STAA Clients Get Sportscasting Jobs

Past Success Stories:

Golder joins Loons baseball broadcasts

(December 20, 2006) 2007 promises to be a great year for Brad Golder. He’s getting married, moving to a new state and starting a new job as the first radio play-by-play voice of the Great Lakes Loons.

The Loons are entering their first season as the Class-A Midwest League affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They will be managed by former big league catcher Lance Parrish.

Golder is embracing the opportunity to help the organization build from Square One. “Starting a broadcast from scratch and being able to format it the way I want it.—creating a broadcast I can call my own–is very exciting,” Golder says.

While he is joining a new team, Golder isn’t new to life in the minors. He has also called games for the Nashville Sounds and the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx. He appreciates the uniqueness of his new situation. “Being part of a team that is brand new and that there is so much excitement about within the town is terrific,” Golder says. “They’re probably going to sell out almost every game this year.”

Golder will be moving to Midland, MI from Atlanta, GA where he has spent the last two years as the fill-in Post-Game Host and Executive Producer for the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. He starts his new job on January 8th. He’ll be getting married in July.

New home. New job. New bride. 2007 will certainly will be a happy new year.

Chad Cooper a broadcaster for all seasons

(December 4, 2006) Chad Cooper is now a broadcaster for all seasons. The STAA client has been named Play-by-Play Voice for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York.

Cooper is also the radio voice for Traverse City (MI) Beach Bums baseball and will continue in that capacity. Their season starts in May.

“Every broadcaster dreams of the day when he can call games for one team during the summer and another during the winter,” says Cooper. “You get to call games year around. This is the opportunity I’ve been looking for.”

Cooper has received each of his last two jobs using demos and resumes made by STAA.  “The professional presentation of the portfolio, and the instruction on how to write the cover letter, has been incredibly beneficial as to how I present myself to perspective employers.”

In addition to his current jobs, Cooper’s resume includes Traverse City North Stars hockey and Evansville Otters baseball. With the Otters, he was named 2005 Frontier League Broadcaster of the Year.

Cooper is a graduate of Temple University.

Sampsell lands Columbus CHL job

(November 23, 2006) STAA client Tim Sampsell has something to be extra thankful for. Sampsell has been named Play-by-Play Voice/Account Executive for the Youngstown Steelhounds of the Central Hockey League. It was a rare in-season opening.

“It’s my dream job,” Sampsell said. “I always wanted to be a hockey broadcaster. It’s my big break.” Among other things, Sampsell is looking forward to traveling to cities he’s never visited.

Sampsell, who most recently worked in newspaper, radio, and television in Oswego, New York, credits STAA for helping him get ahead in sports broadcasting. “[STAA’s Talent Page] was helpful because it put something right in front of them. Employers can listen to the demos without having to open any attachments. It’s easily accessible. You just have to send a link. It’s worry-free job application.”

Sampsell earned his B.A. in Broadcasting and Mass Communications at State University College in Oswego, New York. He says, “This is what I’ve worked so hard for. This is why I got my degree. This is everything.”

Ford named voice of University of Michigan women’s hoops

(November 1, 2006) Casey Ford has landed his dream job. The guy with Hail to the Victors on his cell phone ring tone has been hired as the women’s basketball play-by-play voice at the University of Michigan.

Making the story even more improbable is the fact that Ford just turned 24 and hasn’t even finished college. He’ll graduate in December from Grand Valley State University. Michigan promises Ford they’ll do everything possible to accommodate his schedule.

“I’m working 40 hours at a TV station. I’ll be traveling with U. of M. and I still have to go to school,” Ford says.  “I get about 2 or 3 hours of sleep every night.”

Ford, an STAA client, didn’t even know Michigan was looking for an announcer. Mike Wicket at WTKA 1050 in Ann Arbor contacted him one day. Wicket had heard about Ford through the grapevine. Last Friday, two days before his birthday, Ford was offered the job.

