One of the toughest decisions for an on-air personality is determining what is fair and appropriate and what is over the line and off limits. Some will say it’s easy and all you need to do is use good judgment but remember that we work in an industry which pushes its personalities to deliver hard hitting emotional opinions on subjects that may not necessarily be comfortable. When our people enter these muddy waters and take on touchy subjects, we’re the first to turn up the volume on our own radio stations and hope for them not to say something that could put the brand in an uncompromising position.
In my local market today, I’m watching the situation unfold after 49ers Broadcaster Ted Robinson delivered some commentary on the Ray Rice situation which offended a number of people. Truth be told, I don’t know Ted that well (we met once) but I’ve always found him to be a first class broadcaster and person and I was very surprised when I heard that he had ruffled feathers with his point of view. While his comments were bad and uncharacteristic, everyone has a bad moment in their life and maybe this is his.
That being said, I don’t believe it erases all the good he’s done over the course of his life or broadcasting career and it bothers me when I see others in a hurry to pile on while someone is down. I certainly don’t blame the 49ers either for taking this position because his comments put the team in an impossible situation.
To say I’ve gone through this a time or two would be an understatement. It’s not fun at all. The last thing a programmer or talk show host wants to deal with is the rage of an entire fan base and the loss of money from loyal advertisers. Whether we like it or not though, society today is way more sensitive and quick to respond on social media than ever before and once the storm starts, it’s not easy to get out of.
This isn’t to imply that an on-air host who makes a mistake should have his poor judgment swept under the rug and forgotten about because that definitely isn’t my point. It simply means that an offensive commentary with little substance or concrete fact to support it, puts those involved with the brand in a no-win situation.
During my time in St. Louis, my former afternoon host D’Marco Farr took a strong position on whether or not Rush Limbaugh should purchase the St. Louis Rams. D’Marco felt that Rush being involved with a team from an ownership point of view would make certain athletes think twice about whether or not to sign as free agents with the team. His opinion was strong and he had a good idea of how players thought, considering that he had spent seven years playing in the NFL but what he lost sight of was how Rush would react and how rabid his audience was.
Once D’Marco’s views were made public, Rush became aware and he went on the offensive, firing haymakers at my afternoon guy and calling on his listeners to stand up and support him and call for D’Marco’s head. Rush felt D’Marco’s position wasn’t accurate and he wanted to send a message to showcase his power. I remember D’Marco coming in to work and telling me “Dude, Jesse F’N Jackson just called my phone….Jesse Jackson…..this is freaking crazy!”. This was foreign territory for him and he was unsure how to handle the situation so we sat down, crafted an opening monologue and discussed the approach we’d take on the show that day.
In the background I handled the phone calls and emails that flew in from Rush’s fans and I alerted my bosses of what we were dealing with so they were informed. I stood by D’Marco because I knew the commentary wasn’t personal and I felt he had an honest point of view. I also knew who he was as a person and I felt he had handled the issue the right way.
As luck would have it, Jim Gray did an interview with Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald for Westwood One’s Monday Night Football broadcast and during his chat, both players admitted that they’d have to think twice about signing with a team owned by Rush. We cut up the audio and used it in D’Marco’s opening monologue and explained that there was no personal ill-will towards Rush or call to action for him not to be able to purchase the Rams, but to understand that his presence as an owner would create concerns with players in the league. D’Marco then closed the book on the issue and after that segment it was never relevant again.
While that particular issue wasn’t offensive to anyone but Rush and his audience, there have been plenty of examples where guys in our industry have went over the imaginary line. From Kirk Minihane in Boston, to Mayhem In The AM in Atlanta to Stephen A. Smith at ESPN to my own guy Damon Bruce in San Francisco, each of these guys have had the displeasure of being suspended or in the public line of fire and there are countless others who have endured the same wrath. Yet many of them draw strong audiences exactly for that same reason.
