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Does An Established Personality Deserve a Final Show?

Jason Barrett

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There are certain subjects in the radio industry that are complicated and impossible to provide a concrete answer for. One of them is the debate of whether or not to allow an established on-air talent a final sendoff.

To understand this subject, you have to take into account many factors. Who is the company? Who are the key executives involved in the decision? Who is the personality? What type of track record do they have? Is the split amicable or hostile? Are there future consequences facing either party? Has the situation been understood thru previous conversations or did it pop up unexpectedly?

When an individual performs for a brand for a lengthy period of time, and helps a company generate strong ratings and revenues, there is a certain respect that should be given. It might be hard to remember the value and past performance of a personality who’s at odds with a company or at the center of an economic dispute, but great leaders find a way to keep the big picture in mind when emotions get high and difficult discussions unfold.

Unfortunately finding a solution that benefits everyone doesn’t always happen.

Keith Olbermann’s initial exit from ESPN was very messy. After turning SportsCenter with Dan Patrick into the most important sports show on television, and becoming a powerful presence on the network, a better sendoff should’ve been provided. I’m sure Keith was no saint to deal with during the process, but given what each party did for one another, the ending didn’t feel right, and it left millions of sports fans less excited about watching SportsCenter or Olbermann.

On the other hand, when Dan Patrick made the choice to leave ESPN Radio, the network treated his exit in classy fashion. They gave Dan weeks to host shows and say goodbye. Guests from the past were brought back, and although there may have been some tension behind closed doors, it didn’t result in issues on the airwaves.

The same was true this past January when 670 The Score sent longtime host Terry Boers into retirement. The station did a series of final goodbye shows, welcomed the audience to attend Boers’ final program, and brought back old hosts, friends and celebrities to pay their respects to Terry. Retirement is easier to manage than a host choosing to leave or a station electing to cut ties but in this particular case, it felt right and classy, and strengthened the image of both Terry and 670 The Score.

An image issue though affected ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. last month when the station chose to part ways with Andy Pollin unexpectedly after twenty five years. Pollin hosted his normal show with Steve Czaban, and when it was over, so too was his time with the station. Czaban wasn’t thrilled with the decision, but Pollin took the high road when asked for comment. Although it may have made business sense for the station to explore a new direction and part ways with the longtime popular local host, the ending left listeners confused and upset.

Could a final day or week have been created with Pollin? Did Pollin not want to do that? Was Red Zebra worried that allowing that arrangement could harm their business? Those are all fair questions which the audience never received answers to.

In San Francisco, Ralph Barbieri helped establish one of the most successful west coast sports talk shows alongside Tom Tolbert. “The Razor and Mr. T” on KNBR became the show of record for Bay Area sports fans, and when Cumulus yanked Barbieri off the air without any send off or final comments, it left many local listeners feeling robbed. I made the decision at 95.7 The Game to give Barbieri a half hour with Brandon Tierney and Eric Davis to express himself and thank local fans, and while it may have helped my station at the time, his farewell should’ve taken place on KNBR, not The Game.

The reason Barbieri never said goodbye on KNBR is because bad blood existed between him and Cumulus. Their split led to a lawsuit. While listeners may have felt betrayed for not having a chance to say goodbye to their friend on the radio, and instead hear Tolbert address the situation by himself, it made zero business sense for Cumulus to offer up air time to a host who was suing them. It was an ugly situation with no potential for a positive resolution.

Another situation that was impossible for all involved was Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s exit from WFAN. “Mike and the Mad Dog” helped build the sports talk format and it was the most important local sports radio program in the nation’s #1 market for close to two decades. People like myself made that show part of their daily routine and the industry is now flooded with professionals who were influenced to pursue this business because of Mike and Chris. To hear the show come to an end though with “Mad Dog” spending 15 minutes on a telephone saying goodbye to Mike and the audience left many in New York feeling unfulfilled.