“It was an early birthday present,” Ford says.

Youthful enthusiasm will serve Ford well as he takes the mike for a program that has struggled. The Wolverine women were just 6-23 last season and winless in the Big 10. Past history hasn’t dampened Ford’s enthusiasm in the least.

“Michigan is my dream job. It’s my favorite university of all time. The fact that the station called me because they
heard good things about me really excites me.”

Bokenyi joins ESPN Cleveland

(October 15, 2006) Persistence pays off. After spending a year in the job market, former Sporting News Radio Talent Bernard Bokenyi has joined the new ESPN Radio affiliate in Cleveland.

Cleveland ís ESPN Radio WWGK debuted on Saturday, October 28. Bokenyi, an STAA client and a Cleveland native, has been back home for two months helping prepare for the launch.

ìI was out for a year, but it was worth it,î Bokenyi says. ìI got the best job I could hope for personally and professionally.

A jack-of-all-trades, Bokenyi is applying all of his skills in his new position. His official title is Anchor/Reporter. However, he could also fairly be called Co-Sports Director and Co-Program Director as he is handling many of the administrative responsibilities of a Program Director.

In addition to handling afternoon anchor responsibilities, Bokenyi is also covering the Buckeyes and Browns beats and might eventually host some weekend programming.

The opportunity in Cleveland didnít happen overnight for Bokenyi. ìIt was a work in progress for 18 months,î he says. Bokenyi shares a mutual friend with new station owner Craig Karmazin. Bokenyi initiated contact with Karmazin via email. As he says, ìone thing led to anotherî until he was hired.

Currently, the station doesnít carry any local programming. That will probably change in the near future.

In addition to his time as producer/reporter at Sporting News Radio, Bokenyi has also worked at WKNR in Cleveland. He is a graduate of the Ohio Center for Broadcasting.

Brian Corbin returning home

(October 4, 2006) Brian Corbin is going back home. The Ohio University alum is returning to Athens to work as an update anchor on the Ohio Sports Network for Ohio Bobcats football.

An STAA client, Corbin is looking forward to covering major college football. “I’ve been covering high school football for five years. Now every weekend I get to go cover Division I. I used to work for Ohio University athletic department as an undergrad, so I know quite a bit about the program.”

Most recently, Corbin served as the Sports Director at 1510 ESPN in Lancaster, OH. His resume also includes experience as a talk show host and play-by-play announcer.

While back in Athens, Corbin will begin work on his Masters degree. “It’s the last place I ever expected to move back to,” he says. “Back to the place where I came from.”

A former host of UCLA football and basketball related programming in Los Angeles, Carbone hopes to parlay his new opportunity into some weekend or fill-in hosting. He says he learned a lot during his 18 months with Jim Rome.

“The number one thing is preparation. If you watch SportsCenter and read the paper ever day, there is no doubt you can host a one or two hour talk show. But it doesn’t mean you can host a good one. Basically for every hour you are on the air you need two hours of prep time.”

Preparation and persistence are two things Carbone knows a lot about. You might even say they are The Ticket to his latest success.

Carbone punches ticket to Dallas

(September 28, 2006) STAA client Steve Carbone has joined The Ticket in Dallas as weeknight sports anchor.

A former Associate Producer on the Jim Rome Show, Carbone most recently worked at 1540 The Ticket in Los Angles. Prior to that, he spent four years at LA’s Fox Sports 1150.

Out of the industry for the past several months, Carbone says persistence is the most important part of the job hunt. “Continually ask around, even it there isn’t a job opening, just ask to talk to the PD. You never know when something might become available and they might say ‘hey, I remember that guy.’”

A key to Carbone landing the job was staying in touch with management at The Ticket. He reached out almost every other day, either with emails or phone calls. He also gives credit to STAA.

