Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
And So She Goes
And So She Goes

Episode 3 · 1 year ago

2. Jamie Hersch, NHL and MLB Network Host and Reporter

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Jamie Hersch talks to Amanda about the all-female show on NHL Network on International Women's Day, how she started in news and transitioned to sports, and what it's been like juggling a demanding career with a new baby. We recorded this interview before sports were cancelled due to the spread of Coronavirus.

Conversations with real women who makesports happing this is, and so she goes, here's your host, Amanda Morgous, hello, there. We have been withoutsports for way too long. In my opinion- and I have to admit- I did not see thiscoming- that is very evident in this episode. By the way, my guess forepisode, too, is someone I really admire in respect in this industry. Ifyou're a hockey or a baseball fan, you've seen her breaking down gamehighlights and interviewing your favorite players and coaches on t v.now, at the time of recording this interview, she was coming off an allfemale edition of NHL now on Anagel network. So we dive into the creationof that and we talk about how she juggles covering two sports at once,especially as a new mom, again, keep in mind, this conversation happened. Beforwe knew both hockey and baseball would be canceled. We do not talk aboutCarona virus whatsoever, so I hope you use this as an escape from the madness.Here is my conversation with NHLNMLB network coast and reporter Jamie Hirsch, Hi Jamie Hello. Thank you for having me.Oh, my goodness, thank you for joining me. I'm so excited tell me more aboutthis project. Oh my goodness. Well, this has been something I've beenwanting to do for a few years. Now, it's just as you know you get busy withfull time job and travelling and this and that, and you always find ways tomake excuses, and I just figured that now''s the time o I'm just I don't know,I'm super excited about it. Um. I just have been inspired by so many awesomewomen in this industry and the Camaraderie that I'm sure you haveexperience as well and the support that everyone gives each other. I justreally want to highlight that, and I I think that more people should know howamazing this sisterhood in sports really is yeah. I think it's a greatidea and your right. There are so many women that are supporting each otherand lifting each other up, and especially to do that in such acompetitive industry is really empowering, and I think it's a greatidea to share it with other people out there. Who might be wondering if that'sactually the case exactly exactly you're totally right? Well, I love itwe're talking today, because you were just coming off the third annual allfemale broadcast of NHL. Now, how did that come to be? Who came up with thatidea? Originally, it was one of our coordinating producers and it was justthe idea that you know we have two female hosts and Jackie Redman andmyself that talk about hockey every single day offseason on season itdoesn't matter and with it being a genera quality month around the NHL inMarch. That was where it initially started, like let's celebrate that byhaving Jamie Joinjackie and Hostigel now, and then just have all of ournormal correspondence that just happened to be female as well. Let'shave them join us too, and it's not the biggest Messagir I always want to drivehome. Is it's not at all about excluding men, it's just about having ashow where we have so many women in different roles that do that everysingle day, both on and off camera, and just celebrating the fact thatthere are so many women in what is ut the male dominant industry by having usall just do the same show, instead of all this doing different shows all thetime. So that's what it really is about, Um. You know, I think it's so oftenthat we turn on our t vs, and it is all men on t a panel talking about sportsand it's totally fine. That's the way it has been forever, but we could alsouse at least one day, if not more than one day where it's all women just tomix it up, and you know I'm a mom of a...

