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Sports Radio Has Been Like A Wild Ride For Scott Ferrall

“I did the filthiest show ever and it was repulsive and disgusting and absolutely kick ass. People dug it fast and hard.”

Tyler McComas

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It’s easy to do a raunchy show with no restrictions. Extremely talented hosts have done it on the years, arguably even some of the best, but you can really tell how gifted someone is at sports radio when they’re doing a clean show. That’s the opinion Scott Ferrall has, who’s probably more qualified than anyone to speak on the subject, seeing as he’s made his career doing both unrestricted radio with no rules and network shows that operate under strict guidelines. 

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There’s arguably nobody in sports radio that’s had the wild time Ferrall has had over his career. He’s done multiple shows at strip clubs, appeared on David Letterman twice and has even been in movies. He truly understands the entertainment aspect of sports radio. 

Maybe he’s always had that in him, seeing as he looked up to Howard Cosell at a very young age. But his loud, opinionated, funny and entertaining persona has separated Ferrall from the rest of the pack since his early days in radio. 

His journey has taken him from the Indiana basketball beat covering Bob Knight, to hosting on Howard 101 to calling games for an NHL team and a whole lot more. His journey should be both talked about and celebrated in equal sense. 

Tyler McComas: So Howard Cosell is your idol growing up and then a major publication compares you to him. Can you even describe that feeling? 

Scott Ferrall: I mean it was crazy that the Wall Street Journal said that. I’ll never forget it and I have it to this day in my house. It was the one thing that, I guess, mattered to me in media. I’ve had millions of stories written about the show and about my career – magazines, newspapers, everywhere. I respect all those, but that was the one that really stood out. When I woke up and saw that I was on the cover the Wall Street Journal with one of those dotted pictures that they used to be famous for and it said I was Generation X’s Howard Cosell I just really thought I had arrived.  

TM: Did you ever get to meet him? 

SF: No, I didn’t. But it’s strange, I always said on the show that the Monday Night Football booth they did, and everything he did, in sportscasting and boxing, his interview style, his smarts, he’s a genius. That’s what appealed to me. I thought he was smarter than everybody and I thought they were very entertaining.

I’ve always said they’ve never been able to replace him. Ever. They’ve been chasing that dragon since the day that ended. It’s never ever lived up to that. When they were in there, Gifford and Meredith and him in that booth, forget about it. That was it. Those are the ones that last forever, booths like that.

TM: Early in your career you’re covering IU hoops and Bob Knight. He’s never been nice to the media. Did that give you confidence that, man, if I can cover this guy I can interview anyone? 

SF: That’s an interesting theory, because that’s pretty much the deal. I wanted to go be around Bob Knight as a kid. I wanted to be Howard Cosell and then I wanted to cover Bob Knight. I just felt like, what could be cooler than being around that guy?

I’ve always said that the guy had a huge influence in my life. Just a gigantic piece of me came from that guy. Being around him every single day for five years and covering that team seeing them win a national championship in New Orleans in the last game I ever covered, that was pretty special. I love him and I’m one of the few. He meant a lot to me and he always came on my show for all these years later. He called me ‘asshole’ for 35 years. He said, ‘I can’t believe somebody would marry you, asshole!’ and then, ‘I can’t believe they let you have kids, asshole!’. If he was your friend, he was a really good friend. If he was your enemy, I always said, you should probably move.

Bob Knight tells Dan Patrick he's never returning to Indiana and ...

TM: Was there anything ever more thrilling than doing a show at a strip club? 

SF: I worked at a lot of them. I have a couple of different stories I can throw at you. One of them was when we had a strip club golf tournament in the Bahamas and got raided by like The Federalis. They came crashing into the golf course and there was a lot of bad things going on. That was pretty wild.

Then I did the Playboy Pillow Fight, or something like that, in Indio and Palm Springs, California. That was just rather wet and naked. I’ve done shows like that over the years and they’ve always been pretty wild. That kind of stuff got me a reputation, then I ended up doing tons of stuff with Penthouse and then all of them when I worked with Howard Stern. There were a lot of porn stars and everything else. It’s strange, that’s like a wild ride.

I’m down with meeting whoever, athletes, rock stars, entertainers, actors, actresses, whether they’re on the big screen, which I’ve done, I’ve done a couple of movies, that’s cool, or working with porn stars, I’ve done all that and I’m cool with it. But I know it’s something that probably my wife doesn’t dig that much or that I want my kids around, but it’s funny. I’ve always said that they wanted to bang my wife. So what’s the difference?

