(October 30, 2012) Pete Sousa is returning to radio full time and he couldn’t be more thrilled. An STAA client, Sousa is the new play-by-play broadcaster and TV show host for the Springfield Armor.
The Armor is the NBA Development League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets.
Sousa learned of the opportunity through the job notifications he receives as an STAA Premier member. “It’s a great perk of being a [Premier] client,” says Sousa.
Once Sousa had the job lead, he put his network to good use.
“I have a lot of contacts in the NBA D-League so I started working the phones and got my cover letter and sound to the folks in Springfield.”
Sousa is a former radio host and sideline reporter for the Charlotte Bobcats, but more recently has been working in corporate public relations. With his broadcasting limited to freelance work, Sousa was itching to get back in the game.
“I was really pushing to get back into radio full time. This is a great opportunity for me because it puts me on the path to eventually call NBA games, which is my goal.”
(October 26, 2012) Adam Seidel has achieved a career coup for a young sports broadcaster – a play-by-play position with a Division I school. An STAA client, Seidel has been named the radio voice of Montana State University women’s basketball.
Seidel will also be the sideline reporter for Bobcats football, beginning immediately.
“Not only does it include women’s hoops play-by-play and football sidelines, but the schedule of the FCS football playoffs is highly likely to make it necessary for me to fill in on a couple of men’s hoops games as well,” says Seidel. “I’m extremely excited to get started.”
Seidel learned of the opportunity during a conversation with STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik.
“Obviously pursuing this position is something that started in a conversation between the two of us nearly four months ago, and it’s very gratifying to have it finally come to fruition. I’m very grateful of the help you gave me along the way!”
“I had known of the opening for sometime, but they didn’t want to do a national search because their preference was to hire someone regional, if not local,” says Chelesnik. “When Adam called me about something else, it occurred to me he is regional.”
Seidel is the Director of Broadcasting and Communications and sales associate for the Great Falls Voyagers Baseball Club. The Voyagers are the short-season Class-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Seidel is a 2011 graduate of Northwestern University.
(October 24, 2012) Dave Walkovic has lined up his first post-college job in sportscasting; now he can focus on finishing his final semester at Penn State. An STAA client since September 2011, Walkovic, is the new play-by-play voice of the Brevard County Manatees.
“It is a really good opportunity for me because I get to stay in the Florida State League, a league that I know very well and that has very limited travel,” Walkovic says. “The Manatees also haven’t had radio since 2007, so I kind of get to restart and build up the program from scratch. I also get to be the number one broadcaster for an Advanced-A team, that’s a great opportunity in itself.”
Walkovic was supposed to graduate this past May, but delayed his final semester in favor of taking a job as the Assistant Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Daytona Cubs. Spending the season with the Cubs eventually lead to the Manatees opportunity.
“I had known the Manatees’ GM Kyle Smith, from my time with the Daytona Cubs. Robbie Aaron, the Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations in Daytona, told me that he and Kyle had some conversations about the possibility of the Manatees starting up a radio program. Robbie brought up the possibility of me being the guy. Kyle contacted me about the opportunity and we went from there.”
When the Manatees requested demo material, Walkovic sent his STAA Talent Page to provide a complete picture of his experience.
“Kyle asked me to send him some of my radio stuff, so I sent him my Talent Page since it had everything he would have wanted all in one place. That made it easier for both of us.”
Walkovic has spent his college years accumulating as much play-by-play experience as possible, including all of Penn State’s major sports and serving as the summer play-by-play broadcaster for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Within 96 hours, Bryan Benway experienced the lowest and highest points of the sportscasting job market. Just four days after losing his job in Laredo, TX, Benway accepted an offer to be a sports talk host on Yahoo! Sports Radio Network.
Benway is the second STAA sports talk client hired by Yahoo! Sports Radio since March and the sixth hired by national networks this year. (One has yet to be announced.)
“Never in a million years did I ever think I would go from Laredo, TX to a national network in a span of four days,” says Benway, an STAA client since 2009. He smiles when he adds, “This kind of thing just doesn’t happen this way. I guess the stars aligned and I must have done a good deed for someone and this is my payback.”
