(October 7, 2015) STAA member Paul Stockman has joined WTVM & WXTX in Columbus, GA as a sports anchor/reporter.
The opportunity came to Stockman entirely through networking. “I knew the Sports Director, and the person who had the job before me was a great friend that I worked alongside in Dothan,” says Stockman.
Stockman moves to Columbus from WTVY in Dothan, AL. He spent his first two years at the station as a news and sports reporter, then took over as the Weekday Morning News Anchor/Producer for another two years.
Stockman majored in Radio/TV/Film at Auburn University. He told the WTVM website that the highlight of his time at Auburn was covering the Tigers’ 2010 National Championship team.
(September 29, 2015) When Milan Jordan told his daughter that he has been hired as host of the Columbus Blue Jackets Radio Network, the three year old little girl replied, “I’m gonna work for the Pink Jackets.”
While the significance of Daddy’s accomplishment might have been lost on his daughter, it is not lost on Jordan.
“I am excited to be part of a professional organization that has one of the up-and-coming teams in the NHL with legitimately high expectations,” says Jordan. “Not many people can call themselves a network host of a professional sports team. I am humbled and beyond thrilled to be doing something I truly love to do.”
From 2004 to 2013, Jordan worked for the Blue Jackets flagship station, WBNS in Columbus. While he is now an employee of the team, Jordan believes his time at the station helped his pursuit of the Blue Jackets gig.
“I had a good relationship through the years with members of the network and others in the Blue Jackets organization,” he says. “I’d like to think that certainly helped me land the job.”
Since leaving WBNS in 2013, Jordan has spent the past two years doing a variety of freelance sportscasting. Despite the challenges and frustrations of not having full-time work, he has never wavered in pursuit of his goals.
“Sportscasting is my dream,” says Jordan. “I will not let anyone or anything stand in the way of me pursuing my dream. I’ve had plenty of non-broadcasting jobs in my life, but none have come close to be as fulfilling for me as sportscasting.”
Jordan has been an STAA member since the company’s formation in 2006. “I appreciate all the help and advice [STAA] has given me over the years to help me get to this point.”
(September 28, 2015) Rob Sanderson has joined the Chicago Steel of the USHL as Broadcaster and Media Relations Coordinator.
The position came about after a stealth job lead that STAA sent to Sanderson for a position with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. “Dubuque recommended me to their former president, Dan Lehv, who is now with Chicago,” says Sanderson.
In addition to serving as the “Voice of the Steel,” Sanderson manages the team’s relationships with Chicago-area media outlets. Prior to joining the Steel, Sanderson served as radio host for his hometown Rochester (N.Y.) Americans of the American Hockey League. He also announced hockey for Nazareth College, and has called hundreds of games for FASTHockey, including USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp and two IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships.
(September 18, 2015) The late sportscaster Charlie Jones advised aspiring sportscasters to go where the jobs are. That is exactly what Corey Brooks is doing. The Florida native is on his way to Bismarck, North Dakota to call play-by-play for BEK.
“BEK gives me an opportunity to continue my play-by-play career, which is what I really love doing,” says Brooks. “And I get to call games for a great company in an area that is passionate about sports.”
At BEK, Brooks’ title is Live Event Director. While his primary role is play-by-play, he will help with all elements of the broadcast. “We go all over North Dakota to broadcast live games that are distributed throughout the state.”
A 2015 graduate of the University of Florida, Brooks was able to find a job more quickly than many new graduates. Still, it took longer than he wanted it to. “Obviously, graduating you want to get started on the next thing right away,” he says. “Even if you find the perfect opportunity, it’s a slow process.”
While in Gainesville, Brooks earned several honors for broadcasting excellence, including the Red Barber Sports Award from UF’s College of Journalism and several awards from the Associated Press. He spent all four years of school as a sports anchor/producer at WRUF-TV and called play-by-play for various Gator’s sports.
Leaving Florida is not an issue for Brooks. “I was prepared to go far from home when I started looking for jobs,” he smiles. “The only real shift that I’m nervous about is the weather. Can’t imagine North Dakota being too kind to a lifetime Floridian.”
(September 15, 2015) Once Sam Hauser identified why he was coming up short in the job market, he made the necessary changes and the results were immediate. An STAA member, Hauser has been hired as Sports Director at 1480 KAUS in Austin, MN.
A 2014 graduate of the University of North Florida, Hauser moves to Minnesota from Miami where he has spent the past year as a producer at 790 The Ticket. “If you want to be on air, like I do, the only way to learn and get comfortable is to just do it,” says Hauser. “Off-air practice is great, but the best way to get a feel for how you want to present yourself in any on-air capacity is to be on air. And smaller markets are a good place to start.”
