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Do You Know Who You’re Hiring?

Jason Barrett

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If you’ve ever watched the show “Shark Tank” or “The Voice“, you’ve watched people present themselves in front of the coaches or sharks, hoping to get them excited about what they do. If they perform well, multiple people on the show could be vying for their services and within a matter of seconds, they’re forced to make a decision on who they wish to partner with. If they make the right choice, it could pay huge dividends. If they choose poorly, they’re back to square one and kicking themselves for not reading the room differently.

Well it’s no different in our business. One of the toughest decisions we face is the decision to accept or reject an opportunity of employment. If you’re in a manager’s shoes, you also have to decide whether or not someone is a good or bad fit for your brand. On a personal level, people want to make a good living so they can take care of their families and they want to be surrounded by people who they respect and like working with. They want to perform for a company with a good track record and be seen as a valuable member of the organization but too often during the process, they allow personal friendships and large sums of money to cloud their decisions. They stop doing their homework on the people and companies they may work for because a few good pieces of feedback and a high salary number that meets or exceeds expectation, is enough to turn a blind eye to some potential warning signs.

reputationEqually in danger is the employer. They’re the ones having to decide whether or not you’re worthy of leading the organization, being the face of the brand or an individual worth attaching a client’s message to. They have to be sure that an employee is a reflection of what their company represents and they’re the ones on the hook for large sums of money. They also have to endure battles and have their ducks in a row when explaining the brand’s results and personnel choices. If they don’t pan out or fail to meet expectation, they then have to address those same subjects internally and externally and figure out solutions to get things fixed.

I’ve learned over the past 9 years of programming that the process for hiring someone is much harder than anything you might imagine. I’ve hired people who walked in the door with baggage and I’ve been rewarded strongly for it and I’ve hired people who appeared to be clean as a whistle, yet ended up being dirty. That said, one thing I take pride in and consider extremely important is doing my homework on anyone I hire. I may not end up being right all the time but it won’t be for a lack of due diligence. In numerous cases I’ve spent months evaluating someone before pulling the trigger on hiring them and usually when I’ve operated that way I’ve made smart choices.

ignore2In my opinion, this is a big part of every manager’s job. Not being privy to what every building and company does, I’m not sure if every programmer, personality or radio executive values this the same. Often personalities get blinded by the lure of a bigger time slot and paycheck which feeds their ego and makes them feel more important. General Managers, Sales Managers and Corporate Executives will sometimes look at a person’s track record of ratings, market size and industry reputation and move forward with that person quickly out of fear of losing them rather than dig through the weeds to find out what that person’s background is like.

One of my favorite situations during my career took place in April 2011. I was brought into San Francisco by Entercom to discuss the PD position for what is now known as 95.7 The Game. The discussions and meetings I had been involved in up to that point had been fantastic and I was excited by the possibility of competing in market #4. I knew the company’s reputation and commitment towards doing local sports talk throughout the county was strong and I felt the offer to join them in San Francisco would be to my liking.

SAMSUNGOn Friday night, my girlfriend Stephanie and I headed to a Sharks playoff game with my former General Manager Dwight Walker and on Saturday we were given time to scout the area and make sure it was a good personal fit. I was blown away by the market and knew I wanted to live and work here for the next 4 years. I also was excited about the possibility of working for Dwight and I sensed he felt the same way about having me lead his operation.

Then on Sunday morning, Stephanie and I joined Dwight for breakfast to put the finishing touches on a deal which would bring me to San Francisco. Before we could get to the end of the process though, my girlfriend asked if she could ask a question. I was sitting there thinking “don’t screw this up for me Steph” and after Dwight gave her the nod to ask away, she asked him “why do you want to hire Jason“? It was a simple question but yet very important because it would tell me a lot about what Dwight really knew about me and the way I work.

jbstephTo his credit, he responded by talking about my passion, leadership qualities, track record and values and I could tell he had done a good job of reading me. However, he wasn’t aware of how I operated on a daily basis. My girlfriend then asked “Are you prepared to receive a 6 paragraph email at 2am telling you what needs to be fixed with the radio station to make it perform better? Can you handle it when people in other departments start complaining to you because he has a vision and won’t let them get in the way of it, especially if it relates to the on-air product? What will you do when you hear him passionately getting into it with an on-air personality because he expects stronger preparation and better performance out of them“?

