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Welcome To The 2015 Sports Radio Draft

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If you’re like myself and most other sports fans on the planet, you spent last night immersed in NFL Draft coverage. Whether you were glued to ESPN, the NFL Network, Twitter or another media outlet, the draft had your undivided attention and you couldn’t get enough of it. As the process unfolded, you found yourself playing arm chair General Manager as you second guessed a number of decisions. Then, you drifted off to fantasyland where you questioned what you would’ve done had you been given the responsibility of making selections for one of the 32 professional sports franchises.

schneiderWhen it comes to the sports talk radio industry, the role of a Program Director is similar to that of a NFL General Manager. Yes it can be fun to pick the talent that will reflect your brand’s vision but with that responsibility comes a number of different options and pressures. Before any critical decision is made, a myriad of factors must be taken into account and every stone must be unturned. Once the decision is made though, then the PD’s job is to do everything in their power to support the choice and turn it into a winning situation.

Most programmers that I know, go through a hiring process which includes asking a number of questions and talking to a wide variety of different people who can provide additional insight on a potential candidate. Questions are asked such as “Can this person generate ratings? Will they be a good teammate? Will they work with the sales team to help generate revenue? How will they interact with fans and critics? Are they coachable? What’s their work ethic like? How do they relate to the audience? Do they attend games and develop relationships? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

The PD will also analyze past performance, review how a host conducts themselves in the social space, listen to the host’s show numerous times to make sure it’s consistently great and spend time with the individual to see how they conduct themselves outside the work place. Once the process is completed, then it’s time to trust your gut and make a call, knowing that there’s a 50/50 chance of being rewarded or criticized.

decisionsWhile there are many parts of the job that a PD must focus on, nothing is more important than making good hiring decisions. Much like an NFL GM, one false step can cost your team and organization dearly if you misfire. When it comes to professional football I believe a GM and scout have one job to do when it comes to selecting talent – be right! The same rule applies to a PD when hiring talent.

The process can be extensive and at times exhausting but the more information you gather, the better your percentages are at hiring someone who will do a good job for your radio station. While nothing in life is guaranteed and anybody can be fooled, you owe it to yourself and your brand to be as thorough as you can be. Then you have to hope that the person you’ve given your trust and commitment to, returns the favor and performs favorably.

While I was watching the draft last night, I kept wondering, what if the sports talk radio format held an annual draft and every PD in the country had the chance to better their brand by selecting the best talent available. I’ve always enjoyed lists and debates so when media outlets like Radio Ink and Talkers put together their annual “Best Of The Sports Radio Format“, I’ll read them and do what everyone else in our industry does – agree with some and disagree with others. My only issue, is that I never know who’s part of the process or what the criteria is for measuring each show and personality.

spdI decided to try something fun and interesting by tracking down 32 programmers who I respect in this industry, and having them take part in the first ever sports radio draft. Using ground breaking technology (32 names in a hat) and a list of every single sports radio personality working on a local station or national network, I challenged each PD to select a personality who they found to be compelling, informative, entertaining, opinionated and someone they could win with if they had them on their airwaves.

I encouraged the group who took part in this process to avoid choosing someone based on past ratings history, revenue generated, market size, personal friendships, internal jealousies or annual salaries because if we are building a radio station and focused strictly on winning in the present and the future, then it’s all about identifying great talent who we think can make a difference. I also asked each person to identify individuals rather than shows because while some shows are strong as a whole, the best personalities in the format can adapt and thrive in any situation.

I want to thank all 32 programmers who took part in this exercise and put their names behind their selections. I also want to congratulate those on-air personalities who were thought highly enough by some of the best programming minds in the country to make our list of 32. While each programmer has a different perspective on what makes a sports radio personality great and various markets and networks operate differently than others, the process for identifying great talent and developing strong shows is very similar to what you see transpire in the NFL.

jameismarcusCurrently, there are hundreds of people delivering sports talk radio shows all across the country each day and some are very good and some need more seasoning. But just like an NFL Draft, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and selecting great talent is an inexact science. There will be can’t-miss talents who live up to the hype, others who have all the tools but can’t put it all together and hidden gems who weren’t seen as more than adequate role players yet have proven that even the brightest minds in our business miss sometimes. That’s what makes hiring people interesting, challenging, rewarding and devastating.

And on that note, it’s time to unveil the 32 selections in the 2015 Sports Radio Draft! Let the debate begin!

Order

Programmer/Station

Personality/Station

1.

Scott Masteller, WBAL-Baltimore

Colin Cowherd-ESPN Radio

2.

Don Kollins, 590 The Fan-Toronto

Boomer Esiason-WFAN

3.

Rick Scott, Rick Scott & Associates

Damon Bruce-95.7 The Game

4.