TM: So what’s that balance? At that time, you’re obviously who you were on the air. How’s balancing that with your family? 

SF: Pretty much, when I stopped doing shows for Howard Stern on Howard 101 and I had to go back and do Vatican radio at CBS Sports radio, it was clean, family sports talk. I think at the time I did the filthiest show ever and it was repulsive and disgusting and absolutely kick ass. People dug it fast and hard. There were a lot of pranks flowing. I was just the craziest show ever. Then I had to go and do this really candy ass show but it was a good show.

The show had to be thought out, in terms of, I think it’s a lot harder to be smart and clean than it is to be dirty on the air. I mean it’s easy to just be filthy. Most people would love to do an uncensored, raw, completely no-rule show. And then they all started doing podcasts so now everybody does whatever they want. But radio, that doesn’t happen. On AM or FM radio it would never happen with the FCC and everything else. When I went to Howard 101 on satellite radio that was unheard of. Now everybody’s cussing so it’s no big deal. But you find out who’s good when you have to do a clean, family sports talk show, or any show for that matter, which has to be clean and sophisticated.

They didn’t want me doing anything dirty at CBS, they can barely handle suck or ass or anything like that. I did a completely different show so I say it all ended when I stop doing dirty for Howard. I love Howard and I always will. He’s the man, I look up to him, and it’s the greatest thing I ever did in my career. It was a blast. But it was too easy to do that raunchy style, and now I’m doing clean TV every day and radio, again.

TM: Most hosts only joke about it, but what’s it like when the FCC is really coming after you?

SF: Well, they went after me several times. Nothing ever materialized with any of it so I never really did anything that I felt was worthy of it. They tried to get me in Miami and that didn’t work. Then they tried to get me in New York and that didn’t work. After a while, they just realized I wasn’t doing anything that bad and I think when I went away and did satellite, they forgot about me. Then I came back and started doing it clean, while trying to be really sophisticated and smart. I think they got a whole new impression of me. I think they were all blown away, because I’ll be honest with you, when I got the gig to go back to CBS Sports Radio they were scared to death of me and they felt that I would last for about five minutes doing clean radio.

My goal was to blow them away. I won them over after about four years and then the last three years I rode that surfboard in deep barrels and it was fun. I got along with everybody and the bosses that didn’t originally want me there, wanted me to be there until the bitter end, when I left to go to SportsGrid. I had a great run there and they didn’t think it would happen. The suits that ran that place wanted no part of me. Chris Oliviero is the one that brought me in from Howard to CBS again. I had already left CBS once and they didn’t like me, so to get back there and win them over and be successful was capitalism at its finest.

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TM: What’s a move you made in your career that you thought was risky at the time, but ended up being a great decision? 

SF: I mean I guess going to do the hockey for the Atlanta Thrashers was very risky. I walked away from a lot of money to do it, but I loved hockey more than I love money. I’ve always said that I wanted to do it. It was an expansion team, it was pretty exciting and the whole thing was pretty cool how it evolved. The guy that basically ran the Olympics came to me and said, we’re trying to sell hockey in the south. I was really popular in Atlanta. I was gargantuan in Atlanta doing my show from 3 to 7. I owned Atlanta. Who can sell hockey to rednecks better than me? I think that’s why they gave me the shot.

They put me in a room and I called a game with no rosters or anything. I looked at the Blues and the Red Wings, that’s who was playing, and all I did was make everyone in the room’s jaw drop. I did a bunch of fights that were exaggerated, and I did it until I was like soaking wet sweating and they were just staring at me like I was going to drop dead or something. And then like 20 minutes later they gave me the gig.

At the end of the day I did it, it was a grind, I didn’t like it because of the sameness of it every day. The buses, the planes and the hotels. I guess I was just used to doing a show and I was crazy. At the time I was young and wild and I partied. The team sucked, they won like 11 games the whole year. So at the end, they didn’t want me to stay and I didn’t want to stay, either. Luckily for me it was a good deal. They paid me for four years and I only worked for one. I always say it’s the best job I ever had. I got paid a lot of money to do nothing.

TM: Have you listened to anyone where you say, hmm, he reminds me of a younger version of myself? 

SF: Gabe Morency who I worked with at SportsGrid. When I met him the first time he was doing Hardcore in Toronto. It was like the satellite version of our SiriusXM. It was a hard-core, uncensored sports channel that they ran up there. He was doing a show up there with a whole lot of heavy metal, radical high-octane show and he had a gravelly voice like me and wild like me. He used to say he wanted to be me.

