Broadcasters share knowledge, history in booth

This year’s trio of seasoned game callers is comprised of Gesser, Chazanow, Robertson Sr.


Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

Jason Gesser, left, and Matt Chazanow co-emcee the Cougar Athletic Fund’s Cougar Kickoff event at the start of the 2015-16 fall sports season.

JACKSON GARDNER, Evergreen reporter

From assembling a team of broadcasters with the right chemistry, to gathering all the technical minds behind the scenes, Washington State IMG Sports Network aims to deliver a broadcast for WSU sporting events over the radio waves.

Matt Chazanow, an IMG employee since 2006, has been the voice of Cougar football, basketball and baseball since 2015. For football broadcasts, he is accompanied by one of the most winning quarterbacks in WSU history: Jason Gesser.

In addition to these two, Hall of Fame announcer Bob Robertson Sr. is in his 51st season with the Cougar broadcast team. Once the voice of WSU football and basketball, Robertson let the younger Chazanow take the reins, while he still provides his commentary.

Chazanow, the most recent addition to the broadcast team, said both Gesser and Robertson have provided a wealth of knowledge for him to absorb.

“I learned more about football in week one with [Gesser] than I ever knew in my entire life,” he said. “With Bob, he is a more towering, elderly figure in the industry. We have developed a great relationship over the two-plus years, but I literally sit in his booth. It is named after him.”

Both Chazanow and Gesser said they will never cease to be amazed by the historical perspective Robertson brings to the broadcast.

Chazanow recalled a moment in 2015 when he and Gesser were flipping through the record books to find where a game fit into WSU history. Robertson stopped them to say the record they were looking for dates back to the 1965 “Cardiac Kids.”

Then it dawned on Chazanow.

“Bob was actually there, he called that game,” he said. “He knows this because he did it, it’s incredible.”

Between the three of them, they have about 75 years of football and broadcasting experience. Granted, over two-thirds of that experience comes from Robertson.

Chazanow and Gesser agreed that they have a close relationship, which is not something that can be said of all broadcasting partners. Their personalities are complementary to each other, with the goal of providing an engaging broadcast.

Gesser jokingly described Chazanow as the “politically correct,” levelheaded voice on-air.

“He’s a really respectful guy who always minds his Ps and Qs, he understands the PC of life,” Gesser said. “One of the things he found out about me very quickly was I’m not.”

Gesser provides an analytical perspective in the booth. As a former player and coach, he is able to bring knowledge as a color commentator.

“Now I know the ins and outs of the program,” Gesser said. “From the fundraising to the infrastructure to the marketing, there are so many different areas, and that helps me be more well-rounded when I talk about something happening on the field.”

The WSU IMG broadcasting team is on its third football season together. They say they have established a rapport with each other that will continue to please Cougar fans tuning in on the radio.