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Jason McIntyre Could Talk Sports All Day

“I’ve always thought of myself as an alpha. I’m going to be the guy setting the agenda, leading the way.”

Derek Futterman




Throughout the last decade, the methods and means through which people consume content disseminated across different forms of media have undoubtedly changed. Jason McIntyre knows this pattern well, but like most others in the industry, is still trying to determine how to best utilize the power of evolution to facilitate effective cross-platform integration, likening it to a “million-dollar question” of sorts.

The paradigmatic shift was evident to him during his formative years in the industry when he worked as a writer for various newspapers and magazines. As the internet began to grow in the early 2000s, he distinctly recalls buying a domain with his name in it so he could ensure its ownership and began using it as a place to share his stories.

Essentially, he was looking to find new ways to market himself and built an online professional curriculum vitae, including his work with these outlets. As he began to rise in the industry, one of his colleagues with whom he was competing noticed what McIntyre was doing and decided to inform management.

McIntyre was subsequently called into a meeting with executives from the outlet and duly questioned regarding the practice. Once McIntyre told them the intent behind posting some of his stories on a personal website, they regarded how the internet was fairly new and that the legality of the practice was largely unknown.

“It was at this point when it hit me – ‘What am I doing here?,’” McIntyre remembers thinking. “‘These guys are archaic dinosaurs; this is the stone age. The internet is next.’”

By no means is McIntyre considered a scofflaw, nor did he look to take readership away from the outlet. Posting the stories was simply representative of self-promotion, marketing himself and cementing a repository of demo material for prospective employers to view. Looking back on the moment, it can be considered a turning point in his career, perhaps as the impetus of a focus on audiovisual content and its widespread promulgation.

Today, McIntyre is in his first year as co-host of the daily, national midday talk show The Herd featuring sports media personality Colin Cowherd. The program has been simulcast on FS1 after it had aired on select ancillary ESPN networks and consistently receives high levels of engagement across multiple platforms.

“Cowherd does three hours live on TV [and] you can also hear the show on the radio as it’s happening,” McIntyre said. “Oh by the way, his podcast is still a massive juggernaut – I think it’s top-five [or] top-10; I don’t even check the iTunes rankings. Then, oh, by the way, go look at YouTube – he’s still getting videos at 50-; 100-; 200-; 500,000 views…. People are consuming this at an incredible rate.”

McIntyre moved into the role after FOX Sports altered its programming lineup, resulting in Joy Taylor shifting to work alongside Emmanuel Acho and LeSean McCoy on a new program titled Speak. Before he had made the decision, McIntyre took a variety of factors into account – including his family, future aspirations, and the geography. When he and his wife visited Cowherd in Los Angeles, Calif. to have dinner, they quickly realized the area was right for them and a place McIntyre could continue to flourish as a bonafide industry professional.

Cowherd and McIntyre were not unfamiliar with one another though, as they previously worked together as commentators on Speak for Yourself, a talk show Cowherd formerly hosted with Jason Whitlock. Furthermore, when he was still with ESPN Radio in 2007, Cowherd urged his listeners to crash The Big Lead, a sports and media blog McIntyre started the previous year with David Lessa. In the end, the mission was successful and caused the website to go dark for nearly 48 hours.

At the time when the website was famously flooded with traffic, McIntyre was operating the venture anonymously – writing and editing stories in an attempt to craft his voice and grow the platform. It came when McIntyre affirms that the “www” preceding a URL stood for “wild, wild west” instead of “world wide web,” and amid a period where people could proffer content in exchange for ethos, rather than selecting content to consume based on ethos alone.

“To grow up and mature as anyone would do with social media, it’s fun to run an anonymous social media account – but ultimately if you want to make that next step and take the jump to lightspeed, you’ve got to put your name on it,” McIntyre said. “That’s when Richard Deitsch at Sports Illustrated said, ‘Hey, do you want to reveal yourself?,’ and I said, ‘Alright, sure.’ Obviously, the site gained way more credibility once that happened.”

Growing up, McIntyre was an athlete, playing everything from travel soccer to basketball, but he had a realization as an adolescent that he would not play professionally. This feeling was accentuated when he was the second person cut from his high school freshman basketball team despite having knowledge and passion for the sport. When he was in middle school, he would play a game with his friends in which they identified where NBA players went to college, testing their ostensibly boundless knowledge of the association.

