Monty leaving baseball for full-time radio in Missouri

Brandon MontyBrandon Monty has spent two of the past three summers broadcasting baseball. His long-term goal, though, has been to call various sports as a full-time radio station employee.

Mission accomplished.

An STAA member, Monty is joining Alpha Media in Moberly, MO as an On-Air Announcer and Play-by-Play Broadcaster. He learned of the opportunity through STAA.

“It will allow me to be versatile and improve my skills at several different jobs in radio, including play-by-play, hosting, interviewing, and gathering news,” Monty says.

Changing course

Monty is spending this summer in Washington broadcasting baseball for the Walla Walla Sweets. He’ll move to Moberly at season’s end.

“I’ve always loved the game of baseball since I was a little kid,” Monty recalls. “I’ve also always loved radio and wanted to find a full-time position at a station. I wanted to find a place to settle in for a bit where I can be there year-round and call different sports.”

Always say yes

One key for Monty in building his sportscasting career has been always saying yes to opportunities. “The one thing I was told repeatedly throughout college was that you should try to expand your abilities and learn as much as you can. The last few years have provided me the opportunity to do just that.”

Customizing his cover letter to Alpha Media also helped Monty earn the job. “Find something unique or interesting about the job that you can put in your cover letter,” he suggests. “Letting the employer know that you did the research on the position goes a long way.”

Help from his friends

Monty joined STAA in 2020 upon the recommendation of his Ohio University classmates and fellow STAA members Gabe Genovesi and Jake Hromada. “When I transferred to Ohio U my junior year, I knew little to nothing about the true nature of the business and what it was about,” Monty recalls. “With the help of all my talented colleagues at OU and through my membership at STAA, I have made great strides as a sportscaster, both ability-wise and job market-wise.”

Now Monty is taking what he’s learned to Alpha Media.

“I’m extremely grateful to be welcomed into an organization and stations that will allow me to improve in different areas in sportscasting while learning from the talented veterans that are already on the staff.”

2020 college grad Garrett Jones lands DI job at HBU

Garrett JonesGarrett Jones is a Division I football and basketball voice just one year after graduating from college. And he doesn’t have to relocate for the opportunity. An STAA member, Jones is the new voice of the Houston Baptist University Huskies.

He succeeds fellow STAA member Lonnie King.

The way Jones found the opportunity is a common one. “Through an STAA Job Leads email, of course,” he grins.

STAA learned of the opening when King notified the agency that he was retiring from the position. STAA shared the openings with it’s members, then sent the most qualified candidates onto HBU’s hiring manager. ” I pounced on it right when I saw they had an opening,” Jones recalls.

Houston ties

Jones moved to Houston last year to be with family after graduating from the University of Missouri. He’s been doing fill-in play-by-play for the University of Houston and Rice University but the HBU gig is one he’s watched closely. “I feel super lucky to have been able to call games for several great schools in an awesome city in my first year as a professional. Broadcasting college sports is right where I want to be, so I feel like getting the radio gig at this point in my career is the perfect spot. It’s also nice to have a home base after mostly freelancing for a year.”

Smart follow-up

Following-up his HBU application with what he calls “polite persistence” helped Jones distinguish himself from other candidates. “I followed up multiple times, including what turned out to be very early in their hiring process, but I didn’t go over the top. Just enough that they knew I was really interested,” he remembers.

Jones’ follow-up also included one extraordinary step. “I recorded a demo tape using a HBU game from last year and sent that in instead of the football tape I had previously.”

Traveling man

One aspect of the job that Jones is eagerly anticipating is traveling. “I’m excited to get to New Mexico in September — that’s road trip number one. But HBU basketball has played several big time programs in the past few seasons — Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona, Oklahoma, Wisconsin. And of course, winning at Wake Forest. Those trips to the Power 5 schools are going to be a lot of fun.”

The Huskies also play at Rice in a few years. “It will be great to broadcast from the visitors booth at a school that helped me get my start,” Jones enthuses.

The STAA edge

Jones joined STAA in 2019 on the recommendation of fellow University of Missouri alumnus and STAA member Ben Wilson. Jones adds, “I also got wind [of STAA] through social media, and applied for the Jim Nantz Award each of my last two years of school.”

