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Selling Drama The TNT Way!

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For the past 10 years, if you’ve watched TNT television you likely heard the channel’s slogan “We Know Drama“. It’s a tagline in my opinion which was simply brilliant, because it reflected the channel’s programming choices. If you turned on TNT, you’d find either a movie, game or original program, and when you analyzed the content of that particular show, you’d find that it often included some form of drama which helped it fit perfectly into the channel’s strategy.

The slogan was introduced in June 2001, and at that time, former TNT General Manager Steve Koonin said “TNT’s promise is to engage the hearts and minds of our viewers with dramatic programming that offers a powerful combination of compelling stories and interesting characters, mixed with excitement, action, suspense, romance and humor. TNT’s slate of original movies and series, theatrical product, acquired series, championship sports and live event specials will deliver on this consumer proposition.”

Judging from what the channel featured during the past 13 years, they not only lived up to their promise, but viewership increased, and today it remains a strong presence in cable television. Clearly the interest in dramatic content was there, and TNT didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, they simply satisfied the appetite of those who were hungry.

Take a look back at this classic TV commercial created around the 2003 NBA Playoffs. TNT featured Spike Lee to sell the message and the result was a very identifiable spot which was easy for viewers to relate to.

When it comes to sports talk radio, I’ve heard numerous executives over the years refer to the format as the ultimate “soap opera for men“. In some ways, it’s hard for me to fathom that the world of sports could be mentioned in the same sentence with “One Life To Live” and “General Hospital” but when you step back and think about what the world of sports has to offer on a daily basis, it makes perfect sense. The presentation has shifted from x’s and o’s discussions and box score breakdowns to sports-bar conversations centered around personalities and teams. Coincidentally the ratings, platform distribution, and advertising dollars are all experiencing some of the highest performance levels in the format’s history.

lbj2So why is it that people keep seeking out sports media content?

The answer is simple, they love drama!

Case in point, look at these headlines below which were posted within the past week on different media websites. All 5 are written about one of the most popular and polarizing basketball players on the planet, LeBron James.

As you look at these 5 examples, one word should stand out in defining what each story is about – Drama!

  • LeBron James, Pat Riley to meet
  • LeBron James has a Dwayne Wade problem
  • Cavs working to clear max space to land LeBron
  • Cavs explain why they took down Dan Gilbert’s letter to LeBron James
  • LeBron’s inner circle, including his wife, want him to sign with Cavaliers

Regardless of where you go to get your sports news, you go there because you’re curious, and emotionally engaged in the content. Whether you realize it or not, you’re lured in by the drama of the story. LeBron James right now is the NBA’s real life version of the Truman Show, and we’re all sitting back watching, listening, reading, and reacting to every piece of news, and deciding what’s best for him, his family, his future, and each team that wants him. It’s a classic case of media outlets feeding us drama, and each of us devouring it, and asking for seconds.

Your-Opinion-MattersWhen you finish your show today, I want you to step back and reflect on what you presented to the audience. Look at each of your segments and what the conversation was built around. In most cases I bet you presented a question based off of a certain subject, and with that question you provided your opinion/answer to it. That my friends is called selling the drama!

If you weren’t doing that then I’d ask you to reassess your content, and figure out what you want your audience to sink their teeth into. If you have no hook and no drama in your presentation, than chances are you’re filling air time with no true purpose. By doing that you’re asking your listeners to standby while you figure it out, and they don’t have time for it. Your audience wants to show up and have you distract them from the everyday pressures they face by providing them with compelling and entertaining content. If you can’t do that, they’ll find someone who can.

Remember this, your audience isn’t turning to you because they want to know who won last night’s game, what Player X’s batting average is or how many of the next 10 games their favorite team plays at home vs. on the road. They can get that stuff by clicking on any sports website. They’re also not coming to you to hear how many phone calls you can take during the course of a 3-4 hour show. The only person keeping count of your caller totals is you and your producer.

