Crozier’s new sportscasting job combines passion, location

“Brian(November 26, 2013) The city of Effingham, IL, likes to call itself “The Crossroads of Opportunity.” So far, that motto is proving true for one of the city’s newest residents: Brian Crozier. An STAA client, Crozier has accepted the position of Sports Director at the WCRC-WCRA-WHQQ radio cluster in Effingham.

“One of the stations, WHQQ, recently flipped to sports and an on-air position basically opened up thanks to that switch and several other factors,” says Crozier. “I contacted the station and received an interview within a couple days. I was then offered the position about two weeks later and accepted it.”

Crozier will anchor weekday morning sportscasts on WCRC and WCRA, plus programming duties for the newly sports flipped, WHQQ, 98.9 The Game. There will be opportunity for local high school play-by-play, a weekly two-hour sports talk show on Saturdays, and there’s a possibility of adding a one-hour locally focused sports talk show on weekdays.

An additional perk to Crozier’s new job is the location.

“This job is located just less than an hour from where I grew up, and about 90 minutes from Champaign, where I went to college at the University of Illinois. I’ve always hoped to have a chance at a job like this, handling much of the programming for an all-sports station, but to get it so close to home is really exciting. It will be a lot of hard work, but I’m ready and thrilled for this opportunity.”

Crozier most recently worked at KBUR-AM in Burlington, IA. The transition to a new employer didn’t happen as quickly as Crozier might have liked. As always, patience is one of the highest virtues when conducting a job hunt.

“It can be frustrating looking for a job, and you may not get the job when you want it, but in the end something will work out. You can’t get the job if you don’t apply,” Crozier says.

Having someone in your corner, cheering you on, is another thing that can help you work through a challenging job search.

“Thank you [to STAA CEO]Jon Chelesnik for all your assistance and advice! I’m guessing that handling my frustration a few months ago was not the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it was nice to have someone to talk to that’s been through it before”

(Visit Brian’s STAA Talent Page).

November will always be memorable for Messick

Ryan Messick(November 22, 2013) Ryan Messick will always look back on November 2013 as a pivotal month in his sports broadcasting career. An STAA client, Messick will make his national sports talk hosting debut this Saturday from 12pm to 2pm EST on Yahoo! Sports Radio, as he’s been tapped to fill-in on five shifts around the Thanksgiving holiday. Messick has also been named the play-by-play broadcaster for the Delaware 87ers, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers. He will be on the call for all of their 24 home games.

Messick currently works as an update anchor, fill-in host and reporter at 97.3 ESPN FM in South Jersey.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a month for me with two amazing opportunities coming up, so I’m definitely excited,” Messick said. “I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to showcase my hosting skills, which I’ve been working hard on over the last few years, and the Sevens home opener is only a couple of weeks away.”

In addition to his responsibilities with WENJ-FM, Messick works for SiriusXM NFL Radio as a freelancer from Eagles home games, providing in-game updates and securing player interviews. He also has extensive experience as a play-by-play broadcaster, including a stint with the AHL’s Portland Pirates.

Messick, a Syracuse University alumnus, is originally from Delaware.

“I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do more play-by-play, so as soon as I found out that the Sixers were picking up a D-League affiliate and moving it to Delaware, I was extremely interested,” Messick said. “They’ve been wonderful to work with so far, and I can’t wait for the home opener on December 8th. It’s going to be a fun season.”

After graduating from Syracuse in 2008, Messick spent a year in Portland doing hockey play-by-play. He then worked for a year as a studio host for the UCLA ISP Sports Network, and picked up assignments as a studio host for the national broadcasts of the ACC and Big East basketball tournaments with ISP, which is now IMG College. He also performed play-by-play for ISP/IMG, calling action during the 2010 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament and the 2011 Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Messick will be heard on Yahoo! Sports Radio on the following dates and times:

Saturday, November 23, 12pm-2pm EST
Sunday, November 24, 9am-11am EST
Friday, November 29, 4pm-8pm EST
Saturday, November 30, 8am-10am EST
Sunday, December 1, 5am-8am EST

“I’m certainly very thankful for the opportunities with Yahoo! Sports Radio and the Sevens, and I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with,” Messick said.

(Visit Ryan’s personal website).