Prior to getting the Austin job, Hauser hadn’t been getting as much response as he expected in the job market. He thought his youth was the primary reason, until he asked to be the subject of an STAA Member Makeover. The Makeover is a video where STAA takes a look at what a member is doing in the job market and shows them how to do it better. Hauser learned that it wasn’t his youth that was causing him problems. It was his website.
“The one that stuck in my head the most was [when STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik said] ‘A poorly formatted website is worse than having no website at all.’ It was a harsh truth at first, but one that I needed to face,” says Hauser. “When I first submitted my materials for the Member Makeover, I had no idea how amateurish and flawed my website was. And every time I applied for a new job, I found something that needed to be fixed. Having a website is great, but just remember, if you introduce an employer to it, it becomes their first impression of you, so you want it to impress them.
“I thought I wasn’t getting responses from employers because I’m in my early 20s and fresh out of college. But that wasn’t the problem. That was how I came off to them because my website needed work.”
For someone born and raised in South Florida, life in Minnesota represents a huge change. Hauser, though, is unconcerned. “At the end of the day, the position has, for the most part, been more important to me than the location. You have to be able to pack up and move to have the best shot at getting where you want to go. If that means bundling up and getting through the harsh Minnesota winter, bring it on!
(September 14, 2015) October 1st, 2007 is the day that Taylor McGregor confirmed her career path. That was the day the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres in 13 innings to advance to the National League Division Series.
“I knew that night I had a passion for storytelling and I would become a sports broadcaster,” says McGregor.
Goal achieved. McGregor has accepted her first professional sports broadcasting job as a reporter and weekend anchor at KCWY News 13 in Casper, WY.
McGregor graduated this spring from the University of Arkansas. Her senior year, she gained considerable producing and editing experience as a reporter for the Razorback Sports Network. McGregor has also served internships in Fayetteville, Kansas City and Denver, and at the MLB Network. She spent the summer of 2013 as a social media reporter for Root Sports Pittsburgh.
Inspiration can strike at any time. For McGregor, it was at that Padres-Rockies game eight years ago at Coors Field. “That game had a story and I wanted to tell it in a way that took people there and made them care,” McGregor writes on her website. “I didn’t know it at the time but the burning passion ignited that night was the start to my career.“
(September 9, 2015) Less than four months after graduating from Hofstra, Julian Coltre is going to the NHL. An STAA member, Coltre has been hired as the Washington Capitals Radio Network host.
Coltre was rated as the 9th-most outstanding collegiate sports broadcaster in STAA’s 2015 All-America program.
The Capitals won’t be Coltre’s first NHL experience. Hofstra’s campus radio station, 88.7 FM WRHU, serves as the flagship station for the New York Islanders Radio Network. Students assist in the broadcast and have the opportunity to serve as color analysts and sideline reporters. Coltre worked alongside the Voice of the Islanders, Chris King, on all Islanders regular season and playoff games.
“It might be cliche to say that my experiences with the Islanders and Hofstra was everything, but it definitely was, and I feel as though it is probably 90% of the reason I got the job,” says Coltre.
“Pretty much everything I learned at the University, whether it’s interviewing NHL players and coaches, putting together game montages and player features, having a personality on-air for TV and radio, and of course my prepping I was taught by doing games for IslesTV, WRHU, or on Hofstra Access TV.”
As the result of his college experience, Coltre was confident when applying for the Caps position.
“I honestly believed I had a 100% chance of getting the job. That isn’t me being cocky, but it is just because of the type of person I am. I try not to think negatively on subjects or think that the worst might happen, so every day when I woke up, whether it was for this job or some other job, I would simply say to myself ‘today is the day I’m going to find out some good news.’”
Coltre’s STAA Talent Page came in handy during the application process. “I have to give [STAA] props too because the ease of having my Talent Page really made it convenient for me to get my information and demo stuff to the Capitals.”
Coltre was chosen for the Capitals job from dozens of candidates, including many with NHL and AHL backgrounds. “They told me they loved what I brought from my first interview. For me, that was an encouraging sign and a great vote of confidence before I get started,” says Coltre.
Capitals’ fans are well known for their passionate support of the team. Coltre is excited to connect with them. “Pro sports is one of the unique jobs where team media can really connect with their fans on social media and in person, and since I’ll be one of the main team reps, I’m really hoping to build an impressive connection with the Capitals, their fans, and the city of DC during my time there.
“The team is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender this season, and I’m DEFINITELY hoping that my last game of the season is one where I’m getting drenched in champagne in a winning locker room.”
(September 8, 2015) Jonathan Huskey has incredible timing.
