STAA Clients Get Sportscasting Jobs
(December 6, 2013) Small changes paid big dividends for Matt Finkel in the sports broadcasting job market. An STAA client, Finkel is joining West Ohio Sports Network (WTLW/WOSN) in Lima, OH, as a sports anchor/reporter.
The position offers Finkel an opportunity to do a little bit of everything. “The job description calls for anchoring, live reporting, shooting, editing and play-by-play, which is exactly what I was looking for. I’m eager to gain experience in a number of different areas and this position gives me the opportunity to do just that.”
Finkel learned of the opportunity through an STAA job sheet. “When I read the job description, I applied right away and three days later I received a phone call from the Sports Director Andy Lynch. The process happened very quickly and it is a tremendous advantage to have the openings emailed to you directly.”
Finkel also benefited from some job market suggestions from STAA. “Organizing all of my demo materials on a professional-looking personal website made a big difference,” says Finkel. “Before I was sending multiple links to YouTube videos.
“I also revised my cover letter, making it less wordy and focusing on the skills that best suited the position I was applying for. I had previously always personalized the cover letter but I started taking a little extra time to think about what specific skills and experience I should highlight to prove that I am worthy candidate.”
A 2011 graduate of Syracuse University, Finkel has been a Broadcast Associate at MLB Network since 2011. He has also been doing freelance play-by-play this year for various college and high school sports throughout the Northeast.
“Thank you so much [STAA] for your help over the last couple of months,” says Finkel. “Our conversations and your advice were so helpful and I don’t think I would have been offered the job without making the adjustments that we spoke about.
“I am looking forward to working at a 24-hour sports network. WTLW/WOSN covers over 70 high schools and small colleges, so I will be busy. Each day will be different – I’m going to learn a lot and gain valuable experience.”
(Visit Matt’s personal website).
(December 4, 2013) Like many young sportscasters, Kevin Dexter spent Thanksgiving Day pulling an on air holiday shift. It also happened to be his first shift at a new job. An STAA client, Dexter has been hired as a Sports Update Anchor at the CBS Sports Radio Network.
“I not only get to be on the air in New York City, but have the added bonus of national exposure,” says Dexter. “I’m very lucky to have an opportunity like this so early in my career, and I’m looking forward to excelling to the best of my abilities.”
A 2013 STAA All-American as one of the nation’s top collegiate sportscasters, Dexter graduated from Hofstra University in May, focusing all his efforts on achieving a challenging career goal.
“Getting out of school I had the approach that, I’m from New York, I want to be in New York, and even though it may be very difficult, I want to give it my full effort to make it in New York.”
After graduation, Dexter went after as much experience as he could find. He began calling play-by-play for three Long Island colleges (Molloy College, Adelphi University and LIU Post), did NHL Highlight Voiceovers at NeuLion Inc., and producing sports as a freelancer at News 12 Long Island.
“My goal was to get an update job somewhere in NYC to help jump-start my career further,” Dexter says.
The opportunity to get that update job came arrived through networking.
“Through my relationship with Ed Ingles at Hofstra, I got hired to help teach the sportscasting summer camps he runs for teens,” Dexter explains.
“This summer Ed brought in a gentleman named Peter Silverman to help out. Pete used to be the Senior EP at ESPN Radio in NYC, as well as an executive at a number of other places. He watched and listened to some of my demos, and was impressed, and said he would make a few phone calls for me, one of them being to Eric Spitz, the Program Director at CBS Sports Radio. I got in touch with Eric in August, and he responded saying they had no current openings, but to keep in touch.”
In September, Dexter received an STAA job leads email listing a part-time opening at the CBS Sports Radio Network. He mailed an application package, but kept his expectations realistic.
“I also filled out the application online, and to be honest I didn’t expect to hear anything back. I figured there would be hundreds, if not thousands of people applying, and I’d be lucky if they even listened to my demo. Luckily for me, they listened to and liked my demo, and Eric remembered me from Pete’s phone call.”
Dexter was called in for an interview and training. After several weeks, he was given the good news.
“Starting in mid-October I went in once or twice a week to record demos and learn about the format. I would get critiqued every time, and continue to come back and record again. After last week’s round of demos they said I was good to go, and officially hired me.”
