Tyler – Hockey Broadcaster With A Pit Stop

Tyler – Hockey Broadcaster With A Pit Stop

#15 – As a kid raised playing ball hockey on the streets of Toronto, Tyler Madarasz always knew he wanted to work in hockey. But when it came time to pick an education pathway to get him to his goal, Tyler wasn’t totally prepared.  He ended up picking a program that was not what he expected and quickly realized he needed to make a change. After getting advice from a family friend, he found his way to the College of Sports Media where he immediately fell in love with the program. During his diploma, he got a placement at SiriusXM NHL Network Radio and knew he found a place he could work long term. However, upon graduating from the college he faced the prospect of working his way up the ranks in small radio stations across the country to get his dream job. Where did Tyler end up? Listen to episode 15 of Career Crossroads to find out!

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The below transcript is A.I generated with light editing and may not be 100% accurate.

Transcript
Jonathan Collaton:

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening and welcome to another episode of career crossroads. I'm your host, Jonathan Collaton. And on this podcast I talked to one person each week about all the decisions that have led them to their current career. This week I speak to Tyler. So let's listen to his interview right now. And then afterwards, we'll chat a little bit about what he had to say. Tyler, welcome to career crossroads. Thanks for coming on.

Tyler Madarasz:

Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure reconnecting Jonathan.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yes, it is a pleasure reconnecting because we we knew each other a long time ago at university, but only briefly, which I'm sure you're gonna get into. And then we lost touch. And Funny enough, I ended up meeting your girlfriend through a mutual friend Kait, who was on this a few weeks back. And I remember I was that like a Luke Bryan concert with her and found out she's dating you. And I'm like, I know that guy. I haven't seen him a long time, though. So it's kind of funny how things happen like that we reconnect after all these years.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, it was funny when she came on and said, Do you know what Jonathan, I'm like, well, Jonathan, who she said Collaton. And I'm like, yeah, from Laurier. And she's like, I just met him. It's Kate's friend. And it's obviously a small world. But when you live in the same city, I guess, there are those connections that you find, but still, it's a big city like we're in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, it's a huge city. And when you kind of have a connection like that, I guess, a friend of a friend and ended up meeting and then I think you went to a beer fest to that I didn't go to or something.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah, last, last December,

Tyler Madarasz:

I think I used to work or something. So there's just misconnections there with people that you haven't seen in a long time. But it's it's good seeing you again, man. Like, that was a long time ago when we were out Laurier, which was in 2009-2010. Yeah, that's a long time ago. I barely remember what I was doing a couple years ago. So that's a while ago,

Jonathan Collaton:

Definitely. Well, I hope you can remember a little bit from even earlier than that, because I always like to go back and start by talking to people about what they were like in high school, where they were raised and kind of how that influenced whatever decision they made at the end of high school. So what was your life like when you were about 16?

Unknown:

Yes, 16 years old, high school here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Chaminade College. So you're from the same city here. It's at Jane and Lawrence. If you're from somewhere in the Toronto area. North York's the bureau I guess. At 16. I guess I was kind of a naive teenager. I was playing a lot of sports. I was in band in high school. So I was kind of focused on band and sports wasn't really focused on the school aspect as much as I should have been. But I kind of at 16 I had a clue what I wanted to do like, to me hockey is one of my only passions in life like sports and hockey, but hockey specifically. So I kind of knew I wanted to get into hockey. But I get up every morning. This is going back to before when I like when I was in elementary school, and I'd watch SportsCenter every morning. pPobably watch it two times some mornings because we didn't have the internet. We couldn't just take out our phone and watch a highlight. Right? If

you saw highlight at 6:

15 on that highlight show, you'd have

to wait again until 7:

15 when it was replayed again to see the exact same thing. So that for me was a passion growing up but in high school I I knew it was something in hockey. I always had the passion of going to work for the NHL, which now I kind of am which I'm very lucky and fortunate to do but at 16 I knew I wanted to get to something into broadcasting. I didn't know if it was behind the scenes. I didn't know if it was television, or radio. Or I knew I wasn't gonna play hockey that was obviously out of the question. I wasn't that good.

Jonathan Collaton:

I'm sure you had those same dreams though as me Oh, you're like I'm gonna lift the cup as I'm Captain of the Leafs.

Tyler Madarasz:

100% No, I think we all had that like playing in like the little cul de sac on my street. I was like, I'm gonna win the Stanley Cup. Never ended up happening. We actually played ball hockey together, which we could maybe get into. So friends, we've played hockey together before But yeah, I knew it was something in sports broadcasting at the time. And actually, when I was 16, that's about grade 11 ish. So in grade 11, I did a co op actually. And I told our teacher I said, I want to do something in radio, specifically sports, but it's hard to get a high school student something in sports radio for a co op. So he actually ended up getting me I went to a Catholic High School and he ended up getting the co op at this place called radio Maria so it was like a Catholic radio station and I'm the furthest thing from religious or being Catholic or any of that stuff. So for me, I think it lasted about two weeks. And I actually learned some things like I learned how to edit audio. I think I got to speak I think I have a tape somewhere like somewhere in a box like have my very first broadcast on this radio Maria.

Jonathan Collaton:

Oh, we've got to pull that out at some point

Tyler Madarasz:

I'll try to find it's probably at my parents house. But I did that for two weeks. And I remember telling to the teacher like this part of radio isn't for me like I'd rather do something that I enjoy like news or sports or something. So ended up at like a gym around the corner and didn't really think of much after going into 12 and then as I headed towards University, my ideas and everything kind of started coming to fruition and yeah, I ended up at Laurier where you were.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah. Okay. So then I am curious for a lot of people, particularly around Toronto, if you know you want to go into something that's sports or media related related, how do you pick Laurier a when Ryerson is right here. And Ryerson is a colle- is a university very well known for its journalism programs, and it's radio and like a lot of people who are journalists around the city went there. So how do you pick Laurier?

