(September 9, 2019) Press Release — The Peoria Rivermen have announced the hiring of Andrew Mossbrooks as their new Director of Communications/Broadcasting.
Mossbrooks, 24, replaces Brad Kupiec, who will begin pursuing a degree in law.
A native of Sunbury, PA, Mossbrooks moves to Peoria after holding a similar role with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in the North American Hockey League.
In addition to junior hockey, Mossbrooks also served as an assistant to the Philadelphia Flyers media department; an opportunity he used to propel himself into television play-by-play for the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League last season.
“I am thrilled to join such a historic franchise like the Peoria Rivermen,” says Mossbrooks. “This is an iconic brand throughout the minor league hockey community.
“NHL broadcasters have come through these doors and I can’t wait to sit in the chair that so many great voices have before me. I can’t thank Bart Rogers enough, along with Brad Kupiec, and I’m excited to experience the passion of this fanbase inside the Peoria Civic Center come October.”
“Andrew has a tremendous amount of video broadcast skills, which will open the door for more in-depth coverage of the team than ever before,” says Rivermen COO Bart Rogers. “We look forward to upgrading our coverage both on and off the ice with more video/game day content of pre game interviews, weekly Coaches segments and post game interviews broadcast on all of our social media platforms.”
(September 3, 2019) Hurricane Isaac devastated Louisiana in 2012. Oddly, it was also a turning point in Mario Jerez’s sports broadcasting career. As the result of a chain of events that started with Isaac, Jerez is now the Spanish language radio voice of the New Orleans Saints.
Jerez, 25, has been the Spanish radio voice of LSU football home games since 2012; he will continue in that role. It is an opportunity that came his way when Isaac battered Jerez’s home state.
“In 2012, I was given the opportunity to attend a broadcast at Tiger Stadium and assist the broadcasters as a spotter,” he recalls. “However, the then play-by-play man realized he couldn’t make the game at the very last moment because Hurricane Isaac had just hit the gulf coast; he had to tend to severe damage at his house.
“I was asked if I felt comfortable filling in as play-by-play man, and I obliged.”
Though Jerez was raw, his broadcast was a success. “The people in charge at the station liked how I did and decided to work with me further and keep me in that role for the rest of the season.”
The Saints opportunity arose when the NFL team moved it’s Spanish broadcasts to 105.7 FM KGLA – the same station for which Jerez has been calling LSU games. “We have mostly the same broadcast crew we had with the old station, but they wanted me in a play-by-play role instead of an analyst,” Jerez explains.
Jerez has been a Saints studio analyst on the Louisiana Spanish Network the past two seasons. “I was fortunate to have some good circumstances, and I have some family-friends in the Spanish radio market in New Orleans.”
A 2017 graduate of LSU, Jerez joined STAA later that year upon the recommendation of LSU’s English-speaking sports voice Chris Blair. “One day, when I asked Chris for general broadcasting advice, he told me about the site. I enjoy STAA’s sense of community, and Jon [Chelesnik] has been a great friend and resource.”
Jerez hopes his experience as the Spanish voice of NFL and major college teams will lead to being an English voice at that level. “All play-by-play experience is valuable,” he says. “My networking at the LSU games, among other places, has already led to other opportunities. I continue to work in several facets of sports radio, but ultimately, I hope to call games for a living some day.
“I’ve fallen in love with the process of constantly preparing, constantly learning and working to become a better broadcaster every day. I’m confident that these experiences and all the work behind them will pay off as I move forward in my sportscasting career.”
After several years broadcasting LSU games at such a young age, Jerez realized he had become complacent. “I quickly learned that if I wanted to make more progress, I had to be more proactive in networking and becoming a more versatile media professional. I worked hard to improve my editing, writing and producing skills, and that’s led to more opportunities behind and in front of the microphone.
“I owe a lot to the people at LSU’s student media department and to the New Orleans Pelicans Radio Network, where I interned, for helping me to become a better broadcaster and develop other valuable skills. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I’m on track in my career.”
It is a fast track Jerez found himself on only after Hurricane Isaac. “That day taught me you always have to be prepared in this business. Thankfully, I was, and it’s led to great things.”
(August 29, 2019) Dominic Miranda could teach a master class on building relationships in sports broadcasting. Professional friendships were key in Miranda landing his new position as a sports MMJ at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, IN.
Miranda graduated this spring from DePauw University.
“As I was searching for jobs my senior year of college, I was looking anywhere and everywhere for job postings,” Miranda recalls. “I started utilizing STAA’s service in January of 2019 and the constant job leads were extremely helpful. That’s where I first saw the position in Terre Haute.”
