Assisting an NFL Radio Broadcast Team

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Part 2 Commanders Wire Interview with Julie Donaldson (Commands Senior Vice President of Media and Content). Part one was published Tuesday morning.

DeAngelo was hired as the Washington broadcast team’s analyst. Julie then needed to find the play-by/play announcer.

It has a rich history of PBP announcers, including Larry Michael (2005-2019), Frank Herzog (1979-2004), and Steve Gilmartin (64-1973).

Donaldson received hundreds of applications immediately. It is a rare job, and highly sought-after, she explained. “It was very hard for me. I did not have much time to make these decisions and the preseason games were quickly going to be upon us.”

Donaldson acknowledged that Covid and the time constraints placed upon her for major decisions meant that she slept poorly the first night after taking the job.

“The PBP announcer had to be open to working with me, the first female in a full-time radio booth for an NFL team. He had to be willing to work with me. Donaldson did not convey this in a pushy, proud tone. It was more of an admission of the truth of the situation. She was named the head of the department. Do you think a good announcer would be interested in the job?

Bram Weinstein was a former employee of ESPN and WTEM, Washington. A lifelong Redskins fan born and raised in the DMV, he earned his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at American University.

Weinstein had never called an NFL match before, and the preseason would be starting in one month. Weinstein was desperate to get the job. He quickly watched and practiced calling games and sent recordings back to the organization.

Julie was more qualified than the other announcers who were interested in the job. He was passionate about this football team, and she knew that. He was her choice to broadcast this team’s games. He was a member of her team.

Donaldson described the thrill and intimidation of Donaldson’s first regular season game in 2020, a 27-17 victory over the Eagles. She talked about how she was a reporter for the team on camera for over ten years, and had done numerous pregame and postgame shows. But this was her first broadcast of a live game. She was now the boss.

Donaldson understandably questioned herself, “Do I belong here?” She was also feeling the self-inflicted pressure of needing to do a good job, which can sometimes morph into wanting to do a perfect job. However, as we all know, this is not likely to be the case, so we don’t need to put too much pressure on ourselves.

She said she needed to remember her vast experience and trust in her ability to adapt to this new role in the booth. Donaldson and Weinstein were big fans of the team, and Hall was a former Washington player. “We all wanted them to do well. That first game was emotional for each of us.”

“Looking back, I was a little giddy as well. After that first game, the most important thing I learned was to stop talking so Bram could be heard on the play-byplay. We needed to give Bram his time to call the play and wait our turn.”

“I heard the criticism, and that is okay. To ensure we are going to be a better product, I am always in favor of constructive criticism, and I hope I always am (in the future).”

To be continued: Growing the department, becoming a better person

 

 

 

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire

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