Jones’ reasons for joining STAA were simple. “To learn, grow, improve, network and be the best broadcaster I can be,” he says.

Now Jones is taking the skills he has polished to Division I HBU athletics.

“I’m incredibly excited to get started and bring games to the airwaves for Husky fans!”

Chillot jumps from NAHL to AHL’s Checkers

TJ ChillotTJ Chillot thought it was a long shot for to move from the NAHL to minor league hockey’s highest level. However, he also understands that the only way to score is to shoot the puck.

So he shot.

And he scored.

Chillot is the new Director of Broadcasting for the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.

“I had known that Jayson Shaya, the former voice of the Checkers, moved on to Utica when Charlotte opted out of the 2020-22 season,” Chillot recalls. “After talking with [STAA Owner] Jon Chelesnik regarding openings in the world of hockey, he mentioned that Charlotte had yet to announce Shaya’s replacement — among other openings he knew of. Jon recommended that I reach out to the Checkers. The timing couldn’t have been better as they were beginning their search right at that time.”

Big leap

Chillot leaps to the AHL from the NAHL where he spent the past three years with the Austin Bruins. He understood that the jumping to the AHL might be unreasonable – not because he couldn’t handle the job, but because of the optics.

“It’s not often you hear of a play-by-play broadcaster going from the NAHL to the American Hockey League,” he says. “Sure, I have experience working in professional hockey as an intern in the AHL and as the broadcaster for the now defunct Mississippi RiverKings of the SPHL, but I knew that on paper there were likely many more candidates who looked stronger.”

Preparation

Chillot, though, trusts his skills. “All I needed was for a team to look beyond the paper and have a conversation with me. I felt that all I needed was a chance to interview because I know that I bring a lot of intangibles to my organization that can’t be viewed on a resume or heard in a demo.”

Several of Chillot’s colleagues contacting the Checkers on his behalf further strengthened his candidacy. “There were so many people who went to bat for me during the course of this process – and without them, I don’t know that I would have even gotten through to the second round. They helped me get that interview so I could showcase my unique skill set.”

One advantage Chillot creates in the sportscasting job market is knowledge. His habit is to learn as much as he can from each organization where he has worked.

“I absorbed all the front office information I could, from ticketing, to community relations, to, of course, media relations and social media. I like to think of myself as well-rounded because of this. It helped me fit into a very unique mold that the Checkers had made. From my days as a car salesmen before my radio career began, to being a board-op and talk show host, to running a community hockey league, to teaching myself graphic design, it’s all become skills that round me out as a broadcaster and a person.”

Perseverance

Working in the AHL seemed like a pipe dream in 2018 when Chillot’s team, the Mississippi RiverKings of the SPHL, ceased operations. “I had just started my career as a broadcaster and wasn’t sure if it was over before it truly ever began. STAA helped me find the Bruins, which bloomed into a great three years in Austin.”

Chillot joined STAA in December 2016 when his parents bought him a membership as a gift. “STAA is the whole package for us in the industry,” he says. “I talk to some broadcasters who say they only subscribe when they’re actively looking for a job. To me, that’s just backwards. We should always be looking to improve, even when we’re not actively looking, and STAA is the perfect place for that. Sure the job lead emails are GREAT, but there’s so much more for us on the site. From the community discussions boards to ask questions and share successes with others, to the resources that Jon posts, and all the other tips and tricks.

“By subscribing to STAA year round, and not just when I was actively looking, I continued to improve so that when the time did come for my next step, I was more than ready.”

More than ready, indeed. There is a saying that success is when preparation meets opportunity. As Chillot has proved, that is true even when the opportunity seems like a long shot.

Moon hired as Sports Director at LocalNews8 in Idaho

East Coast to Idaho is a big move in terms of both miles and mindset. It’s the move Eric Moon is making, though. The STAA member is the new Sports Director at KIFI/KIDK LocalNews8 and News3 Now in Idaho Falls.

Moon admits, “No doubt, it was a little scary to move from Virginia all the way to Idaho less than a month after graduating college.” But after weighing the pros and cons of moving to Idaho for work, Moon says he couldn’t come up with a con.

