WHO-TV Channel 13’s RVTV tour during the week of the CyHawk rivalry game between Iowa and Iowa State has become a statewide phenomenon over the years.
This year Keith Murphy, Andy Fales and company will kickoff the RVTV farewell tour in Creston.
That’s right. Farewell tour.
“Never say never,” WHO-TV sports director Keith Murphy said Thursday night. “But, I think this is going to be our last RVTV tour for awhile. We feel like we’ve hit most of the towns, and we’ll continue to do something else, I’m sure, for Iowa-Iowa State week. As we think about it now, we think this will probably be the final year.”
So on what will likely be the final RVTV tour for some time to come, the SoundOff crew will roll into Creston the morning of Monday, Sept. 9 to kick off the weeklong festivities.
Murphy and Fales expect Creston to be a good stop along the tour this year.
“We had some emails from various people that suggested a town, and I’m not sure who wrote in on Creston’s behalf,” Murphy said. “The main thing is, Andy really likes Creston. He thinks it’s a nice town and we haven’t been there before. He thought it would be a town that would show up strong. It seems to be a sports-oriented community, too.”
Murphy said the RVTV crew usually rolls into a town between 10 a.m. and noon on the day it will spend in the town, in this case Sept. 9.
The first hour or two of the day is spent setting equipment up and figuring out logistics, such as Internet, live shots for the television broadcasts and everything else that goes into producing a live television broadcast.
Murphy and Fales also broadcast their afternoon sports talk radio show — The Murph and Andy Show — from each town they stop in. That show airs from 2-4 p.m. on 1460 KXNO.
“It kind of makes the whole day pretty busy, because while we’re doing the radio show, the other guys are going out looking for some kind of local story,” Murphy said. “Usually we get some pretty good suggestions sent to us ahead of time, so we can plan it out in advance.”
Then comes the television broadcasts at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
And in between, it’s completely up to the town what happens. But Murphy said usually the most successful RVTV tour stops include a giant town party.
“I think the towns that have enjoyed the RVTV stops the most, they kind of just use it as an excuse to have a CyHawk street party,” he said. “We’re there and it’s fun for us, but most times, any time they can have a good reason to throw a good party in their downtown area, most towns that have embraced that, they seem to have the most fun.”
Murphy said one trend he’s noticed over the years is that little by little, the amount of Cyclone fans showing up to RVTV tour stops has increased.
When RVTV first started, most of the fans showing up were Hawkeye fans.
“Generally speaking, when we first started, Hawkeye fans had Cyclone fans outnumbered anywhere we went,” he said. “There’s still more Hawkeye fans, but it’s gotten closer. When we have RVTV toward the east side of the state, you know how that goes. It’s very rare for Cyclone fans to completely have Hawkeye fans outnumbered except when we get to Ames. But, it has shifted a little bit over the years.”
Murphy said one of his favorite parts about doing RVTV has been getting to know each town better, and thus getting to know the people in the towns.
“Andy is such a good storyteller,” Murphy said. “He and John (Sears) and Michael (Admire) go to the towns early and do stories. A family divided or whatever, send (ideas) to us and we’ll be doing some of those stories ahead of time and we’ll play them the night we’re in Creston. Andy always does a story on the town and I learn a lot about these towns, and really find that the people in these towns really appreciate that, because it’s a positive story.”
It’s not uncommon for the television crews to hear that the only time a television camera shows up in a town is for bad news.
That’s not the case when RVTV comes to town, and Murphy said people really appreciate the good publicity.
Anyone with CyHawk Rivalry stories for the WHO sports team can email their ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.