Mason Horodyski’s new job includes a sense of familiarity. Horodyski is the new sports anchor/reporter at WVVA in Bluefield, WV where one of his friends from Syracuse University is sports director.
“I was already pretty aware of the station as my former CitrusTV sports director and now current WVVA Sports Director, Nick Dugan, had already worked at the station the past few years,” says Horodyski.
The sportscasting job market was challenging for Horodyski, even after ranking as the 15th most outstanding collegiate sportscaster in the country in STAA’s 2020 Jim Nantz Award and All-America program.
“We are in one of the toughest times to get employed in any field of work in American history,” he says. “Pandemic or not, sports reporting jobs are highly sought after and extremely competitive. With that said, you have to be ready to deal with failure. You are not going to land every job that you apply to.”
Horodyski applied to more than 50 positions after graduating. “I even worked part time as a bank teller just to get some extra money in my pocket,” he says. “But all I needed was one ‘yes,’ and I was able to finally get that ‘yes’ by staying confident and patient.”
Polite persistence was important to Horodyski landing at WVVA. “Constantly following up is something everyone should be doing with their job hunt,” he suggests. “Persistence is key when it comes to getting noticed by employers, and my constant follow ups with the news director is what helped separate me from the pack.”
Additionally, Horodyski suggests being genuine. “Whether it’s your cover letter or your interview, your employer wants to hire YOU. Don’t pretend to be someone that you’re not just because you think it will impress a news director. Keep it real — it can go a long way.”
Horodyski is the fourth STAA member to join WVVA in recent years. The others:
- Colin Bowles was hired as a sports anchor/MMJ in 2015
- AJ Good was hired as Sports Director in 2014
- Brett Hiltbrand was hired as a sports anchor/MMJ in 2013
Horodyski joined STAA in May of this year. “I already knew several people who were members of STAA thought my four years at Syracuse and had nothing but good things to say about it so it seemed like a no brainer to help me kick start my career.
“What separates STAA from everyone else is how personalized your membership is. Jon and company get to know you as a person and find the best ways for you to succeed based on who you are. They truly want to see you succeed.”
Horodyski’s excitement for joining WVVA is rooted in the community he will be covering. “Bluefield and its surrounding towns have such a passionate local sports fan base from their local minor league Bluefield Blue Jays to Friday night lights high school football rivalries. When you have a community that is as invested in coverage of local sports as much as a place like Bluefield is, it makes the job so much more enjoyable.”