From Minor League Sports to a Major Juggling Act

Whether you work for one team full-time, a couple (or few) teams part-time, or have a “pedestrian” job and a (or a couple) gig on the side, there are many different ways you can get involved in the sports broadcasting world. Within every league I’ve observed, there’s at least a little variance in the career paths of the teams’ broadcasters. Sometimes there are as many different routes to the broadcast booth as there are teams. Occasionally, the broadcasters aren’t even employed by the team.

My situation is no different from most other game-callers, meaning that it’s a pretty unique bird. My relationship with the Worcester Tornadoes Baseball Team is complicated enough, let alone the fact that I call Providence Bruins Hockey games and have a full-time job this part of year. Fitting everything together can be akin to assembling a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle in an hour. I’m lucky that I’ve managed to find a system that works.

Later this week, you’ll find a continuation of this article in the brand new STAA Contributors Network (and I’ll post the link here). It features a look at a few other broadcasters from a hodgepodge of sports, affiliation levels and outside jobs.

I’m currently an independent contractor with the Tornadoes, if you really want to give it a legal name. Instead of being in the office for x number of hours every week, my workload at this point in the off-season depends on what needs to be done and how much time in the immediate future I have to do it. Once my full-time (but seasonal) gig ends in mid-to late January, I’ll be back with the Tornadoes during most regular business hours. I started with them this past March, just in time to toss the 2011 program and pocket & magnet schedules together before the season started in late May.

The Bruins only need me on game days, with the hours I work not important, as long as I get sufficient coach and player interviews for the day’s broadcast. Before the season started, I constructed radio ads here and there , but the majority of that is done with. I started in late September and will go through the P-Bruins’ season (either mid-April or later, depending on whether or not they make the playoffs and how long they’re in them).

I’m the Community Manager for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, which is 30 hours a week, but considered full-time. The majority of those hours are spent telecommuting, with me driving or T’ing into Boston a couple of days per week. I started there at the end of August, and the program runs into January.

Not so surprisingly, the wages for my broadcasting positions don’t pay an arm and a leg per hour (or month for that matter), so COTY allows me to afford to work in sports. In addition to the money I make there, the “team” is very flexible with where and how I work for them. They’re aware of my situation, which is something I had to make sure of to prevent any confusion (or pink slips). If it weren’t for Twitter and the university I graduated from, I wouldn’t have landed this job, so the fact that I have it is a victory in itself. (That’s a story for another time though.)

My weekly schedule usually looks like this:

Monday: telecommuting for COTY, occasionally in Worcester for the Tornadoes

Tuesday: in Boston for COTY

Wednesday: in Boston for COTY

Thursday: telecommuting for COTY, occasionally in Worcester for the Tornadoes

Friday: in Providence for the Bruins, telecommuting for COTY

Saturday: telecommuting for COTY

Sunday: in Providence for the Bruins

Whether or not you’re a broadcaster, how do you cram everything you do into your schedule? Do you have any especially effective methods for dealing with large workloads and/or stress? Let me know via a comment below.

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