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The Final Day In The Bay

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This is it. The final day has arrived. When the work day comes to a close, I’ll be walking out of the offices of 95.7 The Game for the very last time. That doesn’t mean I won’t visit in the future, because this place has been a huge part of my life for the past 4 years. I have a deep respect, admiration, and love for many people inside these walls, but like with many things in life, all good things must eventually come to an end.

peetsIt’s funny how when you know you’re leaving somewhere, you start to pay closer attention to some things that you might have taken for granted previously. For example, I love taking BART each morning and grabbing a coffee at Peet’s at the Montgomery Street exit. Sean, Chris and the rest of the crew are always in a good mood, they treat their customers right and they make it a point to get to know you. It’s hard not to see that group of upbeat friendly people working together as a team each day, and not recognize how important that is in what we do as a radio station.

I also started to realize recently how much I enjoyed driving into work and parking in our garage on Hawthorne during my first 3 years here. The reason why, KNBR was right next door (they’ve since moved to another location). I don’t need much to motivate me, but walking out of our garage and seeing that KNBR sign stare me right in the face each day absolutely fired me up and got me ready to go to work and try to make an impact.

There are a number of great things about this place that I’m going to miss. From walking the Embarcadero, to dining out and shopping in Walnut Creek, to experiencing the views of San Francisco from the top of the Fairmont Hotel and the hills above the Golden Gate Bridge. Wine tasting in Livermore and Napa Valley was also a personal highlight. But as great as all of those perks are, it’s the people you work with who occupy most of your time, and I’ve been fortunate to form a few relationships that will always matter a great deal to me.

2012-04-04 001 005When I reflect back, I can’t say that it’s gone according to plan from start to finish. Yes there are things I would do differently, but when I think of my entire tenure and everything I’ve learned, gained and experienced here, I couldn’t be more proud of what we accomplished as a team. To go from 27th to 3rd in less than 4 years is a remarkable feat in the #4 market in the country. That’s a tribute to everybody who’s ever worked here, and to every local person who listened, supported, connected and rooted for us to succeed. Thanks for sticking with us!

It may seem simple but as someone who’s done it a number of times, I can tell you that adjusting to a new city is not easy. It takes a good amount of time to get up to speed with local teams, players, media people and fans and that’s not even taking into account which pieces of content connect best and which ones have a lesser importance.

Next, you have the challenge of learning the area and how local people think and live and if you’re not fully willing to embrace your new surroundings and learn from those you work with, it won’t end well. I didn’t even mention the pressure you feel to perform immediately because the company is depending on you or the internal and external criticisms you have to put up with because of the fact that you were born and raised someplace else.

IMG_7456I didn’t come to the Bay Area trying to change people, but I did try to teach, coach and push them to become better at creating strong, compelling and entertaining radio. While there was a previous standard in place for how sports radio was done in San Francisco, I also believed that there were other ways to create interest in the format too. Some of it worked and some of it didn’t, but we created our own path and did it our way. Bill Parcells and Tony Dungy can both win you a Super Bowl! You’ve just got to decide which identity suits you best.

I will always remember this time fondly and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to build this radio station from scratch and work with a number of amazing and talented people. To see people like Damon Bruce, Guy Haberman, John Middlekauff, John Lund, Greg Papa, Flight 957, and every other member of this team, have the success they’re having is very rewarding and well deserved. My successor Don Kollins is walking into a great situation, and I will be rooting for him and everyone inside this building from 3,000 miles away.

I wanted to touch on a few things I’ve learned that have made it interesting, unique, enjoyable and challenging to work here the past few years. The Bay Area is a 2-team market which can be hard to navigate at times because you’re always going to piss off at least one fan base. For what it’s worth, these are my views on the local dynamics, and some will disagree, but isn’t that part of what makes sports radio great in the first place?

GAGiants vs. A’s – The Giants fan doesn’t care or mind if you talk about the A’s but when the situation is reversed, the A’s fan views it as the biggest slap in the face. On the field, the A’s have been a great story the past 3 years. The only problem is that the Giants have stolen their thunder every single time. 3 World Series championships in 5 years is impressive and yes I’m aware that the A’s have won more titles in their franchise’s history but we live in a “what have you done for me lately” world and right now, the market belongs to the Giants. Yes they’ve created a number of silly gimmicks and slogans, and maybe if you don’t have kids you could care less about the oversized Coke bottle in left field, but Larry Baer and his group are phenomenal marketers and they run their business well.

