UH sports voice Branham adding Sports Radio 610 to resume

Jeremy Branham(January 25, 2016) Working a long time for one employer can leave a person to wonder how much their skills might be valued by someone else. Jeremy Branham has found out in a great way. The voice of University of Houston women’s basketball and baseball for the past decade is adding sports talk host and anchor to his resume. An STAA member, Branham is joining Houston’s Sports Radio 610.

When he’s not broadcasting UH athletics, Branham will host a regular weekend shift on 610, fill-in for weekday shows during holidays and vacations, and host various sports update shifts.

“I’m looking forward to the variety the position brings,” says Branham. “I’ve always liked doing a lot, and a lot of different things, so the position fits my personality in that way.”

The Sports Radio 610 opportunity grabbed Branham’s attention because of the station’s reputation in one of the nation’s largest markets. He was also eager to test his value within the industry. “I wanted to see if I could be a commodity to someone,” says Branham. “I’ve been fortunate to be at the same place for a while, but I wanted to branch out and see if someone else thought I was any good.”

Fitting his 610 duties around his UH broadcast schedule shouldn’t be a huge challenge for Branham. “[Station PD] Ryan McCredden has been great,” he says. “Ryan has been very supportive with what I do with UH and seems genuine that he likes that I do it. It’s always a bit scary during the interview process when saying, oh here are days I have commitments, but the station has been great.”

Branham has been an STAA member since 2014. “The STAA services have been a tremendous resource for me,” he says. “For one, it helped me land this job, so that’s something I’m extremely grateful for. It has given me leads on jobs that I was very interested in prior to this one, and I like that it keeps me in the loop of what’s going on in the broadcaster community. STAA makes you feel like you are really part of the industry.”

Three days in 2014 lead Levy to Quad Cities baseball job

Jake Levy(January 20, 2015) Three days during the spring of 2014 helped Jake Levy re-discover his passion and move him towards his new position as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations with the Quad Cities River Bandits.

The River Bandits are the Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

One thing that attracted Levy to Quad Cities is the organization’s 100% commitment to excellence. “The ownership is extremely hands-on and the team is a big part of the community,” he says. “The awards the team racked up in 2015 lead all of Minor League Baseball, they set attendance records in 2015, and yet they’re still looking for ways to get better for 2016. They also really value the media relations and broadcasting role, and have a tremendous track record of sending their directors of media relations on to bigger markets.”

Levy’s baseball broadcasting experience is extensive. Between 2011 and 2013 he called games for the Columbia Blowfish, Camden Riversharks and Lynchburg Hillcats. After leaving minor league baseball in 2013 to tour as an announcer with the Harlem Globetrotters, he accepted an assistant director of broadcasting position at Wingate University.

It was while broadcasting three NCAA tournament baseball games for Wingate that Levy realized how much he missed baseball. “Those three games reignited by love for baseball radio. I was hooked again. The rush I got in painting that picture, describing the scene for those listening and conveying the intensity of moments being played out live on the field was unparalleled.”

2015 found Levy back at the ballpark as the voice of the summer collegiate North Adams SteepleCats. Now it’s onto Quad Cities for his first No. 1 job in affiliated baseball.

“It’s just a ton of excitement for me,” says Levy. “Quad Cities is a great Minor League Baseball market with a strong and dedicated fan base. The River Bandits continue to rack up awards on a yearly basis and the chance to be a part of such an innovative and passionate organization is the ideal way for me to rejoin the MiLB ranks. Throw in a breathtaking ballpark right on the Mississippi River and a team that led all of Minor League Baseball in wins last year (88), and it becomes an obvious choice for me as a top spot to break into lead affiliated baseball.”

A 2012 graduate of the University of South Carolina, Levy has been an STAA member since 2013. The Quad Cities opportunity was posted in December at baseball’s Winter Meetings, but Levy learned about it through STAA.

