(February 21, 2014) Many young sports broadcasters are faced with a question when entering the job market – should they aim for a career in radio or television? STAA client Ryan Piers has settled on an answer to that query by accepting a job as a news reporter at WMBD, FOX 43 in Peoria, IL.
While the focus of Piers’ new job is news, there will also be opportunities to continue working in sports.
“When I began my job search in September my goal was to earn a full-time position in TV. Not only does working for WMBD allow me to develop my TV reporting skills, but it presents the chance to cover my hometown community where I am surrounded by my friends and family.”
Piers was in the fortunate position of having two job offers to choose from, one in radio and one in television.
“Ultimately, I chose the TV opening because it presents the biggest challenge. Most of my broadcasting work is in play-by-play, and I want to test the waters by seeing if the TV route is right for me. Also, had I chosen the radio job, which included significant play-by-play responsibilities, I would have put my TV aspirations on the back burner for the time being.”
To prepare for the launch of his job search in September, Piers spent some time with STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. The conversation proved crucial in helping Piers put together an action plan. “Taking [Jon’s] advice, I contacted a TV station I freelanced for while I was in college, seeing if they had any opportunities to update my demo. I drove up to Chicago in October and spent the next month and a half sleeping on friends’ couches while reporting for a suburban TV station before moving back downstate for my high school basketball play-by-play season.
“The fact that Jon and the STAA are so invested in each of their clients’ careers is incredibly impressive. If you reach out for guidance, he will give it to you and that is very comforting. I think his dedication to his clients says a lot about his character.”
Piers suggests making a study of other sportscasting career paths to gain a better understanding of the many routes to success in this industry. “This might sound a bit unorthodox, but I would recommend reading other broadcasters’ LinkedIn, Wikipedia and STAA Talent Pages. It’s given me insight on how successful broadcasters navigated their way through the business, while helping me pinpoint fellow broadcasters to network or build professional relationships with.
“I’ll admit I’ve read other sportscasters resumes and thought ‘wow, he is only 25 and already on ESPN’ and maybe thought a little less about my own accomplishments. On the other hand, it’s comforting to read about the humble beginnings of sportscasters who are now covering games on big stages. So if you keep a positive outlook on the whole process, I think reading the resumes and bios of other broadcasters is a useful practice.”
(Visit Ryan’s STAA Talent Page).