Tyler Madarasz:

so I want to pick Ryerson and or Western Western was another thing. They have a broadcasting thing with the college that's up at Western...Fanshawe. Fanshawe had some sort of broadcasting program that I remember looking into and saying, Yeah, London's not too far. It's a bit further than where we were in Waterloo at Laurier. So I didn't mind going that far. But I remember I was fairly lazy grade 12. Student, like fairly lazy. Yeah, I was kind of just scraping by. And Ryerson needed. I think it was multiple essays. I don't I think it was two essays, you had to write a couple essays to get into their radio, what was it RTA Radio Television Arts program, right. And I was lazy. And I just, I remember, my mom was mad at me, I didn't want to write these essays. I'm just never good at writing essays. So I just kind of thought, maybe I'll go to York University, which is in Toronto, and ended up having Laurier as my third choice on my high school form, or whatever we were filling out. And didn't get into Ryerson obviously didn't write the essays. I didn't get into Western, I think you had to do some sort of form of work for that as well. And I did get into Laurier, I think I had a 74 academic average. So it was good enough to get into Laurier and I got in for communications, which I thought was completely different from when I got to Laurier I was like all communications is remember reading about it. I was like, This is what I want to do. Like this is actually maybe kind of like the RTA program, just maybe not as hands on and found out otherwise, when I got there.

Jonathan Collaton:

This is so interesting, how only later probably, would you reflect back and think, you know, I wanted to do this, the school but I like, in a way, like wasn't good enough to get in, you weren't willing to work hard enough is what it sounds like at that point in time, right. And so, obviously, a lot has changed from when you're a teenager to now. But I do like when people really think back and reflect on like, sometimes you're just not ready, and you don't care enough at that point in time in your life, because you're not doing everything you need to do to be successful in the way you want to be able to do it. So it's nice to see you reflect back on that and really kind of understand that that's what happened. And so Laurier, a good school, but it just didn't have the program that you necessarily wanted to go into. And then when you get there, you find out communications isn't exactly what you thought it was gonna be. So what kind of was it like and what was it about it that made you think like, Oh, this isn't what I thought?

Tyler Madarasz:

yeah, firstly, it's crazy to actually reflect on this because I probably haven't reflected on this in a long time. So it's fun to look back and actually think about some bad decisions I've made because I felt bad, I should probably should have worked harder, especially my mom's spending the money on me to go to university and get out of high school and do something I want to do, I probably should have tried a bit harder. So you do regret some things, but it ended up working out I kind of am where I want to be today. But when I go back to lorien and think of the communications program, you're right, it's a good school, it just it didn't have the programs for me, like I needed a more hands on approach to radio or television or something. And behind the scenes work. And with communications, I just remember going to some of these lectures which man I always had anxiety going to those lectures anyway, like those like the psychology lectures, and the sociology lectures, even the communications classes, those are like huge things where it's like, if I'm not sitting at the back, it's kind of like me at a movie theater, like I need to sit at the back for some reason I don't like like, people behind me. So I'd always like be uncomfortable anyway, which was a start to me not even liking those classes. But communications was pretty much in first year in the first year course was how people started communicating back in the 1920s in the 1930s. And even before that, in 1800s and I was almost like falling asleep during those classes and thinking Alright, like when is the hands on radio kind of stuff going to happen and to my knowledge, it wasn't going to happen at all. I just was kind of naive still and ended up just going through and you know what, I would take notes in classes and study and do the work but at the end of the day, I knew it wasn't for me. So I think it was a couple months in so my first year at Laurier I was kind of already looking for outs like it was fairly quick. Yeah. And wasn't I started not putting in the work started not to study and not try and yet ended up being like three, four months into it where I said, I need to find something else because I don't want to waste four years here and that would be a lot of money wasted and a lot of time wasted. And I think I've had friends that specifically went to the same university that kind of did that and are in completely different fields. Now we were kind of talking about that before the show. We both had friends that have kind of done four or five years at university and then just really figured out that is not what they want to do. So think I was one of the lucky ones to even like three months into it, figure out that I didn't really want to do it and had a fun time. That for me was the best year of my life, regardless of how I did at school.

Jonathan Collaton:

I'm glad to hear that because I think if I recall the orientation leader that year so I'm glad it was at least fun. And if not the experience, you were expecting

Tyler Madarasz:

What's started off fun because of you and all the other people that helped out with the orientation week like that was that's your welcoming and to university to university life living away from home. And yeah, I thought you did a great job at that. And you know what, into like, when you're going to live away from home for the first time. You're either getting a good roommate or a bad roommate. I think that's a big part of university or college and as a high school student, I was nervous. I'm like, man, like, what if I don't get along with my roommate? What if like, we kind of clash heads, but I was lucky. I don't think Thank you remember my roommate. His name was Steve McNally. But we got along really? Well. We actually looked similar so he could use his ID to get into bars and stuff, which was great. But yeah.

Jonathan Collaton:

I feel bad. I don't remember him.

Tyler Madarasz:

That's all right. Oh, that's all right. Um, but yeah, we we had a great year and it honestly was a lot to do with the orientation week and getting to know you getting to know other guys. We ended up playing ball hockey together, as I kind of mentioned and yeah, fun year. It's fun looking back to almost 10 years ago.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah. And I think back to that team was like a bunch of guys from your floor in residents like Big John was on that team. Yep. And whoever else I

Tyler Madarasz:

I think this guy Jamie was on the team, on our floor....Alex MacDonald if you remember him.

Jonathan Collaton:

Alex MacDonald. Yeah, I'm gonna interview him at some point.