They will though listen to a passionate discussion between a host and a caller provided there’s a question or angle being discussed, and they do appreciate information as long as it’s used to advance the angle you’re presenting. In a nutshell, information and filling content time doesn’t earn you an emotional investment from your audience – your ability to deliver a compelling discussion and unique opinion on the story that matters to your audience does.

manzielWhether we like it or not, people today care more about Johnny Manziel’s off the field behavior than any of his studying habits or practice throws. They know Carmelo Anthony’s free agent suitors better than the NY Knicks roster that he played on last season. They focus more on who got snubbed from the All-Star game, and how playing in the game could impact a player’s second half performance, more than they focus on the actual game itself. Every listener fancies themselves as a GM with solid knowledge of what each player makes, what each team spends, the length of each player’s contract, and how it will help/hurt their favorite team in the future.

Why do all of these items above matter to people? Because they’re dramatic, and they create thoughts and emotions inside of every one of us. These are feelings that can’t be turned off or brushed aside. Whether it’s joy, frustration, love, hate, passion, confusion or something else, the more people hear about it, the more interested they become, and the more they seek resolution and additional facts to our conversations, the more we invade their minds and cause them to think and feel. The more we do that, the better our chances of keeping them listening.

feelingsFor an on-air talent, you are constantly selling drama to your audience because it’s the one ingredient that makes your show special each day. Nowhere on the planet can your show be duplicated. While the same stories may be discussed everywhere else, your personality, perspective, creative elements and delivery of the information keeps you unique.

However, your audience has distractions being thrown their way every day, so the only way to cut through the clutter and permanently rent space in their head is by using drama to your advantage. They want to take the roller coaster ride with you, and experience your ups, downs and in-between’s. It’s your job to keep them hanging on every word and sentence.

A colleague of mine (Jeff Schmidt) sent this to me months ago and it instantly connected with me. Take a look at these two stories below and look at the headlines. The story on the left is presented by Deadspin.com and the story on the right is presented by ESPN.com. When you look at the headline of each story, which one contains more passion and suspense?

Kluwe Stories

In my opinion, Deadspin used words to stir an emotion with the reader while ESPN focused on the facts and delivered a neutral headline. While the approach for both brands may be different, they both make sense. However if this were a sports radio segment, you’d hook a lot more people with the drama of the Deadspin headline than you would with the ESPN presentation.

Think for a second of how this relates to you. Your listener is either in a car or listening on a computer or mobile device and on each of these platforms have multiple choices. In most people’s phones there are 25-50 apps readily available to take them elsewhere, or if they’re in a car they have the option of FM/AM radio, a CD player, possibly satellite radio, or some other electronic device that they can connect to their dashboard and listen to. In either case, you’re already battling for an individual’s attention before you even get started.

If you’re lucky, you’re one of the first places the listener turns to because your brand/station has built trust and loyalty with them, or they’ve formed a connection with you or another on-air personality. From there, it comes down to picking the right content and manufacturing the drama in the most unique and entertaining way to keep them engaged.

Right_Vs._WrongPick the wrong content, and they’re gone. Pick the right content, and present it in a safe and predictable way, and they’re gone. Select the right content, and construct enough angles and unique viewpoints to keep the listener wanting to take an emotional journey with you, and you’ve got a fighting chance.

Try it out when LeBron James finally signs with a team. I guarantee you’ll hear every station discuss the story, but the place where you’ll spend the majority of your time listening to it, will be with the outlet and personality that advances the story, and best captures and sells the drama and suspense and drama.

There is no better example of capturing drama than when you go to the movies, and spend 15-20 minutes waiting for your featured movie to start. Once those previews hit you know you’re immediately sucked in. For example, watch this trailer of the upcoming film “When The Game Stands Tall“. By the time the trailer is done playing you’ll know the focus of the story, the drama that occurs, and the question being asked that must be answered. The result, you’ve given Sony Pictures 2:44 of your time, and soon enough you’ll be spending your money to go watch it because the story drew you in.

