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Think you can be an on-air sports host? The Fan radio station hopes so, too

| Thursday, May 23, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

If you believe you can be the next great Pittsburgh sports talk-show host, KDKA-FM (Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan) wants to hear from you.

The first of five open auditions, where entrants will vie for an opportunity to host a program broadcast on weekends, and possibly grow into a long-term relationship with the CBS station, begins at 11 a.m. May 25 at Beer and Pop 4 Less, Suite 2, 1155 Washington Pike, Bridgeville.

Auditions also are scheduled at 7 p.m. May 29 at Dad's Pub and Grub, Monroeville; 4 p.m. June 6, at Cricket Wireless, Oakland; 7 p.m. June 10 at Joey D's Bar and Grille, Harmarville; and 7 p.m. June 19 at Jergel's Rhythm Grille, Warrendale.

Ten people will move on to the semi-final round at the Tilted Kilt, North Shore, at 7 p.m. June 24; and then to the championship final round, during a live broadcast with Andrew Fillipponi, at 6 p.m. June 27 at Sidelines Bar and Grille, Sewickley.

There is no registration.

“Showing up to an audition does not necessarily guarantee an audition. We are only guaranteeing one to the first 20 people who show up to every location. I would suggest that participants arrive early,” program director Ryan Maguire says.

Participants will be given a topic and a couple of minutes in which they will be asked to present a commentary in front of judges. “People are welcome to attempt an audition at any or all of our open-audition locations, limited to one audition per location,” Maguire says.

He is looking for men and women who are compelling, entertaining, passionate and who possess the ability to hold the attention of an audience. “At the end of the day, it's show business,” he says.

The program director says it is not unusual for a major radio station like KDKA-FM to have an open audition.

“Many of our fellow CBS stations have done these events. It's not out of the norm in this day and age,” he says.

“There is certainly an entertainment aspect to it, a reality TV aspect of it all. At the same time, radio and television stations, especially in the spoken-word format, always are looking for the next great superstar, somebody that stands out.”

Chris Mueller won a similar promotion at ESPN 1250 in Pittsburgh and now co-hosts on The Fan from 2 to 6 p.m. with Joe Starkey and Josh Miller (Starkey, Miller & Mueller).

Maguire anticipates that people who have experience in the business and those hoping to land a job for the first time will try out for The Fan.

Prior experience is not necessary, he says. “You don't have to have years and years of broadcast experience to be compelling on the air. Some very notable names got into it by winning auditions like this. They were just compelling listens.”

Audition rules and information are available at www.937thefan.com/host.

Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4664 or rrutkoski@tribweb.com.

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