...young boy, a very young boy, Ho 's, noteven one yet, but I really want him to grow up in a world where he not only sees it as normal for a woman to betalking about sports but expects to see a woman or a person of color or aperson, you know who may not know their sexuality ar whatever it may be. Ithink representation is so important to have all those different voices and adiversity of opinions and backgrounds when you're talking about sports news,entertainment, anything totally and just making it the norm, Ithink, is important Ling. It shouldn't be something that's unique. You know I,it should be something that people see all the time. There's this Prastant,I'm sure you've heard before that. I love. If you can't see it, then youcan't be it right, which is true like as a kid growing up like you like. Weprobably I'm not going to speak for you, but I BEC. I I got into journalism because of thewomen and people that I saw doing it, and I want to do that and I'm sure itwas similar for you, so y AH important it was and my personal role model wasMichaltifoia, because when I was growing up you know I I first got into sportsbecause my dad loved the Minnista Vikings and so for me it didn't startin hockey. It started in football, but I was in fifth grade. It was RandyMoss's, rookie season, the Vikis Ene fifteen and one that year and ipenen ovon the superbowl, except for the stupidmiss steel goald.That will haunt my dreams for the rest of my life, but either way that yearwas really the first time where you know I bearned about football. I I talkto my dad so much about every single game and implications and Playoffs andstandings and whatever that was the first time that that h d reallyhappened and it was a launch pad for really the rest of my life and career.To this point, which has been solely focused on chasing this dream of beinga sports broadcaster and Michele Tafoya is a big reason. Why? Because whetherit was Vikingse games or not, I started watching all football and she was heMonday night football sideland reporter at the time now she just unay nightfoot ball, but a time I was Nonan night football, and I remember just thinkingI was struck by how much she knew about the game. Howinformed her questions were to the athletes- and I remember thinking wow.This is a woman talking about sports and doing a really good job of it. So Icould do that exactly what you're saying I never would have even had thatthought. If I hadn't seen someone that looked a little bit like me doing that-and I also would extend that now and challenge you know- whoever might belistening- that might be in ha position, F of influence or power to make thesedecisions to get more women involved M, especially in play byplay. That's mynext real passionate project. I really won more wo. I'm not saying it has tobe me because I would beot to but would also be terr, never even thought aboutdoing a plan by play, but especially in hockey, we have just as o Sunday seeingthe first woman calling an Anagel game and that Wenri was a special day. Thiswasn't a woman that normally does call Hogky. She did a great job, amazing job,considering the fact that she had literally done two rehearsals, and thatwas it normally. She calls football. She calls basketball, she callsvolleyball, but so to jump in and do such an amazing job. Calling hockey isincredible regardless of of Hersex. I'm always amazed at people that can callmultiple sportigt, especially hockey, because it is so fast moving that yourbrain has to move so quickly to not even understand, what's happening onThea Tut articulated in a certain way. It is amazing, right, MN, here, Hese almany different line, changes and different powerplay units and someone'smid shift or whatever you know. Someone goes down with an injury. You just youhave to know so much and you have to be able to not only know you know who's on the ice, but but beable to recognize that just based on a...

...number from a really high vantage point,like Iny t dit, my toes andto play my play. I would want to start with likebaseball or something wear hard in a Iway, because you have to come up withways to fill the time between adaters, but at least you have time to let yourbrain recognize who's up to bat who's in the field who, on the mound Y,whatever hockey is lightening quick. So I guess my point is that M. I hadn't even considered doing my playuntil someone asked me like two years ago. If I had wanted to- and Iimmediately said no, no I've never thought about it. I thought more. Whyhaven't I thought about that? And I really don't 'cause I I didn't eventhink it was an option. So I think that's a problem and I think that itwould be really nice ju t to have other young women out there or young girlsand young boys too, watching and hearing a female voice, calling theaction and thinking again that is normal, so that they could do it. Well,I'm glad that you brought up baseball because the season's right around thecorner- and you are about to be juggling both baseball and hockeyworking for NHL and ill be network. Is there a secret to balancing two sportsat once? How do you do that? It is definitely tough, and you know we have a really greatresearch team, an HLNML B networks that Um come up with a daily research packet,where it's just basically a one sheet on every single game. That's happeningso the most. You know important points of information for baseball. It's a lotabout the starting pichurs and anyone else who might be on a hot streak, butfor hockey you know it's basically how the teamhas been doing along with thegoalies and any other storylines that might be going into the night. So Ireally do lean heavily on our research team, but it's just it has a bit of agrind. I tend to favor hockey more in the playoffs in terms of my focus in myimportance because or the importance of of what I'm doing, because it's such acritical time, it is, you know, baseball's still really important, Owhatever, but I I first of all I work fewer baseball shift stories hockeyplayoffs than I do otherwise. So I I do focus most of my energy on thesanleicup playoffs, because it's such an indepth time of year, where you youknow, someto, we're talking about third lines and you know checking lines andhow they can shut down the other team's topline and sometimes the linecomponations change in the abuss of seven series. So you have to reallyknow what you're talking about, because, especially on a network, that'sdedicated to just that one sport people are going to notice if you're not ready,if you're not prepared and on top of your game. So you brought up earliergrowing up in Minnesota and getting into sports because of your dad. Whatwas your first job out of college? My First Imut of college was as a news reporter actually Um and weekendnews anchor in Madison Wisconsin d. Now I had always wanted to do sports, but Ikind of did both in college just because they pretty much push news, as will just go and say more important,that's kind of the message that they tried to spread at USC. You know whichwas an awesome school, especially for sports 'cause of the time the footballteam was getting national championships and rosebowls and everything was wasreally fun there from a sports perspective, but it was almost like. Idid sports and news so that I could have options upon graduation and sobecause there are just more jobs in news, an sports local sports M. I endedup getting my first job in Madison Wisconsin at the A B C station thereand ended up doing news for about a yearand didn't really love it. I'm not going to lie it. was't is horrd, it wasso hard and just so intense and I really hated you know if there was everlike a murder or something godforbid. I was just really intense, knocking ondoors and like trying to get information from neighbors and likethat. Just that's not me that there are...