Part of the thrill in Dexter’s first shift on Thanksgiving was I sharing the experience with his supportive family.
“My immediate family was here on Long Island huddled around their radio listening every 20 minutes, and my extended family was doing the same in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It made it even more special for me knowing that all of my loved ones were listening and supporting me on my first day.”
(Visit Kevin’s STAA Talent Page).
(November 26, 2013) The city of Effingham, IL, likes to call itself “The Crossroads of Opportunity.” So far, that motto is proving true for one of the city’s newest residents: Brian Crozier. An STAA client, Crozier has accepted the position of Sports Director at the WCRC-WCRA-WHQQ radio cluster in Effingham.
“One of the stations, WHQQ, recently flipped to sports and an on-air position basically opened up thanks to that switch and several other factors,” says Crozier. “I contacted the station and received an interview within a couple days. I was then offered the position about two weeks later and accepted it.”
Crozier will anchor weekday morning sportscasts on WCRC and WCRA, plus programming duties for the newly sports flipped, WHQQ, 98.9 The Game. There will be opportunity for local high school play-by-play, a weekly two-hour sports talk show on Saturdays, and there’s a possibility of adding a one-hour locally focused sports talk show on weekdays.
An additional perk to Crozier’s new job is the location.
“This job is located just less than an hour from where I grew up, and about 90 minutes from Champaign, where I went to college at the University of Illinois. I’ve always hoped to have a chance at a job like this, handling much of the programming for an all-sports station, but to get it so close to home is really exciting. It will be a lot of hard work, but I’m ready and thrilled for this opportunity.”
Crozier most recently worked at KBUR-AM in Burlington, IA. The transition to a new employer didn’t happen as quickly as Crozier might have liked. As always, patience is one of the highest virtues when conducting a job hunt.
“It can be frustrating looking for a job, and you may not get the job when you want it, but in the end something will work out. You can’t get the job if you don’t apply,” Crozier says.
Having someone in your corner, cheering you on, is another thing that can help you work through a challenging job search.
“Thank you [to STAA CEO]Jon Chelesnik for all your assistance and advice! I’m guessing that handling my frustration a few months ago was not the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it was nice to have someone to talk to that’s been through it before”
(Visit Brian’s STAA Talent Page).
(November 22, 2013) Ryan Messick will always look back on November 2013 as a pivotal month in his sports broadcasting career. An STAA client, Messick will make his national sports talk hosting debut this Saturday from 12pm to 2pm EST on Yahoo! Sports Radio, as he’s been tapped to fill-in on five shifts around the Thanksgiving holiday. Messick has also been named the play-by-play broadcaster for the Delaware 87ers, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers. He will be on the call for all of their 24 home games.
Messick currently works as an update anchor, fill-in host and reporter at 97.3 ESPN FM in South Jersey.
“It’s been a whirlwind of a month for me with two amazing opportunities coming up, so I’m definitely excited,” Messick said. “I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to showcase my hosting skills, which I’ve been working hard on over the last few years, and the Sevens home opener is only a couple of weeks away.”
In addition to his responsibilities with WENJ-FM, Messick works for SiriusXM NFL Radio as a freelancer from Eagles home games, providing in-game updates and securing player interviews. He also has extensive experience as a play-by-play broadcaster, including a stint with the AHL’s Portland Pirates.
Messick, a Syracuse University alumnus, is originally from Delaware.
“I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do more play-by-play, so as soon as I found out that the Sixers were picking up a D-League affiliate and moving it to Delaware, I was extremely interested,” Messick said. “They’ve been wonderful to work with so far, and I can’t wait for the home opener on December 8th. It’s going to be a fun season.”
After graduating from Syracuse in 2008, Messick spent a year in Portland doing hockey play-by-play. He then worked for a year as a studio host for the UCLA ISP Sports Network, and picked up assignments as a studio host for the national broadcasts of the ACC and Big East basketball tournaments with ISP, which is now IMG College. He also performed play-by-play for ISP/IMG, calling action during the 2010 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament and the 2011 Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Messick will be heard on Yahoo! Sports Radio on the following dates and times:
Saturday, November 23, 12pm-2pm EST
Sunday, November 24, 9am-11am EST
Friday, November 29, 4pm-8pm EST
Saturday, November 30, 8am-10am EST
Sunday, December 1, 5am-8am EST
“I’m certainly very thankful for the opportunities with Yahoo! Sports Radio and the Sevens, and I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with,” Messick said.
