STAA clients calling games for USA Today
(September 14, 2010) This football season, STAA clients are getting great opportunity to broadcast play-by-play for one of the nation’s largest media outlets. USA Today is streaming one live game each week and posting On-Demand video broadcasts of an additional 10 games each week as part of its Super 25 coverage, and STAA clients are getting a lot of the work.
In the first two weeks of the season, at least nine STAA clients have broadcast games for USA Today. Many of them will continue broadcasting for as long as their local team stays ranked.
“For our younger clients, its great experience. For our more experienced guys, it is an opportunity to broadcast the nation’s best high school football. ,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “Plus the compensation for a single broadcast pays for roughly eight months of STAA services, and several of these guys are going to get to call up the 11 or 12 games depending on how their teams play.”
The USA Today opportunity came to STAA clients when the newspaper contracted with Internet play-by-play powerhouse iBN for talent. IBN turned to STAA.
“We posted the opportunity on our job board, so both STAA clients and non-clients have earned games,” Chelesnik says. “However, when new opportunities come up on a weekly basis, the guys at iBN have used the STAA Talent Search database to locate local talent across the country.”
iBN has been broadcasting Internet play-by-play of various high school sports for several years. They started in Southern California but have expanded regionally and are now growing nationally. STAA has been helping iBN schedule talent since 2008. This summer, iBN partnered with Southern California-based Home Field Sports (www.homefieldsports.com) to help facilitate growth.
“Danny Page from Home Field Sports has been an acquaintance of mine for several years and his business partner, Ryan Miller, is someone I have come to know more recently,” Chelesnik says. “They have a terrific understanding of and track record for marketing and executing high school play-by-play on the Internet.”
STAA clients who have already called games this season for USA Today’s Top 25 are Eric Andersson (Phoneix, AZ), Anthony Bellino (Monroe, MI), Josh Caray (Atlanta, GA), Michael Carotenuto (Phoenix, AZ), Mark Heller (Orange County, CA), Milan Jordan (Columbus, OH), John Herrick (Greenwood, IN) Tim Shovers (Washington, DC) and Derrick Palmer (Tucson, AZ). STAA client Tim Slack (Dublin, CA) also broadcasts games for iBN.
iBN isn’t the only high school play-by-play Internet outlet for which STAA clients are working this fall. Through STAA, Lance Cartelli (Irvine, CA) and Kyle Glaser (San Diego) have gained employment with San Diego based kbcsports.com.
Tully leaps 157 markets to Fox 23 Tulsa
(September 1, 2010) James Tully didn’t anticipate the next step in his career being such a big one. However, after less than two years at WHSV TV3 in Winchester, VA, Tully is moving to Tulsa, OK.
Tully’s new job as a general assignment and fill-in sports reporter at KOKI Fox 23 is a jump in market size from 222 to 65. Even Tully himself is surprised.
“There were a couple other [opportunities] that were between the 120-150 market range which is kind of where I saw myself being,” Tully says.
Tully will continue at WHSV until early December. His first day on the air in Tulsa is December 13th.
Besides the jump in market size, Tully is encouraged by several other factors at Fox 23.
“It’s a station that is going high definition in January – that’s a great sign that the economy is improving, and that the corporations that run these stations are comfortable spending money again,” Tully says. “At KOKI they are getting a brand new set, a brand new virtual set, and they’ll have four or five different angles from which they can shoot the set.
“I’m really going to enjoying working HD. I’ll have to wear more makeup but I’m looking forward to it.”
Tully did not initiate the relationship with Fox 23. Instead, the station approached him. News Director Todd Spessard found Tully online, loved what he saw, then contacted STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik for more information.
“Todd presented the job description in great detail and wanted an idea of what James’ degree of interest might be,” says Chelesnik. “I had a good idea following that conversation that James would be offered an interview.”
“Ultimately what made me feel really good was they came after me,” Tully says.
Over the next six weeks, Tully flew to Tulsa to interview and shared many conversations with Chelesnik evaluating the opportunity.
“It [STAA’s career planning and consulting] is terrific! It’s one of those things where I don’t pay [Chelesnik] like an agent but he is there for me like an agent. He is always available for advice and he always makes things easy to understand — kind of like Colin Cowherd,” Tully chuckles. “It’s a great consultation.”
Tully also appreciates the convenience of his STAA Talent Page.
“I constantly update my Talent Page, at least every quarter. You always have that tool in your back pocket. You never know who you are going to meet and its nice to have the Talent Page to market yourself.
“I am 150% sure Fox 23 is a good career advancement move. You look for the sure thing and that’s what this is.”
Baseball experience helps Foley score ECHL hockey job
(August 27, 2010) David Foley knew he needed media relations experience to open doors in minor league play-by-play. He got it this summer with baseball’s Lakewood BlueClaws. Now Foley has parlayed the experience into a minor league hockey job. An STAA client, Foley has been hired by the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL as a broadcasting and media relations assistant.
Foley will work underneath Gladiators Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations Dustin Bixby. In addition to his media relations chores, Foley will broadcast play-by-play for all Gladiators road games and provide color for home contests. Even better, the position, which was originally an unpaid job, is now a paid position.
“The media relations I picked up this summer is probably the reason I got [the Gwinnett] job,” Foley says. “Working under [Media & Public Relations Manager] Greg [Giobmarrese] with the BlueClaws has been vital. I’ve learned so much; I couldn’t even begin to elaborate on it. Without this experience in Lakewood I don’t think I would have got the position with the Gladiators.
“It’s a step into hockey, which is big for me,” Foley says. “Baseball is a blast too but my long term goal is hockey so to get an opportunity like this, especially in the ECHL, is a fantastic opportunity.”
Foley is a 2008 graduate of the University of Southern California, where he broadcast Trojans hockey for three seasons. He is looking forward to traveling throughout the ECHL.
“One thing I always enjoyed at USC was traveling with the team and getting to know some of the guys. However, just getting more experience under my belt [with the Gladiators] is really what this is all about.”
Foley will complete the baseball season with Lakewood before starting with Gwinnett October 1st. “I really appreciated the fact that Dustin let me stay in Lakewood to finish the season. That was very important to me,” Foley says.
Chapman lands show on Fox Sports 1230 Toledo
(August 25, 2010) Brian Chapman is transitioning from play-by-play career to sports talk radio. An STAA client, Chapman has been hired by Fox Sports 1230 WCWA in Toledo, OH. He is hosting B Chap Sports, weekdays from 3-5 pm.
A minor league baseball broadcaster with the Class-A Daytona Cubs in 2008, Chapman is hosting a sports radio show for the first time since he graduated from Penn State University in 2007. At PSU, he hosted sports talk and magazine style news shows on ComRadio, Penn State’s student-run, web-based radio station. As a senior in 2007, Chapman finished fourth in the Hearst Journalism national awards program.
A native of Bloomfield Hills, MI, Chapman is a former intern at sports radio 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit. He has spent the past year working in the private, non-broadcast sector.
Lancello excited for new job in Joplin
(August 18, 2010) Joe Lancello is confident his new job will bring out the best in him. An STAA client, Lancello is joining News Talk KZRG 102.9 FM/1310 AM in Joplin, MO as a news and sports broadcaster.
Lancello moves to The Show Me State after seven years at WHSM-AM/FM in Hayward, WI.
“It’s a beautiful modern facility, run by professionals,” Lancello says. “Besides being a bigger market, I think the jump in standards will serve as a kick up my backside to raise my game.”
A 20-year broadcasting veteran, Lancello’s suitcase has several stickers, including stops in Nashville, TN, Birmingham and Huntsville, AL, and several stations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He brings a variety of experience to KZRG, having worked as a Program Director, News Director and Sports Director. Lancello has also handled news and sports anchoring and reporting and play-by-play.
Working with the state of the art facilities in Joplin is something that has Lancello especially excited.
“I’m looking forward to exploring a new city and learning new computer-related things…and forgetting about audio carts!
Application process moves quickly for Willenbring
(August 13, 2010) The job application process doesn’t usually move as quickly as it did for Thomas Willenbring. An STAA client, Willenbring has been hired as News and Sports Director at WHSM 910 AM/101.1 FM in Hayward, WI.
The process moved exceptionally fast once Willenbring found out about the job. “It was 11:30 am Central time and in the span of about five minutes, I was able to send my STAA Talent page along with a newscast,” Willenbring says. “45 minutes later, I get the call from the Vice President of Red Rock Radio, Don Welch. He oversees the Hayward stations. We had a real nice chat and in the end, he asked me to drive up there for an interview. This was on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. By Monday the 9th, I was in Hayward sealing the deal.”
Several factors make the opportunity attractive to Willenbring. “In addition to having some family in the region, I was extremely impressed with the area in general. The scenery, the town, and the people — it was all impressive. The people at the station really came across well. Very laid back atmosphere. But if there was one thing that jumped out at me the most, it was the fact that there will be ample play-by-play opportunities there.
Willenbring credits STAA’s services with helping him land his new gig. “STAA played a huge role in getting the job,” he says. “Through one link, Mr. Welch was able to see my resume as well as proof of my play-by-play abilities. I also was aided in the fact that a fellow STAA member was leaving that post.”
Willenbring’s predecessor was Joe Lancello, who spent seven years at WHSM before leaving for another opportunity. “I look forward to continuing the tradition and example he set at WHSM,” says Willenbring.
A graduate of the Broadcast Center in St. Louis, MO, Willenbring moves to Hayward from WCMY 1430 in Ottawa, IL.
“After one full season of football and basketball play by play [at WCMY], I wanted to continue growing those skills, and this situation just made all the sense in the world for me.”
Tony Desiere takes long road to Denver
(August 6, 2010) Tony Desiere took a most indirect route from Colorado Springs to Denver, but he has ended up exactly where he wanted to be. An STAA client, Desiere is hosting a morning show on Denver’s new sports station, The Ticket.
Desiere is hosting 5:00 to 7:00 am, warming up the station’s big show of Gary Miller and Vic Lombardi. Desiere is also covering the Broncos as a reporter.
“It’s good to be back in Colorado,” Desiere says. I am able to cover and talk about the teams with which I am most familiar.”
A talk show host for five years at ESPN 1300 in Colorado Springs, Desiere’s road to Denver was not a short one by any measure. He left Colorado Springs in 2009 when the station dropped its sports programming. He quickly caught on at a startup sports station in Charleston, SC but was there less than a year before the station was forced into sweeping layoffs. Desiere returned to the Mile High state and within months was brought on board at The TIcket.
“I wanted to thank [STAA] for all the time you spent with me as I went through this difficult process,” Desiere says. “Being laid-off can have you questioning your goals and your ability at times and it was great to have [STAA] in my corner.”
Desiere is not new to the Denver market. He was Sports Director at KNRC from 2002 – 2004. In addition to his full-time work, he has spent the past seven years as a freelance sports anchor for The Sports Flash Radio Network.
Kent Brown doesn’t have to look far for next job
(August 4, 2010) Kent Brown didn’t have to look far for his next job. An STAA client, Brown is joining KMZE 92.1 FM in Woodward, OK as a play-by-play broadcaster and news and sports anchor and reporter.
Brown moves to Woodward from Guymon, OK, just two hours away. Brown spent last the last football and basketball campaigns in a seasonal position in Guymon.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to announcing sports,” Brown says. “I have a good background in Oklahoma sports working in Guymon. I know Oklahoma pretty well now. It is another year of experience I will have in high school sports. The fact I will also be doing sports updates and coaches shows makes it a very good situation. Plus, [station owner] Doug Williams has been there for decades and is trusted in the area.”
For the second time since joining STAA out of the University of Miami, opportunity found Brown. When the job in Woodward opened, station Program Director Mike Pilosof, a fellow STAA client, referred to the Talent Search on the STAA website for candidates. He found Brown.
“STAA helps a lot,” Brown says. “The Guymon and the Woodward employers both got in contact with me after getting in contact with STAA. Without STAA I probably wouldn’t have received a call from Guymon or Woodward. [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik is also always very quick to get back to me.”
His new job in Woodward might also provide Brown with some TV opportunities.
“They have two different radio stations and a TV station. I’ll be working with all of those. There is a nice network in place with K101.”
New gameplan lands Johnson NCAA play-by-play job
(August 2, 2010) Bryant Johnson has worked hard to move from small market high school play-by-play to NCAA collegiate broadcasts. His opportunity has arrived. An STAA client, Johnson has been hired as the voice at NCAA Division II Adams State College in Alamosa, CO.
Play-by-play for Grizzlies football, basketball and volleyball is part of Johnson’s new job as Sports Director at 100,000-watt KSPK 102.1 FM.
“This is a great opportunity to climb the ladder,” Johnson says. “To go from 85 broadcasts a year doing high school and community college games to the rigors of D II – the bus rides and travel to different cities, to interacting with sports information directors, to updating radio and TV affiliates, to making sure everyone connected with the program is fulfilled an satisfied — its an entire new ballgame in that sense.”
Johnson moves to Alamosa after three years as Sports Director at KWLE in Anacortes, WA.
“There is no way this position would have become available to me without the last two years at KWLE,” Johnson says. “The opportunity to broadcast 85 games per year allowed me to have year around experience in play-by-play. I am grateful for my time there.”
The hiring process in Alamosa was not a quick one.
“There’s a reason this was a two month process,” Johnson says. “A lot of people were part of this decision. This is a little new to me and I enjoyed it.”
Johnson, who had once canceled his STAA services, credits STAA with helping distinguish himself throughout the process.
“When we (Johnson and STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik) talked in May after I had canceled my prior STAA account, one of the things Jon said was ‘welcome back, but here is what you need to do different this time.’ What saved me here were the day-to-day conversations with Jon and his accessibility. Jon gave me a specific 10-point plan in how to respond to the situation and – what do you know — it works! It was a matter of trusting that Jon was going to give me the best advice possible and that is how it worked out. Even if I hadn’t got the job, the employer liked what I did. Jon’s suggestions were among the reasons they said they hired me.”
“Bryant’s first time as an STAA client, he simply relied only on employers finding his Talent Page to try to get his next job,” says Chelesnik. “This time around, he took full advantage of the career planning and consulting that is part of STAA’s service.”
