Daredevils job an early Christmas surprise for Holland
(December 23, 2009) Christmas has arrived a little early this year for Bryan Holland. Holland, an STAA client, has been named the play-by-play voice of the Outer Banks Daredevils in North Carolina.
The Daredevils are part of the 15-team Coastal Plain League, a summer collegiate baseball league. In addition to play-by-play, Holland will handle game stories, send box scores and press releases to local media outlets and the league office, and interact with fans on Twitter.
Holland will also put previous sales experience to work in sponsorship sales for the Daredevils. He completed a sales and radio internship with Ripken Baseball (the sales and marketing company that represents Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bill Ripken) and the Aberdeen IronBirds in Maryland. Gaining exposure to the administrative side of baseball is something Holland is looking forward to.
“It will be good to get the day in and day out non-broadcast responsibilities. The full scope of the other responsibilities will be great for me to get under my belt,” Holland says.
"We had plenty of interest in the job, but Bryan’s energy and various levels of baseball experience at a young age was appealing," Outer Banks General Manager Owen Hassell said. "I am certain he will continue our tradition of quality broadcasters."
A 2009 graduate of Elon University in North Carolina, Holland already loves the state. For Holland, it’s the perfect summer atmosphere for his first real sportscasting job. “To be able to call baseball in an exciting environment down at the beach is great. Their attendance figures have gone up each of the last two years.”
Holland found the opening on the STAA job forum in early November. When Daredevils GM Hassell posted the the opening he wrote, “We had an STAA client work for us last year (Alex Margulies) and look forward to finding another.”
When Holland got an opportunity to speak with Hassell, he learned the GM had already heard his work. “Owen told me he had already heard my play-by-play samples on my STAA Talent Page. It is one of the most important things STAA does, allowing us to get exposure and be a familiar voice because the job market is such a large talent pool.”
“STAA was a catalyst in my hiring process thanks to my accessible demo clips and resume."
Holland finished his college career ranked No. 19 in the country’s top collegiate broadcasters by Sportscasters Talent Agency of America. Last season’s Daredevils webcaster, Margulies, also made the list.
(December 18, 2009) STAA client Brian Crozier is moving closer to home as the News and Sports Director at WRUL-FM and WROY-AM in Carmi, Illinois.
In addition to news, Crozier will oversee the sports department, anchor three sportscasts a day and call high school basketball play-by-play.
Crozier first interviewed for the position at WRUL and WROY early this year. At that point, the station went with a local broadcaster. When the position recently opened again, station GM J.C. Tinsley called Crozier. Crozier did a fresh interview and secured the job.
The new job boosts Crozier a little higher in his sportscasting career. Crozier was the assistant Sports Director at KBNN-AM and KJEL-FM in Lebanon, Missouri for almost two years before securing his new job. Moving up isn’t the only perk — moving to Carmi, Illinois gets Crozier to within an hour and a half from his hometown of Casey, Illinois. In addition, the job description is one Crozier has been eying, "the chance to be a news and sports director is also something I have always wanted to do."
According to Crozier, his STAA Talent Page helped land the job on the second go-round. “They (the employer) told me the ease of access to my resume and audio clips was a big bonus.
"I wouldn’t have been able to get my previous job or this one without the service you provide," Crozier says. "There are a lot of resources on the STAA website that helped me. Thank you.”
(December 10, 2009) STAA client Justin Shackil has been named Broadcast and Media Relations Assistant with the Trenton Thunder, the Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Shackil will share play-by-play duties with Thunder Director of Broadcasting Steve Rudenstein and assist with typical media relations game day preparation during the season. However, work won’t wait until the season for Shackil. Starting in January he will be in the office working in ticket and corporate sales, and aiding in designing the Thunder media guide. Shackil is the second straight STAA client to earn the position, following Jared Smith.
In May Shackil graduated from Fordham University in Bronx, New York. In June Shackil was named a 2009 STAA All-American, earning the No. 2 ranking among the top five collegiate sports broadcasters in the United States. Now Shackil is set to begin his career in familiar with the Thunder and he is intent on coming out a better sports broadcaster.
“Getting to Double-A at my age is a tremendous opportunity," Shackil says. "On top of that, it is in my home state. It is in the organization I’ve grown up admiring and following. I know the players in the system. I have always followed the Yankees minor leaguers. This is the team I grew up watching, players I know, and an organization that is well respected. It is just a win-win all around.”
The opportunity came to Shackil when the Thunder asked STAA for referrals. Instead of conducting a national public search for this position, the team requested referrals from several sources. “More and more, employers in all industries are conducting covert searches. It simplifies the process and ensures a highly qualified candidate pool," says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. "We are working privately with employers with increasing regularity. It doesn’t mean they automatically hire our clients but it dramatically increases the chances."
“There are so many young, ambitious, qualified candidates who use the STAA site," Rudenstein says. "It’s a great resource for those who are looking to get in touch with the cream of the crop candidates."
Shackil has not limited his collegiate broadcast experience to sportscasting. He also has practice in the entertainment and news side of broadcasting, working internships at Entertainment Tonight, mtvU and the local CW news affiliate in New York, New York. “Justin has a diverse background. He has had his hand in a lot of different jobs and there are a lot of different opportunities he’s taken advantage of," Rudenstein said. "What impressed me most is his maturity and level headedness.”
For his part, Shackil credits the new opportunity entirely to STAA.
“Steve wouldn’t have known who I was if it wasn’t for STAA. He wouldn’t have been able to get an accurate portrayal of me if he hadn’t seen my STAA Talent Page or listened to my work before hand. I wouldn’t have even been able to get an interview. I owe everything to the good people at STAA.”
Murray unlocks sportscasting job with Frederick Keys
(December 8, 2009) Nobody likes making cold calls, but STAA client Tim Murray proves the exercise can be rewarding. Murray has been hired as a Broadcaster/Public Relations Assistant by the Frederick Keys, the Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
Murray will handle three innings of play-by-play and six innings of color for all home games. Murray succeeds Towney Godfrey, a fellow STAA client who is pursuing other opportunities. Starting January 4th, Murray will also be working on the team media guide and helping to represent the Keys in the Frederick community.
Living just twenty minutes from Frederick, Murray cold contacted the team with both his STAA Talent Page and a hard copy of his demo and resume. He ended up interviewing with the Keys’ Public Relations Director Adam Pohl. Pohl happened to know several of Murray’s former co-workers with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, where Murray spent last summer as the team’s studio host.
"It’s funny how everyone knows everyone, especially in minor league baseball," Murray observed.
Having grown up in the area, Murray is excited to kick off his sports broadcasting career close to home. "It was bringing back a lot of memories when I recently drove up to the stadium," Murray said. It’s kind of fun that my starting place in this industry will be where I grew up watching baseball games."
A 2009 graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, Murray is grateful for the help he’s received along the way.
(December 1, 2009) STAA client David Foley has accepted a Media and Public Relations internship with minor league baseball’s Lakewood (NJ) BlueClaws.
The BlueClaws are the Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Foley will handle four innings of play-by-play for home games and host the pre and post game show for road games.Until then, Foley will focus primarily on sales. Social media work will be a key part of the position, as well as other duties assisting the media and public relations manager.
Many sportscasting jobs require broadcasters to go to bat at several spots in an organization’s lineup. The BlueClaws are no exception and Foley is ready for the challenge. "I will have a lot of responsibilities. I will be able to learn a lot. That’s what I need at this point. I just need the experience to build the confidence to take it to another level."
Earning the internship wasn’t easy. Foley first applied through e-mail and included a link to his STAA Talent Page when the position opened in October, but he wasn’t the first person to accept the job for 2010. The BlueClaws originally hired another candidate–who eventually changed his mind. When the spot opened up again, the BlueClaws called Foley.
“I used everything you [STAA] taught me to get this job. If this had been before I joined STAA I probably wouldn’t have been called back," Foley says, "I was sending stuff and never hearing back from employers. You taught me everything – to emphasize my eagerness to do sales, to be aggressive, to keep in touch, to think outside the box, to approach it a different a way. Everything you taught me I used. I can’t thank you enough.”
The new job requires a move to the opposite coast for Foley, who is from Orange County, CA. Fortunately Foley has a lot of family in the New Jersey area. He felt badly that he couldn’t visit them for Thanksgiving. Now he is preparing to face the dramatic climate differences and move there.
"I’ve been back there to visit family so I know what its like. It’s going to be very cold. I’m going to bring all my sweat shirts. I don’t have many so I’ll have to go shopping, but I love the East Coast. I’m also very excited to go to a few Eagles and Phillies games."
Most of all, Foley is excited to add to his sportscasting experience with a club like Lakewood.
"The BlueClaws have such a great track record. I’m proud to be there to be honest. It’s a chance to prove what I can do."
Learfield chooses four STAA clients for sportscast positions
(November 23, 2009) When Learfield Sports needs sports broadcasters, they continue to turn to STAA. Most recently, Learfield Sports Broadcast Manager Tom Boman has chosen four STAA clients to fill NCAA Division I studio hosting and play-by-play positions.
Learfield owns the broadcast rights to nearly 50 NCAA Division I play-by-play properties nationwide.
STAA client Dave DeNatale (left) is completing his first season as studio host on the Bowling Green Falcons Radio Network. BGSU is DeNatale’s alma mater. The opportunity represents the second of two recent career accomplishments for DeNatale. Last spring, he was named play-by-play broadcaster for the Lake Erie Crushers of minor league baseball’s Frontier League.
“My thanks as always for your advice and for all you do to help people like me,” says DeNatale. “So many things are starting to come together in my career and you [STAA] are a very big part of that!”
In addition to DeNatale, three STAA clients have been chosen to handle fill-in play-by-play for Learfield properties. Former Philadelphia 76ers broadcaster Jon Gurevitch will call Toledo’s game at Cornell on November 27th. Gurevitch split time as the 76ers play-by-play broadcaster on radio and TV from 1985 -1995. He continues to serve as their backup TV voice.
Also on the 27th, STAA client Jon Laaser will broadcast the Nevada Wolfpack’s game at Virginia Commonwealth. Laaser was recently named Director of Broadcasting for minor league baseball’s Richmond Flying Squirrels. He is a former play-by-play broadcaster for Charleston Southern University,
2009 STAA All-American Jim MacKay will be broadcasting two upcoming games for his alma mater, the University of Maine. On December 3rd, MacKay will be courtside for the Black Bears visit to Colgate. Two days later, it is on to the Carrier Dome for Maine’s game against Syracuse University.
“Without STAA Tom [Boman] would not even know who I was,” says MacKay. I’m pumped!”
After hiring several STAA clients in the past, Boman said, "When I’m in need of a fill-in talent for one of our many schools, I use the STAA Talent Search. In a matter of minutes, I can search for talent in the area I need and hear their demos. It makes the process very easy.”
(November 11, 2009) STAA client Josh Innes is joining Sports Radio 610 KILT in Houston as a morning sports flash anchor and co-host.
Innes first applied at KILT during the summer while he was working at The Score 1210 in Baton Rouge, LA. Innes received positive feedback on his application, then didn’t hear anything for a couple of months. That’s when Innes joined STAA.
“Josh’s ability jumped out at me," says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. "I knew KILT still had an opening so I sent the link to his Talent Page to KILT PD Gavin Spittle. I didn’t know Josh already had prior contact with Gavin. Anyway, Gavin called Josh a day or two later.”
STAA then arranged a two-day on-air audition for Innes at one of KILT’s cross-town rivals, The Sports Animal. The audition was scheduled for October 19th and 20th. Innes also arranged to meet with Spittle while he was in town for the audition. The Sports Animal ended up re-scheduling Innes’ audition, but Innes kept his appointment with Spittle at KILT. He left that meeting with a job offer.
The new job marks a jump for Innes from the No. 78 market in Baton Rouge to the No. 6 Houston — that’s huge for any sportscaster’s career. It is especially impressive for Innes, who is just 23 years old. “It’s a massive leap, I know that,” says Innes.
Innes’ ability to make that huge leap makes sense when you consider his childhood. Innes is the son of veteran FM DJ Scott Innes. The senior Innes has won many awards throughout his career, including a Marconi. Son Josh was paying close attention.
“Josh is the typical coaches son,” says Chelesnik. “Coaches sons are always far ahead of their peers in their development and they love to hang around the field. That’s Josh. There’s no place he would rather be than inside a radio station.”
Like most coaches sons, Innes is also competitive, making KILT an excellent fit. “Management (at KILT) is good. Management wants to win and I want to win so it all works out well.”
The extra bonus in an already sweet deal is that KILT is owned by CBS, a company Innes has long aspired to work for.
“There is something about CBS," Innes says, "Its kind of like how you would feel if you got a job with the New York Yankees. It’s the eye to everyone who has worked at CBS, like Jim Nance on TV and Jack Buck on radio. The reason I wanted to be in radio was because of Jack Buck. I used to sit in the car and listen to him. There is just something about CBS that is awesome to me”
Nantz Award winner to broadcast Marshall U. women’s basketball
(November 9, 2009) After picking up STAA’s inaugural Jim Nantz Award, Adam Cavalier has taken over play-by-play duties for Marshall University’s women’s basketball.
The Nantz Award recognized Cavalier as the nation’s top collegiate sports broadcaster.
Cavalier graduated from Marshall in May 2009. He has returned to the university for graduate studies because of a full time graduate assistantship as the broadcaster for the women’s team.
“It’s a wonderful fit,” said Cavalier. “I can really hit the ground running with the position because I’ve already been following the team since I arrived on campus in 2005. Plus, head coach Royce Chadwick is an absolute gem to work with.”
Additional duties for Cavalier’s GA include running the university’s student radio station WMUL-FM.
2009 has been a busy year for Cavalier. In addition to winning the inaugural Nantz award, Cavalier also was named the radio sportscaster of the year for West Virginia by the West Virginia Associated Press Broadcaster’s Association.
“I think getting this gig shows what networking can do for you in this profession,” Cavalier said. “My employers knew what I could do; I think winning the Nantz award affirmed their beliefs.”
