Further consideration leads Dean to Astros affiliate

(January 27, 2020) Matt Dean applied for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers Communications and Broadcasting Coordinator position despite being unsure if it would be a good fit. Following the application and interview process, though, he knew Fayetteville was where he wanted to be. Now Dean is the voice of the Houston Astros Class-A affiliate.

Dean leaves the Class-A Charleston RiverDogs after four years in a full-time position for a seasonal job with Fayetteville.

“It felt like I had grown as much as I possibly could in my role with the RiverDogs and had tapped out all of the experiences I could have there,” Dean says. “It was a little tough to leave the Charleston market because of how great of a city it is, but I felt I had ultimately gotten everything I could out of the role.”

Seasonal baseball employment also frees Dean to pursue winter play-by-play opportunities and visit family and friends in Wisconsin. Still, the decision to apply for the Fayetteville job wasn’t easy.

“I had questions about moving to a smaller market, only a slightly higher level of the Minors (Low-A to High-A), and passing on the full-time salary, but I was excited about the prospect of working directly for a Major League organization and opening up my network to a whole new organization and league, going from the SAL to the Carolina League,” Dean says.

The Woodpeckers are owned by the Houston Astros, one of the few Minor League teams owned by an MLB franchise.

“The Woodpeckers’ connections to the Major League team, their creative staff’s enthusiasm and talent, and the prospect of working in a second-year ballpark were the biggest draws to the new job,” Dean says.

The application process for the Fayetteville job was unique.

“The Astros sent me a link to a ‘recorded interview’ where I answered with video responses related to written prompts,” Dean recalls. “This was an interesting experience and a little bit awkward to get used to the non-traditional format; the questions ranged from doing a mock play-by-play call of Jose Altuve’s walk-off homer in last year’s ALCS to more standard interview-fare like my work-style, previous experience, etc.”

After the initial screening, Dean did a phone interview with Woodpeckers’ staff members and was offered the position.

Looking back, Dean is glad he applied for the job despite not knowing if it would be right for him. “It can be easy to pass on applying for a job that seems like a lateral move, but you can’t truly make that determination until you go through the interview process and receive an offer,” he suggests.

“At the very least, any job you apply to and interview with is a learning experience and good practice for the future when it counts. In this case, it worked out for the best because the more I interacted with the Astros and Woodpeckers staff, I saw myself becoming more interested in the job.”

Dean graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2015. He joined STAA shortly thereafter to give himself an edge in the job market.

“STAA is the single best source of what’s going on in the job market in this field and that’s why I continue to be a member,” Dean says. “Sports broadcasting is one of the most hyper-competitive fields out there. It is incredibly unique because of the sheer quantity and quality of candidates available for any given job. So for that, any edge you can have on what jobs are out there and how you can approach setting yourself up for success in your career is almost a necessity.”

Dean’s first baseball job was an internship with the St. Paul Saints in 2015. Working under Saints Broadcaster Sean Aronson fueled Dean’s passion for baseball. From St. Paul, it was onto Charleston and Fayetteville.

Dean’s advice to young sportscasters is to stay positive. “I read a great book called ‘The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing’ by Michael Mauboussin. The overarching takeaway was that we often attribute too much of success to skill [while downplaying the influence of] luck. Aside from flipping a coin, most everything we do is almost always some combination of both. It’s not groundbreaking, but I try to think about this when I get frustrated at times with trying to find the next step in my career.

“Control what you can control by working to improve on a daily basis, keeping your resume updated and interview skills on point, but realize that a lot of it is out of your hands and it takes a tremendous amount of good fortune to get where you want to be.”

(Visit Matt’s STAA Talent Page).

Tip from a friend leads Broskowski to Clinton LumberKings

(January 21, 2020) Three years after losing his job when his team discontinued radio, Michael Broskowski is back in Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League. An STAA member, Broskowski has joined the Clinton LumberKings as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.

Broskowski spent the past two seasons with the short-season Orem Owlz. Prior to that, he was with the Midwest League’s Burlington Bees for four years before they eliminated radio in 2017.

In Clinton, Broskowski follows fellow STAA member and good friend Erik Oas. The pair worked together seven years ago in the California Winter League. When Oas decided he was leaving baseball after last season, Broskowski was among the first people he told. “He knew I was looking to get back into full-season ball and back into the Midwest League,” says Broskowski.

Losing his job in Burlington was admittedly a big challenge for Broskowski. “It made me question if this was what I really wanted to do for a living, and being back into the job market after four years of being full time was extremely frustrating,” he recalls. “Working for Orem rejuvenated me in terms of my drive to continue this career. I had some of the most fun I’ve ever had in baseball working in Orem. The experience in Orem helped me a lot and made me realize this is what I want to keep doing.”