When I first met him, he was younger and a rock and roller. He was in a metal band and switched to do sports talk. At the time, when I first started, it was just me doing it, right. That’s how it evolved. And Jim Rome got into it and it kind of grew from there. Now there’s 5 million shows that are national here.

TM: Is anything off limits right now, when it comes to guests on the show? 

SF: I try to get really cool people that people dig and they do something that matters. I had Tony Hawk on last week and we go back. He’s a magnificent dude. He’s a giant and a titan. Guys like him, who I have a relationship with, Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons GM, coaches, players and GM’s around the league, a lot of play-by-play guys and analysts, great writers and actors, actresses and I love putting comedians on.

I’m constantly putting comedians on and I try to do it at least once a month, where we have a kick ass comedian on. We had Dan Soder on from Billions the other day. I bring back Howard guys. Every guy that I met Don Jamieson Gino Bisconte, all these comedians. I’m going wherever cool people are and try to get them on the show. I love getting unique guests. I love getting players right off the floor at the games. That’s what I like doing.

TM: Do you feel like your style over the years set you up to do a show during a pandemic with no sports?

SF: We’ve done it. I’ve been on every single day and we’ve been live doing the 4 to 6 Eastern on SportsGrid every day. I’ve had great guests on and we just dig for killer stories that we can turn into topics for the show. My guys get involved, I’ve always been a guy that supports others being involved in the show. I’ve done a lot of shows with the other SportsGrid hosts. The show isn’t just constantly doing the normal thing. It’s different doing the show from home every day and never leaving my crib. You would think I’d be in this plush penthouse in New York City and I’m sitting in my house with green screens and cameras, lighting, cable lines out of the room, it’s crazy. But we’ve just done it every day like normal.

TM: I can’t imagine a sports radio host being on Letterman these days. You were twice. How was that? 

SF: Honestly, that was like floating. That’s how gigantic David Letterman is. When I got to do his show, for me, it was like I was floating and like it wasn’t even real. I couldn’t fathom that I was going on Letterman. And then, it wasn’t just once, it was twice. It’s funny, I’ve seen people go on there multiple times, way more than me, but for me, just once, was exotic and twice was just absolutely crazy. The fact that he would have me back on again was just absurd. I must’ve done something right.

CBS To Present 'David Letterman: A Life On Television' Monday ...

I won’t deny that I was lit. When I went out there I was so nervous and so excited but so lit. Like absolutely lit. I went out there and was predicting who was going to win the title games, because it was around the Super Bowl, I started doing kicker windmills on stage. Dave was cracking up, the audience was roaring. I was whipping my leg a million miles an hour and I have no idea what I was doing. My leg could’ve flown off my body. And then the other time I did Letterman, and I thought I had the top the first time, I was wild, I did my thing and I made him laugh. Paul and him were going back-and-forth.

Second time I did it I announced that I was leaving radio to do the Thrashers gig and I stripped down all through different jerseys until I got to the point where the final thing I had on my body was a Thrashers jersey. That’s how I announced I was going to the NHL. I remember going off the stage on Letterman and my boss called me and fired me, I said, it’s a little late. I already signed with the hockey, but nice knowing you

BSM Writers

Chris Broussard Is No Longer Just A ‘Basketball Guy’

“There’s no doubt that gets attached to you and that can be good because you’re seen as an ‘expert’ in one sport which is great.”

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After embarking on a career in sports, Chris Broussard made a name for himself as a writer, specifically as it pertains to covering the NBA. Whether it was covering the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, covering the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets for The New York Times, or doing television hits for ESPN, Broussard had always, whether it was justified or not, been pigeon-holed as a “basketball guy”.

That was the perception then, but today, the reality is different.

“There’s no doubt that gets attached to you and that can be good because you’re seen as an ‘expert’ in one sport which is great,” said Broussard, the co-host of First Things First on FS1 and the co-host of The Odd Couple on FOX Sports Radio. 

“But what was good for me was that at ESPN, I had done First Take with Skip Bayless a lot.  There were a few years where it was a rotation and I was in that rotation. That enabled me to at least do the other sports.” 

Broussard has certainly made a seamless transition from print to electronic media.

After joining The New York Times in 1998, Broussard started to get television exposure doing local hits and then appearances on the various ESPN platforms would soon follow. He joined ESPN full-time in 2004 as a writer for ESPN The Magazine, but that also included regular guest appearances and fill-in hosting opportunities on shows like First Take and the opportunity to be a co-host for NBA Countdown for the 2010-11 season.