“This job presented a fantastic opportunity for me to start my career in a great role in a great market. Starting as a sports director is an incredible opportunity straight out of college. Plus, this job would give me a chance to explore another part of the country I have never been to before and cover some different teams and sports too.”

Job market strategies

Moon did two things that were especially helpful in his pursuit of the position. The first was not limiting himself. He applied for sports anchor/reporter, play-by-play, and production jobs across the country to get his name out there. He wanted to give himself a better chance of finding a great job to start his career.

The second was improving himself. Moon tried to keep a positive outlook and get help from friends and coworkers on his reel, resume, and cover letter. He admits, “Before [the station] contacted me, I actually had not been contacted for an interview by anybody from any other places I applied to. But, with the help of friends and coworkers, I knew I was doing the right things and something great would eventually happen, and it did.”

Mentors

One of those coworkers was Scott Hecht, his boss at ESPN/ACC Network Syracuse where he worked during his four years at Syracuse University. Moon says, “Scott Hecht has been a wonderful mentor to me.” He adds, “In those four years, Scott, Kristin Hennessey, and many other great coworkers helped me learn the industry and gave me tips for how to attack the job market and how to breed success in this industry.”

Moon first heard of the opening with KIFI/KIDK through an STAA jobs leads email and applied within a couple of hours.

Moon has been an STAA member for three years. “My dad actually found STAA and I subscribed once I got to college. He searched for sites or places I could use to help start my career and I’m grateful he and I stumbled on the STAA site.

“My STAA membership has been beneficial for making connections and learning the industry. I know I can, for example, post my reel on the site and not just get helpful feedback from industry professionals, but also connect with those professionals through the feedback. I’m very happy with my membership and it’s been very beneficial to my career and the career of many other friends and coworkers.”

Self-promotion helps Shelley move to the ECHL

Mark ShelleyMark Shelley has been diligent about posting his work on social media in the two years he has broadcasted in the NAHL. That self-promotion is helping him take a big step forward in his career. An STAA member, Shelley is the new Manager of Media Relations and Broadcaster for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL.

Self-promotion

Mark Shelley has spent the past two seasons in the NAHL, first with Amarillo and most recently with St. Cloud. Sharing his work online has been a habit at both stops. He explains, “It wasn’t about getting likes and comments, but it was about getting the right people to take a look.”

It paid off. Greenville broadcaster Matt Trust was resigning his position and looking for his replacement. Shelley says, “He had been following along with all of my highlights, graphics, and videos that I would post on social media and that helped get me a leg up.”

Shelley will bring a variety of skills to Greenville. He shares, “I’m ready to wear as many hats as I’m needed to in Greenville.” That’s because his time in St. Cloud has given him experience juggling management, operations, and sales alongside media and communications.

Assist to Fisch

Hershey Bears Broadcaster and former STAA member Zach Fisch referred Mark Shelley to STAA in 2017. Shelley was studying at Mansfield University and says Fisch has been a huge help in answering questions and showing support.

His STAA membership has also been a huge help to Shelley. “Being able to read about other broadcasters’ successes, struggles, and questions has been a great benefit. I can connect with all of these stories and it makes me feel a part of a community who deals with the same ups and downs that I do.”

Traveling man

Shelley is no stranger to moving. This will be his fourth straight summer of relocating for a new job. He admits, “Bouncing around has been tough on me over the last few years.” But he’s confident he’s always had a good reason for moving on, whether it’s a dead end or uncontrollable circumstances.

“I’ve unpacked everywhere I go,” Shelley adds. “I’ve always planned on staying, but sometimes situations change and you have to do what is best for you. Greenville is best for me, and I’m not going anywhere else anytime soon!”

Jelnick to lead FOX17 Nashville sports department

Jill JelnickAfter working in a variety of broadcasting roles in San Antonio over the past three years, Jill Jelnick is ready to again focus on sports. An STAA member, Jelnick is moving to Nashville, TN to take over the sports department at FOX17 WZTV.

“I have always had a passion for local sports and knew I wanted to get back to being on TV daily in a great sports market,” she smiles.

