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Points to Ponder From The 2020 BSM Summit

“Jason Barrett reflects on some key moments from the 2020 BSM Summit.”

Jason Barrett

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One week ago, I was on stage hosting the 2020 BSM Summit. New York City was an excellent location for this year’s show, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results of this year’s show. Pulling off an event like this requires a lot of help. Without great partners, speakers, and attendees, none of it works. To each of you who gave your time or offered company support, I sincerely appreciate it. It makes the nine month process worthwhile.

I’m a firm believer that we should never stop seeking new ways to learn, and that our industry needs to rally together more rather than try to tear each other down. Each year projections for the radio industry fluctuate between flat and down, and if we expect to turn the tide, then we’ve got to find new ways to innovate and educate, and strengthen relationships. If you attend the show and don’t leave the room with actionable items to improve yourself, your staff, and your brand, then I’d question how much attention you paid at the conference. There’s progress and money to be made by attending the Summit, and it’s good to see many who hold it in high regard.

That said, each year when the show ends, I try to get as far away from it as possible. It’s a mentally exhausting process which involves scouting locations, selling sponsorships, creating sessions, securing speakers, laying out details for each member of the BSM team, and designing programs, signage and on stage presentations. There’s also the work after the event such as video editing, photo gathering, sending thank you cards, and gathering feedback on what attendees valued most.

Having had a chance to clear my head and reflect on what stood out, I wanted to pass along a few of my takeaways. I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting, but these particular points stuck with me.

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‘MAYBE YOU DON’T REACH A YOUNGER AUDIENCE’

Bruce Gilbert made the point about radio chasing younger fans who may not be possible to reach over the airwaves during our ‘Power Panel’, and Mike Francesa added to that conversation when he explained why radio is making a big mistake by ignoring older listeners. It got me to thinking about the advertising and ratings world. We’ve measured sports radio’s success for decades based on Men 25-54, but who says that has to continue to be the case?

Mike’s points about people living older, and folks between the ages of 55-64 spending more money on sponsor’s products were fair. It’s also tougher to lure a younger audience to the radio because they consume content much differently. If the main goal of advertisers is to generate ROI (return on investment), and sports radio has the ability to motivate high income earners to support those businesses, then why do we care if the listener is 22 or 62? Shouldn’t the point be to reach people who spend money? Why is a 60 years old listener considered less valuable than a 25 year old male?

Furthermore, who says sports radio is only attractive now to men? Are we going to continue to pretend that women don’t enjoy this type of content too? This notion that sports radio’s success should be based on what mattered 20-30 years ago to Men 25-54 seems antiquated. If the proof shows that older fans watch and listen to games and sports talk more than younger fans do, and the interest in sports talk is growing among women, then maybe it’s time to expect our stations to reach ALL audiences, not just one smaller targeted demographic.

Nobody thinks sports television isn’t big business, yet when it comes to radio, the sports format gets treated like the little engine that could. That needs to stop. There’s no format in radio built for the present and future better than sports talk. Spike Eskin also made a great point about total reach needing to be where we direct our focus moving forward in determining the overall impact and importance of a talent and programmer.

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’30 IDEAS IN 30 MINUTES’

One of the coolest things we did at the show was putting 10 PD’s/GM’s on stage to showcase 30 unique ideas in 30 minutes. Too often people go to conferences to network and tune out the information passed along, but if you were in the room for this session, chances are you were on your laptop or phone taking notes or capturing screenshots. The fact that each PD delivered their presentation on time (or very close to it) was a shocker.

Watching this session from the side of the stage reminded me how critical great ideas are. Judging from what each presenter brought to the stage, there’s a lot of cool stuff happening in markets across the country. Now the challenge is taking these big ideas back to our sales teams, and getting them to feel the same enthusiasm when pitching opportunities to existing and potential clients. There’s certainly no shortage of big thinking.

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‘FOLLOWING UP AND HELPING SALES IS A MUST’

I’m always fascinated when we do an advertising panel because there’s always something said that resonates. In Chicago in 2018, one of the city’s top advertisers shared that she had never met a program director until our Summit. Last year, Ad Results mentioned that they cared less about Nielsen ratings and more about ideas and podcasting. This year we heard from a key sports radio advertiser that the follow thru from sales isn’t as crisp as it should be. The client was also not familiar with the PD’s of two big stations they do business with.

First, any business spending money on your station’s airwaves deserves five star treatment. That means following up, offering to update copy, checking in to see how the client is feeling about the campaign, and offering added value when opportunities arise. Are you in business with a partner or a sponsor? If it’s the latter, don’t be surprised when they don’t renew.