Among the traits the folks at Adams State and KSPK like in Johnson are his excitement, creativity and wit. For his part, Johnson is thrilled for the move to Alamosa.
“Its one of those one stop shop towns where sports is all that matters. I love that.”
Dave Nathan new voice of Tar Heels women’s basketball
(July 29, 2010) Collegiate play-by-play has long been Dave Nathan’s goal. Now, his first opportunity is coming with one of the premier programs in college sports. An STAA client, Nathan has been hired by Tar Heel Sports Properties as the new radio play-by-play broadcaster for the University of North Carolina women’s basketball program.
Nathan will also host Tar Heels football pre and post game shows, and the pregame show for Roy Williams’ men’s basketball program. He replaces fellow STAA client Brad Heller, who has moved to New York.
“It’s been my lifelong dream to be a play-by-play announcer at the college level,” Nathan says. “To be able to do it in my home state for a program I’ve followed my entire life – I don’t feel like it could have worked out much better. I’m just really blessed to have a chance to do it so close to home.”
Nathan lives in Raleigh, NC.
The UNC women’s basketball program is one of the nation’s elite. Under Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell, the Tar Heels have won a national championship and eight ACC titles, compiled six 30-win seasons and claimed five ACC Player of the Year and five ACC Rookie of the Year honors. Nathan is looking forward to working closely with Hatchell, Williams and Tar Heels football coach Butch Davis.
“It’ll be nice,” Nathan says. “It’s been a year since I’ve actually covered [the Tar Heels] on a day-to-day basis. There’s a lot to be excited about this season for football, and the men’s basketball program is only a year removed from the national championship. It’ll be fun to be part of the ride and to be around two guys are who are pretty well respected in the business.”
Tar Heels athletics are a property of Learfield Sports. Learfield asked Sportscasters Talent Agency of America to assist with the hiring process.
“Together with [Learfield Sports Broadcast Manager] Tom Boman, we compiled a list of candidates based upon a specific list of criteria,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “I am very pleased for Dave that he has earned this opportunity. He and the university are a great fit.”
Nathan has spent the past year in a variety of studio roles with ISP, including hosting Duke University football and basketball shows, and serving as studio host for the University of South Carolina and UNLV Radio Networks. He has more than seven years play-by-play experience.
“STAA has been a wealth a knowledge and info along the way,” says Nathan. “I appreciate the service very much.”
Nathan’s prior experience also includes serving as host for both The National College Basketball Show with Dave Odom and The National College Football Show with Jim Donnan. He also has hosted talk shows with well-known college coaches Tommy Bowden, Dennis Franchione, Terry Donahue and Glen Mason, in addition to covering University of Tennessee football and basketball programs. During his career, Nathan has been heard on numerous radio stations overseen by Capitol Broadcasting, Citadel Broadcasting, ESPN and Horne Radio Network. UNC fans now can hear Nathan on one of the more than 50 radio stations within the Tar Heel Sports Network. Fans living in Raleigh may recall hearing Nathan in 2007-2008 as an ACC reporter for WCMC 99.9 FM covering UNC, Duke and N.C. State football and basketball programs.
“We’re elated to bring a professional like Dave Nathan to our broadcast team,” said Gary Sobba, Tar Heel Sports Properties General Manager. “There’s no question he will be a delightful addition calling our women’s basketball and hosting our various shows. We are lucky to have him and know the Tar Heels’ fans will enjoy his work.”
Caray creates his own opportunity at Birmingham Southern
(July 27, 2010) Instead of waiting for opportunity, Josh Caray created it. An STAA client, Caray will broadcast football play-by-play this fall for Birmingham Southern College.
The Panthers are an NCAA Division III school. They play in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Being proactive in his search for a college football play-by-play job paid off for Caray.
“I took [STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik’s] advice,” says Caray, a resident of Atlanta. “I sent my demo and resume to a bunch of schools throughout the Southeast – a bunch of Division II, Division III and NAIA schools. I got a few responses. Birmingham Southern was a good fit for me. It is just two hours from my home.
“Joe Dean Jr, the AD, is really a good guy and is excited about having his games broadcast on some sort of media, so it seemed like a good fit from the beginning.”
The Panthers football broadcasts will air on the Internet.
STAA’s Chelesnik says Caray’s ambition is a good example for everyone.
“I talk to guys weekly, even 20 year veterans, who think they are going to go from high school play-by-play to Division I but it just doesn’t work that way,” says Chelesnik. “Josh understands that, before he gets a D-I job, he first needs experience at college football’s lower levels. He has aggressively created that opportunity for himself.”
Caray has considerable play-by-play experience in baseball, but college football is something he has also always wanted to do.
“I love football. I think anyone who grows up in the South can’t help but fall in love with football at some point. My two big sports are baseball and football. In order to make a career in any sport, you have to get experience with it.
“Hopefully this leads to something bigger. I would hope to get a D-I college or even a pro job someday, but you have to start somewhere and Birmingham Southern is a great place to start.”
Luck helps land Bruey at ABC TV in Orlando
(July 22, 2010) In the three years since graduating college, Christian Bruey has always planned on a radio play-by-play career. The plan, though, has suddenly changed now that television has come calling. An STAA client, Bruey has been hired as a sports reporter and anchor by WFTV-Ch. 9, the ABC affiliate in Orlando.
The circumstances by which Bruey earned the opportunity are truly unique.
One afternoon last month, the phone rang in the offices of STAA. It was WFTV News Directory Bob Jordan. Jordan had been randomly channel surfing when he stumbled across Bruey hosting a Daytona Cubs baseball show on local cable access TV. Bruey has been the Cubs Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the past two years. Jordan was immediately impressed. A quick Internet search by Jones led him to Bruey’s STAA Talent Page, so Jones called STAA for more information.
“I’ve been in television a long time and this guy is a natural.” Jordan told STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. Jordan then asked if Chelesnik thought Bruey might be interested in moving to TV.
“It was always something that was in the back of my mind but not really,” Bruey says. “I was enjoying what I was doing in baseball but this opportunity came up and it was too good to pass up.”
Among the sports Bruey will cover in Orlando are the Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays and Buccaneers, high school football, and the football program at his alma mater, The University of Florida. Also exciting is the fact that Bruey’s parents, Julie and Lee Bruey, will be able to watch their son, thanks to a satellite TV package they have already installed at their home in Keystone Heights, roughly 140 miles from Orlando.
Another perk of the Orlando deal is that Bruey will be able to continue doing freelance radio play-by-play during his personal time.
Bruey will finish the season with the Cubs before leaving. However, the team is not accepting applications for Bruey’s replacement, at least for now. They already have some preliminary ideas about the direction in which they will proceed.
STAA’s Chelesnik believes Bruey’s story illustrates a critical point for all broadcasters. “Always give 100% every time you are on the air because you never know who is listening.”
As much as Bruey valued his time in Daytona, he is excited for the possibilities in Orlando.
“The decision [to accept the job] was almost a no-brainer.”
Networking lands Holland full-time Class-A job
(July 20, 2010) Opportunity is unpredictable. Just ask STAA client Bryan Holland. Holland, who has been spending the summer broadcasting baseball play-by-play for the Outer Banks (NC) Daredevils summer collegiate team, will finish the season with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns.
Holland has accepted the full-time position of Director of Broadcasting and Play-by-Play for the Washington Nationals South Atlantic League affiliate. He will also assist in sales. He starts July 28th. Holland replaces Ryan Mock, who is returning to school.
"I’ve had a great time with the Suns, and I can’t thank the staff and community enough for making me feel comfortable in Hagerstown the last four seasons," Mock says. "I am confident Bryan will step in and continue to help the team and further the relationships the Suns have developed in the community. The time I spent as the broadcaster for the Hagerstown Suns will be looked back upon fondly, and I’m glad the Suns have found a broadcaster of Bryan’s caliber to take the reigns when I leave."
The Daredevils will use internal personnel to broadcast the final three games of the season that Holland will miss.
“There is a lot of excitement within the Nationals organization,” Holland says. “You have the Strasburg mania and another potential No. 1 pick [on the way]. It’s just a privilege to stay close to my hometown south of Baltimore and make a living. I also have great respect for affiliated professional baseball.”
A 2009 graduate of Elon University, Holland has also worked in minor league baseball with the Aberdeen Ironbirds and the Frederick Keys. He learned of the Hagerstown opening through a college connection at Elon. Within a day of speaking to the Suns new principal owner Bruce Quinn on the phone, Holland drove overnight from Outer Banks to Hagerstown to interview. He delivered his demo and resume to Quinn by emailing the link to his STAA Talent Page.
“As always, STAA was instrumental in providing the Suns with quick access to my demo tapes and online resume,” Holland says.
Holland appreciates the help he has received from others as he builds his career.
“I wouldn’t even be here without my current General Manager Owen Hassell, my former boss in Aberdeen Steve Lenox, Adam Pohl and (fellow STAA client) Mike Demos. Those guys showed me how to do it the right way.
“I anticipate 2011 will be a banner year for the Suns.”
Randazzo named studio host for UNLV-ISP Radio Network
(July 13, 2010) Wayne Randazzo has heard good things about ISP Sports over the years from several different sources. Now he is joining the ISP team. An STAA client, Randazzo has been hired as college football and basketball game day studio host and producer for the University of Nevada Las Vegas-ISP Radio Network.
“I have always heard good things about ISP, that it is good to get your foot in the door and about them promoting from within,” Randazzo says. “Adding to my studio hosting experience is also very beneficial to me.”
The radio play-by-play voice of the Mobile Bay Bears Class-AA minor league baseball team, Randazzo has anchored sportscasts on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago and on the Illinois Radio Network.
Randazzo originally found the ISP opportunity on the STAA job forum. He submitted links to his STAA Talent Page and to his personal website. He also benefited from friends within the industry with contacts at ISP who put in a good word for him.
McKay welcomed to new job with open arms
(July 9, 2010) Eric McKay believed he had found a wonderful job opportunity in Norfolk, NE. The way he and his family were treated on their visit to Norfolk confirmed his intuition. An STAA client, McKay has been hired as News Associate/Sports Director at 94Rock and US92 radio.
McKay first interviewed for the job in a pair of telephone interviews. He was then invited to Norfolk for an in-person interview and was encouraged to bring his wife Libby and two year old son, Dante. “They showed my wife and son around town. My wife really enjoyed that. They really made us feel like they wanted us out there, which is a fun feeling.”
McKay and his family move to Norfolk from Ft. Dodge, Iowa, located just four hours away. In Norfolk, McKay will be a news and sports anchor and reporter, as well and handling play-by-play for local college and high school athletics. McKay will also do some television news and sports reporting as part of an affiliate relationship the radio stations have with a local TV channel.
“It’s a very exciting part of the job,” McKay says.
McKay believes he wouldn’t have attained the job without STAA.
“This is a job I probably wouldn’t have even known existed without the STAA website. They even mentioned in the interview that my STAA Talent Page was a great asset for them to have, to go to and listen to the demos as readily as they could. Having [the audio] there on the website was very handy. They specially mentioned the Talent Page itself. If it wasn’t for STAA, I probably wouldn’t have found out about the job and wouldn’t have got the job.”
McKay is also quick to credit his wife, Libby.
“She’s been a very good radio wife. She loves the town of Norfolk as well. That helps a lot knowing this is a community where my family is going to hit the ground running — for my career and socially as well.”
Straw joins Sports Radio 610 KILT Houston
(July 5, 2010) It is said that everything is bigger in Texas, including opportunities. Brien Straw has earned at outstanding opportunity in the Lone Star State. An STAA client, Straw has been hired as a sports talk host at Sports Radio 610 KILT Houston.
“To be able to work in the No. 6 market in America is probably the biggest thing [I am looking forward to],” Straw says. “There is tremendous opportunity in Houston, not only because it is the sports town that it is, but also because I’m working with great people at CBS Radio.”
Straw is no stranger to the South. He is the former host of a regionally syndicated show based in Atlanta, and has worked at WNSP in Mobile and WJOX in Birmingham. At KILT, Straw will be hosting regular weekend shows and filling-in on other shows as needed. He is the second STAA client to join KILT in the past nine months, following mid-morning host Josh Innes.
Straw says the game plan STAA helped him develop for the job market played an important role in landing his new gig.
“How I marketed myself and how I presented myself to [KILT] I think separated myself,” Straw says.
He adds that networking also plays a critical role in the job market. “Network, network. I think a failing I had that caused me frustration was in not constantly being out there – being content in my current position,” Straw says. “You’ve got to be out there making your name known and talking and communicating with everyone you can at all times.”
Andy Furman to host on Fox Sports Radio Network
(July 1, 2010) Andy Furman was right. That one-shot opportunity subbing for Fox Sports Radio’s morning host Steven A. Smith on May 26 has landed Andy more national network exposure. Furman, an STAA client, goes national again this weekend, co-hosting “Fox Sports Saturday” July 3rd from noon-4 p.m. from Clear Channel’s WSAI-AM (1360).
Furman, heard 5-7 p.m. weekdays on “Real Talk” WQRT-AM (1160), will co-host with Sean Farnham, a Los Angeles-based Fox Sports reporter. They’re subbing for Dan Moriarty and Derrick Deese this holiday weekend, but could be back again. Furman says: “I believe this might be a regular slot (for me), but don’t really know at this time.”
Their Saturday guests include Rob Dibble, the former Reds pitcher now working as a Washington Nationals analyst, to talk about rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg pitching against the Mets Saturday; World Cup reporter Bobby McMahon; and NBA commentator Rick Kamla about NBA free agency.
Josh Innes to host Jim Rome Show
(June 29, 2010) Less than one year ago, Josh Innes was working in Baton Rouge, LA. Next week, the 24-year-old Innes will be filling in on the nationally syndicated Jim Rome Show.
Noted for his creativity, wit and outstanding use of production elements, Innes, an STAA client, will be hosting the Rome Show on Friday, July 9th. The three hour show begins at Noon EDT.
