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Greg Papa Is Still Trying To Impress His Big Brother

“I think the hard part is not knowing exactly when this will all wrap up. The idea of worrying about sports seems a little silly right now. For now, we just have to look out for each other.”

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Greg Papa understands the value of a role model.  Someone tangible in front of you who has risen to heights to which you plan to ascend yourself.  A person who blazed a path forward while graciously leaving breadcrumbs behind.

Greg Papa - Wikipedia

No one needs a role model when things are going well – when everything’s working out.  When times are good, success feels effortless, almost inevitable. 

It’s the tough times when you need that spark – when you think you don’t belong or you’re not quite good enough.  During those times it’s all too easy to make excuses.  To settle.  To throw your hands in the air and figure it was never meant to be.   During times of doubt – it’s vital to understand yours is a battle that has been fought and won time and time again.

As the only broadcaster to ever work for the Warriors, A’s, Giants, Raiders and 49ers – you don’t have to work hard to paint Papa as a role model himself.  It’s an exercise, however, in which he has no interest.

“I’m always very humbled when people come up to me and say they grew up listening to me and watching me,” he pauses, clearly uncomfortable at the idea of discussing his Bay Area celebrity. “More times than not I’m thinking ‘aren’t you my age?’”

Papa didn’t have to look far for his role model, in fact he was right down the hall in his childhood Buffalo, NY home. Gary Papa, eight years Greg’s senior, was everything a younger brother could ask for.  Even over the phone in 2020, Greg speaks of Gary with such a reverence – you’re forced to hang on every word.

Like any younger brother – Greg is quick to measure himself up to Gary.

“He went to Cornell – then he went on to law school,” explains Greg, as if annoyed at his brother’s success.

“I was never going to be an Ivy League guy.”

When he wasn’t attending University at Buffalo Law School classes, Gary was anchoring sports for WGR-TV down the street.  By 1981, with a law degree in hand, the elder Papa began a career at WPVI in Philadelphia that lasted nearly 3 decades.

“I still don’t know how he was able to pull all that off,” admits Greg, his voice somewhere between awe and admiration.

Greg may not have inherited his brother’s academic fortitude, but he certainly has the work ethic. He would also never admit it, but Greg’s post collegiate career might be more impressive than that of his brother’s.

Greg Papa's excitement calling 49ers games is contagious - Niners ...

With the Ivy League out of the question, Papa settled on Syracuse University – a reasonable safety school by any metric.  By his junior year, he was the Sports Director for the student led WAER and cutting his play by play teeth on just about every sport the Athletic Department had to offer.  

As it turns out, he was a promising young talent in a school known for it’s talent at just the right time.

“My senior year, Sports Illustrated had contacted us to do a story on what had become ‘the incubator of sportscasters’ at Syracuse,” he grins. “I got a little cocky.”

Papa’s self-diagnosed “cockiness” was not unfounded.  

Right out of school, the fresh faced 22-year-old was offered the Sports Director position for KGO in San Francisco.  Where Greg differed a bit from his older brother was his gravitation towards the play by play booth.  He preferred the games over the studio and wanted to land somewhere he could call some action.

That opportunity came in the form of Indianapolis with the Pacers.  The team needed a bench broadcaster to fill in and the recent Syracuse grad was their man.  

Generally speaking, broadcasters straight out of their caps and gowns don’t get jobs in the NBA.  While grateful for the opportunity – Papa was not about to rest on his laurels.  

In 1986 the Golden State Warriors had an ownership change and Greg’s boss in Indiana, Roger Blaemire, had himself a new position in Oakland as a VP and brought Papa out west.  Just a few years removed from Upstate New York – Greg was now the TV and radio voice of the Bay Area’s only NBA team.

“For the first month I was out here – I stayed at the Oakland Airport Hilton.  It took me about two weeks to realize how much I loved the Bay Area.  It’s like a small country out here, in a 3 hour drive you can do anything you want,” the transplant takes a beat, careful to be completely honest about the tough times involved with the move.

“I will say I was a little intimidated for a while.  For one, the people out here were so smart, so worldly.  I also wasn’t sure I could ever afford a house!”

The rookie west coaster combined his excitement with his fear and allowed it to fuel his work.  Alongside Jim Barnett, Papa called the Warriors’ first playoff season in a decade.  He was a new name in the market but his voice was now synonymous with winning.

Of course – there wasn’t a bigger winner in the late 80s in the Bay Area than the Oakland A’s, a neighbor of Papa’s Warriors.  During the 1990 season, just months after 1989’s Bay Bridge Series, Greg joined Oakland’s broadcast team and followed the A’s all the way to their 3rd consecutive World Series appearance.  

By 1997, with a decade of experience calling Warriors games and a handful of summers spent in the Coliseum – Papa had already established himself as a major player in the Bay Area sports media market.  That fall, he would start the job that would cement his place as an icon in town.

“I have to say,” begins the ever-modest Papa. “My first Raiders game, first preseason game, I was terrible!  The worst broadcast in my career.  I had never done the NFL, I was passive.  By my second game I understood I had to attack the game.  Formations, substitutions – I had to be aggressive in my calls.  I got better.”

For 20 years, Greg Papa’s emphatic “Touchdown RRRRRRaiders” calls were as much a part of the Silver and Black game day experience as Blake Hole cutaway shots and “The Autumn Wind” blasting from car radios as tailgaters began their march to the Coliseum.

Raiders' firing of Greg Papa latest indignity for Oakland sports ...

While he would never describe himself as such, Papa was something of a hero for the East Bay sports scene at the turn of the 21st Century.  In a market that celebrated mediocre Giants and 49ers teams over championship seeking A’s and Raiders squads – Papa was a proud representation of the often-slighted Oakland sports fan.  

