2017-06-07 / Local News

Building success in politics and sports talk radio

MEET JASON SPRINGER…
By JAYNE JACOVA FELD Voice staff


FAMILY: Wife Sarah Kaplan; son Brandon, 4 months; father Steve Springer; mother Sharon Kalich; step-father Murray Kalich; siblings, Amanda, Jared, Jaymee and Jill.

HOMETOWN: Voorhees

FAVORITE PHILADELPHIA TEAM: Eagles

FAVORITE SPORTS RADIO TOPIC: Parental involvement in children’s sports

FAVORITE JEWISH FOOD: Corned beef


Jason Springer’s political awakening is tied to his grandmother’s upsetting experience in the 2000 presidential election. To this day, his savvy mema will never be sure if she cast a vote for Democrat Al Gore as she intended or for conservative pundit Pat Buchanan by accident.

“She lived in Boca at the time of the Pat Buchanan confusion,” explained Springer, a Marlton native who was an undeclared Rutgers University student. “That really got my attention.”

Fueled by the knowledge that the faulty Florida ballots may have tipped the 2000 election to Republican George W. Bush, Springer took an unpaid internship with then U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, a Democrat.

“It opened my eyes to the amount of government all around us,” said Springer, 38, now a communications consultant whose work in politics has led indirectly to his gig hosting a popular sports talk show on 610-AM radio. “I always saw politicians painted with a bad brush but then I met good people within it. I found people generally wanted to do good things and for the right reasons.”

By his 2002 graduation, Springer was all in. Just days after commencement, he packed up his worldly possessions to move to Iowa, where he was hired to lay the groundwork for Democrat candidate Howard Dean’s 2003 presidential caucus operation and to run campaigns for state and congressional candidates. Home base was Mount Auburn, a town in northeastern Iowa with a population of just 157 according to the 2010 census. It was his first trip west of Pennsylvania and a real awakening.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “I met all kinds of wonderful people, including the presidential candidates.”

At a time when technology was starting to change how campaigns were run, Springer returned to the Garden State ahead of the game. While working on local, county, state and federal campaigns throughout New Jersey, he was also training aspiring political operatives on how to use social media to their advantage.

Karin Elkis, a consultant/lobbyist who was previously a senior political advisor serving three U.S. senators, recalled that it was a tough sell getting veterans used to running campaigns their way to adapt to modern methods, but Springer made his mark helping them cross over.

  “He has a great, upbeat personality and, as a young staffer, he was always willing to do anything and pitch in,” recalled Elkis, currently the senior vice president at Optimus Partners, LLC, a government relations and strategic communications firm who has known Springer since his intern days. “When he was promoting the importance of social media, it took awhile for people to catch up to him, but who doesn’t use in now? And now he’s in big demand.”

In 2007, Springer left politics to work as a marketing technology specialist for the Flaster/Greenberg Law firm. He was then wooed back to be the communications director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee under Chairman John Wisniewski and worked briefly for Cherry Hill Township under Mayor Chuck Cahn before returning to the private sector to build JRS Strategies, a full service communications and digital media consulting firm.

Following his time in the public sector, Springer became a regular guest on 1210-AM, opining on the politics of the day. While it was great talking about issues he cared so much about, he joked that he would rather talk about sports.

About three years later, Springer got his chance. With co-hosts and fellow sports enthusiasts Jeffrey Cohen and Jeff Rutberg, he moderates “The Heart of Sports,” a weekly sports radio talk show on 610-AM that not just dissects current topics but puts the focus on the impact of sports on society. With rising ratings, the show was recently moved from 1 p.m. Saturdays to the coveted drive-time 5 to 6 p.m. slot on Fridays. 

For Springer, newly wed to Sarah since 2014 and adjusting to fatherhood, life is good.

“I’m like a child living his dream,” said Springer, who also serves on the board of Jewish Family and Children’s Services.  

The dream, to be clear, was to be a sports commentator. He has wanted it since age 10 when he first started listening to the colorful voices of Philly sports radio and its impassioned fans. The reality is even better. The show has led to other opportunities, such as moderating a panel featuring Ron Jaworski, Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan, Beasley Reece and Darwin Walker before Super Bowl L and doing a live show during the draft.

“The goal was never to get rich off of sports talk radio,” he said. “It was the opportunity to sit around talking about sports with friends and callers. I’m honored that advertisers want to support it.”

 

 

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