(June 27, 2012) Marky Billson is back in sportscasting action and returning to the game he loves. A founding member of STAA, Billson has been hired as the play-by-play broadcaster for Harlingen (TX) WhiteWings baseball.
“I wanted to call baseball again,” Billson says. “I grew up calling Strat-O-Matic games into a tape recorder, and while I certainly am passionate about writing and other news and sportscasting endeavors and don’t want to section myself from them, this is my first love.”
The opportunity to join the WhiteWings arrived in Billson’s inbox via one of the job listings emailed exclusively to STAA Premier clients. “The WhiteWings contacted STAA saying they needed a broadcaster even though their season was already underway,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik.
“Having the advance listing by being a Premier client, responding quickly, and, as [Jon Chelesnik] always says, writing ‘I will be calling on this date’ really got me to the front of the line,” says Billson. “In this case, the team needed a take charge guy with some experience, so by presenting myself to them in such a fashion it made all the difference.”
Billson is a veteran broadcaster and sportswriter from Pittsburgh, PA but he’s been out of the industry for several years. It can be a fight to return to an industry that you’ve left for a while, but it’s worth the effort to return to your dream.
“As far as taking this opportunity, it’s a bit of a risk. I’m taking a major pay cut from my previous job, which was not in the media. But the fact of the matter is that I have found when I was in the media business it was much easier to get another position, or a position of growth, in that field than not being in the industry,” Billson says.
“Telling a potential employer, ‘Well, I’ve been a cab driver but I have also written “Pennsylvania Sports Trivia’ to stay involved in the media industry wasn’t the answer I wanted to give an all-sports radio station or sports editor. So while I had tapes of my work, they were somewhat dated. The players I was calling coming up are now coming down. And I always want to improve.”
Billson is also looking forward to the non-broadcasting responsibilities of his new job, and hopes it will be a springboard to new opportunities down the road.
“What makes this such a delight is I should be involved in various parts of the organization. I have an extensive background in sports writing and I’ll be able to use those skills here writing game stories, press releases, and hopefully freelance articles on our players to their hometown newspapers.
“I not only want to use this position to climb the media ladder, be it eventually calling major league baseball or other broadcasting, print, or internet media positions. I also want to use this position to learn more about business, whether it is running a professional sports franchise or another sort of enterprise.”
(Visit Marky’s STAA Talent Page).