So if the audience is showing up to hear a passionate, honest and uncomfortable commentary from a talk show host who is known to present a polarizing presentation, and your on-air personality is willing to put themselves out there and live on the edge, is that a bad thing? I know plenty of programmers who prefer a less controversial personality and I know executives who want guys who will strike a chord and get the world talking. Whether it’s Keith Olbermann, Jim Rome, Colin Cowherd, Charles Barkley, Bill Simmons, Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless, these guys say things that we take notice of and while it may sometimes bother us, they’re usually also the people who we have the most passionate conversations and opinions about.
It’s easy to react after the fact to what someone says but when you’re in the moment and emotionally charged, it’s not always easy to slow down. It’s like asking a Nascar driver to go from 200 miles per hour to 20 in a split second. I’m not making excuses for any on-air personality because I believe when you step into that studio and get behind a microphone you have a responsibility to be smart with your words and not damage the radio station or your own personal brand, but I also recognize how double-sided things can be.
In every radio station I’ve worked at as a PD, I’ve had the following document printed up and posted inside the studio or on the door entering the room. While some may lose sight of these things along the way or break my balls for it being hokey, it all makes sense, especially the first line. As an air talent, you can go after any individual’s performance. Their results speak for themselves and they’re fair game. We can also criticize decision making because whichever way an organization or individual leans on an important matter, there’s another side to the conversation to be discussed.
Where I draw the line and will get into a heated exchange with an individual is when it becomes mean spirited and personal. If you don’t like a team, that’s fair. If you want to insult the people on the team though for what they do in their personal lives, that’s got no business in the discussion unless you can show a clear connection to it impacting the team (EX: Ray Rice’s domestic violence issue, Plaxico Burress shoots himself in a nightclub, Michael Vick dog fighting, etc.).
For example, if you dislike the Dallas Cowboys and the decisions that Jerry Jones makes, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. You can go after the team’s record, roster moves and question whether or not Jerry and his people are effective at their jobs. To suggest though that the reason the team is bad is because Jerry is a drunk and a womanizer, would be an example of something uncalled for and it would lead to a bigger problem for a host on my watch.
If you can’t prove it or show that it has relevance to performance, then it’s wise to avoid it. Otherwise you’ll be swimming alone in an ocean full of great white sharks who want to eat.
I remember last year when former slugger Jack Clark accused Albert Pujols of using steroids and his comments led to the Pujols camp threatening to take legal action against Jack and his employer. Immediately Jack was suspended and then terminated, as was his on-air partner Kevin Slaten. While Jack and Kevin may have had their suspicions, they didn’t have proof and when you enter that arena, it’s a tough one to come out of.
Put yourself in the position of the radio station, are you going to defend the individual on-air who fired an accusation they can’t prove while a multi-millionaire hires the best legal team on the planet to make sure your company is brought to its knees? Probably not! I know this, I’d have done exactly what the radio station did and I personally like Jack who previously worked for me and is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met.
While those are just some examples of things and how they can go wrong, I feel for some of the guys who do this type of work on-air and are known for being strongly opinionated and not afraid to take a stand on difficult subjects. Every day whether they realize it or not, they are risking their careers for the audience’s personal enjoyment. People want to know what our personalities think and they use their points of view to further their own conversations with family and friends throughout the rest of the day and night. Yet one slip and fifteen years of accomplishments can be quickly forgotten.
Sure you could say that it’s not that hard of a job, you get paid to give your opinion on sports and there’s a certain degree of truth to that, but how many people have ever gotten paid to give an opinion and then felt the wrath of a city when the majority have disagreed? In most people’s lives, they say something and a few friends disagree and that’s all there is to it. In our world, one unpopular position can lead to thousands calling for your job, personal attacks being delivered to your personal email or social media accounts, advertisers threatening to harm your employers bottom line if they don’t take action and teams, athletes, media members and fellow colleagues threatening to not do future business with the brand or associate with it due to one person’s involvement. It’s not as easy to handle as some might think.
I’m not here to tell you where the imaginary line is or provide you with the secret ingredients to avoid it. The truth is, every difficult topic presents a challenge for a broadcaster. Some pass with flying colors and some don’t. I personally believe that when you allow your emotions to take over and lead you to a place where your expertise is limited, your chances of falling on your face are enhanced. Yet some hosts can’t help themselves and make that mistake.
