(May 6, 2019) The fourth time was the charm for Alex Benzegala. After three unsuccessful attempts to land work at AM 1100 The Flag in Fargo, ND, Benzegala is joining the station as Sports Director.
The station is in the same community where Benzegala attended college. He learned of the opportunity in an exclusive tip for STAA members.
“I was initially not going to apply because I had applied for the same position in August and did not get the job. I also attempted to broadcast on the Flag in 2015 and 2016 and it didn’t work out. I thought and prayed about it for a couple of weeks and decided to give it one more try. I’m glad that I did,” he smiles.
Benzegala graduated in 2014 from nearby Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. “I love Fargo-Moorhead,” he says. “It’s a great place to live and has a great sports scene. I started my career as a volunteer broadcaster for a local high school and semi-pro football team in Fargo.”
Something that helped Benzegala land the position is the relationship he’s built with station management over the past five years. “I first met the president of The Flag, Steve Hallstrom, when we both worked at an employee benefits company in 2014,” Benzegala recalls. “I found out that Steve had previously been a sportscaster and I arranged a meeting with him to ask for advice. We talked and he gave me tips like maybe moving to a smaller market and to practice play-by-play as much as possible.”
Hallstrom and Benzegala both left the employee benefits company in 2015. “He [went to] The Flag,” Benzegala remembers. “[Later that year] I met with Steve and Operations Manager Dustin Moore. We discussed the idea of me doing some play-by-play on The Flag. It didn’t work out so I became the voice of the Fargo Invaders and West Fargo Sheyenne High School Mustangs on a non-profit station. I broadcasted for free for two years.
“I decided to contact Steve and Dustin again in 2016 and 2017 but there were no opportunities at that time.”
Benzegala freelanced in Kansas City for the 2017 season while working at a local boarding school. “I earned my first professional radio position in November of 2017 at Alpha Media in Fort Dodge where I have been ever since,” he says.
Benzegala has been an STAA member since 2015. “There are a lot of [STAA] resources that help me be a better broadcaster,” he says. “For example, I try to take advantage of the group critiques as often as possible and I know that alone has improved my play-by-play. Also, my two professional radio opportunities came from tips I got from STAA job emails. The emails are very helpful.
“The more you invest in improving your broadcasting, the more STAA will be of use to you,” Benzegala suggests.
When the Fargo sports director job opened last August, Benzegala was a finalist for the position that eventually went to fellow STAA member Evan Giddings. Giddings left in January for a minor league baseball job.
“I think my persistence and attitude in not giving up when it didn’t work out with the Flag the first 3-4 times was very important,” says Benzegala. “My knowledge of the company and of Fargo-Moorhead was also beneficial.
“I always wanted to be a full time professional broadcaster in that town. It’s great to be coming home.”
(Visit Alex’s STAA Talent Page).