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BSM Summit Adds Sessions on Sports Betting, eSports, Podcasting & Research

“DraftKings, FanDuel, Daryl Morey, Jared Jeffries, Ari Segal, Daniel Cherry, Amplifi Media, and Coleman Research will be part of the 2019 BSM Summit schedule.”

Jason Barrett

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Putting together a sports media conference isn’t as easy as crafting a brand strategy, analyzing content or discovering talent. It’s a daunting challenge, one that I’ve embraced, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times where I’ve questioned if it was worth the stress.

Those who either know me in the industry or follow me on social media have seen the constant promotion of the event, but what you don’t see are the numerous phone calls, unanswered and rejected requests, in-person visits, and financial commitments made just to make the two-day event happen. 

Some have asked me “why do it if you’re not going to break the bank?” That’s a valid question, and I wish sometimes that my purpose was driven strictly by the desire to enjoy economic prosperity, but what can I say, I love this crazy business. The opportunities in front of us in the sports media industry are tremendous, and if I can connect, educate, inspire or improve one brand or individual, and help this industry improve its position then that’s time worth spending.

It’s because of my passion and belief in this business that I’ve invested the hours necessary to create a special event for industry professionals. The 2019 BSM Summit in Los Angeles will be a fantastic two-day show because it has tremendous support from a lot of high caliber people. Without them this event would stand no chance of succeeding.

Fortunately, I’ve made a few friends, shaken the right hands, and stumbled into a little bit of luck to be able to earn the industry’s confidence. I greatly appreciate it and don’t take it for granted.

If you’ve been keeping tabs on BSM thru our website, podcast, social media, or email then you’ve already seen some of the heavy hitters we’ve lined up for this event. I’m elated to have Jeff Smulyan, Tony Bruno, Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, Jorge Sedano and Eric Bischoff joining us, along with a slew of programmers, market managers, executives, talent, and agents from the radio and television business.

Included among those brand leaders are Traug Keller and Justin Craig of ESPN Radio, Norm Pattiz of Podcast One, Bruce Gilbert of Cumulus and Westwood One, Don Martin and Scott Shapiro of FOX Sports Radio and Premiere Radio Networks, Jacob Ullman of FOX Sports, and Mike Thomas of Beasley Media. 

I’m also grateful for the support from VSiN Chairman and co-founder Brian Musburger, Action Network’s Head of Content Chad Millman, Matthew Kramer and the crew at CAA Sports, sports radio’s imaging and voice whiz Jim Cutler, and media friends such as Bryan Curtis of The Ringer, and Perry Simon of All Access.

But as strong as those names are, if there’s anything I’ve learned about sports media folks over the years it’s that they always want more. With that in mind, it’s time to tell you about the next group of speakers who are also scheduled to be with us in February.

It gives me great pleasure to share that we’ll be joined at the BSM Summit by Houston Rockets GM, SSAC co-founder and Clutch Gaming co-owner Daryl Morey, Echo Fox President and former NBA/College Basketball star Jared Jeffries, Immortals CEO Ari Segal, and Activision Blizzard CMO Daniel Cherry. All four men have extensive knowledge and experience in the sports world, and will be part of an interesting conversation examining eSports’ place and value in the sports media industry.

Additionally, I’m excited to welcome Steven Goldstein of Amplifi Media for a dive into the podcasting space, Warren Kurtzman of Coleman Insights, who will lead a session on programming strategies for a changing world, and FanDuel President and COO Kip Levin and DraftKings Chief Business Officer Ezra Kucharz who will join Millman and Musburger for a panel on sports betting moderated by Joe Fortenbaugh of 95.7 The Game.

Though the focus has been and continues to be on assembling a kick ass agenda that inspires and informs attendees, and connects individuals who can help one another achieve larger success in the sports media space, I also recognize the importance of giving folks a chance to unwind. What better way to do that then with food and drinks.