Broskowski’s love for baseball broadcasting stems from listening to games as a kid. “I was raised in the Milwaukee area and I always remembered listening to Brewers games. And then when I got a little older I had season tickets to a minor league baseball team and would always try and talk to the broadcasters and pick their brains,” he says. “My father also worked in radio as a DJ at a polka radio station so I just combined my love for radio with my love for baseball.”

The LumberKings are a Miami Marlins affiliate. This summer will be the first since 2013 that Broskowski has worked outside the Los Angeles Angels organization. He is ready for the challenge. “Working for Angels’ affiliates for the last six years, you knew every player in the system and their background and what they have done in previous seasons. In a new system, it’s a lot of learning and research and learning how an organization operates.”

One constant throughout most of Broskowski’s 10-year baseball broadcasting career is his STAA membership. “One of the big things I like about STAA is the [weekly] advice emails,” he says. “There is always something in there that I find useful, whether it’s in regards to on-air work or applying for jobs or putting together demo tapes. I always learn something new.

“I would tell someone who just joined STAA that Jon Chelesnik does a great job in not just notifying his clients of a job opening but of also helping your career when it comes to giving advice and getting an edge on the job market.”

(Visit Michael’s website).

Gold returns to Kansas City to talk sports in his hometown

(January 10, 2020) Alex Gold is now a sports talk host for the station at which he once interned. An STAA member, Gold has joined 610 Sports in Kansas City as mid-day co-host alongside Cody Tapp.

Gold is from nearby Overland Park and is a 2013 graduate of the University of Kansas.

It was during his junior year at KU that Gold joined 610 Sports as an intern. Over the next 20 months, he worked his way up to board-op, producer, update anchor and fill-in host.

After graduating college, Gold moved to Wichita for a sports talk/sales position. Just over one year later, it was onto Afternoon Drive at 580 WIBW in the Kansas capitol city of Topeka. During that time, Gold also reported on the Royals, Chiefs, KU Jayhawks and the Kansas State Wildcats.

In 2016, ESPN Boise chose Gold to co-host Afternoon Drive and host the Boise State football postgame show. When the station flipped formats in 2018, Gold was onto SB Nation Radio Network in Houston. “The Gold Standard” aired weeknights on affiliates in markets including Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Oklahoma City and, ironically, Kansas City.

Gold has been an STAA member since 2011.

(Visit Alex’s STAA Talent Page).

Philosophical approach leads recent grad Tabb to PM Drive in Lincoln, NE

(January 6, 2020) Minoring in philosophy and listening to sports talk hosts with whom he disagrees have helped lead Ryan Tabb to his own sports talk opportunity. An STAA member, Tabb is joining 97.3 The Ticket in Lincoln, NE as Afternoon Drive co-host.

Tabb graduated from Syracuse University last spring. It was there he learned about STAA from his classmates, several of who are members. Tabb joined STAA in June and found The Ticket opportunity through STAA.

It’s rare for a college grad to land a daily sports talk show. Tabb believes his ability to be unique gave him an edge over most recent college grads. “In a field where everybody is a little crazy about sports, nobody has an edge by just being passionate, he says. “For me, having minored in philosophy and expressing that I think sports are a great medium for practicing that kind of thinking probably helped set me apart.”

While at Syracuse, Tabb served as sports director for the campus radio station and produced and hosted a sports talk show. One factor in his growth as a host is listening to hosts with whom he disagrees.

“Listening to someone you agree with is nice for a few minutes, but pretty soon it gets dry and boring. It’s like being lectured about something you already understand,” Tabb says. “If I disagree with a host but respect their process in reaching whatever conclusion they’re presenting, it forces me to think outside of the box and consider what I would say if I was on air with them. Listening to people you disagree with is a great way to learn more.”

Persistence and faith in his convictions was key to Tabb landing the job in Lincoln. “When you know what you want to do and you are willing to pack everything up and move at the first opportunity, something will come along,” he says.

Lincoln, NE will be in stark contrast to Tabb’s hometown of Brentwood, CA, but he’s undaunted by the change. “Moving anywhere new is a challenge, but in all honesty I’m just focused on getting behind the microphone and settling in. I’m coming in without expectations.”

Cariel joins ABC12 WJRT in Flint, MI

(January 2, 2020) Sydney Cariel has lived only in warm weather climates. However, a new career opportunity means she’s had to purchase her first winter wardrobe. An STAA member, Cariel is the new sports anchor/reporter at ABC12 WJRT in Flint, MI.

