Smith is fourth STAA member to call Freedom baseball


“SpenserSpenser Smith is entering his fifth summer of broadcasting baseball. However, 2017 will be his first as the lead voice of a professional team. An STAA member, Smith is the new Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Florence Freedom.

“The Freedom are a first-rate organization committed to fun, and I’m looking forward to this exciting opportunity to call the action on a nightly basis,” Smith said.

Smith moves to the Greater Cincinnati area after serving in a similar role for the Portland (Ore.) Pickles of the collegiate wood-bat Great West League in 2016. In 2015, he broadcasted games for the Frontier League-affiliated California Winter League, as well as for the single-A Lancaster (Calif.) JetHawks.

Smith becomes the fourth STAA member to be the Voice of the Freedom in the team’s 15 years of existence. John Leahy held the position in 2010. Aaron Morse was behind the mike in 2014 and 2015, followed by Luke Tanaka last season.

“Spenser has a true love for the game of baseball and it shows through in the quality of his broadcast,” Freedom VP & General Manager Josh Anderson said. “Fans will enjoy the action brought to life this season by Spenser.”

(Visit Spenser’s STAA Talent Page).

Gehl new Hagerstown Suns voice


(February 15, 2017) Moving from Michigan to Maryland, STAA member Kevin Gehl is the new Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Hagerstown Suns.

The Suns are the Class-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

The Hagerstown move was set in motion when one of Gehl’s colleagues sent his demo and resume to the Suns General Manager.

“Tim Swartz, a fellow play-by-play broadcaster and former co-worker in the San Francisco Bay Area, reached out to me because he knew Hagerstown Suns GM Travis Painter had a lead broadcaster opening.”

The position was also emailed to STAA members on November 16th.

Gehl highlighted his most relevant experience to earn the Suns job.

“Having Tim as a reference for the position was key, but I also did my homework on the Suns organization and emphasized my strengths in public relations as well as broadcasting.”

After several years in broadcasting, Gehl understands how crucial it is to build good relationships. He appreciates how his STAA membership helps him connect with others.

“Last year, I attended the STAA One Day Ticket event in Salisbury, NC and made new friendships with fellow STAA members who became my colleagues across the Midwest League and now the South Atlantic League.”

Gehl has developed a range of broadcasting skills including sports TV reporting. More recently, he narrowed his focus to maximize for opportunities in the sportscasting industry’s growth areas.

“I spent eight years in local TV sports and I was fortunate to cover marquee events like the Final Four and Rose Bowl. But it’s no secret that local TV sports anchoring and reporting jobs are drying up and even the regional and national networks are turning away from traditional sports highlights and news shows,” Gehl observed.

“By contrast, live game coverage continues growing. With online streaming, there are now more live sports broadcasts than ever. Play-by-play has always been my true career goal and passion, so once I realized the brightest future lies in calling games, I left local TV and committed myself to pursuing play-by-play.”

(Visit Kevin’s website).

Cold calling lands Ratick Class-A baseball gig


(February 8, 2017) Logan Ratick’s sportscasting career takes flight in Minor League Baseball this summer. An STAA Member, Ratick has been named Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Idaho Falls Chukars.

The Chukars are the Kansas City Royals affiliate in the Pioneer League. Ratick is replacing fellow STAA Member Andrew Haynes who was the team’s broadcaster for the 2016 season.

“I don’t think I could have found a better opportunity to start my career,” Ratick smiles. “I’ve wanted to get into baseball play-by-play since I was 8 years old and the Chukars are allowing me to broadcast all 76 games on the local ESPN Radio affiliate. It’s a great chance for me to get reps, and an opportunity for me to improve as a broadcaster and a writer.”

Ratick’s previous experience includes gigs with the Orleans Firebirds, (Cape Cod Baseball League) Syracuse Jr. Chiefs (NYCBL), and LeMoyne College Dolphins baseball team.

When the time came for Ratick to hunt for his first post-college opportunity, he employed a proactive strategy and came up big.

“I cold-called most short-season Minor League Baseball teams to inquire about potential availabilities for play-by-play. I didn’t want to limit myself geographically because this is such a competitive industry.”

[Read STAA’s eBook, “The Smart Way to Get a Broadcasting Job: A complete guide to cold contacting employers.”]

Ratick appreciates the advantage provided by STAA Job Lead emails and wisdom.

“Jon Chelesnik, the [CEO], is a great guy and gives some of the best advice around. There’s a reason that STAA Talent is so successful and it’s due to Jon’s passion for helping young broadcasters establish themselves in the industry.”

Now, the soon-to-be Newhouse alum is eager to get started in Idaho Falls.

“I grew up in Connecticut and go to college at Syracuse University in New York, so I’m a Northeast guy through-and-through, but I am looking forward to moving out West. I am excited for the opportunity to see the country, to call games and to work for a fine organization.”

Pauley to host Sports Flashes for SBN Radio


“Matt(January 26, 2017) Matt Pauley was looking for additional sportscasting opportunities that would fit around his primary job as the Milwaukee Brewers post-game host. He’s found it with SB Nation Radio. An STAA member since 2006, Pauley will be hosting Sports Flash sports updates for several SBNR affiliates across the country.

“It allows me to work from home during the day while still being able to handle Brewers post-game and host other shows on WTMJ,” says Pauley. “It also allows me the opportunity to do freelance play-by-play at night.”

The SB Nation opportunity came through a relationship that goes back to Pauley’s days at The Sports Animal 1300 in Colorado Springs. The station was an SBN affiliate and, as a host and assistant PD, Pauley was one of their local contacts. When the current Sports Flash opportunity arose, the network contacted Pauley in Milwaukee to ask if he was interested.