At the suggestion of his parents, McIntyre called a local newspaper to ask to help out but ended up being told that he had to wait until he was 16 years old so he could legally operate a motor vehicle. Once he came of age, he began contributing to the outlet, doing whatever was asked of him including answering phones and assisting others.

Eventually, he had the chance to write stories and saw his name on bylines, leading him to conjecture working at The Washington Post and eventually, the Los Angeles Times covering the Los Angeles Lakers, right out of college.

Upon matriculating at James Madison University though, things began to change. Although he was studying to attain a journalism degree, he quickly realized that media was on the verge of enduring significant innovation across the board, prioritizing interactive elements, engagement and dynamic content.

“I got into a fantasy college basketball league through some random dudes from a chatroom I was in talking about sports,” McIntyre said. “You kept your stats [and] I was all-in. The internet just changed so much, and the idea that I would want to work for a newspaper started to slowly fade.”

Nonetheless, McIntyre interned at the Greensboro News and Record, and then received an offer from The Washington Post to cover high school sports on a part-time basis. Despite talking about working for the national outlet years prior, he declined and opted to stay local by working in Passaic County, N.J. at The Herald News. One year into that role, its sports section merged with The Bergen Record to reduce operating costs, and McIntyre eventually began to freelance for ESPN and CBS Sports’ websites.

Just before March Madness commenced in 2006, McIntyre launched The Big Lead and was operating it on the side of other jobs, including working as an editor at Us Weekly. As time went on and the website began to amass a legion of followers, McIntyre added staff members to ensure it was able to produce enough content to keep pace with demand.

Additionally, he ceded his anonymity once it became evident to him that he would need to do so for the website to continue to grow, and then went on to sell the operation to Fantasy Sports Venture in 2010, reportedly for seven figures. Two years later, that company sold the website to Gannett with McIntyre remaining critical to the platform amid both transactions.

“Selling the website was pretty cool,” McIntyre remarked. “It was written about in The New York Times. My parents have it framed. Hell, I have it framed in my house; it’s pretty exciting.”

The move to radio started upon filling in on NBC Sports Radio on Independence Day, leading someone from Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to reach out and ask if he had representation. McIntyre did not at the time, and was subsequently contacted by two other agents in a three-week span. He ultimately settled on the agent who reached out to him first, and felt that operating in this sense gave him more opportunities.

McIntyre was shocked to learn that Yahoo! Sports was interested in the content he produced and asked him to host a national internet radio show to be distributed to SiriusXM and other radio stations eponymously-named The Jason McIntyre Show. He had launched a podcast through The Big Lead by the same name in 2013, welcoming guests including Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, then-CBS Sports host Doug Gottlieb and NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. Beginning in early 2015, the radio show began and was broadcast on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST, bringing listeners the latest news and opinions.

“I love sports,” McIntyre explained. “I could easily talk about sports for three hours. Once that started, it essentially kind of took off.”

Nine months later, McIntyre joined FOX Sports Radio where he hosted a Saturday sports talk show titled The Big Lead, largely functioning as a way to preview weekend action and interview guests in the industry. Moreover, he filled in for various high-profile hosts, including Gottlieb, Dan Patrick, and Chris Broussard, and began to establish a unique and distinctive hosting style.

“I’ve always thought of myself as an alpha,” McIntyre said. “I’m going to be the guy setting the agenda, leading the way. I’m going to have topics nobody else is going to have. I was never like, ‘I’m going to work with a guy,’ but obviously you have to work well with others.”

In the time between being removed from Speak for Yourself to being named co-host of The Herd, the alteration of the media landscape was hastened amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. Whether it was appearing on select television shows; hosting his Saturday radio show; contributing to gambling content; or helping FOX Sports expand its digital footprint, McIntyre was ostensibly itinerant while continuing his work with The Big Lead website.

Moreover, he worked with TVG Network (today known as FanDuel TV) providing analysis on the studio show More Ways to Win hosted by Lisa Kerney.

“I’m kind of limbo,” McIntyre said of that time. “I’m going on all the shows as a fill-in which is fine [and] I start doing a lot of digital stuff which I had already done because it’s in my contract.”

Producing the gambling content, in particular, helped boost the popularity of sports betting, especially as states gained regulatory power over its legality. Although California has yet to legalize sports betting, its base of sports fans are familiar with related content, which is very much momentary because of the dynamic nature of the niche.

“It is literally there for a day and then nobody cares the day after,” McIntyre said. “Nobody’s going back and looking at what you said about a game that’s now done. That part is difficult; it just doesn’t have a long tail.”

