(January 3, 2018) Bliss for many play-by-play broadcasters is finding a broadcasting job to build their resume and full-time work to pay the bills. Cody Ortner has found bliss. An STAA member, Ortner has accepted a play-by-play position with Minnesota Sports Broadcasting Network (MSBN) and a TV sales gig with Cox Media Group in Minneapolis.
“I am excited and grateful for both of these opportunities,” Ortner grins.
With MSBN, Ortner will be calling high school and small college football, basketball, baseball, hockey, volleyball and soccer.
As a student at nearby Brown College, Ortner interned at MSBN and got to know Owner/Founder Jon Wekkin. “I always stayed in touch throughout the last few years because I respected him so much as a person and because he gave me the opportunity I needed when I was in school,” says Ortner.
Ornter has continued broadcasting games for MSBN as a fill-in since graduation from college in 2015. “A few weeks ago I told [Wekkin] that I had thoughts of moving back to the Twin Cities. He immediately told me I have a home and position at MSBN if I want it.”
Between play-by-play assignments, Ortner is selling TV advertising for Cox Media Group in Minneapolis. Doing broadcasting and administrative work at a small radio station in Fort Atkinson, WI helped prepare him for Cox opportunity. “With the experience of being a traffic clerk, I would schedule, reconcile, post daily traffic logs, and work hand in hand with account executives on issues they would have with sales orders.”
As is the case with most small town radio jobs, Ortner’s Fort Atkinson experience made him more diversified. “And it set a precedent for myself that I’ll place no limitations on what I’ll do to help the company I work for.”
Ortner has been an STAA member since March 2017. “STAA helps me out on a weekly if not daily basis,” he says. “Anything from broadcasting tips, to simply getting excited if I had a rough day or feel stressed as I travel and prepare for a game. Every day is different and you never know what can happen. STAA helps me keep even keeled on a daily basis, allows me to hone my skills and to look forward to the goals I have.”
Among Ortner’s most immediate goals is helping grown MSBN. “[This job] gives me the opportunity to help bring the MSBN to the new heights that I know Jon Wekkin is working hard to accomplish. To be able to say I helped accomplish even the littlest piece of that would make me feel tremendous.”