Let’s face it, we are not investigators, psychologists, doctors, therapists or members of law enforcement. We’re passionate sports fans who occupy a chair and microphone inside an air conditioned studio and get to pontificate on the world of sports. We don’t expect people in these other professions to step into our shoes and do what we do effectively so why would we think we can do their jobs with any strong degree of success?
When it comes to decision making I always believe that if you have to ask someone if what you’re about to do is a good idea, chances are it probably isn’t. I can’t tell you how many times a host will run something by me or a producer will ask me if they should include some type of questionable content in a promo and once I ask them if they really think it’s worth it, they nearly always agree that it isn’t.
I also think that sports radio personalities should steer clear from areas that divide and offend an audience. For example, I always tell my hosts to avoid politics, religion and race whenever possible. People come to us to hear us talk about sports, not provide our views on republicans vs. democrats, Jesus Christ or the racial divide in our country. Leave that for news talk outlets.
I understand that there are times when these issues must be broached. The Donald Sterling story and baseball’s day on capital hill are two stories that come to mind, but unless it connects to sports, we’re not paid for that level of commentary and usually it puts a personality in a bad position and even worse, it costs you listeners.
Remember this, if you’re going to take hard stances and be known as the personality who isn’t afraid to tackle the tough issues, you better have thick skin and some evidence on your side to support your uncomfortable positions. People today voice their opinions more than they ever have and they’re listening and hanging on to your every word to determine whether or not they agree or disagree with you.
The second you slip and leave yourself vulnerable, an avalanche could be coming your way. So protect yourself, be smart, stay in the lane you know best and always bring a shovel because you never know when you may have to use it to dig yourself out of something.
Angiolet, Borod, Craig & Sottolano Added To 2022 BSM Summit
“If you’re planning to attend, please buy your tickets as soon as possible. We have limited room and it’s first come, first serve.”
We promised we had more great news to share regarding the 2022 BSM Summit. Just four days after revealing the addition of ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro to this year’s show, we’ve added four more heavyweights to March’s sports media industry conference.
First, it’s a pleasure to welcome for the first time, DraftKings Chief Media Officer Brian Angiolet to the BSM Summit. Brian joined DraftKings in April 2021 after two decades with Verizon where he helped the company strike a number of multi-billion dollar broadcasting, sports and entertainment content and advertising deals. Some of the key groups to do business with Verizon during Brian’s tenure included the NFL, NBA, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM. DK has been a large advertiser and supporter of the sports media industry for many years, in addition to becoming a larger content provider following the acquisition of VSiN. We look forward to having Brian join our sports betting executive panel (hosted by ESPN’s host Joe Fortenbaugh) to share his insights on how he sees sports betting groups participating now and in the future in the sports media content world.
Second, it’s an honor to add Fanatics Chief Commercial Officer Ari Borod to the sports betting executive panel for his first appearance at the BSM Summit. Ari’s fingerprints have been all over the sports betting business for years, first with FanDuel, then with the Action Network. He joined Fanatics in June 2021, reuniting with former FanDuel CEO Matt King, and in less than a year, the company became the official trading cards partner of MLB, purchased the Topps Trading Company, and applied for a sports betting license in New York. Possessing a massive customer base, deep executive knowledge of the sports betting business, and a desire to make a larger dent in the sports betting arena, we’re thrilled to have Ari lend his perspective on how Fanatics views the future of sports betting and the evolution of the sports media industry.
Next, I am thrilled to have Audacy’s EVP of Programming Jeff Sottolano appear on stage for the first time at the Summit. In his current role, Jeff is responsible for the content strategy and performance of Audacy’s local brands in all formats across all broadcast and digital platforms. Jeff has played a key role in the launch, development and growth of the BetQL Network, while also helping Audacy evolve its position as one of America’s top audio companies. Jeff will be part of one of my favorite sessions, The Power Panel, which includes SVP of Premiere Sports and EVP of iHeart Sports Don Martin, Cumulus and Westwood One SVP Bruce Gilbert, and SiriusXM SVP of Sports Programming Steve Cohen. All four men will participate in a lengthy discussion on sports talk programming and the various challenges facing brands, talent, and programmers today.
