Top 5 sports broadcasting schools in 2017


This Spring, I’ve devoted considerable time to evaluating the sports broadcasting work of college students across the country. It’s part of STAA’s annual Jim Nantz Award and All-America program. I enjoy seeing which college sports broadcasting programs are on the rise…and which ones are slipping.

top 5 sports broadcasting schools

What Makes A Great Sportscasting School?

Top colleges for sports broadcasting are strong in at least five of the following seven areas:
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How do you handle the national anthem?


Not long ago, a minor league baseball broadcaster started working for a new team. For as long as anyone could remember, the team had traditionally broadcast the pre-game national anthem. The new broadcaster’s practice, though, had always been to break for commercials during the anthem.

The station left the decision up to him. He asked my advice. Here is what I replied…
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How Hoosiers landed this guy a sports radio job in LA


Years ago, the program director of a sports radio station in Oklahoma City applied for the same position at a Los Angeles station. Management in LA loved everything about him – his knowledge of the format, his ability to manage personalities, his proficiency working with sales and marketing departments – all of it.

There was just one thing that gave management in LA reservation about hiring him – the huge jump in market size from where he was to where they were.

When the trepidation came up in the interview, the PD replied brilliantly.
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What ESPN’s layoffs mean for sportscasters


ESPN’s announcement last week of major layoffs prompted an email to me from the parent of a student sportscaster. She wrote, “I always thought that now is a good time to go into sports broadcasting/journalism as there are so many different channels on TV and social media. Should I be concerned that ESPN laid off 100 employees today?

The answer: no.
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This was my pre on-air routine. What’s yours?


Last weekend, I heard Jay Z’s song Izzo (H to the Izz-o, V to the Izz-A). Immediately, a flood of memories came rushing to mind. When I was the host of ESPN Radio’s weekend overnights, Izzo was one of several songs my producer would play for me in the final 15 minutes before air.

Just as it is for athletes, music was part of our show’s pregame routine. (Jason McBride was our producer; Brian Fitzgerald our board-op. LOVED working with those guys). The songs simultaneously relaxed me and fired me up. Jason wouldn’t start playing them until all of our show prep was complete.
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What is your web presence telling employers about you?


A highly accomplished broadcaster applied for one of the major college play-by-play jobs that opened in the past year. However, when he applied by emailing resume and audio attachments, it sent the clear indication that he doesn’t possesses the technological skills necessary for the position.

web presence

Sports broadcasting jobs today are much more than simply being on the air. They are about creating online videos, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, blogging, live streaming and web editing. A person who can’t upload their demo and resume to DropBox likely can’t handle the multimedia duties required by most of today’s play-by-play jobs.

It’s okay to not know how to perform these tasks. It’s not okay to refuse to learn. Not if you want to continue your career.
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Challenge helps sportscaster cope with part-time work


Paul Bulkley once had a full-time sports broadcasting career. He’s called play-by-play for Weber State University, Dixie State College and Salt Lake Community College. He’s also been a sports director and talk show host. Today, he is a full-time high school teacher who occasionally does play-by-play on the side. Sometimes he laments that he’s no longer on the air full-time, but a new outlook is helping him to be grateful for what he has instead of regretting what he doesn’t.

In December, I issued a challenge for sportscasters to express gratitude for their careers for 90 straight days.
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Is national title game broadcast prep different than normal?


About this time a year ago, I was wondering if I would get the chance to ever to call another game, much less a national title game.

When my situation in Columbus, Ohio, changed, I went searching for work, and was fortunate enough to land a freelance job calling Division II Ashland University men’s and women’s basketball. It was not the “glamour” gig that I had calling Ohio State games, but it was a good way to stay alive and kicking in the business. (Maybe another blog sometime)
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Is doing PBP for ESPN3 a path to broadcasting PBP for ESPN?


A sportscaster had the opportunity to call a handful of games this basketball season on ESPN3. He is hopeful it will lead to a chance to broadcast games regularly for ESPN.

Do ESPN3 games lead to opportunities with ESPN? Maybe. This topic was recently explored in the STAA forums, with great insight provided by someone who has helped produce many E3 productions.

Your chances for moving up to ESPN partly depend on who hired you to do ESPN3 games.
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