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Marissa Rives Just Kept Saying Yes To SiriusXM Opportunities

“It’s really exciting to take more and kind of push yourself outside of [your] comfort zone.”

Derek Futterman

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Football, basketball, baseball. Sports media in the United States is consistently dominated by these major sports, with storylines aplenty and talking points for debate posed to generate new content geared to bring auspicious ratings and steady revenue.

Throughout the month of March, NCAA March Madness has comprised the preponderance of sports media content, especially due to the fact that 15th seeded Saint Peter’s advanced to the Elite 8, and that Duke and North Carolina will meet in tournament play for the first time this weekend.

Sure, football, basketball and baseball are central to much of America’s sports consumption – but not all of it. Combat sports bring in formidable ratings and revenue for the athletes, leagues and media companies. Pay-per-view fights and large-scale events are quite popular among sports fans. Yet they are rarely spoken about on sports radio, meaning that their content needed to find a home, and that their fans needed to be driven there to find the kind of content they have been looking for.

Marissa Rives is the program director of SiriusXM Fight Nation, the satellite service’s home for combat sports, and she never thought she’d be doing this; that is, until she was exposed to what was possible.

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Starting in this industry, according to Rives, often starts with a “frivolous idea,” and growing up as a New York Yankees fan, she became enamored with the idea of covering a professional sports team. Kim Jones, who was the YES Network reporter for Yankees games from 2005 to 2012, interviewed players in the clubhouse after games and followed the team, a job that excited Rives and got her thinking about sports broadcasting as a potential career path.

As a result, Rives attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, a 16-week trade school that she called a “crash course in broadcasting.” Shortly after at 19 years old, she began working as an intern at SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio with The B Team, hosted by Bruce Murray and Bill Pidto.

Working in this role allowed Rives to gain exposure to many parts of radio, including planning shows, interacting directly with on-air talent and editing audio. Up until that point, Rives had not decided whether she wanted to venture into radio or television; however, this experience clarified her stance on the two platforms.

“It just made me see that this is an industry I [could] see myself being in for a very long time, and it solidified that radio was the course I really wanted to go – and not television,” Rives said.

Interning at SiriusXM was not the only thing Rives was doing at the time though. For nearly two years, she worked in a part-time role for DeCheser Media as a legal videographer, driving to courthouses in the northeast to film depositions. The role paid well, but involved a routine point-and-shoot setup that had Rives monitoring video being taken by a camera on a tripod. Shortly after Rives was offered a part-time role at SiriusXM, her boss at DeCheser Media offered her a full-time job doing legal videography in an effort to retain her services, coercing her into making a decision that shaped the future of her career.

“When you’re interning at SiriusXM at the same time and you see what your life could be and the path you could go down in sports radio versus a kind of very sterile, non-creative field like point-and-shoot court depositions,” Rives explained, “I think if anything it taught me a lot and what I didn’t want long-term for my career.”

Once Rives began working part-time at SiriusXM, her goal was to get her foot into the door inside a live studio running a board any way she could. Declining a potential opportunity to expand her skillset and grow was simply not an option for her. In maintaining this attitude, Rives was afforded the chance to work with the show Fight Club on SiriusXM as a board operator, and eventually, as its producer.

“I knew I could get into MMA because I was a big pro wrestling fan growing up, [although] I hadn’t watched in a while,” said Rives. “People fighting and the theatrics of all of it is something I could dig, so I started running the board. [From] the moment I was involved with [a] show that had to do with combat sports, I just knew that if I was going to grow, I needed to absorb myself in it and learn everything I could. I really just fell in love with everything about it and never really looked back from there.”

Since that time, Rives has taken on various endeavors that led her to becoming program director of SiriusXM Fight Nation in 2018, including working as manager of SiriusXM Sports Zone and executive producer of SiriusXM Rush.

