(August 4, 2011) Alex Reed has always had great respect for the Florida Everblades hockey club. Now, he is going to work for them. An STAA client, Reed has been hired as Public and Community Relations Manager/Broadcaster. He moves on after one season with the Wheeling Nailers.
Both the Everblades and Nailers are members of the ECHL.
“The Everblades are one of the model franchises in the ECHL,” Reed says. “They are well respected in everything they do on and off the ice. It is also chance to get involved in other areas of the organization than just broadcasting.
In addition to play-by-play, Reed’s duties will include public relations and ticket and sponsorship sales.
“I saw the Everblades job on the STAA website and sent my tape and resume right away. I followed up with emails, including my STAA Talent Page. I always provided that so [Everblades President Craig Brush] always had it fresh in his mind,” Reed says.
During the job interview, Brush mentioned to Reed that STAA was a big help in the team receiving more than 100 applications, adding that STAA did a good job getting the word out about the position.
The Everblades job is the third Reed has earned since joining STAA in 2007. That same year, he accepted the play-by-play job with the Lewiston Maineiacs Hockey Club (QMJHL), and then moved onto the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) last fall.
Reed emphasizes following up as a key to success in the job market.
“Follow up with the employer and let him know your interest,” Reed suggests. “Just shoot an email after you send your stuff in — just kind of keeping your name out in the forefront really helps. If you have references, don’t be afraid to ask them make a call as well.”
(August 4, 2011) When Chris Hemeyer decided he was ready to move from minor league baseball play-by-play to collegiate sports, he didn’t have to look far for his opportunity. An STAA client, Hemeyer has been hired as Director of Broadcasting at NCAA Division I Campbell University.
Hemeyer moves to Buies Creek, NC from down the road in Kinston where he has spent the past six seasons as Director of Broadcasting with the Class-A Kinston Indians. At Campbell, Hemeyer replaces fellow STAA client Robert Harper who recently accepted a similar position at the University of North Florida.
“I’ve been in North Carolina for 10 years now,” Hemeyer says. “Its home for me and now I get to stay in the state I love.”
Hemeyer learned of the Campbell opening through STAA.
“The first hint I got of it was in an email from STAA,” he says. “I’ve been a premier client with STAA forever. Those stealth job opportunities come right into my inbox and that’s when I first heard about the job.”
Hemeyer has been an STAA client since July 2007.
“STAA has always been there to answer any questions that I have. I appreciate everything so much in this long journey,” he says.
This isn’t Hemeyer’s first college Division I broadcasting experience. In recent years, he has been the voice of East Carolina University baseball and been a regular fill-in on Pirates men’s basketball. Now, Hemeyer looks forward to being a full-time employee of a university.
“I grew up in a college town and have been around college athletics all my life,” he says. “And the recent work I’ve done with ECU has brought that hunger back to be part of a university.
“The [Campbell] job looked good on paper, but once I went down there and met everybody it was unbelievable. It is truly a family atmosphere, from the coaches to the sports information department. It feels like home.”
Hemeyer’s advice to others in the job market is do not give up. “Look for anything you can in your area to get more experience in broadcasting,” he suggests. “I slowly built my resume by taking advantage of other options and being a fill-in. That allows you to get your name out there and get to know people. Networking is very important.”
STAA client David Kelly is joining KMSB-TV and the Fox 11 Sports Force in Tucson, AZ as an anchor/reporter.
“It was something I have kind of been thinking about. I’ve always thought I would eventually do television.
“It’s ironic that after applying for some 60-plus TV jobs over the last eight months, the one I finally land is right in my own backyard,” Kelly smiles. “It definitely does pay to be close to the situation.”
Kelly believes the state of the economy in recent years has made regionality even more important in the job market. “If [an employer] has talent they don’t have to fly in and relocate, it helps,” he says. “I also have a lot of built-in relationships from my two and-a-half years working in Athletics (at the University of Arizona).
From 2008 to 2010, Kelly served as Sponsorship Marketing Coordinator at U of A/IMG Radio and was a member of the broadcast team for Wildcat athletics.
The move to TV comes for Kelly after 11 years in sports broadcasting, mostly in radio. His experience includes play-by-play with minor league baseball’s Memphis Redbirds and talk show hosting, anchoring and reporting with WTAM Radio in Cleveland, OH.