Brian Long, XTRA Sports 1360-San Diego

Dan Patrick-Fox Sports Radio

5.

Dave Shore, Detroit Sports 105.1-Detroit

Stephen A. Smith-SiriusXM

6.

Ryan Hatch, Arizona Sports 98.7FM-Phoenix

Mike Valenti-97.1 The Ticket

7.

Chris Kinard, 106.7 The Fan-Washington DC

Craig Carton-WFAN

8.

Kevin Graham, WEEI-Boston

Mike Francesa-WFAN

9.

Matt Nahigian, 97.5 The Fanatic-Philadelphia

Mike Missanelli-97.5 The Fanatic

10.

Dave Tepper, NRG Media-Omaha

Josh Innes-Sports Radio WIP

11.

Tom Parker, 105.7 The Fan-Milwaukee

Steve Czaban-ESPN 980/Yahoo Sports Radio

12.

Nate Lundy, 104.3 The Fan-Denver

Scott Van Pelt-ESPN Radio

13.

Mike Salk, 710 ESPN-Seattle

Fred Toucher-98.5 The Sports Hub

14.

Ryan Maguire, 560 WQAM-Miami

Gregg Giannotti-CBS Sports Radio

15.

Allan Davis, WGR 550-Buffalo

Nick Wright-610 KILT

16.

Brad Lane, ESPN 1500-Minneapolis

Dan Lebatard-104.3 The Ticket/ESPN Radio

17.

John Hanson, 610 Sports-Kansas City

Dan Barreiro-KFAN 100.3

18.

Dan Zampillo, ESPN 980-Washington DC

Terry Boers-670 The Score

19.

Gregg Henson, 970 ESPN-Pittsburgh

Bob Wojnowski-97.1 The Ticket

20.

Dennis Glasgow, 99.9 The Fan-Raleigh

Mitch Levy-950 KJR

21.

Jeff Austin, 1080 The Fan-Portland

Ian Fitzsimmons-ESPN 103.3

22.

Ari Temkin, 1250/94.5 ESPN-San Antonio

Bomani Jones-ESPN Radio

23.

Bob Agnew, 830 KLAA-Los Angeles

Tom Tolbert-KNBR

24.

Brad Carson, 92.9FM ESPN-Memphis

Chris Vernon-92.9 ESPN

25.

Len Weiner, 104.3 The Ticket-Miami

Jon Weiner-104.3 The Ticket/ESPN Radio

26.

Brian Lopez, ESPN 1320-Sacramento

Mike Greenberg-ESPN Radio

27.

Hoss Neupert, 101 ESPN-St. Louis

Kevin Wheeler-101 ESPN

28.

Dave Zaslowski, 97.9 ESPN-Hartford

Freddie Coleman-ESPN Radio

29.

Armen Williams, 104.5 The Team-Albany

Shan Shariff-105.3 The Fan

30.

Amanda Gifford, ESPN Radio-Bristol

Tom Waddle-ESPN 1000

31.

Jeremiah Crowe, 95.7 The Game-San Francisco

Ryan Ruocco-ESPN New York 98.7

32. Bruce Gilbert, Cumulus/Westwood One-Dallas Rich Shertenlieb-98.5 The Sports Hub

Barrett Blogs

Black Friday Sale TODAY For 2022 BSM Summit Tickets

“BSM’s Black Friday sale on Summit tickets will begin at 12:01am ET on Friday November 26th and expire at 11:59pm later that same night.”

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There are less than 100 days remaining until the 2022 BSM Summit takes place in New York City. We’ve announced 31 participants for the show so far, and have more to reveal in the weeks and months ahead. I think you’re going to like what’s still to come.

Putting this conference together isn’t easy. It requires months of meetings, brainstorming, promotion, selling sponsorships, pursuing speakers, and creating everything that attendees see on stage over a two day period. I’m thankful to have help from some amazing partners, but as I’ve mentioned previously, this isn’t an event that makes us rich or ends with 5-10 new clients signing up to work with BSM. The goal each year is simple, make sure the conference is valuable for those who attend, and don’t run BSM out of business by doing it. As long as those two things remain solid, it’s worth doing.

Some might wonder, why go thru months of headaches if you’re not going to break the bank or immediately add clients. That’s fair to ask. If you look at it from a pure business standpoint, one could easily make a case that pouring this type of energy into something else could be more lucrative. But money was never the motivation for doing this. I felt the sports media industry lacked a signature event where smart, successful media professionals (who don’t often cross paths) could gather at one location to laugh and learn together, and I wanted to change that. If over a two day period attendees could gain insight, information, ideas, and introductions, it’d put everyone in a stronger position to remain successful.

