Connect with us

Barrett Blogs

Leaving California

Published

on

Many of us in this business have heard the phrase “the bigger the risk, the bigger reward“. In theory it sounds good but when push comes to shove, most people prefer a sure thing over the unknown. I don’t blame them. The unknown is scary and unpredictable.

101groupWell, anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows that I don’t fear taking risks. It may not always be popular or look good at first glance, but that approach has put me in position to run four radio stations in three top-20 markets over the past nine years and thanks to working with some great people it’s led to a lot of success.

Today is bittersweet for me because while I’m staying true to that approach, it’s for a very different reason. I’ve spent the last nine years making choices based on what was best for my career. Today, I’m making a decision based on what’s best for me and my family rather than worrying about how it might look or impact my career.

To the surprise of many, I’ve informed my friends and family at Entercom that I will be leaving San Francisco and my position as Program Director of 95.7 The Game at the end of my contract when it expires this June!

 

JBWHBefore the rumor mill swirls with all sorts of created controversies and half truths, let me state that this has zero to do with being unhappy with my staff or company. It has zero to do with wanting more money or power and it has zero to do with my company’s faith in me. Truth be told, I’ve loved this place from the moment I arrived in June 2011, Entercom has treated me and my family incredibly well and if they had their preference, I’d be staying here.

Saying goodbye to people who I’ve grown close to and care about is not easy but I didn’t arrive at this decision overnight. This is something I’ve contemplated for a long time and while it may catch some people off guard, I know in my heart that it’s time.

So the natural question is, why am I leaving?

DDJI wish I had some complex answer but it’s really simple. I’ve reached a point in my life where returning home to New York and being there for my son as he enters his teenage years is critical for me. My parents are also starting to slow down in their later years and I want to be there to help them as much as I can. As much as I love radio, building brands and coaching and motivating people, I love my son and family more and it’s time to put my focus on them in a much stronger way.

For some who know me, that might be hard to digest given how much passion and effort I put into this line of work. Sure I’ve balanced things pretty well over the years but I never drew up a plan to have my son and I separated by thousands of miles. I was dealt those cards and had to adjust to make it work. On the surface it may seem like I found the solution to juggle it but you haven’t seen me every other Friday morning and Sunday evening in New York when I’ve been fighting to stay awake and be available in conversation or fight back emotions as I say goodbye to my son and head to the airport to catch another flight.

JBAIRPORTFor nine years, my schedule every 2-3 weeks has consisted of flying on a plane to/from NY, renting a car and driving two hours upstate to share a bedroom with my son in my parents house for three days. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting and I can’t do it anymore.

I’ve been lucky to have great support from my son and parents and I know they’d be in my corner no matter what I decided. At some point in life, we all have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we’re ok with the decisions we’ve made and I won’t look back regretting the fact that I was absent from my son’s life during his entire childhood. These next 5 years of his life are critical and will heavily influence what type of man he becomes and I won’t miss the opportunity to help lead him down the right path as he inches closer towards chasing his own hopes and dreams one day.

jbraiderI recognize some cynical people will suggest this is corporate spin or that there’s more to the story that I’m not sharing. I can’t control other people’s thoughts and actions, only my own. I wouldn’t exit a situation without a guarantee elsewhere unless it had a bigger meaning to me and I wouldn’t be sticking around for a few more months to help with a transition if I wasn’t still wanted here.

Before I discuss my future, I’d like to thank some people who have been a huge part of this journey the past four years. Without their trust, support, respect and friendship we would not have had great success at 95.7 The Game.

JBDWFirst, my former GM Dwight Walker and Entercom’s President of Programming Pat Paxton were the ones who hired me in San Francisco. They believed in me and my vision for 95.7 The Game and supported me every step of the way. I will be forever grateful to each of them for having trust in me to shape the radio station the way I saw fit. Did I get it all right? No. But we enjoyed a lot of success and they had my back every step of the way and were great professional colleagues who I respect tremendously.