“STAA has been a truly wonderful tool in this process. [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik does a tremendous job being an advocate in what can be a typically tenuous job process.”
STAA All-American Amin to head sports department at KUQQ
(Novermber 5, 2009) Adam Amin got aggressive in his job search and landed his first post-college, full time sports broadcasting gig. Amin, an STAA client and 2009 All-American, has been named Sports Director at KUQQ in Spirit Lake, IA.
2009 has been a big year for Amin, who graduated from Valparaiso University at the beginning of summer. In June, Amin was named one of the top five collegiate sports broadcasters in the U.S. on STAA’s inaugural All-America list. Amin also worked as the No. 2 broadcaster and media relations administrator at a summer baseball job with the Gary Southshore Railcats. When baseball season ended it was time to look for a permanent sportscasting spot.
Amin began the application process with KUQQ by sending his Talent Page to the Program Director via email, following up with a hard copy. When the phone call for an interview came, Amin drove 10-hours round trip to visit the station. Amin says he walked out impressed with station operations, “It is a casual but professional atmosphere. Everybody is friendly and welcoming. They sold me on the place when I walked in. After they told me what the position entailed, I was even more excited.”
Amin will host a show, produce and deliver sports coverage, and broadcast play-by-play for different sports. “I’m looking forward to the amount of reps that will come during the winter time especially. I’m getting in at tail end of football season but there will be 35-50 basketball games thru the end of March. I’m really excited to get the chance to improve and keep getting better.”
Amin says he learned some important lessons about being aggressive in the job market.
“Networking is more than just calling someone and sending something to someone. It’s trying to maintain a relationship with them. I recently got some great advice from a buddy of mine. He said I wasn’t being aggressive enough. He suggested that I use all the resources, including my Talent Page, that I have. He said to be aggressive enough to the point where someone is going to remember you. Write letters when you have to. Send emails. If you’re really serious about it, put in the effort. When I started being aggressive and following up, they (employers) were more willing to give me consideration.”
“I really appreciate everything you (STAA) have done for me. All the advice you have given me since Day 1, I have taken to heart.”
(October 26, 2009) STAA client Rich Bogard hasn’t been behind a mic since 2008. After several months he’s getting back to his dream at WMOV AM 1360 in Ravenswood/Charleston, WV. Bogard will work as a head sales executive with high school play-by-play duties, and the possibility of college play-by-play or a talk show.
To get back in the sportscasting game, Bogard turned to STAA for direction. "STAA’s Jon Chelesnik gave me a blunt assesment of my career and told me what I needed to do to improve myself in the field of broadcasting."
Greg Gack, GM at WMOV, interviewed applicants who had been out of work for one to two years. WMOV needed a sports broadcaster to call high school sports ranging from football, basketball and baseball, to soccer and softball. Bogard had experience calling play-by-play for all of those sports at the California University of Pennsylvania, plus some sales experience at radio stations WAEY and WCVS. Now Bogard is looking forward to combining experience gained at multiple jobs into one spot.
"It is a good opportunity to do more play-by-play and increase my earnings potential with a station that won awards in news and sports coverage," Bogard says. "I look forward to mentoring the younger announcers, creating a talk show, and doing more sales which I didn’t get to do in other jobs."
The WMOV job is a positive step for Bogard in a time of personal struggle.
"I have had a terrible year with the loss of many friends and my father. When My father was dying I grabbed his hand and told him I would get a job—and I could feel a slight touch from him. It has always been my dream to be a play-by-play announcer and STAA has been with me every step of the way."
(October 23, 2009) After two years in Nebraska, Nick Jakusz is moving back to his home state of Illinois. Jakusz, an STAA client, has been named Assistant News Director at WLDS/WEAI in Jacksonville, IL.
This is Jakusz’s second sports broadcasting job. While working as KCSR’s Sports Director in Chadron, Nebraska, Jakusz found the WLDS opening on the STAA job board. It wasn’t long after the interview before Jakusz was packing for Jacksonville. In addition to news duties, Jakusz will have high school play-by-play and color opportunities at schools in a four county area.
Jakusz is most excited to fulfill one of his career goals. "Everyone has a place where they want to end up as a broadcaster, and mine is in the state of Illinois," Jakusz says. "I’m blessed to have gotten that chance to early in my career and be so close to my family. I’m originally from the Chicago area, which is just three hours away."
In this tough job market, Jakusz says it is important for those seeking sportscasting jobs not to become discouraged, "You are going to be passed over for many jobs, but that just means you are closer to the gig that you will be chosen for. "
(October 20, 2009) Walter Storholt went looking for a place to record demo material and came back as the new Voice of North Carolina State Wolfpack hockey. Storholt, an STAA client, will broadcast all Wolfpack home games for this season, beginning November 6th.
"There is one home game I’ll do this semester, five next semester and I’ll also broadcast an entire weekend tournament where I’ll get the chance to do 3-4 games per day for three straight days."
The exciting opportunity to broadcast for NC State came up when Storholt began contacting assistant hockey coaches at local colleges requesting permission to announce a few games into a recorder for his demo. A few schools were interested in having Storholt broadcast games for them, but NC State was already setting up an online video feed and searching for a broadcaster, an ideal situation for Storholt.
"I decided it’d be best to focus all of my attention to one team instead of trying to spread myself too thin worrying about all the technical issues. With the NC State gig I’ll be able to show up and broadcast — after preparation of course."
Even though Storholt only graduated this past May from the University of North Carolina, he’s already won numerous sports broadcasting awards. Previously Storholt had been a sideline reporter for UNC basketball and football on various ESPN outlets, and done play-by-play for various ACC soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, and tennis games.
Laaser to broadcast baseball for new Richmond team
(October 13, 2009) The job market is often more about whom you know than what you know. For Jon Laaser, his combination of skill and connections has paid off handsomely. An STAA client, Laaser has been hired as the Director of Broadcasting for the new Double-A baseball team in Richmond, VA.
The team recently relocated from Connecticut. The team’s new name will be announced at a press conference on Thursday.
In his new full-time position, Laaser will handle the team’s play-by-play, and assist in all print publications, web creation and media coordination. He moves to Richmond after spending last season with the Montgomery Biscuits.
In Richmond, Laaser is reunited with several former co-workers, including VP/COO Todd Parnell. Parnell was Laaser’s GM in Altoona in 2007 and was president in Myrtle Beach when Laaser was there in ’08. When Parnell took over in Richmond, Laaser was his logical choice for the broadcasting position.
“ I think he knew I would be interested,” Laaser says. “It wasn’t much of a negotiation.”
For Laaser, the opportunity to work with Parnell and CEO Manager Chuck Domino was a large part of his decision to accept the job. “I consider Parnell to be one of my greatest friends in the business,” says Laaser. “I knew he would be brining in other people I had worked with before and who I also consider friends. Their vast experience, making Reading what it is and founding Lehigh Valley—the opportunity to work around that much talent is outstanding.”
Being in a market the size of Richmond is also enticing to Laaser. “The amount of people listening to your broadcast is certainly paramount to what we are trying to do. All of it makes it the most attractive opportunity I have had in my short career.”
The city of Richmond is hungry for baseball after losing the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate following the 2008 season.
“I’ve been here eight days and four of those days we’ve been on front page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch,” Laaser says. TV news trucks have also been regular visitors to the team’s office.
Even with the outstanding opportunity in Richmond, Laaser is going to miss Montgomery.
“It would have taken something pretty monumental for me to leave Montgomery after just one season. It was a very nurturing environment. GM Greg Rauch and owners Tom and Sherrie Myers were tremendous to work for. It was very hands-off, which was tremendous. Even when I approached them with my plans for [leaving], they were very supportive. Greg couldn’t have been happier for me. Whoever goes there is going to be in one of the greatest situations in the game.
(October 6, 2009) Jonas Knox wanted his first full-time sports radio job so badly that he hand delivered his application. He lives in Los Angeles. The job was in Charleston, SC.
An STAA client, Knox has been hired as morning drive sports update anchor and producer at WSPO Charleston’s Sports Leader. Knox will also be doing some sports talk show hosting.
It is a text book example of how to earn a job in a market that has never been more competitive.
WSPO Program Director Seth Harp, also an STAA client says, “The guy that wanted the job the most, that put in the most effort, got it. He flat out earned it.”
“The point isn’t that Jonas flew himself to South Carolina to deliver his resume,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “The point is that he did things to set himself apart.”
Something else unique about the story is that, instead of conducting a nation-wide search, Harp decided to open the position only to clients of STAA.
“STAA has demonstrated to me that their clients are people who take their careers seriously,” Harp says. “They are committed to this industry. If they’re going to make that initial investment of time and money in STAA, then I’m going to align myself with that company. If people are coming to STAA to sharpen their tools, then that is one less step I have to worry about on my end. STAA gives them the understanding of what it takes to get the job.”
Knox certainly demonstrated that understanding. After spending the past several years in the real estate market, he decided it was time to pursue his childhood dream of a sports broadcasting career. Once he learned of the Charleston opportunity, he applied a full court press to get it. The first step was purchasing an airline ticket for the cross-country flight to deliver his resume in person. He hoped for five minutes with Harp. Instead, he got eight hours with Harp and other station management. He impressed them all.
In the ensuing weeks, Knox was asked to provide his programming philosophy and several production samples. Knox repeatedly hit home runs by tailoring each piece to WSPO and the Charleston market, and by demonstrating unique writing skills and creativity. Even in the days after he formally interviewed and was awaiting a decision, Knox continued to listen online to the morning show and email Harp with ideas.
“Jonas set himself apart from other candidates with his presentation and focus and his overall willingness to do what was asked of him,” Harp says. “Every time we asked for something new as we got deeper into the process, he did it. He followed instructions and he always did what he said he was going to do. He emailed when he said he would email, he called when he said he would call and he showed punctuality with everything that he did.
“The fact that he flew here carried a lot of weight in terms of desire. We knew he was serious about getting this. Not many people fly around the country to hand deliver their resumes.”
Knox is the fifth STAA client in just the past two months (one of them, a Learfield Sports college football studio hosting job, was unpublicized) to land a sports broadcasting position after an employer decided against a public search, and instead chose to work exclusively with STAA. More are on the way.
“Stations and minor league teams are asking with increasing frequency to look only at STAA clients,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “It makes the hiring process infinitely easier for them and it maximizes their chances of getting someone who will excel in the job. We are currently working with employers to fill a minor league hockey job, two college play-by-play jobs and a sports talk gig. We are always looking at ways to provide STAA clients as many advantages in the job market as possible. Arranging exclusive job opportunities and dramatically reducing the competition field is one way we do it.”
Knox has had his STAA Talent Page since 2008 and has consistently utilized the career planning and consulting services that come with it. However, he knows that is only part of the equation for success.
“With STAA you have your Talent Page, you receive exposure, you have an opportunity, and you have a door to other chances that most people don’t get, but it doesn’t mean that opportunity is just going to fall into your lap,” Knox says. “You still have to open the door and do your own work and get out there and separate yourself. It’s like a gym membership. Everybody has one but unless you actually get up and go, you are never going to see the results.”
Harp agrees. “Jonas didn’t wait for the job to come to him. He went out and got the job.”
“I would not have this job without STAA because it was a stealth position,” Knox says. “If you go onto the Apex Broadcasting (owners of WSPO) site, the job isn’t even posted there. They went straight to STAA because they knew STAA would streamline the process. That right there says a lot to me. The fact that they passed up on the opportunity to promote the job on their parent company web site and go straight to STAA shows me that Seth believes in the process.”
“STAA has done a lot for me. Jon gave me a lot of good ideas and pointed me in the right direction. For that I am truly grateful.”
During the interview process, Harp asked Knox if he would bring the same enthusiasm and creativity to the job that he brought to the application process. Knox assured them it will not be an issue.
“I’m naturally just a loyal person,” Knox says. “I don’t forget people who give me an opportunity. I think they see something in me and I don’t want to let them down. I want to help out and be part of something great.
“It honestly is a dream come true. When I got the call I was floored and honestly, I haven’t come down off my high yet.”
Filipowski lands TV sportscasting job at NBC in Nebraska
(September 23, 2009) Just a few months after graduating from the University of Nebraska, STAA client Nick Filipowski has accepted his first sportscasting job as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Sports Anchor at KNOP-TV in North Platte, NE.
Filipowski had originally applied for a news reporter opening at KNOP, an NBC affiliate. When the sports position became available, KNOP offered it to Filipowski. After three years of working his way through the media outlets at the University of Nebraska, Filipowski is eager to gain valuable post-college experience. “I am also definitely looking forward to being able to anchor and bring my passion for sports to the folks of North Platte and the surrounding area.” Filipowski says.
Management at KNOP was impressed by Filipowski’s STAA Talent Page. “They thought it was awesome,” Filipowski says. “They thought it was very well constructed in terms of professionalism and that it was easy to review my demo and resume. They liked it a lot.”
KNOP invited Filipowski to visit North Platte on August 31st, a significant date for the Filipowski family. Four years ago on August 31st, Filipowski’s sister Jessica Griffin was offered her first media job after college. Today, she is a writer for Fox News in New York City.
Filipowski advises a patient and persistent attitude for those navigating the sports broadcasting job market. “Be persistent. Just applying for one job isn’t enough. You really have to put yourself out there and get your name out their using the resources you have, whether its professors or anyone you know in the business. In today’s job market it is very, very tough to be able to find a job on your own.”
(September 14, 2009) Many people hope for sports broadcasting opportunity to find them. Scott Montesano pursues it. Montesano’s aggressiveness has landed him the play-by-play job with the Des Moines Bucs of the United States Hockey League.
An STAA client, Montesano spent last winter in Mason City, IA broadcasting hockey for the North Iowa Outlaws,
“Des Moines is a larger market without it feeling all that large,” Montesano says. “It’s a great level of hockey in a great league. It is also an opportunity to try the sales end of things.”