I’ve unapologetically loved the sports media business since I started listening to Mike & the Mad Dog on WFAN and watching SportsCenter on ESPN. I was fortunate to live and work in a number of cities over the past two decades, learning how different companies and people operate, and I remain involved today thru my work with BSM. I mention this because I also know media people. They tend to wait until the last minute to book hotel rooms, airfare, and purchase tickets, even if they can save money by acting sooner. I know, I used to do it too. I can’t control when you book your room or plane ticket, but I do want to give you an added incentive to buy your ticket to this year’s show. Seating is limited, and once the last seat is filled, that’s it. We can’t make extra room.

With that in mind, most of you are either taking today off or working inside a much quieter building. If you’ve thought about coming to the Summit, take 5-10 minutes to log on to BSMSummit.com to take advantage of our special Black Friday sale. We’ve reduced tickets for the day, so whether you’re planning to attend in NYC or watch the conference online, there’s a discount to help you out. Just $199.99 for live tickets, and $124.99 for virtual.

BSM’s Black Friday sale on Summit tickets expires at 11:59pm tonight. In the meantime, Hotel Edison in NYC is offering rooms for just $109 + taxes to Summit attendees. Click here to take advantage of the special room rate we’ve secured for this year’s show. Those of you planning to fly to NYC for the show, there have been a ton of great deals offered by American, Southwest, United, JetBlue and Frontier. It might be worth checking into today since Black Friday often has even better sales on travel.

If you’re interested in learning more about the industry, staying a step ahead, forming new relationships, strengthening existing ones, exploring potential business deals, and celebrating the business you’re in, I hope you’ll join us either online or in New York City for the 2022 BSM Summit. I’m making it easier on you, by offering lower ticket prices today. The rest is up to you!

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Barrett Blogs

Craig Carton, Fred Toucher, Mike Felger To Speak At The 2022 BSM Summit

“Few understand what it takes to deliver success in this format consistently like Craig, Fred and Mike, and I’m glad they’re making the time to share their knowledge with us.”

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When you talk to industry people about successful brands in sports talk radio, most conversations include WFAN and 98.5 The Sports Hub. The New York and Boston sports radio brands are consistently recognized for their ability to deliver large audiences and revenues.

Helping to create that success is a mixture of strong play by play partnerships, skilled programmers and even more importantly, some of the most dynamic on-air personalities in the format. Fortunately for us, a few of those gamechangers will be present to share their opinions and insights on content matters in New York City at the 2022 BSM Summit.

Starting in New York, it’s an honor to welcome WFAN afternoon drive host Craig Carton to the 2022 BSM Summit. Heard daily on ‘Carton and Roberts‘ alongside Evan Roberts, which is also featured on TV on SNY, Carton has made his presence felt ever since returning to the airwaves in November 2020. Prior to taking on the challenge in afternoons, Craig spent a decade partnering with Boomer Esiason on ‘Boomer and Carton‘, forming one of the most successful sports radio morning shows in the country. In addition to enjoying success in New York, Craig has also experienced the ups and downs that come with performing in different markets. His radio travels have taken him to Philadelphia, Denver, Buffalo and Trenton, NJ. The Syracuse graduate and outspoken host is expected to join BSM President Jason Barrett for a one on one conversation at this year’s Summit.

Shipping up to Boston, it’s a pleasure to welcome two of the format’s highest rated performers to New York City. They’re heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub in morning and afternoon drive, and at the Summit, they’ll interact together during an in-depth content conversation with BSM President Jason Barrett.

Fred Toucher is one half of the Sports Hub’s popular morning show ‘Toucher & Rich‘, which recently added syndication. The Detroit native started his career in Georgia before moving to Boston in 2005. Toucher & Rich, which includes Rich Shertenlieb, officially moved into the sports talk format in 2009. Since making the format switch, the duo have consistently produced some of the best ratings in the entire format in mornings during the past fifteen years. Toucher & Rich have also been recognized by industry executives as one of the top two morning shows in the format each of the past three years in the BSM Top 20, including taking top honors in 2018.

Mike Felger on the other hand is heard on the ride home alongside Tony Massarotti on The Sports Hub. The Marconi Award-winning afternoon radio show has been a fixture in Boston since the station’s inception in 2009. During the past twelve years, Felger & Mazz have been a steady force atop the Men 25-54 ratings including recently delivering an impressive 18.9 share in the summer book to finish 1st. The Milwaukee native also hosts a show for NBC Boston, and has previously served as a columnist for the Boston Globe. Similar to Toucher & Rich, Felger & Mazz have earned high praise from format execs in the BSM Top 20. They’ve been voted one of the top 2 afternoon shows each of the past 2 years including grabbing the top spot in 2019.

