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2020 BSM Summit – Day 1

“A recap of what’s been taking place at the 2020 BSM Summit.”

Brandon Contes

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9:00-9:10 – Opening Remarks by Jason Barrett

Jason Barrett welcomes the attendees to the 2020 BSM Summit and introduces the first panel featuring Mike Thomas, Spike Eskin, Mitch Rosen and Scott Masteller.

9:10-9:50 – 5 on 5 presented by Core Image Studio

  • Mitch Rosen-PD, 670 The Score Chicago/105.7 The Fan MKE
    Reaching Younger Audiences – Most younger people do not use AM radio, some cars don’t even come with AM radio anymore. The challenge is getting the younger person to our content, once they get there, we’re confident they’ll like it, but we need to find different ways to bring people in.

    The Value of Team Partnerships – Play-by-play partnerships with teams are absolutely important. Teams value sports radio especially in Chicago. Team executives listen to sports radio, they listen when their players and coaches are on. Having play-by-play on radio is vital for sales and marketing. There are also partnerships such as DePaul University that are more of a revenue deal where we put in the contract the games won’t air before 6pm.

  • Mike Thomas-Market Manager-ESPN 1000 Chicago
    Reaching Younger Audiences: Utilize Twitch and YouTube, younger people spend hours and hours online, we need to have our content accessible to where they are.

    The Value of Guests – Guests can be crutches for shows, fans tune in to hear the hosts. The connection listeners have to shows is through their hosts. But the importance of a guest can also depend on the show. Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub were not originally sports hosts, so a sports guest can be helpful to their show. For Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000, Waddle played in the NFL, he’s going to be better at breaking down the game and connecting with our audience than a guest will.

  • Spike Eskin-PD, WIP/WPHT Philadelphia
    The younger demographic has grown up in a world that creates content tailored to their wants. We can’t only think about how to deliver the content, we need to think does the traditional sports talk on our main stream actually appeal to them? The content itself has to be right because they’re used to being catered to.

    The Value of Guests – When a show discusses having a guest, I say why and what are we going to ask them. If it’s not easily answered then we’re not going to use the guest.

    Ratings vs. Total Audience Reach – Traditionally, radio used the web to point users back to the radio. The future of WIP, is our brand is Philadelphia sports, but we need to find as many audiences as we can and it’s okay to have separate audiences. Our content on Facebook can appeal to Facebook users, our content on Twitter will appeal to Twitter users and it doesn’t need to all point back to the radio. The future is being able to monetize them separately.

    The Value of Team Partnerships – We can have too much play-by-play. Every year I revisit as to if we should carry the NCAA Tournament. Unless there is a local team making a run in the Tournament, nobody in Philly is talking about. The Eagles and Phillies are always great to have on-air, but you can have too much play-by-play.

  • Scott Masteller-PD, WBAL Baltimore
    The Value of Guests – Less is more because attention spans have never been shorter. A great interview can be three or four minutes and then you react to it after. Why are people tuning in? They tune in to hear the host and their perspective. Talent must know how to conduct a good interview to keep the listener tuned in.

    Coaching Talent – You need to let the talent know you have their back. Unless you’ve been a host, it’s hard to grasp how difficult it is especially with requests from sales. The most important thing is being able to provide feedback. Let the talent have their way, respect the talent and when you do that, they’ll be more receptive to feedback.

    The Value of Team Partnerships – It has to be an ongoing conversation and it has to be that there are no big surprises. If there’s ever going to be a time we’re going to be critical of the team, we pick up the phone and let them know so they’re not blindsided. It’s important to maintain the relationship so the team doesn’t want to look for a partnership elsewhere. Play-by-play partnerships have to be relevant. You can have too much , you don’t want broadcasts to get lost in the shuffle, it needs to be relevant and something you can promote.
  • Moderator: Jason Barrett, President, Barrett Sports Media

9:50-10:25 – Sports Radio on the Infinite Dial

  • Larry Rosin-President, Co-Founder Edison Research

TSL – Time Spent Listening is falling.

For Americans’ 13+ AM/FM radio represents 44% of listening, all other platforms are 56%. Age 55+ represents 62% of the AM/FM listening share, age 35-54 represents 45% and age 13-34 is just 28%.

For people listening to sports radio, 65% of it is done on AM/FM radio, while 35% is on other platforms.

Rosin includes a graphic offering reasons why people change the radio station. 74% have said they want to find something different, 65% want to browse channels, 59% switch because a commercial started, 43% said they just like switching stations.

Z100 in New York has a 14-minute commercial block everyday at 10:03am. Edison Research played the full break for a younger demographic to see their reaction to the commercials. The listeners were clearly uncomfortable needing to sit through that many ads, some of them didn’t believe the break was legitimate, but they all said they would have started listening to content on another platform at various points.

Consumers understand there is now an escape from radio. If they’re getting bored listening to the radio they can go to podcasts or Spotify, they have other options.

Radio stations believe their job is to get commercials on the radio station, but Edison believes the job should be to get people to hear radio commercials, not just to play them. If commercial ratings were tracked, the mentality of radio stations would change. Having less commercials, but attracting more commercial listeners should be valued. Radio needs more engaging, relevant and local commercials.

10:40-11:20 – Inside The Game presented by Benztown Branding

  • Howie Deneroff – Executive VP/Producer Westwood One Sports
    Having announcers with radio backgrounds is important. Calling a game on TV is very different from radio and they need to know how detailed the calls have to be. It can’t just be ‘his foot was out of bounds,’ it has to be his left foot is out of bounds, on the left sideline at this specific yard line.

    What signals a great broadcast? A better game makes for a better broadcast. You can only make so much out of a terrible game. I beat myself up if we don’t get a note in that I wanted to, but we also can’t force it. I’m never satisfied, but if you don’t misidentify anything, if you don’t give out wrong information and you have fun, it’s a good broadcast.