Everything changed, though, when The Big Lead was sold by Gannett to Minute Media in March 2019, which resulted in the bifurcation of the staff including McIntyre. In July 2020, McIntyre pivoted to begin hosting a podcast titled Straight Fire with Jason McIntyre, adopting an approach similar to his radio show except with more freedom to be himself and be completely authentic with his audience free of Federal Communications Commission standards.

The podcast, which has a new episode published on a near-daily basis, has performed well across audio platforms and given consumers another way to find McIntyre amid today’s crowded media environment. The experience of listening to a podcast, he states, differs from other forms of media largely because of the mechanisms fueling consumption.

“A lot of people listen while they’re running [or] walking their dog and the earbud is right in their ear,” McIntyre said of his podcast. “That’s different [from] the TV experience which can be on in the background. [With] the radio, you’re driving; you’re paying attention to a million things. I just feel like the intimacy of podcasts is something you don’t get anywhere else.”

Combining his podcast with a regular role on The Herd has helped burgeon his career, but present contrasts in terms of the way the shows are produced and distributed. With his podcast produced and distributed by iHeartMedia, he has flexibility to determine topics and welcome on guests as contributors.

Conversely, the visual component of The Herd equals in importance to being compelling and engaging aurally, rendering the show multitiered in terms of its production.

“If you’re walking by the screen, the graphics; the charts; the rankings – it just visually is appealing,” McIntyre said. “I must get at least two to three random people every single day [who say], ‘Dude, I walked by the bar and this show just looks visually-appealing.’”

McIntyre still participates in sports in spite of not playing professionally, including suiting up for pickup basketball at a gym and participating in a tennis league. There have been occurrences where he sporadically begins to talk about sports with other gym members, most recently regarding the New York Jets working to acquire quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers.

The same is applicable to Cowherd, as McIntyre has heard through friends that he will start talking to people about sports at gyms, parks and other public locations. Through their time co-hosting the show, they have been able to foster chemistry and transform it into favorable ratings.

“He’s exactly like you see on air, and I know that sounds crazy,” McIntyre said of Cowherd. “Between commercials, he’ll have a random rant and just come over and we’ll start talking and just fire off 5 minutes and I’m like, ‘This guy’s just nonstop.’”

In cultivating on-air synergy conducive to success, McIntyre feels he and Cowherd are able to discern gray areas and stimulate deeper, comprehensive thinking elicited through their interactions. One reason for listening to sports talk radio is for entertainment; however, appealing to the complete base of listeners requires finding points to display erudition and circuitous pedagogical instruction within their deft communication abilities.

“We can go back-and-forth a little bit at each other without it feeling personal, and we can disagree,” McIntyre said. “Reasonable minds can disagree. On the internet, everybody has to disagree; you’re either right or you’re wrong.”

Don Martin and Scott Shapiro oversee FOX Sports Radio and its programming, and have worked hard to compile a powerful on-air lineup at all hours of the day. McIntyre believes he has heard them joke about how it arguably compares to the 1927 New York Yankees starting lineup nicknamed “Murderers’ Row.”

That compilation of hitters, which went on to sweep consecutive World Series championships, featured impactful hitters such as George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs and Tony Lazzeri among others. Today, the FOX Sports Radio consists of McIntyre and Cowherd, along with Dan Patrick, Doug Gottlieb, Chris Broussard and Rob Parker, all of whom are considered at or near the top of the industry.

“They’ve got home run hitters all day,” McIntyre said. “ESPN seems to have punted on radio which is a little bit of a surprise. They just don’t seem to take it as seriously as they did say five or 10 years ago. CBS: I’m not entirely sure where they are. I don’t know; you tell me. Is FOX dominating now or what?”

Aside from it being his profession, McIntyre considers sports themselves as an outlet for which to find enjoyment. Discussing aspects of the games he is passionate about enhances his ability and motivation to succeed as a host, and he continues to attempt to follow the leagues and its players as closely as possible.

“[If] you tell me that the NCAA tournament is on, I’m hunkering down with multiple televisions in my house and just devouring all of it,” McIntyre said. “[If] the World Cup is on, I’m waking up at whatever time I need to [in order] to watch Saudi Arabia vs. Argentina. It’s one of those things; I really love sports.”

At the moment, McIntyre is not thinking too much about the future, instead trying to enjoy the journey as opposed to solely focusing on his final destination. Yet he acknowledges that he has always been a person thinking about how he can improve and aggrandize his content, underscoring his commitment to the craft. He does enjoy his new job working with Cowherd and finds that they have been able to have compelling discussions.