Benway’s incredible story started on Thursday, September 29th when he learned he was the victim of downsizing at KLNT 1490, where he been a sports talk show since May 2011. Later that day, Benway informed STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik about the news and asked him to keep an eye open for opportunities. One day later, Chelesnik received a call from Yahoo! Sports Radio PD Craig Larson seeking referrals for a vacant host position on the network. Chelesnik sent the job lead to STAA Premier members, without revealing the identity of the network. Benway was among those who expressed interest.
“The opportunity came about so fast. I literally e-mailed my interest to Jon about this job on Friday, and on Monday morning I was talking to Mr. Larson about coming on board,” Benway says. “I have never been involved in a process that was as fluid and quick as this one.
“This is a great opportunity for me for several reasons. First, I get to have national exposure with a national audience every time I’m on the air. Second, I will get to learn from some of the most experienced and best national hosts, producers and executives in the country. I can’t think of a better opportunity to get.
“I’m still pinching myself thinking that I must be dreaming.”
(October 11, 2012) Chris Terlop is moving to the heart of Packers territory for his first full-time job in sportscasting. An STAA client, Terlop is joining WDUZ The Fan in Green Bay as a Producer, Co-host, and Reporter.
“This is an amazing opportunity for me. It is my first full-time job, as I have been part-time at ESPN 850 WKNR Cleveland since January as a producer,” Terlop says.
“Green Bay is a smaller market than Cleveland, but it offers more opportunities to grow with more responsibility, as well as a big name professional team in the Packers to cover. I was a co-producer at WKNR for the early morning show. Now I will be the only producer for the afternoon drive show, as well as co-hosting that show three days a week. I will also be covering the Packers for WDUZ as well as assuming some assistant production duties. All of the duties will be a challenge, but ones I will gladly take on.”
Terlop learned of the opening from an STAA email at the beginning of August.
“I called and left messages to follow up afterwards and never heard back, so I assumed they were going in a different direction. Then out of the blue I received a call from the WDUZ production director saying that he wanted to talk about the position.”
After the interview, Terlop listened to the show that he would be producing and co-hosting, then emailed the production director with ideas on how his skills might benefit the show. “After two more interviews, I was offered the position and accepted.”
Terlop appreciated the simplicity of using his STAA Talent Page when it came to applying for the job.
“It makes the process so much easier. Instead of sending three different sound bites as well as attaching my resume, cover letter, and references, I just had to type up a cover letter and then put the link to my page in the e-mail and knew that anything that they wanted to hear/see was in their hands.”
Terlop is a 2012 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College where he was active on the campus station. He also spent the summer of 2011 calling baseball play-by-play for the Lorain County Ironmen. Terlop interned for WKNR before the station hired him at the beginning of his final college semester. Now, he is eager to get started in his new home.
“Green Bay is a great city with passionate fans and I cannot wait to get started.”
(October 8, 2012) Josh Feldman is making a name for himself in North Carolina. An STAA client, Feldman is the new play-by-play voice for UNC Charlotte women’s basketball.
“I’ve been consistently calling football, baseball and volleyball for years now. This job presents a great opportunity to gain high-level experience broadcasting another sport,” Feldman says.
Feldman was recommended for the job at UNC Charlotte by a coworker at his primary broadcasting job with the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Chicago White Sox Class-A affiliate.
“Our official scorer works in the athletic department at Charlotte, and he knew the 49ers needed a women’s basketball broadcaster. I have now worked with him for two years with the Intimidators, so he felt comfortable enough recommending me for the position.”
This is also how I got the opportunity to call volleyball games for another local school. Another Intimidators press box employee is an Assistant SID at Catawba College, and when he heard that I had experience calling volleyball, he hired me to broadcast their matches this fall.
Feldman will remain as Director of Media Relations for the Kannapolis Intimidators during basketball season, thanks to a close commute to UNC Charlotte.
“I’m still able to work during the week for the baseball team (selling tickets/sponsorships and planning promotions), and then call basketball games during the baseball offseason.”
Feldman, a USC graduate and an STAA client for nearly three years, has been in North Carolina for almost two years now. He is happy the area is becoming home. “I’m really looking forward to the idea that I’m becoming an area broadcaster.
“While some broadcasters have to spend certain sports seasons in different parts of the country, I’m trying to become a voice that folks in our community can get used to hearing, and hopefully that will raise my profile and lead to bigger and better broadcast opportunities in the future.”