...some people that love that and think itas we have some of them or no one would give us the news, but I just a' notthat person and if I had to cover another city, council meeting or abudget meaning I was like this is this is I'm done so? Luckily Um, I hadalways shown an interest in sports as well and H. There was a lot going on inMadisone at the time. You know the badgers were winning rosebowls andsweet sixteens and Badromman Tuckey team was going the frozen foor, so thepackers actually won n the superbowl. When I was there too, there was a lotgoing on, so we had a four person sports department and it was all men,but three of the four of them were out of town covering various events and thefourth guy was by himself and he came down with Laurengidis and tried to do.A worts cast for a whole day did a few of them. It was awful like he couldbarely speak, and so I went to my news director and I said I did sports inCollege. I would be happy to fill in and he looked at me like. I was crazy.It was annoye. I really did you want to see some of mysuff. I showed himwhatever hes like well, let's do a quick practice, little audition, if youwill- and obviously it went fine- I can do sport, food yeahand, so I just kind of became thefillin sports anchor or reporter and theneventually, after about six months of that, one of the sports guys ended upleaving for a different market, and I got that job as a weekend. Sports Acre,and so I went full time to sports. I couldn't have been happier. I coveredsome really awesome events. I mentioned the Rosebowls, the superbowl thebrewers went to the nlcs that year it was a really great time, and so I wasable to put together a pretty solid reel which helped me after a few years,get a job in my home town of Minneapolis m with the regional sportsnetwork. There doing no sort of wild end AO twins, so that was, I guess, mymy first big break, if you will to go from local sports to a a regionalsports network, was a big move for me, and so I I was doing both hockey andbaseball there and after a few more years of doing that, M and itell network joined with and I'llbe network, and it was just a pretty perfect marriage Maa to side over tothe national side of doing both sports. So that's where we are now. I love thatstory, because I hade a lot of young people that have asked me over theyears like I need my first job. How do I get it? How do I get into sports andtruthfully, you don't even need to work in sports, even if that's eventuallywhat you wan to do and you're the perfect example of that, like you, justneed away to utilize your skills and and get as good as you can on cameraand off and form relationships and then take advantage when there's anopportunity, which is exactly what you did, which is Awso yeah, and I alwaystell young people that reach out for advice. How do I get started? How do Iget to where you are now? My biggest thing is just you have to get reps andyes, it's one thing to work behind the scenes at a big network that might, youmight think, that'll help with connections or whatever, and it mightthat wasn't my experience. My experience was a very small market,local h sports, but I was getting all the experience I needed because youdon't get any better unless you do have to deal with the nerves of being oncamera, being live working under tight deadlines and pressure and so M. Ithink whether it's a small market- and you make you know twelve dollars anhour working your mail you're still getting really good experience, and soI would just encourage anyone to go out there and get whatever experience infront of the camera they can and eventually you know, get all all theworkout, all the bugs all the kings and get a really solid reel together andthen try to make that next jump, because it's easier to send someone ina hiring position, a link F of on camera work, rather thanjust like a resume that says you are an...