With the Bucs, Montesano will also be responsible for broadcast, group and corporate sales.
At the end of last season, Montesano decided to see what other minor league hockey broadcasting opportunities might exist. He sent the link to his STAA Talent Page to dozens of teams across the country. The Bucs were one of the clubs that replied fairly quickly. After a telephone conversation, the team scheduled a formal interview and Montesano landed the job.
Montesano credits his STAA Talent Page for making his job prospecting considerably easier.
“It was as easy as getting some email addresses and sending the link to my Talent Page,” Montesano says. “In addition, when I would make calls to explore opportunities, it would be as simple as sending teams and email. Many more employers want only the email. It is much simpler than getting the demo and resume in the mail.”
"I’ve found the Talent Page to be a great resource,” Montesano says. “It’s landed me a few opportunities and was the reason I’ve picked up a new job with a higher level hockey team."
Montesano is also the voice of the Eau Clair Express. For now, he plans on continuing those summer baseball broadcasting responsibilities.
Montesano’s advice to others in the minor league hockey job market is to be aggressive.
“Constantly contact organizations,” he says. “Organizations usually don’t publish when they are going to be making a change. The Des Moines opportunity was never publicized. As soon as spring arrives, start sending stuff out and contacting organizations. If there is going to be an opening they will definitely let you know. The more places you contact, the better your chances.”
(August 31, 2009) Paul Roper is a student of hockey history, so his new job is an especially good fit. An STAA client, Roper has been named Director of Media Relations and Play-by-Play for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.
“I’m looking forward to broadcasting major junior hockey,” Roper says. “Erie has a deep tradition going back to the Golden Blades and the Panthers, and the Otters have done a great job of maintaining that tradition over the past 12 years. This is a city that really gets behind its hockey team and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Roper moves to the Otters from the Trenton Devils where he spent last season as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations. Prior to that, Roper was employed by the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball as a Media Relations Assistant and Broadcaster.
When the Otters lost veteran broadcaster Rick Jeanneret to the AHL, Otters Assistant GM Shawn Waskiewicz asked STAA to help find a replacement. STAA posted the opening on the STAA job forum and immediately emailed links to STAA Talent Pages of several hockey play-by-play broadcasters in the Northeast U.S. Within 30 minutes, Waskiewicz asked STAA for phone numbers for three of the broadcasters. One of the three was Roper, who later also sent his Talent Page to Waskiewicz.
“The STAA Talent Page makes it a lot easier for hiring managers or general managers to see your resume and it has the links to your audio and it doesn’t fill up their inbox,” Roper says. It makes it much more convenient for them and for myself to apply for jobs.”
The Otters received close to 200 applications. After speaking to 20 candidates by telephone, including Roper, Waskiewicz invited Roper to Erie for an in-person interview. To prepare for that meeting, Roper and STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik conducted a mock interview over the telephone. Chelesnik says, “It helps prepare clients for questions they are likely to be asked. We evaluate their responses to ensure they are putting their best foot forward. I was pleased with Shawn told me that Paul had interviewed well.”
“The mock interview helped me a lot,” Roper says. “It was one thing I didn’t even know was part of the whole Talent Page service that STAA provides. It does go a long way. It’s stuff they don’t really teach you in college. It was certainly a big help. It eased my nerves heading into the interview. If I hadn’t done it I probably would have been unprepared.
“Thank you very much [to STAA] for your help within the last two years, especially in the last three weeks.”
Roper is eager to watch the young talent on display in the OHL. “The league had 47 kids drafted by the NHL this year,” Roper says. “That is more than any other league in the world. This is a league that really attracts top quality talent. I am looking forward to watching that talent develop in Erie.”
(August 31, 2009) A strange twist of fate as landed STAA client Dan Hasty a job with ISP as the studio host for the Wake Forest Demon Deacon Radio Network. Hasty will serve as the pre-game, half-time and post-game host.
Also hired by ISP is 2009 STAA All-America Jim MacKay, who will serve as Studio Host and Producer for football and basketball on the Washington Huskies Radio Network. MacKay is a 2009 graduate of the University of Maine.
The circumstances leading to Hasty’s hiring were especially unique. Hasty wanted to work for ISP but the opportunity was only part-time and the economics would be difficult. After lengthy deliberation, Hasty was learning towards declining any potential offer. That is when fate stepped in.
For the past several months, Hasty has grown close to the a host family he has been living with while serving as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Wilson (NC) Tobs baseball club. While Hasty was considering how he could justify the move to Winston-Salem to work for ISP, his host family announced that a career opportunity was taking them away from Wilson. Their new destination? Winston-Salem. Now Hasty had a job and a place to stay. When ISP made an offer, he accepted.
“I think I can probably find some other local [broadcast] opportunities because of this,” Hasty says.
Hasty found out about the sports broadcasting job through STAA. However, instead of applying online via the ISP website as directed in the job post, Hasty developed a different plan.
“I wanted to avoid going through the online application process,” Hasty says. “I don’t think that gets you anywhere. Instead, I was going to go straight to ISP.”
Hasty submitted his application to ISP’s Senior Director of Studio Operations Chad Cleveland. After talking to Cleveland then waiting several days for a decision, Hasty was offered the Wake Forest position.
“This position can only help me,” Hasty says. “Especially when you are young and still trying to pave your way. The goal is for me is to be broadcasting year around. If you’re living somewhere and you’re not broadcasting, then what are you doing? Why are you not doing what you love doing? Sometimes you just have to follow fate.”
(August 27, 2009) Everything that Seth Cantor has done over the past several years has been with one goal in mind: to land a play-by-play job at an NCAA Division I school. An STAA client, Cantor has achieved his goal. He is the new basketball voice of St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
“This has been a dream of mine for the last 10 years,” Cantor says.
The Terriers play in the Northeast Conference. Their schedule for the coming season also includes includes trips to perennial powers Boston College, Syracuse, and UMASS.
Instead of waiting and hoping that opportunity would come to him, Cantor decided to be proactive. He emailed the link to his STAA Talent Page to approximately 20 Division I colleges and universities in and around New York City. Of the five schools that replied, only St. Francis had a broadcast opening. After interviewing with Athletic Director Irma Garcia and SID/Marketing Director David Gansell, Cantor was offered and accepted the job. He then called his parents, Louise and Dan.
“My family has been quite supportive as I pursue my goals,” Cantor says. “My mom calls me after every broadcast to congratulate me on a wonderful show. She continues to do that to this day. I’m 28 years old they have been there for me since Day One. They’ve recognized my goals and my dreams. Without their support I probably would have given this up somewhere along the line.”
The football and basketball play-by-play voice at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy since 2004, Cantor has also done freelance play-by-play in various sports for Manhattan College and St. John’s University. He has been an STAA client since 2006.
“I’m convinced that my relationship with STAA has put me in position to be where I am today,” Cantor says. “Before I met [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik I knew I had the skills and ability to be a success, but my relationship with STAA has elevated me to the next level.”
Cantor adds that his STAA Talent Page is an invaluable tool in the job market.
“It puts everything in one place and makes it very simple,” Cantor says. “You don’t have to sift through materials. Everything is right there. You want to make it as easy as possible for the employer and you want to sell yourself to the employer as quickly as possible. The Talent Page is the best way to do it.”
In addition to his Talent Page, Cantor has also enjoys regular sports broadcasting coaching sessions with STAA.
“The coaching sessions have been terrific,” Cantor says. “Jon has been terrific in pointing out minor details that have helped me elevate my game as a broadcaster. I always enjoy taking a refresher course prior to each season. I’ve recognized tendencies in my broadcasting that perhaps I didn’t recognize before. The constructive criticism has been a tremendous asset. It makes me realize what I need to improve to take my ability to the next level.
“Calling basketball games in New York City is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I’m going to maximize it.”
Nine STAA clients among new IBN play-by-play hires
(August 24, 2009) iBN Sports, an internet-based broadcast television network, is adding over twenty accomplished broadcasters to provide the most professional live coverage of high school sports on the Web as it looks to cover over 500 high school events in the upcoming school year. The list of new hires includes radio veterans Josh Suchon, an STAA client, of KABC 790’s "Dodger Talk", Isaac Lowenkron of Fox Sports Radio and Pete Fox of ESPN Radio Los Angeles.
In all, nine of the sports broadcasters are STAA clients.
"When iBN contacted us for help in filling these positions, I stated that I hoped to fill as many of the positions as possible with STAA clients," says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. "They were receptive to the idea and I appreciate that very much. I’m pleased that it worked out like it has."
Also being added to the broadcast team are several university play-by-play talents and STAA clients such as Mark Roberts, the voice of UC Irvine and Tom Kolker, the basketball and baseball play-by-play talent for the Universty of Portland. Randy Scovil, the voice of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, has also been added to the roster. Other up and coming talents that will add to the expanding iBN Sports broadcasting crew are baseball broadcasters Sam Farber, an STAA client, from the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Tim Slack from the Orange County Flyers and Jeff Levering from the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
The new voices will join the lead broadcast team of STAA client Jordan Moore, Director of Broadcasters, and Steve Henkle. "We are thrilled to welcome a talented and diverse group of broadcasting talent to the iBN Sports family." says Moore. "We want to create the highest standard of broadcasting on the internet and we believe that this group will uphold that vision."
Other STAA clients working to support iBN’s expanding statewide coverage of high school sports are Mitch McLaughlin, Austin Olson, George Devine Jr., and Rahshaun Haylock. Additional sportscasters include Mark Heffernan, Danny Lee, Scott Armstrong, Mark Leinweaver, Jim O’Reilly, Jim Brinson and Tim Gooszen.
"For the past three years iBN Sports has predominantly focused on the high school teams in the Southern Section," said Chuck Lee, President of iBN Sports. "With this upcoming season we are rolling out plans to broaden our reach to include premiere teams up and down the state. Bringing on this roster of talented professionals to call the games we have selected will no doubt add to the enjoyment for our fans."
(Click on the underlined names above to visit each STAA client’s Talent Page.)
Missouri station finds Palaszczuk in STAA Talent Search
(August 19, 2009) Will Palaszczuk says his STAA Talent Page is the overwhelming reason that he has landed his first full-time sports broadcasting job. A recent college grad, Palaszczuk has been hired as Sports Director at KTJJ J-98 The Boot in Farmington, MO.
The job will be heavy with play-by-play for Mineral Area Community College basketball and several area high schools.
“The greatest thing is that the job exposes me to a new avenue,” Palaszczuk says. “I’ve never done football or basketball play-by-play so it’s going to be fun getting my feet wet. It’s a new challenge. It will give me vast amount of experience doing things I haven’t done before.”
The opportunity came to Palaszczuk when KTJJ Program Director Scott Kubala found Palaszczuk in the STAA Talent Search. After reviewing Palaszczuk’s online demo and resume, Kubala called STAA for Palaszczuk’s phone number.
“I had no knowledge of the position at all,” Palaszczuk says. “I got a call one evening from (a women at the station). She let me know there was a position open.”
After trading correspondence with Kubala via Facebook and Twitter and consulting with friend and fellow STAA client Chris Hemeyer, Palaszczuk decided the job would be a great fit.
“STAA is basically is the reason I have the job,” Palaszczuk says. “If I didn’t have my Talent Page I don’t even know about this job. They (KTJJ) had already listened to my audio before even contacting me.”
“The Talent Page makes it easy to be sure that I am out there for employers to see. It provides an easy link for people to see my demo and resume. This had a monumental impact on me getting this job. The Talent Page is that ultimate tool that you have to have in order to make yourself successful. It’s the reason I am gainfully employed now and I owe it all to STAA. You are a life changer.”
To help prepare Palaszczuk for his interview, STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik conducted a mock interview with Palaszczuk over the telephone.
“I felt so much better prepared going into the interview than I did before,” Palaszczuk says. “It made me realize things in past interviews that I had done that might have cost me at least some standing in the minds of employers. It made me feel so much more prepared and so much more calm about it.”
“Throughout my job search, Jon Chelesnik has always been very helpful whenever I call.”
Palaszczuk moves to Farmington from Savannah, GA where he has been serving as the No. 2 play-by-play broadcaster with minor league baseball’s Savannah Sand Gnats.
“I loved and appreciated my time in Savannah but couldn’t pass-up a full-time job,” Palaszczuk says.
Palaszczuk is no stranger to eastern Missouri. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of Missouri and spent several years as a sports intern at the NBC TV affiliate in Columbia. Last summer, Palaszczuk was a broadcast intern for minor league baseball’s Kinston Indians.
“If getting back to Missouri wasn’t something I hadn’t envisioned originally, it was certainly something that piqued by interest.”
(August 12, 2009) When JOX 94.5 in Birmingham, AL needed a sports talk host, they knew exactly whom they wanted: Brien Straw. Straw, an STAA client who has spent the past two years at WNSP in Mobile, is joining the lineup at one of the most successful sports talk stations in the nation.
“It’s a nice jump in market size,” Straw says excitedly. Mobile is market 96. Birmingham is No. 57. Straw’s first day is August 24th.
The opportunity arose when Ian Fitzsimmons left JOX for a job at ESPN Radio in Dallas. Citadel Broadcasting’s Regional Director Gigi South and Operations Manager Ryan Haney immediately called Straw, who was always impressive in his appearances as a recurring guest on the station. JOX also carried a regionally syndicated show formerly hosted by Straw.
Straw’s programming philosophy parallels OM Haney’s. Stray says, “My philosophy is to have opinions, and instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator of the listener base, have valid, in-depth, entertaining discussions and gear your show to the highest common denominator of your audience.
“I really like the fact that to a degree the governor is off and you can have an open discussion about a topic and not feel like you have to edit yourself with everything you say so that you are not offending anyone.”
This is the second sports talk job for Straw since joining with STAA more than one year ago. In October 2008, STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik recommended Straw to WNSP’s Program Director at the time, Seth Harp, who is also an STAA client.