Whether it’s a movie, a sporting event, an argument between co-workers or a sports talk radio show, people have a passion for drama. They seek it out and remain consumed by it, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Don’t believe me? Check your Facebook feed or Twitter timeline. It’s happening every second of every hour.

Sometimes a slogan doesn’t make any sense for a brand, but in the case of TNT they created something which fit like a glove, and they delivered on that promise to perfection. That’s an example of effective research, smart strategy, and consistent execution. When you do those things right, you win consistently and grow continuously.

101 PartyTo wrap this up, I’ll leave you with one shred of evidence that’ll make you re-think whether or not you can afford for drama to not be a central part of your content focus each day. Currently when you look at the best performing sports radio stations across the country, the average amount of time spent listening is usually between 3-4 hours per week M-F 6A-7P. These stations also deliver somewhere between 5-10% of listening among Men 25-54, and that by industry standards is considered a pretty strong success.

One though could look at it the other way, and argue that your core programming which you pay top dollar for and promote heavily, is consumed for only 36-48 minutes per day out of a 780 minute window, and in your market, 90-95% of Men 25-54 don’t listen to you.

Now how’s that for drama!

Yes we can talk about the issues with PPM, we can blame things beyond our control such as signal issues, play by play events, lack of marketing, etc. but in every one of those scenarios, we’re emotionally invested in the subject and we’re ready to defend, explain and engage in the conversation. That my friends is what drama does.

TNT figured out how to capture the mind and eyes of the viewer,nand there’s no reason why sports radio can’t do the same, and capture the mind and ears of its audience. If ever there was a business built to understand and sell drama, it’s sports talk radio. If it can be done right, who knows, maybe one day we’ll present a brand new slogan – “We Own Drama“.

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Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?

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How many times have you heard this sentence uttered at conferences or in one of the trades; radio has to do a better job of telling its story. Sounds reasonable enough right? After all, your brands and companies stand a better chance of being more consumed and invested in the more that others know about them.

But what specifically about your brand’s story matters to those listening or spending money on it? Which outlets are you supposed to share that news with to grow your listenership and advertising? And who is telling the story? Is it someone who works for your company and has a motive to advance a professional agenda, or someone who’s independent and may point out a few holes in your strategy, execution, and results?

As professionals working in the media business, we’re supposed to be experts in the field of communications. But are we? We’re good at relaying news when it makes us look good or highlights a competitor coming up short. How do we respond though when the story isn’t told the we want it to? Better yet, how many times do sports/news talk brands relay information that isn’t tied to quarterly ratings, revenue or a new contract being signed? We like to celebrate the numbers that matter to us and our teams, but we don’t spend much time thinking about if those numbers matter to the right groups – the audience and the advertisers.

Having covered the sports and news media business for the past seven years, and published nearly eighteen thousand pieces of content, you’d be stunned if you saw how many nuggets of information get sent to us from industry folks looking for publicity vs. having to chase people down for details or read things on social media or listen to or watch shows to promote relevant material. Spoiler alert, most of what we produce comes from digging. There are a handful of outlets and PR folks who are great, and five or six PD’s who do an excellent job consistently promoting news or cool things associated with their brands and people. Some talent are good too at sharing content or tips that our website may have an interest in.

Whether I give the green light to publish the material or not, I appreciate that folks look for ways to keep their brands and shows on everyone’s radar. Brand leaders and marketing directors should be battling daily in my opinion for recognition anywhere and everywhere it’s available. If nobody is talking about your brand then you have to give them a reason to.

I’m writing this column today because I just spent a day in New York City at the Disney Upfront, which was attended by a few thousand advertising professionals. Though I’d have preferred a greater focus on ESPN than what was offered, I understand that a company the size of Disney with so many rich content offerings is going to have to condense things or they’d literally need a full week of Upfronts to cover it all. They’re also trying to reach buyers and advertising professionals who have interests in more than just sports.