Fortunately, Miranda had already had contact with the station prior to the opening. “The News Director, Susan Dinkel, graduated from DePauw so she was a part of my alumni networking outreach I did my senior year. The Sports Director, Rick Semler recently won Indiana Sportscaster of the year and I just wanted him to see my reel. It was a perfect storm and I was hired very shortly after all this transpired.”
The WTHI staffers were far from the only people to whom Miranda introduced himself. “I had also reached out to almost 100 DePauw alumni and multiple Indianapolis sports personalities as well,” he says. “There’s nothing to lose when you humble yourself and ask for help from people are successful in the industry. More times than not, they are extremely willing to help a young sportscaster.”
Among the folks with whom Miranda ended up meeting were Indiana Pacers Radio Voice Mark Boyle and TV Voice Chris Denari, and veteran Indianapolis sportscaster Greg Rakestraw, In fact, he met all three in one day!
“Not only did I receive invaluable guidance and advice from these individuals, but two of them also made calls to Terre Haute on my behalf,” says Miranda.
Miranda joined STAA upon the recommendations of Northwest Arkansas Naturals Radio Voice Benjamin Kelly and New Mexico State University TV Broadcaster Adam Young. “When I met with Mark Boyle of the Pacers, he also mentioned STAA’s service. It made me feel good to tell him I was already a part of it,” Miranda smiles.
“I needed to get ahead of job leads and wanted to learn extra tips and strategies for navigating the job market. STAA helps me with little things like what to include on my demo reel and what tips and tricks there are to becoming a better sportscaster. It has undoubtedly made me sharpen my skills even after I began my job. There are things I read and put into practice, and I believe this has made me stand out in my current position.
“I truly have STAA to thank for assisting in landing me my first job.”
(August 26, 2019) Dan Doherty thought the sportscasting job market would unfold quickly. He stayed patient when it didn’t. His reward is a play-by-play/sports journalist position in the city where he attended college. An STAA member, Doherty is joining ESPN Ithaca in New York.
Doherty is a December 2017 graduate of Ithaca. At ESPN he replaces fellow STAA member Mark Shelley, who left for a hockey job.
“It is my first full-time job in the sports industry after a season and a half of working as an intern and part-time employee in independent baseball. What makes it even better is it is located where I went to school, which is an area I absolutely love,” Doherty says excitedly.
A former ESPN Ithaca employee helped Doherty’s application get noticed.
“I saw the job through an STAA email and immediately got in touch with a contact by the name of Jeremy Menard who works at my alma mater of Ithaca College and was a previous employee of ESPN Ithaca,” Doherty recalls. “He contacted the station and notified them of my incoming application and gave a personal recommendation.
“Displaying a variety of skills on my resume made a difference as well, as that showed I can go beyond my job description, which is always a plus in radio.”
While at Ithaca College, Doherty broadcast sports updates and called play-by-play of Bombers football, basketball, softball, soccer and lacrosse on the campus radio station. He spent the past two summers with the Long Island Ducks, first as a media relations and broadcasting assistant, and this summer as public address announcer.
It’s common to not always get replies when applying for sportscasting jobs. However, Doherty says it’s tough when you’re not landing anything whatsoever. “After grinding through a year of independent baseball, I felt ready for anything. I quickly realized I was not, which was a tough pill to swallow. I attended the Winter Meetings in Vegas (where I luckily have family) and did not get a single interview after throwing my resume in many baskets.”
Doherty suggests that patience is key in the sportscasting job market. “There are always jobs coming through STAA and one will eventually be the right fit for you,” he says, “I kept working as a public address announcer and continued writing, knowing my time will come.”
Doherty joined STAA in 2018 upon the recommendation of fellow STAA member and fellow Ithaca alum Seth Cantor. “Seth considered STAA an ‘investment in my future’ because the price point can scare college students off, but it’s worth every penny.
“I joined STAA towards the end of my first post-graduate position because I wanted every resource possible to make that next step into full-time work and didn’t want an opportunity to slip by. It took time, but it absolutely paid off. “
Doherty recommends that anyone new to STAA utilize all the resources the membership offers. “There is a wealth of broadcasting knowledge on the site that makes it much more than just a job board. It’s a must-have for sportscasters.”
Now, less than one year after joining STAA, Doherty has earned a full-time sports broadcasting job in the city where he attended college.
“It’s amazing,” he says. “I never wanted location to be a reason I turned down a job. I was applying to many different states without getting much to stick. To return to my second home is an unbelievable feeling and I’m just waiting to get pinched. I’m just four and a half hours away from my home on Long Island too, which is easier on my family.”