Rives has served as an architect for SiriusXM Fight Nation since its launch in 2015, inking former wrestling and MMA stars to contracts to host shows on the satellite radio channel. Whether it is Throwing Down with Renee and Miesha, featuring former UFC champion Miesha Tate and former WWE commentator Renee Paquette; At the Fights with the former commissioner of the New York State Athletic Commission and boxing journalist Randy Gordon and former professional boxer Gerry Cooney; or Busted Open with WWE Hall of Fame members Mark Henry and Bully Ray, along with former ECW wrestler Tommy Dreamer and wrestling commentator Dave LaGreca, Rives has overseen the channel to ensure it is putting out engaging content that appeals to fans of combat sports.

“For me, it’s exciting because I really have an opportunity to bring in high-class athletes that might not have the [same] opportunities as maybe a football player who can kind of go to all these different markets and potentially get a gig talking football,” said Rives. “You’re not going to find many pro wrestling shows like Busted Open…. You don’t get much of that, so it definitely helps you pave your way within a space as well and stand out, and I think that’s a little bit harder with some of the more mainstream sports to be able to do that.”

One aspect of SiriusXM Fight Nation that has been absent for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic is live remote broadcasts. Prior to the pandemic, Rives helped organize the Busted Open 10-year anniversary party. They filled all three floors of a New York City bar to capacity and welcomed various special guests to the broadcast.

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NEW YORK NY 8211 APRIL 06 SiriusXM8217s Dave LaGreca and Marissa Rives host SiriusXM8217s 8220Busted Open8221 celebrating 10th Anniversary In New York City on the eve of WrestleMania 35 on April 6 2019 in New York City Photo by Slaven VlasicGetty Images for SiriusXM

Live remotes are slowly starting to return to many sectors of the media industry, and on this upcoming Saturday, April 2, Rives seeks to raise the bar with the two-hour Busted Open live special prior to WrestleMania 38 at Arlington Backyard at Texas Live! adjacent to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Additionally, full-scale audiovisual production of a comedic roast of show creator and host Dave LaGreca is set to take place and will be available to watch afterward on the SiriusXM mobile app.

“I hired comedy writers, and all of a sudden I went from a sports program director to a comedy production person,” said Rives. “I live to be able to merge what we do in a studio every day with the fans…. We’re really excited; a lot of work has gone into this one.”

Rives enjoys taking on new challenges and recently has moved into the podcasting space by becoming the active director of sports podcasts at SiriusXM. In this role, Rives is leading the effort to grow the selection of sports podcasts across SiriusXM’s programming portfolio.

The broadcasting company recently released Hope Solo Speaks, a podcast featuring two-time Olympian and World Cup-winning goaltender Hope Solo discussing issues important to her, including women’s rights, family and the fight for gender equality. Additionally, she is now working directly with podcasts such as Inside the Green Room with Danny Green, and Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray, and is working on developing and releasing more projects in the future.

“I’m really lucky [to have had] an opportunity to develop Fight Nation over the last six-and-a-half years, and now I’m getting a chance to really be on the ground floor of the next effort at SiriusXM to continue to develop our podcast content and programming,” said Rives. “It’s really exciting to take more and kind of push yourself outside of [your] comfort zone. I’ve been a combat sports girl for a long time, so it’s nice to be able to work with some different types of talent beyond just what I’ve been doing.”

With such ferocious growth in the podcasting sector of media, some traditionalists have feared the cessation of terrestrial radio as more consumers opt for on-demand content available whenever, wherever and however they want. Working in both spaces, Rives knows that the two means of aural consumption can indeed coexist, utilizing the strengths of each to improve upon their current products to satisfy the “appetite for audio content.”

“Instead of looking at it as, ‘Okay, this is some other thing that younger people are into,’ it’s just saying, ‘Look at the great content we’re already creating in radio. How do we tap into this, maybe rework it a bit and attract a different audience potentially with this same talent?” said Rives. “I think radio is probably better off now that podcasts were hot than it was a decade ago.”

Aside from the growth of podcasts, Rives is also encouraged by more women seeking careers in sports media and having the ability to genuinely contribute their ideas and opinions to conversations shaping the next stage of media growth. She believes that hearing voices from both of these genders will only benefit media companies by allowing them to consider multiple perspectives and make cognizant decisions that will serve the public interest.

