells to our cognition—in the hopes of prolonging high-quality life.
    posted a while back 9263 views
Back to Top