A BSM Summit can’t just feature new faces though, especially when familiar ones add valuable knowledge to important programming conversations. ESPN Radio Program Director, former colleague and longtime friend Justin Craig will join us for our Programmers Masterclass alongside a few other notable leaders. The group will examine what does and doesn’t work from a content standpoint when trying to capture ratings. They’ll also share which ingredients are essential in successful talent/shows, and provide an on-site review of a piece of audio content. Those interested in learning how great programmer’s think will want to be present for this panel.
If you haven’t purchased a ticket to the Summit but are planning to attend, please do so before seats are no longer available. We have limited room inside the theater and it’s first come, first serve. Additionally, all attendees in New York will receive an online registration to be able to watch the show on-demand afterwards. This can be helpful when looking to share insight with local staffs who aren’t able to attend.
For those not able to travel but interested in enjoying the Summit, we do have virtual tickets available. Details on tickets, speakers, and hotel rooms can be found on BSMSummit.com. I hope to see you there!
ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro To Speak At The 2022 BSM Summit
“Having Jimmy with us will allow our attendees to learn how ESPN views the current sports media landscape in order to better understand where the business is headed in the future.”
The largest player in the sports content business today is ESPN. From television to radio to streaming, social, podcasts, websites and more, the network remains a force in satisfying the appetites of sports fans around the globe.
But creating sustainable global success isn’t easy. It requires investing billions of dollars in key programming partnerships, holding off competitors who seek to elevate their own standing, and hiring and retaining talented professionals and providing an environment for them to thrive in. If that wasn’t difficult enough, a company must also embrace new technology, and accept that certain things will fail while pursuing a path to excellence.
The man charged with making sure ESPN thrives in each of these areas is Chairman Jimmy Pitaro, and I’m excited to share that he’ll be joining us in March in New York City for the 2022 BSM Summit.
I’ll have the pleasure of spending 35 minutes on stage with Jimmy discussing the state of the sports media industry, the opportunities and challenges facing operators in 2022 and beyond, the growth of sports betting, network radio, podcasts, subscriptions, social, and many other issues. No matter what space we’re talking about, ESPN has held a dominant position among all media brands. Having Jimmy with us will allow our attendees to learn how ESPN views the current sports media landscape in order to better understand where the business is headed in the future.
Jimmy has been with the Walt Disney Company since 2010. He became ESPN President in 2018 and was elevated two years later to his current role as Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content. You can learn more about his professional background by clicking here.
A reminder that the 2022 BSM Summit is an industry-only event. You must work in the media business in order to attend the show. This includes sales, public relations, advertising agency professionals and agents, as well as programming folks. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of attending the Summit, feel free to visit our YouTube page to see some clips from past shows. It’ll give you an idea of what you can expect. You can also see the full list of speakers scheduled to appear at our 2022 show by visiting BSMSummit.com. We’ll announce a few more executive additions to March’s event later this week.
For those who manage brands and have joined us before in New York, Los Angeles and/or Chicago and are planning to come but haven’t bought a ticket yet, please do so asap. Seating is limited and once we’re full, we can’t add seats inside the room. You can also take advantage of a great hotel deal ($109 per night) with our partner Hotel Edison by clicking here.
One additional note, for those who are concerned about traveling, there is an opportunity to buy a virtual ticket. This year’s show is available both online and in person. For those planning to join us in NYC, in addition to receiving your live ticket, you’ll also get an online account so you can view the event on-demand afterwards. This can be especially helpful if you wish to replay a session or use any information afterwards to help members of your team. A big thanks to our virtual partner Nuvoodoo Media for helping make it happen.
We’re just 49 days away from putting on a spectacular show for industry folks in the big apple. We hope to see you there!
BSM, BNM Ready To Grow In 2022
“We’ve ended 2021 with record high’s for monthly traffic and social impressions, and our client and advertiser base the best its ever been thanks to the support of outstanding partners.”
