At STAA, we know how you feel because we’ve been where you are.
My name is Jon Chelesnik.
In June 2003, I was in my fourth year hosting on ESPN Radio Network and broadcasting college football on TV (not on ESPN, though). By the end ’03, I was unemployed. After 14 years in sportscasting, I thought I would easily land a new job.
I knew sportscasting, but I knew nothing about the job market. I didn’t know where jobs were or how to get them.
STAA was started to help you avoid my mistakes so you can get your next job faster.
STAA is for sports broadcasting job-seekers who are highly motivated. They want information about what to do, then are eager to do it for themselves. People who are looking for someone to do the work for them are not a fit for STAA.
Joining STAA is like a gym membership. Some sign up and do nothing. Some sign up and change everything. It’s not up to the gym. It’s up to you.
“The most valuable part of my STAA membership is the accessibility to Jon Chelesnik. I have yet to be unable to reach Jon for advice on the phone and not have him be there. STAA has provided me with specific one-on-one advice whenever I’ve needed it.”
Sports Talk Host, 610 Sports Kansas City
(Member since 2011)
When you’re an STAA member you are no longer walking the sportscasting career path alone.
These are the folks providing backup any time you need it.
AKA your personal career consultant
When I realized the NBA had no interest in slow guards who can’t shoot, I decided that broadcasting sports was the next best career option. Play-by-play in McPherson, KS and sports radio and TV in San Diego led to four years hosting on ESPN Radio Network.
Working on-air is the first way I learned the industry.
After ESPN, I failed in my effort to get a job in local radio. Learning how not to get a job in sports broadcasting is the second way I learned the industry.
Eventually, I started helping other sportscasters build their careers. I began asking employers what they look for when hiring talent. I haven’t stopped asking since.
Daily contact with employers is the third way I continue learning the industry.
Sometimes, I miss being on air. However, being home at night and on weekends with my wife Amy (who handles STAA billing) and our son is worth the trade-off. We love reading, playing board games and going to the beach together. I also binge on Friday Night Lights re-runs. Along with Leave it to Beaver, FNL is the best show ever made.
Community Experience All-Star
I first learned about STAA prior to my senior year at Marquette University. Jon Chelesnik has been an invaluable resource to my growth as a broadcaster. When I have needed guidance, Jon and STAA have been there to help me determine my next step. My growth as a broadcaster over the last decade has been transformational and I am so grateful for my experience with STAA.
Since 2013, I have been with Carson-Newman University full-time as a broadcaster, sports information director and content creator. On top of my play-by-play duties for soccer, volleyball, women’s basketball and baseball, I develop video feature stories on our football players that air each week on our TV show, design graphics, edit video and run social media accounts. In my time, the conference has given me the opportunity to be a broadcaster for numerous basketball and baseball league tournaments. Since the summer of 2020, I have been one of the hosts and editors for our podcast, Mossy Creek Conversations.
Outside of Carson-Newman, I have done play-by-play for volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball and softball at the University of Tennessee on SEC Network+ since the spring 2018. In 2020, I added professional soccer to my regular work calling games in the USL Championship and NWSL.
Let’s connect on social media. Tag us in your posts on any social media platform and we will showcase your work on our channels and don’t forget to use the #InTheBooth hashtag to share your broadcast views.
When Jon was a basketball walk-on at Kansas State University, his teammates included current Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond.
In Michael’s quest to get to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, he has been to 23 different team’s parks and 26 different venues.
STAA billing guru Amy Chelesnik taught middle science for 15 years
When it’s Jon’s turn to make dinner, it’s usually some combination of chicken and rice or pasta.
Jon once ate 18 glazed donuts in a single sitting.
Michael keeps a year’s supply of cereal in house at all times.
Tony Gwynn was part of Jon’s marriage proposal to Amy
When Michael was six, he was the guest PA announcer for one batter at a Reds game at Riverfront Stadium, introducing Eduardo Perez.
You’ll discover my best advice for developing your on-air skills and career on the STAA blog.
STAA’s public job board lists openings in sports radio and TV.
From broadcast prep materials to the industry renowned STAA Play-by-Play and Sports Talk Pyramids, these are resources to help your career.