Pollock back in the game at Triple-A Omaha

(February 15, 2011) After a year away from broadcasting, Brett Pollock is back in the game. An STAA client, Pollock is joining the Class-AAA Omaha Royals as their No.2 play-by-play broadcaster.

It represents a return to broadcasting for Pollock after his five-year stint with the Class AA Huntsville Stars ended in 2009.

“Obviously, I’m excited to get back after the year away,” Pollock says. “Especially to do it with such a solid organization, and in Triple-A. They are also opening a new ballpark, so that makes it that much better.”

Pollock will be broadcasting home games with Mark Nasser but will not travel. When the team is on the road, Pollock will be hosting pre and post game, and producing the broadcasts from the radio station.

After a year away, Pollok admits to having felt some concern about his ability to get back in.

“I was very concerned. I’ll be honest with you — I’m not going to lie. I was trying to stay positive and upbeat.

Pollock credits his friend, Birmingham Barons broadcaster Curt Bloom, with helping him stay positive.

“Curt has been tremendous at offering support and encouragement, trying to keep me positive and upbeat and serving as a sounding board and a genuinely good friend,” Pollock says. “He said,’ You’re experienced enough and good enough that you’re going to be able to find your way back in.”

When Omaha’s long-time No. 2 Kevin McNabb resigned after last season, the Storm Chasers didn’t originally plan on replacing him. However, when Pollock saw Nasser at the Winter Meetings, he learned the plan had changed. Now, Pollock is grateful to be back in the game and encourages other broadcasters who are between jobs to remain optimistic.

“First and foremost, believe you have the ability to get back and do it. The way things played out for me last off-season, I knew [not getting a job] wasn’t a reflection of my ability or anything I did. I’ve been around the game long enough to develop relationships with enough people who were willing to put in a good word for me. Definitely maintain those relationships without being overbearing about it.”

Pollock also credits STAA.

“STAA has been great. Being able to send the link to my Talent Page makes things so much easier — not having to send a disc and a hard copy. I love it. I think it’s tremendous. It’s been extremely useful and valuable and has made the job application process much easier. STAA has certainly been a valuable resource and tool for finding out about opportunities.”

Gellman joins Texas Rangers affiliate

(February 11, 2011) Ben Gellman is excited for his first broadcasting opportunity in pro baseball. Making it even better is the fact he isn’t going to have to travel far to do it. An STAA client, Gellman is joining the Hickory Crawdads as a broadcasting and media relations assistant.

The Crawdads are the Class-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Their North Carolina location is just over two hours West on I-40 from Gellman’s home in Chapel Hill.

“I can’t begin to express my excitement at the prospect of spending my first full season in professional baseball, and the thought of joining a terrific organization like the Crawdads only makes it better,” Gellman says. “I’m thrilled to be learning everything I can from [Crawdads Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations] Andrew Buchbinder, and I look forward to doing everything I can in the Hickory front office.”

Buchbinder is equally pleased to welcome Gellman on board.

“Ben is going to be a good fit for us because of his passion for the sports industry as a whole and his hunger to further his experience in the broadcast booth in a professional setting. He has a good understanding of the multi-faceted nature of this business and we’re excited to have him for 2011.”

Gellman is the second straight STAA client to work for the Crawdads. Last summer, Graham Doty worked for the team in the same capacity for which Gellman has been hired.

“Throughout the entire job search process, Jon Chelesnik and STAA have been invaluable resources to me,” says Gellman. “Whenever I needed an introduction or a point in the right direction, Jon was always available to me. The two biggest assets in my job search were persistence and STAA.”

A 2008 graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, Gellman earned his masters in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University just over one year later. Most recently, he worked at WCHL 1360 in Chapel Hill, NC doing news and play-by-play for high school baseball, basketball and football. Gellman has worked in radio since 2004 when he got his start on the student station at Brandeis.

Dooley to call Big East-Big Ten Baseball Challenge

Ian Dooley(February 3, 2011) Ian Dooley is excited for his first opportunity to broadcast major college play-by-play. An STAA client, Dooley will be broadcasting five games at the Big East-Big Ten Baseball Challenge February 18 – 20 in Florida.