What stood out to me while I was in attendance was how much detail went into putting on a show to inform, entertain, and engage advertising professionals. Disney understands the value of telling its story to the right crowd, and they rolled out the heavy hitters for it. There was a strong mix of stars, executives, promotion of upcoming shows, breaking news about network deals, access to the people responsible for bringing advertising to life, and of course, free drinks. It was easy for everyone in the room to gain an understanding of the company’s culture, vision, success, and plans to capture more market share.

As I sat in my seat, I wondered ‘why doesn’t radio do this on a local level‘? I’m not talking about entertaining clients in a suite, having a business dinner for a small group of clients or inviting business owners and agency reps to the office for a rollout of forthcoming plans. I’m talking about creating an annual event that showcases the power of a cluster, the stars who are connected to the company’s various brands, unveiling new shows, promotions and deals, and using the event as a driver to attract more business.

Too often I see our industry rely on things that have worked in the past. We assume that if it worked before there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for the client. Sometimes that’s even true. Maybe the advertiser likes to keep things simple and communicate by phone, email or in-person lunch meetings. Maybe a creative powerpoint presentation is all you need to get them to say yes. If it’s working and you feel that’s the best way forward to close business, continue with that approach. There’s more than one way to reach the finish line.

But I believe that most people like being exposed to fresh ideas, and given a peak behind the curtain. The word ‘new’ excites people. Why do you think Apple introduces a new iPhone each year or two. We lose sight sometimes of how important our brands and people are to those not inside the walls of our offices. We forget that whether a client spends ten thousand or ten million dollars per year with our company, they still like to be entertained. When you allow business people to feel the excitement associated with your brand’s upcoming events, see the presentations on a screen, and hear from and interact with the stars involved in it, you make them feel more special. I think you stand a better chance of closing deals and building stronger relationships that way.

Given that many local clusters have relationships with hotels, theaters, teams, restaurants, etc. there’s no reason you can’t find a central location, and put together an advertiser appreciation day that makes partners feel valued. You don’t have to rent out Pier 36 like Disney or secure the field at a baseball stadium to make a strong impression. We show listeners they’re valued regularly by giving away tickets, cash, fan appreciation parties, etc. and guess what, it works! Yes there are expenses involved putting on events, and no manager wants to hear about spending money without feeling confident they’ll generate a return on investment. That said, taking calculated risks is essential to growing a business. Every day that goes by where you operate with a ‘relying on the past’ mindset, and refuse to invest in growth opportunities, is one that leaves open the door for others to make sure your future is less promising.

There are likely a few examples of groups doing a smaller scaled version of what I’m suggesting. If you’re doing this already, I’d love to hear about it. Hit me up through email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com. By and large though, I don’t see a lot of must-see, must-discuss events like this created that lead to a surplus of press, increased relationships, and most importantly, increased sales. Yet it can be done. Judging from some of the feedback I received yesterday talking to people in the room, it makes an impression, and it matters.

I don’t claim to know how many ad agency executives and buyers returned to the office from the Disney Upfront and reached out to sign new advertising deals with the company. What I am confident in is that Disney wouldn’t invest resources in creating this event nor would other national groups like NBC, FOX, CBS, WarnerMedia, etc. if they didn’t feel it was beneficial to their business. Rather than relying on ratings and revenue stories that serve our own interests, maybe we’d help ourselves more by allowing our partners and potential clients to experience what makes our brands special. It works with our listeners, and can work with advertisers too.

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Takeaways From The NAB Show and Six Days in Las Vegas

“I’m certainly not afraid to be critical but my enthusiasm for the NAB Show was elevated this year.”

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Six days on the road can sometimes be exhausting. Six days in Las Vegas, and it’s guaranteed. That was my world last week, as I along with more than fifty thousand people headed to sin city to take in the 2022 NAB Show.