...intern here or an offcamera assistanthere. They they just want to see if you're good on TV, they want to see. Ifyou can handle yourself in front of the microphone. Do you ever go back andwatch tapes of when YOU FIRST STARTED? I Hade 't for a really long time, but Ireally want to I. I don't think my original real is still out there on youtoo, but I so wish it was because I think at one point my oh it es so funny. I know my dad STIhas like DVDs. I know it's funny 'cause when I graduated college. It was stillDDDS that yed out to people m and so now like Ds. I don't en know if I havea DVD player, but I do have like DVD copies of my first. You know firstpackages. It was what we called Hem back Nand. You know my resume reel, it's so funnyso yeah, it's it's ever changing landscape in terms of journalism, andespecially now I mean it might seem like it's hard to get a job in sports,but with all of the networks that are popping up across media, you know itdoesn't have to be the traditional on camera on a cable networ, no job. Whatyou're doing starting your own podcast is a great example of that like whoknows where this is going to go. Eventually, you might get anoughtraction where some sponsors are like. We want to pick that up and then youhave a really successful thing that you started just on a win yeah. Youdefinitely have to stay open minded. I mean when I first got into this. Iwanted to do on camera, but I started in radio and I loved it loved radio andthen I would do on camera work on the side and then I eventually got um oncamera specific roles and then kept moving on, but um you're right just youjust got to stay open minded and you never know. I want to switch gears toyour cheat little baby boy. please. Is He iwing Heis good he's nappingright now ICH UST ban town and timing, yeah he's good he'll be one at the endof April. So this time last year I was trying to still do my job in heels: meight and a half monh pregnant goodness talk to me about that pregnancy journeybeing on TV. I feel like this isn't really talked about enough, but workingon t V, when everyone sees you every single day is hard enough, let alonewhen you are literally growing a human yeah. I would say that for me personally, everyone's sodifferent in terms of how they want to deal with it like a lot of women, Iknow want to keep it a secret because they just want their personal andprivate EUR UM professional lives to be separate, and that is totally theirprerogative, and so they usually have people. You know shoot them from likethe way step on camera and people don't even know, and that is totally fine.That is there right for me. I think it's a gangling back at therepresentation of like if you can see it and you can be it a member seeingLindsaey's ZARNIAC stands out, I'm trying to think other sports centeranchors that have done that, but I I remember seeing sports center anchors that were very,very pregnant, doing a great job at their their roles and thinking like wow,that is really cool. An is really bad asan. I just made that choice formyself that you know the way it worked out. Timing wise, I was going to bevery, very, very pregnant and still doing shows on NHL Network and so 'cause. I worked until five daysbefore my DU date. Oi was right up to the Limityeah, exactly Godwdo you dothat. I I was lucky that I had a really healthy pregnancy, where you know Ifelt good enough to do that, and so my whole thought was like I might as wellwork as long as possible and then save al. The maternity leave for onetebaties here and luckily it worked out that way, so it it was a challenge atfirst, but I was overwhelmed by the...

...number of people that would constantlytweed at me send direct messages whatever it was on Instogram and sayyou K ow. You look so great, like thank you for being proud of your your bodyor whatever enough to show it, and I, and that really it made me feel reallyempowered and I will say I've never felt better about how I looked on T vthan when I was pregnant because it was like. I didn't even worry about, likeOh, like that angle's not flattering or this is that you know, because I knewthat I had a built, an excuse on wouldvbecause. I had a human growinginside te guys, so it was. It was interesting, but itwas actually very rewarding in the end. How has it been adjusting to life withhim working fulltime? I mean you work really late hours. I do yeah. I do thehighlight show, so we wait for the west coast games to finish and usually gethome around two two thirty in the morning wow, but luckily um it. It doesactually really it's nice in a way because it allows me to be a full timemom during the day, and we do have help. I have a nanny that comes in themorning. She usually gets here around seven, thirty or eight, when my husbandleaves for work, and so my husband will wake up with a baby, take care of hfirst thing in the morning and then she'll come and take over until aboutlike eleven, thirty or twelve, and from that point so that have you know timeto sleep in we'l. go to the gym, maybe go grocery shopping, do whatever I needto do until eleven, thirty or twelve, and at that point I can really be. Youknow well rested fully present full time mom from noon to six thirty, whenmy husband gets home, we put him down and then I go to work. So it's beenactually a really nice balance of work and mommy time and I'm really lucky tobe in the position where you know we kindof have a nny 'cause. I havecoworkers who do both they work till two in the morning and then you knowthey wake up with the baby at eight a m when their spouse goes to work, so Idon't know how they do it. I guess it's like everything else right. You justfigure it out, like everyone has their own way of doing thing, and you justhave to figure it out. What would you say like what have you learned the mostabout yourself as a new mom? Oh M man. That's a good question! Youma inregards to life in regards to career- just both I mean having a baby, issuperpersonal, but also when you have a public career and a career worked sohard for you have to learn how to balance both because having a baby, Iimagine was such a dream for you and it came true and then this career is alsoa dream. Come true as well. So balancing bult and allowing time forboth is a big thing. It is yeah and I think M. I will say that it's it'schanged my outlook in a way that I didn't quite expect Um, where Isuddenly look at life like what do I want my life to look like not just whatdo? I want my job to look like and I'm sure you can relate to this, but mywhole life really has been about my career like from his young and ages. Ican remember it's been about. How can I get to that next step in my career andthat's great, and I love that and I don't think that's being selfish at all.I just think: That's you know being a go. Getter and that's just the kind ofperson that I am Um, but it is kind of a staggeringrealization to suddenly think like. I don't I'm okay like I, I don't reallyhave it's. I don't want to make it S. L O, don't sill have drive, because I doand I do have career goals and dreams and I'm not ready to be a full time.Mom. That's not! It's never been a dream of mine and I'm OK saying that,but I do want to do what makes sense for my family at the same time. Sowhether that's you know, I think a big thing is- is living in a place that wehave to decide where we want to live in terms of schools in terms of familybeing nearby m right now we live at...