Industry politics, as they so often do, stood between Papa and the ability to be the voice of all three East Bay teams at once.  

“It was close, but it never did exactly line up.  I was a few months off.”

In the summer of ‘97, the Warriors opted to make a change in the broadcast booth.  Undeterred, Papa found a way to keep his NBA fix – nearly 2,000 miles away in San Antonio.  

From 1997 to 2000, the same man who marveled at how his brother Gary could work as a fulltime sportscaster while attending law school, was calling games on TV for the A’s and Spurs while manning the radio broadcasts for the Raiders.  

3 teams, 3 sports, 2 markets, no offseason.

You won’t hear Greg complain about that schedule.  Rather, he counts himself lucky to have had a front row seat to the dawn of Gregg Popovich’s head coaching career and the first 3 years of the remarkable Tim Duncan era – not to mention a 1999 championship season.

It was late in 2003 – as Greg was nearing his 20-year mark in the Bay Area – that Papa received what he calls one of the toughest phone calls of his career.  He was reached out to by the then VP of Programming for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and CSN California, Ted Griggs.

“Ted got on the phone, and I’ll never forget it.  He told me the A’s wanted to go in another direction – but that if I wait 5 minutes, I would be getting a call from Larry Baer.”

Papa understood a call from the owner of the San Francisco Giants meant an offer to join the broadcast crew for the team across the Bay.  He was honored to be considered, but immediately faced with a new set of challenges.

“There was already a great team of broadcasters over there.  Duane and Mike (Kuiper and Krukow) are two of the best in the business on the TV side, and on the radio you had the unbelievable team of Jon Miller and Dave Flemming!  Needless to say, I was the low man on the totem pole.”

Maybe the most impressive thing about Greg Papa, outside of his undying respect for his colleagues and predecessors, is his brutal honesty when assessing his own performance.  As it happens, the switch to the National League after nearly 15 years in the AL was tougher than the veteran broadcaster had anticipated.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my career!  I was so familiar with the AL, I didn’t realize how out of touch I was with the NL.  I was pretty hard on myself for a stretch when I was filling in.”

On top of navigating the waters of a foreign league, Papa had to deal with the backlash of switching fan bases.

“There was definitely some: ‘This is an A’s guy!  What’s he doing here!?’ There’s not much I can do about that, fans are passionate.”

While his divorce with the A’s and courtship with the Giants was difficult, Greg points out it made his next dismissal slightly easier to stomach.

In July of 2018, just a month before preseason games were set to kick off, the Raiders notified Papa he would not return for a 22nd campaign with the team.  At that point, Papa had worked for 3 other Bay Area franchises and was back doing pre and postgame shows for the Warriors – but above all else Greg’s voice was associated with the Raiders.  The decision of the Raiders to move on from Papa was major news in Northern California, but rather than cast blame or stew over those who wronged him – Greg chooses to walk on the sunny side of the street.

“Look at it this way – I’ve been fired from 3 different teams in the Bay Area and I’ve never had to move.  How many people can say that?”

Last summer, Gary’s little brother received an offer that would escalate his already stellar career to an unprecedented level.  He was asked to become the radio voice of the San Francisco 49ers – the 5th Bay Area team to seek his services.

“I honestly did think about it for a second.  My wife thought the transition would be tough because I was so closely associated with the Raiders,” remembers Papa.  

Fortunately for 49ers fans, that second didn’t last long.

In 2019, Greg Papa became the first broadcaster to work for all 5 major sports franchises on either end of the Bay Bridge.  As humble as the day he left Buffalo, he’s not one to boast about his unparalleled career accomplishments, but the significance certainly isn’t lost on him.

“One of my most prized possessions is hanging right now above me in my office.  It’s a Niners jersey with the number 5 on it – signed by Kyle Shanahan and a number of people from the organization.  It was a great gesture by the team.”

49ers radio voice Greg Papa reflects on 'dream-like' season

Greg Papa has done things in his career so many could only dream of.  He’s called two Super Bowls, one for each team.  He was along for the thrill ride of the A’s historic 20 game winning streak and was immortalized in 2012’s Moneyball for his efforts.  He lent his voice to Barry Bonds’ all-time home run chase of Willie Mays, Babe Ruth and ultimately Hank Aaron.  He was there for Sleepy Floyd’s 51 point playoff game against the Lakers in the late 80s, and the agonizing pain of the “Tuck Rule,” and the birth of Tom Brady’s legacy at the cost of Silver and Black hearts.  

2020, however, marks the most bizarre and challenging time of Papa’s life and career.

“It’s hard to comprehend all of this,” he admits.  “My career has lasted through two Iraq wars and 9/11, but this is different.  This is on a completely different level.  I’m consumed by it, day and night.  I think the hard part is not knowing exactly when this will all wrap up.  The idea of worrying about sports seems a little silly right now.  For now, we just have to look out for each other.”

Greg makes light of the fact that he’s been fired by three different teams, he almost embraces it.  You might think he does so to deflect, but in reality, it’s clear that when the chips are down – even a man defined by sports understands that sports are trivial compared to what really matters

In 2009, Gary Papa lost a long bout with cancer.  The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame Inductee was survived by his wife Kathleen and two boys.  

So many times these days we’re asking ourselves questions to which we have no answer.  When will it end?  What will be the same?  What will be different?  The unknowns can be scary.

“I don’t know when, but sports will return.  Our way of life will return and when it does we’ll be better and stronger than ever.”

5 questions with Greg Papa: How the 49ers TD call is a tribute to ...

We may not see the finish line at the end of this particular race, and we may not yet have definitive answers to questions that keep us up at night. 

One thing we do know is that the Bay Area is fortunate to have a role model like Greg Papa – and his role model is and will always be proud of his little brother.  

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

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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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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