Rick Saleeby is an Emmy-nominated and Edward R. Murrow award-winning broadcast journalist with a passion for sports and storytelling. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Rick’s love for sports began at an early age, rooting for the Yankees, Giants, and being captivated by the world of WWE. Growing up, he developed a strong bond with his family and childhood friends, cherishing the connections and memories they shared.
Rick pursued his passion for sports and communication by obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University. Armed with his education and an unwavering determination, he embarked on a successful career in sports and broadcast journalism that spans over 20 years. As a freelance writer and senior producer, Rick has showcased his writing prowess and storytelling skills, contributing to numerous notable publications and broadcasts.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Rick is an avid traveler, finding inspiration in exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. He values fitness and maintains an active lifestyle. With a deep appreciation for comedy, he dabbles in standup comedy and enjoys the world of podcasts.
Rick’s interests extend beyond sports and entertainment. He is passionate about history, cultural literacy, and believes in the power of knowledge. His love for coffee serves as a fuel to keep him engaged and energized throughout his pursuits.
Rick Saleeby’s dedication and talent in the field of broadcast journalism have been recognized through his Emmy nomination and Edward R. Murrow award. He continues to push the boundaries of storytelling, aiming to captivate audiences and make a lasting impact through his work. With his wealth of experience and commitment to excellence, Rick remains an influential figure in the world of sports media and beyond.
How did you get started in this business?
My journey in this business began with a deep fascination for sports and the people behind the scenes who brought the stories to life. The allure of painting vivid pictures on the radio captivated me. When it came time to choose a major in college, I followed my passion and opted for communications, much to the surprise of some. I decided to stay close to home in the vibrant New York metropolitan area and enrolled at St. John’s University.
Initially, I wrestled with the decision to forgo the traditional college experience in favor of staying in the media capital of the world. However, that choice proved to be immensely rewarding. I dedicated my time to the radio station, even if it meant hosting shows for an audience of one. I immersed myself in play-by-play and color commentary for SJU basketball, and at the age of 19, I found myself holding a media pass to Madison Square Garden. It felt surreal, like a dream come true.
Building upon those experiences, I secured an internship at a local cable news outlet. This opportunity allowed me to delve into various aspects of the industry. I learned how to shoot, edit, write, and log games while working alongside a Hall of Fame broadcaster who became my mentor. It was an invaluable learning experience that solidified my passion for this business.
From those humble beginnings, I have continued to pursue my love for sports and storytelling. Each step along the way has shaped me into the professional I am today, fueling my dedication and drive to excel in this ever-evolving industry. The journey has been filled with challenges and triumphs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way, and I look forward to what the future holds as I continue to grow and make my mark in this captivating world of sports and media.
How do people in your field make money?
In my field, people make money through various avenues. Broadcasting professionals often earn income through contracts with media networks or companies. This can include salaries, bonuses, and other forms of compensation based on their roles and experience. Additionally, broadcasters may generate revenue through endorsements, sponsorships, and partnerships with brands. Some may also explore freelance opportunities, such as writing articles or providing commentary for different media outlets. In the evolving landscape of digital media, content creators can monetize their work through advertising, subscriptions, or crowdfunding platforms. Furthermore, there are opportunities for revenue generation through merchandise sales, book deals, public speaking engagements, and appearances. The key is to diversify income streams and adapt to the changing dynamics of the industry to ensure financial sustainability and success.
How do people in your line of work go about acquiring new leads, stories or gigs?
In my line of work, acquiring new leads, stories, or gigs involves a proactive and multifaceted approach. Networking plays a crucial role, so professionals in my field attend industry events, conferences, and seminars to connect with potential leads, colleagues, and decision-makers. Building and nurturing relationships within the industry can lead to new opportunities. Additionally, staying updated on industry trends and news helps identify potential story angles or areas of interest. Actively researching and pitching story ideas to media outlets, publishers, or content platforms can lead to gig opportunities. Engaging with the audience through various channels, such as social media, can also attract new leads and generate story ideas. Embracing digital platforms and leveraging technology is essential in the modern landscape, as it allows for broader reach and exposure. Finally, maintaining an online presence through a professional website, portfolio, or blog can showcase expertise and attract potential clients or employers.
How did you work your way up in this business?
In working my way up in this business, I began by pursuing my passion for sports and storytelling. I chose a communications major in college and dedicated myself to gaining practical experience. I immersed myself in opportunities like hosting radio shows, providing play-by-play commentary, and securing internships in the industry. These experiences allowed me to develop a strong foundation of skills and knowledge.
Building relationships and seeking guidance from mentors was crucial in my professional growth. I actively sought feedback and embraced constructive criticism to improve my craft. I continuously stayed informed about industry trends and adapted to the changing media landscape, embracing new technologies and distribution methods.
What made you want to work in this industry?
