LeCras joining Evansville Otters

Tim LeCrasTim LeCras is getting his first swing at minor league baseball. An STAA client since December 2011, LeCras is joining the broadcast team of the Evansville Otters.

LeCras will be announcing a few innings for each of the home games while assisting with game notes, press releases, social media, and the production of each broadcast.

A graduating senior at Seton Hall University, LeCras has excelled throughout his college career working in a number of different platforms. He is a play by play announcer and an Assistant Sports Director at WSOU, one of the nation’s top college radio stations. He also is the Assistant Managing Editor for The Setonian, the student newspaper.

“Tim comes to us with significant collegiate broadcast experience,” said Otters president Bill Bussing. “He should complement play by play announcer Mike Radomski and color commentator Bill McKeon well.”

“Tim’s resume was very impressive,” Radomski said. “His character, work ethic, knowledge of the game and passion for the sport will be an added bonus to our organization this year.”

“I’m honored and extremely excited to be joining the Evansville Otters organization,” Tim said. “Baseball and broadcasting have been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, now to bring the two together with the Otters is a dream come true.”

LeCras will be leaving his native New Jersey in a few months to begin his first summer with a professional baseball team, a move he is thankful to make. He said, “I look forward to the opportunity that the Evansville Otters have given me, and can’t wait to be a part of one of the Frontier League’s greatest baseball communities.”

(Visit Tim’s STAA Talent Page).

McAlpin joins Braves Radio Network

Kevin McAlpin(January 26, 2012) What kind of dream job offer would it take for you to postpone your honeymoon? For STAA client Kevin McAlpin, it was an opportunity to hit the baseball highway with the Atlanta Braves.

McAlpin has been hired by Dickey Broadcasting as a reporter on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network.

When McAlpin first saw the opening on the STAA job forum, he was not even certain it was worth the time to submit an application.

“I wasn’t even going to apply. I figured they would have a thousand people and I would have no shot,“ says McAlpin. Two phone interviews later, the radio station was flying McAlpin to Atlanta for an in-person interview. “I left the interview feeling pretty good.”

However, there was a small potential problem – McAlpin and his fiancé Melissa had already planned their wedding and honeymoon for May. Luckily, Melissa understood the significance of this opportunity. Melissa suggested the couple keep their May 12th date, but postpone the honeymoon until November.

“My first reaction was ‘absolutely not,’” McAlpin says. Upon further review, Melissa’s wisdom prevailed. “I sort of passed it off to [Dickey Broadcasting] that is was my idea.” McAlpin grins.

“I told [Dickey Broadcasting] it will definitely be after the [Braves championship] parade happens,” McAlpin smiles. “I think my willingness to reschedule showed them I really want this.”

McAlpin spent the past four years honing his skills as a sports update anchor and a Phillies beat reporter at 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Those skills, plus a passion for baseball, are what sold Dickey Broadcasting on hiring McAlpin.

“I grew up playing for eight or nine years. Once I got to college I figured it was time to start looking at slow pitch softball. Baseball has always been my number one love. Covering the Phillies home games the past two years has got me to the point where I’m ready to take the next step and travel with a team full time on the road. I’m jacked, I’m so excited.”

As an STAA client since 2010, McAlpin has had the chance to capitalize on more than just the job forum.

“Having the ability to find out about some jobs that are out there before the general public finds out gives you a chance to beat everyone else,” McAlpin says. “The monthly eBlast has been great — the pointers and tips are awesome. I also usually follow along on the live chats, and the seminars you can download have been great. I utilize a lot of the services.”

(Visit Kevin’s STAA Talent Page).

Sandler takes PD, PBP job in Michigan

Jared Sandler(January 20, 2012) How do you go about deciding between three different job offers? STAA client Jared Sandler has the answer – seek good counsel and be thoroughly informed. Armed with the advice of his mentors, Sandler has accepted a Program Director and Broadcasting position with ESPN 100.9 in Midland, MI and minor league baseball’s Great Lakes Loons.

