Mentors help Kramsky land Texas TV job

(June 15, 2018) A mentor is a valuable asset for an aspiring sportscaster. Marshall Kramsky has several. Their wisdom has helped him land a position as sports anchor/reporter at KOSA-TV (CBS 7) in Odessa, TX.

“I will be covering and hosting a show about top high school football and anchoring the weekend sports segments on the news,” Kramsky says excitedly. “I will also be covering all of Texas Tech’s sports.”

As a student at New York University, Kramsky covered men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and soccer. He also cultivated several valuable relationships. “My greatest experience and advice come from shadowing Kenny Albert in the booth for playoff Olympic hockey and seeing the importance of loving what you do.”

CBS2 Iowa Sports Anchor/Reporter and fellow Northeasterner Mia O’Brien is another mentor. “Mia showed me no matter what situation work presents, always do it with a smile on your face and vent with your people later,” Kramsky grins.

Two additional key people have provided guidance to Kramsky. “I’ve spent hours talking to national and local sportscasting great Arda Ocal, who is always telling me to go with my gut and follow whatever path life presents you. Most importantly, Upstate New York sportscasting legend [and fellow STAA member] Andy Malnoske has taught me to believe in myself and to work harder than every other person.”

Since Kramsky has wanted to be a sportscaster since he was five, moving from New Jersey to the wide-open plains of West Texas is no big deal. “I knew from a young age that I would take any road, anywhere, to help me reach my dreams.

“I was born and raised in New Jersey, spent four years living in the greatest city in the world while attending NYU, lived in Madrid for five months while studying abroad, and South Korea for two months while helping NBC cover the Olympics. Through these experiences I have learned that life begins once you exit your comfort zone.”

Kramsky feels zero trepidation about the dramatic change. “I am excited,” he smiles. “Dozens of locals from Odessa/Midland have already reached out to me on social media. CBS 7 has made me feel welcomed. I cannot wait to hit the grind. I’ll miss my family and friends, but they are the greatest people in the world and I know I will be getting FaceTimes from my family and friends at all hours of the day (big shout to my boys!)

(Visit Marshall’s website).

Unsuccessful job application lands Savino with Mets affiliate

(June 12, 2018) A job that Dominick Savino didn’t get led him to the one he did. Savino is the new Broadcaster and Media Relations Assistant with the Brooklyn Cyclones. And he’s working close to home.

Brooklyn is the New York-Penn League affiliate of the New York Mets.

The Cyclones job came about after Savino fell short in his pursuit of a job with another team. “After a few interviews with that team, the hiring manager told me I didn’t land the job but he was kind enough to offer to connect me with some other teams,” Savino says.

Savino accepted the offer.

“One of the teams I asked him to connect me with was the Cyclones, both because of the great things I’ve heard about working there and its proximity to home. A few weeks after that initial connection, I received an email from the guy who’s now my boss, and here I am now.”

The broadcasting and media relations opportunities Savino is receiving are just two of the job benefits. “Everybody at the Cyclones is so talented and a blast to work with,” he says. “It’s a short-season team, so the schedule aligned perfectly with my own after graduating from Rutgers University in May. Plus, it’s close enough to home that I can commute while still working for a highly respected baseball team in the top media market in the country.”

Polite persistence helped Savino earn the Cyclones opportunity. “Over four months elapsed between the start of the baseball Winter Meetings and the day I got the Cyclones job, which meant there were plenty of lulls,” he recalls. “The only way I knew I could continue to actively participate in my own search for a job was by consistently following up with employers. Whether it was to reinforce my interest or simply check in after a week to see if the person had an update, I tried my hardest to keep my name in front of employers while respecting their time and the timetables they had laid out.”

While attending Rutgers, Savino spent summers broadcasting in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. He joined STAA in October.