The past twelve months have been a whirlwind for Innes. In September, he joined KILT in Houston after five years at The Score 1210 in his hometown of Baton Rouge where he was hosting Afternoon Drive. At KILT, Innes is a morning-show sports update anchor and co-host.
The fact that Innes’ radio skills are so unusually polished for someone so young is due in part to the fact that Innes was raised in radio. His father Scott Innes is an award winning radio DJ and voice actor.
“Josh is the typical coaches son,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “Coaches sons are always far ahead of their peers in their development and they love to hang around the field. That’s Josh.”
Innes recently described his hosting philosophy to the Houston Chronicle. “I like to be entertaining,” Innes said. “I’m not much for breaking down games, although there are days you have to do. What I hope to offer are different types of entertaining segments that aren’t based on me saying that the coach should have done this or should have done that.”
Accessibility pays off for Cox
(June 22, 2010) Chris Cox made a concerted effort to put himself in front of an employer and it paid off. An STAA client, Cox has been hired as Sports Director at KGAS Radio in Carthage, TX. Carthage is just 45 minutes from Cox’s home Shreveport, LA.
In addition to basketball and baseball play-by-play, Cox will be hosting football pregame shows, weekly coaches shows, newscasts and other various programming.
“I found out about the job through an email from STAA,” Cox says. “I sent my Talent Page and went out there [to Carthage] three or four times. I think management was impressed by the effort I made to drive out there at three or four in the morning.
“I never would have found out about it if it wasn’t for my membership with STAA.”
Besides allowing Cox to introduce himself to the folks at KGAS, the proximity of Carthage to Shreveport will allow Cox to continue his role with the local minor league hockey team.
“I’m a color guy for the minor league hockey team in Shreveport (the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs) and I’ll be able to continue doing that except on Friday nights.”
In addition to his work with the Mudbugs, Cox has also interned with the Shreveport Captains and gained valuable broadcasting experience while a student at Bossier Parish Community College.
“For all the mike time I am going to get, this is just such a great first gig.”
Kolsky lands national radio show
(June 17, 2010) Matt Kolsky spent a year working mostly behind the scenes at Sports Byline USA Radio Network. Now, just seven months later, Kolsky has returned as the host of his own show. An STAA client, Kolsky is the new host of the weekend edition of Sports Overnight America on Saturday and Sunday nights from 10 pm – 2 am PDT.
Sports Byline has over 200 affiliates around the United States and overseas. Its distribution network includes the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Armed Forces Network, CRN Digital Radio and Sirius XM Radio.
“It’s a chance for me to build a show, which I have always wanted to do,” Kolsky says.
Kolsky relocates to San Francisco from Bakersfield, CA where he spent the past seven months as PR and Media Relations Director for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League. He also served as a fill-in sports talk host on ESPN Radio 1230 and has co-hosted shows on WSBC in Chicago.
At Sports Byline, Kolsky’s plan is for a calling-driven show. His challenge is building an audience for the time slot after a series of hosts filled the position over the past several months.
“Right now [the goal is] trying to get the listenership up and get the listeners involved. I want it to be more of what I think sports talk radio should be, having people call in and debate with me. I want to convince them I am right and sometimes have them convince me they are right.”
Kolsky is working closely with Chris Townsend, who hosts the time slot Monday thru Friday, to grow both shows.
“I’m looking forward to getting in the groove of hosting shows regularly,” Kolsky says.
Cox on board with Rafters
(June 11, 2010) First pitches for summer baseball leagues across the country were rapidly approaching and JW Cox had not secured the desired summer baseball position. He was getting desperate. Cox tossed out a round of cold emails in a bottom of the ninth effort that paid off with a victory. Cox has been named Play-by-play Broadcaster for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.
The Rafters play in the Northwoods League.
Cox is broadcasting all 70 Rafters games on WFHR with a video simulcast on Northwoods TV. Cox will handle standard media relations duties – game recaps, press releases, and game day features. Other responsibilities will include website maintenance, and acting as the team’s traveling secretary.
"On the road I’ll be in charge of making sure the coaching staff and bus line have the itinerary information, meal times and hotel reservations etc. And of course as with any operation at this level, I help out the rest of the staff as needed."
Cox is most eager to see how he fares working on a grueling broadcast schedule.
"The team plays a 70 game schedule and I’ll be on air for all 70. Plus the games take place over a span of 76 days so it will be a trial by fire to see how I can hold up against the rigors of a long season on air each night."
The opportunity to broadcast for the Rafters came after Cox sent out a batch of emails seeking last minute openings in the Northwoods League. It wasn’t long after the first response before the West Coast native was packing for Wisconsin.
"[Rafters General Manager] Liz Kern responded to my email on a Wednesday night, we talked Thursday morning and by Thursday night she offered me the position. One of my former employers works in the league now so Liz talked with him to get the low down on me, how I work and whether or not it would be a good fit. I arrived in Wisconsin Rapids by the end of the next week and jumped on the air less than two weeks after first finding out about the position."
A frustrating job search has ended well for Cox, who credits STAA in helping keep the hunt on target.
"STAA kept me in the game as far as the job search goes. While none of the positions I applied for through STAA turned out for me, the process allowed me to adjust how I applied for each job. STAA put me in a position to be successful down the line in what is a continuing job search in this business."
Sacrifices pay off for Allen Faul
(May 24, 2010) STAA client Allen Faul sacrificed considerably during college to be prepared for a career upon graduation. The sacrifice has paid off. Less than two weeks after accepting his diploma from the University of Alabama, Faul is joining New Media Broadcasters in Havre, MT as a broadcaster and play-by-play announcer.
“It’s a very relieving feeling to know that all the sacrifices and the money spent to move to California to intern at Fox Sports Radio last summer, not being able to go out on weekends, taking away from traditional college lifestyle, all those sacrifices have paid off,” Faul says.
Faul is the second STAA to join New Media Broadcasters’ Havre cluster in the past three months. Jim McCabe moved to Havre from Pennsylvania in February. Faul calls it a perfect opportunity.
“It has so many intangibles. The cost of living is low, there is no state sales tax and the company has a great reputation throughout the state. I’m so excited to get up there and get working.”
Faul tips his hat to STAA for its assistance.
“I really appreciate [STAA] being there, Faul says. “The job hunt can get really stressful. I was thinking I should take a producer job. But [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik told me ‘you are a play-by-play guy. Keep your eyes on the prize.’ Jon kept me focused to not jump at the first thing but to jump at the first right thing. I also appreciate [STAA] making a call for me and getting me in front of [New Media Broadcasting’s] Geoff Cole.
“[STAA is] as much a part of this over the past four years as anyone. You are one of the biggest supporters for me ever since I found the website.”
Faul’s advice to others in the sportscasting job market is to be aggressive.
“If you want it, you have to go out there and get it. Be vocal about it. Tell them that you are interested. That definitely made a huge difference.”
Cartelli gets last minute job with Flyers
(May 18, 2010) When Lance Cartelli joined STAA in April, he assumed it was too late to find a minor league baseball play-by-play opportunity for this summer. Two weeks ago, though, his phone rang. Less than a week later, Cartelli started his new job as a broadcasting and media relations assistant with the Orange County (CA) Flyers of the Independent Golden Baseball League.
Cartelli will work alongside fellow STAA client Josh Feldman, the Flyers Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.
“I’m excited to get started — to be able to work for an organization and to work with someone who has experience and to learn from them,” Cartelli says.
Cartelli began broadcasting baseball just this spring. He put together the first ever Internet baseball broadcast package for his alma mater, Cal State University San Marcos, a NAIA program in north San Diego County. He is also a student in the sports broadcasting class taught at San Diego’s Palomar College by STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. Cartelli credits STAA for arranging the job with the Flyers.
The opportunity came when Feldman called STAA seeking recommendations for an assistant
In addition to learning minor league baseball media relations and honing his broadcasting skills, Cartelli is excited to work for a team featuring several ex-big leaguers, including Byung- Hyun Kim, Damian Jackson and Scott Spezio. Flyers Manager Paul Abbot is another former major leaguer.
“It was all through STAA,” Cartelli says. “That was the main reason I got it.”
Surprise opportunity lands Cox with Mudcats
(May 14, 2010) Aaron Cox has achieved his goal to be broadcasting baseball this summer. An STAA client, Cox is the new play-by-play broadcaster for the Chillicothe (MO) Mudcats of the MINK League, a summer collegiate league in the Midwest.
“They take it real serious up there [in Chillicothe],” Cox says. “They do all the games, home and road. It will be nice to travel with the team and kind of be really embedded with the team and getting to learn that aspect of how this is all done.”
Cox was starting to resign himself to fact that he wouldn’t be broadcasting baseball this summer when the Mudcats opportunity arose following a call to STAA.
“STAA tipped me off to it. It was a job that wasn’t posted.”
Cox called Dan Leatherman, General Manager at the radio home of the Mudcats, KCHI-AM. The initial phone call turned into an informal interview. Leatherman then reviewed Cox’s demo and resume, called Cox’s references and offered him the job.
Cox says the process moved quickly. “When [Leatherman] called me back he said “do you want to come to town?’ I said, “for an interview?’ He said, ‘No, for the job.’” Cox admits the offer took him by surprise. “When you’ve been rejected a few times [in the job market] its kind of nice to hear that you got the job.”
This is the third consecutive year that STAA has helped the Mudcats fill their position. Cox follows fellow STAA client Blake Cripps (2008) and Jordan Carruth (2009), a former student in the sports broadcasting class taught by STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik in San Diego. Both of Cox’s immediate predecessors have excelled following their experience in Chillicothe. Cripps is a sportscaster at KUTT in Fairbury, NE. Carruth is the sports update anchor on the San Diego Padres post-game show, a producer and talk show host at XX Sports Radio in San Diego. Cox plans on maximizing the Chillicothe opportunity the same was as his predecessors.
“It will be a good opportunity for me to hone my skills and add some more clips to my resume,” Cox says. “There are 40 games, pre and post game shows, a weekly coaches show, and an audio recap that airs on the station and the station’s website the next day.
“STAA has been a huge help as far as not feeling I’m in the market place alone. I went to a prestigious journalism school at the University of Missouri, but there isn’t a lot of guidance for how to go about pursuing a career. I was out in the market by myself for a year or so. Running into STAA finally gave me some guidance. You see all the jobs that are out there and how to present your demo and resume. I must say when I present my Talent Page to employers, they have told me it is impressive. Sometimes, like for this job, you find out about things that aren’t even listed on the STAA job board.”
Vetrano joins Mountaineers
(May 12, 2010) Carmine Vetrano is trading the chill of the ice rink for summer sun at a baseball diamond. Vetrano, an STAA client, has been named Director of Broadcasting for the Vermont Mountaineers. The Mountaineers play in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL).
Vetrano will broadcast all 41-game regular season, plus playoffs. The games will air locally on WSKI ESPN 1240 with an Internet simulcast. On the front office side, Vetrano will be distributing press releases and game stories.
Vetrano originally applied for the job through a friend who was one of the broadcasters for the Mountaineers at the time. When another candidate backed out, the Mountaineers called Vetrano.
"I am really excited to get this opportunity to showcase my baseball broadcasting skills to not only the Mountaineers, but the town of Montpelier as well," Vetrano says.
The chance for playoff action seems good. The Mountaineers won the West Division last year, and are the 2006 and 2007 NECBL Champions.
Vetrano spent last summer with the Long Islands Mustangs of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League as the team’s Manager of Broadcasting and Media Relations. More recently, Vetrano was serving as the interim Media Director for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. He earned some play-by-play opportunities with the team. Moving between hockey and baseball is part of Vetrano’s career plan, inspired by a sports broadcasting role model.
“Howie Rose is my idol. Growing up listening to him, that is my goal – to be something like him where I can do a little baseball and hockey.
"The experience I will gain from this summer will only help me along the way, and my STAA page [plus Jon Chelesnik] has proven to be valuable part of that. This is a well known summer collegiate baseball league, and to be a part of Vermont and the NECBL is a personal accomplishment."
Heisler finds great opportunity with Grizzlies
(May 4, 2010) Great things are on the immediate horizon for Ben Heisler. He is graduating this month from Indiana University, and then he leaves for his first pro baseball broadcasting job. An STAA client, Heisler is joining the Gateway Grizzlies as their No. 2 broadcaster and media relations assistant.
Heisler spent last summer as Director of Broadcast & Media Relations for the Fayetteville SwampDogs, a summer collegiate team in the Coastal Plain League. The Grizzlies play in the independent Frontier League.
In recent years, the Grizzlies No. 2 position has proved to be an outstanding training ground for young broadcasters. Each of the past five individuals to hold the position is still in play-by-play broadcasting – four of them in baseball. “The Grizzlies are a perfect situation for a young broadcaster,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “Their lead broadcaster, Joe Pott, is very talented but he is also a great teacher.”
Heisler is looking forward to learning from Pott.
“The Grizzlies presented a tremendous opportunity to learn under an outstanding broadcaster and teacher in Joe Pott, and work for a two-time Frontier League Organization of the Year in a terrific market outside of St. Louis,” Heisler says. “They are a tremendous franchise with as loyal and passionate fans as any in the country. I’m already anxious and amped up to get down there and start working!”
The opportunity came to Heisler when Pott called STAA seeking recommendations for the position.
“I want to thank [STAA] for passing along the information to me personally,” Heisler says. “Since it wasn’t a position posted on the job board, I would never have known about the opening without your help. I couldn’t have done it without [STAA]. Thanks for everything.”
Beatty joins Fighting Pheasants in South Dakota
(April 28, 2010) Cold calls can be a nerve-racking experience, but the effort can pay off in big ways. Scott Beatty, an STAA client, found that principle to be true when he picked up the phone back in January. Beatty is taking the next step in his sportscasting career, as the voice of the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants.
The Fighting Pheasants, formerly known as the Canaries, are part of the American Association.
Beatty will be the No.1 broadcaster, doing play-by-play for 96 games, plus any post season action. He will also handle daily media relations responsibilities.
Beatty contacted the Pheasants in January and made an important discovery – the team had just been purchased and was in the process of overhauling the front office. Beatty had a phone interview soon after.