Kelly has been an STAA client since July 2010.
“Thanks again for all [STAA] does for the industry,” Kelly says. “Having a Talent Page on your site has been a tremendous asset in allowing me to swiftly disperse my information.”
Kelly encourages others in the job market to be aggressive in geting their name out into the industry.
“The thing I heard from a lot of News Directors is that, even though I had big market experience as a fill-in freelancer, you have to be able to do everything. You have to be able to shoot, to edit and to produce. I didn’t really have that hands-on experience. You just keep pushing through it, hoping someone will give you an opportunity based on talent then let you learn those other things.”
(July 21, 2011) Most broadcasters graduating college are thrilled for a job doing an air shift and covering city commission meetings. Andrew Stossmeister probably would have been too, until something bigger came his way. Something much bigger. Stossmeister, just 22 and an STAA client, has been hired as Operations Manager for High Plains Radio in McCook, NE. He is in charge of nine stations in the region and serves as Program Director for the group’s three stations within the city of McCook.
“This is a huge job — not something I would have expected,” says Stossmeister, who graduated this spring from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.
When asked to summarize his responsibilities, Stossmeister says, “I make sure everything is working and everything is happening when it needs to be. I am in charge of the on-air talent, making sure they are taking care of their responsibilities and getting out into the community. I am also in charge of our website. It is pretty much continuing to work with what we already have that is going well and making it better.
“It is similar to what I was doing in college. The difference is the people now are older than me. I think the next closest person to me in age is 35.
Stossmeister addresses the challenge of managing a staff of his elders with an uncommon degree of maturity and humility for someone so young. “By showing people how hard I work, I think they will respect me for it,” he says.
The job isn’t one for which Stossmeister applied. Instead, an employer with whom he had applied in another state referred him to High Plains Radio GM Bryan Loker.
“Bryan called me,” Stossmeister says. “He was really impressed with my resume, and him being able to hear my audio on [my STAA Talent Page] was really helpful.”
Stossmeister joined STAA earlier this year. “I appreciate all you do with STAA,” he says. “It has been extremely helpful.”
Even with his new managerial duties, Stossmeister isn’t giving up his love for play-by-play. He will be broadcasting a high school game of the week and probably some junior college football.
“It’s amazing they wanted to offer me this opportunity,” Stossmeister says. “I thought I had better step up to the plate and walk the walk.”
(July 18, 2011) 2011 STAA All-American Alex Perlman is taking a major step towards his ultimate goal of being the lead broadcaster at a Division I college athletic program. Perlman has been hired as play-by-play broadcaster for University of South Florida baseball and women’s basketball.
It is part of a full-time broadcasting internship that also includes hosting coach’s shows, player interview segments and special features, and doing video work for the USF athletic department web site.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to do a lot of things and be really versatile for them,” Perlman says. “I’m really looking forward to honing my skills and becoming a little bit more well rounded in terms of the way I’m developing as a broadcaster and being able to get experience in several different aspects of broadcasting, and expanding my horizons in several different ways at the same time.”
When USF approached STAA to help fill the position, it was agreed the position would emailed to STAA Premier clients but would not be posted publicly on the STAA forums.
“I got the email from STAA and sent in my work. That was the first time I had heard about the job. I am very, very glad that email found its way into my inbox,” Perlman grins.
Perlman, who is spending this summer as a Broadcasting and Media Relations Assistant with minor league baseball’s Charlotte Stone Crabs, begins his new job August 4th.
“The USF athletic department has grown at an exponential rate,” Perlman says. “The opportunity for growth is unbelievable.
“Choosing USF is a no-brainer. Their oldest athletics building was constructed in 2004. They have renovated everything and are doing everything to really make it a top notch program that can compete with anyone in the country.”
(July 14, 2011) The moment Chris Tubbs saw the job description for a sports talk host, sports update anchor and play-by-play broadcaster in South Dakota, he knew he was the perfect fit. As it turns out, the radio station agreed. An STAA client, Tubbs is joining Backyard Broadcasting’s six-station cluster in Sioux Falls.
