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Re: Agents

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:14 pm
by TJ Carpenter
Hello everyone. This is where I currently am in my career. I'm questioning whether or not I need an agent and whether or not STAA is the right place for me. I had already emailed Jon, who gave me some nice advice (thanks Jon).

I'm already in a job I like and I got here without an agent. But it's not where I want to be forever. I want to do National Sports Talk Radio like I'm sure many people here do. There is a big gap and probably a lot of steps in between. I've been fortunate to have a lot of opportunities and I've been able to take advantage.

It's that next step... the BIG job... it's kind of difficult to know even where to start.

Of course, any advice is welcome.

Thanks,
TJ Carpenter

Re: Agents

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:42 pm
by ktomasch
Can't help you, unfortunately. I got rejected by every agent I sent stuff to (seems like more people do TV news talent than PBPers) except for a crazy guy in California who applied for the Edmonton Oilers' gig on my behalf despite the fact I have one season of IHL experience 18 years ago.

(This will be a "duh" moment for some of you, but) agents like people they feel they can make money off - people who will earn money over the length of the relationship. Unless they see that possibility in you, it doesn't seem to be likely. And when you get to the point in your career where people like me are, it gets less and less likely.

Re: Agents

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:58 am
by Jon Chelesnik
Other red flags are requests for money up front and original contracts longer than three years.

Re: Agents

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:51 am
by AdamDSeidel
I am a very young broadcaster (just out of college) and still well before the point where I'll need a traditional agent, if I ever need one. I therefore won't comment on the need to get a traditional agent.

I will, however, comment on the $125 I gave Jon and STAA for my first year as a member and the creation of my web page. I cannot imagine a better career investment than the membership fee I paid for STAA's help. The advice and consul from Jon is worth the price alone. Getting the word on new job openings with lightning speed has incredible value as well. The additional free resources that dot all over the page are an incredible bonus on top of it all. For any young broadcaster I think STAA membership is a fantastic idea. I can't speak from experience as a higher level broadcaster, but Jon's connections and assistance seem well worth the small fee from my vantage point. I truly believe that Jon believes in what he is doing, enjoys his work assisting his clients careers, and does whatever he can to help his clients.

To give you a quick example: I called Jon sometime in the afternoon on the Thursday before the winter meetings. His voicemail said he was out of the office but would call me back on Friday. It would have been very easy for him to just slide me somewhere late in his Friday schedule; I'm not a terribly exciting, high level client and I ask relatively basic questions.

Jon called me at 9:15 AM the following morning. That's the kind of service this is. It's top notch.

Sorry to sound like an advertisement, but if there are any board lurkers who are on the fence about joining up, I really, truly believe in what Jon can offer at STAA.

Re: Agents

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:41 am
by Jon Chelesnik
Adam, thank you so much. I appreciate your kind comments and am pleased you are happy with our services. Thanks again!

Re: Agents

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:02 pm
by Jon Chelesnik
Many people get starry-eyed by the idea of having an agent. They’ll eagerly pay for the ego boost that comes from saying they have representation, instead of considering what the agent can actually do for them. It’s a fact that some agents exploit this mentality by signing anyone willing to pay hundreds of dollars up front, regardless of ability. It is disheartening to see the exploitation of individuals who clearly lack the necessary skills for even a modest career in sports broadcasting.

Red flag No.1 when choosing an agent is the request for up-front fees. The soonest an agent should request money without having helped you to a new job is if you get a raise or sign a new contract with your current employer. If you have to buy an agent, you don't yet need an agent.

When choosing an agent, don’t allow yourself to be convinced of the agent’s credibility based only upon their client roster. Ask for references from clients that have actually gained employment through the efforts of that agent.

Young broadcasters especially should think twice before signing with an agent. It is tough enough to pay the bills on a salary under two thousand dollars per month. To then have to give away up to 10% in commission every month can be the fast track to big debt and bigger regret. You’ll resent it even more if you got the job on your own, yet are contractually obligated to still pay a monthly commission. These are the reasons STAA doesn’t charge commissions. We want our clients, especially those at the lower end of the earnings scale, to keep 100% of their salary.

Every agent talks a great game but not all can back it up. Don’t allow yourself to be scammed. Be smart, do your homework and protect yourself. There are many good and reputable agents.

I regularly refer sportscasters, both STAA clients and non-clients alike, to traditional agencies. Anyone can always feel free to call me about representation they might be considering.

Re: Agents

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:11 pm
by markheller
Unless an agent personally contacts you, it probably won't happen. Keep doing what you're doing, gain more experience, and network. If you do these things, you'll get some better gigs over time. Take it from a veteran, be patient! If for any reason someone approaches you about representation, never pay them a penny up front. They will get their commission, when they get you work.

Re: Agents

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:52 am
by Tom Boman
I can tell you that is the last 5+ years of hiring talent at Learfield Sports I have dealt with 1 agent TOTAL. That one agent was a family friend of the hire and was just helping with the contract language. I think it's important to have someone you trust look at a contract before you sign it to make sure you agree and understand everything but as far as getting the job in the college world I would say PASS. Keep that 10% in your pocket.

Re: Agents

Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:49 pm
by ktomasch
Well.....good luck with that!

Re: Agents

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:04 pm
by xavier02
Why get an agent when you get the Real Deal with Jon Chelesnik? :wink:

Re: Agents

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:47 pm
by Kelly44
Found this ARTICLE on how Des Moines, Iowa TV broadcaster Chris Hassel got his gig at ESPN and how his new agent played a part. Good stuff.

Key quote from the Agency: We’ve found over time that strong writing is a big indicator for long-term success.”

Re: Agents

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:53 pm
by clayables
Looking for an agent for career improvement. Working for ESPN 3 at Louisville right now, but looking to expand my opportunities. Freshman in college. Please email with names to cables750@gmail.com

Re: Agents

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:14 am
by Jon Chelesnik
SI's Richard Deitsch interviewed a couple of agents on his podcast. Great info about how agents find/choose clients, how agents work on behalf of clients, if you even need an agent, and industry salaries.

A worthwhile listen

Re: Agents

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:45 am
by Jon Chelesnik
This fabulous advice was shared with me by a friend after he signed with an agency:

When people are signing with an agent for the first time, it's imperative to have a MEDIA lawyer look over the work agreement. I had so many changes to my agreement with [my agent]. because some of the stuff they put in there is just absurd. Their lawyer said they were happy I was so diligent. They said most clients just sign the contract and hand it back to them, which can lead to headaches down the road. People need to take the time to have a professional break everything down to them in these agreements, or they could be making a big mistake that will cost them more money down the road.