A native of sun-splashed California and a graduate of Arizona State University, Cariel spent the past two years as a sports anchor/reporter at NewsWest 9 KEWS in Odessa, TX.

While winter weather is new to Cariel, the fact that she has family in Michigan is easing her transition. “I do have family around so I don’t feel homesick or anything like that,” she grinned during an interview with fellow WJRT sports staffer Jason Lewis.

Ironically, Lewis is also an ASU grad.

In her new role, Cariel is covering high school and college sports, Flint Firebirds hockey, and the contentious Michigan-Michigan State rivalry.

Cariel joined STAA in June. The Flint opening was emailed to her in early November.

“Sydney is very talented,” says STAA Owner Jon Chelesnik. “She’s bubbly and energetic – a terrific blend of substance and personality.”

In Odessa, Cariel especially enjoyed reporting on Texas high school football. “The community and richness of it all was so authentic,” she says.

At Arizona State, Cariel covered Milwaukee Brewers spring training and won a student Emmy Award for sports reporting. She interned at NBC Sports Bay Area for two summers and worked for Cox Media as a high school football sideline reporter.

(Visit Sydney’s website).

Humphrey returns to Columbia, MO as ESPN Radio host

(December 5, 2019) Andy Humphrey listened to The Big Show on ESPN 100.5 in Columbia, MO while a student at the University of Missouri. Now, three years after graduating, he is going to be co-hosting the show. An STAA member, Humphrey is joining the station as a sports talk host and play-by-play broadcaster.

“I’ve always been drawn to college sports and have wanted to make that a focal point of my broadcasting career. Getting to cover sports at the Mizzou flagship station is definitely one of the best places to do just that,” Humphrey smiles. “Plus, the familiarity I already have with the station and the community will make it a much more comfortable situation.”

Humphrey is friends with the last three people who have held the position – Ben Wilson, Jeff Parles and Brandon Kiley. The former two are also STAA members. “They helped me gain even more interest in the job and make a connection with the station,” says Humphrey.

A 2016 graduate of Missouri, Humphrey returns to Columbia after two years hosting an air shift and doing play-by-play in Farmington, MO. He has also broadcast professional and summer collegiate baseball.

Humphrey learned of the ESPN opening through STAA. The choice he made when invited to interview via phone or in-person might have helped him land the job.

“It was a bit of a drive and I had to work around my job at the time, but I wanted to show my commitment up front,” Humphrey says. “I think having a face-to-face interaction with the people I would be working with helped me stick out.”

The experience Humphrey gained in Farmington helped him grow personally and professionally.

“Being in small-market radio was tough at first,” Humphrey recalls. “Growing up in a big city, I wasn’t completely used to living in a town with just under 20,000 people, and it took a while to get adjusted. I think after I started actively participating in my community by joining a church, meeting new people and even finding old friends that just happened to live there, it gave me a sense of belonging and even positively impacted my on-air work.

“The ultimate goal for someone my age in small-market radio should be constant improvement, and the way to do that is to make as many connections as you can with the community you are in.”

Humphrey joined STAA after hearing about it from several classmates at Mizzou.

“I joined up with STAA in my final semester of college because I knew I would get the tools and resources to prepare for the job market,” he says. “The techniques and tips on how to format demo materials, cover letters, resumes and everything in-between have played a crucial role in each job pursuit I have made since graduation.

“Both of the last two jobs I have landed came from leads provided by STAA, and being a member has made a direct effect on my advancement in broadcasting.”

Humphrey’s advancement is now taking him back to the city where he spent four years of school.

“In a way, I get to come home,” he grins. “Who doesn’t love that?”

(Visit Andy’s STAA Talent Page).

Recent grad Bell bets on himself, lands DI basketball job

Braiden Bell(November 8, 2019) Scoring an NCAA Division I play-by-play job straight out of college is rare. When recent Arizona State grad Braiden Bell surprised even himself by earning the men’s basketball broadcasting job at DI Cal Baptist University, the first call he made was to his Mom and Dad.

“I called my parents right away,” Bell recalls. “They have obviously been with me throughout the entire journey, through the ups and downs and I couldn’t wait to tell them that I was a DI broadcaster. The emotions on that phone call were heavy and it was a special moment that I won’t forget.”

Cal Baptist plays in the Western Athletic Conference after making the jump to DI prior to last season. When the school needed a new broadcaster for 2019-20, they shared the job lead exclusively with STAA. “The school knew we had plenty of qualified applicants,” says STAA owner Jon Chelesnik.