Two more STAA clients get Learfield fill-in gigs

“Learfield”(November 20, 2013) Two more STAA clients have picked-up play-by-play sports broadcasting jobs with Learfield Sports. Both sportscasters are also getting some free travel as part of the gigs. Josh Caray is traveling with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga men’s basketball team to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Nathan Barnett is accompanying the SMU women’s team to the slightly less glamorous Texas destinations of Nacogdoches and El Paso.

The opportunities came when Learfield Sports Broadcast Manager Tom Boman asked STAA for recommendations.

Caray has an extensive play-by-play resume in college football and basketball and minor league baseball. He is accompanying UT-Chattanooga on a West Coast trip November 21st through the 29th. The schedule includes games at the University of Nevada in Reno, UCLA at storied Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, and Morehead State and IUPUI or Gardner-Webb in Las Vegas. Caray has been an STAA client since 2010.

“I’m looking forward to doing a game in Pauley Pavilion,” says Caray. “All the history associated with UCLA makes that arena one of the great settings in college basketball. I’m honored to call a game there.”

Barnett has been a member of the broadcast teams for Ontario Reign ECHL hockey and minor league baseball’s Frisco RoughRiders. Like Caray, Barnett has been on the STAA team since 2010. In addition, Barnett was a student in a sports broadcasting class formerly taught by STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik at Palomar College in San Diego.

“I am humbled and flattered to have the opportunity to call games for Learfield Sports and Southern Methodist University,” says Barnett. “I have big shoes to fill in substituting for Scott Garner (a fellow STAA client), who does a fantastic job as their regular play-by-play voice. I cannot thank Tom Boman from Learfield Sports and Jon Chelesnik with STAA enough for the tremendous chance to call these games. This foray into major college basketball is one that I do not take lightly; I look forward to the chance to bring the SMU fans into the building for these road games as the Lady Mustangs continue their great start to the season.”

Earlier this month, two other STAA clients were tabbed for fill-in broadcasts with Learfield. Sam Farber did two South Dakota State games in San Diego and will be calling a third at Stanford in December. Tim Becwar did a South Dakota State game at the University of California Santa Barbara and a Montana State game at UC Riverside.

(Visit Josh and Nathan’s STAA Talent Pages.)

Cunningham is Bobcats’ new hockey voice

“Ryan(November 18, 2013) Ryan Cunningham’s new sports broadcasting job is taking him to a city that already has special significance to him. An STAA client, Cunningham has joined the Bismarck Bobcats as Director of Media and Communications.

“My family and I are very excited to take on this opportunity with the Bobcats,” says Cunningham. “After a visit to a game, we found a very energized building at the VFW Sports Center, and a fan base that loves Bobcat hockey. I’m thrilled to be part of the team.”

Bismarck is where Cunningham met his wife Cassandra in 2009. “She worked here for nine years before we met. About a week before the Bobcats job was listed, she told me she would like to move back to Bismarck. I didn’t think any of the stations were hiring here, so I wasn’t under the impression it would work out, but, not long after, this job is listed, and we’re here.”

Cunningham moves to Bismarck from Valley City, ND where he has been Operations Manager and Sports Director at a four-station cluster since 2001. In Bismarck, he replaces fellow STAA client Paul Teeple, who left for a play-by-play and media position with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. Teeple was in charge of the process for hiring his successor. He asked STAA for recommendations and asked that the position description be shared with STAA clients. “Ryan Cunningham was one of the folks I referred to Paul, and he also contacted the team directly,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik.

“I was a little concerned about finding the quality broadcaster that Bismarck Fans are accustomed to and deserve,” says Bobcat Owner Thom Brigl. “But when I heard Ryan’s game call and became aware he was a North Dakota Native I knew he was a Bobcat. We are very pleased that Ryan and his young family are moving to Bismarck and are confident the Fans will really enjoy him as the Voice of the Bobcats!”

(Visit Ryan’s STAA Talent Page).

Cincinnati sportscaster Broo joins WCPO

“Ken(November 15, 2013) Veteran Cincinnati broadcaster Ken Broo has his next sports broadcasting job. An STA client, Broo is joining WCPO 9 as a sports anchor / reporter.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with the pros at 9 On Your Side,” Broo told the station website. “I’ve always admired them as competitors. It will be terrific working alongside the incomparable John Popovich and with former colleagues Clyde Gray and Chief Meteorologist Steve Raleigh.”

A former radio voice of the Cincinnati Bengals, Broo has worked mostly in the Queen City since 1987. TV stops have included WLWT, WKRC and WLWT. He’s also been a radio sports talk host at WLW. He’s also spent time in Washington D.C, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Tampa.