“I knew everything they were looking for were things I had already done,” Tubbs says. “I was confident once they took a look at my stuff that I would stand a pretty good chance.”
Tubbs will be co-hosting a daily sports talk show from 3-6 pm on 1230 KWSN. He will also broadcast sports updates prior to the show, host coaches shows, and handle various high school and college play-by-play. He replaces fellow STAA John Gaskins, who recently took a sports talk job in Lincoln, NE.
“I really enjoy what the job will be,” Tubbs says excitedly. “The Sioux Falls area is fantastic. It’s a family friendly atmosphere and it’s close to family. It’s a good opportunity for [my family] to put down some roots. It’s just as much about my wife (Kim) and my daughter (Hannah, 1) as it is about me.”
Tubbs’ resume includes time at several stations throughout the Midwest. Most recently, though, Tubbs has been in business for himself as co-owner of TJ Sports Online (www.tjsportsonline.net), a website featuring The Sports Lounge Show and play-by-play for various high school, college and professional sports in and around the greater Minneapolis region.
Tubbs originally joined STAA in 2007. He has consistently taken advantage of the range of services that come with being a client.
“To have [the STAA] name recognition and experience and contacts behind something like this is so helpful. Anyone who is looking for a job or is looking for help would be absolutely foolish to not use your services,” says Tubbs.
As for his new job, Tubbs can’t wait to get started.
“There are no negatives to this position,” Tubbs says. “When considering the pros and cons, everything I came up with was a pro.”
(July 10, 2011) Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” By that definition, Ben Rosehart was applying an insane approach to the job market. When Rosehart finally changed his methods, the result was a jump of almost 100 markets.
An STAA client, Rosehart is joining KWQC NBC-TV in Davenport, IA as a sports anchor/reporter. He is especially excited about hosting a popular weekly highlights show called the Friday Night Highlight Zone.
Rosehart makes the move after nearly four years at KGWN-TV in Cheyenne, WY.
“[KWQC] is the number one station in the market and has been for almost 40 years,” Rosehart says. “Its almost a 100 market jump for me.”
Rosehart smiles when adding that Davenport is also one time zone closer to his family roots in Pennsylvania.
Rosehart joined STAA earlier this year.
“STAA helped me with my resume and cover letter – shaping them up and cutting the fat,” Rosehart says.
Rosehart also worked with STAA to refine his application strategy.
“I became more aggressive on my own in terms of making phone calls. I was more prepared with what to say [to news directors] and how to get on their radar. I had an agent for over a year and didn’t make any progress. I realized I had to step up on my own.
“My follow up was much better, getting the news director on the phone, then sending a hand written [thank you] note — polite persistence as [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik advocates.
“STAA was definitely a big help. I appreciate it.”
(July 5, 2011) Things do not always turn out as planned. Sometimes, they turn out better. That is the case for STAA client Nathan Epstein. When Epstein applied for work at WDAM Channel 7 in Hattiesburg, MS, he expected to be a candidate for the No.2 sports position. He ended up with the No. 1 job.
“I was just as surprised as anyone,” Epstein says.
The opportunity came about when Mitch Williams left Hattiesburg’s NBC affiliate after 27 years to pursue other interests. It was expected the station would promote their No. 2 sportscaster to the top spot and Epstein applied for the No. 2 position. When the No. 2 also left for family reasons, Epstein was hired for the lead job.
One thing that is particularly attractive to Epstein is the supportive atmosphere he observed when visiting the station for his interview.
“It really is a family environment there,” Epstein says. “Everyone is looking out for everybody. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed because it makes the overall product better.
“They’ve backed me ever since I first went down there. They told me they’ll help me any way they can. That was really a big plus.”
Epstein is a 2011 graduate of Longwood University in Virginia where he worked at the campus radio station and wrote for the student newspaper. He is moving from a one region that is passionate about sports to another.
“They really care about their sports in Hattiesburg,” Epstein says. Local sports aren’t really on the rise across the US but it is here.”
(June 21, 2011) In spring 2010, Michael Spero was graduating from the University of Kansas and wondering when and where his first job would be. After a whirlwind 12 months, he has landed the football play-by-play job at San Jose State University.
