(December 6, 2005) Brian George will be doing all the play-by-play he can handle in the coming months. He has been hired as News and Sports Director at KMZE and K-101 radio in Woodward, OK.
In addition to his news responsibilities, George will be calling more than 60 high school football, basketball and baseball games per season.
"I’m looking forward to getting started in the industry, doing something that I love to do, and being a part of a great team in Woodward," George said. "It’s an exciting opportunity for me."
George only graduated in May from Bowling Green State University. However, he already has considerable play-by-play experience. His resume includes Bowling Green football, basketball and baseball games called on the campus station, WBGU.
George replaces another of Jon Chelesnik’s portfolio clients, Shawn Tiemann, at KMZE/K-101. Tiemman left the station in July to take a radio job in Hays, KS.
(November 14, 2005) Many play-by-play announcers never reach their Division I goals. Danny Lee achieved his just six months after graduating college. Lee has been named Play-by-Play Voice for University of California-Irvine women’s basketball.
Networking helped earn Lee the gig. While calling around the country searching for opportunities, he was tipped-off about the UCI opening. After sending his portfolio then interviewing for the position, the job was his.
Lee will be calling all 27 of the Anteaters regular season games, home and away, plus Big West Conference tournament action. It means that Lee, a California native, will be visiting out-of-state locales like Fort Collins, CO and Dallas, TX.
Internships have played an important role in Lee’s rapid development. While a student at UCLA, Lee served radio internships with Fox Sports Radio Network,
XTRA Sports 1150 and KLAC/KFI. He also served television internships with the NFL Network, KABC, KTLA and KTTV in Los Angeles
(October 25, 2005) Chad Cooper has been named Director of Media/Broadcasting for the expansion Traverse City (MI) Beach Bums of the independent Frontier League.
Cooper spent the past three seasons with the Frontier League’s Evansville Otters.
"I originally hadn’t planned on applying to Traverse City," Cooper said. "Not only was it still independent, but it would be a move within the same league. But after I saw more and more pictures of the new ballpark and learned more and more about the owners, it became more intriguing."
While in Evansville, Cooper also worked occasionally as an analyst on University of Evansville basketball, baseball and soccer broadcasts. The lure of life in Traverse City, though, was too much to pass up.
"It’s a great package, outstanding facilities, and an organization that is truly a team off the field as much as on it. I think I got lucky that this may have been the best job available this off-season at any level."
The Beach Bums will begin play in the spring of 2006.
(October 4, 2005) When John Leahy turned the calendar to 2005, he had no idea the new year would bring such opportunity.
Leahy, who recently finished his first season as the radio voice of the North Shore Spirit Baseball Club, has been named the play-by-play voice for Merrimack College hockey.
A Massachusetts resident, Leahy spent 10 years doing football, basketball, baseball and hockey play-by-play for Comcast Television in Boston. A restructuring at Comcast, though, led Leahy to pursue other opportunities. He wanted to do radio play-by-play, but without radio experience, he didn’t know how to go about building a demo. That’s when he called Jon Chelesnik.
Leahy sent Chelesnik two hours of his TV play-by-play. From that, Chelesnik was able to construct a demo that provided a reasonable representation of how Leahy’s style would carry over to radio.
One of the first jobs Leahy sent his new demo to was the North Shore Spirit. He got the gig, beating out several dozen other candidates. "My first season at North Shore was an invaluable building block for my career," Leahy said. "The most obvious benefit was learning the radio side of the business, and more importantly, building my skills and improving my creative abilities."
Leahy credits Chelesnik for his assistance. "(Jon) has been a critical factor in my success," Leahy says. "Their portfolios and resumes got me noticed. That’s what is important–standing out from the crowd."
For Leahy, the Merrimack job represents the achievement of a longtime goal. "As much as I love baseball, hockey is my first love," Leahy
said. "Doing the play-by-play at Merrimack will crystallize my lifelong dream in concrete. I am truly excited to show the world what I can do behind a
(September 30th 2005) The Wheeling Nailers have hired Gary Sharp as the team’s play-by-play broadcaster.
Sharp will call all of the Nailers games on the Mix 97.3 and on ESPN 1250 in Pittsburgh, as well as over the internet on www.wheelingnailers.com and B2 networks. He will also produce and host the Nailers weekly radio show on WWVA 1170 AM. In the office Sharp will share duties in Corporate Sales and Media Relations.
Sharp joins the Nailers after calling games for the Lincoln Stars in the USHL for the past nine years. For the junior team he hosted and produced a television show about the team. Sharp called the games for local radio in Lincoln, also doing play-by-play for the CBS-affiliate and on Fox Sports North television stations.
In addition to his hockey experience he was the play-by-play broadcaster for the University of Nebraska, covering men’s baseball, women’s softball, women’s basketball, volleyball, and soccer from 1994 to 2005. In 1999 he joined the Nebraska Football broadcast team as the host of the pre-game and post-game show and reporting from the sideline during the game.
"From everything we have heard about Gary and from speaking with him ourselves, we are sure Nailers fans and the entire Ohio Valley will be as excited as we are to have Gary as the new Voice of the Nailers," said Nailers President Jim Brooks.
"This is a great opportunity for me both professionally and personally to be involved with a great organization as the Nailers, I look forward to getting
started and getting involved in the Ohio Valley community," said the new Nailers broadcaster Gary Sharp.
(September 14, 2005) The University of Vermont cast a wide net in its search for a new basketball play-by-play announcer. They found their man deep in the heart of Texas.
Dave Koehn (pronounced CANE), who has spent the last two years as the Voice of Texas Lutheran University football, has been named the new Voice of the Catamounts. In addition to his UVM duties, Koehn will also handle baseball play-by-play for the Class A Vermont Expos.