With that gig came the opportunity to work with Michael Wilbon, Jon Barry, and his childhood hero Magic Johnson.

“I think that may be have been the pinnacle because Magic is Magic,” said Broussard. “He was my favorite player until Jordan came along and (with Wilbon and Barry), we just had great chemistry.”

After one season, Broussard and Barry were replaced by Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose. A few years later, Broussard would make the move that would bring him to the next chapter of his career.

In 2016, Broussard left what amounted to being just a reporters role at ESPN for a new opportunity at FS1 where he would also be an analyst as well as a regular panelist for shows like Undisputed, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, First Things First and Lock It In.  In 2018, he began co-hosting The Odd Couple radio show with Rob Parker on FOX Sports Radio.

And then in August of 2021, Broussard was named the full-time co-host of First Things First, something that almost had happened when the network first launched.

“When they asked me to come on as a full-time co-host, it was great and maybe a long time coming,” said Broussard. “I know when Jamie Horowitz first brought all the people over from ESPN to be on FS1 in 2016, he was considering doing a show where Nick Wright and I were the co-hosts.”

Broussard now co-hosts the show with Wright and Kevin Wildes.

“I thought that I really just fit right in with the chemistry and it’s just been a great trio,” said Broussard. 

Born in Baton Rouge, Broussard and his family also lived in Cincinnati, Indiana, Syracuse, Iowa, and Cleveland.  He was a star football and basketball player for Holy Name High School in Parma Heights, Ohio and went on to play basketball for Oberlin College, an NCAA Division III school in Ohio.

Believe it or not, his first love was not basketball.

“My favorite sport growing up was football,” said Broussard. “I played football through high school. I played basketball at Oberlin College but they recruited for me football and basketball. I even played baseball up until I was about 16 years old.” 

So much for being just a basketball guy, right?

After college, Broussard had a decision to make. He knew he wanted to be a sports reporter but wasn’t sure if it was going to be print or electronic media. When he was an intern at The Indianapolis Star, he spoke to people in the know about which direction to go.

“I was told that it’s just easier and there are more spots in print journalism than there are in television and radio,” said Broussard. “I chose print because I thought I had more opportunities.”

Broussard’s first taste of covering pro sports was in 1995 at the Akron Beacon Journal when he was a backup writer covering the Cleveland Indians who would go to the World Series for the first time since 1954. Then came covering the Cavaliers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and then it was off to New York and a bit of culture shock for Broussard.

During his 2 ½ years covering the Cavaliers, Broussard typically wore a rugby shirt, jeans and sneakers at games. But he noticed that when the Knicks and Nets would come to Cleveland or when Broussard travelled to New York and New Jersey when the Cavaliers visited the Knicks and Nets, that the New York writers would typically wear suits and ties when covering the games.

So, when he interviewed for the job with The New York Times, Broussard had an important question for his future editor.

“I asked him when I was being interviewed for the job do they require that your writers dress up,” said Broussard. “He said no but they do generally in New York because they know television opportunities are there. So, when I started working at The New York Times, I started dressing up wearing a suit and tie or sportscoat and tie whenever I would cover games.  Ultimately that led to television.”

And the rest is history.

This coming week, Broussard will be busy co-hosting his shows from the Super Bowl in Arizona. It’s one thing to host a radio show or a television show from a studio but it’s really something special to do it from a live event, especially on the giant stage of the Super Bowl.

And this week, Broussard will be center stage in front of a lot of ears and eyeballs.

“It’s always great,” said Broussard. “FOX Sports Radio always has one of the biggest and best platforms on radio row. It’s always fun when you’re doing these live shows at the big events and you’ve got an audience, it really can kind of bring out the best in you. I’m excited about it both for TV and radio.”

Chris Broussard has certainly come a long way in his career in sports. 

From his days as an athlete in high school in college to getting his start as a write to a transformation into a radio and television personality, Broussard has worked hard to get to where he is today.

“I haven’t written a word since I went to Fox,” said Broussard. “I do feel fortunate that I’ve been able from morph from a writer into TV and radio. What you want to do in this business is stay relevant and you want an audience and a platform. There’s not that many people who get that opportunity to do it.”

He’s no longer just a “basketball guy”. He’s a “sports guy”.

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BSM Writers

Radio Row Is One of Sports Radio’s Worst Weeks

Radio Row is a great opportunity for hosts, PDs, and executives. But it isn’t an inherently great opportunity for your listeners.

