(April 22, 2015) Conventional wisdom would say that taking a year off of broadcasting is like taking a year off of school – you might never go back. For STAA member Alex Cohen, taking a year off of broadcasting has paid off big time. Cohen has been named Director of Broadcasting for the Idaho Falls Chukars.
“If it weren’t for STAA (lead was emailed to members on January 23rd ) and the Talent Page, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the position. Very grateful for it and extremely excited to getting back behind the mike in affiliated ball again,” says Cohen.
Cohen follows fellow STAA member Chris Lewis as the voice of the Chukars.
“I couldn’t be more happy to land with an organization like the Chukars. Speaking with GM Kevin Greene and Director of Operations Alex Groh, they’ve been so helpful during the entire process with their expectations; it made this whole process worthwhile.”
After two seasons with the Huntsville Stars, Cohen elected to spend the 2014 baseball season off the mike. Instead, Cohen worked as the seasonal broadcast assistant for the Oakland Athletics.
“Despite taking a season off-air to take a step back and learn (which was a calculated risk), I would not be in this position without what I learned from Ken (Korach) and Vince (Cotroneo) in Oakland. They are great on air and even better towards me and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.”
To kick the dust off of his on-air skills, Cohen went to the Australian Baseball League.
“Taking a season off the mike, I felt like I was a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery. Just getting back on the microphone, taking all the things I was fortunate enough to learn in Oakland and implementing that into the broadcast, it took time and innings to get comfortable. A very humbling experience, to say the least.”
Calling baseball in a nation where baseball wouldn’t even rank on a list of the country’s top ten sports proved to be both a unique and invaluable experience for Cohen.
“The majority of the listeners are new fans to the game of baseball, so you have to explain what’s going on much differently. It sort of allowed me to get back to the basics and call baseball in its most simple form. The meat and potatoes. It was very pure and refreshing in a sense.
“The pure tape I got from Australia really helped me land the job. I worked my butt off to improve each and every game. With as short as the season is, I made sure I maximized each and every inning as a way to get better.”
When it was time to tackle the baseball job market back in the U.S., Cohen knew it was time to overhaul his attitude and approach for job interviews.
“Honestly, I changed everything about my interview mindset. I had to take a long look at myself and analyze what I am good at, and more importantly, what I need to improve on. It wasn’t just me, I asked multiple people who I’ve worked for/with in the past who I trust for honest feedback, and some of it wasn’t the most complementary. That’s really the only way to learn and go forward in my opinion. Then, by having that clarity, I felt so much more comfortable in an interview, being able to convey what I can bring to the table and how I can help the organization in those ways.”
After packing a ton of personal and professional growth into one short year, Cohen is fired up and ready to get the Chukars season under way.
“I’m very excited to head up to Idaho next month and call baseball games for a great organization.”
(Visit Alex’s STAA Talent Page).