Baggerman joins WV Power

Mike Baggerman(January 22, 2012) Whether it is beneficial for a sports broadcaster to attend Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings can be a controversial subject. At the very least, it is an excellent opportunity to grow your network of industry contacts. At the very best, you end up with new job. Mike Baggerman is one of the latter. An STAA client, Baggerman has accepted a Broadcast and Sales Assistant position with the West Virginia Power.

The Power is the Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I understand that every minor league team is a business that must generate revenue. A voice alone won’t bring in money, so the sales aspect of this [position] appealed to me greatly. I know having a solid sales background helps in the long-term,” says Baggerman. “From a broadcasting and media relations standpoint, Adam Marco has so much baseball broadcasting experience, so I feel fortunate to learn from him this season.”

Baggerman was not originally planning on attending the Winter Meetings, but ended up heading to Nashville at the suggestion of trusted advisors.

“[STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik and my other industry contacts advised me to attend the Winter Meetings in Nashville. In the job posting room, the West Virginia Power opening was available the first day of the job fair. After interviewing with their lead play-by-play man, Adam Marco, we kept in contact over the next few weeks.”

Recently, Baggerman received an e-email from Marco requesting a phone conversation. The purpose of the conversation turned out to be a job offer.

A 2012 graduate of SUNY College at Brockport, Baggerman was most recently a fill-in high school basketball play-by-play broadcaster for the Finger Lakes Radio Group. During the summer after graduation, he was also a sales and media relations intern for the Brooklyn Cyclones (the short-season affiliate of the New York Mets).

When it comes to tackling the job market, Baggerman says it is vital to keep your head in the game.

“Don’t be discouraged by the teams that pass on you. You have to maintain a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) about the whole job process. Keep on searching for the job that is right for you that will also allow your career to take the next step.”

Baggerman also credits STAA with aiding the job hunt process.

“A big way to find jobs is the STAA itself. Jon sends job leads directly to your e-mail, which gives you a heads up about a lot of openings in sports broadcasting. Not just that, he also has a group Q&A feature periodically [monthly live chats for clients] which I used for job interviewing tips.”

“Thank you so much [to STAA] for your advice and convincing me to go to the winter meetings.”

(Visit Mike’s STAA Talent Page).

Kinnard returning to new duties in GB

Brandon Kinnard(January 21, 2013) For ambitious collegiate sports broadcasters, summer break is ideal for fortifying a resume with internship experience. That’s what STAA client Brandon Kinnard did last summer. This summer, Kinnard will be returning to the scene of his internship with a new job title. Kinnard has accepted a position as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations with the Green Bay Bullfrogs.

Kinnard spent last summer interning for Bullfrogs. Now, he is excited to tackle new experiences in a familiar place. “I’m looking forward to putting more energy into the non-broadcasting aspects of the job, but also I’m looking forward to returning to my hometown of Green Bay. It’s a city with such a rich sports history, full of people who are hungry for more. I’m very privileged to have the opportunity to enrich a team in Green Bay, and to once again work in a league as established as the Northwoods League.”

Once the 2013 Northwoods League season concludes, Kinnard will return to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to complete his bachelor’s degree. Kinnard has worked hard to gain play-by-play experience early in his college career. He has broadcast high school basketball for the Door County Daily News and has experience calling all of the major sports at UW Oshkosh.

While the focus in the past may have been on play-by-play reps, Kinnard plans to use the coming summer to round out his off-the-mic skill set.

“As the director of media relations, I will have more freedom to make decisions and be creative. After working in the Northwoods League last summer and reading some job descriptions by way of STAA, I realize that it’s not just about the broadcasting, and how important media relations is to a club like this,” Kinnard explains.

“I will also be assisting with ticket and ad sales in the front office. With minimal sales experience, this will be more of a learning experience for me, but I’m excited about the opportunity. I developed a good relation with the Director of Sales, Shannon Krein, last summer, and I’m excited to work more closely with her and that department.”

Despite earning his new job entirely through his own efforts, Kinnard still recognizes the benefits of having STAA’s services at his fingertips.

“Though I didn’t get my job from an STAA notification, STAA’s services have been extremely valuable to me throughout this process. Being able to look at a high number of job descriptions, go through an application process, and interact with fellow sportscasters via STAA has been a valuable experience and extremely beneficial for my career.

I’m excited to continue to take advantage of STAA’s services as I continue my journey. But for now, both eyes are on Green Bay.”

(Visit Brandon’s STAA Talent Page).