“My STAA membership has been incredibly valuable since I joined last year,” he says. “I love reading the advice emails Jon sends out. Some of his tips on being politely persistent and accessing the hidden job market helped me land my job with the Cyclones. To add to that, all the job leads make me feel connected to the industry and kept me updated on different baseball and non-baseball openings throughout my search.”

Jevin Redman named Voice of the Evansville Aces

(May 31, 2018) STAA’s Jevin Redman has been named the new Voice of the University of Evansville Aces. He is a native of Mt. Vernon, Indiana.

“I am beyond thrilled to be named the voice of the University of Evansville,” Redman said. “Growing up in the Tri-State area, Aces Basketball has always been the talk of the town and I am excited to now be a small part of it.

“I take great pride in being the voice of UE on their first ever multi-station radio network with Learfield Sports and can’t wait to relay the excitement over the airways to Evansville’s passionate fan base,” he added.

Redman joins the Purple Aces after working at Western Kentucky University as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for Lady Toppers Basketball. He also hosted the weekly coaches radio show. In that time, Redman also worked for UE’s ESPN3 broadcast team doing basketball, baseball and softball.

His experience spans a wide range of sports in the area as he spent the 2017 season working for the Louisville Bats. His tenure with the Cincinnati Reds Triple-A affiliate included work as their play-by-play announcer as well as working with media relations and in-game social media. He also worked on the GLVC Sports Network doing TV for the 2017 basketball tournament.

In 2016, Redman worked with the Evansville Otters as the Director of Broadcasting and radio voice. He has also done work for 14 WFIE in Evansville.

Redman’s career began in his college days at the University of Southern Indiana. Between 2013 and 2017, he did radio for the Screaming Eagles baseball team as well as their men’s and women’s basketball squads while serving as the Sports Director at WSWI.

He graduated from USI with a BS in Marketing and Radio/Television. A two-time Top 20 finisher in STAA’s annual All-America program, Redman was named the Best Play-by-Play Broadcaster in Indiana by the Indiana Broadcasters Association in 2016 while garnering the Broadcast Education Association Best Collegiate Play-by-Play Broadcaster in the nation award in 2015.

Corbet takes next step at Fox Sports Rapid City

“Dylan(May 29, 2018) Missouri native Dylan Corbet is setting a strong foundation for his sports broadcasting career in South Dakota. His latest move is to Rapid City for a play-by-play/account executive position at Fox Sports Radio. It comes roughly one year after Corbet moved to The Mount Rushmore State for a job in the small town of Rugby.

“I will be calling more games this year and while continuing to grow as a sports broadcaster in a bigger market,” says Corbet.

Corbet is currently broadcasting Legion baseball across the Upper Midwest. “I will be calling high school football and basketball in the coming seasons. I also contribute to the local talk show, The Nate Brown Show, each weekday on top of my sales executive duties,” he says.

The job in Rugby was Corbet’s first after graduation from Bradley University. “I am so grateful to the Rugby Broadcasters staff. I truly learned a lot during my time there.”

Following up his application helped get Corbet over the top with Fox Sports Rapid City.

“I followed up with a phone call,” he recalls. “I only got a hold of a voicemail. However, I stuck to [STAA’s suggested] guidelines and left a brief message simply stating why I thought I was right for the position. This led to me being named one of the finalists for the position and eventually garnering it.”

Corbet has been an STAA member since 2016. “STAA is helpful in so many different regards. They consistently post job openings that you simply cannot find on your own. Additionally, STAA provides all the tools needed for success, not only in the job application process, but also helping you to improve as a sports broadcaster overall.

“Thank you to the great STAA staff for helping me to continue my sports broadcasting journey.”

(Visit Dylan’s STAA Talent Page).

Enthusiasm earns Pitkin Minnesota play-by-play/sales position

“Andrew(May 24, 2018) What Andrew Pitkin lacked in experience, he made up for in enthusiasm. Now Pitkin is joining R&J Broadcasting in Brainerd, MN as an advertising sales rep and play-by-play announcer for high school and small college sports.