“I wouldn’t have this opportunity at JOX if it wasn’t for STAA, “ Straw says. “I wouldn’t have had this shot in the business. An STAA client gave me the break that got me the job at WNSP.”
Straw also credits the talent coaching he has received from STAA. “Using the skills that STAA teaches and applying them is what [helped get me to this point]. I wouldn’t have the opportunity in Birmingham if I weren’t able to work towards mastering those skills because that is what separates you from the rest.
“There are things [being taught by STAA] that they don’t reach you in journalism school, not even at Syracuse or USC. Nine times out of 10 you also won’t get it in an internship. They’re not teaching those types of things yet they are valid skills.
“Thanks so much for all STAA’s help with this. It’s been a big help. I’m really looking forward to it. STAA is definitely part of the reason it is all happening.”
(August 10, 2009) STAA client Nick Anastos has been hired as the football analyst on the Delaware State University Radio Network. In addition, Anastos will co-host the Hornets pre and post-game shows.
Anastos is already quite familiar with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He is preparing for this third season as the basketball play-by-play sportscaster for the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
“I haven’t done football for two years now so I’m excited about that,” Anastos says. “Also, playing Michigan in October at the Big House is going to be an eye-opener.”
With DSU, Anastos will be working alongside Hornets play-by-play broadcaster Scott Klatzkin, who made the hire.
“Through meeting Nick last [basketball] season, I was already impressed with his sports knowledge and ability to call both women’s and men’s basketball games back-to-back for UMES,” Klatzkin says. “Nick and I share the same college broadcasting experience, as well, both being able to provide radio coverage in the CAA for four years and I think that connection helped us hit it off right away.”
A graduate of Hofstra University, Anastos is a former play-by-play sportscaster for NCAA Division II Bentley College football, and for minor league baseball’s Nashua Pride.
“Nick was certainly my top choice, but [STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik’s] phone call and recommendation sealed the deal.
“STAA Talent provided more help in finding a qualified candidate then I ever could have imagined and I cannot thank you enough,” Klatzkin says. “It truly is an advantage to become an STAA Talent client, because just as Chelesnik’s posts in the forum say, you do offer your recommendations for your clients before the job is even posted for others to see. Plus, the Talent Pages offer easy access to several audio clips without filling up my inbox with .mp3s or my mailbox with CDs.
“I appreciate all your help and will continue to recommend STAAtalent.com to all broadcasters.”
(August 7, 2009) After nine years at one station, Dave Riggert is ready for a new challenge. He has found it at a new ESPN Radio station in St. Joseph, MO. An STAA client, Riggert is joining Eagle Communications as a sports talk host and play-by-play broadcaster.
The all-sports format launches later this month.
Riggert moves to St. Joseph from KSAL in Salina, KS where he has worked since 2000.
“St. Joseph is a market that hasn’t had a lot of local sports coverage,” Riggert says. “Their high schools haven’t been covered by local radio but rather by outside radio. With all the experience I’ve gained in Salina doing all the things we do, I feel like we can go in and take over the market as far was what we want to do locally with sports.”
At KSAL, Riggert filled a variety of roles including Sports Director, sports talk host, college and high school play-by-play broadcasting and sales.
One especially intriguing factor that influenced Riggert’s decision is that the Kansas City Chiefs are relocating their training camp to St. Joseph in 2010.
“We want to grab a stranglehold on the Chiefs locally and compete with the Kansas City stations,” Riggert says. “It will be a really big thing for St. Joseph.
“We also want to do a lot of stuff with [near by colleges] Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri State. Plus a lot of the Big 12 schools are relatively close by. Its kind a hot bed for sports that has been lacking a station like this. I think it can really flourish.”
(August 6, 2009) Just 22 years old, Joel Godett has landed his first Division I play-by-play opportunity. A recent graduate of Syracuse University and a 2009 STAA All-American, Godett has been named baseball and women’s basketball broadcaster at the University of South Florida.
“I attended school in Big East,” Godett says. “To get the opportunity to begin my career in the Big East is very attractive.”
Godett’s new job also includes hosting Internet coach’s shows and other Internet responsibilities.
The opportunity at South Florida came to Godett through a tip from a friend. He contacted the university, and following an introductory telephone call, was invited to travel to Tampa to interview.
Godett is working this summer as a broadcast and public relations assistant for minor league baseball’s Buffalo Bisons. He says the thrill he experienced working alongside some of the well-known broadcasters in the International League is the same excitement he anticipates broadcasting games in the Big East.
“My first game with the Bisons, I looked next to me and there was Dan Hoard,” Godett says. “It will be the same thing with USF basketball. I’ll look down press row and Jim Kelch will be there.”
Godett’s advice to others in the sports broadcasting job market is to network.
“Stuff can come out of nowhere just because you know people,” Godett says. “If you get to know people in the business as opposed to just having them as contacts, it can put you into a better position. You have relationship you can build upon where you can get a lot more information and lot more opportunities. You set yourself up for friendships, too, which go a lot farther than just getting jobs.”
(August 4, 2009) STAA client Demetrius Means will be the sideline reporter for Old Dominion University football games for the 2009 season.
ODU is reinstating its football program after nearly 30 years without the sport. The team will compete at the FCS (NCAA I-AA) level. Means will be employed by CBS Sports Collegiate, which retained Sportscasters Talent Agency of America to screen applicants for the sideline position and for their recently filled play-by-play position.
In addition to his duties as sideline reporter, Means will host a segment on the Monarchs Network pre-game show and will handle post-game interviews with players and coaches.
“This has been eight years in the making, of looking to go to another level,” Means says. “I’m really looking forward to being the best sideline reporter I can be by doing a lot of research and being very informative to the listener.”
Getting the job was somewhat of a surprise to Means. The application process had been closed for several months when Means received a call from Brock Petrie, Multi Media Rights Manager at CBS Sports Collegiate.
“Brock mentioned he got my info from STAA,” Means says. “I asked if I could call him back because I was on the road. He said ‘I need to speak to you.’ I said, ‘I’ll pull over,’ Means chuckles. “Then he said ‘I’m glad you were smart enough to pull over.”
“I love radio and I have a passion and love for it,” Means says. “That is one thing that Brock said to me is that ‘I really love your energy and passion.’”
Means thanks STAA for the assistance they have provided over the years.
“You never gave up on me,” Means says. “There were times when I thought maybe nothing is going to happen. STAA has given me such great advice. I can recall on many occasions saying ‘Jon (STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik), just be honest.’ STAA really challenged me to work harder on my craft, even the little things. All of it helped. I really believe in STAA. I tell sportscasters all the time to contact them.”
Means has been in sports broadcasting since 1996, most of that time at WKWI-FM in Kilmarnock, VA. He has worked as a sports talk host, sideline reporter and play-by-play analyst.
“I really plan on putting my best foot forward (with Old Dominion) and looking forward to seeing where this takes me,” Means says.
(July 31, 2009) The Bismarck Bobcats will have a new voice behind the mike on Super Talk 1270 AM for the 2009-2010 season. STAA client Paul Teeple has been named the team’s new Director of Broadcasting/Media Relations. Teeple replaces Skip Berry who has accepted a similar job with Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey Leagues.
Teeple was the radio voice for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms last season. He comes to the Bobcats with more than eight years of hockey play-by-play experience.
Prior to broadcasting in the NAHL, Teeple broadcast games at Ohio University for the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I program while pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Journalism majoring in Broadcasting. He also spent time with the former United Hockey League’s Quad City Mallards.
“It’s going to be exciting to go to Bismarck and become a part of the ongoing success of the franchise,” Teeple says. “I look forward to being part of the family with Bobcat Hockey and look forward to meeting the fans throughout the region. Talking with friends around the NAHL, they were thrilled for me to get this opportunity with the Bobcats as it is one of the best franchises in the league and I understand a great fan base.”
Hockey is in the blood of the Teeple family as Paul’s father Brian was a goalie at Ohio University and Detroit Red Wings prospect 35 years ago.
All 58 regular season, preseason and playoff games will once again be on the radio on Super Talk 1270 AM.
(July 28, 2009) STAA client Dave Rothenberg has joined the football broadcast team at Campbell University. The Fighting Camels are entering their second season at the NCAA FCS Division IAA level.
A veteran sports talk host, Rothenberg will work alongside Campbell’s Assistant Athletic Director for Broadcasting and Play-by-Play Broadcaster Robert Harper as color analyst for all Camels football games. Harper also plans on utilizing Rothenberg’s sports broadcasting experience to do other things within the broadcast that they haven’t been able to do in the past.
“Being involved with a Division I university is exciting,” Rothenberg says. “Football is the most important sport to me so to be able to surround myself with it is terrific. Plus, this is a new team. To be getting involved at ground level is great for me.”
The opportunity came to Rothenberg though STAA. Harper originally asked STAA to post the position on the STAA job board. STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik suggested that STAA could fill the position with one of its clients and save Harper the hassle of sifting through applicants.
“STAA got me the job,” Rothenberg says. “We avoided the process of making it an open competition. STAA saw someone who was a good fit. If not for STAA it would not have happened.”
Harper agrees that STAA made the process easy. “STAA made it real simple. When I contacted Jon Chelesnik and told him what I was looking for, he immediately sent me names and contact information for individuals who might be a fit. The first name he gave me was a perfect fit.
“Dave is someone who understands the technical aspect of broadcasting, who can conduct an interview, who can do scoring updates. That is the best thing about Dave. He understands the game and he understands radio and delivery and storylines and those things as well. I can do more things with someone who has a radio background.”
Rothenberg has been a sports talk host in Raleigh, NC since October 2007. Other stops include MLB.com, Cablevision, Sirius Satellite Radio and The NFL Network.
“STAA makes it easy for anyone looking for talent,” Harper says.
(July 24, 2009) James Westling is moving up. An STAA client, Westling has joined 92.7 The Fan in Salina, KS as a sports talk host, producer and play-by-play broadcaster.
The Fan, Salina’s first sports talk radio station, launched earlier this year.
Westling will produce and co-host a daily show called The Boneyard with Danny Havel and will call play-by-play voice for Bethany College football and basketball. He will also host an hour-long Friday night high school scoreboard show that will air statewide on the Rocking M Radio Network.
“Play-by-play is the thing I am most excited about because it is the thing I want to do,” Westling says. “Being at a four year school is great.
“I also enjoy talking to the different guests that we get to talk to during the program,” Westling says. “We usually run four or five interviews each day.”
A native Kansas, Westling grew up in Topeka, graduated from Kansas State University in 2008, and took his first radio sportscasting job in Garden City, KS, where he worked for Havel. Havel is now the General Manager for Rocking M Radio’s three-station Salina cluster.
“To be 60 minutes from my college campus and an hour and a half from my parents house in Topeka is really nice,” Westling says.
(July 20, 2009) After living his entire life in major cities, STAA client Kent Brown is thrilled about his new sports broadcasting job with Steckline Communications in Guymon, OK
Brown will be broadcasting high school football, basketball and baseball play-by-play, hosting a weekly coaches show, performing sales responsibilities and doing some additional on-air work.
“I am looking forward to the fact that it is an area that is really a big high school football area,” Brown says. “They love their sports and the fact I am going to be announcing in that type of environment makes it all that much better.”
Brown is the third STAA client from the University of Miami Class of 2009 to land a job since graduating. His classmates Alex Kushel and Alex Margulies both accepted baseball play-by-play positions in the Coastal Plain League.
Steckline Communications has used STAA to fill several jobs in the past. When the position in Guymon opened, instead of publishing it, they called STAA.
"The STAA Talent Search gives us choices of qualified people to fill whatever void that we have at the time,” says Steckline Regional Manager Chad Jones. “The Talent Pages make it really easy because we can search by region to find someone that might be familiar with our area. We can review their resume, listen to their audio, develop a group of finalists and start interviewing. Normally, you’re hearing from people all over the place which becomes much more time consuming because you’re getting phone calls all of the time."
Brown agrees that his STAA Talent Page made the process extremely easy. “Chad said they have worked with STAA before with good results. When he called me he had already listened to my STAA Talent Page. Having that Talent Page meant I didn’t have to mail anything. I sent my Talent Page link. It was a five-minute process. STAA was a big help. No doubt about it.”
In college, Brown gained considerable on-air experience broadcasting Miami Hurricanes football, basketball, baseball and volleyball. He also co-hosted a sports talk radio show and worked at the campus TV station.
Despite growing up in Pittsburgh, PA and attending college in Miami, Brown enjoys the small city atmosphere.
“I’ve always been more of a college fan more than a fan of pro sports,” Brown says. “High school sports too. I like the less professional aspect of it. I like smaller towns that love their sports. I also like going to new places.
“Guymon should be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
(July 15, 2009) A random social event has helped Matt Gajtka land a hockey play-by-play job. An STAA client, Gajtka has been hired as Director of Media Relations/Broadcasting for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL.
“Hockey has always been my favorite sport,” Gajtka says. “This is the first step towards pursuing my dream of becoming an NHL broadcaster.”
Gajtka learned of the opportunity through a post on the STAA job forum and he applied online. Later, when a personal visit took him to the Youngstown area, he stopped by the Phantoms office and hand delivered his CD and resume. “A friend of mine was having a bachelor party near there so I thank him for putting me in the area,” Gajtka says.
An interview was scheduled and Gajtka was offered the job on the same day.
“Thanks for all of STAA’s help with the website and my Talent Page,” Gajtka says. “It has been a real help for me in my job search. Thanks for all your help over the past couple years.”
Along with the broadcasting, Gajtka is excited about the media relations responsibilities with Youngstown. “It’s a chance to polish my skills and really dive into a variety of things,” he says. “Plus the job is close to home. Youngstown is about an hour from where I grew up so the move won’t be tough at all.”
A 2007 graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, WV, Gajtka has been working as a broadcast assistant and game day intern with the Kalamazoo Wings hockey club. His experience also includes time at WEIR radio in Weirton, WV and at Marshall University’s campus radio station, WMUL.
