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The Final Day In The Bay

Jason Barrett




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

Rachel Nichols and Baron Davis Headline Final Speaker Announcements For the 2023 BSM Summit

“I’m sure Baron and Rachel will have all eyes and ears focused on them when they take the stage together next Tuesday at 2:45pm PT.”

Jason Barrett




The 2023 BSM Summit schedule is set. After months of planning and talking to everyone across the industry, I’m ecstatic to roll out next week’s agenda including making one final announcement involving seven great additions to our conference.

For starters, it is a pleasure to welcome Showtime’s Rachel Nichols to the BSM Summit. I’ve admired her work on television for years, and am thrilled to have her guiding a session which I think many in the room are going to really enjoy.

Rachel’s guest will be former NBA star Baron Davis. Baron runs his own company, Baron Davis Enterprises, and he has been active in investing in media brands, and exploring ways to evolve the industry. Among his areas of passion, athletes taking more control of their brands, and the media industry needing to improve its track record with diversity. I’m sure Baron and Rachel will have all eyes and ears focused on them when they take the stage together next Tuesday at 2:45pm PT.

Also joining the Summit are a few longtime industry friends. For starters, VSiN’s program director Jon Goulet is someone who I’ve known and worked with, and he understands the sports betting audio space extremely well. Jon and BetQL VP of Programming Mitch Rosen will spend time with another industry friend, Bryan Curtis of The Ringer. Collectively they’ll examine the state of sports betting audio on Tuesday March 21st from 3:35p-4:10p, and what they look for when it comes to sports betting talent, and how they determine what is and isn’t success in the sports gambling content world.

With Mitch taking part in the sports betting panel, Jeff Rickard of WFNZ in Charlotte steps into The Programmer’s Panel alongside Jimmy Powers, John Mamola and Raj Sharan. The session is scheduled for Wednesday March 22nd from 9:10a-9:45a PT. Ironically, all four of these programmers work for different companies, so it’ll be interesting to hear how they differ and where they align while navigating through a few sports radio programming topics.

Next, I’m excited to introduce a social media session with Karlo Sy Su of ESPN Los Angeles and Matthew Demeke of AM 570 LA Sports. If you look at the performance of their brands on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, they’ve each delivered strong audiences and engagement. I’m looking forward to hosting this one and learning about their processes, how they decide which platforms to focus on most, what they consider a social media win when analyzing social statistics, and how they develop their content process. Given our location, we’re calling the session ‘Social Media Goes Hollywood‘. It’s scheduled for Wednesday March 22nd from 3:35-4:10 PT.

I realize you’re not going to remember all of these session speakers and times off the top of your head, so to make it easier, log on to and scroll down past our speakers. That’s where you’ll find our detailed list of sessions/times and activities planned each day. We have eighteen sessions, two awards ceremonies, and two parties. Our kickoff party is presented by the WWE and takes place Monday March 20th from 7p-9p at the 1880 Founders Room. The ESPN Radio After Party takes place Tuesday March 21st from 6p-8p at the Lab Gastropub. Both party locations are in walking distance of the USC Hotel and our conference venue.

As an added bonus, thanks to the generosity of our friends at WWE, we will be giving away a pair of tickets to the first night of WrestleMania, and a WWE title at our kickoff party. WrestleMania takes place this year in Los Angeles at Sofi Stadium on March 25-26. You must be present at the kickoff party to win either prize.

We’ll have more to share next week including providing an ongoing blog with session news and notes for our readers. We’ll also have a ton of content available on our social media channels so if you’re not following @BSMStaff on Twitter, @BarrettSportsMedia on Facebook or @BarrettMedia on LinkedIn, what are you waiting for?

The focus now shifts to finishing our creative for next week’s show, sending information to our speakers for their sessions, and finalizing our attendees list. For those who are attending, we’ll be sending out an email on Friday or Saturday with a complete list of names of who’s coming so you can plan meetings in advance.

If you forgot to buy your ticket after seeing months of promotion about the event and meant to do so, you can still do that, but it costs more. Students on the other hand can take advantage of a low rate established for college kids at

Putting this event together isn’t easy, but I’m extremely pleased with how it’s come together. We have a lot of smart, talented, and accomplished people making time to be part of this, and I appreciate each and every one of them for doing so. Now, it’s all about the execution. Hope to see you next week in LA.

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Sports Broadcasting Icon Al Michaels To Be Honored at the 2023 BSM Summit

“This is a man who has spent more than five decades on your television screen calling the biggest games, and producing some of the most iconic moments sports has to offer.”

Jason Barrett




If you work in the sports media industry you’ve likely heard someone along the way utter the phrase “don’t bury the lead“. I’m usually good about following that advice but I didn’t do that at our 2022 BSM Summit.

We introduced the greatest tandem in sports radio history, Mike Francesa and Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo and it was a special half hour. Mike and the Mad Dog were reunited after seven years apart and every individual at the event knew they were witnessing something magical on stage. I created a Mike and the Mad Dog Award for the event, which went to Felger and Mazz, who were the absolute right choice to win it. Even Chris remarked ‘that’s the right call‘.

But I learned quickly that although the intention was right in honoring the industry’s current top performing show, when you have legends in the room and they’re in their element, the last thing you want to do is overcrowd them. The connection Mike and Chris had on the air became the gold standard by which we measure successful sports talk shows, and they didn’t need an award created to deliver a special moment, just two mics and 20-30 minutes of stage time.