(October 3, 2012; Written by Tim Hall) It’s a funny thing really. There’s lots of places you dream of working, and when I first saw in my e-mail that they were looking for an update anchor/sports talk host at 97.1 The Fan in Columbus I almost immediately knew that would be the place I would end up.
It didn’t happen overnight. I used a trick of mine to make the PD remember me, one that goes beyond just sending the simple link with your cover letter, audio and resume. It must have worked because after they promoted from within to fill the job I originally applied for, Jay Taylor (PD) came back and asked me if I’d be interested in a different position.
Of course I was interested in hearing about it. We began exchanging e-mails, we had a few lengthy phone calls, and after every step I kept getting positive feedback. I had a feeling that I was going to be the guy.
Eventually they flew me out to Columbus and Jay personally gave me a tour of the city, the studios, and he introduced me to the staff. And by the time he drove me back to the airport he had given me a verbal offer. A couple days later we worked out the terms and I was officially on my way to Columbus.
I’m going to be the producer of the afternoon drive-time show “Common Man and The Torg” from 3-6. It’s great for me because I’m stepping into what is already a proven successful show that’s killing it in the ratings. And one of the enticing things about joining this station aside from how well its doing as a whole is the opportunity I’ll be given to move up from within.
I can’t even explain how excited I am to land this opportunity. A lot of people may not know but it’s one of the top performing local sports stations in the country. The facilities are as nice as I’ve seen in ANY market. I’d compare the quality of equipment, studio and office space to Top 5 markets. Overall it’s going to be a nice step forward in my career and I’m stoked about it. I’m very appreciative of Jay Taylor for bringing me in and I can’t wait to get to work with the talented staff they have there.
(September 19, 2012) Work ethic, persistence, and sacrifice are a few of the ingredients that, when added to a solid stock of experience, can secure an NCAA Division-I broadcasting job. Of course, it isn’t a guaranteed-to-work magic spell, but it proved to be the perfect potion to send Jay Sanderson packing for the Land of Enchantment. An STAA client, Sanderson has accepted a position as a radio and TV play-by-play broadcaster for New Mexico State University.
Sanderson will call women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and baseball, and host a coaches show.
“I’m really looking forward to being an ambassador for Aggie Athletics. I will travel with the teams and get to know on a fairly personal level all the athletes and coaches,” Sanderson says.
After accepting the job, Sanderson received a call from the Aggies longtime football and men’s basketball voice, Jack Nixon, welcoming Sanderson to the NMSU family. “I’ve already been made to feel welcome and I’m excited about making a home in Las Cruces!
“I have big dreams and ambitions. To be at an NCAA Division-I school is a tremendous honor and a huge opportunity. There are about 345 Division-I schools, most employ either one or two play-by-play guys. To realize that I’m one of fewer than 700 broadcasters in a job like this is pretty overwhelming!”
NMSU sent the job lead to STAA and asked that it be distributed among STAA Premier members. Within six days of receiving the lead, Sanderson was offered the job. “Without my STAA Premier membership, I would never have known about the job.”
Sanderson joined STAA in 2010 after being referred by his former roommate, current Texas Tech men’s basketball broadcaster Brian Hanni. Since then, Sanderson has taken advantage of everything STAA has to offer.
“I participated in the recently offered football play-by-play boot camp, and have also received private instruction/coaching for basketball and football play-by-play as well as for my sports talk show,” Sanderson says. “Those are great, make no mistake, but I think my very favorite part of STAA is how accessible [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik is. When I’ve felt lousy about myself or where my career was or about a bad call I’d had or just about anything, Jon has always been able to give me a little pep talk and help me refocus myself.”
Broadcasting for NMSU is the kind of job Sanderson has been working toward for more than a decade. 2011 was a busy year for Sanderson, who concluded two years at KLOE in Goodland, KS, for a brief stint in Iowa before returning to Kansas to host an afternoon drive sports talk show in Wichita. Going where the jobs are can be tough on family life. Fortunately, Sanderson has unparalleled support from his wife Aimee.
“I have the most wonderful wife any man could ever ask for. With the migratory nature of sportscasting, I explained to my wife before our relationship became too serious that with my career ambitions, there was a chance of a few moves in our future. We’ve moved twice in the last 18 months for different sportscasting opportunities.