Thanks to my friends at ESPN, we’ll have a private 1-hour cocktail reception for attendees at Tom’s Urban following the first night of festivities. Folks may choose to stay after the party and continue eating, drinking, and networking, but I have a strong suspicion that the Lakers PR department will be receiving more press requests than usual for the Lakers-Rockets game down the street at the Staples Center.

The work is far from done, but the progress leading up to February’s show has been excellent. I’m planning to finalize a few programmer sessions soon, as well as talk to my executive circle to determine our recipients for the inaugural Jeff Smulyan and Tony Bruno awards. I do want to thank Premiere Radio Network/FOX Sports Radio for sponsoring our awards ceremony and the handful of company’s who’ve already jumped on board as session sponsors. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Being transparent, I’d like to add a few women to the show. The sports media industry may be male dominated, but I believe in having all viewpoints presented. I’m not going to get too deep into the weeds for the planning of this event, but requests have been made for some exceptional female speakers. I’m hoping to make more progress on that soon.

For those of you who’ve asked “what can I do to help”, all I ask is that you let others in the business know about the event. Something as simple as a retweet or share of one of our social postings goes a long way towards filling the room. Also, if you know someone in L.A. who does great video work on a freelance basis I’m open to suggestions.

On the business front, if you own, operate or represent a company and are looking to reach sports media professionals, we do have a few sponsorships remaining and would love your support. To discuss the matter further, please email JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

I’ll admit that selling people on why they should attend this event has never been an area of comfort for me. I understand there are many factors to consider when deciding whether to make a trip and attend a show. That said, if your time and finances allow you to do so, I do think it’ll be worth your while. It’s not everyday that you get to be around the key decision makers in your business to meet and learn from. The sports media industry is built on relationships, and if you want to separate yourself from the rest of the pack, it helps to make personal connections. 

Having spent over two decades in this business, I know that one thing too many of us are guilty of is not getting out of our buildings enough to meet new people, hear different ideas, and expand our thinking. You may be enjoying success today, and your knowledge of your brand and business may be superb, but this industry rapidly changes. If you don’t make time to educate yourself on where the world is heading other than reading about it on the internet, at some point it’s going to catch up to you.

I can’t promise that two days in L.A. will increase your ratings and revenue, but I do know that increasing your knowledge, relationships, and ideas is the first step to doing so. I hope to see you at the summit in February.

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Jeff Catlin, John Mamola, Gordy Rush & Maggie Clifton Join The 2023 BSM Summit Lineup

Jason Barrett

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We’re less than two months away from the 2023 BSM Summit in Los Angeles. This year’s conference takes place on March 21-22, 2023 at the Founders Room inside of the Galen Center at USC. Many industry professionals are set to attend but sports media folks tend to be a last minute crowd whether it’s buying a ticket, reserving a room or committing to be a sponsor. Yes, tickets, rooms, and a select few sponsorships are still available, but the longer you wait, the more you risk not being in the room, featured as a partner, and paying higher prices for travel. To make sure you have a seat and a place to stay, log on to BSMSummit.com. For sponsorship inquiries, email Stephanie at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

I am really excited about this year’s Summit. The venue is tremendous, the agenda is coming together nicely, and there’s no doubt we’ll have great weather when we gather in LA. Some have asked me why I don’t reveal the full schedule of sessions months in advance, and it’s because I believe in swinging for the fences and trying to do big things. To do that, you’ve got to be willing to invest time and explore every opportunity that can be impactful. It’d be much easier to fill the schedule and be done with everything but if it’s going to take a little longer to deliver the best speakers, discussions and experiences for all in the room, then that’s what I’m going to do.

Those involved in the creation of this conference know that I set a very high standard for it. We’ve run some great events over the years, and it’s because we put everything we have into making sure each session is valuable to a different segment of the industry. My goal each year is to present an action packed agenda that helps people learn, gain access to information to improve themselves and/or their brands, and create a few connections and memorable moments to justify it being worth a few days away out of the office or studio. If we can do that, it makes the sacrifices worthwhile. If we can’t execute at a high level, then I’d probably pass on doing it.