“I knew I had some good material for my demo, but I didn’t have the equipment or the time to put it together,” Carbone says. “That’s where STAA came in and put together a really good CD. With Jon having worked in the industry, he knows what PDs are looking for. That definitely helped.”

A former host of UCLA football and basketball related programming in Los Angeles, Carbone hopes to parlay his new opportunity into some weekend or fill-in hosting. He says he learned a lot during his 18 months with Jim Rome.

“The number one thing is preparation. If you watch SportsCenter and read the paper ever day, there is no doubt you can host a one or two hour talk show. But it doesn’t mean you can host a good one. Basically for every hour you are on the air you need two hours of prep time.”

Preparation and persistence are two things Carbone knows a lot about. You might even say they are The Ticket to his latest success.

Harp to ESPN 1480 in Lincoln

(September 14, 2006) Seth Harp has never had much reason to pay attention to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He does now.

Harp has been named Sports Director, Afternoon Drive Host and Account Executive at ESPN 1480 in Lincoln, NE. He is represented by Sportscasters Talent Agency of America.

Harp will co-host The Average Joe Show with ESPN 1480 Program Director Chris Schmidt.

A native of Indiana and a graduate of Western Michigan University, Harp is excited about relocating to Big 12 Country. “You’re talking about one of the biggest fan bases in all of college football. You saw that a couple years ago when they went to Notre Dame and 70% of the stadium was red and white.”

It isn’t just Husker football that Harp is excited about. “The College World Series is close to Lincoln, and Nebraska’s basketball program is turning around,” he says. “The passion of the fans is unsurpassed.”

Harp spent the last five years as Sports Director at WQSN/WKZO in Kalamazoo, MI. He also hosted sports and news talk programs and worked as a sports anchor.

Great fans aren’t the only thing Harp finds attractive about his new opportunity. “Jim Keck (Market Manager), Roger Dodson (Sales Manager) and Three Eagles Communications are a class act.  They embody all the qualities of a great management team.  I wanted to work for a company that cares for their employees inside and outside the office.  I have found that with Three Eagles.”

In addition to being represented by STAA, Harp is also an STAA portfolio and Talent Search client. “I can not thank Jon Chelesnik and STAA enough for all the help, guidance and coaching.  I can say without hesitation that he has made me a better broadcaster.”

Harp will now be applying those broadcasting skills in a city that is as passionate about sports as he is.

Pauley returning home

(September 5, 2006) Matt Pauley is returning home. A native of St. Louis, Pauley has joined WHCO-AM in Sparta, IL. Sparta is located within the greater St. Louis area.

Pauley’s responsibilities include high school football, basketball and baseball play-by-play, morning sports anchoring and hosting a weekly high school sports show. He will also cover college sports at Illinois, Southern Illinois and Missouri.

Pauley is embracing the variety of responsibilities in his new job. “The opportunity to continue to broadcast games and gain more experience doing that while also getting the opportunity to be working virtually in a major market and covering big-time pro and collegiate sports made this job the perfect one for me at this stage in my career.

“Right now WHCO does a real good job of broadcasting high school games but that is kind of the extent of their sports coverage, so I am coming into a situation where I can try to build something.”

An STAA client, Pauley credits the STAA Talent Search for helping him land the job. “My STAA Talent Page really helped move the process along. After finding out about the job, I was able to E-Mail the link of the page and they had all the information they needed about me when we met a couple days later.”

Local sports coverage and play-by-play are nothing new for Pauley. He worked at KMAN in Manhattan, KS from 2002 through his graduation this spring from Kansas State University. He knows the experience will be helpful in his new job. “I come from a station (KMAN) that prided itself in great local sports coverage and truly being an authority on sports to people in the community. My goal is to bring those same qualities to WHCO.”

Scott punches ticket to Austin

(August 30, 2006) Kevin Scott has punched his ticket to Austin.