I sat there both stunned and impressed because she knew what my style was like and how much I put into my work and she wanted him to be sure he knew what he was getting into. To Dwight’s credit, he handled it perfectly and said “I guess I’ll have to read more, ask him to keep it down a little from time to time and I’m not interested in hiring someone who can win popularity contests, I want someone who can lead us to the top and stop at nothing to get there. If Jason comes here he will have my full support to do what we need to do to win“.

dwightTo his credit, he lived up to every part of that during our time working together! Because we both did our homework on one another and felt comfortable with what we were each getting, the radio station was built and put in a position to succeed. Anyone who worked inside those walls during the time Dwight and I worked together knew that he and I were on the same page and the expectations were to work hard, continue to grow and not stop until we were a success.

Often when people interview for a job, we react to what they did previously and it’s easy to get caught up in how good they look on paper. We’ll point to their track record and say “He was in the top 3 in market X, sold a ton of endorsements and his style is perfect for this place“. While success in other places is important, it doesn’t always mean it will translate to another market.

IMG_2771For example, I under performed and socially did not connect in St. Louis during my first 2 years there. I spent a ton of time feeling like a fish out of water and was counting the days until I could exit 590 The Fan KFNS and go someplace else. I walked into a situation where my employer was struggling, the morale inside the building was low and I wasn’t completely locked in the way I needed to be. It was a difficult situation for all involved. Here I was, as an East Coast guy living for the first time in the Midwest, going through a divorce and being separated from my son, and all I wanted to do was have enough success to get the heck out of here. I was emotionally drained and unsure if my east coast style was a good fit in St. Louis.

Then one of the best things and turning points of my career happened. I reached an agreement one year later to leave KFNS and spend 6 months on the sidelines clearing my head. Being unemployed for the first time in 10+ years wasn’t easy but I needed to hit the reset button and find out what I was about and what I wanted. It was also the first time in a while that I had failed at something and I had to either pick myself up off the ground and learn from it or continue blaming everyone and everything else for what transpired.

jbrandybernieI was positive I would leave St. Louis and put it in my rear view mirror and I thought for sure I was going to go to Detroit or Houston but as luck would have it, my next opportunity would be less than 5 minutes away. When I accepted my next job working for Bonneville as the first programmer of 101 ESPN, I went into it mentally focused, appreciative of a second chance and excited about where I was living and much more confident in my abilities to perform there. I learned from the mistakes I made during my first run with KFNS and built a special culture inside the walls of 101 ESPN which continues there today. I also learned that there were a lot of good people in St. Louis who loved radio like I did and I was thrilled that I didn’t allow one bad situation to define my opinion of the market. After going thru that experience, St. Louis became very special to me and when I was faced with a decision to leave, it was really hard to say goodbye.

When I reflect back on those two experiences, there’s one valuable lesson that I learned – doing your homework is vital! When I accepted 590 The Fan’s offer I did so while knowing that my family were unhappy in Philadelphia, they felt more comfortable in St. Louis and there weren’t any other PD jobs available. I was also blown away by the company’s performance in Atlanta but I didn’t consider that just because they were performing strong in one place didn’t mean they would succeed somewhere else. Both markets were very different. I was also a big baseball fan and I loved how passionate St. Louis fans were towards the Cardinals and I figured I’d fit right in and have a chance to succeed if I could tap into that connection. Altogether it took me less than 3 weeks to complete the process going to KFNS and my lack of research on what I was getting into put me in a bad spot. That’s nobody else’s fault but my own.

JB and JKOn the other hand, when I went to work for Bonneville in St. Louis we spent nearly 3 months talking and going over various scenarios before the job was offered. I encouraged my former General Manager John Kijowski to do his homework on me and he did. He talked to people who knew what I was about professionally and I asked him to talk to people who weren’t fans of mine too. I wanted him to know what he was getting if he brought me in. I also did my homework on the company, John and the entire market to make sure I could create a plan that would work. There was no hesitation on either end when we reached the finish line together and by going through an exhausting hiring process, Bonneville got my very best and I benefited by working for a great company which supported, trusted and helped me.

If you’re a programmer, sales manager, corporate executive or GM, think back on some of the decisions you’ve made on talent, producers, board operators, reporters, anchors or any other member of your organization. When you’ve hired people to work for you, have you truly done your due diligence? The ratings story can be deceiving and your former co-worker may have great things to say about an individual but do you really know the ins and outs and critical pieces of information that you need to know about who you’re hiring? If a situation hasn’t worked out, why didn’t it? Did you go against your gut and ignore the signs or were you under pressure to get something completed that you rushed to judgment? If you’ve gone through a failed experiment (we all do), how have you learned from those situations and how are you more prepared now when you make hiring decisions than you were 2-3 years ago?

jbdamonToo often in this industry people read press clippings and form opinions off of them and while I understand the importance of researching information based on what’s been written, there’s always more to a story than what you read. If you’re going to hire someone great who moves the needle, don’t be surprised if they produce a few unpopular opinions online when you google their name. If the job is to generate an audience and create buzz for a show, those with strong opinions who toe the line and sometimes step over it are going to be on your list of targets.