“Adding Ken’s knowledge and experience of Cincinnati sports to our team was a no brainer,” WCPO 9 Vice President Jeff Brogan told the station website. “It’s important for us to go beyond the scores, telling memorable stories and giving depth and perspective to the great athletes and teams in the Tri-State. Ken has a proven track record in this area.”

Broo is a graduate of Ohio University.

(Visit Ken’s STAA Talent Page).

Wilson joins KHQA-TV in Illinois

“Will(November 12, 2013) Having friends in the right places has helped Will Wilson to his next sports broadcasting job. An STAA client, Wilson is joining KHQA-TV in Quincy, IL as a weekday sports reporter / weekend sports anchor.

“Starting at KHQA in Quincy is really a dream come true,” says Wilson. “Not only am I at a great station that covers three different states in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, but I get to be around some of the most passionate high school sports fans in the country. The relationships I will build through the community is one of the things I’m most excited about.”

Wilson learned about the opening through a former classmate who now works at the station. He immediately sent his demo and resume to KHQA News Director Nora Baldner. Wilson explains, “She responded right away but explained to me they had just been bought by a different broadcast company and weren’t allowed to hire someone just yet, but she’d keep my resume on her desk.”

Wilson maintained twice-monthly contact with Baldner, patiently asking if the hiring freeze had been lifted. “Finally, after a month, I emailed her and she quickly responded to set up an interview. I kept reviewing the interview tips [sent to me] from STAA until they became second nature. Luckily, everything just clicked and the interview went great.”

Once the job offer came, Wilson was ready to go. “I had kept all my clothes in the garage along with a storage unit holding my bed, couches and dressers so I could be ready to go immediately when I got the call. It helped me to have that mentality that I was going to be leaving at any second. You don’t want to get complacent AT ALL during your job search in this business.”

Wilson is eager to polish his skills in an environment he truly enjoys. “I’ll be able to co-host different highlight shows as well as anchor and report,” he says. “It’s going to help me craft my skills and learn how to do it all. KHQA just felt right when I visited the station for the first time. I didn’t feel uncomfortable and felt right at home. I knew right then and there this was the perfect fit.”

Wilson’s advice to other job seekers is to stay strong. “If you’re not willing to cold-call news directors, show up on station doorsteps, get rejected or be willing to separate yourself from other competitors, don’t even both putting yourself through the pain. If you’re tough enough to pursue your dream, you need to have a mentality that forces you to never quit. Do everything possible to keep the momentum in your favor and make yourself feel like your getting closer to landing a job.”

A 2011 graduate of Duquesne University, Wilson earned his Masters in Journalism from DePaul this past summer. He has been an STAA client since August. “STAA and Jon Chelesnik were right there by my side the entire way,” he says. “STAA has been a major help in me landing the job, and sticking with the process has been key. The interviews tips I received and the group chats have been extremely beneficial.

“I would recommend STAA to anyone who is pursuing a career in sports broadcasting. Thank you for always being there and giving me advice. I really appreciate it; I can’t wait to start my gig! This is only the beginning!”

(Visit Will’s STAA Talent Page).

STAA clients filling-in on Learfield Broadcasts

“Learfield”(November 8, 2013) A pair of STAA clients is getting great opportunities to showcase their play-by-play skills for Learfield Sports.

Over the next month, Sam Farber will be filling-in on three South Dakota State men’s basketball broadcasts – two at a tournament this weekend in San Diego and another December 1st at Stanford. Tim Becwar will be doing a South Dakota State game at the University of California Santa Barbara and a Montana State game at UC Riverside.

All of the opportunities resulted from conflicts with each school’s football and basketball play-by-play schedules. Farber and Becwar were chosen to fill-in after Learfield Sports Broadcast Manager Tom Boman asked STAA for referrals. Other STAA clients are being considered for additional upcoming Learfield broadcasts.

Farber is the play-by-play voice of minor league baseball’s Inland Empire 66ers and a broadcaster for Time Warner Cable Sports in Southern California. Becwar calls baseball for UC Irvine and is a veteran minor league basketball voice.

“When John Chelesnik and Tom Boman contacted me about filling in for the broadcasts, I immediately jumped at it,” says Becwar. “To be able to work with Learfield Sports, which holds such a prominent place in the sports broadcasting industry, is a tremendous opportunity.”