Tyler Madarasz:

Do it. Alex is a great guy. I ended up starting, like when we were 1112 years old. I played hockey with Alex here and a Etobicoke Ontario. Oh, why small? No Kid, Alex and I played together for years. And then randomly were like three doors down from each other at Laurier.

Jonathan Collaton:

That's funny how that happens eh?. And then the rest of the team was like my whole cousin family. There's a lot of Collaton's at Laurier at that point.

Tyler Madarasz:

You're cousins were good. They were the best players on the team.

Jonathan Collaton:

Well, that year anyway. And the next year, we had the other Tyler, who you and I were talking about, I realized you guys never did play together. But Tyler will be on here eventually. Because he's actually a semi professional at some form of hockey. So

Tyler Madarasz:

that's the dream.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah, that is the dream, right? I'm still holding out hope I'm 31. But maybe one day, maybe it'll happen, you know? Alright, so anyway, you you had a good experience. You enjoyed your time, but good for you to recognize, like you didn't want to be one of those people who five years down the line, you have this very general arts degree, and it doesn't get you what you want. So when you decide that you need to make a change, how do you kind of go about doing that? I mean, for me, I I kind of once I was at Laurie, I knew like I really, I really enjoyed it there. And I knew that I was going to continue on all the way through even though at a point I realized that academics weren't what was gonna get me a career was all the volunteering I was doing that would get me a career. But for you deciding this program is not right for me. I got to make a change. How do you then investigate what that change would be?

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, I think I was pretty lucky. So a family friend. She's my godmother, I guess. Her name is Susie. And she works worked at TSN is now retired. And she was a director at TSN. So she would direct like, CFL broadcasts and things like that. And I remember reaching out to her when I was there saying hey, Susie, like my first year at Laurier, a not really enjoying the program, like do you know of any other colleges or sort of things, because at that time, I was like, I kind of want to move back to Toronto, be closer to my parents, my family, my friends. And she actually found out about this college it was, I want to say two years in from starting up. It's called the College of Sports Media. It's downtown Toronto, actually about 5-10 minute walk from Ryerson, which we were just talking about, which probably has the best Radio Television Arts program in the country. So it's about a 10 minute walk from Ryerson. And she said, Yeah, like, I have a former colleague who actually started up this college. So she put me into contact with him. And this is probably with a few months left in school, and I kind of put it on the back burner didn't really, like take the time to email him or anything. And then as I got to the end of my first year at Laurier, I was like, Alright, it's probably time like I know I don't want to do a second year doing communications because as you said, like it's just going to be a waste of my time and kind of wanted to get back home. So I ended up emailing the guy and it honestly sounded like right away they're they're obviously trying to sell you and trying to pitch you to go to the school but they kind of compared it to Ryerson. And they said it's more hands on and Ryerson it's only a two year program instead of a four year program. I since it's a two year program, it's a bit more expensive.

Jonathan Collaton:

Also it would be a private college.

Tyler Madarasz:

Correct. It was a private college. So that was another thing where it's like I didn't really know what a private college entailed. I was still like a teenager. At that point. I was still like 19 years old or almost 19? I think I was still 18 at the time.

Jonathan Collaton:

Well, and to put it it kind of in context to like private colleges aren't huge in Canada, we have education that is publicly funded. So those schools are by far the biggest and the most well known. Like I work at a university. And I've not heard of this place that you went before.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Not a lot of people have. And maybe unless you're super super into being in sports media or broadcasting, then you probably haven't heard of it, which a lot of my friends still haven't even heard of it. And they're in the business. So and they're in the end of industry. So yeah, worked out, I ended up emailing the guy. And I think the few weeks left at Laurier, I went in for an audition, you kind of had to audition and do a bunch of stuff, you have to do some writing, you have to do some radio work, you have to be on camera, which I remember being the most nervous for I was in my life, even though it was just for nothing. being on camera is tough if you haven't been before, and I hadn't been before. So I thought the audition went pretty well and ended up getting in. And I think I knew I was getting into that before like final exams in my first year. And man that really put a damper on how well you prepare for those exams. I bet 100% like I didn't prepare for any exams. I virtually flunked out a first year at Laurier. Like at the end of things which not proud of, but like, I got into the college and I was like, man, like, I'm not gonna do anything...

Jonathan Collaton:

I'm leaving here anyway, right? I'm

Tyler Madarasz:

leaving here anyway. It didn't really work out. So I was happy I got in, I could move back home. And as I said, probably the best year of my life, not what I wanted to do professionally with, obviously, my schooling, because I had dreams in grade 12 of doing some media things. And I thought Lauria was the answer. But the program wasn't and I couldn't have been more lucky to have gotten to this college and have my mom as well support me to go to it because it's not the cheapest thing. private colleges, as I've learned today, are not the cheapest things around like they are more expensive, usually than colleges or universities. And I was lucky in that she put some money away for for my schooling.

Jonathan Collaton:

Oh, that's good. So okay, you get back to Toronto then. And what the following at the end of the summer, do you started with the college?

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, it would have been in Yeah, I would have had a summer here. And then, in September, I started up at the college. Yeah,

Jonathan Collaton:

I always asked to Did, did you ever have summer jobs that related to what you wanted to do? Or they just was it just work to make money?

Tyler Madarasz:

Pretty much work to make money when I was about 16 years old actually, just going back a bit to what you said, I remember I was refereeing hockey a bit at Centennial arena here in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Jonathan Collaton:

Ohhh, I played at Centennial. That was my...

Tyler Madarasz:

we both played there, which is crazy, for West mall lightning. And I remember refereeing there for a couple months, maybe going on a year. So it wasn't really what I wanted to do, but it was trying to make money. And then actually, the first year at college sports media, I ended up working at a grocery store. Hmm, just to make money as you said, like I needed to either help my mom with the schooling or I just kind of needed to get by, because I didn't have a lot of money. Like I'm a 1819 year old kid with not a lot of money. I did some summer camps before like, every summer I was working at a summer camp, which was good. Sometimes it was out in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, just in around there. And then I was working here at a harborfront camp downtown Toronto. So it was kind of doing that but as you know, those aren't really big moneymakers, especially as a teenager but yeah, nothing. No jobs in the industry until I really got into it.