The event didn’t draw as many as it had in the past, but after two years of inactivity due to the pandemic, it was good to be back. Judging from some of the vendors I talked to, the sessions I attended, and the feedback I received from folks I met with, though far from perfect, it was a solid return for an important event. Seeing people interact, celebrate others, and talk about ways to improve the business was a positive reminder of the world being closer to the normal of 2019 than the normal of 2020-2021. The only negative from the week, the consistent failure of Uber to appear in the right place at the right time. But that had zero to do with the NAB.

It feels like whenever I attend industry conferences, there are two different type of reviews that follow. Some writers attend the show and see the glass half full. Others see the glass half empty. I’m certainly not afraid to be critical but my enthusiasm was elevated this year. Maybe it was because BSM was a media partner or maybe it was due to the show not happening for years and just being happy to be among friends, peers, and clients and operate like normal. Either way, my glass was definitely half full.

For those who see events this way, it’s likely they’ll remember the numerous opportunities they had to create and reestablish relationships. They’ll also recall the access to different speakers, sessions, products, and the excellent research shared with those in attendance. The great work done by the BFOA to recognize industry difference makers during their Wednesday breakfast was another positive experience, as was the Sunday night industry gathering at The Mayfair Supper Club.

Included in the conference were sessions with a number of industry leaders. Radio CEO’s took the stage to point out the industry’s wins and growth, credit their employees, and call out audio competitors, big tech, and advertisers for not spending more with the industry. When David Field, Bob Pittman, Ginny Morris and Caroline Beasley speak, people listen. Though their companies operate differently, hearing them share their views on the state of the business is important. I always learn something new when they address the room.

But though a lot of ground gets covered during these interviews, there are a few issues that don’t get talked about enough. For instance, ineffective measurement remains a big problem for the radio business. Things like this shouldn’t happen, but they do. NBC and WarnerMedia took bold steps to address problems with TV measurement. Does radio have the courage to take a similar risk? That’s an area I’d like to see addressed more by higher ups.

I can’t help but wonder how much money we lose from this issue. Companies spend millions for a ratings service that delivers subpar results, and the accountability that follows is often maddening. Given the data we have access to digitally, it’s stunning that radio’s report card for over the air listening is determined by outdated technology. And if we’re going to tell folks that wearables are the missing ingredient for addressing this problem, don’t be shocked if the press that follows is largely negative. The industry and its advertising partners deserve better. So too do the reps at Nielsen who have to absorb the hits, and make the most of a tough situation.

Speaking of advertising, this is another one of those critical areas that deserves another point of view. Case in point, I talked to a few ad agency professionals at the show. Similar to what I’ve heard before, they’re tired of hearing radio leaders blame them for the industry’s present position. This has been a hot button topic with executives for years. I often wonder, do we help or hurt ourselves by publicly calling out advertisers and ad agencies? How would you feel if you ran an agency which spent millions on the industry and were told ‘you don’t do enough’? I’m a champion of radio/audio, and am bullish on spoken word’s ability to deliver results for clients, but having attended these shows for nearly seven years, it might be time for a new approach and message. Or maybe it’s time to put one of our CEO’s with one of theirs and have a bigger discussion. Just a thought.

Of the sessions that I attended, I thought Erica Farber’s ‘What Business Are You In?’ was excellent. I especially liked Taja Graham’s presentation on ‘Sharing Your Truth’. I also appreciated Eric Bischoff’s tips on ways to monetize podcasts, and am curious to see how Amazon’s AMP develops moving forward. My favorite session at the show though was “A GPS Session For Your Station’s Car Radio Strategy” led by Fred Jacobs. The insight shared by Joe D’Angelo of Xperi and Steve Newberry & Suzy Schultz of Quu was outstanding. Keeping the car companies on our side is vital to our survival, and how we position ourselves on the dashboard can’t be ignored. Other tech companies and audio operators take it seriously. We must too.

