Tom Hartbeck’s first post-graduate season as a hockey play-by-play voice will also be the first season for his new team. An STAA member, Hartbeck has been hired as the broadcaster for the inaugural season of Maryville University women’s hockey in St. Louis.
The Saints play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
Eager to work in a passionate hockey town
“Maryville Hockey is part of surging hotbed of the sport here in St. Louis,” says Hartbeck. “The job not only gives me a local opportunity to build relationships with media, but also gives me lots of experience in a communications market that many would like to end up in, as opposed to starting in.”
Another reason Hartbeck appreciates the opportunity is because sportscasting jobs are hard to come by in the area. “In St. Louis, TV, sports, and radio jobs tend to not turn over very much,” he says. “This is largely in part to affordable living costs in the area. Many broadcasters and athletes like Bob Costas and Wayne Gretzky have ended up making their homes in town.”
Local roots helped
Hartbeck learned of the Maryville job in an STAA Job Leads email. His candidacy was helped by the fact he knew several of the decision makers and they liked the energy of his play-by-play. “I would recommend to any broadcaster entering the job search to be as bright and as positive as they can while calling a game. Call a 6-0 blowout the same way you would call an overtime winner,” Hartbeck suggests.
The St. Louis area is home to Hartbeck. He lives in nearby O’Fallon and graduated from neighboring Lindenwood University in 2019. He called hockey, basketball, baseball and soccer on Lindenwood’s student radio and TV stations.
Joined STAA on the recommendation of a Cardinals employee
Upon graduating, Hartbeck joined STAA on the recommendation of Brett McMillian, a multimedia reporter for the St. Louis Cardinals and fellow Lindenwood alumnus and STAA member.
“I also had heard that STAA was a very active and effective outlet for finding a high number of applications,” Hartbeck recalls. “I find that STAA is much more efficient than aimlessly searching Google or Indeed. While ultimately getting a job may come down to who you know or how early you get into the application process, the volume of applications you can get with STAA will give you a great start.”
One frustration Hartbeck continues to experience in the sportscasting job market is the feeling that he is a fish in a very big pond. “You have to apply so many times and be prepared to be rejected just as much. I’ve had the experience of applying to the same job six times and been rejected six times. To overcome this, I have taken on the mentality of ‘any experience you can get is good experience.’
“Looking for the perfect job shouldn’t be the first resort,” Hartbeck advises. “Instead, you need to look for the job that will give you the most experience and build your portfolio as a broadcaster.”
Hartbeck has found what he was looking for right in his own backyard.
(Visit Tom’s LinkedIn page).