In addition to the PD chores at the station, Sandler will host a daily sports talk show, broadcast football and basketball play-by-play, and serve as the Loons No. 2 broadcaster while assisting with media relations.

The Loons are the Class-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The unique opportunity to work for both a baseball team and a radio station was one of three offers that Sandler was considering. Sandler made sure not to rush the decision.

“I talked to my mentors in the industry, including [STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik], my father and my brothers. They made sure I was asking myself the right questions,” Sandler says.

“It was also a lot of time on the phone spent with each person that was offering each opportunity. I wanted to be sure I had all the information I could get to make the right decision. It was probably the most difficult decision I have had to make in my life.”

The tipping factor in favor of ESPN and the Loons was the variety in experience the position offered.

“On top of the six months of baseball, it’s the six months outside of baseball that really sold me – the unique opportunity to host a radio show and to broadcast basketball and football without having to worry about trying to find those opportunities during the summer. At the same time, getting to serve as the program director and getting to learn the industry from the administrative side is really intriguing.”

Sandler spent last summer calling play-by-play in the Pioneer League with the Great Falls Voyagers, after graduating from USC in May. College experience as the Sports Director at KXSC, plus part-time work at ESPN 710 in Los Angeles and a summer with the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers gives Sandler an excellent background to draw on for his new job.

With all the travel between summer jobs and college, Sandler, a Dallas native, is looking forward to settling in to a single location.

“This is the first time I’m moving somewhere [permanently] as opposed to being a rent-a-person. I am now making a commitment to move to a different city. I’m excited to start a life there and be involved in the community.”

Sandler appreciates convenience and credibility of his STAA Talent Page, but feels there is an even higher value in his relationship with STAA’s CEO.

“Candidly, the most beneficial part of [STAA] is the relationship I’ve developed with Jon Chelesnik and the mentorship and guidance he has provided. I always feel he is fair and I always feel I am the most important client he has even though I know he considers us all equal. His advice is never that you have to make a decision one way or the other. Instead, he gives his opinions, which I respect highly. That’s been the biggest benefit of all.”

(Visit Jared’s STAA Talent Page).

Antweil to broadcast Patriots games

Justin AntweilThe five-time Atlantic League champion Somerset Patriots have announced the hiring of new radio broadcaster Justin Antweil.

An STAA client, Antweil is a recent graduate of the University of Miami, where he was the play-by-play broadcaster for Miami Hurricane baseball, football, basketball, and volleyball. He was a 2010 STAA Honorable Mention All-American as one of the nation’s top collegiate sports broadcasters.

At his time at Miami, Antweil was also the sports director at WVUM Radio, a reporter for News Vision and Sports Desk on UMTV, and Sports Editor for The Miami Hurricane.

“I am very excited to join the Somerset Patriots organization. The Patriots have a successful track record both on the field and in the community, so it is a genuine privilege and honor for me to become part of the Patriots family. As the radio voice of Patriots baseball, I pledge to deliver an informative, clear, and always energetic broadcast, and I look forward to sharing the drama of every pitch with the tremendous Patriots fan base. Cannot wait for Opening Day,” said Antweil.

“STAA definitely helped,” Antweil says. “I used [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik’s advice having my advisor from the University of Miami and baseball coach Jim Morris makes calls on my behalf]. Those two references helped. All of [STAA’s] advice helped out a lot.”

Antweil was a camper in the Bruce Beck & Ian Eagle Broadcasting Camp in 2007 and was selected as a standout to call a half inning of play-by-play with then Somerset Patriots Radio Broadcaster Brian Bender during the camp’s trip to TD Bank Ballpark.

Antweil will call 140 games on WCTC 1450 AM, the Flagship Station for Somerset Patriots Baseball.

“Justin first impressed us with the way he calls a game, but really stood out during the interview process. You can see the excitement and passion he has for broadcasting the game and how much he wanted to be the voice of our team. We are looking forward to Justin being part of our team,” said Patrick McVerry, President/General Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.

He is taking over the Patriots Radio Broadcaster position held by Adam Amin the past two seasons. Amin was hired by ESPN at the end of the 2011 season and has been broadcasting college events for the network, including football, basketball, and volleyball. Amin was a 2009 STAA All-American.