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From strictly a listener’s perspective, sports radio the week of Super Bowl’s Radio Row is one of the worst weeks.

Before I was a sports radio programmer, I was a sports radio listener. And while I didn’t realize it at the time, I was listening to sports radio with a programmer’s mindset. And every year, I would spend the entire week listening to shows produced live — or pretending to be live — from Radio Row at the Super Bowl. And each year, I would wonder “What the hell is the point of this?”

And now, as a former sports radio programmer, I will sit this week and listen to shows produced live — or pretending to be live — from Radio Row at the Super Bowl. And each day, I will wonder “What the hell is the point of this?”

Who does it serve? Let’s take an in-depth look at that question.

It serves the NFL. Hundreds of media professionals are stationed at its largest event, talking about it, ensuring it stays at the forefront of the public consciousness and providing millions in value for its sponsors.

It serves NFL players. Both past and present. Dozens of current and former stars will flock to Radio Row to record dozens of interviews. They’ll be paid thousands of dollars to pitch their wares as often as possible while expanding their brands outside the cities in which they currently or formerly played.

It serves the sponsors of NFL players. Radio Row provides a one-stop-shop for sponsors to send their endorsers down a line of interviews to continually get in front of new audiences. Scale, baby!

It serves the hosts, PDs, and executives. You get a working vacation! It’s awesome! I live in the Midwest, and yesterday was one of a handful of days I’ve seen the sun since November. Being in Arizona in early February is phenomenal! Plus, you get to hob knob with celebrities, get your photos taken, go to awesome parties with extravagant hor dourves and open bars, and it’s fantastic. You deserve the little break Radio Row provides; better yet, it’s all on the company dime. You get some bonding with your co-workers, you get to network, and it really is an awesome opportunity.

But you know who isn’t served? Your listeners. At least, the vast majority of them. Because here’s the reality: While it’s really cool that you’re hanging out with other radio folks, and you’ll have a plethora of former and current players swinging by for interviews, your listeners really don’t care. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the truth. While there’s a subset of listeners who are living vicariously through you — and that can’t be completely shortchanged, it’s a big deal — the overwhelming majority couldn’t be less invested in your Radio Row interviews.

Think of it from a listener’s viewpoint: Outside of the Bay Area, do you think anyone has thought “Man, I wonder who Kyle Juszczyk thinks is gonna win the Super Bowl?” I’ll tell you that, no, they haven’t thought that, and they don’t particularly care what he thinks. Furthermore, they definitely don’t care that he’s sponsored by Old Spice, which gives him the P-P-P-Power!™

And it would be fine if there was one interview here or there, but there are some shows — both local and national — that will completely fill out their rundowns with interviews with people your listeners don’t especially care about, ask questions that your listeners don’t especially care about, and end the interview by asking who they think wins Sunday, why they think that way, and allow them to pitch their boner pills or whatever else they’re schlepping. Every day. For five straight days. For two, three, four, or even five hours.

It stinks.

Self-serving isn’t bad as long as you recognize it’s self-serving. And that could be potentially the biggest issue. Now and then, you’ll get a host that is sanctimonious and pretends they’re doing the listener a favor by spending a week away from their family in a warm weather destination, rubbing elbows with some of the greatest players — both past and present — in the game. You’re not. You’re spending a week eating all the free food you can find, drinking all the free beer you can find, and taking pictures to post on your Instagram. And that’s fine, but don’t pretend like it’s something it isn’t. You can talk yourself into its importance, but it’s important to you.

Radio Row is a great opportunity for hosts, PDs, and executives. But it isn’t an inherently great opportunity for your listeners. You can turn it into one with thoughtful questions, a unique spin on the traditional interview, or avoiding the same boring questions your subject has been asked 1,000 times during the day, but you’ve gotta go the extra mile to accomplish that. And I hope that’s not something you lose sight of this week.

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BSM Writers

What Are The Right Social Media Answers For Sports Radio?

“What are the limits of social media for radio brands? Are there any?”

Demetri Ravanos

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Social media does not stand still. The platforms that matter today can fall out of favor with the general public in the blink of an eye. Conversely, the right feature or attention from the right people can catapult a site’s importance in the social pecking order.

How does a radio company determine what matters? Are all formats received similarly on social media or is sports radio such a unique animal that brands have to be much more deliberate in how resources are allocated? To answer these questions, I turned to some experts. 