Jonathan Collaton:

Alright, so you you started with the college then? Big class sizes? I imagine probably small? Especially given like it's a it's a relatively new private college.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, class sizes were probably about 20 ish per class. You had a year one there and year two. So are your one had somewhere between 40 and 50? students? So each class for argument's sake had about 20 to 25 people in it. And it's a private college where you had some 35-40 year olds in your class and you had some 17-18 year olds in the class are guys like me that were about 19 or 20. So the people in the class, it was great to have a lot of friends that were maybe a bit younger than you maybe about 20 or some guys were in their 30s or 40s, which was awesome.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah, that's that would be a totally different experience from living in residence with a bunch of guys who are all pretty much your same age or so and then having that totally different group of people at the media college. Alright, so we're the courses you know, you said when you got into the communications courses, you realize pretty much right away like this was a mistake. And and it wasn't enjoyable. Was that different when you got to the college?

Tyler Madarasz:

way different? Yeah, like first day, you're almost doing hands on things that I don't think at Ryerson, they're doing until the second or third year of the course. So you're jumping right into it like you're jumping right into doing radio shows or doing updates on the radio so you're writing your own updates and maybe doing a minute update or you're going on camera and kind of anchoring shows that you're doing this on the first day there so it was pretty intense like first day and like I remember going home and just being like wow, Mom, this is like, this is a lot like this is what I've wanted to do. And she was happy for me. Yeah, I finally found something that actually interested me. And as you're doing now, this is something you love doing. I love doing my job. Now it doesn't feel like work like, it doesn't feel like work at all, that two years of schooling did not feel like school, like our homework was to go home and watch sports and follow sports, which I was already doing offline. I think everyone at our college was already doing the most part.

Jonathan Collaton:

It like integrates really well into the lifestyle you already live.

Tyler Madarasz:

100% like, Lori, I didn't want to write essays. I remember not even writing some of the essays that I was assigned. I was just like, I'm not writing these essays, I can't write essays, I was just like, ingrained in me that I couldn't do it. I was going to fail anyway. And it kind of worked out that our homework wasn't essays, it was either writing scripts or updates for your radio, your television class, or going on camera the next day and and hosting a fake show like a fake Sports Center. But yeah, the homework part of it. It was fun.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah. And it sounds like the courses were almost their own Co Op experience. Because they're having you actually practice the things you're learning. It's it's very hands on and doing these things, which I know is so beneficial. Because before I ever put out an episode of this, I recorded one and like a fake one, which is me and my wife talking and I sent it off to my friends and then they critiqued it. And that's how I was able to get better before I even put an episode out. Yep. And so that's great that that's the type of stuff you got to really do is, say you actually had that experience because you've actually produced shows. So when you're applying to jobs after you, it's not like you just have this education, they have to train you like sure their systems might be a little bit different. But at least you've actually done it before.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, so you pretty much got experience in every aspect of the broadcasting industry. So it didn't matter if you want to be an anchor on television, it didn't matter if you want to be a radio host. Or if you want to be a cameraman or an editor, like we had camera classes, which to me were one of the most fun classes like, to this day, I could still see myself maybe as a cameraman at some point, I don't think it's gonna happen. I had actually a couple of friends get into being cameraman. And they're still doing it. And they're making great careers out of it. It's just like, they didn't go to the College of sports media wanting to be cameraman, or we had editors, who are editors at sports that in TSN are like top editors that went there and didn't even know they want to do it. Yeah, it just kind of fell in love with it. Because we had the variety of classes where everyone pretty much went there and thought they want to be on TV, they want to be

Jonathan Collaton:

Everyone's wants to be an anchor,

Tyler Madarasz:

Everyone wants to be an anchor, and you kind of start to realize like, man, I love this camera work or I love editing, or I love radio. And that's what it was for me like I love doing our radio programs, I love doing the updates, the updates for fun, like you had to get your your script in, in one minute. Or if you went over, the teacher was gonna yell at you like actually wasn't even like tough love, like they were actually upset like it was good. It was almost like you're almost in the industry. And you're getting reps in and you kind of felt like it was real life. So yeah, worked out, I did fall in love with the radio aspect fairly quickly. And we'll get into it a bit more. And when I ended up graduating, they kind of took everyone in to an individual meeting. And told you like, this is where we see we see you maybe as an editor, we see you as an anchor. And I remember they told me, you can probably go on TV and be an anchor. And I thought to myself, like man, I just I don't want to be a robot like the money's great in television if you're an anchor. But you can give no opinion. And that's, that was one of the biggest things I had a buddy go into sports study was an anchor for maybe a year, maybe a year and ended up quitting even though the money was unbelievable, because he didn't wasn't able to give his opinion. And I think you kind of after two years, you kind of know what you want to do. And I think I was one of the lucky ones to find out that I actually want to do radio and I got an opportunity to do it.

Jonathan Collaton:

Very cool. Okay. So after that meeting, I guess, did you like immediately just...when you graduate and you start looking for jobs in the industry? Or were they helping you by setting up with interviews? Or how's that work? Because every school is gonna have a different kind of career center, or advisors or what was it like there?