A jack-of-all-trades for the last eight years at The Ticket in Dallas, Scott has been hired to host Afternoon Drive at 1530 ESPN Radio in Austin. The hire is part of an on-going makeover at 1530 ESPN that began in July with the promotion of Wayne Johnson to Program Director. The station also recently added former Texas Longhorn All-American and Denver Bronco Dan Neil to its talk lineup.

An STAA client, Scott takes over a show formerly hosted by Gregg Henson and Dave Tepper. Former PD Henson left in July to take over as Program Director at WPEN in Philadelphia. Tepper is no longer with the station.

While at The Ticket, Scott served as the host of Diamond Talk, the Texas Rangers post game show. He also hosted Ticket Sports Saturday and was a regular fill-in on various shows during the week.

Scott is a graduate of Texas Tech University.

Wheeler lands at KMOX

(August 24, 2006) Former Sporting News Radio Host Kevin Wheeler has found his gateway back into radio is in St. Louis. Wheeler is joining KMOX as host of the Sports Open Line, weeknights from 6:30-8:00.

Wheeler, an STAA client, will also serve as a sports anchor and “sidekick” on The Paul Harris Show, KMOX’s Afternoon Drive news-talk show. In addition, Wheeler will cover the Cardinals, Rams, Blues and other significant sporting events in and around St. Louis.

“You gotta love being on a 50,000 watt blow torch like KMOX,” Wheeler tells STAA. “I was there back in January to do a couple of shows and my first night on there was the night of the Sago Mine disaster. I was getting calls from people listening to the show in West Virginia!”

In addition to his local work, Wheeler will continue as a fill-in host on the ESPN Radio Network. His next assignment is on the Bobby V show this Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Ironically, Wheeler is the second former SNR host to gain new employment in the last 24 hours. On Thursday, Wheeler’s friend and former co-worker Rick Ballou agreed to terms with ESPN 1460 in Jacksonville.

Focke excited for DI hockey play-by-play job

(June 30, 2006) John Focke has long aspired to be a Division I hockey play-by-play announcer.
He’s reached his goal.

Focke, an STAA portfolio client, is the new voice of the University of Northern Michigan.

In addition to serving as the voice of Wildcat men’s hockey, Focke will also serve as an analyst on the school’s football broadcasts and might have occasional opportunity to serve as analyst and fill-in play-by-play announcer for men’s and women’s basketball. Its the hockey part of the job, though, that Focke is most looking forward to.

“Hockey was always a passion of mine growing up,” Focke says. “Working for the Minnesota Wild one winter was a great experience. To put that experience and all my experience calling high school hockey to good use is one of the things I’m most looking forward to. I’m also looking forward to working with the university. They are a first class university.”

Focke’s new employer is equally pleased. Tammy Johnson, General Manager of Northern Star Broadcasting, chose Focke from a list of nearly 20 candidates.

“John is excited about the job,” Johnson said. “That excitement will translate into the position and will give us a better overall sound.”

Johnson added that the STAA Talent Search was helpful during the hiring process. “”Looking on the STAA website was a great tool for researching candidates. You can also pull information on other broadcasters.”

Focke also gives an assist to STAA. “The portfolio you made for me was a huge help. The way you put it together makes it stand out from other applicants.”

A graduate of Ohio University, Focke has spent the last four years as Sports Director at KATE/KCPI in Albert Leas, MN.

His new job begins in early August.

” I couldn’t’ be more excited about it.

Roberts gets gig in Colorado

(June 10, 2006) Scott Roberts has been hired as a Sports Announcer/Account Executive at KFTM-AM in Fort Morgan, CO. He joins a KFTM sports team that provides area coverage for four Morgan County high schools.

An STAA client, Roberts moves to Colorado from Oakes, ND. “I do believe that sending my stuff to (STAA) helped me to land this gig,” Roberts said.

Roberts has also worked in Evansville, IN and Rapid City, SD. Roberts is a graduate of Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD.

Levine moves into management at WZSN

(May 4, 2006) Mike Levine is on the fast track.