The netcasts will air at www.collegebaseball360.com.

“It’s really the first assignment I’m going to have featuring top athletes,” says Dooley. “Before I have just done local high school football and soccer. This is Division I college athletics.”

The Big East-Big Ten tournament will be held in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Dunedin. Dooley will call five games in three days at Al Lang Stadium in St. Pete, including Penn State-Seton Hall, Ohio State-Cincinnati, Seton Hall-Michigan State, St. John’s-Michigan and Louisville-Minnesota.

The opportunity came to Dooley when College Baseball 360’s Sean Stires called STAA for recommendations. “We have worked with Sean many times over the years to help him hire sportscasters, going back to when Sean himself was the voice of Notre Dame baseball,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “Ironically, after I sent Ian’s Talent Page to Sean, Sean recognized Ian as the public address announcer at last year’s Big East-Big Ten Challenge.”

Dooley recently moved to Tampa, FL from Nantucket, MA where he worked at a local TV station. He is a graduate of Elon University in North Carolina and earned a certificate from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

“Thank you to STAA for the recommendation,” he says.

Cartelli to broadcast Arizona Winter League baseball

(January 26, 2011) Lance Cartelli is hoping to cram one year’s worth of development into five weeks. An STAA client, Cartelli has been hired as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Arizona Winter League.

The AWL is comprised of players from four different independent leagues. They play their games in Yuma, AZ and the season runs throughout the month of February. There are ten teams, five games per day and two broadcasts most every day. Cartelli will be broadcasting all of those games online.

“The AWL is only for about five weeks but I will get a year’s worth of experience in those coming weeks and it will hopefully lead to another position in broadcasting,” says Cartelli.

Cartelli is a former student in the sports broadcasting class taught by STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik at Palomar College in San Diego. He is also the second straight STAA client to broadcast AWL games. Last winter, Dan Hawkins parlayed the opportunity into a Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations job with the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League.

The AWL opportunity came to Cartelli through the help of a friend and fellow STAA client Josh Feldman. The pair met 18 months ago when Feldman was Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Orange County Flyers. Feldman called STAA for recommendations for an assistant and ended up hiring Cartelli. This winter, Feldman has moved on to the Kannapolis Intimidators (A) and the Flyers have suspended operations. However, Feldman called a friend at the AWL on behalf of Cartelli and recommended him for the position. Cartelli emailed the link to his STAA Talent Page to the league and eventually landed the job.

“I want to thank STAA for all the help and support and fellow STAA client Josh Feldman for recommending me for the position,” says Cartelli.

“I learned how to do play-by-play with the Flyers last year. This experience will let me be a No. 1 broadcaster and help me figure out everything it takes, including games notes and media notes. It’s going to a great experience for me.”

Cox overcomes doubt, lands job in Royals chain

(January 20, 2011) At a point in his job search where many hopefuls give-in, Aaron Cox gave more. Now, his persistence has been rewarded. An STAA client, Cox has been named Play-by-Play and Media Relations Director for the Idaho Falls Chukars.

The Chukars are the rookie affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Cox spent last summer broadcasting wood bat college baseball in Chillicothe, MO.

“When you’re in affiliated ball, it’s a step up,” Cox says. “What I’m looking forward to most is the big road trips. We had big trips in Chillicothe but we didn’t stay on the road. With Idaho Falls we’ll be staying on the road for extended periods of time.”

Cox will also get some valuable sales experience with the Chukars.

Getting the Chukars job didn’t come easily for Cox. In fact, there was a time last fall where he considered giving up his sportscasting dream. Fortunately, those thoughts were short lived.

“Some of it comes down to the fact that I know this is what I want to do,” Cox says. “I have zero doubt. All the other options [of leaving the industry] felt like I would be quitting. If I bailed on this now, I would have been really upset at not giving this a chance.”

“I give Aaron and guys like him a ton of credit,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “Most everyone who has ever been in the job market has reached a point of frustration where they wonder if taking the next step is ever going to happen. The fact is the guys who make it to the very top aren’t necessarily more talented than everyone else; they just persevered through the tough times.”