“I think companies are taking it seriously that having the diversity of thought of both men and women involved in an organization just makes it better,” said Rives. “I think it’s less about ticking a box and saying, ‘Hey, we filled a quota, and now we have a woman on staff.’ I feel [like] it’s more about finally appreciating the fact that women really add to the coverage, and that there are women sports fans out there [that] do appreciate seeing other women.”

Rives was recently named as one of Cynopsis Media’s 2021 Top Women in Media, an honor that she hopes will inspire other women to seek careers in sports media, just as she was inspired to do in her youth. She knows that the future is bright for women in sports media and looks to lead by example through the work that she has already done and that she will do as her career progresses.

“It meant a lot, and it continues to mean a lot to me and I think I wear it with a point of pride as I look to continue to inspire other young women to come forth in sports media or any sort of media for that matter, and to be behind the scenes as producers and directors,” Rives said. “It just helps me continue with the goals I’ve always had for myself.”

Rives would not have made it to where she is today without persistence, hard work and the willingness to try new things. From going to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting; to interning at SiriusXM at 19 years old; to turning down a full-time legal videography job; to learning about combat sports on the job; to working in radio and podcasting simultaneously, Rives versatility and poise to succeed and elevate SiriusXM is undeniable. Making the most of your opportunities helps everyone from novices to seasoned professionals adapt and find their place in the media industry – and all of it is possible by saying just one word: “Yes.”

By saying “Yes” to opportunities, you allow yourself to augment your versatility by being open to learning, and you show your superiors that you are ready and willing to adapt, Rives says. If making the most of these opportunities requires working longer hours and expending more effort, so be it; after all, if one wishes to succeed, they will do whatever it takes to attain success.

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“If you have big aspirations, you have to put in the time and the effort,” Rives expressed. “This isn’t an easy industry, and there’s perks that come with it [but] there’s also hurdles that you have to overcome. If this is what you want to do, put the time in and it can really work out. I’m kind of proof of that.” 

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Mike Silver Has An NFL Backstage Pass

“When you go through a career transition like that, let alone during a pandemic, you find out a referendum on all your relationships.”

Derek Futterman

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It was the 2010 NFL Draft and standout wide receiver Dez Bryant was eligible to be selected by a professional football team. As a journalist, Mike Silver has always looked to enterprise stories and wanted to be with Bryant when the moment he had been waiting for finally arrived.

Through a preexisting relationship with Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, he got in touch with Bryant and received permission to attend his draft celebration. Before being selected in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys, Bryant revealed to him that then-Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland had asked him during the pre-draft process if his mother was a prostitute.

Once that information was published in Silver’s column, Ireland had to publicly apologize and was subsequently put under investigation by the team’s majority owner Stephen Ross.

“People were like, ‘How did you get that?,’ but I was very proud because really the way I got it was because Deion Sanders respected me enough based on things that had happened decades earlier and the way that I conducted myself that I was able to ultimately get to Dez,” Silver expressed. “That to me is a validation. I’ve nurtured relationships for years and years that have led to zero reporting and thought, ‘It’s okay; it’s just part of the process. It is what it is.’”

From the start, Silver was a believer in journalism and the power the profession had in divulging stories in pursuit of the truth. Born in San Francisco, Calif. and raised in Los Angeles, he would read The Los Angeles Times sports section for a half hour per day, observing the proclivities and vernacular of other writers. As a high school student, he co-authored a sports column in the Palisades Charter High School Tideline with current Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, gaining practical experience in journalism and cultivating professional relationships.

“I was the only Warriors fan in our school because I was born in San Francisco so he used to clown me for being a Warriors and 49ers fan like everyone else in our school – so I ended up having the last laugh,” Silver said. “By old standards, you’d say, ‘You can’t cover Steve Kerr. That’s your friend.’ I think in 2022 if I have to cover Steve Kerr, I’ll just be like, ‘You know what? Everyone knows we’re friends. I’m just going to be up front about it.’”

Silver attended the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communication and media studies. The school was not known for profound levels of success within its football and basketball programs, according to Silver; however, the student newspaper was a place to gain repetitions in covering sports and having finished work published, printed and distributed.

