Rick Sanchez’s next gig: FIU football announcer

August 16th, 2011
Rick Sanchez

Rick Sanchez

The most recent move in the broadcast career of former Channel 7 and CNN anchorman Rick Sanchez looks like an open field zig-zag: radio color analyst on Florida International’s 12 college football games this season.
It looks that way if you didn’t know that Sanchez lettered three years at Hialeah High and, according to him, received a partial scholarship to play at Moorehead State. Or, if you didn’t know that after his firing from CNN, he spent last fall hopping around to FIU road games from his Atlanta home with his FIU student son, Ricky.
“I played college football. I love football,” Sanchez laughed. “That part of it is exciting. We all tend to think we could do play-by-play better than the next guy. I don’t need money or to chase the next anchor job.”
Or, if you didn’t know that Sanchez, Cuban-born and Hialeah-raised, brags of how much FIU’s enrollment and FIU’s team displays South Florida’s ethnic diversity all the way up to Cuban-American head coach Mario Cristobal. Or, if you didn’t know that FIU athletic director Pete Garcia has known Sanchez since they were at Mae M. Walters Elementary School, through Filer Junior High and to Hialeah High.
Garcia already had decided against bringing back Jeremy Marks-Peltz, the play-by-play man the last three years. Jorge Sedano, the 790 The Ticket morning radio host, did color analysis the last two years on the radio. But, for Sedano, a new weekend job in front of WFOR-CBS4’s cameras made continuing at FIU impractical unless he was the play-by-play man.
Instead, Garcia decided to make a wholesale change. He’ll pair play-by-play man Tony Calatayud with Sanchez.
“He’s followed our program,” Garcia said of Sanchez. “He did a piece on us for CNN a couple of years ago when we went to play Alabama. I brought [the broadcasting job] up to him to see if he was interested in it.”
Sanchez was. He certainly had time.
He said he’s been writing and blogging since CNN fired him last autumn. The offense was a radio interview rant that both claimed The Daily Show host Jon Stewart made sport of him because he was a minority and dismissed the idea of Jewish people as an oppressed minority.
Both Sanchez and Garcia say Sanchez has a tight relationship with FIU president Mark Rosenberg, who is Jewish..
“We’ve talked about a million things under the sun over the years,” Sanchez said.
Rosenberg didn’t return a phone call for comment.
Sanchez rose to stardom as a Channel 7 news anchor in South Florida’s bullet-heavy 1980s and establish himself as South Florida’s most polarizing news personality as the station began to dominate the local news ratings. Starting in 2001, he went to MSNBC; returned to South Florida’s WTVJ-Channel 6; then to then-WBZL Channel 39; before going to CNN.
“I stand by what I said — generally, the news media, broadcast more so than print, has not given opportunities to people of color, particularly Latinos,” Sanchez said. “I don’t need money. I don’t need to chase the next open job. If anything, I’m looking for opportunities to empower others and myself so we’re not getting jobs, but creating jobs.”

Get a Gig

March 29th, 2009

As with much of life, the first steps are the hardest, and getting your first gig is not as straightforward as it may seem, writes James W Roberts.

After you’ve honed your sound, spent hours in the rehearsal room practising and want to take your great new thing on the road how do you get a gig? Here are some tips and advice to smooth the path to stardom.

Former Boo Radley and Cardiff-based electro tunesmith Martin Carr offers some succinct, if cynical advice. “Be in a band, own a club, be a promoter.” Don’t worry, there are easier ways to get your band on the road.

Don’t send in a CD of your rockier moments and then choose to Close quotation markplay a skiffle set on the night.

John Rostron, Plug Two

John Rostron, head of Cardiff based promotions company Plug Two, sees advanced planning as crucial if your debut live outing is to be a successful one. “Get a pair of compasses and draw a circle on a map to work out how far a field you can travel on any given day or night, then contact all the venues in that area,” he advises.

The demo is crucial as a starting point in getting your first gig. The demo does not need to be as polished as if you were sending it to a prospective label – its main function is to show the promoter what you sound like and how suitable your band is to the venue.

Along with the demo recording, bands should include full contact information and a useful biography. Don’t be afraid of self promotion, but try to keep things short and informative.

“Promoters will want a demo CD – three songs are ideal – with tracks that are representative of your sound. Don’t send in a CD of your rockier moments and then choose to play a skiffle set on the night,” says Rostron.

Wrexham based promoter Ian Shaw stages Rock Sound sponsored gigs at Central Station, as well as venues across North Wales. He underlines that getting your first gig isn’t exactly rocket science.

“Sometimes it’s easiest to just get in touch with a local promoter with a phone call or email. With demos it’s nice to see an effort being made: a nicely presented package with a printed cover and nicely done biog makes the promoter pay more attention.”

When chasing a venue, don’t worry about ensuring a sold out gig. Sure, promoters will be more receptive if you can guarantee a good crowd, but Ian suggests bands should worry more about sounding great and less about pleasing the promoter.

“Some bands bring a lot of friends, which is fine, but sometimes the band ends up messing around and joking with their friends rather than playing an awesome set,” he says.

Hello world!

March 18th, 2009

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!