Hired just 15 months ago for his first job out of college, Levine has been named Sports Director/Station Manager for 1660 WQSN in Kalamazoo, MI.

“Its an opportunity that will allow me room to grow in my field,” Levine said.  “It will really test all the skills I have learned.”

Levine was hired in February of 2005 to handle baseball play-by-play for the Kalamazoo Kings of the Frontier League. He’ll continue as the Voice of the Kings, and his promotion to a management position has not dulled his enthusiasm for calling games.

“Play-by-play is where my skills and my passion lie. I want to be behind a microphone calling sports. I don’t want to be solely behind a desk. I love the balance.”

Levine is a 2004 graduate of Penn State University.

Persistence pays off for Bogard

(April 11, 2006) If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. Maybe 135 times or more.

That is how many jobs Rich Bogard estimates he applied for before being named Play-by-Play Voice of the Princeton Devil Rays. The D-Rays are Tampa Bay’s rookie affiliate in the Appalachian League.

“I sent out about 135 tapes before getting this job. That would include TV anchor tapes and play-by-play,” Bogard said. “This is the only thing I ever wanted to do. I looked at it like I didn’t have a chance to do anything else. I knew I could do the job so I stuck with it.”

Persistence was the key in Bogard’s job search. He stayed in touch with Devil Rays GM Jim Holland for the last three years. The dedication finally paid off. Working with Holland is just one aspect of the job that Bogard is excited about.

“I’m looking forward to fitting in with a team again. It is like a family. They get to be your home away from home. I am also looking forward to being part of the community.”

Bogard’s previous play-by-play experience includes calling various sports at the California University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater.

The Devil Rays are located in Princeton, West Virginia, a community of 6,100 located less than five hours from Bogard’s hometown of Wheeling. They will play a 68 game regular season schedule between June 21 and August 30. Bogard will also host a local talk show.

Bogard gives Jon Chelesnik a big assist in his successful job pursuit.  “The way (Jon) cut up my demo and presented my play-by-play basically got me the job. The disc was done as professionally as possible and helped me look good. It highlighted everything I can do. I probably wouldn’t have got the job without (him).”

(Photo by Devil Rays photographer Samantha Craig)

McDonald joins 680 The Fan in Atlanta

(March 24, 2006) Ruston McDonald is a perfect example for how to transition into a sportscasting career. The former rental car agent has been named Producer of The Rude Awakening morning show on 680 The Fan in Atlanta.

McDonald will be working with Chris Rude, Perry Laurentino and former Atlanta Falcon Jamie Dukes.

Last fall, McDonald, 38, was working at a rental car agency but dreaming of a career in sports radio. Unlike others who harbor the dream, though, McDonald didn’t wait for opportunities. He created them.

McDonald started developing his game plan in after attending a sportscasting seminar in Hartford. Following the advice he learned, McDonald put himself in front of people who could help. He visited a 680 The Fan remote broadcast, handed a producer his BMS portfolio and asked the producer to give it to the person in charge of hiring. Less than one month later, McDonald was hired as a board op.

“Without (Jon’s) portfolio, I would never have gotten this job,” McDonald said.

After two months at the station, McDonald initiated the next step in his plan.  He drafted a proposal for new high school sports programming and presented it station President David Dickey. Dickey was so impressed with McDonald’s initiative that he offered him the producer’s job.

Oh yeah…starting this fall, McDonald will also be hosting the new high school sports programming he proposed.

“Its all about your own desires and your own passions. If you want it bad enough, you’ll figure out a way to do it.”

Maguire named afternoon host on WTKA

(March 20, 2006) Ryan Maguire has been named Afternoon Show Host of Sports Talk 1050 WTKA-AM in Ann Arbor, MI. The Afternoon Show with Ryan Maguire debuts Monday, March 20th and will run weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Im excited and very grateful to be given this opportunity, says Maguire. University of Michigan fans are some of the most passionate in the nation and I look forward to connecting to them over time.