Before I tell you about the four people we’re adding to our speaker lineup, I do want to remind you that we recently announced a contest for California college students. We’re giving away ten (10) FREE tickets to the show courtesy of Steve Kamer Voiceovers. If you know a student in California please let them know about this. If they’re not in California but want to attend the event, we’ve created a special college rate to make it affordable for young people. Everything is listed on BSMSummit.com.

Now, for the new additions to the lineup.

I’m excited to welcome Jeff Catlin of The Ticket in Dallas to the Summit. This will be Jeff’s first Summit visit, and I appreciate him making time to share his programming wisdom with the rest of the room. Jeff will be part of a programming panel that kicks off day #2. That panel will include Jimmy Powers of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, Raj Sharan of Denver’s Sports Station 104.3 The Fan, and our next addition, John Mamola of WDAE. John has been at all of our events dating back to our first test event in Chicago. I’m looking forward to giving him an opportunity to offer his programming insights alongside this talented group.

Also joining the Summit lineup is Maggie Clifton, Blue Wire’s Senior Vice President of Business Development. Maggie has played a vital role in growing Blue Wire’s revenue, and I’m looking forward to having her join Barstool Sports’ SVP, Head of Sales Matt Berger, and Magellan AI’s Chief Revenue Officer John Goforth on a panel that focuses on digital monetization.

Guiding that conversation will be Guaranty Media’s Gordy Rush. The Baton Rouge Vice President and General Manager who doubles as LSU’s sideline reporter on football broadcasts is well versed in monetizing content, and understanding the opportunities and challenges broadcasters face. I’m confident those in the room charged with maximizing digital revenue for their brands will gain great value from these four professionals.

There’s much more in the works that I’m looking forward to announcing in the coming weeks. Whether you own a company, manage a cluster as a GM, lead a sales team, host or produce a podcast or radio/TV show, buy advertising, oversee a brand’s social media strategy or program a network or local outlet, there’s something for every sports media professional at the BSM Summit. I invite you to come see for yourself. To do so, visit BSMSummit.com.

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Jimmy Powers to Receive The Mark Chernoff Award at the 2023 BSM Summit

“Jimmy received the most votes from our industry panel to become our third recipient of the Mark Chernoff Award.”

Jason Barrett

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As a former programmer turned consultant, I pay more attention than most to those who lead brands, manage talent, and create consistent success. When you look across the country at the hundreds of stations delivering sports radio content, and analyze who operates at a high level, there’s maybe ten to twenty who are changing the game, and others who are rising and hoping to become a bigger part of the conversation.

What makes this annual award special in addition to having Mark Chernoff’s name on it, is that it’s voted on by eighteen industry heavyweights. These are folks tasked with overseeing radio companies, major networks, and having exceptional track records of broadcasting success. So when they vote and an individual earns an honor, it means a little more.

If you’re in the business and follow sports radio, then you’re aware of Mark Chernoff’s accomplishments as a program director. He was one of the true architects and consistent winners, and his ability to excel as a sports radio manager has influenced and shaped many careers. Mark graciously agreed to be part of our awards ceremony a few years ago when I approached him with the idea in New York City. I’m thrilled to share that although he doesn’t attend many industry conferences on the west coast, he will be with us at the 2023 BSM Summit in Los Angeles for the ceremony.

Which brings me to this year’s winner.

It is my honor to congratulate the leader of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, Jimmy Powers. Jimmy received the most votes from our industry panel to become our third recipient of the Mark Chernoff Award. He follows Rick Radzik of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, and Mitch Rosen of 670 The Score in Chicago. Jimmy will be in attendance at the Summit to pick up the award, and will take part in a program director panel at the show. Further details on that to be shared next week.

“It’s such a great honor not only to be mentioned in the same breath with Mark Chernoff, but to receive the ‘Mark Chernoff Award’ is really, really cool” shared 97.1 The Ticket Program Director Jimmy Powers. “With so many great program directors across the country who are deserving of this award, I truly appreciate the recognition.”

