October 24, 2000


Contact: Tom Hedrick, School of Journalism, (785) 864-0607.

Longtime sportscaster pens textbook on profession

LAWRENCE--When Tom Hedrick decided to write a textbook on sportscasting, he went to the experts and let them do what they do best: talk.

His first interviews were with four well-known sportscasters--Vin Scully of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jack Buck of the St. Louis Cardinals, Joe Buck of FOX Sports and Bob Carpenter of ESPN basketball.

"And then I called Bob Costas one day," said Hedrick, a longtime journalism lecturer at the University of Kansas. "I thought, 'Oh my goodness I've got something,' because Bob Costas says it so eloquently."

"The Art of Sportscasting: How to Build a Successful Career," ($24.95, Diamond Communications Inc.) includes chapters on everything from play-by-play skills and training to industry politics and sports talk radio. It's the first sportscasting textbook to cover this range of topics, Hedrick said, and it reflects his 43-year career as a sportscaster.

During that time, Hedrick has been the voice of the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys, KU Jayhawks and Nebraska Cornhuskers. He also has called three Super Bowls and nine Cotton Bowls for CBS Radio.

While writing and doing research for the book, Hedrick kept one thing in mind--students.

"I did this so kids would have something to go to, because there was nothing there in my judgment that would give them a game plan," he said.

In addition to how-to's, "The Art of Sportscasting" contains information on Costas, Keith Jackson, Joe Castiglione, Robin Roberts, Dan Patrick and many others, making it an entertaining read for students and other sports enthusiasts.

"I talked with 91 different broadcasters--that was the most fun part of the project," Hedrick said. And the advice they shared with students was fairly similar--do your homework, pay your dues and always be accurate.

"This book has nothing they haven't heard before, but they listen now that it's coming from the pros," said Hedrick, who has taught sportscasting at KU since 1975. "With this book and a tape machine and a work ethic, you can make it."

"My mission was to say, 'Here are two to three ways to do this correctly. Try it and see how you need to do it.' Because so much of our business is style. And so much of that is personal."

The book is available at the KU Bookstores or through Diamond Communications at (800) 480-3717 or www.diamondbooks.com.


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