As I began thinking about the 2023 BSM Summit, I knew there was an opportunity to build on what we started last year with Mike and Chris, and after talking to a few people who I trust and respect, the decision of who we would recognize became crystal clear. I believe it’s important to honor the greats in our business because those who leave a permanent mark on our industry deserve it. The man we’ve selected has spent more than five decades on your television screen calling the biggest games, and producing some of the most iconic moments sports has to offer. He’s worked with the best of the best inside the booth, has helped elevate the presentation and execution of in-game content for ABC, NBC and Amazon, and his call of the Miracle on Ice, the US Olympic hockey team’s 1980 gold medal win over Russia remains one of the best calls in the history of sports.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honored and privileged to share that Al Michaels will join us on Wednesday March 22nd at the 2023 BSM Summit for our awards presentation, where we will present him with BSM’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michaels is one of America’s most respected sports broadcasting voices, known for his exceptional work on Monday Night Football (1986-2005), Sunday Night Football (2006-2022) and Thursday Night Football (2022-Present). He’s called the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, Hagler-Hearns, the Olympics, the Indy 500, Horse Racing’s Triple Crown races, College Football and Basketball games, Golf, and more. He’s even held roles as the voice of the University of Hawaii, the Cincinnati Reds, and the San Francisco Giants, and was in the booth in 1989 when an earthquake rocked the Bay Area during Game 3 of the A’s-Giants world series.

The Brooklyn native turned Los Angeles resident has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and owns a ton of hardware including five sports Emmy’s, three NSMA Sportscaster of the Year honors, the 2013 Pete Rozelle Radio & Television Award distributed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award given out by the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Though his trophy case may be full, we’re excited to add another to his collection to show our appreciation and respect for the impact he’s made on the sports media business.

A quick reminder, the BSM Summit takes place on Tuesday March 21st and Wednesday March 22nd at the Founders Club at the University of Southern California. Tickets are on-sale at

Be advised, we have started adding sessions and times on the website. As always, the schedule is subject to change. Our final agenda will be posted by the end of next week. In addition, attendees will receive an email by next Friday with details of who will be in attendance. We hope to see you there.

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Rob Parker, Brian Long, Sean Thompson and Matt Fishman Join The BSM Summit Speaker Lineup

“I’m excited to welcome a few folks who have enjoyed success in different parts of the country, and in different areas of the business.”

Jason Barrett




As we gear up for our 5th annual BSM Summit on March 21-22, 2023, I’m starting to get a better feel for how the final puzzle may look. When this process starts I have no idea how it’s going to turn out because so much depends on who says yes and no. Many who’ve attended over the years have complimented our lineups, and I appreciate it because I put a lot of time and effort into featuring a strong mix of professionals from different areas of the industry. Though I’m proud of the work we do and the schedule we deliver, there are so many things pursued leading up to the event that I can’t help but wonder ‘what if this or that had worked out?’

One thing that some folks don’t understand if they haven’t been to the show before is that this is not a talent conference. It’s a sports media business conference. That means we feature radio, TV and digital executives, programmers, researchers, sales professionals, and yes, talent. I believe on-air performers are vital to the industry’s success and I want the best of the best sharing their wisdom with everyone in the room, but we’re also not going to do two full days of on-air conversations. Being successful in sports media requires understanding the on-air side and the business side, and we do our best to offer a blend of both.

For today’s announcement, I’m excited to welcome a few sports media pros who have enjoyed success in different parts of the country, and in different areas of the business.

First, Rob Parker is someone who has made a name for himself as a radio host, writer, TV commentator, and teacher. He’s currently heard weeknights on FOX Sports Radio, teaches students at USC Annenberg, writes for Deadspin, and is helping MLBBro gain awareness and a bigger mainstream media presence covering Major League Baseball. He’s experienced, smart, and never short on opinion. I’m looking forward to having him join Mitch Rosen of 670 The Score/BetQL, and Scott Shapiro of FOX Sports Radio for a session titled “Aircheck On Campus“. They’ll take the stage together on Wednesday March 22nd from 2:10-2:45.

My next three speakers, all come from the sports radio programming department.

Matt Fishman is the Director of Content for ESPN 850 Cleveland. Fishman has been with the brand since January 2020 following stints at SiriusXM, 610 Sports in Kansas City, and 670 The Score in Chicago. He even wrote for BSM for a few years.

Sean Thompson is responsible for programming decisions at Arizona Sports and ESPN 620 AM. He joined the well respected Phoenix brand after more than a decade in Atlanta at 92.9 The Game. Sean has also worked in affiliate relations for Westwood One, and on the air and as a programmer in music radio for Good Karma Brands in Madison, WI.

Brian Long is the program director of both San Diego Sports 760 and KOGO 600 in San Diego. In addition to guiding two of the top talk brands in his market, he has also managed Seattle Sports 710, and served as the Assistant Program Director for ESPN LA 710.

Matt, Sean, and Brian will be part of one of our final sessions on day two of the Summit. The Last Call which yours truly is hosting, will explore unique revenue opportunities created by local brands, and examine a few new ideas and missed opportunities that brands and managers may want to take advantage of in the future.

As of today, the Summit has more than forty accomplished professionals taking the stage at the Founders Club at USC’s Galen Center on March 21-22, 2023. I’ve got a few others still to announce as well, including a few cool giveaways planned for the WWE’s Kickoff party.

If you haven’t bought a ticket and wish to be in the room, visit The last day for ticket sales will be Monday March 13th. I’m hoping to release our final schedule of sessions on Tuesday March 14th. Hopefully I’ll see you in the city of angels.

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