  • Bob Wischusen – ESPN PXP Announcer & Voice of NY Jets
    You have to understand your audience, if I’m calling a Jets game in New York, most of the listeners are Jets fans. If I’m covering a Rams-Titans game on a Thursday night, the research for both teams is even and the excitement has to be the same for touchdown calls. If it’s a Jets’ broadcast, Jets fans don’t care about an interesting story from the third wide receiver on the opposition.

    Adjusting to television from radio, sometimes less is more, letting the crowd set the scene in a big moment can be important. On radio, you’re always talking and you can’t say the clock and score enough. If an announcer with a TV background goes to radio, they need to remember or be reminded to constantly give the clock and score, you can’t go 15-minutes of real time without updating the listeners.

    For TV it’s not a problem to have a three-person booth, but you can’t do it on radio. On television, the play-by-play announcer doesn’t have to talk as much so there is room for two analysts, on radio the analysts would need to agree to alternate. Radio is a play-by-play announcer’s world, TV is an analyst’s world.

    If a radio station that carries the Jets games calls me and asks me to go on one of their shows, I consider that part of the job even if they’re not the flagship.

  • Matt Nahigian – PD, 95.7 The Game, Entercom Co-Captain of SF
    A lot of people think we’re the Warriors station and don’t know anything else about us. So getting promos in for our shows during broadcasts is very important.

    When I got to 95.7 The Game, we had the Athletics on our station. I made a choice content-wise to talk more about the Giants on our shows. The A’s didn’t like that and left when the contract was up. We aired their games, we promoted their games, but just like I didn’t tell them who to sign and trade for, they couldn’t tell us what to talk about. Don’t let teams tell you what to talk about even if you have the rights to their games. It’s your station.

    Be honest, but don’t take personal shots at players or teams, and don’t just say something for the sake of saying it. With the Warriors, they were good for so long that it doesn’t make sense to start taking shots at them now that they’re the worst team in the league.

    It’s not worth having partnerships with players if they’re going to be late to interviews or not say anything interesting on-air.

  • Jason Dixon – Director of Sports Programming, SiriusXM
    I think there is a lot more to the A’s leaving radio than is shown. All 30 teams aren’t going to just decide there is no need for radio. Those partnerships are still important.

    We have different levels of promotion for games, if it’s a big game we’ll push it, especially day of because on SiriusXM there is so much content, people don’t choose what they’re going to listen to days in advance.
  • Moderator: Bruce Gilbert, SVP Sports Cumulus/Westwood One

11:20-12:00 – The Relevance of Radio

  • Brandon Tierney-Host of Tiki & Tierney on CBS Sports Radio, TV contributor on CBS Sports Network, Discovery, The BIG 3, St. John’s Basketball
    Radio is oxygen to me. It’s a gripping medium if it’s done right and properly.

    You have to identify what will make you happy. I enjoyed the unknown, the unpredictability of working in radio and not knowing what was next. If you’re afraid of failure, you’re going to get crushed in this business because it’s incredibly competitive. Be prepared for some bumps and see how resilient you are.

    I didn’t have an agent until after I left Detroit. It’s beneficial to learn the mechanics of the industry. If you can avoid having an agent you first few years, it helps to learn the business. But talking about money is an uncomfortable position, and once that happens it’s a good idea to get an agent.

  • Bomani Jones-ESPN High Noon, Right Time w/ Bomani Jones
    The relationship with your audience on radio is different than anywhere else. The connection you have can’t be replicated.

    There are a lot of narrow mediums, if you love radio than do it. If you like people and enjoy doing this then give it a run. You might not do it for 20 or 30 years, but there aren’t many jobs that you can have for 20 or 30 years. You can be an accountant, so if you feel like dying for 30 years then go do that, but if you love radio then go for it.

    If you’re trying to be ambitious with a show, you need a program director that believes in you enough to let it happen. If you have a program director that will try to tinker and monitor it to shape it back to what they want, then you don’t have a chance even if you’re successful. A lot of program directors don’t give listeners enough credit in believing they can handle more than traditional sports talk.

    Figuring out how to monetize podcasts is very difficult because anybody can make a podcast. That’s not an insult, but literally anybody can record a podcast. Radio shows are limited, if you’re doing a radio show, someone has vouched for you and it gives you credibility.

    We also need to pay producers. If you want to have good people running these shows, you need to pay them because they have families, they have kids and they’ll have to leave for other jobs. For talent, at some point it becomes, how much more money do we really need? The convenience becomes the thing you value and a lot of time producers are just seen as line items.

  • Peter Rosenberg-Co-Host on The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN NY, morning show co-host on Ebron in the Morning on Hot 97, Host of the Cheap Heat Podcast
    If you love radio then do it. Radio has been amazing to me, I’ve sat in rooms with people I have no business being near. Looking back to when I was in Ocean City, which was great, I had no idea what heights radio could have brought me to.

    I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I didn’t have positive relationships with both of my program directors and both relationships are different. My co-host at Hot 97, Ebron was a program director so he kind of programs our show. I mostly hear from our program director just saying good job, keep it up. With ESPN, Ryan Hurley worked on The Michael Kay Show, he’s involved in the show and we still meet daily. But both relationships are great.

    I have heard that radio is dying and people look at podcasting as the future because it’s a cool new medium where people talk about different topics and people can find different shows to listen to. You know what podcasting sounds like? Radio! Ultimately it comes back around to radio where someone vouches for you as being good and people can find the best shows in one place.
  • Paul Finebaum-Host of The Paul Finebaum Show on The SEC Network and ESPN Radio, TV contributor to College Gameday and Get Up
    Radio was an escape for me because I was a newspaper columnist that saw that business crashing and it gave me somewhere to go. We don’t have the best guests, we might not be the best show, but we have the best calls. It’s an insane asylum, but it’s my insane asylum and the bond with the audience is different than any other medium.