(Visit Ryan’s personal website).
(November 20, 2013) Two more STAA clients have picked-up play-by-play sports broadcasting jobs with Learfield Sports. Both sportscasters are also getting some free travel as part of the gigs. Josh Caray is traveling with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga men’s basketball team to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Nathan Barnett is accompanying the SMU women’s team to the slightly less glamorous Texas destinations of Nacogdoches and El Paso.
The opportunities came when Learfield Sports Broadcast Manager Tom Boman asked STAA for recommendations.
Caray has an extensive play-by-play resume in college football and basketball and minor league baseball. He is accompanying UT-Chattanooga on a West Coast trip November 21st through the 29th. The schedule includes games at the University of Nevada in Reno, UCLA at storied Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, and Morehead State and IUPUI or Gardner-Webb in Las Vegas. Caray has been an STAA client since 2010.
“I’m looking forward to doing a game in Pauley Pavilion,” says Caray. “All the history associated with UCLA makes that arena one of the great settings in college basketball. I’m honored to call a game there.”
Barnett has been a member of the broadcast teams for Ontario Reign ECHL hockey and minor league baseball’s Frisco RoughRiders. Like Caray, Barnett has been on the STAA team since 2010. In addition, Barnett was a student in a sports broadcasting class formerly taught by STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik at Palomar College in San Diego.
“I am humbled and flattered to have the opportunity to call games for Learfield Sports and Southern Methodist University,” says Barnett. “I have big shoes to fill in substituting for Scott Garner (a fellow STAA client), who does a fantastic job as their regular play-by-play voice. I cannot thank Tom Boman from Learfield Sports and Jon Chelesnik with STAA enough for the tremendous chance to call these games. This foray into major college basketball is one that I do not take lightly; I look forward to the chance to bring the SMU fans into the building for these road games as the Lady Mustangs continue their great start to the season.”
Earlier this month, two other STAA clients were tabbed for fill-in broadcasts with Learfield. Sam Farber did two South Dakota State games in San Diego and will be calling a third at Stanford in December. Tim Becwar did a South Dakota State game at the University of California Santa Barbara and a Montana State game at UC Riverside.
(November 18, 2013) Ryan Cunningham’s new sports broadcasting job is taking him to a city that already has special significance to him. An STAA client, Cunningham has joined the Bismarck Bobcats as Director of Media and Communications.
“My family and I are very excited to take on this opportunity with the Bobcats,” says Cunningham. “After a visit to a game, we found a very energized building at the VFW Sports Center, and a fan base that loves Bobcat hockey. I’m thrilled to be part of the team.”
Bismarck is where Cunningham met his wife Cassandra in 2009. “She worked here for nine years before we met. About a week before the Bobcats job was listed, she told me she would like to move back to Bismarck. I didn’t think any of the stations were hiring here, so I wasn’t under the impression it would work out, but, not long after, this job is listed, and we’re here.”
Cunningham moves to Bismarck from Valley City, ND where he has been Operations Manager and Sports Director at a four-station cluster since 2001. In Bismarck, he replaces fellow STAA client Paul Teeple, who left for a play-by-play and media position with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. Teeple was in charge of the process for hiring his successor. He asked STAA for recommendations and asked that the position description be shared with STAA clients. “Ryan Cunningham was one of the folks I referred to Paul, and he also contacted the team directly,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik.
“I was a little concerned about finding the quality broadcaster that Bismarck Fans are accustomed to and deserve,” says Bobcat Owner Thom Brigl. “But when I heard Ryan’s game call and became aware he was a North Dakota Native I knew he was a Bobcat. We are very pleased that Ryan and his young family are moving to Bismarck and are confident the Fans will really enjoy him as the Voice of the Bobcats!”
(Visit Ryan’s STAA Talent Page).