JBRISEGUYSSecondly, my entire team at 95.7 The Game has been special and afforded me four of the best years of my professional career. From our initial lineup of the Rise Guys, Chris Townsend, The Wheelhouse w/ Lund, Papa, Urban & Steinmetz & The Drive with Brandon Tierney & Eric Davis to our current crew of Flight 957, Papa & Lund, Haberman & Middlekauff, Damon Bruce and Towny & Zakariah, we’ve created great radio together and I’ve enjoyed being a part of the ride with you.

jbflightWhile I’m intense, driven and a pain in the ass at times, I hope those who’ve worked with me in San Francisco realize that my goals were to make people better and grow the radio station. If you took 2-3 things away from me and used them to improve as a broadcaster, then I’ve done my job. Numerous people have left situations in other cities and companies to be part of this and words can’t express how much it’s meant to me that you took the leap to come here.

957originalWe launched in August 2011 in 25th place with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p. In December 2014, we were in 8th and we’ve peaked as high as 6th in June 2014. That’s great progress in a top five market in a little more than three years. And to think, this team haven’t even hit its peak yet.

957staffTo say I’m extremely proud of the progress we made as a team would be a massive understatement. I have no doubt that the person who takes the controls of this radio station next will take the product to an even higher level because it’s a building full of smart, hard working people who care about creating great radio for local listeners and the talent level is too strong to not continue doing big things. The station also has great corporate support from Entercom. As a PD that’s half the battle. Whoever earns this opportunity in the future is walking into a winning situation.

334Third, I want to thank current Entercom San Francisco GM Steve DiNardo and Entercom CEO David Field. Steve got thrown into the fire last January and had never dealt with the chaos of overseeing a sports format. Rather than come in and try to put his prints all over it and act off of emotion, he stepped back, observed, let his people do what they do best and allowed me to lead the way I was comfortable. He also maintained a great demeanor during difficult times and has done a really nice job bringing our building together. I’ve enjoyed being a part of his team.

David on the other hand has been as cool of a CEO as you can hope to work for. He’s extremely passionate about sports, believes in the format strongly, supports it by allowing you as a leader to make moves to grow the product and most importantly, he’s willing to engage in spirited discussion and allow you to disagree with him without it feeling like you’ll pay the price for not being a yes man. That kind of candor and passion is what makes working for him a thrill and it’s a big reason why Entercom is one of the best broadcast companies around. I’ve enjoyed my numerous conversations with him over the years and they’ve helped me grow as a leader.

DADDYLI’d also like to thank Dwight, Pat, Steve and David for their patience and support in allowing me to get back and forth to NY to see my son over the past four years. Not every company offers the flexibility to be out of the office every other Friday to stay active in your child’s life but Entercom afforded me that just as Bonneville St. Louis did and that speaks volumes about what they stand for as companies and people.

JBCROWEFourth, I want to thank current Assistant Program Director Jeremiah Crowe and our Imaging Director Jeff Schmidt. Crowe has endured a ton being the middle man, much of which can be very uncomfortable when dealing with a dominant presence like myself. Through it all he’s kept growing and finding ways to make us better. I have no doubt he’s ready to run his own radio station. Making a suggestion vs. the final decision is very different but you can’t show what you’re capable of unless you’re thrown into the fire. I’m rooting for him as he goes through this process.

chimpsaysAs for Jeff, it’s his twisted brain and creative genius that allowed 95.7 The Game to establish the identity we hoped to create when we launched the station. His commitment to doing killer production is what keeps the station sounding fresh and while he can be a pain in the ass like myself, and make you question your own decisions, I value that because I want honesty and conviction out of people. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing 150% and have the confidence to stand by it, defend it and sell your team on it, you’ll get trampled in a room full of alpha males. Jeff has no problem speaking his mind and challenging the status quo to help a brand strive for greatness. His imaging work is second to none.

rickscott2Fifth, I want to thank our consultant Rick Scott. Not only is he the best in the business at what he does but he’s a dear friend and someone who’s friendship, trust and respect I appreciate deeply. He was instrumental in helping me build 101 ESPN in St. Louis into a strong local and nationally recognized brand and he has done the same thing here in San Francisco helping us establish 95.7 The Game. To have the benefit of swapping ideas and getting into the weeds of some tough situations with him on a weekly basis is a big reason why 95.7 The Game has taken steps in the right direction. I’m sure he and I will remain collaborating in the future and spend countless hours continuing to talk about the sports radio format and how to make it better.

