Professional sports teams typically employ one primary play-by-play announcer for television and radio. In the past, one announcer did a simulcast but that is now a rarity. In any case the announcer job is one of the rarest and most sought after in the sports industry.
The waiting list for those high profile jobs extends across the country with aspiring announcers just waiting to reach the pinnacle of sports media jobs. If you think about how long some of the most prominent play-by-play announcers, such as Vin Scully, Harry Kallas, and Joe Buck, lasted behind the microphone, you’ll realize that the turnover is low and the chances of a vacancy are slim.
Once a job opens up, audition tapes must be ready for submittal. Highly networked candidates and distinct announcing styles that capture the listener’s attention will separate the contenders from the pretenders in the pool of candidates. Announcing for small market minor league and college teams are a great way to build a solid repertoire of samples and further one’s reputation within the industry. In addition, constant networking within the industry to get one’s name out there can only increase the chances of being considered for openings. These minor announcing jobs may earn little or even no salary but they are great ways to gain experience and to practice one’s style and receive feedback from those already in the industry. Short-term sacrifices can eventually lead to the financial rewards and fame once hired by a professional team or major broadcast network in the future.
How to Break In – Broadcast journalism classes, calling games in front of your TV, minor league sports teams, broadcasting play by play camps
Recommended Skills – Unique style, creativity, knowledge of the game, command of the language, speaking articulately, objectivity, patience
Salary Range – $0 to $1,000,000+