Tyler Madarasz:

So the cool thing about this college is I haven't even said yet was you pretty much got a guaranteed internship at the end. Oh, that's amazing. Yeah, that was one of the caveats. You You had a guaranteed internship after the two years. So yeah, I went through that meeting. They told me and one of my close buddies who actually ends up working at the place I do now. They said, you guys should probably look into going into TV and we both in the meetings were just like, Nah, we don't really want to do it. We kind of want to do radio, be behind the scenes more, maybe doing some editing stuff, which I kind of liked as well. audio editing is pretty fun, as you've probably found out like, it's not the worst thing. It doesn't really feel like work. It's work that you've put out and now you're just perfecting it and making it better. It's really fun. So, yeah, my internship was at Sirius XM NHL Network Radio, which is currently where I still work to this day. there were still some bumps along the road. But at that point, I'd never even heard of it like I they gave me this internship, me, my friend Jake and this other guy, and they were just like, All right, you guys are going to see us XM NHL network. It's up at Avenue in Davenport in Toronto. Yeah, your next day. Your first day is next week. I remember just like going home and googling, like, what is NHL network radio. It sounded awesome. Yeah. Like I think they put me into that fit because I obviously loved hockey it worked out that I ended up going there.

Jonathan Collaton:

Now NHL network is an actual like channel you can subscribe to right. So I didn't know they had a radio station either until I heard about what you were doing.

Tyler Madarasz:

So yeah, neither did I. So NHL network. There's a television. There's a television show and a television network, I guess called NHL network. It's in the States. We don't get it up here in Canada. Unfortunately, we used to get it. But I don't know why they stopped simulcasting or broadcasting up here in Canada. So there's a television channel down in the states - NHL network. And then I guess we're a separate entity,

Jonathan Collaton:

Which by the way, sorry to interrupt. But doesn't it seem crazy that they have it and we don't?

Tyler Madarasz:

Kind of but I understand because the hockey coverage in the states supposedly is just aweful.

Jonathan Collaton:

I guess the NHL needs that their network in order to get covered in the states where they know in Canada, like TSN and all the other networks, Sportsnet, they' e going to cover it no matte what.

Tyler Madarasz:

we have listeners that call in or tweet into us everyday, like, let's just say down in like Kentucky, or somewhere in St. Louis, like somewhere rural Missouri, thanking us for being on the air because their team, whoever their favorite team is in that specific state or town is never getting talked about. Like they'll talk about high school basketball, high school football on the radio channels down in the states before they'll talk about NHL hockey. So it's a it's a great market to be in for us as a radio station, because we're just north america wide. But I think a majority of our listeners are down in the States, which they do have the television side of things. But when people are driving or now with their phones going on a walk or going on a jog, you can just pretty much listen to hockey talk 24 hours a day,

Jonathan Collaton:

which is really the dream, right?

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah.

Jonathan Collaton:

yeah, that's awesome. Okay, so anyway, you end up at the internship. And it's like, you didn't know anything about it. But you do your research, and you show up there. And what's it like?

Tyler Madarasz:

Different for sure. It was like my first real taste of the industry and way different than school. I remember meeting some people and I think I went in there the first day, and I was like, just sweating like head to toe. Like nervous. For sure. I was nervous the first day, I remember

Jonathan Collaton:

Oh, so the the internship happened meeting some of the people that I still work with to this day. And it's funny to look back on it just thinking why was I nervous to like meet that person. They're just like, they're just a guy like me, or just like, they're just like a regular dude. But first day, you pretty much just shadowed the technical operator. So the guy that kind of ran the board at the radio station, which is one of the jobs I do now. So I remember just shadowing him and being completely shocked at how many knobs and levers and pots there were on this gigantic board, which it looks like something that would be in a spaceship to some people. I remember just showing people our studios now they're like, what is every single thing on this dude, you're like, I only use like 20% of them, right? So we pretty much just shadowed on the first day, did some editing here and there, they actually have the same editing software at our college than they did and they use that radio station. So worked out I already knew the the editing software and all that so took a while but finally kind of got comfortable. actually ended up skipping some classes at school, which the guy that ran the school didn't really like I remember getting an email being like you need to attend classes before your internship. And I remember just like always saying yes to internship hours and stuff, which I would still suggest to teenagers now like... concurrently with the classes?

Tyler Madarasz:

In the last few months of your classes. Yeah, your internship started. So it kind of wasn't that they brought you in for that meeting with a few months left in school.

Jonathan Collaton:

I see. Yeah. But you were ready to just push ahead.

Tyler Madarasz:

I was ready to go, this is what I'm doing. I was ready to leave school. Once I got in there. I was like, man, I just want to work at this place already. Like, I won't get paid, I don't care. I'll just work at this place. Rather than be in school. All the classes were great. But like in the last three months, you don't really care about camera class or editing class when you're already doing an internship that has to do with radio and behind the scenes in radio. So there was that part of it as well. But, man looking back on that, I probably would have done it unpaid for as long as I could, because it was completely worth not being paid to do something you love. And now I'm lucky enough to this day to still be working there.

Jonathan Collaton:

Alright, so I imagine then, as the internship ends, they offer you a job there right away?

Tyler Madarasz:

No, they didn't. They did not. So the internship went a few months, I want to say three, four months and it was actually in a good time. It was pretty much let's I think it was about April to July and Stanley Cup Finals going on in those months. It ends usually mid June. So it was crazy like being at this radio station, doing some night shifts during like Stanley Cup final games. And like it was my first taste of like, not being able to actually enjoy the game. I don't know if people out there know but on radio, there's a delay. So if you're watching the game on a television, in the radio studio. Usually, the television feed is ahead. So like, Good thing, it wasn't the Leafs because the Leafs suck. I was the Leafs fan. But like you got to see the goal. And then 10 seconds later, it would come on your radio feed or it was vice versa where like it would come on your radio feed. And then you look at the TV. And the goal happens like 1015 seconds later, and you're like, Man, that goal got ruined for me. So it took a while to kind of get used to that. But there was no job offer for a while actually. So we want to get into that. Like, I remember that summer was pretty depressing, like no job. That was the summer of 2011 or 2012. I think it was 2012. And wasn't really doing much with my life. It was one of my first summers were actually wasn't working somewhere like either at a day camp or doing something else. And just remember, I think I applied not even kidding till about 100 jobs, because they told you if you want to do something in the radio industry, you're gonna have to move out to Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah, I've heard other broadcasters say the same thing like all particularly anybody who is an anchor. I've heard them whenever they've talked about their career, like they've worked out in all these tiny little towns and then eventually work their way up to anchoring a big network. Yep. Yeah. So that's what they told you. And it sounds like from everything you've said, so far, you have no interest in that, because you wanted to be in Toronto?

