Gather around for news and rumors about the industry
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:04 am


#1 Post by sketti98 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:21 am

I'm curious as to whether it is common practice to have an agent. I'm guessing that is limited to the big time TV guys?


Re: Agents

#2 Post by micmoles » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:01 am

I'd like to suggest to Jon that he create a SPECIAL SECTION specifically for this topic.

Certain threads like "Do I need an agent?" and "What should I put on my demo?" could be kept alive as STICKY's and people could just continually add to them.

That way to we don't have to keep addressing this question every time the latest youngster brings it up.

Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:04 am

Re: Agents

#3 Post by sketti98 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:32 pm

I'm sorry, but where is there a previous post about agents in this forum?


Re: Agents

#4 Post by ssteve » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:41 pm

I have nothing to gain in saying this, but honestly if you DO want an agent you are at the right place here. For what you get at STAA, Jon is as good of an agent as you can find.

Robert Ford
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:46 am

Re: Agents

#5 Post by Robert Ford » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:59 am

ssteve wrote:For what you get at STAA, Jon is as good of an agent as you can find.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have met with agents, but I have never had representation. I have also picked the brain of agents in a variety of fields that I've met over the years.

What STAA does isn't exactly the same as what an agent does. Like STAA, an agent will put together a resume and demo package for you. However, reputable agents NEVER take money up front. Agents understand they get paid only if you get a job (this is true for agents in all fields). Theoretically, such a pay structure motivates an agent to work hard to help you find a job, giving the agent a vested interest in your success. If someone tells you they'll represent you after you pay them a fee or a retainer, run the other way. So, while STAA is a helpful service for some, do not confuse what they do with what an agent does.

In addition, agents approach you, not the other way around. Therefore, if you're not approached by an agent, don't worry about it. If you are approached by an agent, arrange for a meeting, seek feedback on your work (even if they choose not to represent you most agents will offer their thoughts on your stuff) and ask plenty of questions. But, unlike applying for a job, do not follow up. If an agent wants to represent you, he/she will reach out to you.

Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:13 pm
antispam: No
The middle number please (4738): 4738

Re: Agents

#6 Post by malden153 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:13 pm

micmoles wrote:I'd like to suggest to Jon that he create a SPECIAL SECTION specifically for this topic.

Certain threads like "Do I need an agent?" and "What should I put on my demo?" could be kept alive as STICKY's and people could just continually add to them.

That way to we don't have to keep addressing this question every time the latest youngster brings it up.
As a relative newbie to this board (but certainly no youngster), I did what newbies should do and I used the search function. A search of the term "agent" turns up only one other related post outside of this thread. I don't believe disdain for anyone seeking information is proper for this board, especially if that's all that comes up during a search. That said, a sticky on this topic would probably be a good idea.

Posts: 423
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:32 pm
The middle number please (4738): 0
Location: CT

Re: Agents

#7 Post by PhilGiubileo » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:09 pm

Currently I do not have an agent... I did have an agent from 2004-06 and it was a big help at that point of my career... I would like to have representation for new gigs, but haven't seriously started shopping... He was a big help at that time as he fostered my entry into professional hockey (coming from junior), but I was able to secure my AHL gig and all jobs after that...

Certain agencies will certainly listen to your work if you approach them, but really will only respond if they're interested... They'll solicit materials simply because there are just too many broadcasters out there that they can't hear/see/reach out to everyone, but generally will reply only if there is interest...

STAA is a different service as Rob mentioned, and he's correct--but what Jon provides is also very useful, especially for those looking for those 1st/2nd jobs...
Phil Giubileo
Play-by-Play Broadcaster/CT Whale (NWHL) & Quinnipiac University Men's/Women's Hockey (ECAC)
Always looking for freelance work in the NY/NJ/CT area

Follow me on Twitter @philgpbp
See my website at

Jon Chelesnik
Posts: 16168
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:27 pm

Re: Agents

#8 Post by Jon Chelesnik » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:54 am

STAA’s career assistance differs radically, and for the better, from traditional representation. STAA delivers upon the guarantees we make to our clients. And when you get your next job, you don’t pay us a single cent in commission.

Everyone in radio would love to have an agent and most broadcasters think they are deserving of one. The reality is that very few radio broadcasters outside of Top 10 markets have agents. Agents don’t make enough money from radio broadcasters to make it worth their time.

A stunning number of agents also don’t do what they promise they will do. Especially beware of agents who promise you the moon and the stars, do nothing to help you get your next job, then take 6-10 percent of your salary every month after you get a job on your own. I see this sad story regularly. I have also seen careers stagnate because a sportscaster puts all the responsibility on the agent and they stop trying to help themselves.

I was in my fourth year at ESPN Radio Network and was doing TV for a startup national cable network when I was finally able to land my first agent. My agent was one of the bigger names in the sports radio and TV industry. While he was honest with me that I wasn’t going to be one of his top priorities because he had other higher profile clients, he still promised to provide me with certain assistance. He never made the efforts he promised. It was this disappointing personal experience that influenced the business model for STAA.

When most people get an agent, they incorrectly assume they have arrived, that the agent is the final step to stardom and riches. When they realize that isn’t the case, they are tremendously disappointed. At STAA, we have developed a program that is better than traditional representation because we deliver everything that we promise.