(November 15, 2013) Veteran Cincinnati broadcaster Ken Broo has his next sports broadcasting job. An STA client, Broo is joining WCPO 9 as a sports anchor / reporter.
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with the pros at 9 On Your Side,” Broo told the station website. “I’ve always admired them as competitors. It will be terrific working alongside the incomparable John Popovich and with former colleagues Clyde Gray and Chief Meteorologist Steve Raleigh.”
A former radio voice of the Cincinnati Bengals, Broo has worked mostly in the Queen City since 1987. TV stops have included WLWT, WKRC and WLWT. He’s also been a radio sports talk host at WLW. He’s also spent time in Washington D.C, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Tampa.
“Adding Ken’s knowledge and experience of Cincinnati sports to our team was a no brainer,” WCPO 9 Vice President Jeff Brogan told the station website. “It’s important for us to go beyond the scores, telling memorable stories and giving depth and perspective to the great athletes and teams in the Tri-State. Ken has a proven track record in this area.”
Broo is a graduate of Ohio University.
(Visit Ken’s STAA Talent Page).
(November 12, 2013) Having friends in the right places has helped Will Wilson to his next sports broadcasting job. An STAA client, Wilson is joining KHQA-TV in Quincy, IL as a weekday sports reporter / weekend sports anchor.
“Starting at KHQA in Quincy is really a dream come true,” says Wilson. “Not only am I at a great station that covers three different states in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, but I get to be around some of the most passionate high school sports fans in the country. The relationships I will build through the community is one of the things I’m most excited about.”
Wilson learned about the opening through a former classmate who now works at the station. He immediately sent his demo and resume to KHQA News Director Nora Baldner. Wilson explains, “She responded right away but explained to me they had just been bought by a different broadcast company and weren’t allowed to hire someone just yet, but she’d keep my resume on her desk.”
Wilson maintained twice-monthly contact with Baldner, patiently asking if the hiring freeze had been lifted. “Finally, after a month, I emailed her and she quickly responded to set up an interview. I kept reviewing the interview tips [sent to me] from STAA until they became second nature. Luckily, everything just clicked and the interview went great.”
Once the job offer came, Wilson was ready to go. “I had kept all my clothes in the garage along with a storage unit holding my bed, couches and dressers so I could be ready to go immediately when I got the call. It helped me to have that mentality that I was going to be leaving at any second. You don’t want to get complacent AT ALL during your job search in this business.”
Wilson is eager to polish his skills in an environment he truly enjoys. “I’ll be able to co-host different highlight shows as well as anchor and report,” he says. “It’s going to help me craft my skills and learn how to do it all. KHQA just felt right when I visited the station for the first time. I didn’t feel uncomfortable and felt right at home. I knew right then and there this was the perfect fit.”
Wilson’s advice to other job seekers is to stay strong. “If you’re not willing to cold-call news directors, show up on station doorsteps, get rejected or be willing to separate yourself from other competitors, don’t even both putting yourself through the pain. If you’re tough enough to pursue your dream, you need to have a mentality that forces you to never quit. Do everything possible to keep the momentum in your favor and make yourself feel like your getting closer to landing a job.”
A 2011 graduate of Duquesne University, Wilson earned his Masters in Journalism from DePaul this past summer. He has been an STAA client since August. “STAA and Jon Chelesnik were right there by my side the entire way,” he says. “STAA has been a major help in me landing the job, and sticking with the process has been key. The interviews tips I received and the group chats have been extremely beneficial.
“I would recommend STAA to anyone who is pursuing a career in sports broadcasting. Thank you for always being there and giving me advice. I really appreciate it; I can’t wait to start my gig! This is only the beginning!”
(Visit Will’s STAA Talent Page).
(November 8, 2013) A pair of STAA clients is getting great opportunities to showcase their play-by-play skills for Learfield Sports.
Over the next month, Sam Farber will be filling-in on three South Dakota State men’s basketball broadcasts – two at a tournament this weekend in San Diego and another December 1st at Stanford. Tim Becwar will be doing a South Dakota State game at the University of California Santa Barbara and a Montana State game at UC Riverside.