When Beatty found out he was a finalist, he began brainstorming ways to demonstrate his sports broadcasting passion to the Pheasants. The opportunity presented itself through the Pheasants new Vice President of Broadcast & Communications, Jim Olander. Olander is also the broadcaster for the Sioux Falls Stampede minor league hockey team. Both teams are now under the same ownership group.
"I wanted to make a bigger impression. That opportunity came when my schedule and [Olander’s] schedule placed us both in the Chicago area at the same time," Beatty explains. "[The Stampede] had a road game in Chicago the same weekend I attended a friend’s wedding."
"I met up with him to personally introduce myself. It was a great coincidence. But frankly, I would have driven halfway across the country for the same chance."
Beatty credits his internship during last year’s baseball season with giving him a legitimate shot with the Pheasants.
"None of this would have come about, however, without my internship with the Rockford RiverHawks, which positioned me as a qualified candidate for a No. 1 job."
Beatty is also glad he went to bat in sports broadcasting with the assistance of STAA.
"I’m not sure I could have progressed from someone who had never been on-air to a full-time play-by-play position without STAA. Along the way [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik provided resources like the Talent Page and consultation, connections to potential employers, and encouragement when the job search would get frustrating," says Beatty.
"It felt like I had someone in my corner through out the entire process."
Caray embracing radio, sales opportunities with Colts
(April 22, 2010) Josh Caray has plenty of minor league baseball broadcasting experience. What he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to do is broadcasting sales. He’s getting that opportunity now. An STAA client, Caray is joining the San Angelo Colts as a No. 2 Broadcaster and Media Relations Assistant. The position also includes the opportunity to learn sales.
“[This job] provides me the opportunity to garner more experience in media relations, and delve into the sales department as well, an integral part to any minor league baseball organization,” Caray says.
Caray’s play-by-play experience includes two seasons with the Rome Braves on radio and last summer as the TV voice of the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves. He credits STAA with helping him with his career.
“I heard about the job through constant contact with [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik, who first notified me of the position,” Caray says. STAA also built Caray’s demo and resume package.
”STAA is a tremendous resource for me and other young sportscasters in pursuit of their passion," Caray says. "The job postings are at every level, which allows for broadcasters of varying experience to look for something that befits them. Also, the opportunity to learn about the business from experienced professionals is an invaluable benefit for any talent looking for or needing direction in an unpredictable industry.”
Sudikoff set to rock in Brockton
(April 16, 2010) Scott Sudikoff spent last season absorbing the pro baseball world as the media intern for the Brockton Rox. The hard work paid off; Sudikoff has been named Director of Broadcasting for the Rox.
Sudikoff will hold the No. 1 play-by-play position for 94 games during the season. He will also be in charge of game notes, stories, and other media relations duties – plus the responsibility of teaching the new Media Intern the ropes.
Sudikoff’s experience with the Rox as an intern included hosting pre and post-game shows, a weekly talk show, and a little fill-in play-by-play. It was experience that would play an important part in Sudikoff obtaining his first job as a lead broadcaster.
After the 2009 season ended, Sudikoff kept in contact with Rox General Manager Brian Voelkel. The team re-structured during the off-season and shortly before the new year, Sudikoff was informed the Director of Broadcasting would be a seasonal position and its former occupant was not returning.
"My familiarity with the team and the league certainly are huge factors in [the Rox] wanting to bring me back."
Another benefit is Sudikoff’s location, Sharon, MA — just around the corner from Brockton.
"I’ve lived 20 minutes from Campanelli Stadium for my entire life, so I couldn’t ask for a better situation for my first number-one job. I’ve had the proper experience before this, being a media assistant and getting to be on the air for all home games with the Worcester Tornadoes in 2008 and of course last year with the Rox," Sudikoff says.
Sudikoff got his first taste of the lead spot with the Potomac Nationals at the end of the 2009 season.
"When I filled-in for the Potomac Nationals in the final week of the season as the number-one announcer, I knew then that I was ready to move up and take the reigns."
Work on the 2010 season has already begun for Sudikoff. He has been working part-time, helping the Rox complete final preparations for opening day. It won’t be long before it’s time to turn on the mike for first pitch and Sudikoff plans on making this opportunity matter.
"To be 24-years-old (in May) and to be a Director of Broadcasting with a local team is something I can be very proud of and will certainly do whatever I can to get the most out of it."
Palaszczuk returns to college hometown
(April 13, 2010) Will Palaszczuk graduated from the University of Missouri last May to pursue a career sports broadcasting. Now, less than a year later, he is making his way back home for an exciting career opportunity. Palaszczuk, an STAA client, has joined KTGR 1580 AM/100.5 FM, the ESPN Radio affiliate in Columbia, MO.
KTGR is part of the Zimmer Radio Group. The station was already carrying University of Missouri baseball when it recently reached a deal with Learfield Sports to carry the rest of the Mizzou package. This includes Tigers football and men’s and women’s basketball.
Palaszczuk will call play-by-play for high school football and basketball, deliver local SportsCenter updates, and contribute to KTGR’s blog. A daily talk show is also a possibility and it may involve Palaszczuk’s new co-worker, Adam Spitz.
Palaszczuk is eager to return to his former college community.
"I’m moving back to a city I love, a sports town that I know as well as the two cities I grew up in, and for an emerging sports station that I remember listening to since my days in the dorm as a freshman."
Palaszczuk was the Sports Director at KTJJ in Farmington, MO, when he spotted the opening with Zimmer Radio on the STAA forums and decided to apply.
"I felt that an opportunity like this in Columbia is not something that comes along often, I figured I had nothing to lose just giving it a shot. It happened to be the best move of my career," Palaszczuk says.
Palaszczuk leveraged his network to help the application process.
"Ryan Takeo, a friend of mine from school worked at Y107, Zimmer’s Top-40 station in Columbia, and was just hired on full-time before I began the application process. I used him and a recommendation through a former co-worker of mine who was the cousin of the Station Manager at Zimmer Radio Group, Carla Leible," says Palaszczuk.
Palaszczuk also utilized STAA, scheduling a mock interview with CEO Jon Chelesnik.
"I feel like Jon and I almost earned this one together, because I was corresponding on an almost a daily basis with him providing the correct advice on how to handle applying for the job. I think any person starting out their career or at least someone trying to further their professional life knows that more comes out of the help of STAA than just hosting a web page. It still is the best money I spend every month."
Cooper returning to Traverse City
(April 9, 2010) Chad Cooper always anticipated a second season broadcasting baseball play-by-play for the Traverse City Beach Bums. What he did not anticipate was the second season being four years after the first. An STAA client, Cooper is returning to the Frontier League team as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.
Cooper, who left Traverse City the first time to accept a job with the Vero Beach Dodgers, is pleased to be returning.
“The only reason I left previously was to take a job in affiliated baseball,” Cooper says. “I’ve always enjoyed Traverse City as a town. It’s the right time, it’s the right place and I’m really looking forward to going back there.”
The Frontier League is almost a second home for Cooper. In addition to spending 2006 in Traverse City, he spent three years prior to that with the Evansville Otters and broadcast games last season for Windy City. His return to Traverse City was a major surprise.
“I received a very unexpected phone call from Beach Bums [CEO] John Wuerfel,” Cooper says. He was gauging my interest and wanted to know if I would be open to an offer. It was a very good offer, a very fair offer and one that allowed me to go back to a place where I had enjoyed broadcasting games.”
Cooper is the fourth broadcaster to move within the Frontier League this season. John Leahy moved from Kalamazoo to Florence, Tim Calderwood from Traverse City to Lake Erie and Jason Troop has taken over in River City. Troop was out of the league last season but was in Evansville two years ago.
Balionis joins MSG TV Network
(April 7, 2010) Amanda Balionis interviewed for a job last summer with Madison Square Garden Network (MSG). That opportunity didn’t work out but now another one with MSG has come to fruition. An STAA client, Balionis has been hired as a sideline reporter for the MSG Game of the Week.
Balionis will be covering football, basketball and lacrosse on MSG.
“Working with this caliber of a network is exciting,” Balionis says. ”What they do is just ridiculous. They said the way they produce a one-hour high school segment is the same as they produce Knicks and Rangers games. I’m also excited to be working with such high caliber producers.”
Balionis was introduced to MSG last summer through STAA. MSG called STAA looking for talent for MSG’s new high school sports channel. Balionis interviewed but ended up going to work for Verizon Fios 1 Sports. While covering events for Fios, Balionis crossed paths with MSG Sports host Mike Quick. When the sideline position opened at MSG, Quick called Balionis.
A 2007 graduate of Hofstra University, Balionis has been working for Verizon Fios 1 Sports as a sideline reporter since last fall. She has covered various sports for Rutgers, Princeton, Hofstra and several high school teams. Prior to that, she spent nearly a year in various on-air roles for the Lancaster Sunday News in Lancaster, PA.
Oster embracing first shot at pro baseball
(April 6, 2010) Aaron Oster is excited for his first broadcasting opportunity in professional baseball. An STAA client, Oster is joining the broadcast team of the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League.
Oster spent last summer calling college baseball with the Duluth Huskies of the Northwoods League. He has also done games in the Cal Ripken Sr. League and for the University of Maryland while a student in College Park. With Lancaster, Oster is looking forward to working alongside and learning from veteran Barnstormers voice Dave Collins.
“After calling college sports, and collegiate summer teams, this is my first chance to work in professional baseball,” Oster says. “It will also be a great opportunity to learn under Dave Collins, who has over 20 years in professional baseball.”
In addition to his broadcast responsibilities, Oster will also write game stories and game notes, and work on the Barnstormers programs and media guide, among other things.
Oster credits his STAA Talent Page with providing a big assist in the job market.
“The Talent Page made it possible to contact teams without having to worry about costs of sending my information to countless places. Without STAA and the Talent Page, there’s a decent chance I would have never contacted Lancaster and wouldn’t have this opportunity right now.”
Oster is a 2009 graduate of the University of Maryland. He has served internships with Sports Radio 660 The Fan in New York City, and with Redskins Radio in Washington DC.
Bryant moves from indy league to Oakland A’s affiliate
(April 2, 2010) Curtis Bryant had three job offers — two in unaffiliated baseball and one the Class-A California League. The opportunity to move into affiliated baseball was the easy choice. An STAA client, Bryant has been hired as the No. 2 broadcaster for the Stockton Ports. The Ports are an Oakland A’s affiliate.
Bryant will be the lead play-by-play broadcaster on 20 Ports home games when regular No.1 Zach Bayrouty is on the TV broadcasts. He will serve as the analyst on the other 50 home games and have media relations responsibilities.
“Working with Zach Bayrouty, who is an experienced broadcaster in the California League is something I am looking forward to,” Bryant says.
Bryant spent last year in the Frontier League with the Evansville Otters as the team’s Director of Broadcasting.
“To be able to get into affiliated ball after one year in the independent leagues and to be able to stay in California is exciting,” says Bryant, a native of San Diego.
Bryant’s first assignment for the Ports takes him straight to the big leagues. Next week he will travel to an A’s game to interview former Ports players who are now with the parent club.
In addition to being an STAA client, Bryant is also a former student in the sports broadcasting class taught by STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik at Palomar College in San Diego.
Hawkins parlays internship into pro baseball play-by-play job
(March 29, 2010) Dan Hawkins is walking proof that internships are often a key turning point in a sports broadcasting career. Hawkins, an STAA client, has been hired as the Director of Media Relations and play-by-play voice of the Chico Outlaws.
The Outlaws play in the independent Golden Baseball League.
Hawkins will also be responsible for the media relations department, updating the team website and statistical system, and sales. The new job is a direct result of how Hawkins spent the baseball off-season – interning for the Arizona Winter League.
"When I went to the AWL, Mike Marshall (former LA Dodger and then Yuma Scorpions GM) was my boss. Right at the end of the AWL, the GM in Chico resigned and Mike was offered and accepted the GM/President position for Chico," Hawkins says. "We talked about the job then as Chico did not have a broadcaster in place and he basically hired me then. However, the final stamp of approval had to come from the owners, which now has happened."
Though the internship was unpaid, Hawkins found the experience to be more than worthwhile.
"The AWL paid my housing and food expenses, but the networking was worth it’s weight in gold. Making contacts in five different independent leagues, plus the contacts made in affiliated baseball, is an invaluable part of finding the right job in baseball. Not to mention broadcasting 40 games in 30 days, which helped me gain more experience and confidence in my abilities to call a game by myself. Without the experience, I most likely do not have a broadcasting job this summer."
"Getting this job was basically about being persistent during the off-season and also following up on leads generated by cold-calling. Then it came down to making the most of my internship down in Arizona and earning the job in the summer through hard work and dedication. These are attributes that you and STAA have promoted and listening to the message paid off! "
No stranger to hard work and dedication as a member of the United States Air Force, Hawkins is thrilled at how his career is progressing so far. At this time in 2009, Hawkins was still on active duty. Now he is fulfilling a dream.
"This is very exciting and a dream come true for me as it is my first baseball broadcasting job."
Doty to join Rangers Class-A affiliate following graduation
(March 23, 2010) Graham Doty has a job waiting for him when he graduates from college this spring. An STAA client, Doty has been hired as the No. 2 PBP voice for the Hickory Crawdads. He will also assist in media relations, as needed.
The Crawdads are the Class-A, South Atlantic League affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
“I’m looking forward to this being my first job in an organization calling games. I’m really excited to start the next chapter of my life,” Doty says.
A senior at the University of Mississippi, Doty has spent the past two summers broadcasting games in the renowned Cape Cod collegiate summer league. He was fully prepared to return for a third season on the Cape when the Crawdads opportunity came from out of the blue.
“One morning I got a call from [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik asking if I would be interested in a position with the Crawdads. I said ‘of course I would be very interested.’ He said okay, I’ll give them all your info and let you know what I hear from them.”
Chelesnik had already told Crawdads Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations Andrew Buchbinder about Doty. After confirming Doty’s interest, Chelesnik emailed to Buchbinder the link to Doty’s Talent Page. An interview was scheduled just a few days later.