Since late 2009, Powers has led the Detroit sports radio station to unmatched local success. Brought in to build upon what was created by the late great Tom Bigby, he’s helped The Ticket become one of the format’s best examples of success. The station has consistently dominated the Male 25-54 demo, while also becoming a ratings force with Persons 12+ and Adults 25-54.

“Jimmy has done an amazing job over the years running 97.1 the Ticket,” said legendary sports radio programmer Mark Chernoff. “He knows how to work with talent, and maintain balance while managing relationships with the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons, which is not an easy job. The ratings remain high, and the Ticket continues to be one of America’s top sports stations, which reflects the great work Jimmy has done as the station’s program director.”

In addition to delivering double digit shares, quarterly ratings wins, and presenting a star studded lineup and Michigan’s top sports franchises, The Ticket has taken home plenty of hardware too. The station has won the Marconi award for best sports station in 2016 and 2022. And now, they can add the 2023 Mark Chernoff Award to their trophy case.

“2022 was another big year for The Ticket, and many in Detroit deserve credit for the brand’s consistent success, but none more so than their exceptional brand leader, Jimmy Powers,” added BSM President Jason Barrett. “Jimmy has been a staple of consistency, guiding one of the crown jewels of sports radio, managing top personalities, important play by play partnerships, and helping the brand generate large revenues. I’m thrilled that our industry voters took notice of the fantastic work Jimmy has done and look forward to celebrating his career and accomplishments in Los Angeles this March.”

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California College Students Earn Chance to Win 10 Free Tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit Thanks to Steve Kamer Voiceovers

“In order to win tickets to attend the Summit, students must submit a 2-minute video by email explaining why they’d like to be in attendance and what they hope to learn at the event.”

Jason Barrett

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With a new year comes renewed energy and optimism for the sports media business. Yours truly is looking forward to showcasing the best our business has to offer when we gather the industry in Los Angeles, CA at the 2023 BSM Summit at the Founders Club at the University of Southern California on March 21-22, 2023. Our conference is returning to the west coast for the first time since 2019. We’ve announced some super talented speakers. We’ve got additional things in the works and I plan to make additional announcements in the next few weeks.

People often ask me what the biggest challenge is putting this event together. My answer is always the same, it’s getting people to leave the comfort of their office and spend two days in a room together learning and discussing ways to grow the business. We have great sponsorship support and exceptional people on stage and are fortunate to have a lot of folks already set to attend. Our venue this year has extra space though, so I’m hoping a few more of you make time to join us. If you haven’t bought a ticket or reserved your hotel room, visit BSMSummit.com to make sure you’re all set.

If there’s one thing our industry could get better at it’s opening our minds to new ideas and information. There’s more than one path to success. Just because you’re in good shape today doesn’t mean you will be tomorrow. Building brands, growing audiences, increasing revenue, and examining new opportunities is an ongoing process. There are many shifts along the way. We may not solve every business challenge during our two-days together but you’ll leave the room more connected and informed than when you entered it.

Each year I’ll get two or three emails from folks sharing that they learned more about the industry in two-days at the Summit than they have in ___ years inside of their building. That’s truly gratifying and what I strive to achieve when I put this event together. I remember when conferences like this didn’t exist for format folks and I take the risk and invest the time and resources to create it because I love the sports media industry and believe I can help it thrive. I see great value in gathering professionals to share ideas, information, and meet others who can help them grow their business, and if we do our part, I’m confident some will want to work with us too. That’s how we benefit over the long haul.

But as much as I focus on serving the professional crowd, I also think we have a responsibility to educate young people who are interested, passionate, and taking steps to be a part of our business in the future. The BSM website is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each month and it’s become a valuable resource for folks who enjoy sports radio and television. I think it’s vital to use our platform, influence and two-day event to connect generations and I’m happy to announce that we will once again welcome college students at this year’s Summit.