"It’s a great chance to get back to the Division I level," Koehn said. "It’s also an incredible community. I’m excited to work on a network, and the university is a class a kind of organization."
Koehn moves to Vermont from KWED radio in Seguin, Texas. Prior to that, Koehn served as the play-by-play voice for Sam Houston State University football and basketball.
Moving from the humidity of Texas to the cool climes of Vermont would be intimidating to many. Koehn, though, is unconcerned. " I’m originally a Colorado guy," Koehn said. "So it was more of an adjustment to get used to the heat in Texas. Plus I’am a skier, so I’m looking forward to that too."
Koehn’s career has also included stops in Madisonville, CO and Estes Park, CO. He is a 1999 graduate of Kansas University.
(August 30, 2005) Ryan Maguire is heading into the heart of Big Ten Country. Sports Director at WKZO/WQSN/WKLZ in Kalamazoo since 1999, Maguire is taking over as Program Director at Sports Radio WTKA-AM 1050 in Ann Arbor. WTKA is a FOX Sports Radio affiliate.
"This is huge step for me in my career," Maguire said. "I now get the opportunity to manage a radio station that is in a great town, has tremendous ties to U of M and has a signal that beams into the Detroit Metro area."
Leaving Kalamazoo was not an easy decision for Maguire.
"I had six great years in Kalamazoo, and they will always be special to me," Maguire said. "I’ll miss the friends and colleagues I’ve made here. But, I look forward to the challenges ahead."
Prior to moving to Kalamazoo, Maguire worked in radio and television in Grand Rapids, MI.
(August 21, 2005) In a 21st Century spin on Green Acres, New Yorker Bob Black is moving to Alabama.
Black has been hired as Program Director and Co-Host of "Sports Drive" at WNSP 105.5-FM in Mobile, AL.
Black, who signed a three-year deal, will join Neal McCready on the show in afternoon drive.
Most recently, Black co-hosted "The Spano and Black Attack" on Sports Byline USA. Prior to that, Black and his partner Joe Spano worked at WLIE in Long Island, NY, WVOX in New Rochelle, NY and WGGB in Babylon, NY.
Spano and Black joined forces with BMS in spring 2004.
Black will continue his duties as co-host with Spano on Stuff Sports, which airs Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 1a.m EDT. The show can be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 120. According to the Sports Byline USA Web site, Stuff Sports airs in roughly 200 markets nationwide, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Miami.
Moving to Mobile represents a lifestyle change for Black. However, he told the Mobile Register, he’s excited for the opportunity. "It’s a terrific station, really nice people. I was treated like gold when I was down there."
Black replaces Don Hawes, who was fired over a financial dispute last month.
In addition to radio, Black is a professional actor and stand-up comedian who has extensive stage and television experience. He is also a
reporter and photographer who has worked for NBC.
(August 9, 2005) Adrian Denny makes job hunting look easy.
One week after sending out his first portfolio, Denny received a job offer. He turned it down. His second portfolio went down the hall to his employers with the Utah Grizzlies Hockey Club (ECHL). Denny was offered that job, too. This one, he accepted. He is the Grizzlies new Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations and will handle play-by-play duties.
Two portfolios, two job offers. If the job market had a Hall of Fame, Adrian Denny would be a first-ballot inductee.
"I cannot thank(Jon) enough for the outstanding portfolio and his support the past few months," Denny said.
Though just 23, Denny is on the fast track. He began with the Grizzlies as a Group Sales intern prior to the 2002-2003 season. Just over one year later, he was added to the broadcast team as the Radio Host, while also working in the Community Relations department. Last season, he stepped out of Community to focus strictly on broadcasting and the launch of the team’s new radio show "Grizzlies Happy Hour."
When Play-by-Play Announcer Bob Hoffman resigned last spring, Denny set his sights on a promotion.
The University of Utah graduate has also served as a SportsCenter Anchor for 1320 AM KFAN in Salt Lake City, and co-hosts a weekly talk show for Salt Lake’s Pacific Coast League baseball team, the Stingers. He has also done back-up play-by-play for the Stingers.
The Grizzlies have joined the ECHL for the coming season.
(July 17, 2005) Perseverance has paid off for Jon Chelesnik’s second-ever portfolio client. Shawn Tiemann has been named Assistant News and Sports Director at KAYS in Hays, KS.
Tiemann beat out nearly 30 applicants for the position.
In his new role, Tiemann will be the play-by-play voice for Hays High School and Thomas More Prep-Marian games. He will also be the sideline reporter during Fort Hays State University football broadcasts on sister station KJLS. In addition, Tiemann will assist in the daily operations of the News and Sports departments at Eagle Radio and Hull Broadcasting in Hays.
Tiemann is a model for determination. In an effort to hone his craft, he has sought critiques and advice from pros like Indiana Pacers Announcer Mark Boyle and Oklahoma State University’s Dave Hunziker.
Tiemann met Jon Chelesnik in February 2004. Chelesnik had just come-up with the idea of building demo CDs for sportscasters. Chelesnik built Tiemann’s portfolio and, after sending out 50 of them over the next 16 months, Tiemann finally landed the job in Hays.
"Some of the 50 were for jobs I really wanted, others for jobs I just wanted to see if I’d get an interview, and some I didn’t really want but applied for just to make myself feel good," Tiemann chuckles.
Tiemann moves to KAYS from Woodward, OK, where he as the News/Sports Director at KWOX/KMZE.The St. Louis, Missouri native has also worked in radio and television at Tulsa, Oklahoma and Taylorville, Illinois.
Tiemann will begin his new position August 8th. He replaces Mike McKenna who resigned from a similar position earlier this spring.