Towards the end of his time in college, Silver wrote stories that were published in The Los Angeles Times, the newspaper he grew up reading and from which he drew inspiration to become a journalist.

“We would tell the players we covered, ‘Hey, we’re trying to go to the pros too, and we’re not going to get jobs in this industry if we don’t write the truth,’” Silver said. “We were trying to break in as legitimate journalists and we definitely ruffled some feathers along the way.”

Once he graduated from school, Silver began his professional career writing for The Sacramento Union where he covered the San Francisco 49ers. Silver grew up as a football fan and was familiar with the team but always tried to find original, untold angles to differentiate his stories from others. Shortly thereafter, he transitioned to join The Santa Clara Press Democrat as a beat writer and used the time to further develop his writing and reporting skills. Five years later, he was in talks to land his dream job as a writer in Sports Illustrated, a prolific sports magazine focused on producing original content.

Sports Illustrated was released on Wednesdays and operated under the belief of trying to omit any stories that may have been reported in the days prior. The goal was to tell stories that were under the radar and would be impactful and memorable for its readers.

During a typical week, Silver would visit both the home and road teams in their own cities with the hopes of connecting with players and team personnel. After a game, he would go to the locker room, yet he would try to avoid doing one-on-one interviews since the content would likely be published elsewhere before the magazine was released.

Then, his writing process commenced and often went through the night, as Sports Illustrated had a 9 a.m. EST deadline the following morning. By taking the approach of enterprising stories, Silver quickly became one of the most venerated and trusted sportswriters in the country, composing over 70 cover stories for the publication.

With the advent of the internet though, journalism and communication was forever changed allowing for the free flow of information and ideas in a timely manner.

“Now I can arrogantly write to whatever length I want and every precious word of mine could be broadcast to the masses, but [back then] you better have it the exact length because it’s going on a page,” Silver said. “You’re maybe reading over a story 15 times or more to get it just right before the seven layers of editing kick in. You’re also leaving theoretically half of your great stuff on the cutting room table never to surface again or seldom.”

Nurturing a relationship built on trust and professionalism is hardly facile in nature, and it required enduring persistence and resolute determination to achieve for Silver. Through these relationships, he has been able to create both distinctive and original types of content. As innovations in technology engendered shifts in consumption patterns though, he decided to do what he originally perceived as being unthinkable and left Sports Illustrated after nearly 13 years.

“When I went there, I felt like we had 30 of the 35 best sportswriters in America and it was murderer’s row,” Silver said of Sports Illustrated. “I had a great, great experience there the whole time so I never thought I’d leave.”

After meeting with Yahoo Sports Executive Editor Dave Morgan and being given an offer with flexibility in the job and a promise of a lucrative salary, Silver knew it was simply too good to pass up. He opted to still write a column on Sundays to counterprogram Peter King at Sports Illustrated, who authored his own weekly “Monday Morning Quarterback” column.

Additionally, Silver agreed to write two additional branded columns per week in a quest to adapt to the digital age of media.

“I was trying to stay current and connect to an internet generation and keep up with the way that people were consuming their content at that time,” Silver said. “….We just had a spirit at Yahoo that we weren’t owned by anyone, we didn’t have a deal with the league and we were going to report the news in a very unfiltered way.”

An advent of the digital age in media has been the practice of writers appearing on television to present their information en masse, requiring changes in their delivery. Unlike in a written piece, reporting on television requires efficiently making key points and speaking in shorter phrases to allow the viewer to easily follow the discussion. Moreover, writers are sometimes presented with questions that may provoke deeper thought or analysis, and occasionally challenge their lines of reporting.

Silver never thought he would work in television, but as a part of his contract with NFL Media, he was writing columns and serving as an analyst on select NFL Network programming. In working on television on a league-owned entity, it forced him to step out of his comfort zone and pursue mastery of a new skill set.

“I never wanted to do TV voice and be cheesy and look like someone who was trained for the medium so my strategy was more to try to be myself on camera and see how that translated,” Silver articulated. “It seemed to work to some degree – and then obviously I picked up a lot of tricks of the trade and techniques and got better reps. Essentially, I think reporting is reporting [and] information is information.”

