Melanie Newman: Major League Talent - Work in Sports Podcast E148

Melanie Newman is just one of just five women calling play-by-play in professional baseball. Learn more about how she beat the odds and keeps pushing for more on the Work in Sports podcast!

Hi everybody I’m Brian Clapp, Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

I was struck this week by a response I received on our private facebook group for fans of this podcast. If you aren’t a member of the podcast group, you should be, search for the work in sports podcast on facebook and join in.

I posted in there that I wanted the serious people in the group to post their 2019 plans – all the steps they were going to take this year to reach their goals of working in the sports industry. I wanted them to post these plans, and then allow the rest of us to hold them accountable.

Personally, I thought this was a great idea. Because I want everyone to take real steps, real action… not just a bunch of cheap talk. What are you going to do!

If you are a student – what is your plan? What internships are you going to aim for, what events are you going to volunteer at, what courses are you going to take, what clubs are you going to get involved in, what people are you going to network with what information interviews are you going to set up – and how will they all help you toward your goal. 

This is a plan. This is something you can execute and push you toward you ultimate goal. Every step has meaning and purpose.

So I post this call to action and I get a response – now this is just one response, most of the responses were positive – a person says “At this point, I don’t need a plan, as much as I want a foot in the door.”

Look I get it, people feel desperate, people are scared, people want their career to appear before them and when it doesn’t happen that way they get frustrated. A plan takes time, a job is now.

I can hear the frustration bubbling up inside this person. But here’s the honest truth.

Things like leadership, and love, and fitness…and your career – don’t just happen, they are a consistent process. They take time and they take many little tiny micro decisions, or micro actions, that eventually lead up to the point where you get the result you want.

You don’t go to the gym one day and become fit. You don’t just want a job and get a job.

It takes steps. It’s takes consistent positive action. How do you know what those actions are?

Well, think about this for a second. Before you started listening to this podcast did you know the steps Brian Killingsworth took to become CMO of the Vegas Golden Knights? Or how Nicole Lynn became a sports agent? Or how Mike Judge became the manager of ticket sales for the Cleveland Browns?

No you probably didn’t, but now by listening and learning from these experts you have blueprints. By conducting your own informational interviews you have the steps, by networking, and interning and following the QA sessions and facebook live sessions and all the other great content we share at Work in you have the game plan.

What are you going to do with it?

Today’s guest Melanie Newman, Broadcaster for the Frisco RoughRiders is one of just 5 female play by play broadcasters in professional baseball, and she is amazing. Do you really think she’s achieved what she has by “hoping” or “wanting” – no, she worked at it. She set her goals, she made her choices, she went after it…

Well, I’ll let her tell you – here she is, Melanie Newman, Broadcaster for the Frisco RoughRiders!


Questions for Melanie Newman, Frisco RoughRiders Broadcaster


1: Baseball isn’t a sport where you can just wing it – I’ve known people who can fake it through a basketball game, but baseball is really hard work, the games are long, there are a ton of long pauses, lots of strategy that demands some explaining… when did your love of this game start and why?

2: What about the media broadcasting side – when did you figure out your love wasn’t just baseball, it was on this storytelling, reporting, broadcasting side of things?

3: So let’s track back to that time when you were first deciding you wanted to work in broadcasting – what was your approach while in college at Troy – how did you gain experience?

4: No one gets hired in broadcasting without a demo reel – it’s your proof of performance – in my career as a news director I have probably watched thousands of demo reels and some are just unwatchable. What was your approach to taking your experience in college and putting it together into a reel that would help you stand out?

5: Your first gig in minor league baseball was with the Mobile Bay Bears, double A affiliate of the Angels – take us through that early experience how did you land the job?

5a: what were your responsibilities?

6: That’s the thing about minor league sports that I love for people starting their career – you do a bit of everything, one night you are the doing the pre-game and then the next you are in sales, or wearing the mascot suit. Was that a productive introduction to the industry for you?

7: You jumped around a bit after that which is pretty normal when you are getting your career really going – and then you see this opening with the Frisco RoughRiders, Double A affiliate of the Rangers for a Broadcaster – what was the key to landing this job?

8: Take us through your first day on this gig.

9: What were some of the major things you learned in year one with this new team?

10: You are one of only 5 women calling play by play in professional baseball - I’ve listened to your broadcasts and you are a natural – how would you describe your style and how have you refined it?

11: What are the players like – have they been receptive to you as a young woman, or do you have to go to extra lengths to prove yourself to them?

12: Clearly you are enjoying your time with the RoughRiders, but dare to dream here for a bit – what is your bog goal?

13: We have a lot of fans in our audience who want to work in broadcasting, what is one thing you would suggest an aspiring broadcaster do to help build their brand and make themselves a credible hire?



By Brian Clapp | January 16, 2019
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