Sessions aside, it was great to check out the VSiN and Blue Wire studios, connect with a bunch of CEO’s, GM’s and Market Manager’s, and visit with Kevin Jones, Joe Fortenbaugh, Jeremiah Crowe, Jon Goulet, Bill Adee, Q Myers, Mike Golic Jr. and Stormy Buonantony. The NFL’s setup for the Draft, and the light show presented at the Bellagio was without a doubt spectacular, plus Stephanie had a chance to say hello to Raiders owner Mark Davis who was inside the back room of a Westgate restaurant where we were having a business lunch meeting. The personal tour we received at the Wynn showed off some of the best suites I’ve seen in Las Vegas, and I was finally able to witness Circa’s Stadium Swim in person, and meet owner Derek Stevens (heck of a suit game). What an outstanding hotel and casino.

Altogether, it was a productive trip. As someone who knows all about building and executing a conference, I appreciate the work that goes into pulling it off. This event is massive, and I have no idea how the NAB makes it happen so flawlessly. This was the first time my head of sales, Stephanie Eads, got to attend the show. She loved it. Our only negative, going back and forth between convention halls can get exhausting. Wisely, Stephanie and Guaranty Media CEO Flynn Foster took advantage of the underground Tesla ride to move from the North hall to the West hall. I wasn’t as bright. If that’s the worst part of the experience though, that’s pretty solid. I look forward to returning in 2023, and attending the NAB’s NYC show this fall.

Additional:

You’ve likely seen posts from BSM/BNM on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn promoting a number of open positions. I’m adding crew to help us pump out more content, and that means we need more editors, news writers, features reporter’s and columnists. If you’re currently involved or previously worked in the industry and love to write about it, send a resume and few writing samples by email to JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

With that said, I’m excited to announce the addition of Ryan Brown as a weekly columnist for BSM. Ryan is part of ‘The Next Round’ in Birmingham, Alabama, which previously broadcast on WJOX as JOX Roundtable. The show left the terrestrial world in June 2021 to operate as its own entity. Ryan’s knowledge and opinions should provide a boost to the site, and I’m looking forward to featuring his columns every Tuesday. Keep an eye out for it tomorrow, and if you want to check out the guest piece he previously wrote for us, click here.

Demetri Ravanos and I have talked to a lot of people over the past month. More additions will be revealed soon. As always, thanks for the continued support of BSM and BNM.

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Six New Contributors Join Barrett Media

“These latest additions will make our product better. Now the challenge is finding others to help us continue growing.”

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Building a brand starts with a vision. Once that vision is defined, you identify the people who fit what you’re creating, lay out the game plan, and turn them loose to execute. If the product you’re creating is original, fills a gap in the marketplace, and the work turned in by your team is consistently excellent and promoted in the right locations, more times than not you’ll build an audience.

As you grow, the focus turns to studying what your audience wants, needs, and expects from your brand. Certain things you expect to be big turn out small, and the things you saw limited upside in create opportunities you never saw coming. It’s critical to be open minded and ready to pivot while also examining where and when people consume your product, which pieces of content do and don’t matter, and then use that information to direct your team to give folks more of what they value and less of what they don’t. Team members should want that feedback too. It tells them what is and isn’t worth spending their time on.

As I lay all of that out it may sound like I’m talking about a radio station or television operation. These are the things programmers do frequently to make sure the talent, shows, and brand is satisfying the expectations of an audience. But what I’m actually referring to is the brand you’ve made a choice to click on to read this column, Barrett Media.

I’ve mentioned many times on this website how I started this operation by myself, and didn’t expect to have a team of writers involved in it. I was focused on consulting sports stations, sharing my programming views on this website, and as I cranked out content consistently, I discovered others loved the business like I did and had a desire to share their insights too. Rather than sticking to my original plan, I pivoted and increased our content offerings. In return, the audience grew, clients grew, and it’s led this brand to grow beyond my expectations. Now we cover sports AND news media, we run an annual conference, feature a membership program, create podcasts, deliver a daily 8@8 and three times per week BNM Rundown newsletter, and work with various brands and companies across the broadcasting industry. I’m extremely fortunate to be in this position and don’t take it for granted.