Bell received notification of the opening in an STAA job leads email just one month after joining STAA. “I knew about STAA from multiple different people but once [Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster] Joe Davis recommended it and said he had used it when looking for his first job I knew I had to do it as well.”

After receiving notification of the CBU opening, Bell acted quickly. “I instantly looked up CBU and was very attracted to the position,” Bell remembers. “From there I submitted my materials and waited. It took a few weeks to hear back before I was told I was to be interviewed by phone.”

Bell didn’t hear from the school for nearly two weeks following his phone interview. “I really thought they had moved on in the process without me. I sent one last email to check in and then got a call saying I was a finalist. After an in-person interview on campus I was offered the job.”

At ASU, Bell broadcast men’s and women’s basketball and many other sports for Blaze Radio. He was also the first student in ASU history to call a game for the Sun Devil Radio Network. Additionally, Bell’s resume includes calling games for the PAC-12 Networks.

It was a comment from Arizona State Football Coach Herm Edwards that inspired Bell to apply for the CBU job even though landing a DI gig is a long shot for a recent college grad. “’You’ve got to be able to bet on yourself. You don’t let other people set your expectations,'” Bell recalls Edwards saying. “Although it might be rare, I always thought I could accomplish this right out of school. I believe in myself and knew that I was good enough to get the job.”

The CBU applicant pool included many broadcasters with Division I experience and some with NBA experience. “We always kept coming back to Braiden,” says CBU Associate Athletic Director Mike Minyard.

Persistence and knowing when to use his contacts helped Bell clinch the job. “I really don’t think if I would have this job if it wasn’t for showing CBU how badly I wanted it. I also waited to use my contacts until after my interviews. They did an awesome job reaching out on my behalf.”

Bell has been with STAA since August. His only hesitation about joining was the price. “But it is well worth it,” he grins. “Not only are the job postings unparalleled but the other resources available are outstanding as well. I now know it is 100 percent worth the monthly fee.”

His advice to new STAA members is simple. “Be active on the site,” he says enthusiastically. “Take advantage of the great resources on STAA, not just the job postings. When it does come to jobs, don’t be afraid or intimidated by anything. It never hurts to shoot your shot.”

(Visit Braiden’s STAA Talent Page.).

Chapman joins Jackson Generals for broadcasting and media

(November 4, 2019) Andrew Chapman was the No. 2 broadcaster for the Biloxi Shuckers in September when they lost to Jackson in the Southern League championship series. Now he’s joining the Generals as their Broadcasting and Media Relations Manager.

Jackson is the AA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Chapman follows fellow STAA member Tyler Springs.

The Generals opening was emailed to STAA members during the Southern League championship series. Springs told Chapman of the opening prior to the start of the series. The position was not posted publicly.

“After getting to know Tyler during the regular season, he was very gracious in passing along a recommendation to Jackson for me and even introduced me to their general manager,” Chapman recalls. “After our face-to-face I was able to land a formal interview with the Generals and they offered me the job shortly after.”

Chapman graduated from Arizona State University in 2017. He’s spent the past two summers in Minor League Baseball as a broadcasting and media relations assistant — first for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and this year for Biloxi. A broadcaster getting his first crack at a No. 1 job in Double-A is unusual, but Chapman has prepared himself for the opportunity.

“For each of the last two seasons, it has been about getting the on-air reps, learning the media relations side of the job, and building relationships throughout the industry,” he says. “After getting to know and observing a number of talented broadcasters this season, I’m looking forward to staying in the Southern League and taking on the challenge of running my own media department.”

Chapman believes working beyond his position description in Biloxi helped him earn the Jackson opportunity. “I managed my time efficiently and met the work standard that was asked of me throughout the season. I also expressed a willingness to learn and innovate — creating a team podcast and helping produce a monthly TV show for the Shuckers. I tried to enhance the assistant position beyond what it was when I first arrived in Biloxi and I worked under a great mentor in [fellow STAA member] Garrett Greene who was willing to let me do that.”

The fact that Chapman spent 2019 in the Southern League likely also helped his application Jackson. “After applying for a number of jobs over the last two years, I get the sense that general managers are usually working off a short list of candidates instead of pouring over resumes,” he says. “Those lists are often made up of people within that specific league or others who have ties to the organization.”

Helping Biloxi host the 2019 Southern League All-Star Game was another selling point for Chapman. Jackson hosts the event next summer. “It was a nice boost to my resume during the interview process,” Chapman grins.

Process is a word Chapman can also apply to the building of his Minor League Baseball career. “Out of college I envisioned getting a lead broadcasting job right away but was discouraged when I couldn’t even land an interview,” he recalls. “After getting the opinion of some folks around the industry, I opted to focus on assistant positions and it turned out to be an important path in my development.