Wottreng joins Smokies radio team

Michael Wottreng(January 16, 2012) STAA client Michael Wottreng is bound for the volunteer state and a season in affiliated baseball. Wottreng has accepted a Broadcast and Media Relations Assistant position with the Tennessee Smokies.

The Smokies are the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

“The Smokies will have a total of six people working in the broadcast department this season (3 paid, 3 interns). While so many teams are downsizing, Tennessee gives me an opportunity to build my play-by-play experience while giving me the resources to improve my writing and video skills,” Wottreng says.

Wottreng learned of the Smokies opening from an STAA email.
“As an STAA premier member, the opportunity to have job postings emailed to me is a great perk and allowed me to learn of the Smokies job immediately. After doing some research on the team, I reached out to a few of my contacts that were gracious enough to contact Mick Gillispie on my behalf.”

After graduating from Marquette University last May, Wottreng was the play-by-play broadcaster for the East Texas Pump Jacks in the summer Texas Collegiate League. When the summer league season concluded, Wottreng moved to Miami University in Ohio as a play-by-play broadcaster and video producer.

Wottreng advises his fellow broadcasters not to allow lofty career aspirations distract them from being an outstanding employee at their current job.

“First and foremost, be the best you can be where you are now. Everyone in this industry wants to be the guy on a national level, but you cannot make it to that point unless you put in the effort at your current position. Not only will you enhance your resume and your skills, but also people will recognize the work ethic and talent of an aspiring professional.

“I want to thank [STAA] for all of its assistance since I became a member. The advice and service has been crucial in helping me learn about new postings. STAA has given me helpful insight that I would not have found elsewhere.”

(Visit Michael’s STAA Talent Page).

Diesner leaving radio for baseball

Derek Diesner(January 14, 2013) So far, Derek Diesner’s sports broadcasting career has been limited to the Midwest region. That is about to change. Diesner has accepted a media relations assistant position with the Charleston RiverDogs baseball club.

The RiverDogs are the Class A, South Atlantic League affiliate of the New York Yankees.

“It’s a good opportunity for me because I get to learn from a respected broadcaster in Sean Houston. I know I need to work on my Media Relations skills and that is what this position offers me,” says Diesner.

Diesner has been the News & Sports Director at Rocking M Radio in Great Bend, KS for almost a year. He has previously worked for the Lake County Fielders baseball club.

“I first heard about this job on staatalent.com. I applied and actually got a call from Sean Houston during the Winter Meetings. He told me he wasn’t there but wondered if I could meet with other officials with the Charleston RiverDogs. I said yes that would be fine. I met with two front office members and thought my visit with them went well.

“Originally I was told I didn’t get the position a few weeks back, but Sean got in touch with me last week saying their original choice had to turn it down and wondered if I was interested.”

Now, Diesner is anxious to head down to the South for the next chapter in his life.

“I can’t wait to get started! I know this position has been a good stepping stone for others in the past, and I hope it does the same for me.”

(Visit Derek’s STAA Talent Page).

Skudris scores Triple-A gig at home

John Skudris(December 8, 2012) When you’re just starting out in the sportscasting industry, it is best to go where the jobs are – even if it’s a small station in a town nobody has heard of. Fortunately for STAA client John Skudris, his first career break is going to happen right in his own back yard. Skudris has been hired as a Broadcasting Intern for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

The IronPigs are the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

“With my experience limited to collegiate, non-commercial broadcasting, I was finding it hard to get my foot in the door when it comes to on-air positions with major stations,” Skudris explains. “Any job opportunity that showed interest were smaller gigs in smaller towns miles-and-miles away. At this point in my life, with student loans and a paltry savings account, it was tough to envision myself succeeding in such an endeavor. Therefore, when I found out about the Iron Pigs job, and the fact that I could live at home and still get the ball rolling on my dreams, I was hooked.”

An alumnus of Boston College, Skudris worked at the school station, WZBC, where he was a play-by-play broadcaster for hockey, football, men’s basketball, and baseball.

“This job came about when I received an STAA job opening email in November about an internship opportunity with the Iron Pigs. Being from the eastern Pennsylvania area, I was already familiar with the team and their parent affiliate, the Philadelphia Phillies. I was therefore able to write a thorough and commanding cover letter that highlighted not only my passion for the sport, but also my knowledge of the team and it’s history.”

Skudris uses the time saved with his STAA Talent Page demo and resume to improve on other portions of his job applications.

“The STAA application process is so much easier. Really, it allows you to focus on a strong and commanding cover letter instead of spending an hour filling out employment history information.”