It’s commonplace in our business to self-reflect when a new year full of possibilities arrives. We should probably do it more often rather than reserving it for the final day of the year or the first day of the next, but in the media business, finding time isn’t always easy.
As I look back at 2021, and the obstacles, adversity, accomplishments, enlightenment, and unpredictability that awaits BSM and BNM in 2022, I’m grateful to be able to do work that many enjoy and benefit from. Since I left the programming world in 2015 not a day has passed where I thought ‘I need to get back to running a radio station‘. That may sound crazy considering I spent two decades inside of buildings, loving the job, and living and breathing it 24/7, but from the second I moved into this space, I knew it was where I needed to be.
I had my fun building brands, chasing ratings, leading corporate programming calls, and making good money, but that restricted me to working in one city for one company with one brand and one staff. Now, I get to wake up each day and help clients in multiple cities, and run my own brand, collaborating with a great group of people to tell stories about the business we love. Combine that with hosting an annual conference, working with advertising partners and industry friends to create cool content and examine ways to grow their businesses, and connecting with folks to stay plugged in on details that others won’t know about until weeks or months later, and I consider myself very lucky. The added bonus, I get to do it in running pants and t-shirts inside the comfort of my home office/studio.
But with operating a business comes a different set of challenges. In 2020, we ended the BSM Summit on a high only to watch the entire world spin out of control weeks later due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That created a bunch of short-term issues, which fortunately we were able to overcome. Fast forward to this year, and we’ve ended 2021 with record high’s for monthly traffic and social impressions, and our client and advertiser base the best its ever been thanks to the support of outstanding partners. I never assume we’re in the clear because things can change quickly, but the support we’ve received is appreciated. It fuels me to reinvest in others to continue growing our operation and helping the industry.
So let’s talk a little bit about how we’re doing that in 2022.
First, we merged Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media in May 2021 to bring news and opinion from both the sports/talk and news/talk worlds under one roof. We tried running them independently initially but that wasn’t the best strategy for a new brand. Since bringing them together, BNM’s exposure has increased, the content has been read more regularly, and though we have more to do to get the brand on par with BSM, we’re making progress. BSM had a 5+ year head start on BNM, and though I know at times it may seem weird to read a sports media and news media story on the same website or social media account, as I tell those who ask, sports and news have mixed together since the invention of television, radio and newspapers.
Boosting BNM’s awareness and content is a goal for 2022, and to do that I want to share two things we’re creating to help us make progress.
I’m excited to share that we are launching The BNM Rundown. This will be a newsletter we distribute 3x per week (Monday-Wednesday-Friday) via email similar to what we’ve done with the BSM 8@8. The Rundown will go out around 5pm ET on each of those three days, and it’ll contain ten (10) news media stories, five (5) advertising slots, and the latest stock prices for radio groups. There will be additional content and advertising added in the future, and we may increase delivery to five days per week down the line. I’m happy with the layout and think you’ll enjoy it. If you’d like to receive the BNM Rundown or discuss advertising opportunities inside of it, click here to sign up. A big thanks to Ryan Jaster for all the work he’s done getting it ready for distribution.
In addition to the newsletter, 2022 will become the first year where we roll out BNM’s Top 20 of 2022. Similar to how we’ve produced the BSM Top 20, we are going to do the same for the News/Talk format. Categories will be announced at a later time, and we’re expecting to present our results towards years end. There’s a lot to be done to make it a success, but if we’re able to do for News/Talk what we’ve done for Sports/Talk during the past 6 years, I’m confident folks will appreciate it.
When I look at BNM right now, I see a number of excellent writers on the site. If you’re not reading Pete Mundo, Jerry Barmash, Douglas Pucci, Rick Schultz, McGraw Milhaven, Ryan Hedrick and Eduardo Razo, you really should. Each of those guys have been rock stars for the brand, but we need more help, especially another columnist or two. If you work in news radio or TV, love writing, and live and breathe the business, email: JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Though we do need to add columnists, a bigger hole has been a dedicated Assistant Content Editor. I’ve poured my heart and soul into BSM over the years, Demetri Ravanos has as well, and that’s helped us build a strong connection with sports radio folks. For BNM, that love, interest, and unwavering passion for telling stories about news radio and news television has been missing in the editor role. Though frustrating at times, it’s all part of building a brand. You have to go thru a few things before it all starts to click. Now after talking to a bunch of talented people over the past two months, and thinking about the brand’s need for TLC, I’m happy to announce the internal promotion of Eduardo Razo.