Secondly, sales professionals should be involving the PD much more in the buying process. If a PD gets in front of the client, and has the ability to hear the client’s ideas and objectives, and share how the station works and what stands the best chance of delivering results, both sides are more likely to have a positive experience.

By nature, most programmers are creative and have an ability to get the talent’s support when executing things to benefit station partners. If you’re in sales and not getting the programmer in front of the client to help you make them feel special, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Don’t get caught up worrying about what the PD might say or who’s idea got used on the air, focus on satisfying the client, following up with them, and delivering what they want most – results!

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‘BARSTOOL IS PLAYING CHESS, RADIO IS PLAYING CHECKERS’

I was personally excited to spend time chatting with Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini. I find her to be refreshingly candid, one of the brightest and most forward thinking executives in the entire sports media business, and given the success of the Barstool brand, we should all be listening anytime she’s willing to share her wisdom. As I expected, she was tremendous.

There were many great points raised by Erika during our 35 minutes together that were valuable, but a few specific items stuck with me. First, she mentioned how the company understands pace when turning around merchandise. This is an area that Barstool thrives on and radio is asleep at the wheel on. The company has generated roughly a third of its revenue from moving products by recognizing when something is catching on, and reacting swiftly. They also understand that some things will fail, and don’t allow it to discourage them from creating new items. She explained that consumers won’t wait for things today, and compared it to SportsCenter previously being the place to turn to for reaction to the night’s games, whereas now, commentary is available as soon as a key moment occurs on the field or court.

I also appreciated Erika’s insights on podcasting and subscription models. She believes in the value of the live read, and not cluttering digital audio shows with programmatic ads. Erika also said she isn’t as high on the subscription business and feels it’s a lot to ask a brand’s fans to pay for content in addition to buying merchandise, supporting advertisers, purchasing a Rough N Rowdy pay per view, etc..

Lastly, she came across as someone who values radio and believes in fighting for talent. Erika shared that if she oversaw a radio company she’d build more community around talent, taking advantage of meetups, merchandising, and campaigns. She also spoke about the importance of having the back of key talent and not buckling to pressure when outside forces try to harm your business. She expressed how important it is at Barstool to stand for something, and not allow others to push the company around, which in turn has made working with talent like Dave Portnoy and Kirk Minihane valuable to their business.

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RESEARCH, SOCIAL & PROGRAMMERS ARE CRITICAL

Between Larry Rosin, Fred Jacobs, and Steven Goldstein, we had a lot of smart people on stage offer insights into audience behavior. Each had different areas of focus that resonated with the room, but I particularly enjoyed seeing the amount of people in the room write notes and react as Larry showed video of a focus group weighing in on the insane length of commercial breaks. The on screen example definitely struck a chord.

I also loved Steve Cohen’s passion when I asked why a PD is still necessary in 5 years. We’ve seen a growing trend in the industry where GM’s are now also serving as sales manager for clusters. Companies have tasked some PD’s with managing brands in two cities simultaneously or overseeing 2-4 stations in one building, all with different needs, personalities, and content. Steve emphatically pointed out that people can’t get better and generate results if they don’t have support, training, and someone to work with them. Chris Oliviero followed up by comparing the PD to the conductor of an orchestra. The music may play without them, but without organization and direction, it’s just a matter of time until things don’t function properly.

My one regret is that our Social Studies session went on last on Thursday. I should’ve put it on Wednesday’s schedule. There were a number of PD’s and executives who weren’t in the room for it but needed to be. Demetri and I shared the results of a survey we conducted with 405 industry professionals on how they view their brand’s social media performance. We then did a deeper dive into two stations, showing how ineffective they were in the social space.

I’ve studied social media heavily for the past few years, and I see a few brands operating well, but most are either using a corporately mandated cookie cutter strategy which may work on music brands, but is less effective with a sports radio crowd. Others don’t even have a social strategy. The growth potential in social media is massive, and if sports radio wants to drive listening and advertising, then we’ve got to be much better at it. When your brand is ready to get serious about it, call me.

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HONEST ADVICE FROM A TOP TALENT

The session I hosted with Bomani Jones, Peter Rosenberg, Brandon Tierney and Paul Finebaum was tremendous. It offered an honest point of view from key talent on how they view the world of sports radio. With other mediums available, many paying higher rates for top talent, why do personalities still feel radio matters?

There were a ton of great takeaways in this session, but two specific things that Paul Finebaum said stayed with me afterwards. When I asked Paul what he’d tell a young person who’s thinking about going into the radio business, he said he’d advise them not to. Paul shared how the industry is crowded, doesn’t pay people well enough, and doesn’t support the talent with making sure important support staff are treated well enough to be able to focus on their job. It was a commentary that sparked a few followups and became a topic of conversation with programmers and others in the room.