For example, I am glad that I didn’t allow a few articles and media critics to influence my decision to hire Damon Bruce in San Francisco. Most great talent have their legion of fans and critics and Damon is no exception. At times he’ll say some things that ruffle a few feathers and we’ve had a few passionate disagreements along the way but I also know him as a person off the air and how much he puts into his work. When I did my homework on him I asked numerous people for feedback and I spent months examining whether or not the fit would make sense. When I reached my decision I felt very comfortable with bringing him on to our team and without question it’s been paid dividends and benefited all involved.

I’ve also nearly hired Tony Bruno and Sean Salisbury during my career and if you google their names you’ll find an unflattering story or two but if you got to know them, what they’re about, how they work and how they perform, you wouldn’t even question whether or not they can help improve your product. All you need to do is look in Philadelphia and Houston and you’ll see them having success and being valuable members of their respective organizations.

kaplan9The same can be said for other top personalities such as Scott Kaplan, Mike Missanelli, Chris Dimino, Stephen A. Smith, Dan McNeil and Sid Rosenberg. All of them possess outstanding talent and strong track records but all have a blemish or two on their resume. Some of them I know well and I wouldn’t hesitate to hire tomorrow if I had a need and they fit my market and brand, and some of them I don’t know and would need to do more homework on. That said, that’s why you go through an extensive hiring process to make sure you’ve given yourself, your company and the candidate the best chance to have a successful relationship together.

While it’s easy to shine the light on this situation from a programmer’s point of view, if you’re an on-air talent there are things you should be examining too before accepting an opportunity.

  • Do you analyze how the company operates and performs in other markets?
  • Do you talk to people involved with those stations to find out how they like working for the company?
  • Do you talk to current or former employees who’ve worked for your potential PD to see how they feel about them?
  • Do you ask advertisers what their perspective is on the company and why they do/don’t buy the product?
  • Do you talk to the local teams or the networks that the radio station partners with to see how they perceive the brand?
  • Have you directly asked the PD or GM what their long-term plans are with the operation?
  • Have you checked into whether or not the company may be looking to sell?

That’s a lot of questions but each one is critical in helping you make a decision about whether or not to explore working for someone.

peteg2If you’re accepting an opportunity based on money and a higher profile time slot you’re setting yourself up for disappointment down the road. An employee-company relationship is a two way street and I remember my friend Pete Gianesini at ESPN Radio once telling me “you’re interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you” and that’s so true. This is your life and your career and this next move could be the catalyst to something big for you professionally or it could be the start of a downward spiral. While the best of intentions may exist today, that’s not always the case tomorrow and both sides need to know what they’re getting into. If you don’t, then it’s going to eat at you again and again if it doesn’t work out!

I stress this not only to the on-air people but to the folks on the company side as well. Whether you’re a GM, Sales Manager, Corporate Programmer or CEO, every sales person, engineer, traffic person, programmer or on-air personality hired, is a reflection of what the company stands for. These people represent you and your brand and that should matter a great deal because you earn or lose respect with every decision that’s made.

Ask The Right Questions on a cork notice boardHere’s a few questions to consider.

  • Are you trusting your managers to hire people independently or are you talking to the candidate as well?
  • Do you know why a person who’s had success or failure in their career had those experiences? Was it a result of their performance or the company’s decisions?
  • Do you know which people inside your building are future leaders and why they’re capable of stepping up or are you just listening to someone who you like/dislike and allowing it to influence how you think?
  • Do you talk to people inside your building to get a read on how they’re connecting with their manager or do you just assume everything is fine and rely on the manager’s feedback to impact your thoughts?

Managing is not easy and nothing puts a bulls eye on your reputation more than the decisions you make. Company’s who are generating millions of dollars are trusting their hosts, programmers, sales executives, GM’s and support staffs to create products that will help them make even more money and you need the right people to implement the plan. No company is in business to not be profitable and one wrong decision can cost you millions if you miss! If you’re going to risk a few million dollars on your next decision, don’t you want to know everything you can possibly know before you act on it?