Since joining us Eduardo has been a steady fixture on the site, writing news, scheduling social posts, and putting an extra set of eyes on the content that comes in from our team. He cares about the site being clean, conducts himself neutrally and professionally when adding news, and he believes in the brand. If hours go by and the site doesn’t have new content, he’s the one who points it out. When Eduardo first joined us he was just learning the ropes. Over the past fifteen months he’s been consistently excellent, and I have no doubt he’ll make even more progress in his new role as BNM’s Assistant Content Editor.
Making sure Eduardo has support to help him though is also important. I’d love to be that person myself, but client projects require much of my focus, so having a strong #2 is key. I’ve been lucky to have a great one in Demetri Ravanos who I’m excited to share is being elevated to the new role of Director of Content. In his new position, Demetri will continue producing columns, creating original feature stories, and hosting a weekly podcast. He’ll also be responsible for daily social creation and scheduling, working with yours truly on client projects and Barrett Media events, recruitment of writers, growth of the BSM Member Directory, BSM merchandising, additional BSM audio projects, and oversight of BSM and BNM’s Assistant Content Editors.
That last line implies that there will be multiple editors involved in shaping BSM and BNM’s content, and with Demetri and Eduardo promoted, that means we’re adding someone to help grow BSM. I’m thrilled to welcome Ian Casselberry to our team as BSM’s new Assistant Content Editor. Ian is familiar to many in the sports media universe for his work with Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He’s also contributed to Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, SB Nation Detroit, and MLive.com among others.
I’ve read Ian’s work for years and have always appreciated his passion for sports radio and sports television. Adding someone with his experience, creativity, and attention to detail has been a huge priority for me. I’m looking forward to turning him loose on January 17th when he officially begins working with us. Under his direction, and in tandem with Demetri and I, we’re going to aim to produce more quality sports media content, and continue expanding BSM’s footprint across the industry.
As awesome as all of these moves are for creating interest in reading the site, if you don’t have someone in position to help sell it, the upside is going to be limited. For the past six years I’ve been the one making those sales myself. But I’ve also had to be a consultant, social scheduler, content creator, summit organizer-creator-host, finder of new clients, and the one in charge of billing and payroll. I love being busy, but a brand’s potential can’t be maximized without help.
Placing the company’s sales efforts in someone else’s hands though requires trust. I’ve learned the past few years that unless you’re inside my world and understand everything that goes on with BSM and BNM, it’s not an easy brand to sell. Media sellers are used to working with more assets, bigger dollars, and they expect things to move faster. They’re also used to corporate environments where a crew provides support from the beginning to the end of a sale. That’s not how it works here. This is more of a family business. Our success depends on one on one relationships, accessibility, being a self-starter, and patience. It means keeping in touch with industry friends and partners even when there isn’t a sale to be made. Nobody knows this brand, business, and who we serve better than the person who’s lived it with me for the past six and a half years, Stephanie Eads, my new Director of Strategic Partnerships.
Not only has Stephanie worked in sales and customer service most of her adult life, she’s honest, organized, and outstanding with people. She’s been exposed to every aspect of my radio life for the past sixteen years, and if you’ve been to a BSM Summit before then you already know how on the ball she is at making sure things get done. This is something we’ve talked about for years, but the timing was never right. Now it is, and I’m excited to watch her blossom. Having her add extra support to help me with billing and payroll is an added bonus.
The BSM brand will also welcome a few additional writers starting this week. First, I’m glad to have Danny O’Neil joining us as a weekly columnist. I got to know Danny in Seattle at 710 ESPN Seattle over the past six years, and he’s always been smart, passionate about media, and an exceptional writer. He’s now based in NYC and his debut column will hit the site this Friday. Also joining us in a daily news writer role is Will Dundon. Will is based in Nashville where he works as a producer for 102.5 The Game. Having him involved will help us stay on top of day to day news stories.
