2014 Jim Nantz Award Watch List features 12 names


The nation’s best collegiate sports broadcasters. At STAA, that’s what we’re looking for each spring when we conduct our annual Jim Nantz Award and All-America program.

Below is our Watch List for 2014. It features the early favorites for this year’s Jim Nantz Award and STAA All-America program and consists of 12 names. The list is comprised primarily, but not exclusively, of student sportscasters who earned Top 20 or Honorable Mention recognition in last year’s rankings. Emerson College’s Ross Lippman won the award last season.

Be clear — there is no guarantee the 2014 Jim Nantz Award winner is included on this list.
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The books sports broadcasters should be reading


sportscasting-books

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, makes it a point to read everyday. He says the same information is available to everyone. The difference between him and the former business competitors that he has blown out of the water, though, is that he takes the time each day to learn. You should take the same approach with your sports broadcasting.

These eight books about sportscasting are some of my favorites and have earned a permanent place on my book shelf.

The Art of Sportscasting

by Tom Hedrick
Hands down, the best book ever written about how to succeed in our industry. Includes first person advice from some of the most successful voices in sports broadcasting – everything from how to be a better play-by-play guy or talk show host to how to get a job.
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11 secrets for making your sports podcast stand out


If only someone would give me a chance, I know I would do great.

5986540225_a7fb61a4db

I hear this all the time from folks who want to be sports talk show hosts. They’re all the next Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd or Jim Rome. All they need is for some sports radio PD somewhere to give them a chance.

Instead of complaining about it, do something about it. Create for yourself the opportunity you seek to put your money where your mouth is. Podcast. It’s a great, easy and inexpensive way to hone your skills and demonstrate why you are sports talk radio’s next big star.
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Discovering a gem at TCU


TCU 360/Alexandra Plancarte
TCU 360/Alexandra Plancarte
Alright, alright… I know, I know… This blog post is going to sound like an advertisement for TCU’s sports broadcasting program. I swear, though, that they didn’t ask me to write this post. (Although, as I found out, the Mexican food at Joe T. Garcia’s is so dang good, that perhaps I could be bribed. I joke. Maybe.) Anyway, here’s how the story played out…

Last fall, I published a blog post about the top sports broadcasting schools in the country. Afterward, I received an email from Charles LaMendola at TCU. Even though his school wasn’t on the list, he was complimentary of the list. He also wanted to politely let me know about the wonderful things TCU was doing in its sports broadcasting program. Ultimately, he invited me to Fort Worth for a sports media conference on the TCU campus.

The conference was last week and what I experienced was eye opening. There are many common traits among top sports broadcasting schools that make them outstanding. Here are six of them, as applied at TCU.
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Re-think the value of entry level sportscasting jobs


When McPherson (KS) High School lined up for the opening kickoff of the 1990 football season, I broke into a cold sweat. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized the severity of the fact that, in four years as a broadcast journalism major in college, I had never done football play-by-play. I had done basketball and baseball, but never football. Not only that, but in four years of college, not a single word had been spoken to me about how to do it.

Jerome T. Osborne Stadium by Erik Daniel Drost, on Flickr

The low pay has frustrated anyone who has worked an entry-level sports broadcasting job. Instead of being frustrated, though, be glad.
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4 ways to drive your sports talk radio ratings


How are your ratings?
How are your ratings?
Southern California is a haven for fans of sports talk radio. At any time, I can tune in to any of three Los Angeles stations and two San Diego stations. Despite having all those options, though, I find myself consistently tuning in to two shows each morning – Dan Patrick and Colin Cowherd. I do it because they take the same topics everyone else is talking about, but present them in ways I don’t get anywhere else. There are some common characteristics for how they do it. With that in mind, here are…

4 ways to instantly increase your sports talk radio ratings.
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Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30


When we first tweeted about putting together the Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30, we thought we might get a handful of responses to consider for one list. A week later, you had generated more than 2,000 tweets, and a nominee list with more than 100 names. Therefore, we compiled two lists. The first list is compiled by STAA. The second is compiled by our Twitter followers.

We never could have anticipated the overwhelming reply, but we sure enjoyed the ride. It was nice to watch the sportscasting community come together for something fun like this. We all need a little encouragement that our hard work has been noticed. Hopefully the 30 Under 30 provided you with such a compliment, even if you didn’t make the final lists.

I am the first to admit the list is highly subjective. Also, we did our best to confirm that everyone on the list is indeed under 30 years old, but we can’t guarantee it is 100% accurate. Honorees are listed alphabetically by last name, except for the first name on List One. In my humble opinion, Ryan Ruocco is clearly the top person on this list.

Now, on to the lists!

STAA’s 30 Under 30

Ryan-RuoccoRyan Ruocco
There was never any question that Ruocco was going to be No.1 on this list. Does everything from hosting daily on 98.7 ESPN Radio New York, to play-by-play of NBA, NFL, WNBA, college football and even a TV show. When Ruocco was coming out of Fordham in 2008, he was the best collegiate sports broadcaster we had ever heard. Still is. In fact, hearing his work prompted the idea for STAA’s annual Jim Nantz Award and All-America program honoring the nation’s top collegiate sports broadcasters. We wondered how many other collegians are out there who are similarly talented to Ryan. He’s still our all-time best.

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8 tips for landing your first sports broadcasting job


stack of resumes

If you are a college student graduating this spring, now is when you need to start hitting the job market. Even more important than working hard in the job market is working smart. Here are eight tips to help you do it.

1. Start looking early

The sports broadcasting job market usually takes at least three months, even for the best broadcasters. Therefore, it is smart to start looking early in your final semester of college.
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10 traits of great sports broadcasting employers


Yesterday, I took an inordinate number of phone calls from sportscasters who are…uhh…shall we say frustrated with their employers. I started thinking about all the employer horror stories I’ve heard over the years and thought they might make for interesting reading. Ultimately, though, there are many more good employers in our industry than bad ones, so I decided to approach this post from a glass-half-full standpoint.

With that in mind, here are 10 traits of great sports broadcasting employers…
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11 tips for your personal website


Studies have found that it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression when viewing your website. Make sure the website you’ve designed for your sports broadcasting career pursuits is making a positive impression on employers.

You don’t need to be a professional web designer to have an effective personal website. Use STAA’s tips to ensure you’re making the best possible first impression on potential sportscasting employers.
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