All of the opportunities resulted from conflicts with each school’s football and basketball play-by-play schedules. Farber and Becwar were chosen to fill-in after Learfield Sports Broadcast Manager Tom Boman asked STAA for referrals. Other STAA clients are being considered for additional upcoming Learfield broadcasts.
Farber is the play-by-play voice of minor league baseball’s Inland Empire 66ers and a broadcaster for Time Warner Cable Sports in Southern California. Becwar calls baseball for UC Irvine and is a veteran minor league basketball voice.
“When John Chelesnik and Tom Boman contacted me about filling in for the broadcasts, I immediately jumped at it,” says Becwar. “To be able to work with Learfield Sports, which holds such a prominent place in the sports broadcasting industry, is a tremendous opportunity.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to fill in for South Dakota State on this west coast swing,” says Farber. “I am really looking forward to working with Learfield Sports and helping all the fans of Jacks basketball begin the new season.
“I really appreciate STAA recommending me, and of course Learfield Sports for selecting me to help South Dakota State University fans tip off the new season.”
(November 6, 2013) The University of South Florida has has named STAA client Mike Lefko as the new radio play-by-play voice of Bulls women’s basketball and baseball.
Lefko, a graduate of Syracuse University and a 2011 STAA All-American, comes to USF from IMG College in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he has served as a network studio host and producer since 2011. His most recent assignment with IMG has been as the pre-game and post-game host for Georgia Tech football and basketball.
“Mike is a very versatile broadcaster, and we are looking forward to having him join USF Athletics,” Associate Athletic Director for Broadcasting Jim Louk said. “He’ll be an important part of what we do, and his voice will soon be very familiar to USF fans.”
Lefko also has minor league baseball experience, broadcasting for the Winston-Salem Dash, a Chicago White Sox affiliate, since 2012.
“I’m thrilled to come to USF,” Lefko said. “The women’s basketball and baseball teams are going to be exciting to cover, and I can’t wait to be part of the USF family.”
Lefko will make his first USF on-air appearance on Nov. 20, when USF women’s basketball faces North Carolina Central at 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome.
(Visit Mike’s STAA Talent Page).
(November 5, 2013) STAA client Chris Lewis has been hired as the new voice of the Boise State women’s basketball program.
A two-time STAA All-American as one of the nation’s top collegiate sports broadcasters, Lewis spent this past summer as the radio play-by-play announcer and media relations director for the Idaho Falls Chukars Baseball Club in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “I’m excited to get to work, telling the great stories involving coach Presnell and the team,” said Lewis. “I hope to continue the great work that Chris King had done the last two years.”
Lewis came to Idaho from Syracuse, N.Y., where he was a spring 2013 graduate of Syracuse University. While at Syracuse he had numerous experiences working in all aspects of radio from on-air talent, reporter, to show production.
During his time in Syracuse, Lewis worked for WJPZ radio (2010-13), where he did play-by-play for Syracuse University women’s basketball. In the 2012-13 season, he provided play-by-play of Boise State’s game against Syracuse on December 30. In addition to women’s basketball, Lewis also broadcast high school football and women’s lacrosse games at WJPZ, and became assistant sports director in 2012.
Lewis also worked for WAER Radio in Syracuse (2011-13) where he did play-by-play for Syracuse University football, men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse games. In addition, he served as a feature reporter, sports update anchor, as well as a studio host and producer for various pregame, halftime and postgame shows.
The Magnolia, N.J., native worked for ESPNU Campus Connection from 2012-13 where he was responsible for providing Syracuse University student content to ESPNU. Lewis also served as a liaison between the network and Syracuse student media.
Lewis’ other broadcast experience includes working for CitrusTV from 2009-13 where he was a sports anchor for a weekly SportsCenter-styled news show. In addition, he worked as an analyst, studio host and producer for the station’s Syracuse Pregame Show.
During summer of 2012 he served as on-air talent, producer and reporter for summer league basketball games in Las Vegas for Global Basketball Television. In addition, Lewis produced Big East basketball video recaps for the station during the 2012-13 college season.
(Visit Chris’ STAA Talent Page).
(November 4, 2013) Zach Clark is heading back to the city where he graduated college. An STAA client and alumnus of the University of Arizona, Clark is joining ESPN Tucson as Afternoon Drive Host.