“I’m always striving for something; always trying to push forward and do more,” McIntyre said. “Now, I’ve been part of TV shows; I’ve filled in; I’ve done all this. I don’t know what’s next for me. Is it having my own show? I don’t know.”

Even though sports radio today is, in some ways, unrecognizable from the programming from just one decade ago, McIntyre maintains a positive outlook on the future of the industry. Streaming services, podcasts and other on-demand content made available through OTT and FAST platforms certainly adjusts listenership, as it creates another area for the audience to invest their time of consumption, meaning that radio programs must pivot to retain and increase visibility.

“Maybe it’s the California air getting to me,” McIntyre said of his feelings towards the future of sports talk radio. “I’m not eating avocado toast regularly, but definitely I’m trying to be a little more positive. I’ve worked with enough negative people in this industry that that’s just not the way I want to live.”

As more people look to ingratiate themselves towards consumers and establish footholds in this competitive industry, it is fundamental for aspiring professionals to find a niche and work to distinguish themselves in that area. For McIntyre, it arguably came through launching The Big Lead, deviating from the outline of a typical path writers took to build their careers, and taking a calculated risk by remaining anonymous for several years.

Being able to talk in detail about a broad array of topics and having vast experience certainly improves the likelihood of succeeding in a marketplace that prioritizes versatility, along with establishing and keeping professional relationships. These factors have helped McIntyre construct a formidable career that took him from newspapers to magazines to web to radio to television, and with more potentially on the horizon as the years go on.

“It’s tough to just jump in as a generalist,” McIntyre said. “You’ve got to really drill down on something. I was able to drill down on media on the website; [I] got the media reading; and then I was able to supplement it with talking about the NBA and the draft and the NFL and all this stuff; controversial stories…. Once you own something, then you can pretty much own everything.”

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Ian Rapoport Is Competing Against Everyone

“When I’m working, when I’m not working – my brain is still going on overdrive.”

Derek Futterman




The 2023 NFL Draft was a weekend filled with speculation, intrigue and musing among football fans and experts alike. After two quarterbacks were selected with the first two picks – Bryce Young by the Carolina Panthers; and C.J. Stroud by the Houston Texans – Ian Rapoport had the inclination that something was about to break at the event in Kansas City.

The third pick of the night was held by the Arizona Cardinals, but through previous intel, Rapoport knew there was a chance the team would trade it. His phone then lit up with a text message from a source that simply read, “Texans trading.” Receiving a message of this magnitude takes years of networking, credibility and immense trust from the people you cover. Rapoport has worked hard to attain all of them. 

He replied by asking, “Did the Texans trade up to three?,” as the team was not set to pick again until No. 12 overall. Once he got confirmation of the scenario, he began to visibly shake in excitement and captured the attention of the NFL Network team.

“I sit there with a camera in front of me that’s not always on air – this is during the Draft – and the producer gets in my ear and he goes, ‘Can you go on air with whatever you have?,’ and I just say, ‘Yes.’” Rapoport recalled. “And then I hear Rich Eisen go, ‘Ian, you have news,’ and I was able to break that the Texans have traded up to three to go get Will Anderson.”

This is the craft through which Rapoport has cultivated a successful journalism career, ultimately distinguishing him as NFL Network’s goto insider. He hardly ever separates himself from the job, equipped with an unparalleled work ethic to ensure he can communicate messages accurately and in a timely manner. While some people may argue that he is in direct competition with others in his position, such as Adam Schefter of ESPN, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports, the reality of the situation is that it is Rapoport vs. the world.

“It’s such a small world now and everyone is interconnected – and with Twitter, literally anyone could break a story and have it go viral,” Rapoport said. “Obviously, you want everything first, but really you’re competing against everyone that exists because anyone could get the story at any moment.”

Work-life balance in such a role is usually quite insurmountable in today’s dynamic, interminable breaking news environment. Rapoport strives to find some level of normalcy in his life by playing golf and attending his sons’ sporting events. In the end though, he knows the world of football never sleeps, and it is up to him to remain in the know at all hours of the day, essentially always on standby to break the next big story.

“I do not turn my phone off because that’s actually way more stressful,” Rapoport said. “At least now when my phone’s on and near me, if something crazy happens, I can react rather than having a fake relaxation moment and then being caught off guard with something.”

