Rothermel producing for RCTV

Boyertown grad now home at Spring-Ford as Media Communications Manager.

Spring-Ford Media Communications Manager Andrew Rothermel produces an RCTV segment on editing equipment.

Staff Photo

Spring-Ford Media Communications Manager Andrew Rothermel produces an RCTV segment on editing equipment.

Matt Dunne, Sports Editor

Walk into Cheryl Murgia’s broadcasting classroom and remembrances of Steve Bonetz are everywhere. His infectious, ear-to-ear smile lights up the classroom. The studio now shares his namesake, and his office still sits next to Murgia’s classroom.
Yet, someone new occupies it: Spring-Ford Media Communications Manager Andrew Rothermel.
Rothermel had some very large shoes to fill. He had been the aid of Bonetz before taking over as RCTV director following Bonetz’s sudden and tragic death. Now, entering his third year at the helm, Rothermel has left a big impact on his students and has big aspirations for the program’s future.
As of December 2015, Rothermel began as the assistant to the face and voice of RCTV, Bonetz. Obviously, it is an emotional topic to discuss for Rothermel because of the two years he spent under Bonetz before his sudden death.
“Steve taught me literally everything I know… how to be a better person, how to work well with others, and how to make people smile,” said Rothermel, who did not look at his relationship with Bonetz as being just professional. “He was like a dad to me. He taught me to make people laugh and always make them feel comfortable.”
Murgia, who worked with both directors, laughed as she spoke of the 28-year-old, who is running communications for one of the largest districts in the state.
“He brings such a youthful energy to the TV studio,” Murgia said. “It’s great to have someone so interested in the latest technology, and he is such a good resource for the program.”
Speaking to current lead student commentator for sports broadcasts, Nick Elsner, he emphasized a feeling of comfort that Rothermel possesses during a call.
“The hardest part for me during a game is not laughing while Rothermel is talking to us,” said Elsner, smiling while talking about his mentor. “He just eliminated all the pressure for me. He’s so easy-going and supportive.”
Recently surpassing their record for highest views on a live stream, Ram Country TV is rapidly growing. A recent setback occurred as “Vimeo,” the former home of all RCTV videos, completely shut down Spring-Ford’s channel, citing three videos of a talent show that included copyrighted music.
Rothermel says they are now going to stick to YouTube.
“I debated with my co-worker Erin, and we came to the realization that if they did it to us once, they will do it again,” he stated.
Rothermel seemed perfectly happy with YouTube and the direction of RCTV. He seems to be in the perfect position and place. But, it was not always this way.
Growing up in the Boyertown School District, Rothermel had a great interest in the telecommunications field, and decided to pursue an education in the profession through Kutztown University. He graduated with an electronic degree, and he interned in New York City. After graduating, Rothermel returned to New York City.
He was very adamant about how much he enjoyed his time in the Big Apple, but it didn’t prove easy.
“But like everyone in New York City, I ran out of money and moved back home,” he said. “I actually moved back to Boyertown, and I drove trucks for about five-six months. Not a lot of people know that.”
With a laugh, he added, “It’s not as bad as you think. I drove from New Jersey back and forth each day while I was interviewing for jobs.”
Ironically, Rothermel got the call that he had received the job at Spring-Ford in the middle of his drives.
“I dropped off the order, returned the truck, and I was a Spring-Ford employee,” he said.
As Rothermel enters his third official year at the helm of RCTV, he emphasized the huge aspirations he has for the program.
“I plan to be here for the next 10 years,” he said. “Technology will continue to grow, and the program will continue to grow with it.”
It does not seem like it’s possible to rattle Rothermel. He drove trucks while attempting to land a job in the communication business, dealt with a incredibly tragic event, and was even kicked off the browser that contained all of his channel’s videos. His resilience is evident.
“I’m just going to keep growing, and keep doing this thing.”