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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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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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

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  • 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.

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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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