Clark is no stranger to the station. While in college, he served as an intern for the host he is replacing, Jody Oehler, who left for a job in Phoenix. For the past year Clark has been Sports Director of KTRG and KHGZ in Texarkana, AR where he hosted two sports talk shows a day along with play-by-play for high school football, basketball, and baseball games. Prior to that, Clark was Editor-In-Chief for the Romeo Times.com, which was Romeo, Michigan’s first and only digital news service. He also handled play-by-play for high school sports on that website.
“As always, [STAA’s] guidance has been paramount,” says Clark. “I couldn’t have done it without STAA.”
(Visit Z’achs STAA Talent Page).
(October 24, 2013) After two years working as a one-man-band reporter for a website, Mike Peal is ready to don a jacket and tie, and get in front a TV camera. An STAA client, Peal is the new Sports Anchor/Multimedia Journalist at WBNG-TV in Binghamton, NY.
“Before this, I was doing a little bit of everything and sprinkling in sports when I could. Now I’ll be doing sports full time, and suddenly I have a feeling work is going to feel less like work and more like a lot of fun,” Peal grins.
Peal has been on the job hunt since the beginning of summer, with little result. When an STAA email with the WBNG opening hit Peal’s inbox, he pulled a quick turnaround to make sure that his application was among the first the station received.
“I have a friend who works at WBNG’s main competitor, so Binghamton and WBNG had always been on my radar. But if it wasn’t for STAA’s job lead emails, I may not have seen this opening as quickly as I did. It was posted 9/25, I saw STAA’s email about it at 5:30 p.m. that evening,” Peal explains.
“I had a cover letter, resume and demo reel shipped through FedEx that night and it arrived the morning of 9/27. I can’t help thinking that was huge — that I was able to get my information in front of them as quickly as I did.”
Peal also relied on STAA for help in preparing for the interview. “The day before my interview I bought three STAA audio clips regarding how to get a job, what to say and what not to say, etc. A lot of it was common sense, but it was nice to hear it. The one thing those audio clips really did do was give me some ideas on questions I should ask the employer. Very, very helpful. I am thrilled about my decision to join STAA.”
A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Peal spent the last two years honing his craft at ItsRelevant.com, a hyper local news website in Connecticut.
“At the company I’ve worked for the last two years, the experience I’ve gotten was pseudo-broadcast experience. I was writing, shooting and editing my own news packages; I was making editorial decisions, ethical decisions; learning how to gather and maintain sources — the whole nine yards. But I still didn’t have that commercial television experience I knew I would need to get where I want to go. This is a good start in that regard, and I’ll be at the top station in the Binghamton market with a long tradition of quality.”
The most common advice offered to job hunters is to remain patient. It might sound a little tired, but Peal says that advice is still an essential ingredient.
“Just don’t quit. God knows I heard ‘do not give up’ so many times I became sick of hearing it, but it’s true. I applied to jobs starting in late May and only got two call backs before this one popped up. My friends, professors, mentors from my internship — they all told me I was good enough and to just hang in there, but eventually you get sick of hearing that from everybody but an employer. But it’s true. Just hang in there. It’s a very subjective process and as good as you may be, a news director might not like your voice, your style or a number of things. If you’re good enough and you work hard enough, you’ll land somewhere.”
(Visit Mike’s STAA Talent Page).
(October 18, 2013) After much patience and persistence, Elliot Nathan’s time has finally arrived. An STAA client, Nathan has accepted a Sports Reporter/Anchor position at KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, SD.
“It is great family and direction, so there is opportunity to learn a ton,” Nathan enthuses.
“Also, I will being covering a number of local, regional, and national sports teams, while getting the opportunity to be on-air and strengthen my presence (they have D-League, USHL, IFL, etc.). I will also be hosting a weekly show called ‘SportsZone’ breaking down the weeks HS sports activity.
“Sioux Falls is also a top 120 market, so there will be a ton of exposure. Overall, I think it will be a perfect fit.”
The KELO job is the ideal reward to a search that Nathan has been conducting for years.