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to fill in for South Dakota State on this west coast swing,” says Farber. “I am really looking forward to working with Learfield Sports and helping all the fans of Jacks basketball begin the new season.

“I really appreciate STAA recommending me, and of course Learfield Sports for selecting me to help South Dakota State University fans tip off the new season.”

(Visit Sam and Tim’s STAA Talent Pages.)

Lefko new USF voice for two sports

“Mike(November 6, 2013) The University of South Florida has has named STAA client Mike Lefko as the new radio play-by-play voice of Bulls women’s basketball and baseball.

Lefko, a graduate of Syracuse University and a 2011 STAA All-American, comes to USF from IMG College in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he has served as a network studio host and producer since 2011. His most recent assignment with IMG has been as the pre-game and post-game host for Georgia Tech football and basketball.

“Mike is a very versatile broadcaster, and we are looking forward to having him join USF Athletics,” Associate Athletic Director for Broadcasting Jim Louk said. “He’ll be an important part of what we do, and his voice will soon be very familiar to USF fans.”

Lefko also has minor league baseball experience, broadcasting for the Winston-Salem Dash, a Chicago White Sox affiliate, since 2012.

“I’m thrilled to come to USF,” Lefko said. “The women’s basketball and baseball teams are going to be exciting to cover, and I can’t wait to be part of the USF family.”

Lefko will make his first USF on-air appearance on Nov. 20, when USF women’s basketball faces North Carolina Central at 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome.

(Visit Mike’s STAA Talent Page).

Lewis new Boise State women's hoops voice

“Chris(November 5, 2013) STAA client Chris Lewis has been hired as the new voice of the Boise State women’s basketball program.

A two-time STAA All-American as one of the nation’s top collegiate sports broadcasters, Lewis spent this past summer as the radio play-by-play announcer and media relations director for the Idaho Falls Chukars Baseball Club in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “I’m excited to get to work, telling the great stories involving coach Presnell and the team,” said Lewis. “I hope to continue the great work that Chris King had done the last two years.”

Lewis came to Idaho from Syracuse, N.Y., where he was a spring 2013 graduate of Syracuse University. While at Syracuse he had numerous experiences working in all aspects of radio from on-air talent, reporter, to show production.

During his time in Syracuse, Lewis worked for WJPZ radio (2010-13), where he did play-by-play for Syracuse University women’s basketball. In the 2012-13 season, he provided play-by-play of Boise State’s game against Syracuse on December 30. In addition to women’s basketball, Lewis also broadcast high school football and women’s lacrosse games at WJPZ, and became assistant sports director in 2012.

Lewis also worked for WAER Radio in Syracuse (2011-13) where he did play-by-play for Syracuse University football, men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse games. In addition, he served as a feature reporter, sports update anchor, as well as a studio host and producer for various pregame, halftime and postgame shows.

The Magnolia, N.J., native worked for ESPNU Campus Connection from 2012-13 where he was responsible for providing Syracuse University student content to ESPNU. Lewis also served as a liaison between the network and Syracuse student media.

Lewis’ other broadcast experience includes working for CitrusTV from 2009-13 where he was a sports anchor for a weekly SportsCenter-styled news show. In addition, he worked as an analyst, studio host and producer for the station’s Syracuse Pregame Show.

During summer of 2012 he served as on-air talent, producer and reporter for summer league basketball games in Las Vegas for Global Basketball Television. In addition, Lewis produced Big East basketball video recaps for the station during the 2012-13 college season.

(Visit Chris’ STAA Talent Page).

Clark returns to college home as PM Drive host

“Zach(November 4, 2013) Zach Clark is heading back to the city where he graduated college. An STAA client and alumnus of the University of Arizona, Clark is joining ESPN Tucson as Afternoon Drive Host.

Clark is no stranger to the station. While in college, he served as an intern for the host he is replacing, Jody Oehler, who left for a job in Phoenix. For the past year Clark has been Sports Director of KTRG and KHGZ in Texarkana, AR where he hosted two sports talk shows a day along with play-by-play for high school football, basketball, and baseball games. Prior to that, Clark was Editor-In-Chief for the Romeo Times.com, which was Romeo, Michigan’s first and only digital news service. He also handled play-by-play for high school sports on that website.

“As always, [STAA’s] guidance has been paramount,” says Clark. “I couldn’t have done it without STAA.”

(Visit Z’achs STAA Talent Page).