Do you know what really stings? Having to go to sleep at night, not being able to do the job you love anymore because you skipped a few steps, made mistakes and damaged the brand you represented. Take it from someone who’s been to both ends of the spectrum, the view is much better from up top! So be smart and do your homework. Regardless of how it turns out, you’ll sleep much better at night knowing you did everything in your power to get it right.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

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The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media is Making Changes To Better Serve Our Sports and News Media Readers

“We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future.”

Jason Barrett

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When I launched this website all I wanted to do was share news, insight and stories about broadcasters and brands. My love, passion and respect for this business is strong, and I know many of you reading this feel similar. I spent two great decades in radio watching how little attention was paid to those who played a big part in their audiences lives. The occasional clickbait story and contract drama would find their way into the newspapers but rarely did you learn about the twists and turns of a broadcaster’s career, their approach to content or the tactics and strategies needed to succeed in the industry. When personal reasons led me home to NY in 2015, I decided I was going to try my best to change that.

Since launching this brand, we’ve done a good job informing and entertaining media industry professionals, while also helping consulting clients and advertising partners improve their businesses. We’ve earned respect from the industry’s top stars, programming minds and mainstream media outlets, growing traffic from 50K per month to 500K and monthly social impressions from a few thousand to a few million. Along the way we’ve added conferences, rankings, podcasts, a member directory, and as I’ve said before, this is the best and most important work I’ve ever done, and I’m not interested in doing anything else.

If I’ve learned anything over seven years of operating a digital content company it’s that you need skill, strategy, passion, differentiating content, and good people to create impact. You also need luck, support, curiosity and an understanding of when to double down, cut bait or pivot. It’s why I added Stephanie Eads as our Director of Sales and hired additional editors, columnists and features reporters earlier this year. To run a brand like ours properly, time and investment are needed. We’ve consistently grown and continue to invest in our future, and it’s my hope that more groups will recognize the value we provide, and give greater consideration to marketing with us in the future.

But with growth comes challenges. Sometimes you can have the right idea but bad timing. I learned that when we launched Barrett News Media.

We introduced BNM in September 2020, two months before the election when emotions were high and COVID was a daily discussion. I wasn’t comfortable then of blending BNM and BSM content because I knew we’d built a trusted sports media resource, and I didn’t want to shrink one audience while trying to grow another. Given how personal the election and COVID became for folks, I knew the content mix would look and feel awkward on our site.

So we made the decision to start BNM with its own website. We ran the two brands independently and had the right plan of attack, but discovered that our timing wasn’t great.

The first nine months readership was light, which I expected since we were new and trying to build an audience from scratch. I believed in the long-term mission, which was why I stuck with it through all of the growing pains, but I also felt a responsibility to make sure our BNM writing team and the advertising partners we forged relationships with were being seen by as many people as possible. We continued with the original plan until May 2021 when after a number of back and forth debates, I finally agreed to merge the two sites. I figured if WFAN could thrive with Imus in the Morning and Mike and the Mad Dog in the afternoon, and the NY Times, LA Times, KOA, KMOX and numerous other newspaper and radio brands could find a way to blend sports and news/talk, then so could we.

And it worked.

We dove in and started to showcase both formats, building social channels and groups for each, growing newsletter databases, and with the addition of a few top notch writers, BNM began making bigger strides. Now featured under the BSM roof, the site looked bigger, the supply of daily content became massive, and our people were enjoying the increased attention.

Except now we had other issues. Too many stories meant many weren’t being read and more mistakes were slipping through the cracks. None of our crew strive to misspell a word or write a sloppy headline but when the staff and workload doubles and you’re trying to focus on two different formats, things can get missed. Hey, we’re all human.

Then a few other things happened that forced a larger discussion with my editors.

First, I thought about how much original material we were creating for BSM from our podcast network, Summit, Countdown to Coverage series, Meet the Market Managers, BSM Top 20, and began to ask myself ‘if we’re doing all of this for sports readers, what does that tell folks who read us for news?’ We then ran a survey to learn what people valued about our brand and though most of the feedback was excellent, I saw how strong the response was to our sports content, and how news had grown but felt second fiddle to those offering feedback.

Then, Andy Bloom wrote an interesting column explaining why radio hosts would be wise to stop talking about Donald Trump. It was the type of piece that should’ve been front and center on a news site all day but with 3 featured slots on the site and 7 original columns coming in that day, they couldn’t all be highlighted the way they sometimes should be. We’re actually going through that again today. That said, Andy’s column cut through. A few sports media folks didn’t like seeing it on the site, which wasn’t a surprise since Trump is a polarizing personality, but the content resonated well with the news/talk crowd.