(August 22, 2019) The first sportscasting job after college can be the hardest one to get. Mission accomplished for Reily Chestnut. The recent graduate of Texas State University is joining Hub City Radio in Aberdeen, SD as an on-air talent and play-by-play broadcaster.
He learned of the opportunity through STAA. “I called the PD to see if they were still taking applications. I sent in my cover letter and resume with demo pieces and I got a call back two hours later,” Chestnut recalls. “Two hours after that, I was offered me the job.”
Chestnut spent the last two and a half years as sports director for TSU’s campus radio station. He’ll be building upon that experience in Aberdeen. “I get to focus heavily on refining my craft and becoming a better play-by-play broadcaster,” said Chestnut.
At the TSU radio station it was Chestnut’s responsibility to train a team in game coverage, online story creations, live tweeting and broadcasting games. He also worked as a play-by-play broadcaster for The Sun Radio Network in Austin, Texas.
Chestnut joined STAA in May. “Make the most out of all that STAA has to offer,” he suggests to new STAA members. “It’s got too much to not fully utilize the tips that you apply to your work.”
(August 20, 2019) Pursuing his dream has landed Rob Hipp with Sam Houston State University as the new football play-by-play voice for the Bearkats.
Hipp founded his own IT company when he was 20 years old and was awarded “small business of the year.” He wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a broadcaster so he created his own Internet network in 2015. He’s broadcast high school and college sports the past several years in Austin, TX.
“I had heard there may be an opening,” Hipp said about pursuing the Sam Houston State job. He believes his unique approach helped him get the gig.
“When I submitted my resume, I also emailed a video introducing myself, putting a face to the voice.” Hipp continued, “I was told after I was hired, the video helped me stand out.”
So why did Hipp leave the IT world for a play-by-play job?
“I have always wanted to be a broadcaster. I realized I wasn’t pursuing my passion which was broadcasting,” Hipp explained. “Owning my own IT business for 15 years helped me develop communication skills, as well as a hard work ethic, both of which helped tremendously in my broadcasting endeavors.”
Hipp is focusing on his passion while pursuing his broadcasting dream.
“I would rather be happy doing what I enjoy every day instead of working a job that is miserable,” Hipp wisely points out.
(August 16, 2019) Yale men’s and women’s hockey on ESPN+ will be broadcast exclusively by STAA members this winter. It was recently announced that Bridgette Proulx will call women’s games. Joining the Yale broadcast roster for men’s games are fellow STAAers Kevin Gehl and Mike O’Brien.
The university contacted STAA earlier this summer for help building their roster.
Gehl and O’Brien are both experienced hockey broadcasters. Gehl has called games for ESPN, NESN, Big Ten Network and Stadium. O’Brien was the voice of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins before moving to Boston in 2018.
Gehl joined STAA in 2015, O’Brien in 2010. Both men have created niches throughout New England as versatile freelance broadcasters. In addition to hockey, Gehl has called basketball, baseball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, soccer, rugby, fencing and rowing. He’s also experienced in sideline reporting and sports talk radio hosting.
Since moving to Boston, O’Brien has added lacrosse to his resume and will call a variety of sports for UMASS Boston – another school that asked STAA to help staff its broadcast roster. He is also a Boston Celtics Radio Network host.
“It’s been a good year,” O’Brien smiles. “In addition to the Yale ice hockey, I’ve been able to pick up some definite work with UMass-Boston, Bentley and Lax Sports Network and have also been looped into the broadcaster rotation for some other D-I schools in the area.
“When I think about where I was just last summer and starting anew in Boston, I am excited about the in-roads that have been made.”
(August 13, 2019) Kansas native and KU grad Jackson Schneider is staying home for his first job. An STAA member, Schneider has joined Rocking M Radio in Colby, KS as a morning sports talk host and play-by-play broadcaster
“The opportunity to step in and be on-air right away, and in a great community, was a big plus,” says Schneider, who learned of the job through a lead that was exclusive to STAA members.
The new co-host of Morning Blitz is set to work with fellow STAA member, Ross Volkmer. Schenider’s move is a career step forward and brings him closer to home.
“Staying in Kansas was big for me. Most of my family lives in western Kansas now, so Colby was a great chance for me to learn and move even closer to my family. It was really just the perfect spot,” Schneider says.
Schenider is prepared for the move because he made good use of his time at Kansas University.
“During my senior year, I worked under [Jayhawks radio voice] Brian Hanni as the Voice of Kansas volleyball and softball. That year of experience and large amount of air-time really helped develop me and set me apart from others,” said Schenider.