Our guarantee to STAA clients is multi-fold. We promise to:
* Provide resources and guidance to set you apart in the job market.
* Help get your demo and resume in front of employers
* Put you in a position where opportunity can find you
* Provide career planning and consulting
* Save you money
* Provide personal service and be readily accessible to our clients
* Provide you with an Internet presence

The one thing we do not guarantee is employment. However, more than 240 STAA clients have accepted full-time and freelance sports broadcasting opportunities in radio and TV, just since 2007. You can access every last one of their stories from the home page of our website. We provide proof of performance.

On top of all of that, you will invest less money in STAA’s services than most people spend each month on coffee. Our services are priced dramatically under market value. We know how much money sports broadcasters earn. If we were to price our services at market value, most of the people we want to help could not afford it.

It is a misconception that STAA is especially useful to folks looking for their first or second jobs. It seems that way because there are overwhelmingly more small and mid-market jobs than there are NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and major market radio jobs. The highest-level jobs are the toughest to get because they are the fewest, the turnover is minimal and the competition is most talented. Frankly, these are the sportscasters who would benefit as much as any from STAA’s assistance in setting themselves apart.

At STAA, our career assistance model is so rock solid that it provides a tremendous advantage to sports broadcasters at all levels. Our clients range from MLB, NBA and NCAA Division I play-by-play broadcasters, to national sports talk hosts, to sports broadcasters just graduating from college and guys looking to transition into sports broadcasting from another field.

STAA has been designed to be a better alternative to traditional representation and we are delivering in spades.

For anyone still wanting to research traditional agents, I provide you this link to several that have earned reputations for respectability:


Re: Agents

#9 Post by ssteve » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:13 pm

And to clarify my earlier statement, I realize Jon is not a traditional "agent" for members here. My opinion however is the end result can be just the same as having one since he can refer you to someone looking, and obviously provide insight into available jobs. In some regards, it works better than an agent for some of the reasons he mentioned. Again, nothing to gain in my endorsement, just an opinion. I've heard some of the same stories from othes in the biz about having an agent.

Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:14 pm
antispam: No
The middle number please (4738): 4738

Re: Agents

#10 Post by NetworkRadioVeteran » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:54 pm

One needs to consider several things when dealing with an agent, especially younger broadcasters.

First, and foremost, you have to pay your representation. The percentage will vary, however, you will pay them for everything they do for you, regardless of it being getting you a job, a speaking engagement, etc. They charge for the services they provide.

Second, trust is a very key element to the agent/client relationship. The agent, if legit, should sit with you and give you his game plan for helping make your career a success. Additionally, you should be ready for an agent to represent you in all phases of your work. If they are there for you, they should be with you in all that is good and bad.

Third, agents are there to nurture you. If you are working with one who has a lot of experience, you will notice how they coach you through a variety of situations. It isn’t a matter of them controlling you, it is a matter of young people learning how to do things the right way.

Finally, especially for young broadcasters, if you aren’t ready for an agent, use your family lawyer or someone you really trust to help represent you and give you the direction you need. On this point, be real careful of who you choose and make sure they will help positively impact your climb up the broadcasting ladder.

Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:51 pm
The middle number please (4738): 0
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Agents

#11 Post by VLavalle » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:44 am

Echoing Jon's sentiments, I've turned away more opportunities on this website than I've seen legitimate opportunities on others. And we're not talkin' Podunk, Idaho either. Major level stuff. Definitely worth the small change investment, if you ask me.
Alvin Washington Jr
Media Relations
Windy City Groove Professional Basketball

Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:27 pm
antispam: No
The middle number please (4738): 4738

Re: Agents

#12 Post by scgamecocks77 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:29 pm

great topic. good questions. i don't have an agent but wish i did sometimes. really it's a personal choice i feel.

Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:40 am

Re: Agents

#13 Post by greenpress » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:36 am

why does this topic keep getting bumped to the top when there are no responses to it?

Jon Chelesnik
Posts: 16168
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:27 pm

Re: Agents

#14 Post by Jon Chelesnik » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:44 am

It is perhaps the most frequently asked question on the STAA forums so we made it what is called a sticky post -- a post that stays at the top of the thread.

Nick Strong
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:44 pm

Re: Agents

#15 Post by Nick Strong » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:12 pm

I had a chance to take a look at other agent websites recently.

Personally-if you are just beginning. You're looking for the Small town PxP gig or Small Market Sports Reporting spot, STAA is the right spot for ya.

When I take a look at the "Big Time" agent sites, they place Anchors in Top 10 Markets, ESPN, FOX, and Professional Sports.

On the other hand it never hurts to try. Some agents charge you to start, some say give me a commission when you get your check.

True Story-A anchor I met said he let go his agent. He was doing more work than they were. Just by who he knew he was landing Freelance Gigs, but since he had a agent he still had to give them a percentage. He let them go when his contract was up.

So again, its always a choice to make. If you have been doing good on your own, hold out and when you think you are ready for the Bulls or the Raiders, call an agency.

A good thing to do is check the EEO reports for all teams. EEO Reports are usually on the Job opportunities page. That tells you 1. What position was hired, and 2. Where that hire was selected from.

Ex. 1. PxP Announcer

So half the time you will see Anchors and reporters chosen from agencies.

Again thats why it is good to keep a network on STAA like we have been doing. One day when someone gets into a position of management, you will be able to hire someone you know, not just because their your friend, but because you know they can do the job.

No matter what "THEY" (not TNA THEY) say decisions can be made at any time.
Nick Strong
Director of Broadcasting -- Texas Southern University Sports Network
Candidate for Masters in (Sports) Radio & TV Administration

Post Reply