“STAA has been the catalyst behind just about every job I’ve gotten in sportscasting,” he says. “Not just through job postings, but with Jon’s advice and guidance in this difficult industry. There have been seemingly devastating moments in my journey, but being part of the STAA community helped me to never feel alone in that anguish. The blogs, critiques and information have helped me better understand the business and not take rejection so personally, which has been a big reason I could shake off so many of the difficulties and now get to celebrate a huge moment in my career.”

Levy’s advice to other sportscasting job seekers is to be thorough. “It’s an industry that can drive you crazy. But the only way to #keeppounding (remember, I’m still in Charlotte as I say this — Go Panthers) is to know you have truly done everything in your power to make yourself stand out and be the best possible candidate. If the team or organization goes in another direction, that’s on them. You also never know what connections could be the ones that lead to a position later in your career.”

(Visit Jake’s website).

Johnson taking sports podcast to network radio

Rob Johnson(January 14, 2016) The sports podcast that Rob Johnson started five years ago is becoming a network radio show. An STAA member, Johnson is taking his MakinThePlay program to Yahoo Sports Radio. Starting this week, it will air Saturdays from Noon to 3 pm Eastern Time.

“My show has a unique style that appeals to today’s generation of sports talk listeners, and that doesn’t mean just young listeners,” says Johnson. “Joining the YSR lineup is the natural evolution and next appropriate step for my career.”

MakinThePlay started as a podcast in January 2011 and Johnson was quickly broadcasting from sports bars and restaurants in his hometown of Gape Girardeau, MO. Eventually, he got the show on the air in Cape Girardeau, and later, in Paducah, KY. He will continue hosting the national show from Missouri.

Johnson’s move to network radio started last June when YSR COO and Program Director Craig Larson called STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. They share a quarterly dialogue and review the roster of STAA members.

“My membership in STAA set the foundation for this opportunity,” says Johnson. “Craig Larson discovered me though STAA and spoke with Jon about my story, background and capabilities. I owe this opportunity entirely to STAA.”

In addition to hosting, Johnson will have the option to sell advertising for YSR.

“One of the strengths I developed from starting my career later in life is that I have extensive business, sales and marketing experience. I’m as comfortable speaking with sponsorship prospects and clients and developing marketing strategies for them as I am hosting a show. With YSR, I have as much responsibility as I desire and the flexibility to create programs that are best for advertisers.”

Johnson adds, “YSR is an incredible organization that, under the leadership of David Gow, is growing and providing multiple talk shows that appeal to a wide range of fans.

“Thank you [STAA] for everything you have done to help make this possible,” Johnson smiles.

Hear how Rob took his podcast from online to on-air:

Listen to the podcast here

Visit Rob’s website.

Siegel earns Dunedin Blue Jays radio gig

Spencer Siegel(January 5, 2016) After three summers of broadcasting baseball, Spencer Siegel has earned a lead broadcaster job in the affiliated ranks. An STAA member, Siegel is the new voice of the Dunedin Blue Jays, the Toronto Blue Jays Class-A franchise.

“This was an opportunity to be a No.1 broadcaster in affiliated ball for the first time in my career,” says Siegel. “I have paid my dues to this point and really feel I earned this position.”

With Dunedin, Siegel will be doing more than just broadcasting games. His duties will include assisting in social media, marketing and graphic design. He’ll also help with media relations when the Blue Jays parent club is in Florida for spring training.

Class-A baseball is not an entirely new experience for Siegel. He served as a broadcasting and media relations assistant with the Lansing Lugnuts in 2011 and the Potomac Nationals in 2014. In 2013, Siegel spent the summer calling games for the Battle Creek Bombers of the summer collegiate Northwoods League.

The Dunedin position was posted briefly at last month’s baseball Winter Meetings — long enough for Siegel to submit his application and get a pair of interviews the following week.

A 2015 graduate of Bradley University, Siegel has been an STAA member since August. “I wanted to thank STAA for all of your advice this year,” he says.

“[In Dunedin], I’ll have what’s most important to me to refine my craft…reps, reps, reps.

“I’m looking forward to an excellent opportunity.”