My passion for this industry was sparked by sports broadcasts, particularly watching the Yankees on WPIX. It wasn’t just about the game itself, but the moments in between pitches when “The Scooter” Phil Rizzuto’s storytelling skills shone through. I’ve always been captivated by anyone or anything with a compelling story, whether it’s comedians, TV shows, or history books. I wanted to be part of an industry that brings stories to life, entertains, and connects people on a deeper level. Working in this field allows me to immerse myself in the intersection of imagination and reality, contributing to the creation of captivating narratives that resonate with audiences. It’s a privilege to be part of an industry that celebrates the power of storytelling.
What is it that you feel makes you good at your job?
What sets me apart in my job is my knack for breaking down the barriers between myself and the audience. I steer clear of the media bubble and strive to connect with people in a relatable way. I communicate as if we were having a conversation at the dinner table, using language that is accessible and genuine. By bridging this gap, I create an environment where people feel comfortable and engaged. I believe in the power of authentic communication and strive to make complex topics accessible to all. This approach allows me to connect with audiences on a deeper level, building trust and fostering meaningful connections. It is through this ability to connect that I am able to excel in my role and effectively deliver my message to those I interact with.
What are the perks of working in this type of business?
The biggest perk for me is that it provides an opportunity to pursue a passion and be immersed in a field that one truly enjoys. Whether it’s sports, storytelling, or any other area of interest, working in this industry allows individuals to combine their personal interests with their professional endeavors.
Another perk is the ability to connect with audiences and make a meaningful impact. Through authentic communication and captivating storytelling, professionals in this field have the privilege of engaging and resonating with viewers, listeners, or readers. This connection can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
Moreover, the industry offers room for creativity and personal growth. It constantly evolves and presents new challenges and opportunities. Embracing the digital landscape, technological advancements, and innovative distribution methods opens up endless possibilities for targeted and personalized storytelling. This allows professionals to push the boundaries of their craft and explore new creative avenues.
Lastly, mentoring and teaching can be a gratifying aspect of working in this industry. Sharing knowledge and experiences with aspiring individuals and helping them navigate their own paths can be immensely fulfilling.
For those passionate about this line of work, the perks include pursuing one’s passion, connecting with audiences, experiencing personal growth, exploring new creative possibilities, and potentially mentoring others.
What are the disadvantages of working in this field?
Working in this field is far from a traditional 9-5 job. It often requires long nights and weekends, as the nature of the industry is unpredictable and ever-changing. A single piece of breaking news can completely erase a day’s or even a week’s worth of work, demanding adaptability and quick thinking. Additionally, it’s essential to have a thick skin and the ability to handle criticism constructively. This field can be demanding, and it requires individuals who are willing to grow and learn from feedback rather than letting it discourage them. Despite these challenges, for those who embrace the fast-paced and dynamic nature of the industry, the rewards and opportunities for personal and professional growth can be significant.
What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding aspect of my work is the opportunity to write, inform, and tell stories at an elevated level. It’s a privilege I never thought I would have, and that in itself is deeply fulfilling. Connecting with the audience is another source of reward. Crafting that one line of copy that you know will captivate viewers and make an impact brings a sense of accomplishment. It’s not about sensationalism but rather discovering the clever nuances that make a story shine. When you uncover that perfect blend of creativity and substance, it is a truly rewarding experience. Being able to engage and resonate with the audience through my writing is what makes this work so gratifying, reminding me why I chose this path and inspiring me to continue pushing the boundaries of storytelling.
Where is your industry headed? What excites you about the future of this line of work?
The industry is currently navigating a challenging yet thrilling period, as the linear TV audience continues to age. The shift towards streaming, social media, and web-based platforms is crucial for future growth. To stay relevant, it’s essential to stay abreast of trends and avoid delivering content that the younger audience has already consumed and shared more effectively elsewhere. Embracing new technologies and innovative distribution methods is vital for success. The exciting aspect of this line of work lies in the endless possibilities and opportunities that the digital landscape presents. It allows for more targeted and personalized storytelling, reaching wider and more diverse audiences. The future holds the potential to explore new creative avenues, engage with audiences in nnovative ways, and push the boundaries of storytelling to unprecedented heights.
What advice do you give people who want to get into your field of work?
For aspiring individuals looking to enter my field of work, my advice is to prioritize hands-on experience above all else. Practical knowledge and real-world application often carry more weight than advanced degrees. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and, most importantly, actively listen to the answers. Preparation is key – ensure you are well-informed so that you can effectively inform others.
In the initial stages, it’s natural to have doubts and feel tempted to give up. However, I encourage you to bet on yourself and persevere. Keep writing stories even if you suspect they may never see the light of day. This practice will refine your skills and make you a better storyteller in the long run. Remember that success often stems from dedication and consistent effort.
Additionally, seek feedback from mentors or experienced professionals in the field. Embrace constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity for growth. Building a strong network and fostering relationships within the industry can also open doors and provide valuable support along your journey.
Ultimately, trust in your abilities, embrace the challenges, and stay committed to honing your craft. With passion, resilience, and a willingness to learn, you can thrive in this field and make a meaningful impact with your work.