Moving into television, a medium with sports coverage that is, at its core, nonlinear due to the potential for breaking news and unexpected occurrences, changed the manner in which the information was presented and/or prioritized on the air. In a column, Silver’s goal was to find original angles and obtain anecdotes and quotes to implement into the storytelling. Now on television, sources were still used largely on the condition of deep background, meaning no individual or group could be attributed to the information in any way.

“With TV, there was an element of, ‘Hey man, I’m just trying to sound smart when I talk about you guys,’ which is code for, ‘I don’t have to use your name when I say this stuff, but when I’m weighing on why you just traded for Trent Richardson, help me understand what’s really going on with the Indianapolis Colts at this moment,’” Silver explained. “That’s just a random example. I liked [television] more than I thought I would.”

Silver’s contract was not renewed at NFL Network in 2021, providing a stark change in his lifestyle and leaving him looking for a job in the midst of trying economic times. Through a relationship he had with sports radio host Colin Cowherd, he was given the opportunity to join his upstart podcast platform The Volume as a host. Cowherd eagerly recruited Silver to the platform following a lunch in which the topic came up naturally in conversation about future endeavors.

“When you go through a career transition like that, let alone during a pandemic, you find out a referendum on all your relationships and I have a lot of them from players, coaches, owners and GMs to media people and friends in other industries, etc.,” he explained. “Colin Cowherd is someone I’ll never, ever, ever forget or stop being grateful to…. We were kind of talking some stuff out and he was like, ‘Why don’t we do a show on my network?,’ and we started talking about what that would be. We left lunch… and about 10 minutes later he called me and said, ‘Okay, here’s what I think,’ and kind of continued it.”

Today, Silver is hosting an interview-based program called Open Mike featuring guests from the world of professional football. Recent guests on the program have included Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh and Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones. Prior to joining The Volume, Silver had hosted a podcast with his daughter called Pass It Down, which ultimately ran for over 50 episodes and gave him experience working within the medium.

“I’m sitting there spending an hour with [Las Vegas] Raiders GM Dave Ziegler or [Buffalo Bills] linebacker Von Miller or whoever we have on,” Silver said. “You’re not only getting to know that person; you’re watching the way I connect with that person and usually have a body of work with that person, and there’s a comfort level there too.”

John Marvel was Silver’s direct boss at NFL Media and a friend he kept in touch with for many years. Through various correspondences and the dynamic media landscape, they decided to start their own media venture called Backstage Media. The company has a first-look deal with Meadowlark Media – a company co-founded by John Skipper, who also serves as its chief executive officer. Skipper was formerly the president of ESPN and someone Silver wished he had worked for earlier in his career.

“I did not know John Skipper before I left NFL Network,” he said. “I didn’t particularly have a dream to [ever] work at ESPN. We’ve had conversations over the years – ESPN and I – and it never seemed like the perfect fit for me. Now that I know John Skipper, it’s like ‘I would have worked for that guy any time.’ He’s fantastic, [and] I’m just so pumped to be in business with him.”

The company, which focuses on producing documentaries and other unscripted programming through the intersection of sports, music and entertainment, has various projects in development. The idea was derived out of both of their penchants for storytelling and an attempt to utilize new platforms built for engagement within the modern-day media marketplace.

“We’re hoping that documentaries, docuseries [and] episodic podcasts – mostly unscripted – …will be kind of our wheelhouse,” Silver said. “….There’s about four big things that are [hopefully] close to being announced. One’s football; one’s boxing; one is basketball; and one is kind of a blend of some things. I feel like we have a pretty diverse set of interests.”

Joining The San Francisco Chronicle as a football reporter has been indicative of a full-circle moment for Silver, as he is once again around the San Francisco 49ers and writing columns about the team and other sports around the Bay Area at large. Today, he is working with Scott Ostler and Ann Kllion, and directly with Eric Branch on the outlet’s 49ers coverage. Through it all, he seeks to continue gaining access to places that the ordinary person would only be able to dream about in order to tell compelling and informative stories, no matter how they may be delivered or on what platform(s) to which it may be distributed.