On the other hand, Billy Beane is one of the best in baseball at his job and as long as he’s in Oakland, the A’s will always be in the mix to contend. His decisions may not be popular but he’s great at his job. He’s also pretty great on the radio too! There are three areas though where I disconnect from the A’s. The first is when Lew Wolff speaks about stadium situations and spending money to win. The second is when A’s fans invade Twitter or Facebook with negativity because the Giants were talked about on our radio station. I understand their passion for wanting more, but just because one station only talks about the Giants, doesn’t mean the other one is going to only talk about the As. Third, the stadium is awful. The fans in the stands are great, and they provide some extremely funny and clever chants and comments throughout the game, but the limited space in the concourse, the Mount  Davis backdrop, and the troughs in the bathrooms, make for a less enjoyable experience. MLB wake up – the A’s and their fans need a new stadium! Get it done!

blackhole2Raiders Misconceptions – When you watch TV, you’d assume every convict who ever escaped prison showed up at a Raider game wearing face paint and carrying a ball and chain. It’s not true and it’s unfair. Are their some bad apples in the crowd? Yes. But what football fan base in America doesn’t have some? What I learned about most Raiders fans is that they’re knowledgeable, passionate and hungry to win. The one negative, they drink the kool aid way too quickly. One sign of hope and they’re ready to print off Super Bowl tickets. However, for all the negative things I heard before I moved here, I’ve never once not had a great experience at a Raiders game.

While it’s fair to criticize the team for their win-loss record over the past decade, their fans do care deeply. Just because someone puts on face paint on Sunday, does not mean they possess a rap sheet. I’ve have had a tremendous relationship with a number of people who work for the organization and I’ve found them to be fair, objective and easy to work with. That wasn’t always the case in the past. My only area of concern for the future is the black cloud that hangs above their head with regards to staying in Oakland or heading to Los Angeles. I’m really hoping they remain in Oakland for a long time. It’s where they belong.

Broncos 49ers Football49ers Misconceptions – I know Levi’s Stadium has its fair share of critics but I’m not one of them. My game day experiences there were very good. I will though point out that the parking situation is frustrating and closing the museum on game day makes no sense. The food choices are excellent, the space on the concourses are great and the video boards and audio quality is outstanding. If there’s one other item though that bugs me, it’s how the TV networks present the team and where they are. If you’re watching a game you’ll see pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Napa Valley, Lombard Street, etc. None of that is even remotely close to where the Niners are.

That said, while Jed York and Trent Baalke are under the gun right now for running Jim Harbaugh out of town, they have built a very successful franchise which has played meaningful games for 3 of the past 4 years. I also have a high level of respect and admiration for a number of people who work for the 49ers organization and they’ve been one of the better local teams to work with for most of my time in the Bay Area.

Delete Me 1324Golden State Warriors – I’ve never been in a louder NBA arena in my life and the way Joe Lacob and Peter Guber operate their organization is extremely impressive. They want to win and will do anything it takes to be successful. The only criticism is that they can be overly confident and smug with their comments (especially about Mark Jackson). I’d rather have a brash owner though who puts it all on the line to win, than someone who treats the team like a personal trust fund.

I’ve had the pleasure of doing business deals with David Lee, Klay Thompson and Bob Meyers and all three were excellent to work with and as the past few years have passed by, I’ve legitimately become a fan of the team. The people in the organization on the court and behind the scenes are first-class, which makes it even more enjoyable to root for them to succeed. Now go take down King James and bring that trophy home!

rusanowskySharks/Hockey Talk – You won’t find a better person, broadcaster or promoter of the sport than Dan Rusanowsky, the voice of the Sharks. His passion and love for hockey is impossible to ignore and I enjoy hearing him call Sharks radio broadcasts. The “Shark Tank” is an awesome place to watch a game and it was the first venue I saw a game at when I was being recruited to work here. I loved it then and I love it now. The only negative surrounding the Sharks for our business is something beyond their control. Hockey as a whole, generates less sports radio listening.

That doesn’t mean the radio station couldn’t do a better job talking about bigger stories that take place, but when you’re in a market like this with the Giants, 49ers, A’s and Warriors all experiencing massive success, it becomes harder to discuss what the Sharks are doing. If the job is to entertain the most people possible, and those other stories generate higher interest, then you’ve got to provide the content that interests the largest available audience. However, when it comes to model franchises in the NHL, they’re at the top of the list in my book.

As I get ready to exit stage left, it’s well documented how much my son Dylan means to me. I can’t wait to return to New York and be closer to him on a regular basis. I’ve been on more than 400 flights during the past 9 years to make sure I stayed active in his life while balancing my professional aspirations. Now though it’s time to go home, and I’m very excited about it.

JBSteph2Equally as important in my life is my girlfriend Stephanie. She’s experienced every up and down with me over the past 9 years, and she too has had to live in my world and endure 7-8 days alone per month while I’ve gone back and forth to NY. That’s not including the countless times when I’ve come home from work, had a quick bite and then went back to work to finish other things. For every professional decision I’ve made, she’s been my sounding board and moral compass and kept me sane. To say that I’ve been exhausting at times would be a giant understatement.

Although my departure from San Francisco and relocation to New York is aimed at being closer to my son, I’m also gaining the addition of more time with her which she very well may regret in the next month or two! Sometimes in this business I can’t enjoy the wins because I’m so focused and driven by what has to be done next. Luckily I’ve had her by my side to slow me down and remind me of what’s been accomplished. I’m thankful for her support, love and trust because without her, this would have been impossible to execute by myself.

It’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride. Far from perfect, but definitely interesting. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

 

Barrett Blogs

Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Takeaways From The NAB Show and Six Days in Las Vegas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional:

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

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

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

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Six New Contributors Join Barrett Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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