Pitkin gained plenty of broadcasting experience before graduating from Wheaton College in Illinois this spring. What he lacked is sales experience. He had a plan, though, for overcoming that in his pursuit of the job in Brainerd.

“I was not afraid of the sales part of the position,” he says. “I showed my enthusiasm for the idea each time it was brought up in the interviews.”

Also helping Pitkin earn the job was polite persistence. “I was persistent in the application process without being obnoxious. I made my one-week follow up call, then made sure to [stay in touch] with an email or two to get to the interview stage.”

In Brainerd, Pitkin will be working alongside fellow STAA member Devon Kruger, the station’s sports director. “It’s a great opportunity for me to begin my professional broadcasting career and learn from those who are already well established in their careers like Devon Krueger,” says Pitkin. “For the first time I will learn the ins and outs of a full time radio broadcaster. Gaining these skills will provide a steep learning curve, combined with the sales portion of the position, but it is an extremely helpful challenge to help me grow for the future.

An STAA member since December, Pitkin learned of the R&J Broadcasting opportunity through an STAA job leads email.

“There are many things I could do on my own that are made easier because I am an STAA member,” he says. “Things such as finding job openings and setting up my website. Especially right out of college, having someone like Jon Chelesnik to be a job coach both with the articles he provides and how accessible he is through email was a huge help in securing this first job.”

(Visit Andrew’s STAA Talent Page).

Kevin Gehl named voice of Connecticut Tigers

(May 18, 2018)The Connecticut Tigers were so eager to add Kevin Gehl to their staff that they tailored a position description for fit his strengths. An STAA member, Gehl is the Tigers’ new radio voice and Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.

He also joins the Dodd Stadium front office as a sales executive and manager of multimedia outreach for the club.

Last month, Gehl was named inaugural voice of the Maine Mammoths of the National Arena League.

The new Voice of the Tigers brings a decade of professional broadcasting experience to Connecticut. Gehl is the inaugural television voice of Maine Mammoths football in the National Arena League and serves as a play-by-play broadcaster in multiple sports for Patriot League, Ivy League, and Northeastern University coverage on NESN, ESPN+ and Stadium. He’s an EMMY®-nominated sports reporter whose work has appeared on Big Ten Network and NBC Sports California.

“Kevin’s on-air experience speaks for itself,” said Tigers general manager Dave Schermerhorn. “We’re excited to welcome a seasoned play-by-play voice with personality and enthusiasm that Tigers fans will love when they tune in throughout Southeastern Connecticut and beyond.”

“I sincerely thank Dave Schermerhorn and senior vice president C.J. Knudsen for developing this new front office position around my strengths as a broadcaster, content creator, and media facilitator,” Gehl explained. “With a first-overall pick in the upcoming MLB First-Year Player Draft, there’s a focus on the future in the Detroit Tigers organization and I’m honored to team up with a top-notch club I had the privilege to cover as a reporter.”

From 2011 to 2015, Gehl worked as a sports anchor at WLNS-TV (CBS) in Michigan and reported from Comerica Park during the American League Championship run of the 2012 Detroit Tigers, who included current Connecticut Tigers manager Gerald Laird on their World Series roster.

“We take great pride in our affiliation with the Detroit Tigers,” said Schermerhorn. “Kevin’s background and knowledge of the Major League club will be a great asset as we extend our Player Development Contract with Detroit through the 2020 season.”

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Gehl graduated from the University of Missouri and previously served as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Hagerstown Suns, South Atlantic League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. He also provided radio play-by-play for the Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

(Visit Kevin’s website).

Coffey overcomes small school stigma, joins KAVU-TV in Texas

(May 15, 2018) You don’t have to graduate from a big name school to get a job in sports broadcasting. Sean Coffey’s school doesn’t even have a broadcasting program. Still, the 2017 graduate of William & Mary has earned a job at Newscenter 25 KAVU in Victoria, TX as a sports anchor/reporter.