    I would tell people not to get into radio. Someone called me and thanked me recently for convincing them to go to law school instead of trying this business. I don’t think there has ever been a more difficult time to get in this business and be successful.

    You can’t do this for money. Radio is more about loving it than it is cashing a paycheck. At the local level it’s especially difficult because some local stations won’t even talk to an agent. You want to work with a program director that understands what the talent needs and wants. When a middle-level manager won’t stand up for talent, it kills the talent. You’ll lose them and they will become disgruntled.
  • Moderator: Jason Barrett, President, Barrett Sports Media

1:00-1:35 – BSM Awards Ceremony presented by Premiere Radio Networks

The Jeff Smulyan Award:

  • Jeff Smulyan-CEO Emmis Communications
    Every year that this award is presented in my honor and not my memory is a big thrill for me.

    The first 18 months of WFAN were very rocky. Every day at 5:00pm, Rick Cummings would walk into my office and say ‘it’s 5 o’clock, we lost another $29,000.’ The line in life of being a genius and an idiot is very fine. With WFAN, I quickly went from being an idiot to a genius. I’ve done other things where I went from a genius to an idiot.

    There isn’t anything in this business Dan Mason hasn’t done. He’s operated stations, he’s been a play-by-play announcer. In addition to all that he’s done in radio, he’s also served as a chairman to the Broadcasters Foundation of America which raises money for broadcasters in need. The mark he has left in not only sports radio, but all of American radio is indelible.

  • Dan Mason-Chairman VSiN

    I think of all of the risks Jeff Smulyan took with WFAN back in its early years, and how important the success of that brand has been to the growth of the sports radio format, it’s an honor to be presented with an award in Jeff’s name.

    When I first met with VSiN I quickly realized they were set with on-air talent. We discussed working at the executive-level and eventually moved to being a partner. Over the course of one dinner I went from being on-air to being a partner. VSiN lowers the demographic of sports. Younger people look for stats and numbers because they want to bet.

The Tony Bruno Award:

  • Tony Bruno-Host Tony Bruno Show
    I can’t believe this is the 50th anniversary of me starting in radio and some of the people in this room ran my board years ago. That’s what’s great about this business, seeing people work their way up in the industry. I’ve done AM radio, FM radio, satellite radio and now I’m embracing digital. Many people my age don’t know what Twitch is. If you create great content, whether it’s sports or news, people will find it.

    Terrestrial radio will never die, but people who don’t embrace digital are not dealing with the facts of life. I’m not dominating the digital world, but I’m having fun and that’s what it’s about.

    Last year it was Clay Travis, a former lawyer who won this award, this year it’s a former punter, who left his NFL career to make his mark in the radio industry.
  • Pat McAfee-Host CBS Sports Radio/Westwood One, DAZN, TV Contributor to ESPN and the WWE
    I started out with the Bob and Tom Show, a nationally syndicated show based out of Indianapolis and Bob Kevoian told me, terrestrial radio is free, nobody is ever going to be done with anything that’s free because people love free s**t.

    I asked Mike Francesa for recommendations to getting into this business. His only advice was ‘don’t listen to anybody.’ People will try to change you, but don’t listen to anybody. That’s our approach.
    I’m very thankful and lucky for the people on my show and Westwood One. If you’re a program director that has our show, you probably get complaints that we missed a break or didn’t end our show on time, but that’s 100% because we have no f*****g idea what we’re doing.

1:35-2:20 – A Conversation with Mike Francesa

  • Mike Francesa, WFAN/Radio.com
    I had the same day forever. I worked on the same station at the same time for almost 34 years. I was on-air from 1pm – 6:30pm everyday. I would leave the house around 10am and get back 8:30 at night. It was a very long day. I wanted to spend more time with kids, I thought it was important to downsize.

    I wasn’t expecting to do the FAN, I thought I was going to just to RADIO.COM, but they wanted me to stay and still be involved at the station and WFAN is my home. It’s enough to keep busy, but I’m used to being the epicenter of everything, so it’s a transition, but it’s time to let someone else carry the ball.

    Do you like the nickname Number 1? “I love it, I’m the most competitive guy alive.”

    My producers and board-ops got paid handsomely if we finished first, they didn’t get anything extra if we finished second. This is a very competitive city, radio is a very competitive business. Revenue and ratings. That’s it, that is radio. If you want to be paid in this business, it’s about ratings and revenue.

    Mark Chernoff would never talk to me about content, he would never suggest topics to talk about, but he would come in and say ‘lets put commercials this way, or do this in a specific quarter hour,’ he knows things about ratings that no one else knows. He’s a mad-scientist with ratings.

    I looked at ratings every week as soon as they came out. You can’t react week to week because one day can throw them off. People should not change their performance based on one week, but they should look at what they can do better. Use them to see if different things work, it shouldn’t change your content, but it can change how you use the clock.

    I was someone who, people wanted my take. People tuned in to hear what I thought. I didn’t like teasing segments, but that might not work for everyone.

    Every show came from Mike and the Mad Dog. It changed sports talk. Pardon The Interruption came from Mike and the Mad Dog, Mike and Mike came from Mike and the Mad Dog. Dog and I have both worked alone for 13 years now, but we changed the model of sports talk.

    To turn away the 55-65 age group in advertising is stupid. Advertisers are missing a golden audience. The ratings demo should have shifted. People under 30 can’t buy houses, they have a ton of debt, a big night is going out with their girlfriends to Wendy’s. Ask a Mercedes dealership how many cars they sold to someone between the age of 18-34, then ask them how many cars they sold to people between the ages 55-65. We checked my ratings, they went up three points when we included the listeners between 55 and 65. They’re still working, people don’t retire as early as they used to.