Tyler Madarasz:

I did. And that was one of my problems like, well, I guess I didn't get hired for any of those jobs I applied for anyway. So I probably applied to 80-100 jobs, either in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, or British Columbia, anywhere in Canada.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah. And so you were doing it even though it's not really what you want it just because like when you just need a job...

Tyler Madarasz:

Foot in the door. Yeah, I needed my foot in the door somewhere. So I was willing to move to Saskatchewan, I was going to do it. Like I remember telling my parents like if I get one of these jobs, like I'm moving as soon as possible, which would have been crazy. thinking if I did get one of those jobs. I wouldn't have been at NHL Network Radio, I probably wouldn't have been in Toronto.

Jonathan Collaton:

You'd be in Medicine Hat.

Tyler Madarasz:

Maybe I'd be in Medicine Hat I'll take Alberta for sure. It's a great hockey town, but didn't end up getting any of the jobs and like I wasn't ready to give up. But at that point, I was like, man, like what am I gonna do? I really have nothing here in Toronto, they were pretty much in graining in us that our first job isn't going to be in a big city in the big city we were in was here in Toronto, so wasn't expecting to get much. But I think come end of the summer, I was emailing the program director at NHL network radio, just because I remember him saying like, maybe email me in a couple months. And we'll see if we have any openings. So I remember I emailed him, he got back to me and said they had nothing. And then I think like a month later, I was like, why not email him again, like I have nothing going on. I'm not getting any of these jobs anywhere else. So I remember I emailed him right at the end of the summer as probably the next season was about a month away from starting in the NHL. And he's like, actually, we do have something opening up. But for the first few weeks or a few months, he didn't really know, it would still be unpaid. And I was like I'll take it like, I will take it like hire me back tomorrow. So I think I had a shift in the next few days. And from where I lived, it wasn't a far subway ride. It was like a 20 minute subway ride with the bus, it was about a half an hour. So started doing that. probably for about three, four more months on paid until something an actual paid position ended up opening up. And the rest is kind of history from there. Like when you're starting in this industry. Like you're not going to be working Monday to Friday, nine to five like is working Friday nights, Saturday nights till midnight till 1am when all my friends were like going to parties and like having fun keggers and stuff like that. And I really couldn't go to any of them but was way worth it. Doing it unpaid for that long. And just putting in the hours on the weekends because now I work during the week and that's kind of the dream.

Jonathan Collaton:

Okay, so when you...after, like the unpaid job, and then as you get that job right afterwards, what type of stuff are you doing? You're at the radio station. So you're, you're not the on radio voice personality, you're the guys behind the scenes with the big boards you were talking about? And you said knobs and switches and pots, which I don't know what a pot is. You're gonna explain that to me. What's all the kind of technical stuff you're actually doing like that, you know, the layman like me would understand.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, so the cool thing about the radio station I'm at now, which I was lucky to get that job like I still couldn't believe he ended up bringing me on for even unpaid work at that point still feel lucky. But, um, the cool thing about it is you're almost like a jack of all trades at this place. So maybe at other radio stations, you're specifically hired to be an operator of that board or you're specifically hired to be an update guy where you're doing those maybe one minute, two minute updates on the air as like a personality. But the cool thing about this was they were giving you an opportunity to pretty much do everything, but host a radio show. So I was doing editing. I was doing updates on weekend nights as like an unpaid I guess I was still an intern at that point. So I was doing some on air stuff which was really really fun.

Jonathan Collaton:

So so whenever I'm listening to the radio at like midnight, if I'm driving somewhere and I got TSN on or whatever, that guy who comes on and does that one minute update that's an intern like you were who's just trying to get their experience

Tyler Madarasz:

Usually Yeah, usually is so yeah, man I did that for for a while. It's really fun because maybe you're on at like, middle of the night like 2am or something, but it doesn't matter. Like, you'll maybe have like some random person be like, yeah, I actually heard you like do yeah. And you're like you did like, are you listening to the radio like

2:

30?

Jonathan Collaton:

You start finding out people's sleeping patterns?

Tyler Madarasz:

You do. Yeah. You're like, Man, you have this channel to like, you pay for a subscription to this. That's awesome. But yeah, the cool thing is and to this day, like, I think my technical job is either a technical operator or technical producer. But you're a jack of all trades. Like it's like utility man and baseball that like can play third and can play centerfield can pitch can play first base, like, a lot of us have this channel, we do everything. So I think that's one of the cool things too. And why haven't left in so long? Because I haven't really got bored with one thing. It's it's been different during the pandemic, that's for sure when we're not actually in studio and face to face and with the equipment. But I think that's one of the reasons why I've done this for so long is because it hasn't got boring, obviously, because I like the subject matter being hockey. It's like my entire life. But other than that, I got to I got to do a lot. And I think that's one of the perks of the job.

Jonathan Collaton:

Okay, so I like the utility man analogy so I'm trying to think of who's the best person to compare you to. And, in my head just because of their personality. I want to go with Munenori Kawasaki.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yes, perfect. Yes, he was great.

Jonathan Collaton:

I loved him. And you were in a Jays hat right now which isfantastic. So it's a good analogy, I think. All right. And so you've been in this job now for how many years?