“This was my goal at KU,” Spero says. “I wanted to get to the Division I level as soon as possible. There are broadcasters I have kept in touch with who reached this level when they were young.”
While Spero’s ambition is admirable, the fact is only a tiny handful of sportscasters are doing Division I play-by-play within one year of graduation. Of that group, almost none are at schools with Division I, non-FCS football programs.
“Coming from KU I’ve been around major college athletics so I understand the expectations and demands,” Spero says.
As notable as the SJSU gig is for Spero, it isn’t his first Division I job since graduation. He spent this spring broadcasting Stanford University baseball, and last winter was the voice of women’s basketball at Santa Clara University.
“When I landed D-I work my goal was to keep getting DI work, which I have been able to do,” Spero smiles.
Spero learned there was an upcoming Division I play-by-play job weeks in advance of the San Jose State job being made public. “I first reached out to [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik about something else. He mentioned there was something coming down the pipeline in which I would be interested. When I saw the San Jose State opening on the STAA job board, I asked Jon if this was the job he had alluded to and he said it was.”
An STAA client since June 2010, Spero has taken full advantage of STAA’s range services.
“STAA has been a big help,” he says. “Initially I think I reached out to [STAA] before I was a client. [Jon Chelesnik] did a critique with me. Just being able to call or email [Chelesnik] and ask about whatever I need is helpful. Through the San Jose State process, we spoke for about a half hour to prepare me for the interview process. Having Jon throw out ideas and concepts as I prepped for the interviews was a big help. I felt very good about how I presented myself.”
Spero’s game plan for putting his career on the fast track began in college. One key has been taking advantage of opportunities and utilizing all available resources.
“Get involved with student radio,” Spero recommends to college broadcasters. “Although I earned my degree in business, I took journalism courses geared towards sports and the broadcasting industry.”
Spero also got to know many broadcasters in the state of Kansas. “I went to [Kansas Association of Broadcasters] day in Kansas City. I met [KU Voice] Bob Davis and [K-State Voice] Wyatt Thompson. I took advantage of any opportunities that came my way, even if it didn’t pay. If it gave me experience and exposure I jumped on it.”
Another of Spero’s strategies is networking with broadcasters who are where he wants to be. Among his contacts are Los Angeles Clippers broadcaster and fellow KU alum and STAA client Brian Sieman, and Spero Dedes, who landed the Los Angeles Lakers job in 2005 when he was just 26.
“I’ve sat down with Brian and watched him broadcast a game. I’ve been able to learn from those guys, and to have discussions with them to find out how they got to where they are and what I need to [best] position myself.”
Spero also regularly critiques his own work and sends it to other broadcasters for their suggestions. All of the effort eventually paid of with Spero landing a job at a university that could hardly be a better fit.
“I’ve been familiar with the school for a while,” Spero says. “I’ve had family come through San Jose State. A lot of the alumni I know are excited about the school and have pride in the school. That was attractive to me.
“The Bay area is where I wanted to be, so I’m glad I get to stay put,” Spero grins.
(June 15, 2011) Radar O’Reilly from the TV show M*A*S*H put Ottumwa, Iowa on the map. Jay Sanderson is hoping to also put his stamp on the community. An STAA client, Sanderson is joining Ottumwa Radio as Operations Manager and Sports Director.
The Ottumwa Radio family of stations includes AM news talk and FM classic rock, new country and adult contemporary. The job responsibilities will be very similar to the job Sanderson is leaving at KLOE-KKCI-KWGB in Goodland, Kansas with one major exception.
“The Ottumwa job is basically what I have been doing in Goodland without the sales,” Sanderson grins.
In addition to the administrative responsibilities of his new job, Sanderson will produce sportscasts throughout the day for all four stations and will serve as play-by-play voice for Ottumwa High School athletics.
The new gig did not come quickly for Sanderson. He first saw it posted on the STAA job forum in early February. He emailed the link to his STAA Talent Page and sent a hard copy of his demo and resume.
“I applied almost immediately,” Sanderson says. “I had spoken to [General Manager Greg List] informally once and formally twice. I had pretty much given up on it when he called last week to request an in-person meeting.”
“It was quite a lengthy process, and for someone like myself who is not the most patient individual it required some patience, but it most definitely paid off.”