The program will be a fast-paced and entertaining look at sports issues across the region, with a strong emphasis on University of Michigan Athletics.

Maguire, 28, joined WTKA in September, 2005 as the stations Program Director. Previously, he has hosted sports-talk radio programs broadcast in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and syndicated regionally across Michigan.
He will continue to oversee programming and operations on WTKA and on sister-station, AM 1290 WLBY, Ann Arbors Progressive Talk Station.

Lenox to call WBC games in Japan

(February 25, 2006) Many minor league baseball players have moved from the U.S. to Japan. Now, a minor league baseball broadcaster is following them.

Steve Lenox, voice of the Wilmington Blue Rocks will be calling World Baseball Classic games from Japan for XM Satellite Radio. He’ll work the first round of the tournament in Tokyo with former big leaguer Orestes Destrade. Other teams in the Tokyo field include Korea, Chinese Taipei and China.

“This is an outstanding opportunity. I don’t know where this leads next but this is certainly an opportunity I view as one I need to take advantage of as best as possible,” Lenox said.

The World Baseball Classic begins Friday, March 3. Lenox is leaving for Tokyo on Monday.

Director of Broadcasting for the Blue Rocks since 2001, Lenox is also a flll-in host on XM ’s Major League baseball channel (XM 175). The XM lineup also includes veteran major league announcers Charlie Steiner and Joe Castellano. They were the only two guys ahead of Lenox for the opportunity in Japan. “Just being considered behind two guys like that was flattering enough,” Lenox said. “When I got the opportunity and they said we were going to be doing this, it just really exceeded my wildest expectations.

“On a good night in minor league baseball, I’ll be broadcasting to about 5,000 people. On a good night for the WBC, we’ll be broadcasting to 40 or 50,000,” Lenox says. I”I feel like I’m cramming for a very big test here. Not only with all the information I’m trying to memorize, but have in my notes as well for while we’re over there.”

In Japan, Lenox will rely heavily upon Destrade. A former big leaguer whose career included time with the Pirates, Yankees and Marlins, Destrade also played professionally in Japan. In addition to working with Lenox in the radio booth, Destrade will also serve as interpreter and tour guide.

“I’m certainly looking forward to taking in the culture, taking in a different brand of baseball, and being part of this first-time event.” Lenox says.

Prior to Wilmington, Lenox worked for the Staten Island Yankees and the Batavia Muckdogs.

“As a minor league broadcaster and someone who is trying to work my way up, you kind of hope for a break. I definitely
see this as one of those key points in the last eight or nine years, as an opportunity I absolutely have to make the most of.

Byrnes moves into affiliated baseball play-by-play

(February 21, 2006) Bill Byrnes, who has spent the last several seasons in independent league baseball, has been named a play-by-play announcer for the Inland Empire 66ers.

The 66ers are a member of the Class A California League. Byrnes will serve as their No.2 announcer, working alongside veteran No.1 Mike Saeger.

Byrnes baseball broadcast career includes independent league stops in Yuba City, CA and San Angelo, TX. He has also worked for KFBK radio in Sacramento, CA.

“The team in San Bernadino is closer to my home in Roseville, CA. It also gives me a chance to move up to Single-A ball,” Byrnes said.

In addition to his broadcast responsibilities, Byrnes will also be selling advertising and group tickets packages. “I think the sales experience will make me more valuable to any company in the future,” Byrnes said.

Bruce gets Cardinals pre and post

(January 3, 2006) Bob Bruce is going down the river. Down the Mississippi, that is, from Cedar Rapids to St. Louis. Bruce, afternoon drive host at WMT in Cedar Rapids for the last two years, has accepted a job at 550 Talk Radio KTRS.

In addition to hosting a talk show, Bruce will also serve as the pre and post game host on St. Louis Cardinals broadcasts.

Bruce has also worked in Dallas, Omaha, and Fargo, ND.