(July 10, 2009) Opportunity frequently comes when it is least expected. It is exactly what happened to STAA client Scott Eddy, the new play-by-play voice of the Jamestown Jammers.
The Jammers are the short season Class-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins.
Eddy is not new to the Jammers. He worked for the organization in a variety of non-play-by-play roles in 2007 and 2008. After leaving the organization to accept a newspaper position in Dunkirk, NY, Eddy kept in touch with Jammers GM Matt Drayer. When the team decided to put together a broadcast package, Drayer called Eddy.
“We quickly put together some equipment and I began broadcasting games this past Monday,” Eddy says. “I’ll be working the remaining 26 home games as well as a handful of short road trips as well.”
It is the first time in three years that the Jammers have had a play-by-play broadcast.
A graduation of St. Bonaventure University in New York, Eddy also studied abroad at Oxford University in England. While at St. Bonaventure, he broadcast play-by-play for the Bonnies’ baseball team.
“I’m having a lot of fun so far,” Eddy says. “It’s been a hard time finding a gig with a professional team. Its kind of crazy that a situation fell into my lap here at home.”
(June 29, 2009) Kevin Vicker knows first hand that one advantage of being an STAA client is that sports broadcasting jobs can find you. Vicker has been hired as a play-by-play broadcaster and account executive at KIUL radio in Garden City, KS. It was an opening he didn’t even know about.
The opportunity in Garden City was never publicized. Instead, KIUL parent company, Stecklein Communications turned straight to STAA. The company has used STAA to help fill past openings. When Stecklein Regional Manager Chad Jones called STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik, Chelesnik recommended Vicker. Vicker’s play-by-play ability and the sales experience he gained last summer working for the Dayton Cubs baseball team made him a good fit.
Vicker was working at an office supply store in Centennial, CO when he received a call from Jones.
“Chad got my name from Jon Chelesnik at STAA and he wanted to talk to me about the open position, Vicker says. “I wasn’t even looking for a job; I had been in Chicago. On my way back to Colorado I got a call about this unadvertised opening that I didn’t even know about.”
When Vicker came to STAA in the spring of 2008, he had been in the job market for more than a year without success. Just two months after STAA built Vicker a new demo and resume package and showcased his work in the STAA Talent Search, Vicker was hired by the Cubs. Now he has landed his first full-time broadcasting job.
“It’s definitely appealing when you can click something (his STAA Talent Page) up on the Internet and get people calling you with jobs,” Vicker says. “It’s not something I ever expected happening because there is so much demand for these jobs but it’s not a bad way to go.
Vicker graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007 from Mesa State College in Colorado. In addition to his stint in Daytona, Vicker has worked at radio and TV stations in Grand Junction, CO.
“Thank you again to STAA for all the good work you put in for me.”
(June 19, 2009) Charleston, SC has a new sports radio outlet. 99.3 FM and 1390 AM WSPO have launched as Charleston’s Sports Leader with STAA client Seth Harp at the helm. The new job also sees Harp return to the airwaves as the afternoon drive host.
Harp most recently served as Program Director at WNSP-FM in Mobile, AL. When he found out about the Charleston job through STAA. Harp was quick to submit his material for the opportunity with Apex Broadcasting, WSPO’s owner.
“I updated my STAA Talent Page, contacted them via email and sent my Talent Page link,” Harp says. “By [applying] that way, I am able to jump to the front of the line when it comes to getting myself right in front of them.”
Harp’s STAA Talent Page highlights his impressive background in raising ratings as a program director, sports director and sports talk host at WQSN in Kalamazoo, MI, ESPN 1480 in Lincoln, NE, and more recently as the morning drive host at WUMP in Huntsville, Alabama. Apex Broadcasting Operations Manager Bryan Taylor even had Harp’s Talent Page printed out his desk in front of him when Harp arrived for an in person interview.
Starting at WSPO on March 22, Harp has been pulling together the finishing touches on the new station, including finalizing licensing and network broadcast agreements, and building the tower. He also worked on building the staff and cemented the station’s lineup:
The Tony D. Morning Show (with Tony Desiere): 6 am – 9 am
Dan Patrick: 9 am – noon
Tim Brando: Noon – 3 pm
Southern Sports Now with Seth Harp: 3 pm – 7 pm
Tim Montemayor: 7 pm – 10 pm
Tony Bruno: 10 pm – 1 am
Sporting News Radio: 1 am – 6 am
Harp is excited about the fresh opportunities offered by the Charleston area, saying, “This market offers what no other market I have worked in does, and that is ability to reach two different platforms of fans, the ACC and the SEC. I get the best of both words. I get SEC football and ACC basketball, the two premiere conferences in their respective sports. They aren’t too shabby in baseball either.”
(June 19, 2009) Denver Nuggets broadcaster Jerry Schemmel is adding another play-by-play gig to his resume. Schemmel has been hired as the new play-by-play voice of Colorado State University football and basketball.
Schemmel has had radio and TV demos built by STAA and has used additional STAA services.
Schemmel has been the voice of the Nuggets since 1992. Last season he tailored a home games-only schedule with the Nuggets in order that he could simultaneously serve as head baseball coach at Metro State University in Denver. Metro State was a one-year commitment but Schemmel will continue his reduced Nuggets schedule. He will also serve as a host and analyst on selected programs for the Altitude Sports & Entertainment television network.
"Our fans listening over the air and on CSURams.com will have one of the most reputable and well-known announcers in the country painting a picture for them," Colorado State Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk said. "I’m ecstatic that we’ve secured an individual with the talents, skills and experience Jerry possesses."
(June 8, 2009) Mike Demos didn’t have to go far for his next minor league baseball sports broadcasting job. An STAA client, Demos is the new play-by-play broadcaster for the Tri-City ValleyCats.
The ValleyCats are the Class A New York-Penn League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Their stadium in Troy, NY is less than 10 minutes from Demos’ home.
“It is a tremendous opportunity anytime you can call affiliated baseball,” Demos says. “Especially when the opportunity is right on your door step.”
It was last fall when ValleyCats Assistant GM Vic Christopher first told Demos that there might be a sports broadcasting opportunity with the team. Demos sent Christopher a hard copy of the demo and resume package that STAA had built for him, along with a link to his STAA Talent Page. Christopher and Demos spoke again this spring and Demos was offered the job.
Demos is no stranger to the New York-Penn League as he served as the radio broadcaster for the Lowell Spinners during the 2007 season.
A 2006 graduate of Elon University in North Carolina, Demos has additional professional baseball broadcasting experience serving as part of the Appalachian League’s Burlington (N.C.) Indians broadcast team during the summer of 2006.
Demos suggests that being aggressive is critical when looking for sports broadcasting jobs.
“Aggressiveness is key, getting out there, calling people, attending the baseball winter meetings,” Demos says. “Even if you don’t get a job at the meetings, you meet people, you talk to people and things can sometimes work out down the line.”
A native of Canton, Massachusetts, Demos has spent the past three years in the Capital Region serving in various capacities within the Siena College Athletic Department. He is currently the broadcaster of Siena women’s basketball as well as numerous other Siena sports.
(June 3, 2009) Nick Kayal has taken the road less traveled to his first major market sports broadcasting opportunity. Still, he has ended up right where he wanted to be. An STAA client, Kayal has been hired by WPEN 950 ESPN Radio in Philadelphia as a sports update anchor. Kayal will deliver news and scores every 20 minutes weeknights from 7 pm to 1 am.
Kayal’s path to WPEN is unusual. He has worked as a sports talk host in both Easton and Allentown, PA but has always had large market ambitions. When WPEN advertised a sports update position last summer, Kayal applied. The station end-up filling the responsibilities from within but Kayal stayed in touch, regularly emailed sports updates to WPEN and soliciting feedback. In January, they offered Kayal an internship. Figuring it was a great way to get his foot in the door, Kayal accepted. He eventually started doing some fill-in sports updates before earning the Monday through Friday opportunity.
In addition to updates, Kayal will be working as a producer and is hopeful of earning some weekend sports talk opportunities. His advice to others who are seeking sports broadcasting jobs is to realize that uncovering opportunities can be a grind.
“If you really want to do this for living, you have to take a low paying job and work way up ladder,” Kayal says. “You are not going to be a host overnight. Maybe it means taking an unpaid internship, it comes down to how much desire you have to succeed. If you are not willing to sacrifice for awhile, this is the wrong business.”
(May 15, 2009) For Dave DeNatale, his first minor league baseball sportscasting job is a major building block in his play-by-play career. An STAA client, DeNatale has been hired to broadcast games for the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League.
He will also assist in media relations and sales.
“It’s the first professional announcing assignment I’ve ever had,’ DeNatale says. “I have done college and high school but this is my first chance to do professional baseball. It’s being the voice of a team and being that team’s representative on the air for 96 nights and doing public appearance as voice of Crushers. I’m looking forward to that.”
DeNatale found out about the Crushers job through STAA.
“My STAA Talent Page was the first thing I sent when I learned of the opening,” he says. “I sent [the link to my page] that night. You always hear positive things about the Talent Page. It certainly has helped me out greatly. I’m going to continue to use it. I think the Talent Page is absolutely indispensable for what we’re trying to do. It’s unbelievably good. It’s worth every penny.”
DeNatale, who is also the voice of Oberlin College football and basketball, has spent the past 14 months doing sports for Metro Networks in Cleveland. When his sports broadcasting job fell victim to the economy, DeNatale was given the option of relocating to Detroit. He appreciated the opportunity, but it just didn’t feel quite right.
“My situation is the epitome of ‘when one door closes another opens,’ DeNatale says. “I wasn’t sure if would follow Metro to Detroit. This opportunity came along to stay home and it seemed too good to pass up.”
DeNatale is the fourth STAA client to accept a Frontier League sports broadcasting job this off-season. Chad Cooper and Curtis Bryant are the new voices of the Windy City Thunderbolts and Evansville Otters respectively and Scott Beatty is a broadcast intern with the Rockford RiverHawks.
DeNatale’s advice to other folks seeking sports broadcasting jobs is to stay with it.
“This can be a time that is challenging and a lot of people will tell you to get out of broadcasting,” DeNatale says. “Persistence pays off. You’ll find a way.”
Volunteer work results in sportscasting job for Thayer
(May 12, 2009) Two years of volunteer work have paid off handsomely for STAA client John Thayer. Thayer is joining the College Fanz Sports Network as Assistant Director of College Relations. He will serve as the weekly play-by-play voice for a national game of the week and provide Web coverage of Division II, Division III and NAIA athletics.
ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen created CFSN two years ago.
“I am excited to be a part of this new company, founded in 2007, and to help them attempt to make this all work,” Thayer says. “I’m also looking forward to getting into covering more of the higher level stuff rather than just the high school stuff I have done.”
Thayer is also excited about traveling.
“It’s going to give us the opportunity to go some places we never thought we would go. We’re going to be driving to these locations so we’ll have the opportunity to see quite a bit of the country.”
The sportscasting job came to Thayer as the result of some volunteer work he has been doing since 2007. In spring of that year, Thayer began covering NAIA Division II women’s college basketball for the Victory Sports Network and its founder Jason Dannelly. It was an unpaid position but Thayer told himself that it would be great experience and would someday pay off if he did the right things.
Dannelly eventually moved to the College Fanz Sports Network. When a full-time position opened at CSFN, Dannelly called Thayer. Thayer interviewed with CSFN founder Rasmussen, and was offered the job.
“I kept kidding Jason about getting me a $50,000 a year job for all the work I put in for him [at VSN],” Thayer says.
Thayer moves to CFSN from KSTH 92.3 in Holyoke, CO. A 2008 graduate of Doane College in Crete, NE, he has also worked at KUTT 99.5 in Fairbury, NE.
“People need to know that hard work and volunteer hours DO pay off in the long run,” Thayer says. “If I didn’t do that I probably wouldn’t have this opportunity.”
Sudikoff finds sportscasting opportunity close to home
(May 8, 2009) Scott Sudikoff has found a terrific opportunity to advance his baseball broadcast career, and he didn’t have to look far to find it. An STAA client, Sudikoff is joining the radio team of the Can-Am League’s Brockton (MA) Rox.
The Rox stadium is just 20 minutes from Sudikoff’s home in Sharon, MA. Sudikoff will fill the Victoria Snelgrove Media Internship.
“It’s a really good situation and it’s close to home,” Sudikoff says.
The Can-Am League is not new to Sudikoff. A 2008 graduate of the University of Maryland, Sudikoff spent last summer calling play-by-play for the Worcester Tornados. It was then that he met Matt Futrell, Brockton’s Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.
“If I didn’t have this previous relationship with Matt I don’t think this would have happened the way it did,” Sudikoff says
Sudikoff understands that advancing in minor league baseball play-by-play often requires skills outside the broadcast booth. With Brockton, Sudikoff will not only likely be doing some play-by-play, he will also be hosting pre and post game shows and a weekly radio show, working in media relations, helping with the team’s website and possibly even doing some sales. Sudikoff is eager to do all of it.
“I’m looking forward to just working in the office. I didn’t really do that last year with Worcester,” Sudikoff says. “Its good for me to have an opportunity that will keep me well-rounded.”
(May 5, 2009) Scott Beatty has a successful career in education. Like many sports fans, Beatty also had an interest in play-by-play. Unlike many sports fans, Beatty decided to turn his dream into reality. An STAA client, Beatty has landed a broadcasting/media relations internship with the Rockford RiverHawks of the Frontier baseball league.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work alongside Bill Czaja, who is a respected veteran broadcaster,” Beatty says. “I’m also excited to experience a professional sports broadcasting environment.”
Beatty is employed full-time by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA at the University of Illinois. Prior to that he worked three years as an educator. Play-by-play, though, has always been his dream.
Last fall, Beatty took over as Sports Director at WPCD-FM, the campus radio station for Parkland Community College in Champaign, IL. He manages a volunteer student staff and broadcasts Parkland College men’s and women’s basketball and baseball.
This spring, Beatty decided to he was ready for the next step in new career — minor league baseball. He enlisted STAA to build his demo and resume package and to showcase them in the STAA Talent Search.