    When you get a lot of attention and paid really well, with that comes criticism. I’m outspoken and brash, I gave it, so I have to take it. I was covered like the teams, I would get the back page two or three times a week. I’m a click magnet, so people look for stories to write about, if they don’t have a story to write, they’ll make one up. You take the good with the bad.

    I prefer doing the show by myself, but I miss Dog because there were days we reached heights that I have never reached and no one has ever reached. Dog and I haven’t been together for a year and a half, but if he was here, we could captivate you for an hour. It’s a rare organic chemistry.
  • Moderator: Jason Barrett, President, Barrett Sports Media

2:20-2:55 – What Am I Buying? presented by Premiere Radio Networks

  • Pam Koss-Trax Marketing, Media Director
    One of the best things I’ve done in this job is build relationships. I have great relationships with WFAN, WEEI, The Sports Hub. I consider them my friends, not in that we’re going out to dinner, but we have an organic relationship with our partners. If I don’t get the feel of a relationship and partnership that’s a two-way street, then they’re not working with us anymore.

    ‘Nobody Beats Town Fair, Nobody,’ I don’t need a 30-second commercial, I just need it to be said for people to remember it. People recognize that brand from hearing it on sports radio especially when the host puts emphasis on the ‘no’ in nobody.

    78% of my media budget is sports radio. My boss recently questioned if we’re shifting too much to radio from TV, but radio always delivers.

    If you can’t buy sports in Boston then you’re not doing your job. They have one team in each sport, men and women listen to those games. Sports is thriving.

  • Lauren McHale-Katz Media, SVP Director of Sales
    There is not a one-size fits all as to what platforms advertisers should be focused on. If the foundation is terrestrial radio, you can look to expand into the digital space. Advertisers need to start with where you know you want to be and figure out what you’re not getting from that relationship.

    Non-original podcasts are still important for advertising. People are busy, they like specific hosts and digital gives them a different way to get that audio. In the audio space, every time something gets introduced, it adds to the audio consumption for the listener. Online isn’t cannibalizing terrestrial, it adds to the way people can find audio.

    I don’t care if there are 40 spots in a minute during a play-by-play broadcast, I just need to know the talent is going to read the ad organically. In Chicago, New York and Boston, those baseball play-by-play broadcasts bring in a lot of listeners when the season starts and it’s not because people happen to move into the area every year in late March.

  • Mark Lefkowitz-Furman Roth, Executive VP and Partner Media Director
    The more integrated we are with radio stations, the better. The close relationships that we have with those stations helps advertisers feel comfortable with the partnership they have with them.

    Commercials on terrestrial radio might reach more people, but the person that downloads that same show as a podcast and listens to the show when they’re not at work, they might have a better chance of hearing and consuming the commercial.

    Play-by-play broadcasts are over-commercialized. Carriage fees are exorbitant, but having too many ad spots cheapens and diminishes the value that we as advertisers are looking for.

    The older demographic is a big part of our advertising and sports is a great way to reach them.
  • Moderator: Don Martin, SVP Sports FOX Sports Radio/Premiere Radio Networks, VP and GM of AM 570 LA Sports

3:10-3:45 – 4 Ways To Fix Sports Radio’s Podcasting Problem

Steven Goldstein, CEO Amplifi Media
There are over 900,000 podcasts. The medium age of podcast listeners is 35, the medium age for AM/FM listening is 47, the medium age for a sports talk listener is 51.

Media involves reinvention, but radio stations don’t have a real podcast strategy. They check the box by turning their shows into a podcast and they move on. They barely promote them and who wants to listen to three straight hours of content anyway? Have a podcast strategy based on target, content, promotion and discoverability.

59% of AQH comes from P1 listeners, the average P1 listener listens to 47 minutes of a morning show, which means they hear 26% of a three hour show. The average P1 listener listens just two days a week to that show. There is a lot of room to get those P1 listeners with the show’s best content through a podcast if it’s marketed correctly.

1310 The Ticket in Dallas takes the best bits of the day and puts them into one podcast which gets 1 million listens per month. 1050 WTKA podcasts Michigan Insiders and gets 400,000 monthly listens because they market it correctly.

Smart speakers are thought of as being a great way to get radio back inside homes, but the reason radios ended up in the basement was because the listener didn’t need radio, they had other options and they still do. Only 4% of homes listen to AM/FM on smart speakers. Alexa will soon be in cars, and consumers will be able to easily ask for whatever they want to hear without relying on terrestrial radio.

3:45-4:20 – Bet On It

  • Patrick Keane-CEO Action Network
    Education is just as important as entertainment for sports betting because there are a lot of consumers that don’t fully understand how to bet.

    There’s probably 12 to 15 million people that bet $50 per week right now. Betting has to be mobile, it has to be accessible, it has to be responsible and there is a massive market that will explode as more states legalize it. 87% of New Jersey’s sports betting is done online.

    Trust and authenticity is important, people see through it if we’re not authentic. We’ve done the analysis and used our tools, we’re not going to guarantee betting success, but we’ll let you make an informed decision.

    The most forward thinking leagues for sports betting have been the PGA and NBA. They recognize the shift to wagering is inevitable, whereas the NFL is taking baby steps. Challenger leagues like the XFL are going to and have moved very quickly, they’re the most forward thinking leagues.

  • Mike Dee-President of Sports Entercom
    I’ve seen the change in the last two years from where we started to where we are today. I think there will be a continued gradual expansion and embracing of sports betting content . If we look back, we’ll see opportunities that we missed two years ago and I suspect two years from now we can look back to today and do the same thing. We’re still in the early innings of this process and we’ll continue to modulate how much sports betting content we expose our core radio audience to, but we’ll supplement that with content on other avenues.