Although it upset a lot of listeners, I can understand why CBS made that decision. Russo was leaving for SiriusXM. Howard Stern had done the same years before. To allow their airwaves to be used for promotional purposes and grant Russo access to influence the audience to follow him to his next venture made little sense. It also would’ve put Francesa in an awkward position.

Whether it’s the examples above, or others that have been handled differently from Glenn Ordway’s initial exit at WEEI, Howard Eskin’s departure from afternoons on WIP, or Tony Kornheiser and Colin Cowherd’s sign off from ESPN Radio, when these situations occur, the listener is almost always going to rally around the on-air talent. They could care less about the business consequences or the trouble behind closed doors, they simply want to hear the personality they’ve invested their time in, and any company standing in their way of hearing what they want, is going to experience their wrath.

While it may not be popular, business isn’t always going to be pretty. Whether it feels right or not, difficult decisions sometimes have to be made, and providing a silver lining to a tough situation isn’t always an option.

I’m sure there are some executives who fail to think things through, and allow the intensity of a current situation to cloud their judgment. It’s easy to lose sight of what someone has meant personally and professionally to a company, when you’re engaged in a bitter dispute. Rather than sucking it up and doing the right thing for the audience and all involved, the need to win the battle takes over.

Equally at fault can be the personality. If a company has provided nearly two decades of paychecks, air time, and respect, it’s fair to expect an individual to be appreciative and professional when bringing an important chapter of their career to a close. But rather than reflecting on where they are in their lives and how they got there, they too get caught up in winning the war. Most of time it revolves around money or a business relationship turning sour, and the on-air talent becomes less focused on exiting with grace. That then puts the company in a position where they have to make the difficult and unpopular decision to immediately cut them off.

Not every on-air talent deserves a final goodbye, and not every company is going to get burned if they offer up the airwaves to a host who is on the verge of exiting their brand. There is no rule book which outlines how to handle these situations, and a host doesn’t warrant a sendoff for time served, especially if their impact was limited. But if they’ve become an integral part of a radio station’s identity for an extended period of time, that can make their exit very tricky. Each situation has to be dealt with on a case by case basis and regardless of the direction you take, there will be people shooting arrows in your direction, second guessing your decision.

In order to better understand how these situations should be handled, I reached out to a number of successful executives who have gone through this experience during their careers. I think you’ll find their answers to be insightful and helpful and I appreciate each of them taking the time to help educate industry professionals who may find themselves caught in the middle of it one day down the road.

  • Mark Chernoff – Program Director of WFAN
  • Bruce Gilbert – SVP of Cumulus Sports
  • Mitch Rosen – Program Director of 670 The Score
  • Jeff Catlin – Program Director of Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket
  • Jason Wolfe – Chief Strategist of Money Matters Radio; Former PD of WEEI
  • Andy Bloom – Former Operations Manager of WIP and WPHT

When an established sports radio host is not having their contract renewed, what do you believe is the right way to handle their exit? 

Chernoff: In most cases, I suggest that when the host is notified of a non-renewal that the host has already done his/her last show. Why risk any problems? Also, you wind up having listeners generally calling in with “I’ll miss you” or “I can’t believe they’d not renew you” or something like what I’ve suggested. It may be a bit painful but if it’s the station’s decision to not renew then I’d suggest just moving on.

Rosen: When in doubt tell the truth. Without providing financial details, make it simple – the station and the personality could not come to an agreement. In the press and on the air it’s communicated the same way. The simpler the better.

Wolfe: The best way to handle it is not always the easiest, but the end result should be that the station and the talent maintain a productive relationship where there are no hard feelings. If a host is not performing, or is making too much money, and the station decides that his contract is not going to be renewed the best course of action is to be upfront and honest about the reasons why. This needs to be explained to the talent, first and foremost, the station’s staff secondarily, and perhaps most importantly, the listeners. If people don’t listen to the station, we’re all out of work, so if a major decision is forthcoming, I believe that GM’s and/or PD’s should not hide behind corporate speak, but rather offer details that can help the audience understand and, hopefully, accept the decision.