When Huskey joined STAA on June 30th, he said that he is a St. Louis Cardinals fan and wanted to work in Missouri. The next day, STAA received notification of a sports anchor/reporter opening at KSPR ABC 33 in Springfield, MO. Springfield is the home of the Cardinals Class-AA affiliate. The lead was sent to STAA members the same day and, to make a long story short, Huskey got the job.
Huskey is such a fan of the Big League Cardinals that his dog is named Duncan, in honor of the Redbirds former, long-time pitching coach.
KSPR is Huskey’s third job since earning a Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting from Union University in Jackson, TN in 2008. After graduating, he spent two years at KFSM in Fort Smith, AR. For the past three years, Huskey has been the Sports Director at WRBL in Columbus, GA.
Huskey’s experience with anchoring, shooting, editing, writing and producing will help him excel at KSPR. His love for Cardinals baseball is a serendipitous bonus.
(September 4,2015) Like many sportscasters, Mitch Widmeier was finding it difficult to get a job offer. Then all of the sudden, he had two. The one he has accepted is from KATE 1450 AM in Albert Lea, MN where he is taking over as Sports Directory.
Ironically, Widmeier is replacing fellow STAA member Jim Sannes who have moved to the East Coast.
Widmeier had interviewed for a handful of jobs when things really started heating up in August. At the same time that KATE offered him a job, Widmeier heard from another station that had interviewed him but ended up offering their job to someone else. When the other candidate changed his mind about accepting the position, the station offered it to Widmeier.
“I had some things to consider, Widmeier says. “Ultimately the job in Minnesota appealed to me more because of the vast array of things I’ll be able to do and because I was their first choice. There was something to be said for them having me as their A plan and first option that made me feel really welcomed.”
As it is for many others in the sportscasting job market, staying patient was a challenge while Widmeier was on the hunt. Instead of letting frustration derail his search, Widmeier employed a useful strategy.
“My plan was to have a full time gig when I graduated in May and things didn’t pan out that way. I remained patient. There were two situations where it came down to one other candidate and myself. In both instances, they chose the other candidate. I allowed myself one day to be angry and sulk and the next day I woke up with a fresh perspective and excitement to get back out and apply again. If you can’t handle the word ‘no’ in this industry, good luck.”
Widmeier relied on STAA to ensure that he was putting out the best possible materials when applying for job applications.
“STAA has been huge for me. First off, Jon put in a good word for me with the opening I ended up getting. There’s an enormous amount of credibility with STAA in the industry as I learned along the way. But besides the job market and the job search STAA has helped in many other ways. How to make a cover letter look, how your demos should sound, what should be on your demos, the member makeovers. Everything involved with being a member on the site should be used to a members full advantage and that’s what I tried doing.
“I came across STAA two years ago. Just about every single day I would go straight to the job forum. And very frequently I would see “FILLED BY STAA MEMBER,” Widmeier smiles. “There’s a sense of satisfaction and a sense of feeling really damn good when I go on and see “FILLED BY STAA MEMBER” and seeing that for this particular opening it was filled by me.”
(September 3, 2015) Anthony Notarile is an Empire State kind of guy. A few months after graduating from Hofstra University, Notarile is kicking off his sportscasting career in his home state as a Sports Anchor/Reporter at WKTV in Utica, NY.
“It really works out perfectly in every way” says Notarile, an STAA member. “I get to stay in New York, which in my field, it seemed like I was for sure going to be moving far away from my home on Long Island. I’m only 4 hours away from friends, family, and my girlfriend, so seeing them and keeping in touch won’t be hard.
I am very familiar with New York Sports, which is a plus to have on this job. Lastly, I actually went to Hofstra University with the current Sports Director [at WKTV], so we get to reunite the old team!”
Notarile applied for the WKTV opening after receiving an STAA job leads email. The appeal of working at the central New York station was sealed when Notarile had the opportunity to interview in person.
“It was like I was a kid in a candy store. I remember being so wide-eyed when I got the chance to tour the station. It was my second interview, and of all the jobs I applied to, and interviews I had, this was not only one of my first second interviews, but it was my first in-person one. I got to meet everyone I would be working with, and a big thing for me was seeing the sports desk I will be anchoring from. It felt surreal, but when I was touring, I knew it was a perfect fit.”
Notarile is eager to acknowledge the assistance that STAA provided, even beyond sending the initial opening notification.
“Any friend I have in the field can vouch, STAA has been wonderful for me. Getting the Talent Page to put all my work on and send to stations, getting the help from [STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik] when it comes to interviews or cover letters, or even something as simple as an email with multiple leads from TV stations, it’s been so helpful.
“Obviously in this case it is a perfect example, because I found out about the opening through your emails.”