Tyler Madarasz:

Going on eight years? Actually, I think as we turn the calendar, soon as 2021 it will be going on eight years.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah. And it seems like you've really, despite this initial sort of bump in the road, showing up and doing a program that ended up not being what you thought it was gonna be. And you really ended up in that program, because at first you weren't willing to put in the work to get the essays done. Yeah. And then you end up finding this thing you really enjoy. Now you're eight years into it. And clearly, this sounds like something you you enjoy, you love the job that you're doing. What do you think is kind of the long term plan for you? Do you want to because it's so much fun. Now, you're

Tyler Madarasz:

not worried about what's next? In a way, yes. Especially with the pandemic going on, you're kind of just comfortable with your job, and you're just looking to hold on to it. But long term goals, or maybe either hosting shows, producing full time, which a lot of our producers still get to go on air, talk for a few segments, like for me, I'm behind the board for the shows. But I'm still a co host, when the NHL seasons going on for an entire hour, I'm still on segments with hosts like it's like a very group setting. Like you're kind of me and you are just maybe at the pub having a drink. And we're just talking about hockey, we're trying to make it like that. So our listeners are very engaged and think we're kind of just sitting at a table together talking about hockey, the sport that we all love. So long term goals, maybe that producer or a host. But I think at the end of the day, and this goes back to where I met you at Laurier University, like you actually ended up getting the job with the hockey team there in the first year. You didn't even remember,

Jonathan Collaton:

I know I didn't, you brought it up right before we started recording. And so I you know, from my side of that story is...when I was in, I think second year university or right before that year started, I had this I had similar aspirations to what I think you're about to talk about. And, and up until actually, right after I graduated, I really thought I wanted a career working in hockey. And I went to a career conference at the NHL draft one year...

Tyler Madarasz:

You told me about that.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah, that was the thing that for me, when I realized, like, given what I wanted to do was going to be having to move around a lot. And I just didn't want to do that if I had a family. And that was when I kind of abandoned that plan. But when I still wanted to do that I ended up emailing the coach of the hockey team at Laura and said, like, hey, I'd like to work in this industry. Do you have like a student assistant coach type role or anything I can get involved in. And Kelly Nobes was the coach at the time and he he hired me or like I was a volunteer, I wasn't getting paid for it but I didn't care. And I would go to the games and track stats during the game and run it down to him during the intermissions. And he can see like who's doing well on face offs, you could remote the guys who Yeah, and so I did that I only ended up doing it for a term because they wanted me to travel with them the next term and I realized I was not academically in a place where I could probably sustain that. So I said sorry, can't do it. But yeah, I guess years later, you did that same job.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, I did it in that one year at Laurier. So I look back at like the conversation you and I had during that year. And I remember asking you about it. You told me about that NHL draft conference you went to and I remember I do remember like thinking back at Laurie being like that's like the coolest thing like what's this NHL draft conference that you went to? And how can I go to it but I was fortunate that you ended up reaching out to the coach because I was probably too lazy at that point in my life. university career to reach out to the coach and actually asking myself was probably just too nervous to do it or something. So you actually ended up putting me in contact with Kelly, the coach. And I did the exact same things you did. I remember asking you to I was like how much travels in it and the coach ended up telling me like, you might have to travel a couple hours here and there like just west or east of here to other universities. I just didn't want to have to travel to like Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is really, really far from where we are.

Jonathan Collaton:

It's like a 22 hour drive or something like that.

Tyler Madarasz:

something like that. And I knew there were universities out there that were like in the loop. I just didn't think I guess they didn't play against each other. I didn't really know the schedule. So I was lucky enough to do that travel to some games. That was fun, man. Like that was some of the best fun I've had Laurie, just like tracking stats. I was like, Man, this is what I've wanted to do. And just as you ask, like what my future aspirations are, it actually kind of is something like that, which is kind of funny how it works out. You ended up kind of getting me that gig with the Laurie hockey team. But a dream job would probably be doing stats like that for the National Hockey League. And now, it's not on sheets of paper, like we did back then like it's all computerized. You're kind of inputting stats onto different programs. I have a buddy that works for the NHL, he's at Scotiabank arena here in Toronto, just doing some like game operations and technical things. And he was kind of telling me about some of the stats programs that they use and all that but it's a it seems really fun. It's another thing for me that wouldn't feel like work. I'd be getting to watch hockey games for free, which I don't really care as long as I'm at the game, and being able to do work for it, regardless of what it is if it's like a radio hit in front of the glass or stats up in the box. If it's anything like that. That's Yeah, that's one of the dream jobs I do have is doing stats for either an NHL team or just the NHL in general.

Jonathan Collaton:

Man, that would be that would be pretty amazing. So yeah, it's, I'm sure in other places around the world, people have those similar sort of aspirations, but like you and me are probably the same. Were like young kids growing up in Toronto. All we ever wanted to do is play for the Leafs. Yeah, that was the ultimate dream. And so to do anything in that realm is pretty amazing. Right? When you just get to focus so much of your time and energy on the sport you love on the team you love. It's pretty awesome.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, I think it's different in a lot of countries like if we have a listener in somewhere in the United Kingdom. Maybe this was football for them. Yeah. Or soccer as we call it here. But maybe it was that for them or if we have some somewhere someone somewhere else like in Australia maybe it was cricket for them. Yeah, one...

Jonathan Collaton:

rugby in New Zealand

Tyler Madarasz:

something like

Jonathan Collaton:

all these people have these dreams and and you found a way to if not raising the cup as the captain of the Leafs you at least found a way to to get into a career in the field you like so that's awesome to hear.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, man, like, you can only dream you can dream big. As a kid. We both dreamt the exact same things, being Canadian kids and getting to lift the Stanley Cup

Jonathan Collaton:

Maybe john Tavares will get to live out our dream.