“I’m old school in a lot of my mentality in terms of journalism and storytelling and all of that,” Silver said. “I think those things don’t go away. I think it’s journalism first; relationship first; access first; storytelling first; and you figure out the rest.”

As for the future of the profession which has ostensibly become less defined because of the evolution of social media and communication, relationships and storytelling have truly become the differentiators. Silver aims to continue practicing what has allowed him to gain exclusive scoops in the industry and tell stories that would otherwise, perhaps, fly under the radar, but do so in a way that does not jeopardize his sources.

“I’m going to try to develop relationships and cultivate relationships where people trust me and give me a sense of what’s going on,” he said. “I’m going to try to get into places that you, as the consumer, couldn’t otherwise go and take you there, and I’m going to err on the side of the relationship as opposed to finding out one thing that could cause a splash that day on Twitter.”

Some athletes are hosting podcasts or writing columns to directly communicate with their fans, including Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green on The Volume, intensifying the quest for engagement and attraction. Yet Silver advises journalists looking to break into the industry not to get distracted in meeting certain metrics, instead adhering to best practices and reporting truthful information without ambiguity.

“Just don’t get undone by the noise,” Silver said. “Put your head down; hyperfocus; grind; tell good stories; do journalism and hopefully over the course of time, that will stand out. I’d still like to believe that.”

Covering professional sports, specifically football, generates a large amount of potential storylines on which journalists can report – and today, digital platforms give them the ability to cover them in different ways. While some scoops may requit a large article, others may be able to be told in 280 characters or less, such as a trade rumor or injury. The amount of information Silver and his colleagues uncovered working for a print publication and then had to omit because of space limitations underscores a key journalistic principle of efficient and truthful storytelling. In today’s media landscape, he hopes to be able to do that regardless of its means of dissemination.

“If you went back and just looked at our normal… feature or story off a game [and] the level we reported on a Wednesday and translated that to a Twitter generation, people would lose their minds about how much we found out and how much we reported with on-the-record quotes usually, and they’d be like, ‘He said what!?,” Silver said. “That’s all we knew and that’s [how] we did it…. I don’t think people understand how much the threshold has changed. It’s all good. The most important things hopefully haven’t changed.”

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Video Simulcasts Are Now A Must Have For Sports Radio

All of these shows have done an amazing job of constantly communicating with their audiences to make sure they’re aware of changes coming their way. 

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Video simulcasts of sports talk radio and podcasts have gone up extraordinarily in quality as of late. The craft started as a novelty that very few participated in. ESPN and YES Network dominated the genre with their simulcasts of Mike and Mike in the Morning and Mike and the Mad Dog respectively. Slowly but surely other sports networks and RSN’s picked up the genre over time and it has now become a major component within sports coverage in the streaming world.

The most popular and prominent shows in the medium right now include The Dan Patrick Show, The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz, The Pat McAfee Show, and The Rich Eisen Show. These four shows in particular have done an excellent job of independently producing and building out their video content to look visually appealing while also engage with the audience through graphics, pictures, stats on screen. In McAfee’s case, his company even entered into a rights agreement with the NFL for highlights.

Finding their shows can be difficult at times. Eisen’s show has moved from television to Peacock and to Roku Channel all within the span of a couple years. When LeBatard’s shipping container first began their live video voyage they didn’t have a consistent schedule. Patrick’s show has also leapt between RSNs, national networks, YouTube and its current home on Peacock. But all of these shows have done an amazing job of constantly communicating with their audiences to make sure they’re aware of changes coming their way. 

The video simulcasts have become so lucrative for these shows that they’ve found sponsors to advertise against what they’re offering and they ensure that they pay attention to the look of the show. Commercials that feel like television play during Patrick and Eisen’s shows. Logos are displayed during LeBatard’s broadcast and NFL Films vignettes that you would find on NFL Network air in the middle of McAfee’s broadcast.