"I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed a candidate for any position, radio or otherwise, that has been as well prepared as Graham was, which I’m sure is directly relatable to [STAA’s] services,” Buchbinder says.
“The interview was different from all my other interviews,” Doty said. “It was mainly focused on my work experience but they were really curious about my involvement in the Oxford (MS) community, where I am from. One thing I look forward to is being involved in the Hickory community in any way that I can.”
In Oxford, Doty is involved with several volunteer ventures including Habitat for Humanity and The Pantry, an organization that provides food for needy families.
Doty is an especially unique example of the assistance STAA provides to sports broadcasters. STAA built Doty’s demo and resume package, he has an STAA Talent Page, he has consistently taken advantage of STAA’s career planning and consulting services, and he is enrolled in a concentrated nine-week telephone course on play-by-play broadcasting with STAA CEO Chelesnik.
“The customized sports broadcasting coaching curriculum isn’t something we publicize but it is available,” says Chelesnik.
Doty has embraced the instruction. “[We have worked on] being more descriptive and giving a lot of details and giving the score much more consistently. One thing Jon also stresses is ‘what’s at stake.’ Tell the listener what is at stake in this game and this at-bat and give the audience a story to listen to.”
“This opportunity with the Crawdads would not have been possible without the help of Jon Chelesnik and STAA.”
Pauley’s gamble pays off with Triple-A job in Colorado Springs
(March 19, 2010) Matt Pauley gambled and came up aces. An STAA client, Pauley is making the move from Class-A minor league baseball to Triple-A as the No. 2 broadcaster with the Colorado Sky Sox.
The Sky Sox are the top affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.
Pauley spent the past two seasons as the lead broadcaster for the Burlington (IA) Bees. He moves into his new job only after turning down an opportunity with another affiliated team in a lower league. In Colorado Springs, Pauley will work alongside veteran Sky Sox broadcaster Dan Karcher.
“The opportunity to jump up to Triple-A baseball speaks for itself, just to get that experience,” Pauley says. “Even more important for me is to work with somebody like Dan on a daily basis. He is a Major League caliber broadcaster. He’ll be listening to me and I’ll be listening to him.”
In his new role, Pauley will broadcast thee inning of play-by-play for home games and host pre and post game shows from the studio when the team is on the road.
Pauley landed the Sky Sox job through networking, aggressiveness and a bold gamble. When he found out that former Sky Sox No. 2 broadcaster and fellow STAA client Sam Farber might be leaving for a job he eventually accepted with the Inland Empire 66ers, Pauley contacted Karcher to introduce himself. Immediately after Farber’s departure was official, Pauley flew himself to Colorado Springs to meet Karcher in person.
“Dan wanted to get to know me, who I am, what I believe in in broadcasting,” Pauley says. “He told me about the position. It was a get to know you kind of thing more than anything else.”
Pauley was encouraged by the meeting but left without an offer. In the meantime, he was offered a broadcasting job with another affiliated, lower level minor league team. Pauley realized that if he turned it town and Colorado Springs didn’t work out, he very well could be left on the sidelines this summer. He turned it town anyway. A week later, the Sky Sox offered the job and Pauley’s gamble had paid off.
“I felt great about my time with Dan. I felt very positive about the situation,” Pauley says. “As tough as the decision was to make [to decline the other offer], I couldn’t look myself in the mirror having left a Triple-A job on the table. I was fully prepared if Colorado Springs didn’t work out, I was not going to second guess my decision not to accept the other job. This was too good an opportunity not to pursue 100%.”
Pauley admits feeling some trepidation as baseball’s off-season progress and he had still yet to land a job.
“As the days went by and more jobs were being filled, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting nervous. I took a three-step approach. I remained confident in my abilities, I would outwork everybody else in the job market and I trusted in God that He had everything planned out for me.”
Pauley also tips his hat to STAA, with whom he has been a client since 2005.
“[STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik] has been someone who has been one of my best supporters since Day 1. I always know Jon is just a phone call away. I call him for advice fairly often. Its nice to have that support to know when I’m dealing with tough situations I can get that advice from someone who not only knows what they’re doing but from someone I know cares about me. I know there is a vested interest in me.”
A graduate of Kansas State University, Pauley’s minor league baseball career has included stints with Burlington, the South Georgia Peanuts and the Evansville Otters. He is a native of St. Louis, MO.
Farber new voice of Class-A Inland Empire 66ers
(March 17, 2010) Sam Farber knew what he needed to keep his baseball play-by-play career moving forward and he has found the perfect situation. Farber, an STAA client, is the new Director of Broadcasting for the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League. The 66ers are the Class A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers and are based in San Bernardino, CA.
Farber succeeds Mike Saeger, who is leaving the 66ers after 15 years to join the broadcast team of the Class AA San Antonio Missions.
Farber spent the last season as the No. 2 broadcaster for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. However, he realized that in order to get a lead job at Triple-A, he needed to get more innings behind the mike and to bolster his sales experience. With the 66ers, he will get both.
“To get all those innings will be a good experience for me. Plus, the California League is a fantastic league,” Farber says. “There are also a lot of colleges around for basketball season – there’s just a lot of opportunities. It’s a place where I am going to be comfortable.
The 66ers job opening was never made public. STAA called Saeger when they learned of the pending change. Saeger provided a detailed description of what the team would be looking for. STAA submitted a short list of links to Talent Pages of clients who fit the description. Unknown to Farber, the list included his name. Unknown to STAA, Farber was simultaneously introducing himself to Saeger.
The 66ers ownership group also owns Farber’s former team in Colorado Springs, as well as the San Antonio Missions. Farber learned of the 66ers opening through those connections. After Farber made the list of finalists, he asked STAA to help him prep for his interview.
“My overall comfort level in the room was a lot better than it would have been [following the mock interview],” Farber says. There is always a lot of nerves involved when interviewing for a job like that so to have already gone through it once was nice.”
In addition to his time in Colorado Springs, Farber has broadcast minor league baseball for the Class-AA Bowie Baysox. Farber is a graduate of George Washington University. He earned his Masters from the University of Southern California.
Richards jumps from indy league to AAA-RedHawks
(March 15, 2010) In less than one year, Judson Richards has gone from looking for his first play-by-play job, to a broadcast position at minor league baseball’s highest level. An STAA client, Richards has been hired as the No. 2 play-by-play broadcaster for the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
The RedHawks are the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. In his new role, Richards will be working alongside veteran broadcaster and lead RedHawks announcer Jim Byers.
“Jim’s abilities as a broadcaster are second to none, and I feel so blessed to share a booth with him,” Richards says. “I have been told on numerous occasions that Jim’s dedication, organization, and preparation are some of the best in the game, and those are all areas where I aspire to be better. And to be a part of a top tier organization like the RedHawks is an honor and a privilege.”
Once Byers made his decision, he left Richards a voicemail. “Do you have time to talk,” Byers asked. “I thought either I got the job or I didn’t and he was going to let me down easy,” Richards says. “I had to wait an hour to call him back because I was on the air when he called.”
A former player in the San Francisco Giants organization, Richards, 29, decided to break into sportscasting in the summer of 2007. That year he accepted a pair of internships in Denver, one in radio, the other in TV. In 2008 he landed his first on-air job as a sports anchor/reporter at the CBS TV affiliate in San Angelo, Texas. Last spring, when the opportunity to broadcast independent league baseball in San Angelo arose, Richards jumped at it. Now he is on to Oklahoma City.
“I’m looking forward to the people I will be meeting and the contacts I will be making,” Richards says. “Just the fact that I will be sitting in the booth speaking Triple-A names is amazing.”
In his lone season in the United League with San Angelo, Richards earned a reputation for always presenting himself as a professional. Even in the triple digit summer temperatures that are common in Texas, Richards always wore slacks and button down shirt. “I always wanted to represent the Colts professionally.”
Richards’ professionalism certainly made an impression on Colts manager and former big league skipper Doc Edwards. Edwards was pleased to make a call to Byers on Richards’ behalf.
Richards also thanks STAA. Not only did he submit his STAA Talent Page as part of his application, he says he also benefited from the mock interview he did with STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik prior to speaking to Byers.
“When Jon and I did a mock interview, I’ll be honest, I stumbled in more than a few areas. So after our interview I wrote out the questions that Jon had asked in order to focus and condense my thoughts. When I had my interview with Jim the following day I felt prepared and ready."
Over the past two years, Richards has taken great advantage of the career planning and consulting services that come with being an STAA client.
“What I appreciate most about STAA is the feeling of a team approach,” Richards says. “Sports broadcasting is a tough industry. With STAA you don’t necessarily have to feel like you are going at it alone. A part of me felt like we got this job, and I think Jon felt the same way. In fact, based on his reaction, I know he did.”
Anastos joins Dayton Dragons baseball booth
(March 4, 2010) Nick Anastos is adding affiliated baseball to his growing play-by-play resume. An STAA client, Anastos has joined the Dayton Dragons as No. 2 broadcaster and Assistant Media Relations Director.
The Class-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, the Dragons are one of minor league baseball’s model franchises. They have led Class-A in attendance for 10 consecutive years; they hold the all-time Class-A single-season attendance record and have sold out 704 consecutive games. In Dayton, Anastos will be working alongside Dragons’ Broadcasting and Media Relations Director Tom Nichols. Nichols is entering his 23rd year in Minor League Baseball and has called over 2,700 games.
“I get to really learn how things are run at the top levels in terms of an organization in the minor leagues,” Anastos says. “This is one of the classier organizations at any level. To get to learn from Tom how things are run broadcasting wise and media relations wise, this was an opportunity I could not pass up.”
Each of Dayton’s past two No. 2 broadcasters has received No. 1 jobs the following season. Owen Serey joined the South Bend Silver Hawks in 2009 while Alex Vispoli recently joined the Winston-Salem Dash.
Anastos has spent the past two seasons as the basketball and baseball broadcaster at NCAA Division I University of Maryland-Eastern Shore while working as a graduate assistant in the university’s sports information department. He plans on continuing in those roles. Anastos has also broadcast baseball play-by-play in the independent Can-Am League. He spent last fall as the color analyst on Delaware State University football broadcasts.
The Dayton opportunity came about for Anastos when STAA learned Vispoli had departed. STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik introduced Anastos to Nichols.
“STAA has put me in contact with different people from different organizations and has increased my personal contacts,” Anastos says. “[Jon} always keeps me in the loop as to what may and may not be opening up. He also helped me put together a well-organized Talent Page that has helped employers get a feel for my skills and experience.”
Since becoming a client since 2006, Anastos has also regularly taken advantage of STAA’s talent coaching and attended STAA’s play-by-play seminar in Las Vegas in 2008.
“The talent coaching has given me different goals to work on, identified area for improvement, provided suggestions on how to make broadcasts more interesting and helped me improve my weaknesses,” Anastos says. “It has been very helpful.
“I appreciate all the work STAA has done. I know I couldn’t have done it without you.”
All 140 Dragons games will be heard on 1410 WING-AM ESPN Radio in Dayton.
Hyde returns to broadcast booth with Savannah
(March 3, 2010) STAA’s Toby Hyde is the new Director of Broadcasting and Communications for the Savannah Sand Gnats. The Gnats are the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
Hyde will broadcast Gnats home games on WBMQ with an Internet simulcast, and will handle front office responsibilities and sales.
It has been over a year since Hyde last broadcast a game, something he is looking forward to changing.
"I am especially pleased to be returning to the microphone on a nearly nightly basis. I broadcast for minor league teams from 2004-2008, and missed the immediacy, excitement and challenge of the broadcast last year. That’s the most fun part of my day."
Affiliate baseball is an industry Hyde is familiar with – he had the opportunity to do some play-by-play and media relations for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in 2007. Hyde’s first baseball job was in 2004 as the Director of Broadcasting for the Stockton Ports. While with the Ports, Hyde worked for then-GM John Katz. Jump to 2010, Katz is now the president of the Gnats. The opening in Savannah presented the opportunity for Hyde and Katz to work together again.
"I owe John, who is now both my boss and my friend, a thank you for this opportunity."
Ten STAA clients accept sportscasting jobs in February
(March 1, 2010) February was another good month for STAA clients in the job market. Ten clients accepted sports broadcasting opportunities during the month, bringing to 24 the number of STAA clients that have accepted full-time, free-lance and internship opportunities since the start of the new year.
Two of the new jobs are in sports talk radio. Veteran sports talker Andy Furman is back on the air in Cincinnati, this time at Real Talk WQRT-AM 1160. He has worked in the Queen City for more than 20 years.
Newer to the sports talk genre is Wes Bryant. A former football player at Wake Forest, Bryant has parlayed his Internet podcast into a weekly sports talk show on WGIV 1370 AM -103.3 FM in Charlotte, NC.
Another two STAA clients accepted broadcasting jobs at local radio stations in February. Veteran Ben Root is the new Program Director for Armada Media in Milbank, SD. Pennsylvania native Jim McCabe is going to work for New Media Broadcasters in Havre, MT. It is McCabe’s first full-time sports broadcasting job.
In television, Josh Eachus has been hired as a General Assignment Reporter for WTOV-9 in Steubenville, OH. “It’s a diverse job,” Eachus says. “[News Director] Brandon Gobel was telling me of all the opportunities to work in every field. I like weather. I like sports. The position is generally aimed at news but it was created with someone like me in mind who can do a little bit of everything.”
Four STAA clients accepted positions in minor league baseball last month. Garry Griffith is the Director of Broadcasting and Medial relations for the expansion Normal (IL) CornBelters, Mike Passanisi has joined the Altoona Curve as their No. 2 broadcaster, John Leahy moves from the Kalamazoo Kings to the Florence Freedom, and Connor Shreve accepted a broadcasting internship with the Huntsville Stars. Shreve is the third STAA client to join the Stars broadcast team this off-season.
In the freelance category, Paul Braverman was selected by Learfield Sports to fill-in on the play-by-play for the University of Maine men’s basketball game at the University of Maryland Baltimore-County on February 8th. It was the second time STAA has set up a Learfield opportunity for Braverman. He also did a University of Maine game in January 2008.