A veteran baseball broadcaster, Pauley has called Minor League games in Colorado Springs, Burlington, IA, Albany, GA and Evansville, IN. His ultimate goal is to work in the Big Leagues; Keeping his Brewers post-game gig keeps him close to that goal.

“I have dedicated much of my career to baseball, having spent ten years as a Minor League play-by-play broadcaster before moving to Milwaukee,” says Pauley. “I truly both have my cake and get to eat it too, being able to juggle these two positions at the same time.”

(Visit Matt’s STAA Talent Page).

LaBoria accepts KGFW news/sports gig


(January 18, 2017) Like many broadcasters, Kyle LaBoria is always looking for the next step in his career. He’s found it in Kearny, NE. An STAA member, LaBoria is the new Associate News Director/Sports Reporter for News/Talk KGFW-AM/FM.

LaBoria leaves a similar position at KVAY 105.7 in Larmar, CO. “I am doing essentially the same job in a bigger market with a company that owns multiple radio stations,” he says. “The advancement opportunities within the company are something I look forward too.

“I felt that I had accomplished what I could in Lamar, and this radio station and market, while wonderful, could not offer me the opportunities to expand as a broadcaster beyond a certain point.”

A Colorado native, LaBoria earned his B.A. in 2008 from Adams State University in Alamosa. After working in insurance and other non-broadcasting industries, he joined an online sports talk radio show in 2015 and started doing freelance play-by-play. That same year, he picked up a broadcasting certificate from Colorado Media School.

(Visit Kyle’s website).

Stone returning to small market radio in Kansas


Erik Stone(January 9, 2017) Erik Stone spent 11 years in small market radio when he decided to try something different. After a short time working for an Internet broadcaster, Stone realized how much he missed terrestrial radio. Now, he’s returning to his roots. An STAA member, Stone is joining KRSL AM and FM in Russell, KS as an account executive and play-by-play broadcaster.

“I had been looking to get back into a situation where I could work at a community-minded radio station and have the opportunity to broadcast local high school sports, which is something I enjoyed very much previously,” Stone says. “When I saw the Russell position advertised on the STAA site, I made the decision to apply for it.”

In addition to sales, Stone will be broadcasting high school football, basketball, baseball and softball.

When Stone joined STAA in 2006, he was doing news and sports for an AM/FM combo in Lamar, CO. In 2011, he moved to Manhattan, KS to take over as Program Director at KMAN. Last Spring, wanting to try something new, Stone moved to Lawrence, KS to work as a General Sales Manager and Sports Director for an Internet broadcaster.

“Working in Lawrence was a great opportunity for me and I really learned a lot, but over time, I realized that small-market community radio was my comfort zone and something that I really enjoyed and found rewarding,” says Stone.

Stone is one of STAA’s longest-tenured members. “Having been a client for nearly a decade, STAA is always keeping up to date with the openings throughout the country,” he says. “Plus I also learn a lot from the STAAtv videos and interviews.”

Now, Stone is eager to take what he’s learned and, once again, apply it to small market sports broadcasting. “I look forward to getting back into the play-by-play game on a regular basis!”

(Visit Erik’s STAA Talent Page).

STAA’s Darnell named PD in Connecticut


Courtesy of Talkers.com

STAA member Ben Darnell is joining iHeartMedia in Connecticut to program the company’s sports talk and news/talk stations.

Darnell is now in charge of programming news/talkers WPOP, Hartford and WELI, New Haven and sports talk outlets WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” and WAVZ, New Haven “ESPN Radio 1300.”

Darnell was most recently serving with Sunrise Broadcasting’s sports talk WMFD, Wilmington, North Carolina.

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Gellman-Chomsky new Salem Red Sox voice


“BenThe Salem Red Sox, Advanced-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, have announced the hiring of STAA member Ben Gellman-Chomsky as their new Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.

Team president and general manager Ryan Shelton noted Gellman-Chomsky’s broadcast talent, media relations experience and versatile skillset as critical points that made him the clear choice for the Salem front office.

“We are exceedingly pleased to have found Ben and to bring him HOME to the Red Sox.” Shelton said. “In the short time we’ve known each other, Ben feels like a part of the family. I am confident our fanbase will welcome him just as we have.”

Gellman-Chomsky will bring live coverage of all 140 Salem Red Sox games to fans on SalemSox.com. He will oversee the media relations department and production of game notes and program stories, administer the operation of the press box at LewisGale Field, and contribute in social media and website maintenance.

With five years of escalating media relations and broadcast duties, Gellman-Chomsky adds an experienced and tested voice to the Salem front office. His background includes extensive writing and editing, running media relations departments for multiple teams, website and social media management, ticket sales, and many years of on-air work at both the professional and collegiate levels.

“I’ve admired the fantastic work of the Salem front office for many years,” Gellman-Chomsky said. “I’m honored to join a terrific group of people, and to work for the organization that I’ve rooted for my whole life in the Boston Red Sox. I can’t wait to meet the Salem fans in person and open the 2017 season.”

Most recently, Gellman-Chomsky worked for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (double-A – Toronto) in 2015 and 2016 as a broadcaster, ticket sales account executive and media relations coordinator. He was the lead voice for the Fisher Cats on the road, and filled in on various duties at home games. Previously, Gellman-Chomsky served as the lead broadcaster and media relations officer for the Clearwater Threshers (high-A – Philadelphia) in 2013, the broadcaster and media relations contact for the Hudson Valley Renegades (short-season – Tampa Bay) in 2012 and the broadcast assistant for the Hickory Crawdads (low-A – Texas) in 2011.

(Visit Ben’s website).