Cox learned through the STAA website that Idaho Falls had posted its job opening at the Winter Meetings. He wasn’t able to be in Orlando, but when the meetings finished, Cox called the Chukars. “They told me they were getting ready to start reviewing applicants but said if I could get my stuff to them in the next day or so I would be fine, so I sent the link to my STAA Talent Page.”

“That’s when the online version of my demo and resume is so much more helpful,” he adds.

Cox has also leaned heavily upon STAA, especially when things got most frustrating.

“Besides the Talent Page which is an obvious benefit [of being an STAA client], having somebody like Jon Chelesnik in my corner is huge. I’ve called him with the silliest of questions but he never makes it feel like a stupid question. I don’t know what I’m doing with some of this stuff. It’s extremely encouraging when I have someone I can call and whose opinion I trust. It’s like having a pseudo agent without having to pay a commission. [Sportscasting] is such a unique profession. You can’t just get advice from family and friends.

Cooper embracing new commute to work

(January 18, 2011) Chad Cooper is excited to live in his permanent home year around. An STAA client, Cooper has been named Broadcaster & Director of Media Relations for the Pittsfield Colonials baseball club of the Can-Am League. Pittsfield is located less than an hour’s drive from Cooper’s home in Albany, NY, and to his winter job as play-by-play voice for the women’s basketball team at the College of Saint Rose. “I can honestly say I’m commuting to work every day,” Cooper smiles. “The stress of not having to move more than makes up for the commute.” Geographic location isn’t the only thing appealing to Cooper about his new job. A veteran of the Frontier League who spent last summer in his second stint with the Traverse City Beach Bums, he is also excited to working in a new league. “I have felt very at home in the Frontier League for the majority of my career, but at the same time, it s a great opportunity for me to be in a league that is more geographically compact in an area of the country I am so familiar with.” Cooper learned of the Pittsfield opportunity through a friend, Mike Radomski, who Cooper once helped land a job in the Frontier League. Cooper sent the link to his STAA Talent Page to Pittsfield shortly before Thanksgiving. “The Talent Page is the easiest way to get [employers] my highlights and the resume,” Cooper says. “Getting the call from Mike was kind of a case of pay it forward a little bit because he had just graduated last spring and I helped him get a job for the 2010 season. I guess this was his way of returning the favor. “I wouldn’t have been in a position to help somebody else had it not been for the help I had received from STAA in the first place. It all goes back to my relationship, which started in 2005 with STAA. If not for that, I would not be in the position I am today to be here right now.” Through his career, Cooper has broadcast in over 60 venues in 21 sates. “I can now add one venue and one country to the list because the Can Am League has a team in Quebec City,” Cooper grins.

Slack leaves San Francisco to launch career in Kansas

(January 4, 2011) Many folks might balk at moving from the San Francisco Bay area to small town Kansas, but Tim Slack is embracing it. An STAA client, Slack is joining KIUL Radio in Garden City as a sports broadcaster and marketing consultant.

“Obviously its different but I’m excited,” says Slack. “One thing that is appealing about the job is the fact it’s something different that I haven’t done before. I’ve known since I graduated college last year that I was likely going to move to a town that was vastly different than anywhere I’ve lived before. Part of the excitement of the career for me is getting to see parts of the country that are different from where I grew up.”

A 2009 graduate of Biola University in La Mirada, CA, Slack has spent the past year doing high school sports play-by-play for iBN, a national Internet broadcasting company. In Garden City, Slack will be broadcasting high school football, basketball, baseball and volleyball. He will also be heavily involved in sales, something else he is embracing.

“I went to school for journalism, so all my experience is in broadcasting and my lack of sales experience has been a big thing,” says Slack. “The experience I’ll gain in this job is something I need to balance out my resume.

“To have someone like [Station Manager] Rick Everett mentor me is something that is very appealing,” Slack adds.

Slack appreciates the boost STAA has given to his career.

“I don’t think it is a coincidence that I was looking for a broadcasting gig for almost nine months without STAA, then found the full-time job I needed just two months after [STAA] re-did my resume and put up the talent page,” says Slack.

“STAA was a big help.”

(Visit Tim’s STAA Talent Page).