Chicago Blackhawks hockey radio play-by-play broadcaster John Wiedeman visited North Central College on April 12 to share his story and impart the wisdom he has learned in broadcasting to the broadcast news class.
Wiedeman, who calls the Blackhawks on AM-720 WGN, stressed the importance of staying engaged in schoolwork and taking advantage of every opportunity to advance yourself in your field while you’re still in college.
The announcer worked as a truck driver and was into his late 20s before he decided to go back to school. Wiedeman drove over an hour at night while working full-time during the day to earn his broadcast journalism degree from Kansas University.
After graduating, Wiedeman moved to Chicago and worked as an intern at AM-1000 while covering events for free and announcing smaller sports games on the side. As Weideman put it, he climbed his way up the ladder while bouncing around to other work before he landed a job for a minor league team, Muskegon Fury, in Michigan.
It wasn’t until he was driving on a work roadtrip on the East Coast near Massachusetts that he caught his first big break.
After finally reaching the NHL, Wiedeman called play-by-play for the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders before taking over as the Blackhawks radio announcer in 2006.
After 20 plus years in the industry, Wiedeman has been through his share of ups and downs, but his passion for hockey and broadcasting still holds as strong as Corey Crawford’s glove. He shares his absolute favorite part of announcing here:
Wiedeman is, first and foremost, a storyteller, and he reveled in the opportunity to tell his story to NCC students. While his personal story was engaging and inspiring, the class couldn’t let him leave without letting him showcase his famous, and not to mention award-winning, radio voice.