(Visit Justin’s STAA Talent Page.)

Seidel joins White Sox affiliate

Adam Seidel(January 11, 2012) When searching for his next gig, Adam Seidel didn’t wait for the perfect opening to be listed somewhere online – he went out and dug up the position that wasn’t quite open yet.

An STAA client, Seidel has been named Director of Media Relations and Play-by-Play for the Great Falls Voyagers. The Voyagers are the short-season Class-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He replaces fellow STAA client Jared Sandler, who left to pursue other opportunities.

Seidel beat the rush of applicants by taking early initiative in contacting the Voyagers before the position opened. While attending baseball’s Winter Meetings Seidel heard there might be end up being an opening. A follow up phone call confirmed it. A week later the Voyagers called for an interview.

“I kind of got there first because I contacted them before the position actually opened up,” Seidel says.

Before heading off to Winter Meetings, Seidel spent some time with STAA to strategize how to make the best of use of his time.

“[STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik] and I had several in-depth conversations prior to the Winter Meetings. As a result, I went to the meetings knowing how to talk to employers and what they were looking for. Having a strategy, I think, is why I uncovered some of the [job leads] at the meetings that I did, including Great Falls.”

In addition to broadcasting and media relations, Seidel will have some social media and sales duties, both of which play to his strengths. A 2011 graduate of Northwestern University, Seidel spent the last two years as a broadcaster and salesman for the Minnesota Sports Broadcast Network. Seidel was also the media director and lead broadcaster for the Wisconsin Woodchucks.

“The Pioneer League is a really, really great league and it’s a chance to get into affiliated ball and to lead the broadcast, which is really exciting. This will be an opportunity to design my own programming as much as possible and to get all the innings I can and to get a chance to improve.”

Seidel says the best thing a job-seeking sportscaster can do is getting out and networking. “Talk to everyone you know. You’ve got to maintain those contacts and if you hear anything about a potential job opening, call the employer and get there first. You can’t be passive.”

“I really got this job by getting on the phone and being proactive with people. If you can get in there before everyone else, it does two things – it saves you from having to be in the big fight with 150 other people before you even get the interview, and it gives you a chance to get on the phone with the employer before they are inundated with calls from other applicants.”

(Visit Adam’s STAA Talent Page).

Lovell new SD at KRDZ Colorado

Robert Lovell(January 6, 2012) Being among the first applicants for a job opening is proven to be advantageous for job hunters. However, as Robert Lovell has discovered, the early applicant is not always the one to catch the job. Lovell, an STAA client since September, is the new Sports Director at KRDZ 1440 AM in Wray, CO.

Lovell will deliver sportscasts during Morning Drive, broadcast every game for all Wray High School boys and girls varsity sports, and work on sales.

Lovell spotted the opening on the STAA job board and was immediately interested. A 2011 graduate of Dixie State College of Utah, Lovell was enticed by the well-rounded responsibilities the KRDZ position offered.

“It’s a good opportunity to get a lot of experience in a lot of different areas of sportscasting,” Lovell says.

Having a freshly built Talent Page, Lovell sent the link to KRDZ station owner Wayne Johnson. Two days later, Johnson contacted Lovell for an interview.

“My Talent Page was incredibly helpful. It was so much easier than having to mail [my demo and resume] or send multiple emails with audio attachments because one email usually isn’t enough to deliver all the clips.”

Lovell didn’t know at the time that he was a very late applicant for the opening – so late that Johnson had already interviewed several applicants and narrowed the list down to two. And then along came Lovell with his resume of college and high school play-by-play experience.

“One of the things my initial Talent Page didn’t have was any play-by-play audio,” Lovell says, “[Wayne Johnson] said ‘I like what I hear so far but I need to hear some play-by-play.’ As soon as I could, I got that to him and put it on my Talent Page as well and sent that to him. My ability to do play-by-play helped.”

Lovell’s personal life also helped convince station management that he could make a successful move to a small town on the Colorado plains.