We’re excited to add all three of these men to the lineup for the 2022 BSM Summit. As vital as it may be to spend time on business issues in order to stay ahead of a rapidly changing media climate, without great talent and content, the rest is irrelevant. Few understand what it takes to deliver success in this format consistently like Craig, Fred and Mike, and I’m glad they’re making the time to share their knowledge with us.

To reserve your hotel room, purchase tickets or learn more about the speakers we’ve lined up for the 2022 show, visit BSMSummit.com. We hope to see you online or in New York City this March.

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Barrett Blogs

BSM Summit Adds Borrell, Crain, Cutler, Goldstein, Scott, Shapiro & Thomas

“The Summit is just 104 days away, so if you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, please do so. Half of the room is already full and seating for the conference is limited.”

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The 2022 BSM Summit continues to add firepower to the sports media industry’s premier conference. After previously announcing the first twenty one participants to take part in March’s event in New York City, another seven talented media professionals have been added to the speaker schedule.

Making his BSM Summit debut in 2022 will be the media industry’s leading business analyst Gordon Borrell. The well respected and accomplished CEO of Borrell Associates is featured frequently in the trades and mainstream publications for his insights on advertising trends and forecasts in local media. Borrell will join Amplifi Media CEO Steven Goldstein on stage at the Summit for an in-depth discussion on the advertising climate in 2022. The two men will offer insights and opinions on what advertisers value most, where they’re expected to invest future dollars, which categories will continue to rise and decline, and what brands can do to position themselves better to increase revenue. Additionally, Borrell will be hosting his local advertising conference in Miami a few days after the Summit. Those interested in heading to South Beach and learning more about the marketing world can learn more by clicking here.

Switching to the content end, the Summit is thrilled to welcome The Volume’s Jake Crain to New York City. The host of The JBoy Show will also be making his debut at the conference. Crain will be part of a talent panel along with John Jastremski and Kazeem Famuyide.

Also making his debut at the Summit will be Carl Scott. Meadowlark Media’s Executive Director of Audio will join our podcasting panel featuring Blue Wire CEO Kevin Jones and The Volume’s Head of Content Logan Swaim. Hubbard Radio’s Digital Content Director Phil Mackey will guide the conversation.

Not everyone participating at the Summit will be new to the audience though. Returning to the stage as part of our GM’s discussion will be newly appointed Audacy Boston Market Manager Mike Thomas. Thomas recently led ESPN 1000 in Chicago as the station’s GM after working with Mark Hannon to turn 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston into one of sports radio’s top performing stations. It should be noted that each time Thomas appears at the Summit it follows a recent promotion. We figure by 2023 or 2024 he’ll be running the entire industry.

A Summit isn’t complete without attention given to programming matters. To help us address some of those key issues, we’re excited to welcome back the Vice President of FOX Sports Radio & Podcasts Scott Shapiro. The passionate network executive who oversees many of the nation’s top national programs is always a great listen for folks interested in learning how programmer’s view and tackle the industry’s most important affairs.

Last but certainly not least, voice talent extraordinaire Jim Cutler will return to the stage to lead a session on storytelling. One of the industry’s prominent station voices and creative minds has a penchant for putting on entertaining and informative sessions. If you’ve attended the conference before, you’re already aware. To those planning to catch this one, you’re in for a treat.

Keep an eye out over the next two weeks. We’ll be making additional announcements involving a few high profile talents we’ve lined up for the 2022 BSM Summit. A reminder, the event is just 104 days away, so if you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, please do so. Half of the room is already full and seating for the conference is limited. I realize some folks may prefer to wait until the last minute to make sure the world is safe. If you’re not comfortable flying to NY for the show, we do have an option in place to enjoy the conference virtually thanks to NuVoodoo Media. For more information on tickets, click here.

That said, the in-person environment is excellent. If you haven’t attended the Summit before I think you’ll find the two days in New York City to be time well spent. This conference is not open to the general public. You must either presently work in an area of the media industry or be pursuing a degree in the broadcasting field.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we still have some sponsorship opportunities available for the show. We’re thrilled to have the support of great partners, ESPN Radio, Premiere Networks, FOX Sports Radio, Stone Voiceovers, Compass Media Networks, Point to Point Marketing, and Core Image Studio. If you’d like to be part of the event too, email JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com for additional details.

One final note, airfare is low right now. There are roundtrip flights to and from New York from many major cities for less than $200.00. We’ve also secured a low hotel rate of $109.00 per night at Hotel Edison in NYC to help companies and individuals keep costs down. The sports media industry has endured two years of difficulty due to the pandemic, preventing many from networking, learning, celebrating, and growing. The two days we spend together in the big apple won’t solve every issue facing our business, but I promise you’ll leave the show more informed, more connected, and better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

Hope to see you in New York on March 2nd and 3rd.

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