    Leagues are challenged with how to keep fans engaged over the course of an 82-game or 162-game season, but sports betting and FanDuel presents a way for them to do that. Consumers stay tuned in and engaged if they have a betting interest in the game.

    It’s not just about money lines and spreads, it’s about appealing to the fans. We’re the gateway for new sports betting customers, we offer a reservoir of sports fans who may not have bet since they filled out a football card years ago.

  • Joe Yanarella-GM/SVP of Sports Betting Bleacher Report
    Our demo is largely 21-34 and our way to connect with them is through culture and interest. Three things have changed the way we watch sports – television, fantasy and betting. It changes the way the average consumer sits down to watch a game.

    Our most liked social post this year was on the prop bet about when will an Astros player get hit by a pitch this year.

  • Mike Raffensperger-Chief Marketing Officer FanDuel
    Sports betting also offers great stories, the amount of data we have with how the line has moved and different prop bets creates content. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that did not exist two years ago.

    The commercial opportunity is there for sports radio because we have unique promotions that the hosts doing the reads are legitimately excited about and you can hear that on-air.

  • Moderator: Brian Noe, Host FOX Sports Radio

4:20-4:55 – The Barstool Way

  • Erika Nardini-CEO Barstool Sports
    We understand the internet, we’re very hungry and disruptive by nature. We now have 55 brands and more than 70 personalities, we’re good at finding talent on the internet and figuring out how to grow them. We understand Instagram and Twitter very well, we’re starting to understand TikTok and we use podcasts very well.

    When I got to Barstool in 2016, we didn’t really have a company, we were a regional blog with 12 employees. Dave Portnoy and I were able to build a company the way it should be built in 2016, which is primed for the internet.

    There are still a lot of people who root against us, but Dave built a relationship with the audience that was real. Social media companies didn’t walk up to us in 2016 and want to build partnerships, we just used what was available to us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    We give everybody freedom, anyone that works at Barstool can end up on camera, everyone winds up in content. A lot of things suck and that’s okay, but that’s how you find things that work.

    Radio is a really powerful medium, people write off radio and it’s not fair and people wrote Barstool off in the same way. I want to be more like radio because I look at the podcast business and think the internet people are going to screw it up. In radio, you have listeners and people who care about what the hosts are going to say. I still listen to 98.5 and what they have to say about the Patriots.

    Kirk Minihane has fans that hang on every single thing Kirk has to say. I love Kirk, we have a great relationship. We’re very honest with brands that we’re looking to partner with, we have super loyal fans, hosts that are unafraid and will attack any topic, and a lot of times that translates to more listens and downloads. With Kirk, I had an activist that wrote me hundreds of emails, that were disturbing. I can only imagine the emails Kirk received. In the places Kirk came from, no one stood with Kirk, he was told he’s wrong.

    An ad-only business is dangerous because the advertiser controls what you can say. I didn’t want our personalities who are funny and creative to worry about what a suit is going to say. Talent comes first. If I ran a radio station I would create merchandise, I would make hosts stars through meetups and events. Take what the hosts really care about and let them connect with their fans through that.


    There is a ton that has to be figured out with the podcast business, but the biggest thing about a podcast is it’s a relationship between the hosts and a section of listeners. It was easy for our personalities to move from blogging to podcasting, because it was the same concept – have a topic to talk about.

    When Big Cat says he used betMGM, he drinks Bud Light or he lent PFT money with Cash App, our consumers use betMGM, drink But Light and download Cash App because he’s woven that ad into a story-line. The host listener relationship is really important.

    People who, need a script, have to ask what to say and be told what time to be do something are too rigid for Barstool. The people that I like are the people who are breaking through on their own. If you can stand out in front of millions and maybe billions of pieces of content online, that’s who want.

    When I got to Barstool I had a hard time finding women that wanted to work with us, but now we are 40% women, we have more women on radio and podcasting than anybody. Our management team is predominantly female. It ticks me off when people say Dave is misogynistic, because then I am the benefit of that misogyny.

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media Announces 3 Additions, Social Media Changes

“Luckily, I’ve been able to assemble a stellar group of people, which allows us to earn your attention each day, and I’m happy to reveal that we’re adding to our roster yet again.”

Jason Barrett

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It’s taken years of hard work, adjustments, and a whole lot of trial and error to turn this brand into a trusted source for industry professionals. It’s been exciting and rewarding to tell stories, highlight the industry, and use my decades worth of knowledge and relationships to help the brands I work with make progress. But while I may prioritize the work I do for others, I’ve also got to balance it with making sure BSM and BNM run smoothly.

Each day, Barrett Media produces nearly fifty social posts, one to two newsletters, and twenty to thirty sports and news media stories and columns. I didn’t even mention podcasts, which is another space we recently entered. Making sure we’re delivering quality not quantity is vital, and so too is promoting it consistently and creatively.

Today, we have thirty people on our payroll. I never expected that to be the case, but as needs have increased and deeper bonds have been formed between the brand, our audience, and our clients, it’s allowed us to find new ways to invest in delivering insight, information, and opinion to our readers. Writing, editing, and creating content for a brand like ours isn’t for everyone. I just spent the past three months interviewing nearly forty people, and there’s a lot of quality talent out there. But talent for radio and journalism doesn’t always mean the fit is right for BSM and BNM. Luckily, I’ve been able to assemble a stellar group of people, which allows us to earn your attention each day, and I’m happy to reveal that we’re adding to our roster yet again.