Most of us who’ve been in this line of work for two or three decades learned the business without podcasts, YouTube, social media, the web or conferences delivering two full days of sessions that taught you more about the business than what’s available inside of a class room. We learned by doing, and hoping we were right. Then we copied others who had success. Some of that still exists, and that’s not a bad thing. But where our business goes in the future is going to be drastically different.

I’d like to see the difference makers in our format remembered for years to come, and practices that have stood the test of time remain valued down the line. Change is inevitable in every business and I’m excited about the road that lies ahead especially some of the technological advancements that are now available or will soon become a bigger part of our industry. I think we can embrace the future while enjoying the present and celebrating the past. The best way to do that is by bringing together everyone who is and is hoping to be a part of the sports media universe.

So here’s two things we’re doing to make sure future broadcasters have an opportunity to learn with us.

First, I want to send a HUGE thank you to Steve Kamer Voiceovers. Thanks to Steve’s generosity, TEN (10) college students will be given FREE tickets to attend the 2023 BSM Summit in March. Steve is a USC graduate (Class of 1985) and he bought the ten tickets to help young people learn about the industry, save money and make valuable connections. When I first received his order, I thought he hit the wrong button. I reached out to tell him a mistake was made and I needed to refund him. That’s when he told me what he wanted to do for students who were pursuing their broadcasting dreams just as we both did years ago. A very classy gesture on his part.

As it pertains to the contest, here’s how it’s going to work.

To win tickets to attend the Summit, students must submit a 2-minute video by email to JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com explaining why they’d like to be in attendance and what they hope to learn at the event. Included in your email should be a list of steps that you’ve taken or are pursuing to explore opportunities in the media industry. If you want to pass along a resume and audio or video clips too to showcase your work and experience, that’s fine as well. BSM will accept submissions until February 17th. The winners will be announced on Friday February 24th.

Helping me select the winners will be an exceptional panel of media executives. Each of these folks below will choose one person to attend our L.A. event. The final two will be picked by Steve Kamer and myself.

  • Scott Shapiro – Senior Vice President, FOX Sports Radio
  • Justin Craig – Senior Program Director, ESPN Radio
  • Jeff Sottolano – Executive Vice President, Programming, Audacy
  • Bruce Gilbert – Senior Vice President of Sports, Cumulus Media & Westwood One
  • Amanda Gifford – Vice President, Content Strategy & Audio, ESPN
  • Jacob Ullman – Senior Vice President, Production and Talent Development, FOX Sports
  • Greg Strassell – Senior Vice President, Programming, Hubbard Radio
  • Scott Sutherland – Executive Vice President, Bonneville International

To qualify for the BSM Summit College Contest, students must be enrolled in college in the state of California, pursuing a degree that involves course work either in radio, television, print or the digital business. Those attending local trade schools with a focus on broadcasting are also welcome to participate. You must be able to take care of your own transportation and/or lodging.

This is a contest I enjoy running. We’ve had great participation during our prior two shows in New York City but haven’t done it before on the west coast. I’m hoping it’s helpful to California students and look forward to hearing from many of them during the next month.

For students who live out of state and wish to attend or those enrolled at local universities who enter the contest but aren’t lucky enough to win one of the ten free tickets from Steve Kamer Voiceovers, we are introducing a special two-day college ticket for just $124.99. You must provide proof that you’re currently in school to take advantage of the offer. This ticket gives you access to all of our sessions inside the Founders Club. College tickets will be limited to forty (40) seats so take advantage of the opportunity before it expires.

The 2023 BSM Summit will feature award ceremonies with Emmis Communication CEO Jeff Smulyan and legendary WFAN program director Mark Chernoff, sessions with influential on-air talent such as Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome, Joy Taylor, and Mina Kimes, big picture business conversations with executives from groups such as Audacy, iHeart, Bonneville, Good Karma Brands, Barstool, The Volume, Omaha Productions and more. For details on tickets and hotel rooms visit BSMsummit.com.

I look forward to seeing you in March in Los Angeles!

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