Tom Izzo doesn’t exclude any platform when he is plotting WFAN’s social strategy. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter may each attract a different type of sports fan, but they all matter in building and serving the larger audience.

“There is sports radio audience on every social media platform, you just have to talk to them differently depending where you are,” he told me. “The language and audience on Twitter is different than the language and audience on Facebook, but there is audience everywhere.”

Audience is everywhere. That’s what is at the heart of the conundrum. How do you best utilize your assets in a landscape that isn’t just constantly changing? It’s also constantly growing!

Lori Lewis has overseen social media strategy at an executive level for Cumulus, Westwood One, Jacobs Media and iHeart among others. Now she coaches companies on creating great content with her own company, Lori Lewis Media

She told me that the key for not just sports stations, but for any brand, is understanding what their audience prioritizes. That doesn’t mean it should be the brand’s only focus though.

“Obviously, for sports radio, it’s Twitter. But don’t sleep on short-form vertical video,” she said in an email. “When done right, you’ll see success (meaning converting views into new fans) with YouTube Shorts and/or Instagram Reels as well as playback videos on Facebook (those are visual replays from the audio show).”

Converting views into new fans was taken to a bit of an extreme in Nashville. 104.5 The Zone launched Zone TV in 2021. Will Boling took the lead in creating the product. He says that launching a proprietary video stream was never about moving away from other social platforms. It was about giving listeners more access to better content in more places.

“Our video platform affects a lot of our social strategy,” he said. “On Twitter, we don’t want to just be seen as a radio station, but as a media company. Our Twitter stream allows us to react to breaking news while also sharing our broadcast at the same time. And with Twitch’s video producer, we can create featured clips from shows whenever we want. That allows us to push video out of featured guests, funny callers and anything in between to promote our podcasts from each show too.”

Video matters so much more than ever before. It does not matter who you talk to or what platform it is you are talking about. The answer always comes back to using video to attract more eyeballs.

TikTok, our most controversial social video platform, is trying to figure out what its reach could be without the visuals. Last month the company announced that it would experiment with its version of podcasts – a mode on the app that would allow users to experience TikTok content as audio-only entertainment.

I asked all three of my experts what their initial impression of the story is. Only Izzo expressed reservations.

“Probably no need for us to be first anywhere if there isn’t any particular benefit to doing that,” he said. “We’ll watch and see what happens and if it turns out that people like consuming podcasts on TikTok we will certainly address that.”

That doesn’t mean WFAN hosts and bosses won’t keep a keen eye on the feature. I would anticipate that there may be some experimental posts that either don’t receive much of a push or perhaps never see the light of day at all.

Boling is adamant that any use of TikTok is a wise one for stations. He says anything set up with an algorithm that rewards creators for posting content the audience connects with is an asset that cannot be ignored.

“We use social media to push listeners to our YouTube channel because it’s an algorithm based platform. If we get someone to click on our page once, then our channel will get recommended to them the next time they get on YouTube. TikTok helps radio companies accomplish that and own every space in the digital market right now.”

Unsurprisingly, it’s Lori Lewis that approaches the feature in the most scientific way. Do TikTok podcasts represent a sort of new frontier for audio brands? Sure, but just like Grogu and the Mandalorian, you have to go there and poke around before you can figure out how it will work best for you.

“If TikTok expands to audio, how might you complement the mothership (The FM/AM stick) and build on the trust you’ve earned from your show? What’s a unique way to tap into new features? As social media evolves, so should our approach.”

What are the limits of social media for radio brands? Are there any? Since the onset of the pandemic, so much listening has shifted from terrestrial signals to digital streams. We have totally rethought what we are. Why should it stop with how our audience consumes our content? 

I asked Lewis if we are too narrow in thinking about how social media can serve us. Are we so focused on what is that we have not considered what could be? Can a brand have one identity on air and use social media to create something that does not mirror it, but instead compliments it?

“Depends on why you’re using social media,” she answered. “If you’re leveraging social media for increased awareness and building trust to drive more engagement during your show, it might not make sense to be different on social than on-air. But, if you’re a vanilla brand limited to creativity on-air, why not? Throw yourself out there. Show your real, relatable self (assuming it’s legal and appropriate, ha-ha). Relatability wins every time.”

Do we have to be deliberate in sports radio with how we allocate our social media resources? Yes, but that doesn’t mean there is a single correct answer. 

Strategy matters on air. It’s no different on social media. But in order to figure out the best strategy, you have to be open-minded and eager to play around with new offerings to determine what works.

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