Catlin: It depends on many factors; longevity, standing with the station, standing with the audience, partnership vs. solo show. I have been part of hosts leaving and being allowed to play out the string, and hosts being taken off the air at a time of management’s choosing when the host was unaware, preventing a “good bye”.

Gilbert: There is NO right way. That’s the bottom line. Every circumstance is different. I’ve seen this handled in every way imaginable and sometimes it’s smooth, sometimes it’s a disaster, most of the times it’s clumsy because people leaving (especially “established” talent) creates disruption.

Bloom: I believe radio makes a mistake by not giving most personalities a proper send-off. The departure of a personality can be an opportunity for a finale; an occasion for a communal event and sometimes a ratings and revenue bonus. There are going to be circumstances that don’t warrant a goodbye show and people who don’t permit it as an option. When it’s possible, however, letting air talent say goodbye is the better option.

How is the situation different if a host is retiring? What do you do differently? 

Chernoff: Very different. Usually “retiring” means it’s someone who has been a long-time “good” employee. Often announcing a date, scheduling special events for and around the personality makes sense. What Mitch Rosen did with Terry Boers at the Score in Chicago was terrific including bringing back many past hosts.

Rosen: Retirement says it all. Most of the time you celebrate that person’s career. Listeners love to experience party’s, final shows, and share their respects to the hosts they’ve become connected to.

Wolfe: Retirement offers a very different course of action. Long time talent who retire have presumably had a terrific career and are in excellent standing with the station’s personnel and the company. Retirements for top talent should be celebrated. They’ve given their heart and soul to the station, driven great ratings, helped bring in substantial revenue, and therefore deserve a send off that is worthy of the job they’ve done. Companies should be glad to create this type of event or special broadcast because it shows how much appreciation there is for that specific talent.

Catlin: If a host is retiring then you would assume it has been a positive relationship. In that case, I think the audience and the host appreciates the chance to have final shows. However, I would instruct the talent that only the last show is the last show. Up until then, regular content and entertainment applies. I wouldn’t want a show or host to have a farewell week or something like that. I think in the case of retirement it also helps out the new show or replacement show to have the retiring person give them their on air blessing.

Gilbert: If the host is beloved and has decided to retire, I LOVE giving that host a chance to go on the air and go out on his/her own terms. It’s also a lot of fun to do a retirement party with gifts, special guests, fans of the show, and everything all the way to roasting the person.

Bloom: Retirement is a unique and specific circumstance. Watching the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar “retirement tour” left a lasting impression on me and set a standard I’ve always hoped to duplicate. While Kareem set the standard, Kobe Bryant’s farewell last season was a reminder of how powerful “goodbyes” are among fans and contemporaries.

What is the downside to allowing a successful and established host to broadcast a final show?

Chernoff: If it’s the person retiring or a mutual agreement I don’t think there’s much of a downside. If it’s a station decision then my suggestion is “no last show”. I suppose every so often there’s an exception to the rule but it’s not a given.

Rosen: Listeners could choose to not come back. If you’re prepared though they will return.

Wolfe: I don’t believe there’s a downside to giving a major talent a final show unless the relationship between the station and the talent is so fractured that there is genuine animosity between the parties. Relationships that have gone sour, often include a lack of trust, and that lack of trust would be potentially damaging during the final broadcast. Talent whose contracts are not being renewed because of performance or because of money should get a chance to say goodbye to their audience, and companies should suck it up when the complaint calls come. The company is moving on. The talent is not.

I have little respect for corporate folks who can’t be subjected to a bit of criticism for a decision they’ve made, and therefore run from it by simply yanking the talent off the air without a legit explanation. If there is trust between both parties, I’d expect the talent to be professional and handle the final broadcast appropriately and without incident. The company/station would also take the high road and while there may be some listener blow back, as long as there’s a satisfactory explanation, the story will be short lived.

