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.
Founder & CEO
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 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.
Digital Content Coordinator
AKA the former Talent Page Queen
In college I thought I might spin my love of soccer into a broadcasting job, which is how I landed in Jon’s sports broadcasting class at Palomar College.
Before I knew it, I was here. A cinema graduate with a ten-year career that began as a part-time gig coding Talent Page’s at the newly founded STAA. I go beyond Talent Pages now, but everything I do at STAA is centered on helping sportscasters have an awesome, satisfying career of their own.
I teach radio and podcasting classes at Saddleback College and when I’m not working, you’ll find me reading, making art, hanging with my friends and/or siblings (#TeamTurori), or sharing Cook Islands culture at a Pacific Islander event.
Social Media Coordinator
I signed up for Jon Chelesnik’s sports broadcasting class after a classmate asked if I would take the class with him. He never showed up but I used the class as the first step towards a career in sports broadcasting with Jon leading the way. I almost lost faith in my teacher after he recommended I leave San Diego, CA for a summer in Chillicothe, Missouri but, after a couple of months learning about summers in the midwest, I returned home to San Diego to accept a job with the Mighty 1090. I’ve been eternally grateful for Jon ever since.
Like many broadcasters, I’m shuffling several jobs. You can find me on the Mighty 1090, Slacker Radio and San Diego State broadcasts on the Mountain West Network. I also enjoy hosting the Unnamed Soccer Podcast and Show Tiempo, a Lakers podcast carried by SB Nation. My favorite teams are the Padres, Lakers and Chelsea FC.
I joined the STAA family as the Social Media Coordinator in 2017. Make sure to hashtag #InTheBooth on Twitter!
When Jon was a basketball walk-on at Kansas State University, his teammates included current Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond.
Jordan made the trip to watch Trevor Hoffman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because he may never see another San Diego Padre make it to Cooperstown in his life.
Jon’s wife spent 14 years as a middle school science teacher.
When it’s Jon’s turn to make dinner, it’s usually some combination of chicken and rice or pasta.
Mel was homeschooled K-12. The first time she set foot in a “real” classroom was to take the SAT’s. The second was freshman year of college.
Jordan’s goal is to inspire Jon to create dinners that consist of more than chicken and rice.
Jordan proposed to his future wife on the steps of the Sacre-Coeur in Montmartre, Paris.
Jon once ate 18 glazed donuts in a single sitting.
Mel is half Cook Islander and was born in New Zealand.
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.