First, please join me in welcoming Garrett Searight to BSM and BNM. Garrett has been hired as our FT Brand Editor, which means he will oversee BSM and BNM’s website’s content M-F during normal business hours. He will work closely with yours truly, our nighttime editors Arky Shea and Eduardo Razo, and our entire writing teams to create content opportunities for both of our brands. Garrett joins us after a decade long stint in Lima, OH where he most recently worked as program director and afternoon host at 93.1 The Fan. He also programmed classic country station 98.5 The Legend. His first day with us is August 1st, but he’ll be training this month to make sure he’s ready to hit the ground running.

Next, I am excited to welcome Alex Reynolds as our Social Media Coordinator. Alex’s creativity and curiosity stood out during our interview process, and we’re excited to have him helping with social content creation and scheduling for BSM and BNM. He’s a graduate of Elon University, a big fan of lacrosse, and he’ll be working with Dylan Barrett to improve our graphic creation, schedule our content, and further develop the social voice for both of our brands.

Speaking of our two brands, though we produce content on the website for both sports and news, how they get promoted on social is changing. When I started this company, the website was known as SportsRadioPD.com. That worked perfectly with my Twitter and Instagram handles, which were also @sportsradiopd. But since we switched our URL to BarrettSportsMedia.com and started ramping up content for both sports and news it’s become clear that we needed dedicated brand pages. It’s harder to expect people to share an individual’s content, and the mix of sports and news often feels off-brand to the two different audiences we serve. It feels even stranger if I’m buying social media ads to market content, a conference, and other things, so it’s time to change things up.

Starting today, you can now follow Barrett Sports Media on Twitter @BSMStaff. You can also follow Barrett News Media on Twitter @BNMStaff. Each brand also has its own Facebook page. Moving forward, we will promote sports media content on our sports accounts, and news media content on our news accounts. We started with that approach for BNM when the brand launched in September 2020, but expecting people to read another site and follow other social accounts was a tall order for a brand that was finding its footing. We made a choice to promote both sports and news under the same social accounts for the past year in order to further grow awareness for the content, and as we stand today, I think many would agree that BNM has made great strides. We’ve built a kick ass team to cover the news media industry, and I’m hoping many of you will take a moment to give BNM’s pages a follow to stay informed.

One thing you will notice is that the @BSMStaff account has replaced the @sportsradiopd account on Twitter. Let’s face it, most people who have followed me on Twitter have done so for BSM or BNM’s content, not for my NY Knicks and pro wrestling rants. I am keeping my @sportsradiopd handle but that is being developed as a brand new personal account. That said, if you enjoy sending DM’s my way, give the new @sportsradiopd account a follow so we can stay in touch. The only account we will use to promote content from both brands under is the Barrett Media account on LinkedIn. Instagram is not a focus right now nor is TikTok or Snapchat. I realize audiences exist everywhere but I’d rather be great at a few things than average at a lot of them.

Now that we’ve tackled the social media changes, let me share another exciting piece of news. I’m thrilled to welcome Jessie Karangu to our brand as a BSM weekly columnist. Jessie has great energy, curiosity, and a genuine love and passion for the media industry. He’s worked for Sinclair television, written for Awful Announcing, and has also hosted podcasts and video shows on YouTube. His knowledge and interest in television is especially strong, and I’m looking forward to featuring his opinions, and perspectives on our website. His debut piece for the site will be released this Wednesday.

With all of this happening, Demetri Ravanos is shifting his focus for the brand to a space he’s passionate about, audio. His new title is BSM’s Director of Audio Content. This means he will be charged with overseeing the editing, execution, and promotion of our various podcasts. He will also work closely with me in developing future Barrett Media shows. We have 3 in weekly rotation now, and will be adding Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves next week, and The Jason Barrett Podcast the week after that. The goal is to increase our audio library in the future provided the right ideas, talent, and interest are there.

Another goal of mine moving forward is to grow our advertising partnerships. Between our website, social media channels, podcasts, and newsletters, we have many ways to help brands connect to an affluent, influential, and loyal industry audience. We’ve enjoyed working with and helping brands over the years such as Point to Point Marketing, Jim Cutler NY, Steve Stone Voiceovers, Core Image Studio, Skyview Networks, Compass Media Networks, ESPN Radio and Harker Bos Group. That doesn’t include all of the great sponsors we’ve teamed up with for our annual BSM Summit (2023’s show will be announced by the end of the summer). I’m excited to add to the list by welcoming Backbone as a new website and newsletter partner. We’re also looking forward to teaming up in the near future with Quu and the Sports Gambling Podcast Network, and hope to work with a few others we’ve had recent dialogue with.

When it comes to marketing, I try to remind folks of our reach, the value we add daily across the industry, and the various ways we can help. I know it’s human nature to stick with what we know but if you work with a brand, I invite you to check into BSM/BNM further. Stephanie Eads is awesome to work with, cares about our partners, and our traffic, social impressions, and most importantly, the quality of our audience is proven. To learn more about what we can do, email Stephanie at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Yes we continue to grow, and I’m happy about that, but just because we’re adding head count doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to be better. It takes every person on a team holding up their end of the bargain, creating killer content, setting expectations, and paying attention to the follow through. We take pride in our work, value the support of our partners, and are extremely thankful for the continued readership of our material. That consistent support is what allows me to add to our team to better serve fans, partners, and industry professionals.

It may seem small, and unimportant but those retweets, comments, and mentions on the air about our content makes a difference. To all who take the time to keep our industry conversations alive, thank you. This is an awesome business with a lot of great brands, people, content, and growth opportunities, and the fact that we get to learn from you, share your stories, and help those reading learn in the process makes waking up to do it an honor.

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media To Launch Podcast Network

“We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July.”

Jason Barrett

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To run a successful digital content and consulting company in 2022 it’s vital to explore new ways to grow business. There are certain paths that produce a higher return on investment than others, but by being active in multiple spaces, a brand has a stronger chance of staying strong and overcoming challenges when the unexpected occurs. Case in point, the pandemic in 2020.

