Nixon turns to TV play-by-play after losing radio job

(September 16, 2019) Drew Nixon was stunned to learn he was the victim of budget cuts after just eight months after joining a small town Colorado radio station. It turned out to be for the best. An STAA member, Nixon is joining BEK in Bismarck, ND as a TV play-by-play broadcaster for high school, college and semi-pro events.

“It gives me some professional TV experience I have really been searching for, and possibly even needing, given the trends in the industry. I also feel the team at BEK is welcoming and produces good sports broadcasts,” Nixon smiles.

After graduating from Butler University, Nixon went to work for a radio station in La Junta, CO in August 2018. By April, he was unemployed. “After being let go, I was kind of just frozen. I asked myself did that seriously just happen? I told myself okay there’s something better out there,” says Nixon.

Nixon admits there were mental challenges. “My girlfriend helped me by telling me to keep my head up. It’s taken a bit but you ask yourself is this really supposed to happen? Why is this going on?”

It led Nixon to what he calls a complete reset. “Kind of a blessing in disguise actually,” he says. “I created Sports University and host and produce a podcast I hope to continue. Going back to Indianapolis to get support from my family, Butler University Career Services, and STAA really put me in a good spot mentally.”

Nixon started his podcast as a way to stay sharp. “I knew I needed to stay fresh with content for my website and I thought about creating something. I love college sports and thought why not do something I can call mine. So I created Sports University, which is a podcast (titled SUP) and blog (titled SUB) on my website dedicated to college sports. And I’ve jumped off the cliff, full on into this. I now have it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!”

Nixon suggests something similar for any sports broadcaster who is between jobs. “Do something that stands out. Show effort that you give a care about your career,” he suggests.

Just months after starting Sports University, Nixon saw the BEK opening in an STAA Job Leads email. The position was not published publicly. “I read the description and pictured myself doing this,” Nixon recalls. “Could I see myself doing this in this location?

“BEK COO Jordan Hassler got back with me and we had a good conversation,” says Nixon. “He said they would cut it down to two people and let me know if I made the cut. They called me and offered the position rather than say I made the cut, which was kind of neat to feel wanted.”

Nixon joined STAA in February upon the recommendation of KLMR Radio (CO) Operations Manager Ben Catley.

“STAA has given me some connections I hope can help in the future of my career. It has also helped me with resources for improving my broadcasting, which has helped a lot,” Nixon says.

Perhaps the most important thing STAA has given to Nixon was the BEK job lead.

“Being in Bismarck is a good spot for me to really take a step forward in my career,” he says.

(Visit Drew’s website).

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