Catlin: The show could turn away from content and entertainment value for the audience and become too insider focused or selfish. I think this all depends on the talent, the factors in play, and the relationship between the talent and management.

Gilbert: If the talent is stable, not angry about the situation, and mature enough I don’t see any downside. We often talk about how radio is an intimate friend and a favorite companion, and if that is the case we should give them a chance to say goodbye. If your neighbor was your friend, you’d expect him to come over and say goodbye before he left town.

Bloom: How to handle a departure depends on the individual circumstances and the terms of separation. Is it ugly, or civil? I try to let people have a final show, even if it means sitting on the dump button, ready to escort them from the building (I’ve never had to do it). Of course, there have been personalities who I have not let have a final show, either because the split was unpleasant and I could not trust them, or their impact was not significant enough to warrant a farewell.

How does it hurt or help the radio station in the eyes of the audience if it does or doesn’t afford the talent an opportunity to say goodbye?

Chernoff: I suppose listeners might be angry for a short while if there’s no last show, but if it’s the station making the change, not the person retiring, then I would skip doing a final on-air show.

Rosen: If someone is leaving and the situation isn’t good, I do not like to have “living wakes”. It’s better off making a statement and moving on for both parties.

Wolfe: Assuming that there is not a trust issue, any station/company that does not give a major talent a chance at a final show looks small and weak. I think it hurts the station tremendously in this instance. Especially today, where social media can be very powerful in terms of listeners jumping on the bandwagon about certain stories, the level of distrust and outright anger that some would feel can be expressed over and over again on multiple platforms for many days, and that does not bode well for the company.

Conversely, if the relationship is a strong one, and the talent understands the decision, and expresses that on the air, both parties can look exceptional to the public, so while there may be disagreement, life for the station goes on smoothly and efficiently.

Catlin: Sometimes the host hasn’t earned the right to say goodbye unfortunately. A program director has to do what’s best for the station first, the audience next, and then consider how the host fits into a specific situation.

Gilbert: It can help in that it shows the station has compassion. It can hurt if the talent is beloved and people feel like the station was being mean.

Bloom: Listeners hate it when somebody they consider a “friend,” suddenly disappears from “their” station for no apparent reason and the only response is, “(Blank) is no longer with us.” Listeners CAN handle the truth. Therefore, over the years, probably a little over half the time, I have let departing hosts/jocks say “goodbye.” There isn’t a single instance where I got burned, although a couple were perhaps too morose. Thinking back, I can’t think of any I didn’t let say goodbye that with a mulligan, I probably would.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

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The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media is Making Changes To Better Serve Our Sports and News Media Readers

“We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future.”

Jason Barrett

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When I launched this website all I wanted to do was share news, insight and stories about broadcasters and brands. My love, passion and respect for this business is strong, and I know many of you reading this feel similar. I spent two great decades in radio watching how little attention was paid to those who played a big part in their audiences lives. The occasional clickbait story and contract drama would find their way into the newspapers but rarely did you learn about the twists and turns of a broadcaster’s career, their approach to content or the tactics and strategies needed to succeed in the industry. When personal reasons led me home to NY in 2015, I decided I was going to try my best to change that.

Since launching this brand, we’ve done a good job informing and entertaining media industry professionals, while also helping consulting clients and advertising partners improve their businesses. We’ve earned respect from the industry’s top stars, programming minds and mainstream media outlets, growing traffic from 50K per month to 500K and monthly social impressions from a few thousand to a few million. Along the way we’ve added conferences, rankings, podcasts, a member directory, and as I’ve said before, this is the best and most important work I’ve ever done, and I’m not interested in doing anything else.