“As someone who didn’t graduate from a broadcasting powerhouse – who, in fact, didn’t graduate from a school with broadcast journalism or communications programs – the chance to continue building upon the hands-on experiences I’ve had so far, in a variety of roles, is really exciting,” Coffey smiles.

The KAVU opportunity admittedly caught Coffey by surprise. “I had sent cover letters and resumes to about 35 different stations without success when I finally got a call from Victoria.”

Through his job market challenges, Coffey remained confident.

“Trust the body of work you’ve produced,” he suggests to job seekers. “It can obviously get frustrating, and disillusionment will begin to creep in, but channeling the same energy and optimism towards job lead number 30 as you did towards job lead number 3 will go a long way in keeping you sane and level. Sooner or later, the right match – a station that finds your demo in perfect harmony with their needs – should come along.”

Coffey has leaned on STAA for advice since joining in November. “Helping to eliminate a lot of the doubts has been huge,” he says. “Having a support system of seasoned industry pros has been nothing but advantageous, and being able to call on [STAA’s Jon Chelesnik] with any crossroads I’ve encountered has made all my decisions more informed.”

IU’s Sugarman taking varied skill set to WGEM-TV

(May 9, 2018) During the past four years as a student at Indiana University, David Sugarman’s strategy for building his sportscasting career was clear: take every possible opportunity. It’s paid off. An STAA member, Sugarman is joining WGEM-TV in Quincy, IL as a sports anchor/reporter.

He will also broadcast local play-by-play on TV, digital and on WGEM’s sister station, the local ESPN Radio affiliate.

“When I first saw the opening I thought it was a great position,” Sugarman recalls. “It gives me the chance to be a Swiss Army Knife. The chance to anchor, report, do some play-by-play and sideline reporting, and get radio work is something I couldn’t pass up.”

Something else Sugarman couldn’t pass up was opportunities in college. “The worst attitude you can have is feeling like you are above something,” he says. “I’ve done everything from the Big Ten Tournament in Madison Square Garden and bowl games in Yankee Stadium to doing PA for a youth football league and everything in between. If you’re consistently getting on the air and getting the reps no matter what it is, you will see the improvement.”

At IU, Sugarman did it all – everything from TV sports anchoring on the IU’s campus station, to play-by-play and sideline reporting for BTN Student U and baseball broadcasts in the Cape Cod League. He graduates this month.

When Sugarman applied for the WGEM position, he used a smart strategy in his cover letter.

“I talked about how my experiences relate directly to what they cover and how they operate,” he says. “At IU I’ve covered events that may not mean much to people outside of Bloomington, but mean the world to people who are here, like the Little 500. At GEM I’ll be covering local events, but to the people there they are huge.”

Sugarman says he may not have found the WGEM opening without STAA.

“What is great about STAA is that instead of spending a ton of time looking for job openings, they come to me,” he says. “So often it is hard to just find openings and once you do it could be too late. That isn’t the case with STAA. They send quality job openings out consistently.”

Now Sugarman is on his way to WGEM, less than six hours from the Bloomington campus.

“I was thrilled when I found out I was their guy. Coming right out of school it’s an incredible opportunity.”

(Visit David’s website).

Helton overcomes job loss, doubt to land with Blue Jays

“Zach(April 30, 2018) 2017 was the most difficult year of Zach Helton’s career. After 15 years of never having been fired from a job in or outside broadcasting, he was let go by one station and dropped from the morning show at another. Helton, though, has landed on his feet. He is the new broadcaster for minor league baseball’s Bluefield Blue Jays.

Bluefield is the Toronto Blue Jays rookie affiliate.

Helton filled-in on some Bluefield broadcasts last season and heard the position might be opening. When the opening was confirmed in an STAA job sheet in early January, Helton moved quickly. “It may have taken me 30 seconds to make the call to GM Rocky Malamisura to let him know, ‘Hey, I’m still around and interested if you’re interested in me.’”