...hoboken and we love Howoka it's rightacross from Manhattan. It's superfine, very young, baby friendly, but to behonest, Um, there's, there's no room here. We live in a two bedroomyou know:it's ARENC, insanely expensive. I want a yard, I want a house and none of ourfamily, my husband's or mind is anywhere hearby. So that's anotherthing that I think in the next. You know five years until he gets ready togo to kindergarten, we're really going to focus on what makes sense for ourfamily and then finding a job for me there, instead of the other way aroundto this point, it's been. Where do we need to go for my job and theneverything else follows so that I think that's the biggest um adjustment. Iwill call it that's what everyone says, as as soon as you hase to have a babyeverything changes, everyyear Inin a really great way. I still think you canboth and we're seeing so many more examples of women who are crushing itin the career world and still being a very grate full time present mom aswell. It's funny you mentioned earlier that you when you talked about beingpublic about your pregnancy. You mentioned sports on our anchors beingpublic about that, and I actually interviewed sage steel for this podcastand she told me that when she first auditioned for ESPN, she was pregnant.She was pregnant or her audition and she turned the job down because she waspregnant, which wew know we got all into that, but um it S. it's it's justit's such a personal thing and everyone is different. Everyone handles itdifferently, but it really is a balancing act figuring out how tomanage both dreams so you're doing a great Yo. Keep it up. Thank you so much.I appreciate saying that so you're lucky enough to work with super awesomewomen, so first oal. I want to know who some of your favorites are and then Iwant you to nominate someone you respect and admire that I should haveon the shelf. Ooh Um. I Ha really. I admire Catherine tappena lot. I think she um Y. No. She has worked so so hard to get to this pointand Y. U I was Liky enough to work with herfor a year at Anchil network before she moved full time to NB C she's, still adear friend of mine and such a great mentor because M. I remember watchingher when I was working with the Minnesota while and thinking howpolished and professional and knowledgeable she was then, and she'sonly continued that and taken it into so many roles you talking about someonewho does multiple sports. She doesn't now to dame football. She is going tobe very involved in the Olympics, she's done siling and putting the Olympicshills. I think she's going to maybe ven do hosting for the Olympics soon.So she does that she does Um. Obviously hockey it was kindof like her bread andbutter, but she just does so many different roles and sports and that'salways accreditto how versual and professional she is in Te prep work,but she puts into it another person. I would recommend that you would talk to. I think, Jackie Redmain, honestly she W we've ha we've grown so much interms of being friends a and colleagues too. By doing this, women' show becausewe pre, we have pretty opposite schedules, even though we share anoffice at NHL Network She's there during the day, I'm there at night, sowe hardly aversee each other were like ships passing in the night, but through this women's show, you know,we've gotten to really come together to share our own experiences as women inSports, and hers is very different from mind in terms of how she got here. So Ithink to not only get her perspective from that angle, but also M in Canadatoo, and how things are different there in the hockey industry specifically upin Canada. It might be interesting too yeah totally. She is on my list, sothank you so much Jamie. I really...

...appreciate youneininme go hang out OOElittle baby of yours before you have to go to the studio Ye. Thank you so muchof me that and I'm so excited to to start listening and seeing where this takes. You Cau. Thisis subjet gracin. If you watch Jamie and didn't know howamazing she is when she's not working, I hope you understand now what a lightshe truly is in this business now, although none of us know when sportswill return, I hope to see her back at work covering two sports. She lovesvery soon. If you have thoughts or comments on my conversation with Jamie,please leave a review. I love hearing from you. So don't be shy. Thanks forlistening.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (43)