If I’ve learned anything over seven years of operating a digital content company it’s that you need skill, strategy, passion, differentiating content, and good people to create impact. You also need luck, support, curiosity and an understanding of when to double down, cut bait or pivot. It’s why I added Stephanie Eads as our Director of Sales and hired additional editors, columnists and features reporters earlier this year. To run a brand like ours properly, time and investment are needed. We’ve consistently grown and continue to invest in our future, and it’s my hope that more groups will recognize the value we provide, and give greater consideration to marketing with us in the future.

But with growth comes challenges. Sometimes you can have the right idea but bad timing. I learned that when we launched Barrett News Media.

We introduced BNM in September 2020, two months before the election when emotions were high and COVID was a daily discussion. I wasn’t comfortable then of blending BNM and BSM content because I knew we’d built a trusted sports media resource, and I didn’t want to shrink one audience while trying to grow another. Given how personal the election and COVID became for folks, I knew the content mix would look and feel awkward on our site.

So we made the decision to start BNM with its own website. We ran the two brands independently and had the right plan of attack, but discovered that our timing wasn’t great.

The first nine months readership was light, which I expected since we were new and trying to build an audience from scratch. I believed in the long-term mission, which was why I stuck with it through all of the growing pains, but I also felt a responsibility to make sure our BNM writing team and the advertising partners we forged relationships with were being seen by as many people as possible. We continued with the original plan until May 2021 when after a number of back and forth debates, I finally agreed to merge the two sites. I figured if WFAN could thrive with Imus in the Morning and Mike and the Mad Dog in the afternoon, and the NY Times, LA Times, KOA, KMOX and numerous other newspaper and radio brands could find a way to blend sports and news/talk, then so could we.

And it worked.

We dove in and started to showcase both formats, building social channels and groups for each, growing newsletter databases, and with the addition of a few top notch writers, BNM began making bigger strides. Now featured under the BSM roof, the site looked bigger, the supply of daily content became massive, and our people were enjoying the increased attention.

Except now we had other issues. Too many stories meant many weren’t being read and more mistakes were slipping through the cracks. None of our crew strive to misspell a word or write a sloppy headline but when the staff and workload doubles and you’re trying to focus on two different formats, things can get missed. Hey, we’re all human.

Then a few other things happened that forced a larger discussion with my editors.

First, I thought about how much original material we were creating for BSM from our podcast network, Summit, Countdown to Coverage series, Meet the Market Managers, BSM Top 20, and began to ask myself ‘if we’re doing all of this for sports readers, what does that tell folks who read us for news?’ We then ran a survey to learn what people valued about our brand and though most of the feedback was excellent, I saw how strong the response was to our sports content, and how news had grown but felt second fiddle to those offering feedback.

Then, Andy Bloom wrote an interesting column explaining why radio hosts would be wise to stop talking about Donald Trump. It was the type of piece that should’ve been front and center on a news site all day but with 3 featured slots on the site and 7 original columns coming in that day, they couldn’t all be highlighted the way they sometimes should be. We’re actually going through that again today. That said, Andy’s column cut through. A few sports media folks didn’t like seeing it on the site, which wasn’t a surprise since Trump is a polarizing personality, but the content resonated well with the news/talk crowd.

National talk radio host Mike Gallagher was among the folks to see Andy’s piece, and he spent time on his show talking about the column. Mike’s segment was excellent, and when he referenced the article, he did the professional thing and credited our website – Barrett SPORTS Media. I was appreciative of Mike spending time on his program discussing our content but it was a reminder that we had news living under a sports roof and it deserved better than that.

I then read some of Pete Mundo, Doug Pucci and Rick Schultz’s columns and Jim Cryns’ features on Chris Ruddy, Phil Boyce, and David Santrella, and knew we were doing a lot of quality work but each time we produced stories, folks were reminded that it lived on a SPORTS site. I met a few folks who valued the site, recognized the increased focus we put on our news/talk coverage, and hoped we had plans to do more. Jim also received feedback along the lines of “good to see you guys finally in the news space, hope there’s more to come.”