But with growth comes change. We’ve been blessed to have a lot of talented people contribute to this site over the years, and as they produce quality work, and others across the industry recognize it, they earn interest for their services. That then leads to some having to sign off for bigger opportunities. I see that as a great positive for the brand. Would it be nice to have more consistency and keep a crew together for years? Of course. I know it’d make Demetri’s life a lot easier. If we’re losing people for the right reasons though, and they’re landing opportunities that help them advance their careers, I’m going to be happy for their success, and trust that we’ll find others to keep us moving forward. The success of our team helps make what we do more attractive to others because it shows that if you do good consistent work here, you can put yourself in a position to attract attention.

Over the past two months, I have challenged Demetri Ravanos to invest more time talking to people about writing for us. Expanding our Barrett News Media roster is a priority. So too is adding quality people to help us improve Barrett Sports Media. BSM has had just under seven years to earn trust with readers. BNM has had less than two. We’ve put out ads on our website and newsletters, social posts, an ad on Indeed, and we’ve reached out directly to people who we’ve felt may be able to add something interesting to our brand. Most of my time is spent listening to stations and talking with clients, but my eyes are always roaming looking for content, and my mind is always thinking about what we can create next to make an impact.

I don’t judge our brand’s success based on clicks, shares, breaking news before other outlets or showing up in the top three listings on Google. I care more effort accuracy, timeliness, passion, consistency, storytelling, insight, and being fair and non-agenda driven. We’ve found our niche being able to tell stories about broadcasting professionals, relaying news, and offering expert knowledge to serve those involved in the broadcasting industry. If we continue to excel doing those things consistently, I’m confident our audience will reward us by reading and sharing more of our content. It’s why we never stop recruiting to keep things fresh.

Having said that, I am excited today to reveal six new additions to the Barrett Media staff. Peter Schwartz is a name and voice many in New York sports radio circles are familiar with. Peter has spent three decades working with various outlets and I’m thrilled to have him writing weekly feature stories for us. Brady Farkas is a talented host and former programmer who now works for WDEV in Burlington, VT. Karl Schoening is a play by play broadcaster who has worked in San Antonio sports radio and has had the added benefit of learning the industry from his talented father Bill who calls Spurs games. Each of them will produce bi-weekly feature stories for the brand. Jason Ence is in Louisville and has written about sports betting for Twin Spires while also working for ESPN 680. He’ll be writing sports betting content for us on a weekly basis. Jasper Jones will help us by adding news stories on Friday’s. He’s presently in Philadelphia learning the business working for Audacy. Last but not least, veteran author, Brewers writer, and former radio professional Jim Cryns comes on board to help us with features on news media professionals.

These six additions make us stronger, and I’m excited to have them join the team to help us add more quality content to the website. That said, we’re not done yet. Demetri and I are still talking with others and I expect to make a few more additions in the weeks ahead. As I said earlier, we want to improve the news media side of our operation and continue adding people to help us make a bigger dent in the sports media space. Broadcast companies invest in us to help them, and I believe it’s important to invest back.

If you’ve programmed, hosted a top rated show, worked in measurement, led a cluster as a GM, sold advertising, represented talent or have worked in digital and feel you have knowledge to share, reach out. I can’t promise we’ll have room but we’re always willing to listen. I’m not worried about whether or not you’ve written for professional publications. Passion, experience and unique insights matter much more than a resume or journalism degree.

I appreciate everyone who takes time to read our content, like and share it on social, and all involved with this brand who help bring it to life each day. The latest additions of Schwartz, Farkas, Schoening, Ence, Jones and Cryns will make our product better. Now the challenge is finding others to help us continue growing.

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