“Thank you for all the help STAA has given,” Beatty says. “My Talent Page was very helpful. I was able to send it out to several perspective employers. I had five interviews and two offers.”
The internship with Rockford is actually the result of another sports broadcasting job for which Beatty applied.
“This opportunity came to me because of the STAA posting with the Florence Freedom,” Beatty says. “I interviewed with them back in March. Although they went a different direction, [Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations] Josh Anderson still liked my stuff and submitted my name to Rockford.”
“I’m excited to be living and breathing baseball for this summer!”
(May 1, 2009) Alex Kushel was thrilled when the Forest City Owls offered him their baseball play-by-play job, especially since the team had told him just a week earlier that they had chosen someone else.
An STAA client, Kushel has been hired as the Owl’s Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting. Kushel is the fourth STAA client to join the Coastal Plain League this season. The others are Dale Long of the Edenton Steamers, Dan Hasty of the Wilson Tobs and Kushel’s University of Miami classmate and good friend Alex Margulies of the Outer Banks Daredevils.
“This is a great up and coming organization,” Kushel says, “They set the league record in attendance last year in their inaugural season and they were the CPL’s Organization of the Year.”
Kushel applied for the Owls gig when he saw it on the STAA sportscasting job in early April and he immediately made a great impression. Ultimately, Kushel was runner-up for the position but when the Owls initial option experienced a change of heart, the opportunity went to Kushel.
“I give all the credit to STAA,” Kushel says. “I was able to send the link to my STAA Talent Page. They immediately interviewed me for the position. The STAA website was really, really beneficial to me, sending out Talent Page links to employers in this and other leagues. It really provided assistance to me and made it easy to contact employers.”
In addition to his broadcasting duties, Kushel will be charged with outreach to local media outlets and writing a post-game story following every Owls game for the team’s website. He joins the Owls after serving as the Sports and Programming Director at WVUM 90.5FM (Miami, FL) for the past two years. Last summer, Kushel handled play-by-play and public address duties for select contests of the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Kushel will earn a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Sport Administration from the University of Miami (FL) in May. At Miami, he served as the lead play-by-play voice for Miami Hurricanes sports, where his experience included broadcasting baseball from the College World Series in Omaha, college football from the Orange Bowl, and ACC basketball from Cameron Indoor Stadium.
This past fall, Kushel teamed up to work alongside former Miami Dolphins tight end Ed Perry to call the South Florida High School Football Game of the Week for a fourteen-week season. He has also served as a senior sports writer for the Miami Hurricane and as a freelance journalist for the Forum Publishing Group (Plantation, FL).
Kushel’s advice to other sportscasting job seekers is to be aggressive.
“It’s a lot about perseverance,” he says. “If you don’t get the first job right off the bat you have to stay with it. I applied to multiple jobs and sent my page to multiple employers. Sometimes you don’t hear back and you have to follow up. Not always going to be easy right away.
“Play-by-play has always been a passion of mine. This is a great first step to finally advance my career in the field.”
(April 23, 2009) David Riggs is excited to be leaving the print media for a baseball play-by-play job. An STAA client, Riggs has been hired as the voice of the Geneva Red Wings of the New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL).
“I found out about the internship through STAA, and all the materials I sent them came from my STAA Talent Page,” Riggs says. “Thank you very much [to STAA] for working to create the page and put together my demo tape. I am very excited to be making the switch back from print to broadcast.”
Riggs has been working in newspaper for the past month.
“I have broadcast softball before but this is going to be my first summer-long baseball broadcasting opportunity,” Riggs says. “I’m really just looking forward to getting back into play-by-play. I have the basketball and softball experience but you need to be able to do baseball to get the jobs from here on out.”
In the NYCBL, all 21 home games, as well as home playoff games are the responsibility of the home team. Riggs will handle those responsibilities for Geneva, in addition to being in charge of all pre-game prep work and other responsibilities as assigned.
The Red Wings play home games at historic McDonough Park, the site of Pete Rose’s first professional hit while playing for the Geneva RedLegs of the New York-Penn League in 1960.
Riggs is a 2008 graduate, Cum Laude, from Boston University.
“This is a really good first step for me,” he says.
(April 13, 2009) STAA client Judson Richards has enjoyed uncanny success in his transition to a baseball play-by-play career — three applications, three interviews and two offers. The offer he has accepted is to be the Play-by-Play Broadcaster/Media Relations Director for the San Angelo Colts of United League Baseball.
A former minor league player with the San Francisco Giants, Richards is looking forward to experiencing the game from behind the mike.
“Getting back into baseball and getting to know one team specifically and getting to share that with the audience is something I’m looking forward to,” Richards says. “I am also looking forward to traveling with the team, watching the season unfold and getting to share that with Colts fans.”
Richards has spent the past year as a weekend sports anchor/reporter at KLST-TV in San Angelo. He missed baseball, though, and wanted to find a way back into the game. He chose play-by-play as his avenue. He did a practice game to get some tape and then joined the STAA Talent Search.
“The three jobs I have applied for since I gained play-by-play experience and joined STAA, I got call backs from,” Richards says. “I interviewed for all three. It definitely happened much faster than I thought. The first two interviews were less than three hours apart.
“Once I put together a demo and using my STAA Talent Page it is so user friendly.”
Richards had already packed his bags and was preparing to move out-of-state for a different minor league broadcasting job when he learned of the opportunity in his own back yard. He had done some volunteer work at the Colts radio station. When the play-by-play job opened, the station owner put in a word for Richards with the team. Richards also sent the link to his STAA Talent Page to Colts GM Mike Babcock, who liked what he heard.
With the Colts, Richards will be working with manager Doc Edwards, the former Cleveland Indians skipper and a resident of San Angelo.
Richards tips his cap to STAA for their assistance.
“Thanks again for all of your help,” Richards told STAA. “I have been looking forward to the day when I could tell you I got a job but I certainly didn’t think it would happen this soon.”
(April 8, 2009) STAA client Adam Spolane is excited to be in affiliated baseball for the first time. Spolane, who spent last season broadcasting in an independent league, has been hired to call play-by-play for the Casper Ghosts, the Pioneer rookie league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.
Spolane will call all Ghosts road games. At home, he will serve as the on-field MC while veteran broadcaster Tim Ray handles the play-by-play. Spolane will also work in media relations and sales.
“Being with an affiliated club is a great opportunity,” Spolane says. “Just talking to people who have been around, that is one thing they said I needed to do. They say it is totally different from indy ball where I was last year.”
Spolane spent last summer with the Pensacola Pelicans of the American Association. In February, he emailed each of the Pioneer teams prospecting for opportunities. At the time, the Ghosts said they weren’t yet ready to bring someone on board. When Spolane received an offer from another team in March, he first called the Ghosts. This time, they offered him the job.
His STAA Talent Page has been a primary tool in Spolane’s job search.
“I always put my STAA Talent Page link in my emails,” Spolane says. “It makes everything a lot easier. I don’t have to upload files and fill-up people’s mailboxes. It is a lot easier to just send the link. I think that teams and GMs feel the some way.”
A 2008 graduate of the University of Indiana, Spolane broadacast Hoosier’s baseball during the 2008 season. He has interned with two different sports radio stations in Houston (Sports Radio 610 and ESPN 97.5 the Ticket) over three summers.
Spolane is looking forward to the change of scenery that will come with the move to Wyoming.
“It is my first summer not being in the Gulf Coast. Not having to sweat as soon as you step outside will be nice.”
(April 7, 2009) Growing up, Will Palaszczuk’s family vacationed annually near Savannah, GA and regularly attended Savannah Sand Gnats baseball games. Now Palaszczuk, an STAA client, is joining the team as a Broadcasting/Media Relations Assistant for the 2009 season.
The Sand Gnats and the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
In Savannah, Palaszczuk will work alongside Director of Broadcasting Mike Passanisi, a former student in the sports broadcasting class taught by STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik at Palomar College near San Diego.
The Sand Gnats position has been open since December, yet the opportunity came very quickly for Palaszczuk.
“I saw the opening on STAA sportscasting job,” Palaszczuk says. “I didn’t even apply until last Tuesday. They called the next day and offered me the job on Friday. I applied for dozens of jobs. It is almost poetic justice that it worked out this way on such short notice.”
“I grew up watching the Sand Gnats," Palaszczuk says. "I remember seeing Roger McDowell when he was the pitching coach for Vero Beach. I had him sign one of the cards from the ’86 Mets.
“The Mets are my team, its Savannah and my parents have a summer home in nearby Hilton Head so I’ll be living rent free and alone, which is the best of both worlds.
The Sand Gnats opportunity came to Palaszczuk only after another job lead fell through. He was a finalist for a job with the Asheville Tourists. When he didn’t get it, Tourists Director of Broadcasting Jay Burnham put in a call to Savannah on Palaszczuk’s behalf.
“I put the link to my STAA Talent Page in my email to the Sand Gnats,” Palaszczuk says. “They liked how everything was right there and carefully constructed. It really helps. It helps me put myself out there and separates myself. It’s a powerful tool. It is a weapon that can’t be foregone. You almost have to use it. I owe it all to STAA. It is what originally put me out there and made me a player.
“[Chef] Paula Dean has season tickets and does a lot of stuff with the team. Maybe I’ll end up at her house for some home cooking.”
(April 6, 2009) STAA client JJ McKay has joined DenverSportsRadio.com, an online Sports station, as a midday host. McKay will work alongside Rick "The Coach" Marshall.
DenverSportsRadio.com is a new venture headed by veteran sports broadcaster Dino Costa.
McKay, who will also serve as imaging and engineering director, will host 11 am -1 pm on the station. DenverSportsRadio.com plans to launch April 20th.
"in formulating my plans to bring Denverites the best and most entertaining sports talk radio possible, it was of paramount importance to me that our shows possess an entertaining flavor, with hosts who are unpredictable, not afraid to speak their minds, and who can develop spontaneous and irreverent content on a regular and consistent basis," Costa says.
"JJ and Rick have demonstrated the ability to procure memorable and fun radio programs in the past, and when I think about combining a new format with their passion for Denver sports, in addition to their tremendous artistic talents, I have no question that this show will become a integral part of our on-air success. I can’t wait to hear them and I know they’ll be very successful."
McKay is a major market veteran, having worked in Denver and Dallas among several other top 20 markets. He is a former Colorado Rockies stui0 host and most recently served as Sports Director for the Basin Radio Network in Gillette, WY.
Flemming follows passion into minor league baseball
(April 3, 2009) When Will Flemming decided he wanted to leave his lucrative business career to pursue his play-by-play passion, he called STAA. Three months later, Flemming has been hired as the No.2 play-by-play broadcaster with the Lancaster JetHawks, the Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
With Lancaster, Flemming will work alongside fellow STAA client Jeff Lasky, the team’s Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.
“I just wanted to thank you for helping me get set up with STAA,” Flemming told STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “I feel like the Talent Page really helped me get the Lancaster job.”
A student broadcaster while studying at Stanford, Flemming will handle the play-by-play for the middle three innings at all JetHawks home games and selected road contests. He will also play a role on the Pre-Game, Post-Game, and Clubhouse Shows, as well as assist the JetHawks media relations department and help prepare informational material for the JetHawks video board.
“We’ve been very impressed by Will Flemming’s energy and dedication since joining the organization,” says JetHawks GM Larry Thornhill.
All JetHawks games will be broadcast this season on Magic 1340. A live stream of the game will also broadcast online at JetHawks.com. Lasky and Flemming will be joined in the broadcast booth by color commentator and Major League veteran Andrew Allanson.
“This is my second week [on the job] and I can already tell this was the right move for me,” Flemming says.
Studying sportscasting job market pays off for Margulies
(April 1, 2009) Alex Margulies’ studying of the sports broadcasting job market has paid off. An STAA client, Margulies has been hired as the play-by-play voice of the Outer Banks Daredevils, a summer collegiate baseball team in Kill Devil Hills, NC
The Daredevils play in the Coastal Plain League.
Margulies, who graduates from the University of Miami in May, has spent the past several months preparing for the job market.
“I visit the STAA website almost daily,” Margulies says. “I saw a story about a client (Dale Long) who landed a job in the CPL by sending his STAA Talent Page to all of the teams. That gave me the idea to fire off emails with my Talent Page.”
The Daredevils already had a broadcaster lined up when Margulies contact them. That deal fell though, though, opening the door for Margulies.
“They listened to my stuff on my STAA Talent Page, they liked it and they offered me the job. It all happened in about a week,” Margulies says.
In addition to his regular visits to the STAA website, Margulies further prepared himself for the sportscasting job search by visiting several recent industry events. He attended STAA’s play-by-play seminar and baseball’s Winter Meetings last December in Las Vegas, and the recent National Broadcasting Society seminar in New York.
“Attending the STAA seminar and getting a chance to network really helped me,” Margulies says. “It gave me different ideas of how to get a job and how to better accomplish my goals. I learned that I have to be very aggressive. If I didn’t go to the seminar I don’t think I would have got as far with the job in Fort Myers.”
Margulies finished as the runner-up last month for a broadcasting job with the Class-A Fort Myers Miracle.
At the University of Miami, Margulies has been the play-by-play broadcaster for baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball for WVUM 90.5 FM. He is ranked as the 17th best collegiate sportscaster in the country in the most recent STAA Top 20 poll.
"I enjoy covering all sports, but baseball is my favorite and definitely my passion," Margulies said. "I’ve looked at places to work this summer and remembered the CPL. I’ve vacationed on the Outer Banks and thought if I could work there it would be a great gig."
In addition to covering all 30 Daredevils home games, Margulies will also write feature pieces on the team for www.obxdaredevils.com to give fans more in-depth Outer Banks coverage.
"This is big for our team and fans listening to have Alex calling our games," Outer Banks General Manager Owen Hassell says. "He has a wealth of experience and has seen some great baseball at Miami. I enjoyed being the webcaster last season, but I am certain Alex will take it to a much higher level."