In total, STAA clients have accepted 278 on-air sports broadcasting positions in radio and TV just since 2007.
McCabe gets first full-time gig
(February 24, 2010) Pennsylvania native Jim McCabe is preparing for a move to Montana. McCabe, an STAA client, has been hired as broadcaster by New Media Broadcasters in Havre, MT.
McCabe’s first foray into full time radio work will provide play-by-play opportunities, plus day-to-day responsibilities in production and music. More importantly, the job offers McCabe the chance to fulfill a dream and get back on the air a year after his last radio job ended.
“To me it was no-brainer. Everything listed in the job description is what I want to do. I’ve always wanted to be in radio and I’ve always wanted to be a sportscaster. I’ll also gain experience playing music and in production."
Previously McCabe worked part time as a DJ at WEZX in Scranton, PA. Before that, McCabe worked at the campus station while attending King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA, gaining experience in basketball, baseball, football, and lacrosse play-by-play.
McCabe applied for the Havre opening before joinging STAA, but didn’t get the job. When the position re-opened about a month later, the station contacted McCabe, who had joined STAA. McCabe emailed the link to his new STAA Talent Page, it wasn’t long before he was offered the opportunity to explore a new part of the country.
“I’ve never been west of Pittsburgh so what better way to see something new than to take a new job?”
Ultimately, McCabe is willing to let his passion for broadcasting lead on.
“I really do love radio in general so I think this is going to be a lot fun.”
Griffith to broadcast CornBelters baseball
(February 22, 1010) STAA client Garry Griffith has been named Director of Media Relations/Broadcasting for the Normal (IL) CornBelters baseball team.
The CornBelters are entering their inaugural season in the Frontier League. Griffith is one of five STAA clients who will be calling play-by-play this summer in the 12 team league. The others are Dave DeNatale (Lake Erie Crushers), Chad Cooper (Windy City ThunderBolts) Randy Gore (Washington Wild Things), and John Leahy (Florence Freedom).
Griffith’s baseball resume includes working as the Director of Broadcasting for the Knoxville Smokies, the double AA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, in the Southern League for two seasons. He held the same position for seven seasons with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Single A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves in the Carolina League. He also broadcast games for the Fayetteville Generals, when they were a farm team of the Detroit Tigers, in the South Atlantic League.
In 2008 Griffith worked in Montana calling games for the Great Falls Voyagers, the Rookie affiliate of the Chicago White Sox in the Pioneer League. He has worked as a freelance broadcaster for college baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, and football at Coastal Carolina University, Winthrop University, and Presbyterian College.
Besides broadcasting Griffith has written for newspaper, magazine, and online journals. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. and teaches Speech and Introduction to Sports Broadcasting.
"I am honored and excited about helping Steve Malliet and his staff christening a new ball park for the city of Normal. I am also looking forward to working with manager Hal Lanier and his coaching staff. It will be my privilege to broadcast Corn Belters’ games on WTRX 93.7 FM along with Greg Halbleib. I want encourage people to listen to the games while the team is on the road and please remember to bring your radios to the Corn Crib when the team plays at"
"It is great to have Garry on board with the Normal CornBelters for the Inaugural season said President Steve Malliet. His years of experience will help entertain the fans of the CornBelters this season and bring his baseball voice to the community."
Eachus lands TV job in Ohio
(February 19, 2010) STAA client Josh Eachus has been hired as a General Assignment Reporter for WTOV-9 in Steubenville, OH.
Responsibilities for the position are reporting, shooting and editing stories, with the opportunity to perform those duties in a variety of fields. “It’s a diverse job. [News Director] Brandon Gobel was telling me of all the opportunities to work in every field. I like weather. I like sports. The position is generally aimed at news but it was created with someone like me in mind who can do a little bit of everything," Eachus says.
Gobel plans to use Eachus as a utility player, eventually adding more sportscasting to Eachus’ schedule.
"I will be worked into some sports reporting jobs, some studio hosting and game highlights during high school football season, and when they revamp the meteorology department he also wants me to apply my science background as a fill-in meteorologist."
Eachus graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2009 from California State University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Earth Science in Meteorology. Like many recent graduates, Eachus had not yet found a job and was getting desperate for work. Fortunately, Eachus has a varied background with extensive experience working at the campus TV station and serving an internship at Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh. That kind of variety is exactly what WTOV was looking for.
Eachus found the WTOV position on their website during a hunt for openings in smaller markets. The application to WTOV was one of 11 different jobs Eachus applied for at the time. WTOV was the only one to reply to Eachus, ultimately offering him a job.
Eachus believes the direction provided by STAA throughout the application process was a key factor in the WTOV opportunity. “A strong percentage of why I got the job was the personal guidance STAA [CEO Jon Chelesnik) gave me. I had never been through a formal job interview. He prepared me for that," Eachus says.
"Even with a personal agent, I wouldn’t have gotten that type of personal service. [STAA] has personally been a HUGE help in guiding me through the process.”
Eachus also finds value in using his Talent Page as a starting point for networking.
"When I discovered STAA it gave me a way to get myself out there to network. I’ve never been into Myspace or anything like that. Having the Talent Page is a quick link to pass along to somebody."
Root fights winter weather to Milbank
(February 18, 2010) STAA client Ben Root has been named Program Director for Armada Media in Milbank, SD.
As PD, Root has no shortage of on-air opportunities. He will handle play-by-play for Milbank High School football, basketball, and baseball, plus American Legion baseball. "I’m letting the part-timer finish up the basketball season while hopping on the home broadcasts for a little color commentary," Root says.
"Once I get into full swing, I’ll probably take over the Saturday morning hour-long coaches show as well. There is also a one hour talk show on the station from 9-10 am that is an all sports format on Fridays, so I sit in on that and give my two cents on local and national sports stories, too."
Root moves to Milbank from LIVE 95/KITI in Centralia, WA.
Root’s new job is another example of persistence being a key ingredient for any sportscaster. When Root first applied, he accidentally sent his information with an incorrect phone number. "When following up, I was told that they had left me a voicemail a couple of days ago, but that they had their guy now," Root says.
"I sent a follow up letter & package with my correct info and CD demo and heard back about 1-2 weeks later. After a lengthy chat, I emailed to say I’d follow up on a certain day and did so. At that time, I was told I was 2nd or 3rd on the list, and to call back after a certain day. They called me back a couple of days before that and offered me the job."
Persistence in pursuit of a job is something Root learned when applying for a job a few years ago with Wayne Radio Works in Nebraska. Root says he followed up eight times on that application, eventually landing the job.
Root’s first day in Milbank was February 8th and getting there proved to be something of an adventure. Moving the family to South Dakota from Centralia, WA, meant driving through the snow that has blanketed much of the country – a dangerous prospect that included spinning out on the freeway. Still, Root arrived safely and now has a full slate of responsibilities to keep busy.
Passanisi moving up in minor league baseball
(February 15, 2010) Mike Passanissi is moving up to in minor leagues. Passanissi, an STAA client, has been named the No. 2 Broadcaster and Media Relations Assistant for the Altoona Curve.
The Curve is the Class AA Eastern League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
As the No. 2 broadcaster, Passanissi has a long list of on-air duties, including: play-by-play for three innings during each of the 71 home games, pre and post-game host for all home games, and studio host and producer for all 71 road games. There will also be a variety of media relations responsibilities.
“It’s a chance for me to test the waters at Double-A," Passanissi says. "I spent three years in the South Atlantic League. Now the next logical progression for me is to get my feet wet in Double-A.”
Passanissi spent the last three seasons in the broadcasting and media relations departments for the Savannah Sand Gnats. He also spent time in the Golden Baseball League and worked in Sports Information office at his alma mater, San Diego State University. All the office experience is no accident and Passanissi knows it was a big factor in landing the Altoona job.
“When I got into this four or five years ago I wanted to take this media relations angle because I knew in minor league baseball you had to frequently do something else. It makes me stand out as a candidate.”
Once the request for an interview with the Curve came in, Passanissi scheduled a mock interview with STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “[Jon] asked me a lot of questions I hadn’t heard before. One or two of them came up when I talked with Altoona. I think they liked my responses. I felt better prepared. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve already been asked this question.’"
Passanissi is also a former student of the sports broadcasting class taught by Chelesnik at Palomar College in San Diego.
Shreve joins STAA duo with Huntsville Stars
(February 12, 2010) STAA client Connor Shreve has accepted a broadcasting internship with the Huntsville Stars, the AA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Shreve joins two other STAA clients in Huntsville – Director of Broadcasting Chad Anderson and fellow intern Aaron Morse.
"The opportunity to start in Double-A baseball is not only very exciting but also a huge opportunity that not many beginning broadcasters get," Shreve says.
A 2008 graduate of the Ohio Center for Broadcasting, Shreve moves to Huntsville from KCCR/KLXS in Pierre, SD where he has been Sports Director since August 2008. However, baseball is his passion.
The Stars internship wasn’t Shreve’s original game plan. He first contacted Tennessee Smokies Director of Broadcasting Mick Gillispie about the Smokies No. 2 broadcast spot. Gillispie didn’t have any openings, but forwarded Shreve’s information to Anderson in Huntsville. “Its a perfect example of how things sometimes happen in this industry,” Shreve says.
After their initial contact, Shreve used his STAA Talent Page to share his demo and resume with Anderson. “I have applied for jobs both ways (sending his demo and resume via mail and email) and have had success both ways, but there is no question you appeal to a broader range of employers when your demo and resume is easily accessed with the Talent Page.”
The unexpected opportunity in Huntsville was a welcome one for Shreve. He hopes it might include some time working sales. “I would love to (do sales). I know it is crucial in minor league baseball to have that experience," Shreve says.
Leahy finds Freedom in Florence
(February 10, 2010) STAA client John Leahy has accepted a job with the Florence Freedom Baseball Club as a play-by-play broadcaster. The Freedom are a member of the Frontier League and are based in Florence, KY.
Leahy will also have media relations responsibilities, update the team website, and other assigned tasks. During the off season, Leahy is the voice of Merrimack College (MA) men’s hockey.
The Frontier League is familiar territory for Leahy. He was the broadcaster for the league’s Kalamazoo Kings from 2008 through last season. The Kings are discontinuing their play-by-play broadcasts, making Leahy available for the opportunity to work for the Freedom. “I am familiar with the team from having visited there and I like the way they run their operation,” Leahy says.
“It’s a chance for me to continue to develop my broadcasting career. It’s just a good opportunity to get another year under my belt and to hopefully set the stage for a move to affiliated baseball.”
Josh Anderson is the incumbent Freedom broadcaster, but will be leaving the team in late June to travel to China. When Anderson told his colleague Leahy about his travel plans, Leahy was quick to email his STAA Talent Page to the Freedom, following up with a hard copy of his STAA portfolio. Leahy and Anderson will work together until Anderson leaves in June.
Andy Furman back on air in Cincinnati
(February 8, 2010) STAA client Andy Furman is returning to his on-air radio roots as a sports talk host at "Real Talk" WQRT-AM (1160) in Cincinnati, OH.
Starting Monday, February 8th, Furman’s new show is airing weeknights from 5-7 p.m. on WQRT. The only local show to air on WQRT, Furman will primarily focus on sports. "My strength is sports and my contacts are sports. Certainly we’ll talk about some of the local issues of the day, Haiti for example, but we’ll relate it to sports."
Furman hosted a hit sports talk show for 19 years on Cincinnati’s WLW-AM, scoring the No.1 rating in his time slot for adults 25-54 in an impressive 49 of 52 Arbitron books. More recently, Furman spent the last two years as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at WDJO-AM in Cincinnati.
The opportunity to return to Cincinnati’s airwaves came through a former coworker at WLW. Jamey Schleue, WQRT’s General Sales Manager and the former sales manager at WLW and SuperTalk 96, pitched the idea to Furman last year. "He approached me around Christmas time and asked if I want to get back into the business," Furman says. "He asked if I would be interested if he could create [an opportunity] at the station.”
Furman hopes to add something fresh to local radio. "I want to bring an alternative to the marketplace. I think with my name recognition I will be able to pull some of my old listeners and create some new listeners."
“This is a better opportunity for my wife because it gets me out of the house,” Furman jokes.
Furman already his first guest booked for Monday: baseball legend Pete Rose.
Furman appreciates the assistance he has received from STAA in getting back on-air. “Thank you for all your help. You have been tremendous, you really have. I would recommend STAA to anybody.”
Fourteen STAA clients accept sportscasting jobs in January
(February 5, 2010) The first month of the new decade was one for the STAA record books. Fourteen STAA clients secured new jobs in January, one of the top marks for most hires in a single month in company history.
Among the new hires was Jerry Schemmel to be the radio play-by-play voice for the Colorado Rockies. Schemmel is STAA’s second Major League Baseball client but the first to land his job with assistance from STAA and its services. Schemmel is a long-time resident of Colorado and the former voice of the Denver Nuggets; he wouldn’t have guessed his dream job would be so close to home. “It is pretty ironic,” Schemmel says. “It is a God thing all the way that we search for so long for a job and here it was right in my backyard. God works in amazing ways.”
Veteran Stu Paul is also making his way up the baseball broadcasting ladder. Paul was named play-by-play broadcaster and account executive for the Nashville Sounds – the AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. One of over one hundred candidates, Paul is thrilled to be making the jump to AAA ball. "Larger ballparks, larger cities and flying everywhere is great," says Paul. "Nashville is a growing city that really has a passion for baseball. Also the opportunity to move up to Triple A and see veterans that are only a phone call away from the Major Leagues is exciting."
Long-time Westwood One Radio Network host Tommy Tighe joined the Miami Heat Radio Network in January. Tighe is serving as the studio host on Heat pre and post game shows.
Angela Kiel’s overnight success story has been seven years in the making. An account executive for a national mortgage lender by trade, Kiel earned her first television play-play-play assignment for the ESPN family of TV networks when she broadcast Louisiana Tech’s women’s basketball game at Nevada on ESPNU. She is now one of two STAA clients doing games on the ESPN family of TV networks.