Tyler Madarasz:

Maybe I may? Probably not. But we'll see. We'll see. That's another conversation.

Jonathan Collaton:

Such a pessimist.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah, that's another conversation about hockey on the ice. But yeah, it's, uh, I've been super fortunate. And I think like, just to be able to realize that what I was doing at loray University wasn't for me, I just, I've had some friends that have gone through programs at university, and maybe to them have wasted four years and just didn't really realize it wasn't for them. It just didn't kind of click in like it did for me. So I think I was kind of lucky to be one of those people where it just kind of clicked being like, what am I doing here? I was like, What am I doing with my life, and was lucky enough to just kind of keep pushing. And I'll be honest, like, it's a very tough industry, to make a life out of yourself for with the pay. I think a lot of industries are like that. But the broadcasting and media industry for one, if you're a behind the scenes guy, or girl, and you're really stuck in that job for years and years, you're not going to be making a ton of money. And if you're in a big city like we are, it's hard to pay the bills and whatnot, if you're in a job, but if you love what you're doing, and the pay is good enough for you to actually live and pay your bills, even if you're living paycheck to paycheck, I would highly suggest doing it and following your dreams. Because if you're ever doing a job, where it doesn't feel like work, you're living your best life because you don't want to be stuck in a job. Even if you're getting like a six figure salary. You don't want to hate your life and go home every day and just really kind of be depressed and not want to go to work the next day. So yeah, I think that's a good piece of advice to a lot of our young listeners. And young people out there that are kind of getting into colleges and universities just kind of got to follow your dreams and do what you love, even if it's not your ideal pay.

Jonathan Collaton:

Well, nowhere better to end the show then on that comment. So thank you so much for sharing your whole career path today. And I'm sure some people are gonna really enjoy hearing this.

Tyler Madarasz:

Yeah. Thanks for having me, Jonathan. It was a pleasure to be on, as I said, great reconnecting with you. And I do love the show. So I'll be listening to the the episodes that come out in the future.

Jonathan Collaton:

Sounds great. Thanks. All right. So that's Is Tyler's career path up till now and it seems like he has a pretty good idea of what he might want to do in the future as well. After each interview, I like to reflect a little bit on what we heard from each interviewee. And think about the things we can learn from what they said. So from Tyler's career path, what can we learn? Even when you know what you want, and which path you should take, you can still have some missteps along the way. Tyler knew in high school that he wanted to work in sports broadcasting, but he ended up picking University program that wasn't teaching him exactly what he needed to break into that industry. Usually, that type of thing is out of our control. But we heard what Tyler had to say about his options for university. His first choice was Ryerson, as they're very well known for the School of Media, but at 18 years of age, Tyler wasn't in a spot where he was willing to put in the work to get into that program. So he ended up at a different school in a different program. At first, when Tyler was talking about how he ended up at Laurier, I thought of it as a mistake that he made something that just delayed him getting onto the path that he's on now. But upon reflection, I think that Tyler just needed some extra time to sort out how hard he was willing to work in order to get what he wanted. Let me walk you through how I understand his time at Lauria. When Tyler realized early on that he wasn't enjoying his classes. He found an extracurricular activity that he did enjoy to pour all his energy into doing stats for the varsity hockey team. As I said in the interview, I don't actually recall telling him about that student assistant coaching job. So I went and looked back at the time capsule, that is my message history from 2009. I found a message from Tyler from September 22 2009. And in his message, he said he'd already emailed the coach and spoken to him about that role. No, Tyler only moved into resonance and met me on September 7, and only started classes on September 14. So this all happened 15 days after he met me, and only six days after he started classes very early on in the year. As the year went on, and he solidified his plans to leave Laurier, he got in touch with a family friend, his godmother, Susie, who worked for TSN. Which, by the way, is Canada's version of ESPN, it stands for the Sports Network. Tyler asked Susie for advice and guidance about what he should do next. And Sue told him about an upstart college that was making waves for sending broadcasters into the world. Tyler did not wait around for a miracle and he emailed the school and did what needed to be done to gain admission to the program. Suddenly, that year it Laurier was actually the year Tyler grew up and fought for what he wanted. And now he loves his job, and knows he would love to do stats for the NHL one day. So if you're 18, or 28, or 58, and worried because you're not ready at this very moment to put in the work for something that you want. Don't stress too much. Know that eventually you will have to put in the work, but maybe just like Tyler at 18 years old. Maybe you're just not ready yet. The other thing that stood out to me and Tyler's interview was that he had to deal with some of the same difficulties getting a job out of school that a lot of us went through. It took him months before he got to sniff at anything. And when he did, it was an unpaid role. But I want to highlight that he got the role at Sirius XM NHL network radio, through persistence. When he first connected with the program director, he was told nothing was available. And months later, he decided to fire off another email. What harm could it do? Well, he got a job. It was volunteer hours at first but eventually the paychecks came. And eight years later, he's still there and loves what he's doing. There's a quote that I think is very appropriate for Tyler's situation since he's working in hockey broadcasting. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. A quote attributed to both Wayne Gretzky and Michael Scott. That wraps up this week's episode of career crossroads. And I hope you've enjoyed hearing about Tyler's story as much as I have. I for one and taking a page out of Tyler's book and taking my shot, as I recently messaged an NHL defenseman who also has a podcast to see if he would come and share his journey on my podcast. So fingers crossed. Let's see what happens. If you enjoyed today's episode of career crossroads, I'd like to ask you to consider subscribing on your favorite podcast player, leaving a rating or even better a written review and share an episode particularly this episode with a friend. You can easily do all of those things from the top menu bar of career Crossroads podcast.com. There you'll also find links to all of the show's social media accounts. Thanks for listening and come back next Wednesday to hear from Ania who went to school for Business Administration, but now it works as a registered interior designer.