As much as I love programming and consulting stations to assist with growing their over the air and digital impact, I consider myself first a business owner and strategist. Some have even called me an entrepreneur, and that works too. Just don’t call me a consultant because that’s only half of what I do. I’ve spent a lot of my time building relationships, listening to content, and studying brands and markets to help folks grow their business. Included in my education has been studying website content selection, Google and social media analytics, newsletter data, the event business, and the needs of partners and how to best serve them. As the world of media continues to evolve, I consider it my responsibility to stay informed and ready to pivot whenever it’s deemed necessary. That’s how brands and individuals survive and thrive.

If you look at the world of media today compared to just a decade ago, a lot has changed. It’s no secret during that period that podcasting has enjoyed a surge. Whether you review Edison Research, Jacobs Media, Amplifi Media, Spotify or another group’s results, the story is always the same – digital audio is growing and it’s expected to continue doing so. And that isn’t just related to content. It applies to advertising too. Gordon Borrell, IAB and eMarketer all have done the research to show you where future dollars are expected to move. I still believe it’s smart, valuable and effective for advertisers to market their products on a radio station’s airwaves, but digital is a key piece of the brand buy these days, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

Which brings me to today’s announcement.

If you were in New York City in March for our 2022 BSM Summit, you received a program at the show. Inside of one of the pages was a small ad (same image used atop this article) which said “Coming This Summer…The BSM Podcast Network…Stay Tuned For Details.” I had a few people ask ‘when is that happening, and what shows are you planning to create?’ and I kept the answers vague because I didn’t want to box ourselves in. I’ve spent a few months talking to people about joining us to help continue producing quality written content and improve our social media. Included in that process has been talking to members of our team and others on the outside about future opportunities creating podcasts for the Barrett Sports Media brand.

After examining the pluses and minuses, and listening and talking to a number of people, I’m excited to share that we are launching the BSM Podcast Network. We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July. Demetri Ravanos will provide oversight of content execution, and assist with production and guest booking needs for selected pods. This is why we’ve been frequently promoting Editor and Social Media jobs with the brand. It’s hard to pursue new opportunities if you don’t have the right support.

The titles that will make up our initial offerings are each different in terms of content, host and presentation. First, we have Media Noise with Demetri Ravanos, which has produced over 75 episodes over the past year and a half. That show will continue in its current form, being released each Friday. Next will be the arrival of The Sports Talkers Podcast with Stephen Strom which will debut on Thursday June 23rd, the day of the NBA Draft. After that, The Producer’s Podcast with Brady Farkas will premiere on Wednesday June 29th. Then as we move into July, two more titles will be added, starting with a new sales focused podcast Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves. The final title to be added to the rotation will be The Jason Barrett Podcast which yours truly will host. The goal is to have five weekly programs distributed through our website and across all podcasting platforms by mid to late July.

I am excited about the creation of each of these podcasts but this won’t be the last of what we do. We’re already working on additional titles for late summer or early fall to ramp up our production to ten weekly shows. Once a few ideas and discussions get flushed out, I’ll have more news to share with you. I may consider adding even more to the mix too at some point. If you have an idea that you think would resonate with media professionals and aspiring broadcasters, email me by clicking here.

One thing I want to point out, this network will focuses exclusively on various areas of the sports media industry. We’ll leave mainstream sports conversations to the rest of the media universe. That’s not a space I’m interested in pursuing. We’ve focused on a niche since arriving on the scene in 2015 and have no plans to waver from it now.

Additionally, you may have noticed that we now refer to our company as ‘Barrett Media’. That’s because we are now involved in both sports and news media. That said, we are branding this as the BSM Podcast Network because the titles and content are sports media related. Maybe there will be a day when we introduce a BNM version of this, but right now, we’ve got to make sure the first one works right before exploring new territory.

Our commitment to delivering original industry news, features and opinions in print form remains unchanged. This is simply an opportunity to grow in an area where we’ve been less active. I know education for industry folks and those interested in entering the business is important. It’s why young people all across the country absorb mountains of debt to receive a college education. As valuable as those campus experiences might be, it’s a different world once you enter the broadcasting business.

What I’d like to remind folks is that we continue to make investments in the way we cover, consult, and discuss the media industry because others invest in us. It’d be easy to stockpile funds and enjoy a few more vacations but I’m not worried about personal wealth. I’m focused on building a brand that does meaningful work by benefitting those who earn a living in the media industry or are interested in one day doing so. As part of that process I’m trying to connect our audience to partners who provide products, services or programs that can benefit them.

Since starting this brand, we’ve written more than 18,000 articles. We now cover two formats and produce more than twenty five pieces of content per day. The opportunity to play a small role in keeping media members and future broadcasters informed is rewarding but we could not pay people to edit, write, and host podcasts here if others didn’t support us. For that I’m extremely grateful to those who do business with us either as a consulting client, website advertiser, Summit partner or through a monthly or annual membership. The only way to get better is to learn from others, and if our access to information, knowledge, relationships and professional opinions helps others and their brands, then that makes what we do worthwhile.

Thanks as always for the continued support. We appreciate that you read our content each day, and hope to be able to earn some of your listenership in the future too.

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Barrett Blogs

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Pursuing Media Jobs

“Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.”

Jason Barrett

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I recently appeared on a podcast, Monetize Media, to discuss the growth of Barrett Media. The conversation covered a lot of ground on business topics including finding your niche, knowing your audience and serving them the right content in the right locations, the evolution of the BSM Summit, and why consulting is a big part of our mix but can’t be the only thing we do.