Rapoport recognized that journalism was the field for him almost immediately after stepping onto the Columbia University campus. He worked his way up at The Dial to ultimately become its associate sports editor. In the summer preceding his senior year, he landed a coveted internship with ESPN where he gained invaluable experience in the world of television production. 

By the time he graduated, Rapoport envisioned himself becoming a nationally acclaimed sportswriter, but he knew it was going to require he start small. Three hundred eleven job applications and two interviews later, he landed a part-time role with The Journal News in Westchester, N.Y. covering high school sports. It gave him a start in the highly-competitive business – and kept him close to home while trying many new things.

Two years later, he found himself moving from the bright lights of New York City to the quaint town of Starkville, Mississippi for a notable opportunity. He had landed a job covering the Mississippi State Bulldogs for The Clarion-Ledger in the nearby capital city of Jackson and was under the direction of sports editor Rusty Hampton.

“I knew how to write, but I really didn’t know how to report,” Rapoport said. “He was probably the best [at] showing me, ‘This is all about reporting. It’s all about telling people something they don’t know rather than how well you can pen a sentence.’ To be really valuable to society or your newspaper, you really need to inform rather than entertain. I think he was probably the first and best person to teach me that.”

After spending two years in Mississippi, Rapoport became a beat reporter for The Birmingham News tasked with following the Alabama Crimson Tide. Just months into his new role, the program made a coaching change and hired Nick Saban, who has since led the program to six national titles. 

Rapoport learned the thoroughness necessary to cover the Southeastern Conference as he rapidly watched the program become a perennial contender. In turn, he became an eminent college football reporter and his work began to be consumed nationally.

Simultaneously, Bill Belichick, another accomplished football head coach in his own right, was in the process of trying to lead the New England Patriots back to championship glory. Known to be stoic and restrained in his press conferences, reporters asking him questions knew extrapolating answers was not the easiest of tasks. 

When Rapoport saw a job opening to cover the team with the Boston Herald that required NFL experience, he knew that he was not qualified verbatim per se. Yet he figured the experience he had in covering Saban and Alabama would serve him well in the role, and articulated such in a protracted email to the newspaper’s editors. His strategy worked, proving why Rapoport is considered one of the industry’s best communicators at the micro and macro levels.

“You don’t see a lot of sources within the Patriots or sources within Alabama – there’s not a lot of that,” Rapoport said. “So I learned to report despite that and kind of work the edges and get the information I needed, despite head coaches who weren’t always the most forthcoming with information.”

NFL Network oftentimes has local beat reporters on the air to interact with studio talent and give their perspectives about teams, and it was something Rapoport did while at the Boston Herald. He had no television experience outside of other appearances he made on Comcast New England and certainly no intention to pursue the medium as a career. 

In Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants overcame the New England Patriots, who were undefeated for the year entering the game. Rapoport was on hand for the proceedings, and shortly afterwards was called into a meeting with NFL Network executives. 

He didn’t know he was interviewing for a job until he asked just why he had been summoned. He expressed his lack of television experience to the executives, who said the network would teach him everything he needed to know. 

Once the meeting concluded, Rapoport called his wife, who he had met while living in Starkville, Mississippi, and told her what had just happened. She tempered his expectations, warning him not to get his hopes up as he remained optimistic. One month later, Rapoport received a job offer and found himself moving once again – this time to the Lone Star State.

“I hired an agent and moved to Dallas and basically spent the next year reporting on the Cowboys and some other things being very, very bad at TV, but learning and eventually figuring it out,” Rapoport said. “At the time, this guy, Eric Weinberger, who was our boss, kind of mentioned to me the possibility of transitioning [me] from reporter to insider.”

Rapoport acknowledged that he did not have the contacts necessary to effectively work as a league insider for a national outlet, but through his years of experience, he knew how to network and he was ready and willing to take the challenge. 

Once he began the new position, Rapoport, along with reporter Michael Silver, was on the road for Thursday Night Football and contributed to its pregame and halftime coverage. While his television skills improved, Rapoport was hard at work bolstering his contacts and took somewhat of a geographical approach. 

Every time he arrived in a new city, he would contact anyone and everyone he could conjure up, including general managers, scouts and head coaches. If he could not schedule a meeting time with them, he would introduce himself by roaming the sidelines at practices and before games. He engaged in a similar practice before the NFL Draft Combine, training camps and the Super Bowl along with other premier events, always staying focused on the task at hand.