“There is a lot that goes into the job outside of the broadcast. Everything from press releases, game notes, roster moves, credentialing, website management etc. I don’t know if I was necessarily ready to juggle all of that out of college, but my time in Rancho Cucamonga and Biloxi has prepared me for the next step in my career.”

Chapman has been an STAA member for almost three years. “As important as networking is in the greater spectrum of the media business, it can be hard to carve out time every week to send off tape or email new contacts. However, STAA is always on top of the industry trends and openings and has helped connect me with the people who have advanced my career.

“The job market updates through STAA have helped land me numerous interviews and stay active in the industry. From Rancho Cucamonga in 2018, to Biloxi in 2019, and now Jackson, STAA has been a valuable tool!”

(Visit Andrew’s website).

Antweil new voice of Penn State women’s hoops

(October 28, 2019 — Press Release) Following the retirement of long-time Penn State Lady Lion announcer Jerry Fisher, STAA member Justin Antweil will take over play-by-play duties for Penn State women’s basketball.

Antweil will be joined by returning color commentator Joe Putnam on the Penn State Sports Network.

“I’m thrilled to be the voice of the Penn State Women’s Basketball program,” said Antweil. “Broadcasting is my number one passion, so to perform play-by-play at a premier institution like Penn State University is such an honor.”

Antweil spent the last five years as a broadcaster at Bucknell. He was the main radio talent for Bison women’s basketball, in addition to broadcasting various soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, wrestling, field hockey, baseball and softball games.

Prior to his time at Bucknell, Antweil spent time as a broadcaster with the Somerset Patriots. Antweil graduated from the University of Miami in 2011 with a degree in broadcast journalism.

I’m excited to be the soundtrack of Lady Lion Basketball and look forward to immersing myself into the community,” he says.

(Visit Justin’s website).

Being his own salesman lands McNamara national Sportsnet gig

(October 18, 2019) Andy McNamara has never been one to wait for opportunity to find him. Instead, he’s spent the past 10 years building his brand and creating opportunities. The latest creation for the Toronto resident is a national fantasy sports host, analyst and writer position for Sportsnet.

McNamara is providing multi-platform content via a radio show, social media videos, online video shows and writing.

The opportunity came through long-term networking and relationship building. “It wasn’t a specific opening, but something I was able to put a presentation together for and pitch the fantasy sports brand that I’d built up for myself over the last several years,” he says.

McNamara moves to Sportsnet after six-and-a-half years at TSN / TSN 1050 as a radio sports talk host and TV play-by-play broadcaster and sideline reporter. “TSN was a terrific experience, but this Sportsnet opportunity provides the multi-platform stages for the fantasy sports brand I wanted to grow at a national level. The support and value in my work that I’ve felt from Sportsnet has been incredible.”

McNamara has faced several challenges while building his fantasy football brand. They include struggling to find the right decision makers, and employers who don’t have interest in, or the budget for, McNamara’s proposals.

“Part of how I’ve overcome these issues is to become my own salesman,” he says. That is also his advice to others. “Relentlessly research and contact as many different types of businesses and industries that might make sense as someone that can sponsor your show. More doors open in today’s media landscape if you can bring some sort of revenue with you.”

McNamara encourages anyone looking to create opportunities to find a niche about which they are truly passionate and become an expert. “That might just be your ticket into a larger station, network, etc.”

Another of McNamara’s suggestions is looking for a popular, but under the radar sport in your region that is not getting major coverage. “For me that was starting a Canadian Football League podcast with my broadcast partner Carlan Gay back in 2010 which lead us to signing with CBC and eventually TSN,” he says. “Fantasy sports in Canada is very popular, but doesn’t get close to the coverage it does in the U.S., so fantasy football and hockey was the next area I focused on once at TSN. That has now brought me to be the national fantasy sports host/analyst/writer at Sportsnet.”

A regular part of McNamara’s introduction of himself to employers is his STAA Talent Page. He’s been using it in the job market since joining STAA more than a decade ago. “I love STAA because it provides a great one stop link for you to send out for various jobs, contacts, etc. Having your resume, social media links, and demo reels all in one area makes it an easy, time saving way for someone to check out your talents.”

McNamara says, just like with athletes, nothing beats hard work in broadcasting. “I had regular 9-5 jobs for years where I then did another four hours of play-by-play, writing, radio show hosting, etc. after work. If you’re not willing to grind then today’s media landscape isn’t for you. Get as many reps as possible in as many different areas as you can, and include writing.”

(Visit Andy’s STAA Talent Page).