While things eventually worked out, losing two jobs last year was a blow to Helton’s confidence.

“It really was a gut check,” he says. “I knew deep down I had talent, but when things like that arise, I couldn’t help but doubt myself. It took the awesome support from my family, friends and even some strangers to let me know that I had gone too far in the broadcast game to turn back now.”

Helton’s broadcasting resume includes play-by-play for stations in Richlands, VA, Sidney, NE and Malone, NY, He spent half of 2017 hosting and producing a morning show in Mechanicsville, MD. When it didn’t work out, he sold cars to make ends meet.

“When I was selling cars part-time, I still was broadcasting to a lesser degree, so I looked at it as another way to get to the next point in my career,” Helton recalls. “It was also great that the company I sold for, Ramey Automotive in Richlands, Virginia, was open to letting me continue my broadcast passion and did everything they could to help me continue that moving forward.”

The sales experience actually benefitted Helton’s on-air career.

“I would recommend all broadcasters spend some time in sales for many reasons, like working on public speaking, learning how to sell yourself, and making excellent business connections, all of which I believe have made me a better broadcaster,” he says.

During the latter part of 2017, Helton applied for countless jobs. He received only a few call backs and no offers. “I definitely had times of doubt and had to look outside myself for answers and guidance. I reached out to [sportscaster] Mike Wagenheim, who I had first contacted years ago to listen to some of my games and give me some honest feedback. But that’s not all I received from Mike. He has been a resource for me for a few years now who has instilled confidence in me, and my craft that cannot be denied and I will forever be indebted to him for that.

“Likewise, Jon Chelesnik at STAA has been someone like Mike that I have been able to turn to with career questions and advice. These two men have kept me in a business I may have otherwise given up long ago.”

Since joining STAA last August, Helton has used STAA to connect with other sportscasters. “Coming from a small coal-mining community in Southwest Virginia, being able to network with some great minds and talents in sports broadcasting almost seemed impossible,” he says. “With STAA though, it was great for me to learn things from and interact with professionals I may have never had an opportunity to ever meet or speak to other than maybe bumping into at a ballgame somewhere.”

Now the games at which Helton will be bumping into other sportscasters are games he will be calling.

(Visit Zach’s STAA Talent Page).

Second time is the charm for Bern in Fort Myers

(April 24, 2018) First year Fort Myers Miracle Broadcasting and Media Relations Director Marshall Kelner has filled his assistant position twice this off-season. His first hire left for a job closer to home. His second hire, fellow STAA member Andrew Bern, has turned out to be a great fit.

Fort Myers is the Class-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. It is Bern’s first position in affiliated baseball.

“Many people in the Miracle front office are also in their first year, so it gives us the opportunity to grow together,” Bern says.

The Miracle initially posted the opening in early December. Bern was among the applicants. “When the position re-opened in late March, the Miracle reached out to me, having saved my application and demos. We spoke and realized it was a perfect fit.”

For most of the past three years, Bern has been a radio sports director in Burnham, PA. His duties included high school sports play-by-play, daily sports updates and a weekly sports talk show. “I created game notes and edited highlights for my own personal use,” he says. “I believe my ability to go above and beyond and my professional background in announcing all ages of baseball including youth, high school, and college, helped in my pursuit of the Fort Myers position.”

Bern joined STAA in 2016. “My STAA membership helps me as I navigate through the sports broadcasting industry. Jon Chelesnik is accessible and provides feedback and support.”

Bern is a 2014 alumnus of Monmouth University in New Jersey, from where he graduated summa cum laude in Communication Radio/TV. His first job after college was News and Sports Director at KATL Radio in Miles City, MT. Bern has also broadcast men and women’s basketball for Mansfield, an NCAA Division II school in Pennsylvania.

(Visit Andrew’s website).