After figuring out he wasn't going to be a professional baseball player himself, MLB Network Host Matt Yallof figured he'd pursue the next best thing, covering the pros for a living. But the path to his dream job was more curve ball than line drive.
"My first job was on the technical side of TV production at CNBC in financial news." reminisces Yallof, "While I never loved the technical part of the business, It provided me the experience and contacts to make the jump into sports and eventually to on-air work.
"The lesson," concludes the MLB Network Host, "take any job that gets your foot in the door!"
From a very early age I was drawn to sports and the way sports were covered on television. This was before cable, satellite TV and round the clock coverage of every game and news story . Each week, I would look forward to watching MLB's "Game of the Week" or Monday Night Baseball (Anyone under 35 years old probably doesn't remember MNB!).
Stations: CNBC, CNN Sports, WKBW (Buffalo, NY), Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia, SNY, MLB Network
Most memorable moment working in Sports TV: As an intern for a local station, I went to the New York Mets clubhouse to assist the Sports Reporter. It was the first time I had been in a professional clubhouse and the excitement of being around my hometown team in a major league ballpark had me hooked !
Best piece of advice:. More than ever, it's important to take any job you can find that gets your foot in the door. It may take a while, but dedicated people with talent will advance if you can make the necessary sacrifices along the way.
Matt Yallof: Like most kids, I had a dream of playing in the big leagues. When I realized that was not going to happen, I figured getting involved in the sports TV end of things was a natural fit.
Yallof: When it was time to pursue my career, I knew that I wanted to be in a fast paced environment that allowed me to use my creativity and need for excitement and movement. An office job was not going to work for me. Luckily, I landed a job one month after college graduation at CNBC. Financial news was not my thing, but I was hooked on the atmosphere and the pace. I had heard the stories about how difficult it was to advance a career in television , but I always figured that hard work would get me where I wanted to go.
Yallof: Poor pay in the beginning stages of my career while working strange hours can certainly take its toll. It's a reality and there is no way to avoid it. As most folks who pursue on-air work have found, relocating to advance your career, also poses challenges. Some people change careers to avoid moving around the country every few years. It's not easy to do if you choose to have a family. The flip side of that is experiencing new regions of the country, cities, people and fan bases. I have been fortunate to work in some of the best sports cities in the country. New York, Philadelphia and Buffalo.
1990-1992: Technical Associate CNBC
1993-94: Video Journalist CNN News
1995: Production Assistant CNN Sports
1996-1998: Headline Sports and CNN International Sportscaster
1999: Sportscaster & Sports Reporter WKBW Buffalo
2000-2005: Sportscaster & Sports Reporter Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia
2006-2008: Sportscaster SNY
2009-present: Sportscaster MLB Network
Yallof: More than ever, it's important to take any job you can find that gets your foot in the door. It may take a while, but dedicated people with talent will advance if you can make the necessary sacrifices along the way.
Yallof: After covering Superbowls, World Series and Stanley Cup Finals my most memorable experience actually took place in the summer of 1988. As an intern for a local station, I went to the New York Mets clubhouse to assist the Sports Reporter. It was the first time I had been in a professional clubhouse and the excitement of being around my hometown team in a major league ballpark had me hooked !