Rounding out January’s sportscasting success stories are: Will Flemming (Potomac Nationals), Matt Tarnawa (KWIX-KRES-KIRK), Dan Hawkins (Arizona Winter League), Adam Young (Fayetteville SwampDogs), Aaron Morse (Huntsville Stars), Josh Feldman (OC Flyers), Alex Kushel (Lincoln Saltdogs), David Riggs (Blue Crabs), Matt Friedman (Kinston Indians), David Greenwald (Newark Bears).
Congratulations to each of these STAA clients. Their success is a testament to their work ethic and is the start of even bigger and better things for each of them.
Learfield to use Braverman on college basketball game
(February 2, 2010) Next week, STAA client Paul Braverman will fill-in for Learfield Sports on one of their college basketball networks. Braverman will broadcast play-by-play for the University of Maine men’s basketball game at the University of Maryland Baltimore-County on Monday, February 8th.
It is the second time STAA has set up a Learfield opportunity for Braverman. He also did a University of Maine game in January 2008. Learfield is one of the largest syndicators of NCAA Division I football and basketball broadcasts with nearly 50 collegiate broadcast properties nationwide.
Learfield has used 10 STAA clients in recent years for freelance play-by-play opportunities. In addition, STAA client Scott Galetti works for Learfield as the play-by-play voice of the University of New Mexico.
"When I’m in need of a fill-in talent for one of our many schools, I use the STAA Talent Search,” says Learfield Sports Broadcast Manager Tom Boman. “In a matter of minutes, I can search for talent in the area I need and hear their demos. It makes the process very easy."
When the most recent need arose on the Learfield Black Bear Sports Network, Boman checked the STAA Talent Search for a sportscaster in the Baltimore area. He was pleased to find Braverman. Braverman is entering his second season as the play-by-play voice of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs baseball club of the Atlantic League.
“Tom mentioned to me that he was glad I work with STAA,” Braverman says. “He remembered me from a couple years ago when I filled in. He was happy that I am connected with [STAA].
“Learfield is a respected name in college sports. I, more than happy doing what I do now on the baseball side but as a broadcaster you are never not looking for work. Certainly the chance to network with someone like Tom Boman and the chance to call Division One basketball is more important than money but it is also nice to supplement your income. It is something I could never say no to.”
Podcaster Bryant lands sports radio show
(February 1, 2010) Wes Bryant is making the break through from Internet podcaster to on-air sports talk show host. Starting this Saturday, Bryant, an STAA client, is hosting a weekly show on WGIV 1370 AM -103.3 FM in Charlotte, NC.
Bryant’s Double Double, Queen City Edition will air Saturday’s from 9 to 10 am.
A former football player at Wake Forest, Bryant has always dreamed of a sports broadcasting career. Last summer, he contacted STAA for assistance.
“Wes came to us with zero broadcasting experience,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “The first thing we told him he needed to do was to get some reps and that the best way to do it was podcasting.”
Bryant started hosting a weekly podcast, The Double Double, on BlogTalkRadio.com.
“We provided Wes with some guidelines in regard to structuring his show, branding, teasing, TSL and other components that make great sports talk radio,” Chelesnik says. “He has been very conscientious in his efforts at applying them.”
“I try to take the advice STAA gave me every time we talked,” Bryant says. “I want the good honest feedback because it helps me get better. I just keep being a student of the game. That is what you have to do. I feel like I’m ready.”
On his podcasts, Bryant has to fill 90 consecutive minutes for each show. “Doing an hour on the radio with commercial breaks should be easier,” he says.
In addition to his talk show, Bryant has created other sports broadcasting opportunities for himself. He is a regular contributor on "The AC Stowe Morning Show" on WGIV, and an analyst on Johnson C. Smith University football broadcasts. Sports talk, though, was his ultimate goal.
After many weeks of trying to convince WGIV Program Director Alvin Stowe to give him a sports show, Bryant finally has his opportunity. His mother was the first person he called with the good news.
“She’s been there through the whole process,” Bryant says. “She has always been there on days when I was discouraged and when things weren’t looking up. Going through the hard times makes you appreciate getting to this point more.”
Bryant realizes the experience he gained hosting his podcasts has been invaluable.
“I know in life you get out of it what you put into it. I knew doing those podcasts would help.
“I feel like Kobe in the finals. I am excited but I am dialed in. This is my opportunity. I need to make the most of it. People work a long time to get a job in a major market. I feel blessed. I am extremely humbled by it and very excited.”
David Greenwald earns full-time gig with Newark Bears
(January 29, 2010) Almost four years after graduating from college, David Greenwald is getting his shot at making sports broadcasting his full-time job. An STAA client, Greenwald has accepted a Media Relations and Broadcast Manager position with the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.
Greenwald will broadcast all 140 Bears games and lead the team’s media relations department.
Greenwald’s journey to Newark is a demonstration of patience and making the most of every sportscasting opportunity. Greenwald has done several broadcasting stints in minor league baseball and basketball. He also has plenty of experience in media relations at both the professional and collegiate level. In total, Greenwald has spent time with seven different organizations since 2006, but he believes each stop has been crucial.
“Every job I’ve taken so far has led me here.”
Most recently, Greenwald spent last season as a broadcasting and media relations intern with the Long Island Ducks, also in the Atlantic League. Greenwald made a good impression on Ducks GM Mike Pfaff. During the off-season the Bears changed ownership groups. Pfaff was there to help the Bears transition between ownership groups – and he recommended Greenwald to the incoming owners. Proof that even post-college internships can be invaluable.
“Anyone who says they don’t want to take an internship…I strongly suggest they do that,” Greenwald says. “If you work for people and they get the impression that you buy into the system, they will reward you.”
After working at several organizations in just a few years, stability is something Greenwald appreciates about the Bears, who are in their 12th season in the Atlantic League. “The Atlantic League is a league I know isn’t going anywhere. Also, having been in the league last year, I am very familiar with the Bears franchise.”
Greenwald advises other young broadcasters that frustration is natural, you just have to stay persistent. “Frustration happens in anything. You’re going to get frustrated if the phone stops ringing but there is somebody out there who wants you for what you do.
"Also never forget what you’ve done and who you’ve worked for. Did you make a good connection with that GM? Does that person know someone else? It’s all about how much you are willing to overcome.
Friedman moves from radio to pro baseball play-by-play
(January 28, 2010) Matt Friedman has experienced life working at a radio station. Now he is going to see what life is like working for a team. An STAA client, Friedman is joining the Kinston Indians as a No. 2 Broadcaster and Media Relations Assistant. The Indians are the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
In Kinston, Friedman will be working alongside lead broadcaster and fellow STAA client Chris Hemeyer. Friedman moves to Kinston after two years as Sports Director at 1510 ESPN in Great Bend, KS.
“Kinston provides a new way to use my skills and to build some new ones, to learn a completely different thing,” Friedman says. “Instead of working for a station its a chance to work for a team in pro sports and to learn that side of the industry.”
The decision to leave a full-time job for a seasonal position wasn’t easy for Friedman, but at this stage of his career, he believes it is worth the risk.
“I saw an opportunity where I think I can grow into building my skill set and my resume, Friedman says. “Hopefully it is something that leads to new opportunities. I am young and single so I can afford to take these risks at this time.”
Friedman, who landed his job in Great Bend based upon a recommendation from Sportscasters Talent Agency of America, says STAA has continued to be instrumental in the growth of his career.
“Its been very helpful because of fact not only do you provide the service of hosting my Talent Page, which everyone knows about, but something people don’t all know about is how much advice you give me because I’m a client and I can call you at any time. There have been many job opportunities, including this one, and talking to [STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik] and getting his perspective helped me along the way. I passed on other opportunities that, in hindsight would not have been good for me, in part because of the advice I got from STAA.”
Hemeyer says that Friedman, who is a Cleveland native and a graduate of Ohio State University, is a good fit for Kinston.
“With a very small staff we needed someone who could wear many different hats,” Hemeyer says. “Matt’s experience with running his own sports department, plus his radio and television knowledge made him a perfect choice. Being from Ohio, his knowledge base about the Cleveland Indians is also a plus.”
David Riggs joins Blue Crabs radio team
(January 27, 2010) STAA client David Riggs is joining the play-by-play team of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The Blue Crabs are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Riggs will broadcast the middle three innings of home games and assist Director of Media Relations & Broadcasting Paul Braverman, a fellow STAA client. Media relations duties will include writing press releases, game stories, and internet content.
Braverman was familiar with Riggs’ sportscasting work prior to Riggs applying with the Blue Crabs. Riggs spent last summer as the voice of the Geneva Red Wings of the NYCBL – Braverman is a former voice of the Red Wings.
“I had gotten in touch with Paul before the Red Wings season last summer because he had worked there previously,” Riggs says. “At that time I directed him to my STAA Talent Page and it gave him a sense back then of my experience and skill set.
“I’m looking forward to working under Paul. This will give me an opportunity to really grow, become a better broadcaster and train under someone who has more experience than I do.”
Riggs is currently the play-by-play voice of Bloomfield College basketball in New Jersey. He is a 2008 graduate of Boston University.
Alex Kushel catches first pro baseball job
(January 26, 2010) STAA client Alex Kushel is joining minor league baseball’s Lincoln Saltdogs as a broadcaster and media relations assistant. Kushel will work alongside Director of Broadcasting Jason Van Arkel.
The Saltdogs play in the American Association and are coming off a league championship in 2009. They also play in a relatively new ballpark that is located next door to the University of Nebraska football station and boasts a clear view of the state capital building. Kushel is looking forward to all of it.
“It’s my first opportunity to work in pro baseball. I’ve been really satisfied working in summer collegiate ball, the Cape Cod League and last year in the Coastal Plain League. This kind of experience can hopefully lead me a long way towards my long-term goals in baseball play-by-play.”
Last summer Kushel served as the Media Relations Director for the Forest City Owls in North Carolina. That experience, plus a summer with the Falmouth Commodores, has given Kushel the time and practice to prepare for his new position with the Saltdogs.
"Alex is a good fit for this position because he’s a young man who has both a talent and a passion for being a broadcaster," says Van Arkel. "He’s put himself in a position to find opportunities to succeed in this business, and he’s taken advantage of those opportunities. He has a natural ability for this line of work, but it’s clear that he’s also spent a lot of time honing his craft."
A Florida native, Kushel has the perfect attitude for a broadcaster about to relocate to Nebraska. "It’s gonna be a different experience. I did move to a small town in Forest City, NC. It’s going to be different but at the same time I’m willing to relocate. The opportunity to be on the air and do something I enjoy anywhere is something I’m looking forward to."
Kushel found the opportunity on the STAA job forum. It is also where he found his last job in Forest City. Kushel also appreciates the ease of using his STAA Talent Page in looking for new opportunities.
“The Talent Page has been helpful in terms of getting into contact with employers and making it easier to get my work out there in front of organizations. It has been very beneficial.”
“I thank STAA for their resources."
Feldman returns to OC Flyers baseball
(January 25, 2010) Josh Feldman won’t experience any of the nerves that usually come with a new job. An STAA client, Feldman has been named Director of Media Relations/Broadcaster for the Orange County (CA) Flyers of the Golden Baseball League.
Feldman worked for the Flyers in 2007 as an on-field MC before joining the GBL’s Long Beach Armada as their road broadcaster and home game MC.
“It is a team I’m familiar with and it’s a great opportunity,” Feldman says.
Feldman had other minor league baseball play-by-play opportunities this off-season but feels the Flyers are the best fit.
“I’m looking forward to calling more games than I have in a given season and being able to take ownership with that. With the Armada I had to split my time between responsibilities several different ways. Now I can have more of a media focus which is nice.”
Feldman’s past association with the Flyers was the major key to his returning to the team. Still, he says he has learned a lot through his association with STAA. “You really helped familiarize me with the right way to go through the [job application] process. The next time I go through the process I’ll have a much better starting point, You showed me the right way to go about these things. I was fortunate to be able to go about this opportunity the right way. When the opportunity comes up next, you’ve showed me the best way to go about it to achieve success.”
Feldman is a 2007 graduate of the University of Southern California.
Kiel to make ESPNU play-by-play debut
(January 22, 2010) Angela Kiel’s overnight success story has been seven years in the making. An STAA client, Kiel has earned her first play-play-play assignment for the ESPN family of TV networks. She will be calling play-by-play on ESPNU for the women’s basketball game featuring Louisiana Tech at Nevada on January 26th at 8 pm PST.
Kiel’s pursuit of this opportunity started in 2003. A former college basketball player at Marian College, IUPUI in Indianapolis, Kiel has worked as an account executive for a national mortgage lender since 1998. However, the Indiana native’s passion for basketball continued to burn. She continued to play in women’s leagues near her home in Southern California but she wanted to be even closer to the game. Sportscasting provided her an avenue.
In 2003, Kiel spent the first of four straight summers attending a sports broadcasting camp. The experience was invaluable as she learned the fundamentals of the trade and created radio and TV tape. In 2004, she landed her current job broadcasting play-by-play for the Loyola Marymount University women’s basketball team. Two years later, Kiel was ready to expand her sportscasting career. That is when she called STAA.
“The first disc we made for her was a TV demo,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “Her ability was evident but she lacked any practical TV experience.”
After gaining several more years of experience, Kiel decided last summer to pursue TV play-by-play opportunities through a new contact she made at ESPN. However, without prior TV experience, Kiel didn’t have video to submit. “We created a DVD for Angie featuring her radio play-by-play accompanied by a montage of still photos from LMU games,” Chelesnik says. “We also included a brief video from a post-game webcast interview Angie conducted.”
The decision-makers in Bristol liked what they heard but needed to see more of Kiel on camera. She hired a photographer to shoot some raw footage, which STAA used to assemble a series of reporting packages. “We put those on a new DVD, along with the prior play-by-play material. Angie’s personality and presence came through in spades on that disc. It is the one she used to eventually earn this opportunity,” Chelesnik says.
“The first thing [ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer] Tina Thornton commented on was the quality and look of the DVD itself,” Kiel says. “She said the [demo and resume] layout was well packaged and one of the best she’s seen. She compared mine to a package she looked at [earlier that day] and called mine "very impressive.”