“While this is a ‘too good to be true’ job opportunity, I was still a bit sheepish when I told her about this gig,” admits Sanderson. “Further proving that I’m married to a true saint, Aimee didn’t hesitate and even smiled when she said, ‘if you don’t take this job, you should probably just get out of broadcasting.’”
(September 13, 2012) The network may be brand new, but Dave Stone’s new job is a familiar role. An STAA client, Stone has been hired by the new NBC Sports Radio Network as a sports update anchor.
Stone is the third STAA client to be hired by the network in the past month – one as a talk show host and two as sports update anchors. Stone will primarily be responsible for delivering the latest sports news on weekend evenings.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting all the day’s scores and highlights into three minutes at the top of the hour. If I were a just a fan getting into my car, I’d want to know there was somewhere I could go to find out what I had missed. I love being the guy to be able to tell the stories about what had happened that day.
“It’s perfect for me.”
Stone has been an STAA client since 2009. When he learned the network would be based near his home in Los Angeles, Stone expressed interest. When the network asked him to rush his demo to them, he emailed the link to his STAA Talent Page.
From his native Los Angeles, to Georgia and Oregon, Stone’s career has been a cross-country tour of the United States and his adventures include serving as public address announcer for more than 1,400 Harlem Globetrotter performances. In 1991, Stone was working at WVNN-WZYP in Huntsville, AL, when he hired a young Sean Hannity as the Afternoon Drive host.
For all the travel and career highlights, Stone still loves spending his time talking sports.
“There’s little I enjoy more than spending a day talking about sports. More than anything, it’s simply fun,” Stone smiles.
(September 6, 20120) Mark Wilson is heading back home. An STAA client and veteran Detroit radio and TV personality, Wilson has been hired as Program Director, Operations Manager and Evening Host for ESPN Detroit 1090.
A member of the Detroit radio, TV and print media community since 1992, Wilson returns to the Motor City following a stint in Las Vegas, NV.
“It’s kind of an odd combo (PD/OM and nights on-air),” says Wilson. “But we’re shaking things up and doing unconventional things in this wild and wacky 2012 world of sports radio.“
A multiple winner of the Michigan Best Sportscast Award by the Associated Press and Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Wilson takes over duties of positioning ESPN Radio in the nation’s 11th largest market for Birach Broadcasting.
“We’re very excited to have Mark on board. He’s a veteran guy who has been in Detroit radio and TV for years and won awards doing it. Mark is already making a big difference,” says Owner Sima Birach, Jr.
“I was thrilled to get Mark here to help us to another level. He gives the ESPN brand even more credibility right away,” says former NHL goaltender Eddie Mio, who is a host on the station.
Wilson has been an STAA client since 2008. “I really want to thank [STAA] for all their help and really appreciate having STAA as a sports media community,” says Wilson. “I send people to the site all the time because it’s the best out there.”
A graduate of Michigan State University, Wilson was active in radio and TV while in college. He joined Tim Staudt at WILX-TV in Lansing before being hired at South Florida powerhouse WTVJ-TV. During this time, he also did freelance reporting for ESPN, which he continued doing for many years. In the early 90’s, he spent time as Sports Director/Anchor at WJBK-TV Detroit and was part of the CBS changeover to FOX.
In 1998, Wilson went to work full-time for WDFN AM 1130 The Fan doing the morning drive program and creating a brand with current ESPN personality Rob Parker. “The Parker and The Man Show” moved to CBS’ WKRK 97.1 FM in 1999 and eventually went to #1 at night (men 25-54).
When 97.1 added the Red Wings and Tigers, Parker and Wilson took the show to Radio One’s WCHB AM 1200 where it lasted until the summer of 2008. The duo then worked on separate projects. One of those was a move out west.
“It was a bucket list item for me to do an entertainment-based talk show in Las Vegas. Jessica Hall worked on our midday show at KRK. We wanted to do a show together,” Wilson says. “Some just talk about the things they want to do but Jess and I went and did it and had a blast. Southern Nevada won’t be the same.”
Now he’s back in Motown.
“I’ve always loved this city. I have little use for people who do nothing but badmouth Detroit. In my two decades plus here I have only positive memories and experiences, many of those with Rob Parker. I also want to get Rob involved eventually.”
Wilson begins his program director/operations duties immediately. His nighttime show from 7-10 will follow soon — early in the NFL and college football seasons.