Want your sportscasting to be noticed? Be Dan Cohen

dan cohenOne of my pet peeves in sports broadcasting is TV anchors doing a themed sportscast in an attempt to boost their careers by going viral on the Internet.

Yes, a sportscast featuring 30 famous movie references is clever and entertaining, but it’s also a cheap publicity grab.

Truly great sportscasters are clever and entertaining every time they turn on the mike.

This now brings me to Dan Cohen.

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Have you been lucky to experience this in sportscasting?

Do you remember the iconic video of Michael Jordan versus Portland in the NBA Finals? He couldn’t miss a shot. After drilling yet another bucket, he retreated to the defensive end of the floor with his palms up to the ceiling and a look of bemusement on his face as if to say, “This is amazing even by my standards. I can’t believe it either!”

MJ was in the zone.
in-the-zone

As a sportscaster, have you ever been in the zone? What did it feel like?

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When you put your foot in your mouth like this, you lose

Last week, I wrote about the Number One Way to Blow a Telephone Job Interview. Today, I share more examples from employers about how NOT to nail the job interview.

goofus-and-gallant

When I was a kid, I used to receive a magazine called Highlights. If you are at least 30, you probably remember seeing it in the waiting room at your pediatrician’s office.

Highlights had a feature titled Goofus and Gallant. Goofus was always doing stuff the wrong way, Gallant was doing it the right way. Today’s “yes, this really happened” story is about Goofus and Gallant in the sports broadcasting job market. The examples come from another broadcasting executive.
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The number one way to blow a telephone job interview

Often, the best advice I share on the STAA blog is straight from sports broadcasting employers. In this case, it is about the telephone job interview.

phone-interviews

The number one way to blow a phone interview is to not be prepared.

The following comments are from a minor league baseball executive who vented to me about his recent experience in filling a broadcasting position.
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Top tips for sports talk hosts to create inside sources

There is a sports talk host in San Diego who I love listening to because I know he is connected with the local teams. When he shares opinions, especially about the Padres, I love to read between the lines, knowing there is a good chance that what he is passing off as opinion or observation is actually information he got from an inside source.

photo credit: sandrafdzh via photopin cc
Make it a point to attend practice regularly
Photo credit: sandrafdzh via photopin cc

Most hosts don’t have such insight because most hosts don’t make the effort to develop inside contacts. It’s hard to do because it takes time that many hosts aren’t willing to invest.

Here are four top tips for building insider relationships with the teams that you cover:
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Want To Be A Great Sportscaster? Watch The Clock

“A big issue I’ve had is finding time to prep and critique my broadcasting. What tips do you have for streamlining prep work?” – An STAA Member

desk-watch-the-clock

If you want to be good in radio, you have to prep one hour for each hour you are on the air. If you want to be great, the ratio should be two-to-one. This applies equally to play-by-play guys and talk show hosts.

But where do you find the time to be great?
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10 Actionable Tips To Help You Reach Your Career Goals

If change is worth making, it is worth making right away. There’s no reason to save it for a New Year’s resolution.

2015-goals

Here are 10 actionable tips to help you reach your career goals.

1. Build your team

We all have people we lean on at important times in our lives. Think about who those people are in your life, then use them to help you with important career decisions. It’s likely that not all of your team members will be in the sports broadcasting industry. My team includes my wife, dad and sister, Melodie who is part of our team at STAA, and a couple of friends in broadcasting with whom I have grown close over the years. The people who know you best will keep you moving in the right direction.
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Know How Much Of Your TV Reel Employers Are Watching

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you knew an employer watched your TV reel and for how long they watched it?

tv-demo-reel

You will know these things if you host your reel on YouTube.

YouTube’s analytics provide two key pieces of info about your TV reel:

1. Who is watching

YouTube’s analytics tell you the states from which your reel has been watched and when it was watched. If you applied last week for a job in Dallas and see that someone in Texas watched your reel on Thursday, you can feel confident it was the employer to whom you applied.

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A critical key to a great sportscasting career

There are a million clichés about patience – patience is a virtue, good things come to those who wait, etc. The reason there are so many clichés about patience is because so few of us have it, especially when it comes to our sports broadcasting careers.

Believe me – I’ve lived it.

patience and timing

I was ten years out of college when I finally achieved my big break – hosting Weekend AllNight on ESPN Radio. I was 12 years out of school when I finally joined the college football play-by-play roster of a TV network — The Football Network (which went belly-up after one season).
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