“It probably took me five or six years to get a baseline of sources where if something happened, I had someone to call,” Rapoport said. “And then it took me a couple more years to get to the point where I would know before a lot of people when something was about to happen. It’s all a multi-step process, and just [the] layering and layering and layering of sources is really the sort of engine that drives this thing.”

Ian Rapoport always attempts to triangulate his sources to verify information before he releases it publicly. There is no guarantee sources are always truthful or acting in a professional manner. Therefore, it is incumbent on a journalist to ensure the validity of content before publishing it themselves. 

“If you’re only right some of the time, then none of it is really worth it,” Rapoport expressed, “because then you say something and they’re like, ‘Well, wow, that’s a big story if this is true.’ The whole point of doing this is when I pop up on TV or when people see my Twitter alerts or whatever, they have to know that it’s true – they have to know.”

One day, Rapoport was having a conversation with a source and discovered through their conversation that Rob Gronkowski had informed the New England Patriots that he would return to the game of football under the stipulation he be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady. There had been much speculation pertaining to Gronkowski’s future after he had worked as an NFL analyst with FOX Sports, and now Rapoport realized he had a monumental scoop – that is, if it was true. Within six minutes, Rapoport verified the story with three sources, contacted his editor and reported to the world Gronkowski’s intentions. The story was picked up virtually everywhere.

“I just think about the job all the time, and I make little lists for myself of things that I need to track down, and I just make a lot of phone calls for it,” Rapoport said. “When I’m working, when I’m not working – my brain is still going on overdrive. It ends up just a brain full of football thoughts, and then I spend the rest of the time trying to figure out what I can learn from it.”

Working for a league-owned entity can sometimes epitomize an inherent conflict of interest. For Rapoport however, he has found working at NFL Network to be hassle-free. He knows, however, the nature of his job means he will not be universally liked.

“Whatever you do, you’re going to report and the people you report on are going to be happy or upset or neutral – or whatever it is,” Rapoport said. “I’m never going to criticize a referee, for instance, because that’s a nuanced thing and people might say, ‘NFL criticizes referees.’ I’m never going to do that, but I wouldn’t do that anyway.”

Rapoport continues to appear on a variety of external media outlets, perhaps most notably The Pat McAfee Show, which recently concluded its “Up to Something Season.” The grand conclusion of the proceedings was McAfee announcing he would be bringing his show to ESPN’s linear and digital platforms starting in the fall. 

While McAfee is retaining creative control and has expressed on multiple occasions that his show will not be changing, many have wondered whether insiders employed by other networks will be able to continue making appearances. It is an answer Rapoport himself does not know, nor has he asked about.

“When the news broke, my phone blew up with all sorts of people saying all sorts of different things,” Rapoport said. “I have no idea. I really don’t.”

Even so, Rapoport is elated for McAfee and his team taking the next step in their show’s journey and is genuinely glad to see them succeed. He does not think McAfee’s goal was to reshape sports media, but rather to cultivate a distinctive sports talk program built for fans and today’s generation of consumers.

“You get to know someone and you think they’re a good person and you respect the way they work. Some people have success and some people have a little success and some people don’t. It’s really rare to see someone who has every bit of success that’s essentially possible and deserves every bit of it, and that’s kind of how I thought about Pat. It’s really cool, honestly. He’s built it himself.”

It was on McAfee’s show where another prominent football insider – Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports – said it would be a matter of “when,” not “if” the NFL would have games seven days per week. While devoted football fans like Rapoport are open to such a proposition, he is not sure the league would ever go that far. 

“I don’t even know that it would affect my schedule that much,” he said. “It sort of doesn’t matter. I’ll report all year round anyway.”

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Face-to-Face Sales Meetings Have Never Been More Valuable

“With the increase in virtual meetings, new buyer preferences, limited time, and better tech, we have our work cut out to get the F2F.”

Jeff Caves




When did you last attend a face-to-face (F2F) in-person sales call? Let’s imagine for a second.

In New York, Sarah, a determined sports radio salesperson, got tired of chasing a major client for months. Despite her calls, emails, and text, she couldn’t break through to get a meeting. 

Throwing caution to the wind, Sarah decided to go for it. She loaded her deck and took her burning desire via airplane to Florida to make the pitch. She showed up unannounced at the client’s office and startled the decision-maker. She was given the meeting and won over the client, getting a substantial annual contract and a movie deal in Hollywood. 

We have all seen that storyline. F2F meetings used to be the obvious choice over a phone call, and most buyers were open to that idea. We even conducted market trips to meet our buyers in person and create better relationships. 