“Thank you so much for the work [STAA] did for me. It made a difference,” Kiel says. “Persistence and goal setting pays off!”
Morse shoots for stars — and makes it
(January 21, 2010) STAA client Aaron Morse has accepted a broadcast internship with the Huntsville Stars. The Stars are the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Morse is one of two STAA clients to accept an internship with the Stars this off-season (announcement of the other individual is pending). In Huntsville, Morse will be working alongside a third STAA client: the Voice of the Stars, Chad Anderson.
Morse’s internship responsibilities will include a mix of play-by-play, pre and post game hosting, interviews, producing, editing, public relations and website maintenance. There will also be sales opportunities for Morse.
“I’m looking forward to getting play-by-play experience with a professional baseball team,” Morse says. The sales will also be very good experience. As I’ve conducted the job search I have seen that many jobs include sales. It will be good to get the experience that I’ll need as I good forward.”
Morse is particularly excited about a big step the Stars are making with their broadcasts. Last year, Stars games were heard on Internet-only broadcasts. This year the Stars are assembling a regional radio network for the coming season.
Morse credits his STAA Talent Page for making the job market a lot easier. “It’s a hassle to go to the post office. The Talent Page is great because it has my resume and demo. I can tell an employer, ‘here is the link to my resume and demo.’ It’s a lot easier than emailing attachments. I’ve had some employers tell me they don’t like receiving a lot of attachments because the attachments crash their accounts. The Talent Page link is great in terms of making the process a whole lot easier, that’s for sure.”
Morse has spent two of the past three summers broadcasting games in the famed Alaska summer baseball league. He also served an internship at the Big Ten Network. At the end of this spring, Morse will graduate from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. There won’t be much time to celebrate, Morse will leave immediately for Huntsville and his first post-college gig.
Morse tips his hat to STAA as he prepares for his next career step. “Your advice helped me a lot along the way.”
Tighe named studio host on Miami Heat Basketball Network
(January 19, 2010) Tommy Tighe is excited about getting his shot at the NBA. An STAA client and long-time national studio voice of college basketball on Westwood One, Tighe has taken over as host on the Miami Heat Radio Network.
In his new role, Tighe is anchoring pre-game, halftime and post-game shows on Heat broadcasts. He replaces Jeremy Marks-Peltz who resigned to accept expanded opportunities at ESPN 760 in West Palm Beach.
Tighe spent 11 years as an anchor for Westwood One, most notably hosting their NCAA Tournament and Monday Night Football coverage. His network experience also includes Super Bowls and Olympic coverage.
“It’s a challenge getting into the NBA, which I’ve never done on this type of basis,” Tighe says. “And I’m looking forward to working with a class organization like the Heat.”
When the position opened, officials called Tighe to gauge his interest. Later, the team’s Director of Broadcasting Ted Ballard asked STAA to email a link to Tighe’s Talent Page so they could review his work. Within 48 hours, Tighe was on the air.
In addition to his responsibilities with the Heat, Tighe is also a regular freelance contributor to PGA Tour Radio on Sirius/XM. He continues to explore full-time opportunities as a studio anchor and/or sports talk host.
Young is new voice of the SwampDogs
(January 18, 2010) 2010 is barely under way and Adam Young already has his summer plans wrapped up. Young, an STAA client, has been hired as the play-by-play voice of the Fayetteville SwampDogs.
In addition to broadcast responsibilities, Young will lead the media relations department and host a weekly, half-hour television show on a local Time Warner Cable channel. The SwampDogs are a member of the Coastal Plain League.
The fourth STAA client to sportscasting job for the SwampDogs in recent seasons, Young is eager to take advantage of the opportunity to expand his television experience. "I’m very excited about having the TV show. Its not just the broadcasting on radio. I also get to do the TV show and a lot of media relations work. Its something I don’t have a lot of experience in that I know will help me in the future."
The new job will be Young’s first after graduating from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, where he is currently a senior. Anxious to obtain as much experience as possible, Young’s college years have been packed with radio and TV work, including a summer with KSLG-AM in St. Louis. Last summer Young was the No. 2 broadcaster for the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League.
Young credits STAA with filling out his resume. "I wouldn’t have known about the job without STAA. Everything [STAA] has done has been so influential in my career. Joining STAA jump-started my career. Things took off once I joined."
Even with a solid body of work submitted to the SwampDogs, Young wanted to demonstrate his passion. So, after learning he was a finalist, Young asked one of his references to place a call on his behalf. "Jeremy Aagard said, ‘I was really amazed at the respect your reference has for you and how hard you work. That really made an impression.’"
That’s another trick Young learned from STAA.
"Without the advice from you I wouldn’t have known how to follow up my application and to be persistent. Its one thing [SwampDogs Assistant General Manager] Jeremy Aagard mentioned, my persistence. I called him every week and even if he didn’t have any new news he thanked me for staying in contact."
"I could not have gotten this without [STAA]. All the help you have given me has been very influential."
Hawkins heads West to Arizona
(January 15, 2010) Dan Hawkins is heading West for the Winter. Hawkins, an STAA client, has accepted a Play-by-play and Media relations position with the Arizona Winter League in Yuma, AZ.
Hawkins will call play-by-play for internet broadcasts of every league game and manage the daily media relations duties. The Arizona Winter League is operated by the independent Golden Baseball League. The AWL season is brief, running January 29th through February 27th at the Ray Croc Complex in Yuma, the former spring training home of the San Diego Padres.
The position was unadvertised. Hawkins stumbled on the job by he cold-emailing Mike Marshall — manager and GM of the GBL Yuma Scorpions (and former L.A. Dodger) — inquiring about the possibility of an open broadcaster position with the Scorpions during the summer season. Marshall is also the President of the AWL. After reviewing the demo and resume on Hawkins’ STAA Talent Page, Marshall contacted him about the AWL opportunity.
"He looked at my stuff on STAA’s site and contacted me via phone in regards to working the AWL season," Hawkins says, "Mike also mentioned this would be a great opportunity for us to work together and see if we mesh together and potentially spring boarding into the summer broadcaster job with the Scorpions."
Hawkins spent last summer with the Eugene Emeralds, a Class-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. He is currently a freelance broadcaster in Oklahoma.
"Thanks again to STAA. Having my demo/resume material on the website made it easy for me to email Mr Marshall my resume and listen to my on-air work almost instantly, giving me a leg up on the competition."
Matt Tarnawa returns to radio
(January 13, 2010) Matt Tarnawa, an STAA client, has accepted a job as a Programmer at KWIX-KRES-KIRK in Moberly, Missouri.
The full-time spot offers Tarnawa a range of responsibilities, including news, sports, play-by-play, production, and board-op work. "I’m definitely looking forward to all the opportunities I’ll get in a variety of areas, especially the sports. KRES is known throughout the area for really great sports coverage," says Tarnawa. "It’s not going to be the same day twice.”
When the sportscasting position at the Good Radio cluster became available, News Director Brad Boyer called STAA to post the job. Tarnawa’s Talent Page was among those STAA sent to Boyer.
"I know [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik sent the link to my Talent Page to Brad right away," Tarnawa says. "Employers head to that page and they have everything in one place; it’s really ideal for someone who is looking for a sportscaster. That’s how you get yourself seen. Its works almost better than self promotion because it’s there all the time for anybody to review.”
When Tarnawa saw the listing he set his personal network in motion to gain an edge on the competition. Tarnawa’s friend Will Palaszczuk, a classmate at the University of Missouri and fellow STAA client, also works for a Good Radio station, KTJJ in Farmington, MO.
“Networking was huge. I had people in that part of the state and who work for the company whom I could keep in touch with and who could bring me to the attention of Brad. Without that, I’m just another name and face. The networking I was able to do really helped me out.”
When the call for an interview came, Tarnawa turned to STAA for assistance. Chelesnik conducted a mock interview over the telephone with Tarnawa in preparation for the real deal.
“I had been rusty on the interviews because I hadn’t had one for awhile. You get out of practice. You think you are going to be a pro speaking for a living but you don’t have the handle on it that you think you did," says Tarnawa. "The questions Jon asked and the tips and pointers were absolutely invaluable in getting the job. Without the mock interview, I don’t know that I would have done so well when it mattered.”
Tarnawa spent the two years as a reporter, anchor, and producer at KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri. While at KOMU Tarnawa also did some radio work at KBIA, the NPR affiliate in Columbia, but it has been almost a year since his last radio appearance.
Tarnawa is the fourth STAA client to join the Good Radio family of stations, joining Palaszczuk and Ari Temkin
and Eric Messersmith
, who also work for the Moberly cluster.
Flemming stays close to home to call P-Nats baseball
(January 10, 2010) Will Flemming is continuing his successful career transition from private business to professional baseball broadcasting. An STAA client, Flemming has been named Director of Broadcasting/Assistant Director of Media Relations for the Potomac Nationals.
The P-Nats are the Class A Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. They are located just 20 minutes from Flemming’s childhood home in Alexandria, VA. “The first minor league game I ever went to was the old Prince William Cannons in the Nationals current stadium,” Flemming says. “It’s a perfect opportunity for me for next step. It’s a No 1 gig, I’ll do all the games home and road and I grew up here.”
Flemming joins the P-Nats after spending last season as the No.2 broadcaster with the Class-A Lancaster JetHawks of the California League. In Lancaster, he worked alongside fellow STAA client Jeff Lasky. Flemming had already returned to the East Coast to be close to family when he learned of the Nationals job through STAA.
“You don’t always get the opportunity to choose where you want to go,” Flemming says. “The opportunity to stay in [minor league baseball], make a move up and be exactly where I want to be geographically was something I wouldn’t say no to.”
Flemming has made good use of his STAA Talent Page in the job market. “Every time I email and every cover letter I write I add the link. It’s more convenient for people today to just click on a link. The ability to constantly update both the resume and the demo is very helpful. The fact you can have the most updated demo material on the page is just so helpful.
Fleming started his broadcasting career last season after leaving a successful business career. He had been a student broadcaster at Stanford.
“When I decided to re-commit to it, I just kind of felt that [play-by-play] was the thing that I have to be doing. The games have met my expectation and actually exceeded it.”
“There is no guarantee I would have heard of the opening if it weren’t for my relationship with STAA,” Flemming says. “It probably wouldn’t have happened without you guys.”
Jerry Schemmel named Colorado Rockies play-by-play voice
(January 7, 2010) Jerry Schemmel proves that patience is a virtue. In 2007, the long-time voice of the Denver Nuggets decided to pursue his dream of Major League Baseball play-by-play. Three years later, Schemmel’s dream is reality.
An STAA client, Schemmel has been named play-by-play broadcaster for the Colorado Rockies. He’ll work alongside Jack Corrigan.
“It is pretty ironic,” Schemmel says. “It is a God thing all the way that we search for so long for a job and here it was right in my backyard. God works in amazing ways.”
Schemmel is STAA’s second Major League Baseball client, joining Jeff Munn of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was 2007 when Schemmel, then in his 15th season with the Nuggets, accepted a summer job broadcasting play-by-play for the short season Class-A Billings Mustangs. I have always wanted to do baseball,” Schemmel told STAA at the time. “I have come semi-close to a couple major league jobs. I felt like I needed a full season of minor league baseball to really have a shot at a Major League job. I needed to hone by baseball skills.”
For two consecutive baseball off-seasons, Schemmel and STAA worked diligently contacting Major League teams across the country in pursuit of opportunity. STAA also constructed Schemmel’s radio and TV baseball demos. Now, Schemmel has found his dream job without even having to relocate.
“Thanks for your help,” Schemmel told STAA.
Schemmel’s job with the Rockies comes less than seven months after he accepted the football and basketball play-by-play job at Colorado State University. While there is annually going to be some overlap between Schemmel’s Rockies and Rams responsibilities, both Schemmel and CSU are making maximum effort to work it out. Colorado State Associate Athletic Director Gary Ozello tells STAA, “We want to do everything we can to keep [Jerry] in that role.”
According to the Denver Post, Schemmel and Altitude Sports, which broadcasts Nuggets games on KCKK-AM (1510), will part company following the Jan. 25 game against Charlotte.
Stu Paul new play-by-play voice of Nashville Sounds
(January 6, 2010) It was going to take an outstanding opportunity to lure Stu Paul away from his long-time job as a baseball play-by-play broadcaster for the San Antonio Missions. After nearly ten years, though, an outstanding opportunity has arrived. Paul, an STAA client, has been named play-by-play broadcaster and account executive for the Nashville Sounds.
The Sounds are the AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The opportunity has been a long-time coming for Paul, who has spent the past nine seasons as the No. 2 voice of the Class AA Missions.
“To finally make it to Triple A is great,” Paul says. “Larger ballparks, larger cities and flying everywhere is great. Nashville is a growing city that really has a passion for baseball. Also the opportunity to move up to Triple A and see veterans that are only a phone call away from the Major Leagues is exciting.
“The sales part won’t be easy and the new owners are hoping to turn things around in Nashville, and I’m happy to be a part of this. More than 100 people applied. Persistence and patience do pay off!”
Paul applied for the job when it was posted on the STAA job forum in early November. He was invited to interview in Nashville one month later. To help him prepare, STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik conducted a mock interview with Paul over the telephone.
“I went into the interview knowing what to expect and trying not to oversell myself. Keeping it simple helps,” Paul says. “[STAA] has done great work and you do a tremendous job. Thank you.”
Paul has also had his demo and resume packages built by Chelesnik since 2004.
“It has been a great benefit for me. I’ve been in the business a long time but I never want to stop improving. I always try to benefit from other peoples opinions on how to market myself. You want to sell yourself without having to overdo it. The quality [of the portfolios] was different, the way everything was presented.”
“I’ve had a terrific run [in San Antonio] but when the opportunity comes you have to take advantage of it. It was time to make the leap. I am very thankful for the Sounds (VP of Sales and Marketing) Brad Tammen and (GM) George King for giving me the opportunity.”
“It took me awhile to get here but I never lost faith. I told myself to keep plugging along and everything would fall into place.”