The other part of the discussion which connected with me was when Paul talked about the value of an agent and why professionals should look into representation when they’re ready. Paul explained how he’d reached a limit when using a local attorney to do local deals, and though some companies may not like dealing with them, agents work on behalf of the talent to help them earn better treatment. That isn’t always an option when representing yourself and trying to handle your own business.

With podcasting paying premium dollars to top talent to do less work, and TV rewarding personalities who have an ability to pop thru the screen, radio needs to do its part to hold on to exceptional talent. There’s a belief among many that I speak with that radio companies will do all they can to not pay their best people higher salaries. If they do agree to pay more, it usually comes with requesting 5-6 outlandish things that most personalities won’t agree to. Skilled performers will always command attention and bigger dollars, so if radio groups want to hold on to their stars, they’re going to have to accept that costs will continue to rise for those who do it well.

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DOING THE RIGHT THING ALWAYS PAY DIVIDENDS

I introduced the Jeff Smulyan and Tony Bruno awards last year because it felt right to honor those who’ve made a significant impact on our industry. This year we added the Mark Chernoff award, and that too felt right to me. Just seeing the pride and joy on each of their faces as they talked about their experiences and earned laughs and cheers from their peers was rewarding. When Dan Mason, Pat McAfee and Mitch Rosen collected this year’s trophies, those positive vibes were once again felt in the theater. I also thought Chris Oliviero’s speech was one of the best 5 minutes of the entire two day event. Very sincere, moving, honest and accurate.

But what personally moved me was a moment that took place on stage between yours truly and Andy Fales from KXnO in Des Moines. Andy and his partner Keith Murphy risked their jobs in January after six of their colleagues were laid off. They expected to be fired but were pleasantly surprised when KXnO management re-hired the six employees, and used the opportunity to expand KXnO on to the FM dial.

Keith and Andy knew they were being presented with the Champions Award for their contributions in saving sports radio in Iowa, but they had no idea that I’d be sending them $1000 dollars to enjoy a fun night out with their teammates. I could’ve just recognized their story without digging into my wallet and most would’ve said ‘that’s pretty cool’, but I wanted folks to understand and appreciate what these guys did for their community, and take notice that BSM cares about the sports radio business.

I’m proud of the work we’ve done to highlight this format. Nobody has spent more more time and energy presenting the sports radio industry in a positive and professional light. From our columns, news stories, podcasts, Top 20 lists, the Summit, and every phone call I take throughout the year, people turn to BSM because they know we love the business and want to help people succeed at it. Ben Franklin once said ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest‘, well so too does doing the right thing. It may not always come back in the form of a paycheck, but impacting lives is pretty damn cool. I’ll sleep comfortably knowing the work we’re doing matters, even if it takes a few others a little bit longer to come around.

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THE LOCATION FOR THE 2021 BSM SUMMIT IS….

We’ve done Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, and so far so good. My goal for next year is to bring the conference south, and give folks in other cities a chance to experience it. With that in mind, five cities are possible to host our 2021 show. They are Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa and Las Vegas.

If you could spare a moment to cast your vote it’d be helpful to us. Simply log on to https://bsmsummit.com and let us know where you think next year’s show should be held.

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THAT’S A WRAP

I screwed up at the end of the conference and forgot to bring my crew on stage for a final bow. Fortunately, Demetri remembered to acknowledge a few of our team, and that led me to recognize a few others who were part of making this year’s show a success.

Since I blew the final picture opportunity, I’d like to use this space to thank Stephanie Eads, Dylan Barrett, Demetri Ravanos, Tyler McComas, Brian Noe, Brandon Contes, Austin Stellato, Stephen Bolsenbroek, and Michael Matalavage for their help with the 2020 BSM Summit. It takes teamwork to execute a successful conference, and I’m thankful to have had a lot of support from a great group.

It was also very special having my son help out and see his dad in action. Hearing him tell me how proud he was of me, and seeing how the event has since elevated his desire to blaze his own trail in the business has me feeling I’ve succeeded at the one job that matters most – being a dad.

I’d like to close this column by expressing my gratitude to Premiere Radio Networks/FOX Sports Radio, ESPN Radio, Hubbard Radio, Compass Media Networks, Benztown Branding, Skyview Networks, Core Image Studio, Steve Stone Voiceovers, and Harker Bos Group. Their support of the BSM Summit is what makes it possible to produce this show. Any group who supports our business deserves the same in return. I’m more than happy to do my part. I encourage you guys to do the same.

Til next year.

To see some of the video highlights from this year’s Summit, visit our YouTube page by clicking here. You can also see some clips by following us on Twitter.

Barrett Blogs

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

Jason Barrett

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

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

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

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

Now, for the new additions to the lineup.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Barrett

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

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

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

Which brings me to this year’s winner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Barrett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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