957fansLast but not least, I want to thank our listeners. Growing up as an East Coast guy I was clueless to how passionate people on the west coast were about their teams. I constantly heard how New York, Boston and Philadelphia sports fans were great and how fans on the west coast were too casual, passive and disinterested. Having lived it for 4 years now, I know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

This audience is as engaged, informed and passionate as anyone and just because they don’t scream and yell with every phone call doesn’t mean they don’t care. From seeing how people responded to our Lucky Break auditions, Gridiron Gala parties, AM/FM campaigns and sharing their views on our shows/radio station on social media, I learned that people wanted to root for us yet also express their opinions about our brand. For that I’m extremely appreciative.

JBCREWYou may not have always agreed with the decisions I’ve made and you’ll always have preferences for things that matter most to you as an individual but through it all, you rooted, supported and connected with us and that’s what makes sports radio fun. Thank you for allowing me, our staff and our radio station a chance to be part of your lives the past four years. I trust you’ll continue connecting with 95.7 The Game because there are some very talented personalities on these airwaves and they won’t stop working hard to gain your time, trust and feedback.

I could spend all day listing individuals who I’m grateful to but the list is endless and I’ll likely forget someone plus I don’t want to put readers through a column which takes three hours to finish. If I didn’t list you specifically, don’t think for a second that you didn’t play an important part in what we did here together. The past four years don’t happen without every single person making a contribution to help us build a great radio station.

NYCSo the next obvious question is “JB where are you going to work“? As of today, I know one thing, I’ll be located in New York. Professionally I have some possibilities that I’m entertaining and I have my agent Craig Fenech exploring those discussions to see what makes the best sense for my future. It remains possible that I’ll stay with Entercom in some capacity but we’ll have to see how things unfold.

When I have further details to share I’ll make everyone aware but right now this isn’t about my future, it’s about the final chapter of my time in San Francisco. All I’m thinking about right now is my upcoming six day vacation to Hawaii on Wednesday and returning to work next Tuesday to make sure 95.7 The Game is set up in strong fashion for my team and the next PD of this radio station to have future success.

JB Raiders interviewOn a personal level, I’ve not been a free agent contractually in over six years so it’s nice to be able to step back, relax and take a look at the possibilities that exist while also getting a better sense of how my peers and colleagues in this industry view my work. Rest assured, my days in the industry are not over and I haven’t lost the passion or drive to do this. I’ll just be doing it from a different address. After living in eight different towns over the past nine years, I’m excited about re-establishing my roots, having my family near me and calling someplace home for a change.

JBGURUWhile the future may appear cloudy today, I’ve never been afraid to embrace change and take chances and in doing so, it’s helped me build a very strong eighteen year career in this industry. I’ve learned that you rarely know what’s being planned inside each company and the availability of talented people often dictates whether or not other situations can be created. I was told a long time ago to always trust my gut and that approach has never let me down. It won’t this time either.

As I prepare to exit San Francisco, I want to make sure people are in good situations here just as I did when I left 101 ESPN in St. Louis a few years ago. I’ve often used the quote “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” and I’ll be leading by example and finishing up strong.

daddylanWhile the face of station leadership may change, the success of the staff and company will only get stronger. This was my baby and I’ve helped raise it and I’m very proud of what it has become. Even long after I’m gone, a part of me will always be inside this building and I’m grateful for that. But it’s time now to give the keys to the radio station to someone else and give my own TLC to the one who deserves it most, my son.

Hey Dylan, dad is coming home!

Barrett Blogs

Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

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.”

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

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.”

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.