Growing in San Antonio

Jelnick moved to San Antonio in 2018 to co-host and report for a daily sports show called Sports2Nite. “Our show grew in two years and went from one 30 minute show a day to three 30 minute shows a day,” she recalls.

Sports2Nite was canceled around the time the pandemic hit. “I began doing daily digital sports reports for Sports2Nite.com and did a weekly sports talk TV show, ‘Sports Weekly,'” Jelnick says. She also started hosting a travel/lifestyle show last summer.

Returning to Tennessee

Jelnick was ready to focus on sports after balancing such a varied and challenging schedule. The Nashville opening was emailed to STAA members in early May.

“Applying was a no brainer,” Jelnick grins.

Two years that Jelnick spent as a weekend sports anchor at WRCB Channel 3 in Chattanooga from 2016 and 2018 made returning to Tennessee even more attractive. “I knew I loved the state and also the sports market.”

Wearing many hats

Jelnick has strategically made herself more marketable by wearing as many hats as possible. “I made sure over the last five years that not only was I consistently sharpening my anchoring and reporting skills. But I was also sharpening my producing, writing, editing, shooting, and social media skills. Being able to add all these tools to my toolbox I believe helped me market myself as the ‘full package.'”

Developing a broad skill set has also meant tackling a variety of freelance experiences for the former college softball player. “I was the color analyst for the 2021 American Conference Softball Championship Tournament on ESPN+ and most recently started the Texas Collegiate League [baseball] season as the solo play-by-play for TCL TV. Baseball has always been my bread and butter. It was exciting to test and challenge my knowledge in a completely different medium than reporting and anchoring. Because there are not as many female baseball play-by-play broadcasters as there are male, I took pride in being given the special opportunity.”

Jelnick is ready to lead the FOX17 sports department. “It is a one-person sports department so I will be calling the shots and taking on a much larger role than I have in the past. It will be extremely challenging running the department by myself, but I am looking forward to that challenge.”

Drew Steele joins Corpus Christi IceRays

Drew SteeleMinnesota native Drew Steele is trading his parka for a beach towel. He’s the new Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting for Corpus Christi IceRays hockey.

Steele admits that Texas is a little outside his comfort zone, but he views it as a great opportunity. He explains, “I will get to engage with a new audience and experience living in a new part of the country.”

As the former public address announcer for the St. Cloud Norsemen, Steele is familiar with the NAHL. He’s excited to continue in the league with the IceRays.

Lifelong sports fan

Steele grew up playing hockey, which fed his passion for hockey play-by-play. He also enjoys watching sports and learning sports trivia. He says, “[A coworker] said that I had prepped more for one game than they had over their career combined. I actually like the process of knowing little facts that I may never use, but to know that I have them makes me feel at ease on game nights.”

Honing off-mike skills

A 2021 graduate of St. Cloud State University, Steele learned about the IceRays opportunity through an STAA job leads email. He applied almost immediately, and believes that played a part in landing the job, along with his graphic design portfolio.

He explains, “Over the past month or so outside of college, I have been mocking up graphics. In applying for the job…I also took about ten minutes out of my day to change some of the graphics to how they would apply to the IceRays.”

Steele joined STAA in February and feels that STAA’s weekly Insider emails helped him to make his resume more interesting to prospective employers. He adds, “I didn’t know what my next step would be after college. I was nervous about stepping into the real world. As much as I like my hometown, I didn’t want to have to move back in with my parents for years after college. I’m glad joined STAA.”

Jake Hibbard joins The Mitchell Radio Group

Jake HibbardJake Hibbard is heading to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. That is where he’ll be calling games as the new sports director for The Mitchell Radio Group.

Hibbard is thrilled to fill the shoes of broadcasting legend Tim Smith, who has been the voice of Mitchell High School and Dakota Wesleyan University for nearly 50 years. He says, “That comes with a lot of pressure, but it also means I will be coming into a sports crazed community with a stellar radio reputation.”

Moving up

After a few seasons of trying to make the jump to college sports, Hibbard is excited for the chance to call college football and basketball.