With the increase in virtual meetings, new buyer preferences, limited time, and better tech, we have our work cut out to get the F2F. Lots of us work and listen from home. 

Gartner Research points out that live, in person selling is superior to virtual selling in financial services or, as I think, in radio sales. Now, prospecting new clients F2F is much more difficult. You have never met them, you don’t know who you are looking for, and gatekeepers and remote decision-makers make walk-ins more challenging. 

How about getting out and seeing your current or former clients F2F? 65% of outside account executives attain quota, 10% more often than inside reps. Here are some simple strategies to get outside and F2F:


Turn the sales faucet on ‘drip’ and contact your current clients with whatever works: phone calls, emails, or texts. Tell them you are checking in to see if anything has changed, give them a local business lead, or share your latest insight on their favorite team. When doing so, tell them you want to meet F2F and go deep into the next quarter’s ad plan or a new idea to get them back on the air. They may start looking forward to your communication. 


Schedule an annual review ahead of their busiest time of year to review the upcoming messaging in ads. Go over what worked or didn’t last year. Share a success story of a similar advertiser in another market or show them a new opportunity that fits. 

Be upfront that with F2F, we can get more specific, work with better feedback, and partner on hitting their goals. Be the person who looks ahead and helps keep your client focused.


Organize workshops for your current clients. Teach that about streaming, OTT, or Google ads. Get your digital person involved. Let them know you are bringing in other local businesspeople they may want to know or network with and meet F2F! A Mortgage broker may want to meet a realtor who wants to meet a wealthy local businessperson interested in meeting the local head coach. Stand out as a leader in the industry and watch clients brag about working with you. 


Attend trade shows where your current clients will be. This will show you are serious about their business and want to stay current so you can learn and earn. Set up a meeting over coffee or a drink. Share what you learned. 


Client Appreciation Events held at your town’s most meaningful events or places. Do whatever it takes to get hospitality tents at big games and concert suites to show appreciation and bond with your current clients. Host a luncheon at the hottest new local restaurant. Focus on providing an atmosphere or experience everyone wants, but not many can attend. Be the exclusive person in town.


Leverage your existing client relationships to seek referrals. Do it in person. Tell them you want to see them and ask for help and advice. Ask for introductions to potential new clients they know, and you will be surprised how much they like working with you. 


Bring your Digital manager to them and do a free review of their SEO, PPC, whatever. Working off your client’s pc and bringing them an expert at no charge or obligation is much easier. Watch your partnership grow by providing so much expertise at no extra expense. 

Don’t forget the value of F2F meetings. It’s a great way to build trust, connect, and unlock new opportunities. We are in a people business doing business with tons of local directs who still make most of their money serving retail customers F2F. Let’s get out and sell! 

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All Jason Timpf Needed Was A Moment of Clarity

“I didn’t know it until after I was hired, but they said they played my video for Colin and he knew right away that I could do this.”

Tyler McComas




There was once a time when Jason Timpf always included Colin Cowherd in his commute to work. As he made his morning drive to a sales job at Verizon, The Herd was appointment listening each morning for Timpf. The ex-college basketball player would marvel at Cowherd’s ability to make relatable references and break down all of the same basketball games he would watch the night before. 

One of the unique things Timpf can remember from listening to The Herd during that time was Cowherd saying if FOX ever put someone in front of him, he could tell in five seconds if that individual had the skills to be a host. It was far from a hot take on the Lakers, but still a distinct moment that stuck with Timpf for many years. Little did he know at the time but Cowherd would soon give a five-second evaluation of Timpf’s career.

Jason Timpf was a late-bloomer in basketball. He played college hoops at an NAIA school in Utah, but not until his third year, after being a regular student the first two. After graduating, he pursued a basketball career overseas in India. However, after the league folded, he left the game for a normal job in the States.

There was a real desire for Timpf to get into the sports media business, but he was having difficulties finding the right fit. He wanted advice on the best way to start, but the tips he received just didn’t feel like the right initial path.

“I’d hear, hey, go bang on a radio station’s door and ask if you can work the soundboard,” said Timpf. “Or, try to go to a journalism school. Another big one that everyone was doing was the SB Nation blogs and FanSided blogs. I briefly tried to do that a little bit. But none of it was materializing the way that I had hoped.”