Having spent nearly seven years growing this brand, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I just know what’s worked for us, and it starts with vision, hard work, consistency, and a willingness to adapt quickly. There are many areas we can be better in whether it’s social media, editing, SEO, sales, finding news, producing creative original content or adding more staff. Though there’s always work to be done and challenges to overcome, when you’re doing something you love and you’re motivated to wake up each day doing it, that to me is success.

But lately there’s one part of the job that I haven’t enjoyed – the hiring process. Fortunately in going through it, I was able to get to know Arky Shea. He’s a good guy, talented writer, and fan of the industry, and I’m thrilled to share that he’s joining us as BSM’s new night time editor. I’ll have a few other announcements to make later this month, but in the meantime, if you’re qualified to be an editor or social media manager, I’m still going through the process to add those two positions to our brand. You can learn more about both jobs by clicking here.

Working for an independent digital brand like ours is different from working for a corporation. You communicate directly with yours truly, and you work remotely on a personal computer, relying on your eyes, ears and the radio, television, and internet to find content. Because our work appears online, you have to enjoy writing, and understand and have a passion for the media industry, the brands who produce daily content, and the people who bring those brands to life. We receive a lot of interest from folks who see the words ‘sports’ and ‘news’ in our brand names and assume they’re going to cover games or political beats. They quickly discover that that’s not what we do nor are we interested in doing it.

If you follow us on social media, have visited our website or receive our newsletters, you’ve likely seen us promoting openings with the brand. I’ve even bought ads on Indeed, and been lucky enough to have a few industry folks share the posts on social. We’re in a good place and trying to make our product better, so to do that, we need more help. But over the past two months, Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.

Receiving applications from folks who don’t have a firm grasp of what we do is fine. That happens everywhere. Most of the time we weed those out. It’s no different than when a PD gets an application for a top 5 market hosting gig from a retail employee who’s never spoken on a microphone. The likelihood of that person being the right fit for a role without any experience of how to do the job is very slim. What’s been puzzling though is seeing how many folks reach out to express interest in opportunities, only to discover they’re not prepared, not informed or not even interested in the role they’ve applied for.

For instance, one applicant told me on a call ‘I’m not interested in your job but I knew getting you on the phone would be hard, and I figured this would help me introduce myself because I know I’m a great host, and I’d like you to put me on the radar with programmers for future jobs.’ I had another send a cover letter that was addressed to a different company and person, and a few more applied for FT work only to share that they can’t work FT, weren’t interested in the work that was described in the position, didn’t know anything about our brand but needed a gig, were looking for a confidence boost after losing a job or they didn’t have a computer and place to operate.

At first I thought this might be an exclusive issue only we were dealing with. After all, our brand and the work we do is different from what happens inside of a radio or TV station. In some cases, folks may have meant well and intended something differently than what came out. But after talking to a few programmers about some of these things during the past few weeks, I’ve been stunned to hear how many similar horror stories exist. One top programmer told me hiring now is much harder than it was just five years ago.

I was told stories of folks applying for a producer role at a station and declining an offer unless the PD added air time to the position. One person told a hiring manager they couldn’t afford not to hire them because their ratings were tanking. One PD was threatened for not hiring an interested candidate, and another received a resume intended for the competing radio station and boss. I even saw one social example last week of a guy telling a PD to call him because his brand was thin on supporting talent.

Those examples I just shared are bad ideas if you’re looking to work for someone who manages a respected brand. I realize everyone is different, and what clicks with one hiring manager may not with another, but if you have the skills to do a job, I think you’ll put yourself in a better position by avoiding these 5 mistakes below. If you’re looking for other ways to enhance your chances of landing an opportunity, I recommend you click here.

Educate Yourself Before Applying – take some time to read the job description, and make sure it aligns with your skillset and what you’re looking to do professionally before you apply. Review the company’s body of work and the people who work there. Do you think this is a place you’d enjoy being at? Does it look like a job that you’d gain personal and professional fulfillment from? Are you capable of satisfying the job requirements? Could it potentially put you on the path to greater opportunities? If most of those produce a yes, it’s likely a situation to consider.

Proofread Your Email or Cover Letter and Resume – If the first impression you give a hiring manager is that you can’t spell properly, and you address them and their brand by the wrong names, you’re telling them to expect more mistakes if they hire you. Being detail oriented is important in the media business. If this is your introduction to someone and they have a job you’re interested in, you owe it to yourself to go through your materials thoroughly before you press send. If you can have someone else put an extra set of eyes on your introduction to protect you from committing a major blunder even better.

Don’t Waste People’s Time – You’d be annoyed if a company put you through a 3-4 week process only to tell you they didn’t see you as a viable candidate right? Well, it works the other way too. If you’re not seriously interested in the job or you’re going into the process hoping to change the job description later, don’t apply. If the fit isn’t right or the financials don’t work, that’s OK. Express that. People appreciate transparency. Sometimes they may even call you back in the future when other openings become available. But if you think someone is going to help you after you wasted their time or lied to them, trust me, they won’t.

Don’t Talk Like An Expert About Things You Don’t Know – Do you know why a station’s ratings or revenue is down? Are you aware of the company’s goals and if folks on the inside are satisfied or upset? Is the hiring manager someone you know well enough to have a candid professional conversation with? If the answers are no, you’re not helping your case by talking about things you don’t have full knowledge of. You have no idea how the manager you’re talking to has been dealing with the challenges he or she is faced with so don’t pretend you do. Just because someone wrote an article about it and you read it doesn’t mean you’re informed.

Use Social Wisely – Being frustrated that you didn’t get a job is fine. Everyone goes through it. Asking your friends and followers for advice on social of how you could’ve made a better case for yourself is good. That shows you’re trying to learn from the process to be better at it next time. But taking to social to write a book report blasting the hiring manager, their brand, and/or their company over a move that didn’t benefit you just tells them they made the right move by not bringing you in. Chances are, they won’t be calling you in the future either.

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