Veteran sportscasters: evolve or die

peyton-manningPeyton Manning played 17 seasons in the NFL. At age 39, he had to work even harder than when he was 29 just to stay in the league. No detail was too small for Manning to overlook.

Experience didn’t guarantee him employment.

As a veteran sportscaster, you have to take the Peyton Manning approach to your sportscasting career.

Having considerable experience doesn’t mean you no longer have to work hard in the job market.
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16 traits that predict sportscasting success

It is said that sports broadcasting employers need to listen to someone for just 30 seconds to decide if they like that person’s work. Similarly, I can tell within a few minutes of conversation if the person to whom I am speaking is cut out for a career in sports broadcasting.

sportscasting-jobs

Here are 16 traits that foretell sportscasting success:

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How to make the most of 3 job market frustrations

Anyone who has applied for sports broadcasting jobs has experienced some degree of frustration.

If it makes you feel any better, the things that annoy you are annoying to other people as well.

job market frustrations

Here are three common job market frustrations (and how to make the best of them):Read More

What divides great PBP voices from good ones?

Is your play-by-play career stuck on the 9th floor of a 10-story building? Maybe you aspire to a major college play-by-play job but you’ve plateaued at Division I-AA. Or maybe you’ve been in minor league baseball for 10 years yet never even interviewed for a Major League job.

nba energy

Your play-by-play might be missing the one thing that distinguishes the great voices from the very good ones:

NBA energy.
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The most memorable day in my sportscasting career

Photo by LobShots
Photo by LobShots

When Jeanne Zelasko called me one morning in October 1993, I felt like my big break had finally arrived.

Three months earlier, I had moved back to my hometown of San Diego after three years of entry-level radio in McPherson, KS. For the final two of those three years, I had been trying unsuccessfully to get on board at San Diego’s XTRA Sports 690 – just the second all-sports station in the country at that time.

Finally, I decided if I was going to get a job in San Diego, I had to live in San Diego. So I moved west, introduced myself to station PD Howard Freedman, and told him I was interested in future opportunities.
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Do you feel stuck in your sportscasting career?

When I worked at XTRA Sports 690 in San Diego in the mid-90s, I felt like my career was in neutral. I felt stuck. Years later, I realized I wasn’t stuck. I just didn’t want to leave my hometown.

Is your sportscasting career really stuck?

career-stuck

Many sportscasters think they have been in the same place for longer than they want because they are the victims of circumstance.
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4 wrong reasons to become a sportscaster

Do you want to become a sportscaster? It’s a wonderful profession. I spent 15 years on the air myself. If you are going to become a sports broadcaster, though, make sure you’re getting into the business for the right reasons.

wrong-reasons

Here are four of the wrong reasons to become a sportscaster:

1. You want to be rich

Folks who are already working in the industry know the idea of getting rich in sports broadcasting is laughable. In sports broadcasting, if you earn your age, you are doing alright. If you want to have a family, your spouse is probably going to have to work.
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The best way to tell your boss that you are leaving

The next time you resign from a sports broadcasting job, how are you going to do it?

You can burn a bridge or build a relationship.

leaving-your-job

Understand this fact about submitting a resignation that is unique to broadcasters: When you give your notice, expect that your boss might tell you that you are immediately off the air.

Some bosses are paranoid about a departing talent saying bad things about the station on the air. Sounds unreasonable, I know, but it happens.
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The first five into the Sports Broadcasting Instructors Hall of Fame

Sports Broadcasting Instructor Hall of FameIf there were a Hall of Fame for college teachers of sports broadcasting, the following five standouts would make up the inaugural class:

They are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

  • Tom Hedrick (Kansas; retired)
  • Ed Ingles (Pictured; Hofstra; deceased)
  • Bill Mercer (North Texas; retired)
  • John Nicholson (Syracuse; retired)
  • Bill Roth (Virginia Tech)

Big honorable mention goes to Dave Hunziker at Oklahoma State.

If you were mentored by one of these all-time greats, please let us know in the comments section below.

Who do you nominate for the mythical next class of inductees? Again, please comment below.

Beware of sportscasting fools gold

Many years ago, I was the first talent hire for a group that was going to start a national cable TV network devoted totally to football. It was before even the NFL Network, ESPNU or any of the conference networks.

This startup network had huge plans. I hosted a weekly radio segment for them for three years because they convinced me that my big payday was coming. They sold their vision so convincingly that my wife and I bought stock in the company and encouraged our family and friends to do the same.

fools-gold

Three years later, in August 2003, the channel finally went on the air. Four months after that, they ran out of money and were off the air forever. Many of the producers, directors and talent were never paid in full for their services.
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