Polite, persistent relationship building leads Hess to Dayton Dragons


(January 19, 2018) Josh Hess’ new job as the Broadcasting and Media Relations Assistant with the Dayton Dragons was almost two years in the making. The story features several relationship-building strategies that sportscasting job seekers everywhere would be smart to employ.

Josh is a 2017 graduate of Syracuse and an STAA member. He spent last season with the Batavia Muckdogs.

Here is his story in his words . . .

Back in 2016 when I was calling games for the Falmouth Commodores on the Cape, I sent out emails with tapes every day to college and Minor League broadcasters. While many of these tapes went unanswered, I did get a critique from Tom Nichols, the number one in Dayton. At the time, he mentioned Dayton may have an opening, but since it was a full-season gig and I still had one more year at Syracuse, I knew I wouldn’t be considered.

Fast forward to October 2017. I was still sending out multiple emails every day looking for critique from experienced broadcasters and any openings they may have. Even though Dayton never went public [with their opening], I knew some other Syracuse grads had been the number two there and Tom gave me great feedback when I was on the Cape. So, I reached out before the position was officially open.

While pursuing the position, I made sure to stay in touch with Tom as much as possible. One thing my dad has told me for years is to keep track of when you first meet/contact someone and what the topic of conversation was. I first contacted Dayton in late October and continued to follow up regularly until it came time to schedule an interview.

Even after the interview, I stayed in touch. When Tom emailed me asking how my overall search was going, I was honest with him, telling him I have been talking with other teams to see what positions are available. Everyone in this industry knows two things about a job search: how competitive it is to find a job and you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket. So, even though Tom knew I was talking with other teams, I continued to show interest in the position as much as I could.

Dayton is a tremendous opportunity to have right after college. It’s hard to find a Minor League Baseball team with a better front office reputation than the Dragons. Plus, they hold the record for most consecutive sellouts in American professional sports at over 1,200 games. The team is great with the community, and the fans show their appreciation every night. I couldn’t think of a better environment to be calling games this season than a sold-out Fifth Third Field every night! When time comes for me to find a number one position, the front office and broadcasting experience in Dayton will set me up phenomenally.

Hess has been an STAA member since October 2017. He says, “STAA does a really great job to motivate anyone searching for a broadcast job. The broadcasting world is a small, tightly knit community and baseball even more so. When feeling upset or frustrated during the job search, STAA is there to help you keep improving, and not just for finding a job. There are plenty of little things like tweaking a resume or cover letter or making a website that STAA reminded me to do during the weeks I didn’t hear from any teams. STAA helps lay the foundation and remind you that there is always more to be done to make yourself a better broadcaster.