“Again, thank you to STAA for helping me get my foot in the door with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.”

(Visit John’s STAA Talent Page).

STAA pair joins Daytona Cubs

Daytona Cubs(January 4, 2012) STAA clients Cody Dunlap and Michael West are celebrating the start of 2013 by moving to a new state and joining a baseball club. Dunlap and West have accepted Broadcasting/Media Relations Assistant positions with the Daytona Cubs.

The Daytona Cubs are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

“This opportunity could not be better for me because I’ll be able to get so much relevant experience with a fantastic organization,” West says. “Aside from broadcasting, I’ll be doing plenty of work on the media relations side and I hope to be able to do some video projects and expand the team’s social media presence.

“I went off to the Winter Meetings for the first time with the hopes of getting some sort of broadcast-related job or internship. Thankfully enough, the Daytona Cubs called me in for two interviews and now it’s time for me to find an apartment and head on out to Florida!”

Dunlap and West are 2012 college graduates of Northwestern University and Arizona State University, respectively.

West was a play-by-play announcer for ASU baseball, basketball and football on ASU’s campus radio station, in addition to working as an anchor, reporter, and producer on the Cronkite NewsWatch TV newscast.

Dunlap was a play-by-play announcer and producer for the Big Ten Network’s Student U productions. He also gained considerable experience on the campus radio and TV stations.

“[STAA has] helped me get multiple broadcasting positions, and recently I listened to your tips for the winter meetings, which were extremely helpful. [This month] I’ll be starting as a broadcast assistant for the Daytona Cubs, and I couldn’t have gotten there without the help of your website,” says a grateful Dunlap.

West agrees that STAA has been an important asset in building his career.

“STAA helped me big time; STAA perfected my resume and offered excellent insight into how I could put my best foot forward at the Winter Meetings. Thanks to STAA, I was able to get my first job and now I’ve got the chance to chase my dream!”

(Visit Cody and Michael’s STAA Talent Pages.

Nantz winner Spaulding to Dragons

Bill SpauldingThe Dayton Dragons have announced the addition of Bill Spaulding as Media Relations and Broadcasting assistant for the 2013 season. He will work with Dragons Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting Tom Nichols on game broadcasts.

An STAA client, Spaulding was the winner of the 2012 Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA) Jim Nantz Award as the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sports broadcaster. STAA’s panel of eight judges selects 20 sportscasting All-Americans each year and presents the Jim Nantz Award to the student chosen as the top broadcaster.

Spaulding is a product of the highly-acclaimed Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Syracuse University has featured an impressive list of sportscasting talent including Bob Costas, Dick Stockton, Mike Tirico, Marv Albert, Sean McDonough, and Ian Eagle.

As a student at Syracuse, Spaulding currently serves as sports director at WAER Radio in Syracuse. In 2011, he became the first underclassman selected as the station’s sports director since 1986. Spaulding provides play-by-play for Syracuse University football, basketball, and lacrosse on WAER in addition to his other duties with the station.

Spaulding has extensive experience in baseball. He spent the 2012 season with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs as a radio/media relations intern. In 2011, he served as the voice of the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod League. He was the voice of the Geneva Red Wings of the New York Collegiate Baseball League in 2010.

The Dragons are pleased to add Spaulding to an impressive list of young broadcasters who have served as the # 2 announcer with the team since the Dragons inception in 2000. He becomes the fourth Syracuse product to join the Dragons, following Alex Vispoli (2009), Mike Couzens (2011), and Andrew Africk (2012). Vispoli is now the voice of the Double-A Frisco Rough Riders; Couzens is the current voice of the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League; and Africk is the voice of High Point University women’s basketball and a studio host for IMG broadcasting.

Additionally, Owen Serey advanced from the Dragons # 2 slot to become the voice of the South Bend Silver Hawks in the Midwest League and spent three seasons in that role. Nick Anastos served as the Dragons broadcast assistant in 2010 and now works as a sportscaster with WGAM Radio in greater Boston. Two previous announcers who worked as Dragons # 2 broadcasters, Mike Benton and Nick Brunker, are now working in the East Coast Hockey League. Benton has been the voice of the Stockton Thunder since the team’s inception and Brunker is in his third season as the voice of the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Nichols returns for his sixth season with the Dragons as Director of Broadcasting and 26th year in professional baseball in 2013. He will handle play-by-play for all Dragons television broadcasts on WHIO Digital Channel 7.2 and all remaining home and road radio broadcasts.

(Visit Bill’s STAA Talent Page).