Wanting to better understand our opportunities and challenges, I reviewed our workflow, looked at which content was hitting and missing the mark, thought about the increased relationships we’d worked hard to develop, and the short-term and long-term goals for BNM. I knew it was time to choose a path. Did I want to think short-term and keep everything under one roof to protect our current traffic and avoid disrupting people or was it smarter to look at the big picture and create a destination where news/talk media content could be prioritized rather than treated as BSM’s step-child?

Though I spent most of my career in sports media and established BSM first, it’s important to me to serve the news/talk media industry our very best. I want every news/talk executive, host, programmer, market manager, agent, producer, seller and advertiser to know this format matters to us. Hopefully you’ve seen that in the content we’ve created over the past two years. My goal is to deliver for news media professionals what we have for sports media folks and though that may be a tall order, we’re going to bust our asses to make it happen. To prove that this isn’t just lip service, here’s what we’re going to do.

Starting next Monday November 28th, we are relaunching BarrettNewsMedia.com. ALL new content produced by the BNM writing team will be available daily under that URL. For the first 70-days we will display news media columns from our BNM writers on both sites and support them with promotion across both of our brands social channels. The goal is to have the two sites running independent of each other by February 6, 2023.

Also starting on Monday November 28th, we will begin distributing the BNM Rundown newsletter 5 days per week. We’ve been sending out the Rundown every M-W-F since October 2021, but the time has come for us to send it out daily. With increased distribution comes two small adjustments. We will reduce our daily story count from 10 to 8 and make it a goal to deliver it to your inbox each day by 3pm ET. If you haven’t signed up to receive the Rundown, please do. You can click here to register. Be sure to scroll down past the 8@8 area.

Additionally, Barrett News Media is going to release its first edition of the BNM Top 20 of 2022. This will come out December 12-16 and 19-20. The category winners will be decided by more than 50 news/talk radio program directors and executives. Among the categories to be featured will be best Major/Mid Market Local morning, midday, and afternoon show, best Local News/Talk PD, best Local News/Talk Station, best National Talk Radio Show, and best Original Digital Show. The voting process with format decision makers begins today and will continue for two weeks. I’ve already got a number of people involved but if you work in an executive or programming role in the news/talk format and wish to be part of it, send an email to me at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

We have one other big thing coming to Barrett News Media in 2023, which I will announce right after the BNM Top 20 on Wednesday December 21st. I’m sure news/talk professionals will like what we have planned but for now, it’ll have to be a month long tease. I promise though to pay it off.

Additionally, I’m always looking for industry folks who know and love the business and enjoy writing about it. If you’ve programmed, hosted, sold or reported in the news/talk world and have something to offer, email me. Also, if you’re a host, producer, programmer, executive, promotions or PR person and think something from your brand warrants coverage on our site, send it along. Most of what we write comes from listening to stations and digging across the web and social media. Receiving your press releases and getting a heads up on things you’re doing always helps.

If you’re a fan of BSM, this won’t affect you much. The only difference you’ll notice in the coming months is a gradual reduction of news media content on the BSM website and our social accounts sharing a little about both formats over the next two months until we’re officially split in February. We are also going to dabble a little more in marketing, research and tech content that serves both formats. If you’re a reader who enjoys both forms of our content, you’ll soon have BarrettSportsMedia.com for sports, and BarrettNewsMedia.com for news.

Our first two years in the news/talk space have been very productive but we’ve only scratched the surface. Starting November 28th, news takes center stage on BarrettNewsMedia.com and sports gets less crowded on BarrettSportsMedia.com. We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future. If we can count on you to remember two URL’s (add them to your bookmarks) and sign up for our newsletters, then you can count on us to continue delivering exceptional coverage of the industry you love. As always, thanks for the continued support. It makes everything we do worthwhile.

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