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.”

Josh Starr new Danbury Hat Tricks voice

Josh StarrLifelong hockey fan Josh Starr will be the new Director of Communications/Play-By-Play for the Danbury Hat Tricks in the FPHL/NAHL. He starts in early July.

Starr’s passion for hockey play-by-play comes not only from his love of the game, but also from his experience in announcing the sport. He explains, “You don’t realize how much goes into the description of the action on the ice until you have to do it yourself. It is such a fast sport with a lot of different things going on in different areas of the ice and I absolutely love the challenge of describing it all.”

Planting the seed

Starr’s journey to discovering his love of play-by-play began in his youth, when his dream was to be a professional athlete. He shares, “Once I realized that was not going to happen, I still had a desire to be part of the sports world in some way. Right before high school began, I decided becoming a sports broadcaster was something I could do as a career in the sports industry.”

That’s when he started preparing to become a sports broadcaster. His announcing skills began to develop in high school through calling public address for basketball and lacrosse games. But it was during Starr’s years at Penn State that he realized how much he loved play-by-play. He gained significant experience there.

Always learning

In his position with the Hat Tricks, Starr will gain even more experience, not just in broadcasting, but also in other important areas like social media and media relations. I believe these are things that will make me more versatile and desirable when applying to future jobs,” he says.

Relationship building played a significant role in Starr’s job search. He shares, “I used my network at Penn State to speak with broadcasters who have gone through the junior/minor league hockey circuit and learned a lot from them. It really helped me to prepare for interviews and know what to expect when searching for a job in hockey.”

Starr joined STAA last year and shares some advice with new members: “Use all the resources. I wrote my cover letter for the Hat Tricks using Jon’s guide for it. I’ve spoken to Jon and a lot of other members about how to go about my job search. All of it is extremely helpful.”

He also shares that he found the Hat Tricks job in one of the STAA job leads emails, and says, “I just wanted to say thank you. I appreciate all the work STAA does for members and it certainly helped me get this job.”

Billson broadcasting West Virginia Miners baseball

Sports broadcasting veteran Marky Billson is eager to call baseball for the first time in five years. An STAA member, Billson will broadcast this summer for the West Virginia Miners, a collegiate summer baseball team in Beckley, WV.

Billson will call Miners’ road games. Fred Persinger II calls home games. “And he’s pretty smooth, if I may say so myself,” says Billson.

He learned of the Miners opportunity through an STAA Job Leads email. “I would say [the STAA job leads] are the best in the business,” he states.

Traveling man

Billson has called baseball In Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. His first impression is that Beckley embraces the Miners as much as any other baseball community he’s called home. “I’ve been involved with other baseball teams and when I would tell people I was the broadcaster I would often get indifference or maybe ‘can you get us tickets?’ Here they want to talk about yesterday’s game,” he says.

Something else that excites Billson is the fact that the games are broadcast on radio versus Internet. “I’m loving turning on the radio and hearing my name on a promo. Let’s face it, when you’re a broadcaster, that always puts a skip in your heart,” he smiles.

Feeling at home

It’s a bonus for Billson that Beckley is in a region where he has deep roots. “I’ve lived practically everywhere but I guess you could say primarily in the Tri-Cities, Tennessee area and Western Pennsylvania. Beckley is halfway between those locales, so culturally it’s a good fit. And when I have free time I can watch the Pittsburgh sports channel (Root) on cable! Don’t discount the latter,” he grins.

Billson’s sports media resume is impressive. Besides baseball, he’s also called football, basketball and soccer play-by-play. He’s hosted sports talk shows in Pittsburgh, PA and Johnson City, TN. He’s been a football field reporter on the sidelines of the Tennessee Volunteers and Pitt Panthers. And he’s a writer whose bylines include the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, SI.com, Athlon Sports and Baseball Digest.

STAA’s Benjamin and Lewis join NBC’s Olympics broadcast team

tokyoA pair of STAA members and former STAA All-Americans have been tabbed for play-by-play assignments at next month’s Tokyo Olympics. Jack Benjamin and Chris Lewis will be broadcasting for NBC’s from studios in Stamford, CT.

Benjamin is the play-by-play voice at Nicholls State University. He has broadcast events for Olympic Channel Home of Team USA and has called various sports on ESPN platforms and Cox Sports Television.

Benjamin is a 2018 graduate of Santa Clara University and earned
STAA All-America honors as one of the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sportscasters. He joined STAA as a college sophomore.

It’s long been a dream of Benjamin’s to call the Olympics; He’ll handle play-by-play for several events.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the NBC Sports Olympics team, along with so many other talented broadcasters,” he says.

Lewis is the voice of Boise State University women’s basketball and calls games for CBS Sports Network and Mountain West Network. He is a graduate of Syracuse and, like Benjamin, a former STAA All-American. He’s been an STAA member since 2012 when he was a college senior.

Lewis will be broadcasting Olympic table tennis.

“I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from the experience,” he says. “I just want to do the best job that I can while working with a bunch of great people and make their time working with me as enjoyable and pleasant as possible.”

DuPuis joins college radio colleague at WRNR

Spencer DuPuisA pair of former colleagues at Marshall University’s campus radio station is going to work together at WRNR in Martinsburg, WV. STAA member Spencer DuPuis is joining the station as a sports talk host and play-by-play broadcaster.

“It’s exciting for me not only that I get to began my professional only a little over an hour from home, but also that I was one of two hires for this position. The other is my former colleague at WMUL, Nick Verzolini,” DuPuis grins.

Out of nowhere

DuPuis found the WRNR opportunity unconventionally. “Funny enough, because I live about an hour from WRNR and Martinsburg, WV the job popped up as a sponsored ad on Facebook,” he recalls. “I immediately got my materials together and emailed them to the contact person. Then I got a call a couple hours later asking me to set up an interview. It all happened in about a week.”

The fact that his first full-time sportscasting job is close to home is exciting to DuPuis. “I know the general sports realm of West Virginia and I get to be teamed up with a former colleague from college radio.”

Pandemic challenges

Hitting the sportscasting job market during the pandemic was less than ideal for DuPuis. “Graduating college in 2020 and trying to get a broadcasting job was a huge challenge. Something that I tried to do was to stay positive and work on my craft independently so I could stay polished.

Joining STAA

DuPuis joined STAA at about the same time he grabbed his diploma. He learned of STAA after seeing a replica of the trophy won by STAA’s inaugural Jim Nantz Award winner and DuPuis’ fellow Marshall University alumni, Adam Cavalier. It is displayed in a trophy case on the university’s campus.

“One way that my STAA membership has benefited me is being able to see job openings in my email a few times a week, especially during my busy weeks where I didn’t have the time to spend hours looking for jobs,” says DuPuis.

Fortunately for DuPuis, his sportscasting job search is on an indefinite hold as he and Verzolini join WRNR. “I think it’s going to be great for us to start our careers together as we worked very well together at Marshall,” DuPuis smiles.