It takes time, and a few rejections, before a majority of broadcasters find a job like this. Schneider faced similar challenges.
“Being still so fresh in the job market, I was having a really tough time with rejection after the first several jobs I applied for, but one of my mentors, Soren Petro, of Sports Radio 810 in Kansas City gave me great advice. He told me to stay patient, and to constantly apply, even if I didn’t think I would get the job, and that the right opportunity would come along.”
Schneider has been an STAA member since April.
“STAA was about more than job postings. The tutorials about demo reels, resume development, and even interview tips really seemed like a great chance to continue to grow while applying for jobs. My good friend Brendan Dzwierzynski told me about STAA and the opportunity that it brought him in Topeka (at 580 WIBW), so I decided to give it a shot. It worked out great and I owe him big time.”
(August 8, 2019) Carl Hauser understands that growth comes through change. His desire for growth has led him to KJAM in Madison, SD.
As sports director, Hauser will cover high school and NAIA college football and basketball. He’ll also host coaches shows, broadcast baseball in the summer and host a daily air shift.
“Since I started in radio play-by-play nine years ago, I wanted to get into the college sports scene,” says Hauser. “Here at KJAM we cover our local NAIA school (Dakota State University) so it seemed like a great fit.”
Hauser leaves KZZJ/KKWZ in Rugby, SD where felt he had learned all he could. “I was able to do a lot there and called over 600 games in the five years I was there. I certainly learned a lot.”
Leaving his comfort zone in Rugby wasn’t easy for Hauser. “I had become ingrained in the Rugby community and made a lot of friends,” he recalls. “It took me awhile to understand that it would be okay to move on and that I was better off for those friendships and relationships.
“While perhaps not as big a challenge as others have faced, my personality and loyalty can get in the way. Applying for an opening and new step in my career was big for me.”
Hauser learned of the Madison opportunity through STAA. He joined STAA in June after being referred by former co-worker Dylan Corbet.
“I felt like I would be able to get some inside knowledge about job openings that I might not have access to otherwise. And I was right,” Hauser says enthusiastically. “I also thoroughly enjoy the tips and other tidbits around sports broadcasting. I’m looking forward to incorporating those into my upcoming games this fall.”
(August 1, 2019) Countless hours watching NHL games with her dad planted a passion for hockey and play-by-play within Bridgette Proulx. She will be combining those passions this winter as the voice of Yale women’s hockey on ESPN+.
“When I was trying to decide what to go to college for, I remember my dad telling me, ‘Do something you love, something that doesn’t feel like work.’ So I took his advice and chose to pursue something I never seem to get tired of — talking about hockey,” Proulx grins.
The opportunity arose in May when Yale asked STAA to help find play-by-play talent. “I learned about the job opportunity at Yale through an STAA posting in one of the member emails,” Proulx recalls. “I sent my reel and resume to the email listed and got a quick response.
“I was looking to get a steady amount of games doing play-by-play for a college or professional hockey team. In the past I was mostly getting opportunities as a fill-in. It’s a good stepping stone for my career from mostly radio broadcasts to broadcasts on visual mediums.”
Proulx is a 2016 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She broadcast play-by-play for men’s hockey and women’s basketball on campus radio station WMUA. After graduating, she hosted football, basketball, and hockey broadcasts on the Boston College IMG Sports Network.
In 2018, Proulx became the first female Boston Red Sox producer on 93.7 WEEI.
Last spring, she broadcast the Women’s Hockey East Tournament for Providence College on FloSports. “That was helpful to being hired by Yale because it was very recent, was a similar style telecast to what Yale will have on ESPN+, and it provided me a good sample of work for my reel.”
She joined STAA in April. “Another STAA member and friend, Matt Neverett, referred me to STAA,” Proulx remembers.
The startup cost of an STAA membership caused Proulx to think twice before joining. “I joined STAA hoping that I would be able to land a job doing play-by-play for a college or professional hockey team,” she says. “I am mostly a producer at my job at WEEI, and I wanted to spend more time broadcasting to improve and increase my visibility. STAA has certainly done so by helping me land my current opportunity at Yale.”
While female play-by-play broadcasters are becoming more common, Proulx hopes the day is near when she will have more female colleagues.
“In my past job as a studio host at IMG I was the only female studio host for their approximately 80 schools,” she says. “In all of my previous jobs, the team of broadcasters and producers has included no more than two women, making up between 1% and 5% of employees in that department for the company.
“I hope to see that percent go up at my places of work in the next 10 years, and I have been actively trying to help advance other female sportscasters and journalists at the college level.”