(March 27, 2009) Aggressiveness isn’t naturally part of Ben Larson’s personality. It is something he has to force himself to be in the job market. His efforts have paid off.
An STAA client, Larson has been hired as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Kansas City T-Bones baseball club of the Northern League.
Larson found the job on the STAA website. He also had his demo and resume built by STAA and is in the STAA Talent Search.
“Thanks for all your help and the work you do with STAA,” Larson says. “Without it, I wouldn’t have this opportunity!”
Ironically, Larson got the T-Bones job in part because he didn’t get another job. Larson was a finalist for a broadcast job with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The man he interviewed with, Tommy Thrall, is the man he is replacing in Kansas City. When Larson didn’t get the Pelicans gig, he asked Thrall if he would put in a good word for Larson with the T-Bones.
“Its not in my personality to be pestering,” Larson says. “Its not easy but you have to do it.”
Larson applied for the T-Bones position by mailing a hard copy of his CD and resume, then following-up with an email that included the link to his STAA Talent Page.
Larson moves to the T-Bones from the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League, where he spent the past two seasons. (The Mallards tells STAA they already have a succession plan in place and are not soliciting applications for the position.) He will continue his responsibilities with WIBA-AM, WTSO-AM in Madison, WI, including his studio host role on the University of Wisconsin Badgers Radio Network.
In Kansas City, Larson is looking forward to calling games every day and traveling throughout the Northern League.
“All six teams pretty much have new stadiums and attendance is real good,” Larson says. “I have been in a similar situation in Madison where the Mallards had the highest attendance [of any collegiate summer league team] in nation. The T-Bones have that situation too. The atmosphere is great. Everywhere you go on the road in the league is like that.
Larson’s advice to others in the sportscasting job market is to network.
“Make a much more concerted effort to get to know whoever you can,” Larson suggests. “You certainly have to make a big effort to reach out as much as possible. Take advantage of every opportunity that you can.”
(March 23, 2009) Dan Hawkins loved the basketball play-by-play fill-in work he did this season for Z92 KMZE in Woodward, OK. Management loved him too and offered him a fill-time job. His military commitment prevented Hawkins from accepting the job then. Six weeks later, though, the station has decided Hawkins is worth waiting for.
An STAA client, Hawkins has been hired full-time at KMZE. He will begin this fall after completing his service to the U.S. Air Force, where he has served our country for the past 20 years. He also has a summer commitment to a minor league baseball team on the West Coast, one that will hopefully include some broadcasting.
“I did quite a bit of fill-in for [KMZE],” Hawkins says. “In the span of a month I did 13 or 14 games all over the western part of the state. They had a chance to hear more of my work than just that first weekend.”
In addition to play-by-play, Hawkins will also produce and co-host a daily sports talk at KMZE and will handle some sportscasting responsibilities on a local cable TV station.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a great opportunity for me to work around baseball and to get some experience in areas where I don’t have any because I’ve been in the military for 20 years,” Hawkins says.
Hawkins moved to Oklahoma last year from Hawaii. While in the islands, he spent several years selling and broadcasting a variety of high school play-by-play events.
Hawkins approached STAA last fall to build his demo and resume and to join the STAA Talent Search. He also attended STAA’s seminar for play-by-play broadcasters in Las Vegas last December. When KMZE had a sudden and immediate need for a play-by-play broadcaster in February, they called STAA. STAA referred them to Hawkins. Hawkins expressed gratitude to STAA at the time for helping arrange the opportunity.”
Thanks [to STAA] for having your service up and available,” Hawkins says. “It does pay off. STAA has provided a valuable service to broadcasters as we try to break into the business!”
(March 17, 2009) STAA client Dale Long has been hired as play-by-play broadcaster and Director of Media Relations for the Edenton Steamers of the Coastal Plain League.
Long, from Terre Haute, Ind., brings a wealth of collegiate broadcasting experience to the Steamers position. The recent Indiana State University graduate has been the voice of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Ind.) athletics for the past three years, covering over 70 football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball games each year. He was the main broadcaster for ISU women’s basketball for one season, and also broadcasted Sycamore football, men’s basketball, and baseball, while serving as sports director of the college’s radio station, WISU-FM.
Last summer, Long shared play-by-play announcing responsibilities for the Mat-Su Miners (Palmer, Alaska) of the summer collegiate Alaska Baseball League. He also helped keep team statistics and handled some media relations responsibilities.
Long learned of the Edenton opportunity through networking. He heard that several teams in the Coastal Plain League were looking for broadcasters. He didn’t know which ones, though, so he sent the link to his STAA Talent Page to all of them.
“The Talent Page made the application process easier because I could just send everything (demo and resume) all at once," Long says. "The Talent Page is something that is easier for [employers] to look through and decipher. It just makes it easier sending your whole page instead of a CD, resume, cover letter and everything like that.
“Being a broadcaster for the Edenton Steamers will further enhance my career and move me closer to my ultimate goal of being a Major League Baseball announcer,” stated Long, who majored in communications with a concentration in radio-tv-film at Indiana State. “I will be like the players that I will be covering on the field – looking to expand my skills for a chance as a professional.
“I had a great experience last summer broadcasting in the Alaska Baseball League, one of the nation’s top collegiate leagues, and I am looking forward to covering the high level of competition in the Coastal Plain League this summer,” Long said. “The Steamers are going to have another strong season and I will be happy to go along for the ride.”
In the area of media relations, Long has assisted the sports information office at Rose-Hulman, writing feature stories for the college’s athletics web page and game coverage.”
Long’s advice to other broadcasters in the job market is to stay aggressive. “Stay aggressive. "I got turned down by four or five other openings but I didn’t let that deter me," Long says. "I was determined to find a job and despite the bad economic situation I was determined to find a job that met my needs to help me move up to Class A next year."
(March 5, 2009) The Montgomery Biscuits, Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, are pleased to announce the addition of Jon Laaser to the Biscuits organization as the "Voice of the Biscuits." An STAA client, Laaser will serve as the team’s lead radio announcer and provide the radio play-by-play call of all 140 Biscuits regular season games in 2009 on News Radio 1440.
A native of Minneapolis, MN, Laaser joins the Biscuits after serving two seasons with Greensons Baseball LP. Most recently, Laaser was the Director of Broadcasting & Communications for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Advanced-A Affiliate of the Atlanta Braves in Myrtle Beach, SC. In 2007, Laaser was a broadcaster for the Altoona Curve (Double-A – Pittsburgh Pirates) in Altoona, PA.
"In the interest of continuing to provide our great fans with top-notch broadcasts of our games, we conducted an exhaustive search for the Biscuits new voice," said Biscuits’ President & General Manager Greg Rauch. "We received interest from countless talented candidates and are extremely excited that we found a perfect fit with Jon."
In addition to his on-air duties, Laaser will also write and design the 2009 Biscuits Media Guide, provide daily media materials and games stories, coordinate media operations and contribute team-related content to BiscuitsBaseball.com.
Prior to his time with Greensons Baseball, Laaser spent 2006 as the lead broadcaster for the Yakima Bears (Short-A – Arizona Diamondbacks) of the Northwest League. In 2005, he was part of the broadcast team for the St. Paul Saints (Independent – Northern). He began his baseball broadcasting career as the lead announcer for the St. Cloud River Bats (Summer Collegiate – Northwoods) in 2003 and 2004.
"I am thrilled to join the Biscuits and become part of the Montgomery community," Laaser said. "I have always admired the Biscuits organization and the work that Jim (Tocco) has done to establish an outstanding connection between the Biscuits and their great fans." "The opportunity to continue the fine broadcasting tradition in Montgomery is one I am greatly looking forward to."
Laaser has compiled a diversified broadcasting resume, which includes providing play-by-play of both the Minnesota football and basketball high school state championships for KFAN radio in Minneapolis. He has also served as a show host, reporter and producer for the ESPN Radio affiliate.
Rogol named play-by-play voice for Bridgeport baseball
(March 4, 2009) When the Bridgeport Bluefish asked STAA for help in finding a radio play-by-play broadcaster, Josh Rogol’s name was the first to come up. An STAA client, Rogol has been hired as the team’s Broadcast Coordinator.
Bridgeport plays in the independent Atlantic League. Rogol will handle play-by-play for all 140 of their games and is in charge of selling the broadcast.
“Mike Pfaff (Senior VP of Past Time Partners, which owns the team) called me,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “He needed a play-by-play announcer but preferred to not publicize the opening. When he told me what he was looking for, I immediately told him about Josh. Josh is a skilled play-by-play broadcaster, he has sales experience and he lives in Connecticut.
“My only question was whether Josh was returning to the Montgomery Biscuits, where he worked last summer. When he told me he was available, I suggested he call Mike right away.”
“There’s a good chance that without STAA the Bluefish might not have come upon my work,” Rogol says.
In addition to working as the No. 2 broadcaster with Montgomery last summer, Rogol spent the 2007 season handling play-by-play and sales for the Visalia Oaks of the California League. He is the 11th STAA client to accept a new job within the past month.
Bridgeport didn’t have radio last season, so Rogol will be building the broadcast from the ground up.
“Being back in a lead role again and being able to run my own show is definitely something I am excited about,” Rogol says. “I am also looking forward to checking out a new league that is in the Northeast and is really close to my hometown. It is really convenient that I get to stay local and call baseball in the Northeast this summer”
(March 2, 2009) Sometimes employers really do keep job applications on file. One year after applying unsuccessfully for the Wilson Tobs baseball play-by-play job, STAA client Dan Hasty is the new Voice of the Tobs. He got the job because the team kept his application on file.
“It all happened really fast,” Hasty says. “It was looking more and more like I was going to be heading back to Great Lakes for another season.”
Hasty, who spent the past two seasons as a broadcast and media relations assistant with the Great Lakes Loons, had interviewed for the Tobs job last year. He didn’t get the job but he did make a good impression on General Manager Ben Jones. When the job opened again this season, Jones called Hasty. There wasn’t even another interview, just an offer. “If you want it, it is yours.” Jones said.
With the Tobs, Hasty will be the lead play-by-play broadcaster for 29 home games and 29 road games, plus playoffs. He will also have media relations and website responsibilities and will have the opportunity to earn sales commissions.
“I’m looking forward to a new experience,” Hasty, 23, says. “This is unlike something I have ever done. When you get older its tough to take these types of chances in the industry. Where I’m at in this stage in my life this is a gamble I should be taking. Plus you can’t beat good ol’ Southern hospitality.”
Hasty is the third STAA client to broadcast for the Tobs, following Eric Kopp and Charlie Beattie.
The Tobs play in the Coastal Plain collegiate summer league. The league has a track record of producing great talent; including Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who pitched for Wilson.
Hasty suggests that networking is one of the most important things a broadcaster can do in the job market. “Just as important as sending out your demo tapes is getting to meet people. I probably sent out 15 to 20 resumes this off season. The job I ended up landing was the job I didn’t send a demo and resume to. If you pay attention to the relationships you have with people, that is just as important as sending out those demos and resumes.
“Ever since I was five I have wanted to call games on the radio. I’ve wanted to be the lead guy on the broadcast. Now I get to fulfill a dream.”
(February 25, 2009) Sam Farber is on the fast track. At just 25 years old, Farber is joining the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Triple-A, Colorado Rockies) radio broadcast team.
An STAA client, Farber will work alongside longtime radio play-by-play man Dan Karcher for this season’s radio broadcast on AM-1460 KZNT. This season will also mark a milestone for Karcher, as it will mark his 20th with the Sky Sox.
Farber says his STAA Talent Page played an important role in the application process.
“STAA makes it easier to make initial contact with employers because they don’t have to wait for something to arrive in the mail,” Farber says. “It saved me a step in that I had a webpage that I knew worked and that I knew I would get my stuff in front of the [the team] in another way.”
A San Jose, CA native, Farber will begin his eighth year in broadcasting. He received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. He followed up his BA with a masters degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California, where he received the Director’s Award for Excellence.
During his broadcasting career, Farber has spent time calling games for a number teams. While working for WRGW/Colonials Radio Network, he called games for the George Washington Colonials men’s and women’s basketball teams, while also hosting the number one rated sports talk show, Coast to Coast. Farber also spent time as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Bowie Baysox, the Baltimore Orioles Double-A affiliate, the Cal-State Northridge baseball and women’s basketball teams, and the Santa Clara University women’s basketball and men’s soccer teams.
Farber understands he has been given a very unique opportunity so early in his young career by joining the Sky Sox.
"At 25, I am very young in this business, so I feel very fortunate and humble; I am honored to be in Triple-A," Farber said.
Sky Sox fans can expect to hear a vibrant voice and experience an up-tempo style when Farber joins Karcher in the booth this season.
"I’ll bring a lot of energy and passion to work." Farber said, "I love this business and I love this job and know what a treat it is to do it. It’s the best job in the world."
After covering such a wide range of sports, Farber shed some light on why he chose to cover baseball with the Sky Sox.
"Baseball is more so than any other sport, a community based game. People just feel connected to baseball more than other sports." Farber said, "You never know when the big moment is coming, you are always on pins and needles every time you watch, at least I am."
Karcher and Farber will broadcast all 144 Sky Sox games this season starting April 9 on AM-1460 KZNT.
(February 23, 2009) When the Evansville Otters wanted to conduct a private search for a play-by-play broadcaster, they turned to STAA. Now, the search is over and the team has hired STAA client Curtis Bryant, a student in the sports broadcasting class taught by STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik at San Diego’s Palomar College.
This time around, the Otters decided they wanted to keep their search private. They asked STAA to compile a list of candidates, and the agency recommended several clients in and around the Great Lakes region. Then, almost as an afterthought, Chelesnik thought of Bryant.
“Curtis didn’t come immediately to mind simply because he doesn’t live in that part of the country,” Chelesnik says. “A couple days after I sent the Otters the initial list of candidates, it occurred to me that Curtis would also be very much worth considering. I asked Liz Lewis [of the Otters front office] if I could give Curtis her phone number. He then called her, emailed the link to his STAA Talent Page, and got things going.