But then the lightbulb went off for Timpf and it happened during the middle of a podcast interview. In October of 2020, Jason Maples of Blue Wire reached out to Timpf to talk hoops on his podcast. It was in the middle of that interview when it all made sense. It felt exactly like the camaraderie he enjoyed with his old teammates and friends talking basketball. It was relaxed, fun and what he used to do for enjoyment. The perfect fit had just found Timpf organically. 

“It was, ‘this is it,’” said Timpf. “‘This is how I want to do it.’ It was like a moment of clarity. Like, this is the way I want to talk about the game. Fortunately, I was working in real estate at the time, so I was super flexible, so I literally was just trying to fake it until I made it.”

While Timpf was grinding away on his new platform choice, he was constantly putting out his content on social media. For a handful of years, he had used Twitter as an outlet for basketball talk – not because he was trying to build his brand, but because it was his preferred method of sharing his takes during and after basketball games. 

“My wife actually played basketball in college but she, like a lot of people, got out of it and was like, ‘actually I’m so sick of basketball, since it’s all I did growing up, that I’d rather not talk about it,’” laughed Timpf. 

As Timpf had built up years of basketball takes on Twitter, he also built up followers. Not a crazy amount, but enough to have regular interactions with several basketball fans. He had no idea at the time, though he remembers occasionally interacting with him, but one of his followers in the beginning was Logan Swaim, who just happens to be Head of Content at The Volume.

Being such a huge fan of Cowherd, Timpf was absolutely familiar with The Volume, a company started by the FOX Sports Radio host. In fact, during his first plunge into podcasts, he quickly took note of how much success The Volume was having with instant reaction and video content. He wanted to emulate what they were doing and would host a Twitter Space after each Lakers game.

Swaim kept up with Timpf’s journey and continued to be impressed with what he saw. He was so impressed, in fact, that a video eventually made it in front of Cowherd’s eyes. It was the moment Timpf had always heard about while driving to his job at Verizon. Cowherd was about to make a declaration on Timpf’s abilities. 

“I didn’t know it until after I was hired, but they said they played my video for Colin and he knew right away that I could do this,” Timpf said. “That was a huge boost of confidence for me, because it meant somebody I deeply respected believed I could work in this business.”

Timpf made his dream come true. He was offered a job by The Volume hosting Hoops Tonight. As much of a dream as it was when he was initially hired, the experience since has been nothing but ideal for Timpf. He gets to cover his favorite sport the way he wants to cover it. 

“When I first started and Logan and I were structuring out the show, he kinda viewed it as my show would be the slower, more methodical pace, where I work through my thought process of a game. And also that I’d be a guest on other Volume shows for more conversational podcasts. I really wanted to break down pick and roll coverage. It’s just going to take me a while, so trying to do that in a debate show format or conversational format can get hard. It’s a place where I can let more of my crazy depth out. And I can also have a side format where it’s more conversational.”

Timpf has learned prep for podcasts is one of the biggest elements to being successful. As Hoops Tonight continues to draw impressive numbers over audio and YouTube, he’s figured out the best method to prepare for a long-form podcast where he’s hosting solo. 

“I digest the game from the simple concept of how the game was won,” said Timpf. “Where was it won? There’s 100-something possessions in this game, there’s seven different storylines and several runs and sequences and sways in momentum, but what’s the one? Usually I’ll target that first in the opening segment of the show.

“While I’m watching the game I’ll take ancillary notes. About five minutes before I record, I sift through everything I’ve written down and limit it down to the things I think are most important. But generally the flow of the show is how the game was won.”

The whole experience has been gratifying and a full-circle moment in many ways for Timpf. Not only has it been vindicating to do things his way and see it become a success, but he’s gotten to do it with someone who he considers an idol.

Sure, Timpf always envisioned growing up he would be talking to Cowherd as a pro athlete, but talking to him as a colleague is certainly the next best thing. So when he got the call to talk with Cowherd during last year’s West Conference Finals, he didn’t hesitate.

“I was so incredibly nervous, as you could imagine,” laughed Timpf. “But I immediately remember him making me feel comfortable and confident. It immediately calmed me down.

“This is probably my favorite part of the entire experience, I think a lot of people think that these networks try to shove people in certain directions and The Volume has given me such freedom to cover the game exactly the way I want to and nobody is telling me to say crazy stuff. Nobody is pushing me in certain directions, it’s like total creative freedom. The way that Logan and Colin have been letting me do me, so to speak, has been so cool. To see my version of what I want it to look like makes me feel vindicated for talking about it the way I want to.”

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