National talk radio host Mike Gallagher was among the folks to see Andy’s piece, and he spent time on his show talking about the column. Mike’s segment was excellent, and when he referenced the article, he did the professional thing and credited our website – Barrett SPORTS Media. I was appreciative of Mike spending time on his program discussing our content but it was a reminder that we had news living under a sports roof and it deserved better than that.

I then read some of Pete Mundo, Doug Pucci and Rick Schultz’s columns and Jim Cryns’ features on Chris Ruddy, Phil Boyce, and David Santrella, and knew we were doing a lot of quality work but each time we produced stories, folks were reminded that it lived on a SPORTS site. I met a few folks who valued the site, recognized the increased focus we put on our news/talk coverage, and hoped we had plans to do more. Jim also received feedback along the lines of “good to see you guys finally in the news space, hope there’s more to come.”

Wanting to better understand our opportunities and challenges, I reviewed our workflow, looked at which content was hitting and missing the mark, thought about the increased relationships we’d worked hard to develop, and the short-term and long-term goals for BNM. I knew it was time to choose a path. Did I want to think short-term and keep everything under one roof to protect our current traffic and avoid disrupting people or was it smarter to look at the big picture and create a destination where news/talk media content could be prioritized rather than treated as BSM’s step-child?

Though I spent most of my career in sports media and established BSM first, it’s important to me to serve the news/talk media industry our very best. I want every news/talk executive, host, programmer, market manager, agent, producer, seller and advertiser to know this format matters to us. Hopefully you’ve seen that in the content we’ve created over the past two years. My goal is to deliver for news media professionals what we have for sports media folks and though that may be a tall order, we’re going to bust our asses to make it happen. To prove that this isn’t just lip service, here’s what we’re going to do.

Starting next Monday November 28th, we are relaunching BarrettNewsMedia.com. ALL new content produced by the BNM writing team will be available daily under that URL. For the first 70-days we will display news media columns from our BNM writers on both sites and support them with promotion across both of our brands social channels. The goal is to have the two sites running independent of each other by February 6, 2023.

Also starting on Monday November 28th, we will begin distributing the BNM Rundown newsletter 5 days per week. We’ve been sending out the Rundown every M-W-F since October 2021, but the time has come for us to send it out daily. With increased distribution comes two small adjustments. We will reduce our daily story count from 10 to 8 and make it a goal to deliver it to your inbox each day by 3pm ET. If you haven’t signed up to receive the Rundown, please do. You can click here to register. Be sure to scroll down past the 8@8 area.

Additionally, Barrett News Media is going to release its first edition of the BNM Top 20 of 2022. This will come out December 12-16 and 19-20. The category winners will be decided by more than 50 news/talk radio program directors and executives. Among the categories to be featured will be best Major/Mid Market Local morning, midday, and afternoon show, best Local News/Talk PD, best Local News/Talk Station, best National Talk Radio Show, and best Original Digital Show. The voting process with format decision makers begins today and will continue for two weeks. I’ve already got a number of people involved but if you work in an executive or programming role in the news/talk format and wish to be part of it, send an email to me at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

We have one other big thing coming to Barrett News Media in 2023, which I will announce right after the BNM Top 20 on Wednesday December 21st. I’m sure news/talk professionals will like what we have planned but for now, it’ll have to be a month long tease. I promise though to pay it off.

Additionally, I’m always looking for industry folks who know and love the business and enjoy writing about it. If you’ve programmed, hosted, sold or reported in the news/talk world and have something to offer, email me. Also, if you’re a host, producer, programmer, executive, promotions or PR person and think something from your brand warrants coverage on our site, send it along. Most of what we write comes from listening to stations and digging across the web and social media. Receiving your press releases and getting a heads up on things you’re doing always helps.

If you’re a fan of BSM, this won’t affect you much. The only difference you’ll notice in the coming months is a gradual reduction of news media content on the BSM website and our social accounts sharing a little about both formats over the next two months until we’re officially split in February. We are also going to dabble a little more in marketing, research and tech content that serves both formats. If you’re a reader who enjoys both forms of our content, you’ll soon have BarrettSportsMedia.com for sports, and BarrettNewsMedia.com for news.

Our first two years in the news/talk space have been very productive but we’ve only scratched the surface. Starting November 28th, news takes center stage on BarrettNewsMedia.com and sports gets less crowded on BarrettSportsMedia.com. We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future. If we can count on you to remember two URL’s (add them to your bookmarks) and sign up for our newsletters, then you can count on us to continue delivering exceptional coverage of the industry you love. As always, thanks for the continued support. It makes everything we do worthwhile.

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