McAfee’s show recently moved into a new studio in Indianapolis specifically built for them by FanDuel and just yesterday LeBatard announced they would be moving into their own state of the art studio in Miami that will help expand their creativity. Patrick’s show doesn’t even have guests call into their show anymore – most join via Zoom. Eisen’s guests are more often than not in studio. All of these shows also upload highlights relatively quickly to YouTube. They’re still audio-first but video is no longer secondary. It is 1A in terms of importance.

As much as these simulcasts feel close to real TV, there are still some hijinks that fans have to get used to that aren’t the same as a regular TV broadcast. During LeBatard’s broadcast, a rolling loop of their own self produced album plays during breaks. While the songs are hilarious in nature, if you’re a weekly viewer of their simulcast it might get tiresome to hear every time there is a break.

A loop of some of the show’s greatest moments and some of the side projects Meadowlark Media produces might be more engaging and help reduce drop off rate. McAfee’s show also struggles with white balancing their cameras almost every telecast. At times in the middle of a conversation during the show, discoloration occurs before changing back to normal skin tones.

Patrick’s show has used the same set of graphics since it began simulcasting on NBC’s linear sports network years ago which could be a turnoff for younger viewers of the internet era who always want change in order to grab their attention. Eisen’s show has awkward interruptions happen in the middle of conversations because commercial breaks are different in length on terrestrial radio vs. streaming.

At the end of the day though, these shows are the epitome of what it means to have grit and guts to achieve your American dream. Although their productions are subsidized and/or licensed by big media platforms and sports books, their social media presence and the actual production of these shows was built on their own. During the first couple of weeks after LeBatard’s show left ESPN, the former columnist could often be heard teasing listeners that they were working on building a video enterprise and how difficult it was.

It’s hard to stand on your own in sports talk media without the backing of superpowers like ESPN, Fox, NBC, CBS and Turner who have been producing live broadcasts for decades. But these shows have found a way to do so in a new world that is tailored towards doing everything on your own. 

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BSM Writers

5 Ideas For December Sales Success

How much better will you enjoy Christmas and New Year knowing you have some presentations to make to prospects who want to roll into 2023 with a new idea?

Jeff Caves

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Now is the time to put your foot on the gas for a great start to 2023-not waiting til January. With Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day all falling on weekends, you can’t count on who will be at work the Friday or Monday around those holidays in December.

So, looking forward from here, you only have 15 or so days that you can count on your clients and prospects to be at work before the end of 2022. And, if they are at work, consider their motivation or lack of it before approaching them. But here are five ways to attack December.

Cutting a year-end deal

Make sure you go back from the potential start date of the schedule and allow for production, proposal, and acceptance. That usually means you need a week from when you present a year-end idea to when the schedule starts. So, aim to have all appointments booked by 12/9, so you can sell 2-week packages that begin Monday, 12/19. That will give you a sense of urgency and gives you five solid business days to sell your ass off starting Monday.

5-day sale

Make all your pricing and payment terms expire by Friday, 12/9. You can always extend if need be once they give a partial commitment. You want anybody involved in the decision to sign off and let you cut this deal! The idea here is to create urgency and work ahead.

Beat the bushes

Do you want to wake up on 1/2/23 with an empty pipeline? How much better will you enjoy Christmas and New Year knowing you have some presentations to make to prospects who want to roll into 2023 with a new idea? Don’t try to qualify these prospects over the phone. Do it in January when both of you are fresh but get that commitment NOW. Look for your new client avatar.

Be gracious

From now til the end of the year is also an excellent time to meet with your sales assistant, traffic manager, production person, or anybody who helps you at the station. Sit down with them face to face and see what you can do better to make their job easier. Give them some ideas on how they can help you as well. Mend some fences or make new friends; the reason tis the season. Surprise them with a Cheetos popcorn tin for less than $10. Please do it. You will be surprised by what you hear because this is a popular time of year for layoffs, transfers, and people taking new jobs.

Practice a new pitch

December is also a great time to record yourself doing a webinar and start planning to let your content do the talking. Wouldn’t it be nice if your 10-minute talk on how to make live reads work, how to buy radio, or why your audience buys the most widgets produced some warm leads? Practice and get going!

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