Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

BSM Writers

It Never Hurts To Make A Few Friends In The Industry

“You aren’t being sneaky or shady by making friends in the industry. You are building relationships because that’s what smart people do.”

Brian Noe

Published

on

blank

I’ve heard many people say, “You haven’t worked in radio until you’ve been fired.” The reason this is sadly a saying is because there is a lot of truth to it. ESPN is laying off roughly 300 employees, which will reduce the company’s workforce by about 10 percent. The cuts will impact multiple sections of the conglomerate including ESPN Radio.

Chris Cote, one of the producers of the “Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz,” revealed on Twitter Sunday night that he is one of the people involved in the layoffs.

The news of Chris Cote and many other ESPN employees losing their jobs made me think of a few things. First I’d love to give COVID a Stone Cold Stunner to prevent hard workers from losing employment. The layoffs also made me think of the importance of networking while you have a job, which was something I did a horrible job of many moons ago when I was laid off.

It was Inauguration Day in January of 2009. While Barack Obama was about to be sworn in, I was about to get booted out. I walked inside the Clear Channel building in Fresno, California like any normal workday. I saw two friends/coworkers, Andre Covington and Doug Ray, with eyes the size of golf balls. When I walked over they said, “Yo, the Samurai sword is bloody.” I was like ‘huh?’. They said that heads were getting chopped left and right.

We had heard rumors of a nationwide work reduction for months, but after a while I started to think the whispers might not be true. They were. The next thing I knew I was tossing a couple of items into a box immediately after being offered a severance package. My producer at the time, Eric Marshburn, walked into my office ready to put a show together as I told him something like, “Hey man, I don’t work here anymore.”

Radio is a very unpredictable business to begin with. Mix an erratic industry with a recession in ’09, or COVID-19 in ’20, and all of a sudden unpredictability swells up like Barry Bonds’ head after taking PEDs.

Thinking back to that time I was laid off it dawned on me how important it is to network while you have a job. When it comes to networking, I’d give myself a passing grade when I don’t have a job, but I’m a borderline failure when I am employed. I, like many others, am the type of person that pours myself into my job. It isn’t a bad thing to work hard, but if you become so laser-focused on your work that you stop networking, what happens if you lose that job? Well, there’s a good chance you’re completely screwed. 

In the past, there have been many reasons why I didn’t feel comfortable or motivated to network while I had a job. I’m a head-down-and-grind type of employee. I’m way more focused on my current job than my next gig. It was also a respect thing. It felt a little slimy to network with various employers while I currently worked for another company. It’s like having a girlfriend while I openly flirted with other females. Instead of being faithful, I felt like the sketchy guy chain smoking on the corner under the cloak of night as I told a random girl how great she looked in that skirt.

blank

But none of those reasons are good enough to avoid networking while employed. First off networking isn’t cheating. Have you ever felt like a backstabber while chatting with programmers during events like Jason Barrett’s Summit or Super Bowl week? My answer is no, not at all. It’s just talking to people. You know — fellow human beings. I never bump into a PD and desperately ask, “Dude, are you guys hiring?” I just talk to them and try to get to know them. You aren’t being sneaky or shady by making friends in the industry. You are building relationships because that’s what smart people do. 

The word “networking” sounds so official. It makes me think of scowling FBI agents talking into their wrists while wearing sunglasses. I don’t think of it as networking. I think of it as making friends. It doesn’t benefit you to have contacts in the radio business that are the equivalent of Facebook friends you don’t really know. Real friendships are much more powerful. If you don’t have a friendly relationship with decision makers in the industry, that’s a problem. You should be able to text programmers something casual like, “The only thing worse than the Jets is my luck with women.” Now that’s bonding.

The ESPN layoffs also made me think about this; have you ever forgotten the name of a program director or manager? Have you ever said something like, “Oh yeah, my guy what’s his face? Why am I blanking on his name?” If you have, there is a great chance that manager has said the same or worse about you.

Do you think your odds of getting hired are good if a programmer can’t even remember your name consistently? Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians didn’t say, “Todd Bowles is going to be my defensive coordinator. I’ve never met the man and don’t know much about him, but I think he’ll do a great job for us.” No, the two men knew each other as assistant coaches on the Cleveland Browns staff in the early 2000s. They established a friendship. It isn’t a coincidence that Bowles has been the defensive coordinator on Arians’ staff with the Arizona Cardinals and now in Tampa.

“Friends In Low Places” is a catchy song by Garth Brooks. It doesn’t hurt to have friends in high places either though. Your friends at the oasis that are chasing their blues away with beer won’t do much good when a radio executive taps you on the shoulder like the Grim Reaper indicating your gig is over. Why not make friends with big wigs? Don’t just network or rub elbows with decision makers, befriend them even if you have a job. Work doesn’t last forever these days. It might not last through next Tuesday.

One suggestion while making friends with anybody, including powerful people, is to always be genuine. Girls can tell if a sketchy guy is just trying to hook up with them. I think programmers have similar skills. They can tell if radio hosts are reaching out genuinely, or if they just want that afternoon drive booty. Programmers aren’t robots. They are people too. You have to be sincere.

Meeting people for the first time | Learning English | Cambridge English

The radio industry has taught me the value of networking. The pandemic has shown me the necessity of true friendships. Friends look out for you and help you. Acquaintances don’t. I don’t have acquaintances that would drive me to the airport in the middle of the night or help me move. I have friends that do. Establish friendships. If friendships mean more than acquaintances in life, why would the business world be any different?

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

Published

on

blank

Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

Published

on

blank

On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.