Liebhaber stays home to work for Quakes

Liebhaber-Brandon(January 14, 2014) College sportscasters are reminded often that the first few years of their career will likely be spent in a location far from home. STAA client Brandon Liebhaber is fortunate to be starting his career in a familiar place. Liebhaber has been accepted a Broadcasting and Media Assistant position with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

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

“I get to live at home, which is a big plus after four years away at Northwestern. It’s also great because I don’t have to move somewhere completely new for my first job so I’ll have a comfort level there and be close to my family, which is something I know many broadcasters aren’t able to do. And the Southern California weather isn’t too bad either.”

Liebhaber is particularly looking forward to drawing on the experience of Quakes broadcaster Mike Lindskog, a 22 year minor league veteran.

“I’ll not only have the opportunity to get on air, but I’ll learn everything about minor league baseball. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Quakes (who won California League organization of the year last season) and the Brett Sports ownership group.”

Last summer, Liebhaber worked as the Broadcaster and Media Director for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod League. Liebhaber has been packing on the experience while at Northwestern University, including play-by-play for both radio and television. It was that resume of experience Liebhaber took to Baseball’s Winter Meetings.

“Because of where I live, the Cal League had always appealed to me but there weren’t any broadcast openings in the league at the Winter Meetings, initially. I saw it on the board Monday in Orlando and immediately submitted my resume and sample CD. The next day I got a call from Mike Lindskog saying he wanted to talk and we had a great conversation about the opportunity that really appealed to me.”

Liebhaber graudates from Northwestern in March. Then it will be back to California for opening day with the Quakes in April.

“I’m extremely excited to get my start with such a fantastic organization. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they’re a Dodger affiliate and I’m a pretty big Dodger fan myself.”

(Visit Brandon’s personal website.)

Setback leads Gulick to Dayton Dragons radio

“Brendan(January 8, 2014) Losing a sports broadcasting job often leads to something better. That is certainly the case for Brendan Gulick. Just one month after learning his job in Oklahoma had been eliminated, Gulick is joining the Dayton Dragons as a Broadcasting/Media Relations Assistant.

The Dragons are the Class-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.

The Dayton job is an especially good fit for Gulick. He is an Ohio native and has a deep-seeded passion for broadcasting baseball. “This is a great opportunity for me,” he says. “I am humbled by the chance to work in broadcasting and media relations with one of the most well-respected organizations in the minor leagues. Dayton has an unmatched tradition of drawing fans to Fifth Third Field and their progressive approach to running the organization is unparalleled. I am eager to learn from Director of Broadcasting Tom Nichols as I take an exciting step in my career.”

Click here to read about the remarkable success of former Dragons broadcasting assistants.

When the Dayton position opened in December, Nichols decided against conducting a public search. Instead, he consulted the STAA website.

“I found Brendan’s [STAA Talent Page] during a search of the broadcaster database on the STAA website,” Nichols says. “I felt his experience level and profile would be a good fit for this position and I liked his audio sample. [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik immediately put me in touch with Brendan.”

Gulick has spent the past two summers assisting in broadcasting and media relations with the Lorain County Ironmen and the Rockford Aviators.

“We had several very strong candidates,” says Nichols.”But as we completed the evaluation process, Brendan stood out as the best person for our organization. Thanks to Jon and his company for the resources that STAA provided in our broadcaster search and Jon’s willingness to talk with me at length about Brendan’s skill set. STAA has been a help to us in the past and, I am sure, will be again in the future.”

Gulick relocates to Ohio after having spent the fall in Durant, OK. He had been hired there in July to work in an administrative role with Texoma Broadcasting and KLBC Radio and to serve as the play-by-play voice for Southeastern Oklahoma State football and basketball. However, when the administrative portion of the position was dissolved in November, Gulick was left looking for work.

“I appreciated the opportunity to work at KLBC and broadcast Southeastern Oklahoma State athletics for a few months,” Gulick says. “I learned a lot about how small-market radio/television contracts operate from a business perspective and I enjoyed broadcasting for the Savage Storm this fall. While it was frustrating that the radio station downsized its staff, Brad Sham’s words from the 2013 STAA ODT Seminar were omnipresent to me: ‘The only two things you can control in your life, 100% of the time, are your work ethic and your attitude.’”

Gulick relied on his personal and professional contacts to help him through the sudden challenge of being back in the job market after just four months.

“I always joke that my full-time job is networking, but I’m also a broadcaster. I really value the relationships I have built with other people in this industry and I appreciate the support I received when I found myself back in the job market. There were times that looking for another job so soon was emotionally challenging, but I tried to feed any negativity with something positive and proactive. While it may seem strange, I believe that I’m better off for having learned how to go through this.

“It’s such a blessing for my family that things have worked out for me in Dayton. Not only am I closer to my home in Cleveland, but my brother and sister-in-law just welcomed my first niece into our family at Christmas time. They live very close to Dayton and I’m thrilled to spend some time with them this summer, too.

“I wouldn’t have landed this opportunity without STAA’s services,” says Gulick.

(Visit Brendan’s STAA Talent Page).

Ryan Smith to be Capitols inaugural hockey voice

“Ryan(January 3, 2014) When the first puck of the Madison Capitols inagural season drops, Ryan Smith will be fulfilling the first step of a childhood dream. An STAA client, Smith has been hired as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Capitols, a United States Hockey League expansion team.

The Capitols begin play in the 2014-15 season.

“Since I was 11, I dreamt of doing play-by-play broadcasting. Since age 15, I focused almost exclusively on hockey. By joining a league as nationally respected and talented as the United States Hockey League, I know that, like many of the players who enter the league, it is just the first rung of a ladder that will hopefully land me in the NHL someday, my ultimate dream,” Smith smiles.

“My father’s work partner had a brother who is on the ownership group of the Capitols. Very early on, shortly after I graduated from Penn State, I was able to develop a relationship with him, and he was so gracious in accepting my materials and passing me onto other members of the ownership group and eventually the team president.”

While he didn’t need his STAA Talent Page for the Capitols application, Smith has received tangible evidence of the Talent Page’s effectiveness.

“I had received phone calls at various times in the summer looking for part-time work throughout the state. While I unfortunately was at a busy stretch at that time, each call I received, the STAA page was referenced, so I know for a fact that the profiles are a heavily used resource by the employers and I honestly would recommend that others keep on peppering potential employers with links.”

A 2013 graduate of Penn State, Smith had the opportunity to broadcast the Nittany Lions’ debut season in NCAA hockey. The thrill of experiencing that first season makes the new job with the Capitols extra exciting.

“For me, the fact that it was an expansion team actually increased my passion and excitement level for wanting to run the door down and get the position,” Smith says.

“I hope that someday, years down the road, fans in Madison can look back at this rebirth of the Capitols and associate memories with my voice. I want to be a face of the franchise and one who represents the class and pride that comes with junior hockey in a state as hockey-crazy as Wisconsin.”

(Visit Ryan’s STAA Talent Page).