In terms of upcoming content, the BSM Top 20 of 2021 will be released February 7-11 and 14-15. The series moves back a week this year in accordance with a later Super Bowl date. During the seven day span we will highlight the best local sports radio stations, program directors, and morning, midday, and afternoon shows. We will also recognize the best national sports talk shows and original sports podcasts. To do that, we will once again involve more than 50 program directors and executives in the voting process.
One thing we will do differently this year is create an extra piece which recognizes the top performer in twenty smaller categories. These will be determined by a combination of BSM staff and select experts for specific fields. Some of these categories will include Best Sports Betting Content Brand, Best Wrestling Audio Show, Best Sports Radio Social Brand, and more.
After the Top 20 concludes, we’ll turn our attention to the 2022 BSM Summit, which is scheduled for March 2-3, 2022 in New York City at the Anne Bernstein Theater. The show will also be available virtually for those who can’t attend in person. I’m excited about the guest speakers we’ve lined up for this year’s event, and have more tremendous additions to announce later this week and next week. I realize the Omicron/Covid-19 situation has created some concern over the past month, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. As of today, we’re planning to host the event. If the situation were to worsen and we couldn’t keep people safe and comfortable, we’d reschedule the show. I’m hopeful of seeing familiar faces and many of sports media’s best and brightest in sixty days. If you haven’t bought your ticket, log on to BSMSummit.com and do so before you’re on the outside looking in. In the meantime, stay tuned to this website and the BSM 8@8 for details. We should all know more January 15th when New York State updates everyone on their mask ordinance.
Other content projects are in the works as well for March-December. We’ve got a number of ideas we’ve talked about for March Madness, and the NFL Draft. Items like last year’s Meet The Market Managers or a programmer’s version of it may also land on the content calendar. Not to be forgotten is the importance of continuing to improve the BSM Member Directory to help people stay informed, ready, and land in front of the right decision makers when job openings arise. Seeing a few of our members earn gigs the last 4-5 months of 2021 was very cool, and we hope to see more of that in 2022. Last but not least, I’m hopeful of giving the website a new layout in either quarter 2 or 3.
As I bring this column to a close, I’d like to remind you that BSM and BNM exists because we love the business and advocate for it daily. Since 2015, I’ve prioritized professional storytelling, research, industry news, relationship building, social media marketing, and consulting. Inside information and building relationships are important, and sure, it’s occasionally fun being first, but I’ve never worried about clicks, scoops, cash grabs or ruining reputations to elevate my own. I try to think about the big picture, even if it means missing out in the short-term. That applies to who I work with in a consulting capacity as well as how I operate the site. There’s no better example of it than last week. Most of our crew had the week off. It was tough missing out on stories when we were taking a mental timeout, but people come first. If you want long-term productivity and a staff to stick with you, support and sacrifice are essential.
If there’s one thing I know, this outlet has been a great resource for industry professionals. I wasn’t as fortunate during my studio days to have a site this rich in content to learn from, debate with, and stay connected to. We’ve hired 20+ contributors to help serve the industry, and I’m honored to have each one of them here. The additions we’ve made to improve the brand in 2022 will make us even better. We’re not perfect by any stretch, but we try to be fair and accurate. I also try to be accessible, especially when difficult situations arise. There are going to be times when our crew deliver strong opinions or tackle sensitive issues, and when those instances occur, I hope you’ll remember what I said about accuracy and fairness. We won’t operate as shills for the industry but we’re also not going scorched earth on folks.
Our goal here is simple, help folks stay informed about the sports and news radio/television formats, overdeliver for clients who place their trust in us, connect our advertising partners and members to others who can benefit from their services, and give industry people access to content from other professionals so they can do their jobs better.
If we can do these things consistently we’ll be in great shape. If we miss along the way, we’ll clean up the mess, and try to learn from it. We’re nine months away from celebrating seven years in operation, and we couldn’t have made it this far without your full support. Thanks for riding with us, now let’s make 2022 a year to remember.
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