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Agents Share Industry Wisdom Via Al Jaffe Speaker Series

Emerson students interested in finding sports broadcasting agents learned from the best of the industry on Thursday, March 28.

Sports agents Sandy Montag and Steve Herz joined Al Jaffe ’68 in the Bright Family Screening Room for a discussion about being and finding an agent as part of the Al Jaffe Speaker Series, established in 2016 to bring in industry leaders. The event was hosted by the School of Communication, Emerson College Polling Society, and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Montag and Herz represent some of the top people in sports media, including John Madden, Bob Costas, and Mary Carillo. Jaffe, retired vice president of talent acquisition and negotiation at ESPN, is co-vice chair of the Emerson Board of Trustees.

The agents discussed how the industry of sports media is evolving.

“The business is growing,” Montag, president and CEO of The Montag Group. “Competition is increasing. There’s just more of everything out there.” He said that because the talent pool is larger than ever, it’s more important for people to find the right agent.

They also touched on the use of social media by sports broadcasters, advising future broadcasters to use caution on platforms such as Twitter. They said people need to strike a balance between using social media to build their brand and not sharing controversial personal opinions.

They also discussed the way sports media is diversifying. Montag said that women are becoming more prominent in the industry, but also said there needs to be more women in executive positions.

While the industry has made progress, there’s still room to improve, Jaffe agreed.

Izzy Holloway ’19, a political communications major, was excited to attend.

“I hope to learn more about being an agent,” she said.

Students asked Montag and Herz their own questions about crisis management, diversifying sports media, and how clients are marketed.

Jaffe said students always ask insightful questions at the Al Jaffe Speaker Series.

Montag and Herz gave advice for students who will be beginning their careers soon after graduation.

“You’re going to have to do it yourself at that point in your career,” Montag said. Agents don’t usually sign people who don’t have experience.

Herz agreed, emphasizing the importance of telling one’s own story.