“They liked the fact that I’m not single – that I am married coming to a small town and don’t need the night life,” Lovell smiles.

(Visit Robert’s STAA Talent Page).

Furman lands FSR Network AM show

Andy Furman(January 3, 2012) The New Year may have just begun, but FOX Sports Radio already has exciting news to share.

STAA client Andy Furman, a veteran sports radio personality, will host the network’s new 6 – 9 a.m. ET/3 – 6 a.m. PT program “FOX Sports Daybreak” with former NFL defensive back Artrell Hawkins, beginning January 3, 2012.

Furman has been a fixture on the network for more than a year as host of a weekend show with former NFL All-Pro Lincoln Kennedy, in addition to filling in during various timeslots and day-parts. He will continue to host his Sunday evening program with Kennedy, which airs from 7 – 10 p.m. ET/4 – 7 p.m. PT.

“To work at FOX Sports Radio is the chance of a lifetime – I’m proud, excited and ready to provide the listeners with the best product possible,” Furman stated. “After working in local radio for many years in Cincinnati, this is a dream come true for me.”

Don Martin, Vice President/General Manager, FOX Sports Radio Network, echoes Furman’s sentiments. “We couldn’t be happier to have Andy and Artrell hosting our new morning drive program. The combination of a sports talk pro like Andy and a former professional football player like Artrell will be a great addition to our weekday lineup,” said Martin.

Furman, a native of Brooklyn, New York, has been a strong voice in the world of sports talk radio for more than 20 years, with much of that time spent in Cincinnati. He hosted “Sports Talk” on WLW-AM for 18 years, and was named the “number one sports talker” in Ohio by Ohio Magazine. Most recently, Furman hosted an afternoon drive show on “Real Talk 1160” WQRT-AM in Cincinnati.

Hawkins also spent much of his career in Cincinnati, where he played college football at the University of Cincinnati and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft. While in the NFL, he played cornerback and safety for the Bengals, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots. Hawkins retired from the NFL in 2008 and, in addition to his new FOX Sports Radio duties, is a contributor for the Bengals Radio Network.

(Visit Andy’s STAA Talent Page. Andy has also had his demo & resume constructed by STAA).

Jarnicki new Freedom voice

Steve Jarnicki(January 2, 2012) The Florence Freedom will have a new voice for the 2012 season.

Local fans tuning in to hear on-air broadcasts of the Freedom’s games on Real Talk 1160 WQRT will hear play-by-play commentary from STAA client and Cincinnati native Steve Jarnicki.

For many, the voice will be familiar. Jarnicki has performed the play-by-play broadcasts for Simon Kenton basketball and football, and called baseball games for Northern Kentucky University.

The local sports fan, who grew up listening to Cincinnati Reds’ games on the radio, said he’s looking forward to connecting local baseball fans during the upcoming season.

“I’ll be there from the start to the finish,” Jarnicki said of the Freedom’s upcoming season, which begins May 17. “I’m super excited to be the new voice of the Freedom.

“It’s a great opportunity for me…and a great opportunity to connect fans with the team.”

Jarnicki, 27, of Hyde Park, has come a long way since announcing imaginary baseball games from his bedroom from the age of 3, and pausing his Nintendo games as a teen to call his own plays.

He began his career announcing games as a college student at Bowling Green State University. He did play-by-play broadcasts on the university’s student radio station for BGSU football and baseball games, and men’s and women’s basketball games.

In 2005, he was a play-by-play radio broadcaster for the Sioux City Explorers, an independent minor league baseball team in Sioux City, Iowa. He later joined the Buckeye Cable Sports Network in Toledo, where he provided play-by-play on television for featured high school and college baseball, basketball, football, softball, tennis and volleyball telecasts. He went on to create his own local sports talk radio show, “First Serves,” in Toledo.

He returned to Cincinnati in 2010, started his own production company, Steve Jarnicki Productions, and teamed up with Real Talk 1160.

His ultimate goal is to announce for Major League Baseball.

“Every game has its own story,” Jarnicki said. “I love being able to tell each of those stories to listeners.”