He’s currently the voice of the Green River Wolves, a 4A high school in southwestern Wyoming. His new position will allow him to continue to call high school games at Mitchell High. He adds, “I also love the environment of high school sports, so it will be great to be able to stay involved in that sphere as well.”

Perfecting his application

Hibbard heard about the sports director position in early February, but the application deadline wasn’t until the end of the month. He took advantage of that extended deadline to update his website, add new clips, and redo his resume. He even listened to an entire girls’ college tournament game. He admits, “I was a little worried that taking too long would mean that I would be an afterthought by the time I actually applied.”

He also added some personal touches to his cover letter, a tip he learned from STAA. Hibbard studied up and learned that Dakota Wesleyan basketball games are played in The World’s Only Corn Palace. So he decided to open his cover letter with “Get me to the Corn Palace!”

He shares, “I went back and forth on whether I should keep that opening. I ultimately went for it — and in my final interview, my GM asked me, ‘Well, what is it going to take to get you to the Corn Palace?’”

An STAA member since 2017, Hibbard advises new members to use the resources STAA provides. He explains, “I love the daily tips, reminders and anecdotes that Jon [Chelesnik] puts together. I took advantage of the 2020 Sportscasting Summit and was able to learn from some of the industries’ finest like Kevin Harlan and Bob Costas. The job tips are invaluable and worth the cost of admission alone for anyone hoping to land a job in the industry.”

Corey Gloor new voice of Tulane U. Green Wave

PRESS RELEASE — Corey Gloor is the new play-by-play voice and Director of Broadcasting for Tulane University. An STAA member, Gloor will call football, men’s basketball and baseball for the Green Wave.

He will also help produce a wide variety of content for the athletic department, including coaches shows, podcasts, videos and other digital offerings.

“Corey is a rising star in the broadcasting industry that brings a strong perspective of our league to the radio booth and I am excited to welcome him to Tulane,” Ben Weiner Director of Athletics Troy Dannen said. “Throughout the search, it was clear that Corey wanted to be part of the Green Wave. He brings great energy to his broadcasts and I know our fans will enjoy listening to him for years to come.”

Most recently, Gloor has spent the last six years as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for East Carolina University baseball on Learfield IMG College’s Pirate Sports Network. During those six years, Gloor called four of ECU’s NCAA postseason tournament runs.

Gloor brings over a decade of experience as a sports radio broadcaster, including play-by-play broadcasting and studio production within the Learfield IMG College network. From 2014-18, Gloor produced and hosted football and basketball radio broadcasts on the TCU Sports Network. In addition, the Rockford, Illinois, native produced and hosted basketball radio broadcasts on the Gator IMG Sports Network during the 2016-17 campaign.

Cardarelli joins R&J Broadcasting in Minnesota

James CardarelliJames Cardarelli will soon be the face and voice of Thief River Falls, MN, where he is joining R&J Broadcasting.

Since October of 2019, Cardarelli has been the on-air host at KOJM & KPQX in Havre, MT. He produces and performs news and weather reports, does voice-tracking, hosts country music radio, and more. He admits, “I don’t necessarily get to do exactly what I want to do in broadcasting.”

Investing in himself

In an effort to further his career, Cardarelli invested in expensive podcasting equipment to create a studio where he produces things like sports stories from home. He also edits videos for his podcast.

His podcast studio may have been what set Cardarelli apart in his pursuit of the R&J job. He explains, “I believe showing them that I am a self-motivator and self-starter really helped. I believe they liked that about me, and it showed I take my craft seriously.”

In addition to broadcasting, Cardarelli’s new opportunity also gives him the chance to learn sales, an area that has always interested him. He says, “As we all know, the two factors go hand in hand in our industry.”

Quick process

Cardarelli heard about the R&J job through an STAA job leads email. Once he applied, things moved rather quickly. He heard back from the president of R&J within minutes. After a 20-minute phone interview, they set up a Zoom interview for the following week. He shares, “I gave him a reference of mine, and then later that day we set up a third interview, this time with him as well as the vice president of the company. It was during that interview they offered me the position and sent over the contract.”

An STAA member since last year, Cardarelli says, “My STAA membership provides me with daily job leads and the opportunities they provide speak for themselves.”