Amanda Balionis Describes the ‘Grueling’ Work of Golf Broadcasts Behind the Scenes
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Amanda Balionis has become a household name among golf fans who watch CBS and TNT Sports broadcasts. The 33-year-old started small and worked her way up to the top. Balionis began her media career at Hofstra as a broadcast journalism major and worked at the student newspaper.
When she graduated in 2008, Balionis worked as a sideline reporter covering high school sports for Verizon FiOS1 Channel 1. She transitioned to a similar role in MSG Network and spent three years honing her sports commentator skills. Balionis joined the PGA Tour as a reporter and host, then she moved to Callaway Golf to work as an in-house reporter. Clearly, the golf expert knows a thing or two about hard work.
Amanda Balionis Joins CBS
In 2017, Balionis finally got the job she’d been working toward as a golf reporter for CBS, reports Golf Digest. The network debuted the SmartCart and needed someone who could wholly dedicate themselves to it. When she got the call asking her to join the team, Balionis says, “It was a humbling phone call and I felt really lucky and grateful that anybody believed I could fit that role.”
She immediately called her parents to share the great news. Her mom was thrilled that she’d be working with Jim Nantz. Although she’s now a seasoned golf reporter, Balionis is always prepared. She told Golf Digest, “No one’s going to catch me not asking a question because I wasn’t prepared for it.”
This has allowed her to stay on top of her game. She’s happy that she gets to work with the best broadcast talent like Nantz and Nick Faldo, saying, “In this business, the CBS Golf team is the best of the best, and I feel so grateful being a part of it.”
‘Grueling’ broadcasting work
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Creating a network broadcast involves a lot of moving parts. There are several trucks of equipment, miles and miles of cables, and multiple storied towers that have to be put up and taken down and packed up when it’s time to move again. It takes a huge team to keep things running smoothly, from camera people to producers, directors, and other support staff. The TV compound is like a city that moves every time the broadcast has to move.
It can also be hectic to keep up with the chaos. While golf seems like a slow-moving sport to viewers at home, it’s very chaotic for the broadcasting team. Peter Kostis says an announcer’s life exists in six-second increments, according to Golf Digest. They also have to contend with two people talking to them in the earpieces while trying to say something on the air.
Being on the road covering golf tournaments can be grueling since the team can be away from their families for weeks or months at a time. They have to live out of hotel rooms and work long working hours, spending up to 15 hours on the weekends working. This punishing schedule can be weary for anyone. But the CBS golf broadcast team takes it in stride and still delivers a fantastic broadcast every time. This is because they love their jobs and the people they work with. With this type of work culture, it isn’t surprising that many team members have been with the network for decades.
What the future holds for Amanda Balionis
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Although Balionis has spent most of her career covering golf events, she started to venture into football reporting, details Golf.com. When asked where she sees herself in a few years, Balionis said, “The dream gig would be full-time golf and football.” Recently, she served as a sideline reporter for the NFL’s Week 5 Raiders-versus-Chargers game. She hopes to get similar opportunities soon.