“I had applied to probably 50 plus TV jobs in the last three years, and had two interviews. I knew KELO was a first case organization and I wasn’t going to let this one go. I drove to Sioux Falls for an interview, and the rest is history,” Nathan smiles.
“I’ve been grinding for this opportunity for three years, and can finally say the hard work has paid off. From my time at MLB.com to on-air morning DJ in small market radio, I would give the advice to follow your true passion, and do whatever is necessary to get there.”
Nathan wants to remind fellow sportscasters that persistence is the key to any job hunt.
“Timing is everything in this business. You may be qualified for a job, have a great interview, and not get the job. That’s not a reflection on you, just that the timing wasn’t right. Never give up on your goals.”
After graduating from the University of Oregon in 2011, Nathan’s pursuit of a sportscasting career took him to New York, then Montana. Happily, this new opportunity places him much closer to his roots.
“It also is relatively close to home for me, being just under four hours from Minneapolis. I will have family close, and at KELO we will still cover major market sports and events (Twins, Viks, Wolves etc.).”
With a mountain of rejected applications behind him, Nathan is anxious to dig in to his new responsibilities.
“I can’t say enough of what a classy organization KELO is, and I’m excited to be part of the family. Also, thanks to STAA for being so supportive and helpful throughout the entire process. From job postings to personal advice, it is a great platform to use.”
(Visit Elliot’s STAA Talent Page).
(October 15, 2013) Kevin Lehman will be spending the days before Thanksgiving in a beautiful island paradise. An STAA client, Lehman has been chosen to serve as color analyst for college basketball’s Paradise Jam, a four-day tournament in late November on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
Six games will air on CBS Sports Network. Teams include Maryland, Vanderbilt, Providence, La Salle, Loyola Marymount, the University of Northern Iowa, Marist and Morgan State.
“The Paradise Jam presents an unparalleled opportunity to develop my analysis skills and style in a tournament format while calling multiple games each day,” says Lehman.
Lehman brings an extensive coaching background to the microphone. After nine seasons as an assistant at the University of Northern Iowa, he spent six years as the head coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
When Lehman emailed STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik to share the news, the opening line of the message was, “You coached me up again!”
“Jon and STAA have been terrific,” says Lehman. “His system is SUPER! What I most value about Jon and his service is this: when I email Jon to discuss a strategy or an idea, Jon has never failed to call me the same day and usually within the hour. STAA has been invaluable to the advancement of my career. With Jon and STAA, you know you are members of the same team!”
“Coach is coachable,” Chelesnik says with a smile. “Without fail, when he’s asked for job market advice over the years, he’s executed the game plans we have developed together to perfection. Coach is always proactive on is own behalf.”
Lehman has been an STAA client since 2011 when he asked STAA to build his TV demo and do some talent coaching. At the time, Lehman was already an analyst on select Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball broadcasts. Since joining STAA, he has added Missouri Valley Conference telecasts to his resume, ESPN/Big 12 Network, and Big 10 Digital Network games, and the NAIA Division II national title game last spring for CBS Sports. Earlier this year, he started serving as a Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA Tournament expert on Midwest several radio stations.
The Paradise Jam opportunity came about through Lehman’s signature networking. Once he got himself into the final four candidates, he called Chelesnik for advice. “We spoke for 10 minutes and by the time we hung up we had drafted a game plan for Coach to get himself over the top,” says Chelesnik. “Three days later he emailed to say he got the gig.”
“[The employers] were impressed by the STAA Talent page and demo DVD,” says Lehman.
“The balancing act is to be persistent but not a pest,” advises Lehman. “I keep a file on each pursuit and try to reach out to the contact every two to three weeks in some way. I approach these job pursuits similar to when I was recruiting a student-athlete. Find out who the decision maker is, keep your name in front of them and make it hard for them to tell you ‘no.’”
With two games to prepare for each day during the four day tournament, Lehman will be working almost non-stop. After the final buzzer sounds, though, he plans to enjoy the beauty of the island. “I do anticipate staying an extra day after the championship game to check scuba diving off of my bucket list and possibly take in some snorkeling,” he says. “I will embrace every opportunity to take in the beauty and culture of this exotic paradise.”
(Visit Kevin’s STAA Talent Page).