“I am always thrilled when one of STAA’s clients gets a job. In this case, though, with Curtis being one of my students, I am even more excited.”
Bryant is a recent graduate of San Diego State University. His play-by-play experience includes Palomar College football, basketball and baseball, and San Diego County high school football and basketball.
“I can’t thank [Jon Chelesnik] enough for all of his instruction and for giving my name and my resume to the Otters to get the ball rolling,” Bryant says.
Bryant is the second of Chelesnik’s former students to land a minor league baseball job. Mike Passanisi is entering his second season as the voice of the New York Mets’ Class-A team, the Savannah Sand Gnats.
“I’ve been in San Diego all my life so I’m anxious to live in another part of the country and from everything I’ve looked up, Evansville is a real nice city,” Bryant says.
“Nine innings of play-by-play and it is all me. It’s all the experience I could ever want.”
(February 20, 2009) Nick Vlietstra spent the past five months in the job market without a single offer. Then suddenly, within the past two weeks, he received two offers. The one he has accepted is the No. 1 radio play-by-play position with the El Paso Diablos Baseball Club of the American Association.
“It’s exciting to be able to move up and be part of a good organization in El Paso and to be part of very good league in the American Association,” Vlietstra says. “I am also looking forward to the challenge of having my own number one spot in broadcasting. I’m excited for the challenge of performing and being able to do it throughout an entire season.”
In addition to broadcasting, Vlietstra will help in media and public relations and will have the option of assisting in sales.
The Diablos job came through Vlietstra’s network of contacts. A friend of his from the Frontier League told him about the El Paso job. Vlietstra sent the link to his STAA Talent Page to Diablos General Manager Matt LaBranche. Just one day later, he received a call from LaBranche.
“My STAA Talent Page makes it so easy to apply for jobs — just by being able to send a quick email to somebody, introduce yourself and include a link to your Talent Page,” Vlietstra says. “They can click right on it and it is easy for them. Everything they need is right in front of them.”
Vlietstra, who attended STAA’s play-by-play seminar in Las Vegas in December, suggests that the biggest thing that other sportscasters in the job market can do for themselves is to network, network, and network.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned through this is how valuable contact are. Not just contacts within your own sport but contacts throughout a variety of sports. This is a job I basically got because of who I knew. [Broadcasting] is such a big business but it gets so much smaller when it gets down to whom you know.
“In two weeks I received two job offers. That’s pretty nice.”
(February 12, 2009) Ryan Feldman will be the first person to tell you that opportunity sometimes knocks when you least expect it. A unique story has led Feldman, an STAA client, to his new job as Sports Director at WIXC in Melbourne, FL.
Feldman moves to Florida from Philadelphia where he has been working as a producer at WIP. In his new position, Feldman will handle high school football and basketball play-by-play, and will anchor afternoon newscasts.
“I’ve been trying to get a [on air] radio job for last two years‚” Feldman says. “I jumped at the chance.”
The circumstances that led Feldman to his new opportunity are truly unique. Feldman’s family maintains homes in both Pennsylvania and Florida. While in Florida, Feldman’s mother attended a Chamber of Commerce event where she met WIXC GM Kevin Fennessy. Feldman sent his portfolio to Fennessy and ended-up with a job.
“This is what I went to school for and what I have wanted to do since I was little‚” Feldman says. “It has been a struggle because of how tough the industry and the job market are. I’m just excited to finally be able to have a job and hopefully use that to get better, build my resume and start a long radio career.”
Feldman’s advice to other young sportscasters in the job market is to make as many connections as possible. “Get out and do as many things as you can so you can meet people,” he says. “Really the only way to get a job these days is to know somebody or to know somebody who knows somebody. It is all about connections.”
One thing Feldman is especially looking forward to about his new job is the warm weather.
“When I as in college at Temple and people asked me what I want to do, I always thought I would have to move to Iowa or North Dakota. Florida is definitely better than Iowa or North Dakota. I can’t complain at all about the location.”
(February 13, 2009) Chad Cooper is excited to be back to the league where he started his pro baseball play-by-play career. An STAA client, Cooper has been named the voice of the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Frontier League.
Cooper previously broadcast Frontier League games for the Evansville Otters in 2003-2005 and the Traverse City Beach Bums in 2006. He was voted the Frontier League’s Broadcaster of the Year in 2005. His history in the league helped him land the Thunderbolts job.
“I have known the [Thunderbolts] GM Steve Tahsler for quite some time,” Cooper says. “He gave me my first job out of college when I went to Evansville. I told him if he ever needs someone, to give me a call.”
When former Thunderbolts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler recently left for a position with the Lansing Lugnuts, Tahsler called Cooper.
“Chicago is a place I have always enjoyed calling games, going back to 2003 when I made my first trip there,” says Cooper. ” I like the ballpark, I like the way it is constructed for the media, and I like the general area. It is going to be a great place to live and work.”
Familiarity with the league and its broadcasters is one thing that Cooper likes about his new job.
“Part of what I’m looking forward to is getting a chance to catch up with some of the broadcasters I have developed a good working relationship with during four years I worked there.”
Cooper, who has been the men and women’s basketball voice for the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY since 2006, will continue in that role.
Cooper’s minor league baseball experience is considerable. In addition to his time in Evansville, Cooper has called games for the Traverse City Beach Bums and the Vero Beach Devil Rays. He spent last summer as the voice of the North Adams SteepleCats of the NECBL.
In addition to a new broadcaster, the ThunderBolts also have a new radio station. The team has announced a broadcast deal with WXAV Radio.
“The team’s new partnership with WXAV only enhances my enthusiasm to join the franchise,” Cooper says. “It’s a combination that demonstrates how far the ThunderBolts have come and will allow WXAV to introduce their format to a new set of listeners."
(February 12, 2009) STAA client Tyler Maun has been hired as the No.2 play-by-play broadcaster for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class-A, Atlanta Braves). Maun will work alongside the Pelicans new lead announcer Tommy Thrall.
“Baseball play-by-play is what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” Maun says. “And though this job came up on extremely short notice and will take me back from the size of my hometown market, I can’t imagine a better place to start a minor league career.”
In addition to his broadcasting responsibilities with Myrtle Beach, Maun will also assist in community relations.
“It’s an opportunity I would not have found without you (STAA) and the site, so I want to give you all my thanks,” Maun says.
Maun is a 2007 graduate of the University of Nebraska. He has worked as a sportscaster at 5CITY TV in Lincoln, NE. as an air talent at 90.3 KRNU in Lincoln and at 1480 ESPN Radio in Lincoln, where he interned under fellow STAA client Seth Harp.
(February 10, 2009) Paul Braverman is thrilled to be back on the air. An STAA client, Braverman has been named Director of Media and Public Relations for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League. He will also call play-by-play for all 140 Blue Crabs regular season games.
Braverman spent last season working in media relations, but not on air, with the York Revolution, also of the Atlantic League. In York, worked alongside the Revolution’s broadcaster and fellow STAA client Darrell Henry.
“The last time I was doing baseball day in and day out was with Jamestown in 2005,” Braverman says. “That was my intern year while I was still in college.”
The new opportunity came about for Braverman when Blue Crabs GM Chris Allen mentioned to York GM Matt O’Brien that the Blue Crabs had a position to fill. O’Brien recommended Braverman. After reviewing Braverman’s demo and resume, Allen offered him the job.
“It (baseball broadcasting) is something I definitely wanted to do while in college. It didn’t happen right away but I had a great job [in York]. I loved it there, but I’m probably going to love it even more now that I am leaving it for a chance to do 140 games each season,” Braverman grins.
Braverman’s baseball play-by-play experience includes time with the Jamestown Jammers (Marlins, Class A) and the Geneva Red Wings of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. He also called games for the Bowling Green State University Falcons while still a student at the university.
“It’s certainly a good day,” Braverman says. “This is the type of job I’ve desired since I left the friendly confines of Bowling Green State University almost two years ago.”
(February 4, 2009) When KMZE, Z92 in Woodward, OK had a sudden and immediate need for a play-by-play broadcaster, they called STAA. Within hours, STAA client Dan Hawkins got the job.
Tomorrow, Hawkins will call Woodward High School’s boys and girls home games vs Dodge City, KS. On Saturday, he will broadcast both team’s games at Altus High School. If things work out, it will turn into a full-time position.
The opportunity arose Wednesday morning when KMZE’s full-time broadcaster suddenly resigned. Station Manager Brad Kroft immediately called STAA. STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik suggested that Kroft call Hawkins, who lives in nearby Midwest City, OK.
“Mr. Kroft listened to my work on my STAA Talent Page,” Hawkins says.
Hawkins, who is in is final months of service in the U.S. Air Force, moved to Oklahoma last year from Hawaii. While in the islands, he spent several years selling and broadcasting a variety of high school play-by-play events.
Hawkins approached STAA last fall to build his demo and resume and to join the STAA Talent Search. He also attended STAA’s seminar for play-by-play broadcasters in Las Vegas last December.
“Thanks [to STAA] for having your service up and available,” Hawkins says. “It does pay off. STAA has provided a valuable service to broadcasters as we try to break into the business!”
(February 2, 2009) Seth Cantor has waited patiently for his “big break.” He’s hoping it has now arrived. Cantor, an STAA client, has been asked to fill-in on two upcoming men’s Division I basketball play-by-play broadcasts for the Manhattan College Jaspers.
Cantor will call games February 7th in Baltimore at Loyola, and February 21st in an ESPNU Bracket Buster game against a yet to be determined opponent.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Cantor says. “It is something I have been working towards the last couple years.”
Cantor currently serves as the play-by-play voice for the United States Merchant Marine Academy football and basketball teams.
When Manhattan realized they were going to need fill-in announcers for at least nine men’s and women’s basketball games this season, they contacted STAA. The opportunities were posted November 7th as a stealth job on the STAA sportscasting job and all applications went through STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. Chelesnik recommended several STAA clients, including Cantor, and several non-STAA clients – many of whom have already filled-in on Jasper’s games this season.
Cantor was unaware he had already been presented to the University by STAA. He found out about the opportunity through his own networking.
“I just feel like I was in the right place at the right time,” Cantor says. “There is a lot of excitement surrounding the [Manhattan basketball] program. I am happy to call some games of significance as they prepare for the MAAC Tournament.
“I know there is a rich broadcasting tradition over the last several years at Manhattan. I’m glad I fit what they are looking for.
“I really appreciate everything STAA has done for me. It has put me in a great position.”
(January 30, 2009) Justin Deutsch is thrilled to be back in baseball broadcasting. Out of the game since 2005, Deutsch will be calling games this summer for the DuBois County Bombers of the Prospect League.
With 11 teams, the Prospect League (formerly the Central Illinois Collegiate League), is one of the largest summer collegiate leagues in the nation. The Bombers play in Huntingburg, IN. Deutsch will call all 54 of their games, home and away, for a season running from June 4th through August 8th. He will also handle media relations responsibilities.
Since fall of 2005, Deutsch has spent seven months working for ESPN Sport Ticker in Bristol, CT, and more than two years as a broadcast associate for Fox Sports in Los Angeles. He has also been doing some sports broadcasting for local cable TV in Southern California.
“I’ve been looking to get back into broadcasting. I was able to use my old Frontier League contacts to help me land this job.” One of Deutch’s former employers in the Frontier League emailed a recommendation for Deutsch to each of the teams in the Prospect League. Huntington responded.
“It’s exciting to be part of the league considering it has expanded to 11 teams, including several teams from the old Frontier league,” Deutsch says.
(January 19, 2009) Jared Smith was prepared to sit out the coming minor league baseball season. Fortunately, his plans have changed. An STAA client, Smith has joined the broadcast team of the New York Yankees Class-AA affiliate, the Trenton Thunder.
In his new role, Smith will share play-by-play and color duties for all Thunder home games. He will also help in media relations and sales.
A 2008 graduate of Penn State University, Smith is thrilled to be getting back behind the mike.
“I really missed broadcasting,” Smith says. “Back in college at Penn State I got to broadcast every sport. Since I graduated I have taken a couple of part-time jobs but didn’t get to do much broadcasting. I’m really excited to get back into the broadcast booth.”
With the Thunder, Smith will be working under Director of Broadcasting Steve Rudenstein. Smith had given up hope for landing a minor league broadcasting job this season when Rudenstein called.
“All the jobs I was applying for had been taken,” Smith says. “I emailed Steve Rudenstein back in October and asked if they had any openings. He said there were still working on a radio rights deal and told me to keep in touch. That was late October. A couple of weeks ago, he asked me if I wanted to come in to interview. It was literally a 10-day span from the interview to the job offer.”
A resident of Mays Landing, NJ, Smith did part-time play-by-play last summer for the Atlantic City Surf. He has also been working as a producer and sports update anchor at ESPN Radio 1450 in Northfield, NJ.
“The Thunder is one of the best organization in minor league baseball and I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
(January 14, 2009) Being well-connected helped STAA client Josh Hirsch land his latest opportunity in minor league baseball. Hirsch has been hired as Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Shreveport-Bossier Captains of the American Association.
Hirsch spent last season with the San Angelo Colts (United League) as a No. 2 Play-by-Play Announcer and Media Relations Assistant.
The Shreveport opportunity came about for Hirsch through his association with the United League. Over the past year, he had come to know United League President Craig Brasfield. When Brasfield took over as VP/GM in Shreveport, he asked Hirsh to join him.
In addition to broadcasting a media relations duty, Hirsch also helps maintain the Captains website and assists in sales.
Hirsch’s new job offers some welcome challenges. The Shreveport franchise has been operating for five years but they overhauled the organization this off-season — re-staffing much of their front office and even changing the name of the team from Sports to Captains.
“It’s not quite an expansion team but almost the entire staff is new,” Hirsch says. “To be able to get in at the bottom is exciting to me.”
A Long Island, New York native, Hirsch graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also called baseball, football and basketball.