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.
Director of Community Experience
I first met Jon Chelesnik and STAA when I was a junior at John Carroll University. I was lucky to be at a school that gave me an awful lot of opportunities to be on-air, but I was missing a critical component to my growth – someone to help me understand what I was doing right, and more importantly, what I was doing wrong. STAA was the perfect fit and my only regret was not finding it sooner. Jon pushed me to bet on myself and it’s been fun to look back on the last 10 years and see how my life has transformed.
Like most sportscasters, I’m juggling several jobs simultaneously. I am based out of Cleveland and work for a few different colleges in the area. I also provide play-by-play for many of Ohio State’s Olympic sports on BTN+, I am an update anchor and fill-in host at 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland and I broadcast many of the NCAA DII and DIII National Championship events on NCAA.com. In addition to my on-air work, I’m the publisher for the Ohio State channel (BuckeyesNow) on Sports Illustrated’s FanNation network. I have operated the channel since June 2020 and got to cover the Buckeyes all the way through a College Football Playoff National Championship appearance.
I joined STAA in July 2021 as the Director of Community Engagement. I hope you’ll interact with us on social media and in our message boards – don’t forget to use the hashtag #InTheBooth on Twitter!
When Jon was a basketball walk-on at Kansas State University, his teammates included current Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond.
Brendan hit his first career hole-in-one in a tournament at Oyster Reef Golf Course in Hilton Head, South Carolina on June 15, 2019.
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.
Brendan’s favorite place to vacation is Glacier National Park in Montana.
Tony Gwynn was part of Jon’s marriage proposal to Amy
Brendan was such a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan that he used to call the players his cousins when he was 4 years old. It’s a shame that Omar Vizquel, Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and the gang never won a World Series!
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.