SCP 14: Cold contacting to land a college PBP job

cold contacting with mike monacoAfter graduating from Notre Dame this spring, Mike Monaco, set about cold contacting local schools with hopes of turning up a college basketball job. The strategy paid off in securing Monaco the opportunity to call Western Michigan University men’s and women’s basketball on ESPN3.

In this STAA podcast, Monaco shares his strategy and tips for cold contacting local universities.

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STAA members achieve the 800 milestone

This week at STAA, our members hit a super cool milestone of which we are very proud. A few days ago we published a story about Seth Harp accepting the PD/Afternoon Drive Host position at Sports Radio 930 in Jacksonville.

It was the 800th story we have published since 2007 about an STAA member getting a sports broadcasting job.


800 success stories in eight years. It is fitting that No. 800 was Seth. He has been featured in six of those stories.
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SCP 13: How to build relationships that advance your career

Hoffman-CraigCraig Hoffman has been putting himself out there and building industry relationships since he was in college. Thanks to one of those networking contacts, Craig is joining the Washington Redskins flagship station, ESPN 980, as their Redskins beat reporter.

In this STAA podcast, Craig shares valuable insight and strategies for building the relationships that can advance your career.

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Veteran sportscasters: evolve or die

peyton-manningPeyton Manning has been in the NFL for 17 years. At age 39, he has to work even harder now than he did when he was 29 just to stay in the league. No detail is too small for Manning to overlook. Experience doesn’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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6 common mistakes of major college PBP applicants

applicationIf broadcasting major college play-by-play is a goal of yours, be smart about how you go about the application process.

Since 2007, I have been retained to be the recipient and initial evaluator for the football and basketball play-by-play positions for more than 15 NCAA Division I schools. Included are LSU, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Stanford, Virginia and Boise State.

Here are six common mistakes that applicants make when applying for big time play-by-play jobs:

  • No personal web page or web site
  • Applying at the last minute (How interested can you really be?)
  • Not following application instructions
  • Failing to meet the minimum qualifications
  • Addressing cover letters to the wrong person
  • Not tailoring the cover letter to the position

Greatness requires more effort than does mediocrity.

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):

1. EEO posts

For job seekers, EEO means a lot of position descriptions are published when there isn’t really an opening. The position has either already been filled or there never was a position available in the first place.

Some stations send out the same position descriptions every three months but never make a corresponding hire. Two stations in particular are so notorious for this that we rarely even post their positions in our job board any more.

One time I posted a sports radio position in the STAA forums. I then posted a follow-up comment along the lines of, “This is likely an EEO post. Don’t get your hopes up.” The PD of that station immediately emailed me to tell me that the opening was legit. I replied that the reason I wrote what I did was because he hadn’t hired anyone the last several times they had posted the position.

They didn’t hire anyone that time either.

Make the best of it: Submit your application on the chance that the employer might actually see it.

2. Applying to Human Resources

This is usually another result of EEO posts. Sending your demo and resume to the Human Resources Director is like putting a message into a bottle and throwing it into the ocean. You wonder if the actual decision maker is ever going to see it.

Make the best of it: When instructed to apply through HR, also send your application directly to the decision maker.

3. Local hires

Employers who prefer to hire talent who knows the history of the local teams is understandable, especially in sports talk radio. However, if you know you are going to hire local, don’t solicit applications nationally. It wastes people’s time.

I know an employer who always hires locally. Still, he feigns interest in out-of-town candidates — even for part-time positions, gets their hopes up, then tells them in the end that he wanted to make a local hire. Considering that the employer knew that from the start, it is disrespectful to applicants to put them through the charade.

Make the best of it: Demonstrate that you can instantly sound local by customizing your demo for the market to which you are applying.

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?


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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5 ways to set yourself apart in our crowded industry

Several years ago when the Florida Marlins radio play-by-play job opened, the team received 250 applications for the position. That is still the largest number of applicants I have ever heard of for a sports broadcasting position.

How do you stand out in a crowd that big?


Very few things in your career will ever be more frustrating than repeatedly getting passed over for jobs when you know you are just as good as the people who are landing the positions. How many times have you said to yourself, “If only somebody would just give me a chance?”
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