“I think sports radio went through a real ugly, almost pre-teen, period that–thank God–we worked ourselves out of.” – Bruce Gilbert
Bruce Gilbert has heard the best and the worst of sports radio.
And the former ESPN Radio general manager will be there first to tell you, there was a dark time for the format.
But in the ears of the new Senior Vice President of Sports at Cumulus & Westwood One, sports talk is alive and well as a format. That doesn’t mean, though, that the format still isn’t behind the times in a couple of different departments.
Even so, there’s not many more trusted names than Gilbert to break down what is working and what isn’t in the industry. He gets into a lot of that in our discussion.
Check out more of the show notes below to get a feel for what you will hear in this edition of The PASR. I hope you enjoy and, as always, leave a comment to get out anything that this podcast had you thinking along the way.
- How did Bruce get the ‘bug’ for this industry? [1:01]
- Bruce talks about how family holidays were still built around radio discussion. [3:40]
- Sports radio is failing at “selling ourselves.” How do we fix it? [4:53]
- Bruce talks about what social media has done to the sports talk radio format. [6:57]
- How does Bruce feel about phone calls at a sports talk station? [9:04]
- Bruce has a theory as to why phone calls work in the northeast, specifically. [10:28]
- What are the biggest differences in the sports radio industry now compared to when Bruce Gilbert first got started in the biz? [11:56]
- Sports radio’s “Angry White Guy” period. [13:06]
- What will the next “cycle” of sports radio look like? [17:21]
- Why is sports more of a mainstream “social currency” than ever before? [19:41]
- Why is there not enough diversity in sports radio? [21:28]
- What could Bruce do to a station in a week? [23:12]
- What is the biggest mistake programmers are making? [24:47]
- What Bruce finds himself telling hosts over and over again. [26:28]
- How important is self-deprecation? [30:10]
- Bruce’s take on the way ratings are tabulated in radio. [33:20]
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE…
FROM THE GUEST
- Bruce’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Here’s some bonus audio that we left off the podcast just for you junkies. More with Bruce Gilbert.
BSM Podcast – Season 5 – Episode 3 – Chris Oliviero, Entercom New York
“Entercom New York Market Manager Chris Oliviero explains why he returned to the business, how he feels about the state of WFAN and a reunion with Craig Carton, and more!”
After building a career as one of the sharpest programming executives in the radio industry, and leaving the business in the summer of 2018, many were surprised when Chris Oliviero was announced as the new Market Manager of Entercom New York in May 2020. On this episode, Chris tells Jason Barrett why he decided to return to the business, what he learned while on the outside, how he feels about the present and future of WFAN, where he stands on pursuing a reunion with Craig Carton, in addition to weighing in on a number of industry topics as well.
Additionally, Jason Barrett shares breaking news about a new venture being explored by his company which industry professionals will be interested in learning more about. Further details will be shared after Labor Day but the basics are passed along during the first minutes of the episode.
TOPICS COVERED WITH CHRIS:
- When the deal to become Market Manager came together
- What convinced him to return to the radio business
- What he learned and missed about the industry while away from it
- If local management is enough to satisfy his professional desires
- Confidence level in WFAN; what the brand needs to do to enjoy future success
- Planning for the day when Mark Chernoff rides off into the sunset
- How interested he is in reuniting Craig Carton and WFAN
- Why the mistakes of a few can’t take away from social media’s value to talent, brands, and the audience
- If more radio companies will follow Saga & Townsquare’s lead and move away from Nielsen
- The future of live and on-demand audio content
- How sports betting will influence the way sports talk radio is presented in the next 5-10 years
FROM THE GUEST:
Connect with Chris on Linkedin: Chris Oliviero
BSM Podcast – Season 5 – Episode 2 – Mike Greenberg, ESPN Radio
“Mike Greenberg chats with Jason Barrett about his new radio show ‘Greeny’ which debuts on ESPN Radio on Monday August 17th.”
Mike Greenberg returns to ESPN Radio’s airwaves on Monday August 17th, taking over the 12p-2p ET timeslot, a change from his morning routine. Secure with a place in the NAB radio hall of fame, the lead chair on ESPN’s hit television program ‘Get Up‘, and 32,000+ hours of on-air broadcasting under his belt, some in Mike’s position would pass on the chance to increase their work load, and accept a new challenge, but that’s not how Greeny operates. In this conversation, Mike shares what interested him about returning to host a solo midday program, how content will be approached on the show, the method to his madness when it comes to interviewing and teasing, advice he’s passed on to the network’s new morning show, and more.
Additionally, BSM President Jason Barrett spends 5 minutes prior to the conversation sharing a few observations, opinions, and questions about ESPN Radio’s changes.
SUBJECTS COVERED WITH MIKE:
- When he started thinking about returning to radio
- Launching new shows and handling negative feedback
- His vision and content approach for the new midday show
- How social issues will be covered on the program
- Winning over listeners who prefer local hosts
- The way he approaches interviewing and teasing
- Remembering Detroit sports radio host Jamie Samuelsen
- The likelihood of football still being played in December
FROM THE GUEST:
Follow Mike on Twitter: @ESPNGreeny
BSM Podcast – Season 5 – Episode 1 – Sam Savage, Outkick
“Sam explains his vision for Outkick, why he chose to invest in the brand, and shares some news on the company’s upcoming plans.”
Sam Savage may not be the name you’re most familiar with if you follow Outkick, but he’s a huge part of the brand’s expansion in recent weeks. The longtime digital media executive recently invested in the company, joining forces with Clay Travis and Jason Whitlock, and on this episode he sheds some light on why he chose to invest in Outkick during a rough 2020, what his vision is for the brand’s future, why understanding technology is even more important than brand exposure on traditional media, and where he sees the company directing its focus in the near and distant future.
Additionally, the first 10-minutes include an opening commentary from BSM President Jason Barrett on the status of the Managing The Crisis podcast, the BSM Podcast’s seasonal approach, and the importance of hearing and welcoming different points of view, and providing second chances to those who make mistakes.
ISSUES DISCUSSED WITH SAM:
- His background as a digital media executive
- Why he chose to invest in Outkick during a rough 2020
- The reason for shortening the Outkick name
- Luring Jason Whitlock to Outkick from FS1
- Whether adding Whitlock could create tension with FOX
- If Outkick can survive and thrive without traditional media
- Building systems and strategies to increase Outkick’s revenue
- Dealing with potential advertiser issues due to activism
- What separates successful digital media brands
- Outkick’s future plans in the podcasting space
- If the goal is to build & sell or be part of Outkick long term
- Whether Shannon Terry, FOX or iHeart could become future partners
- Which goals he’s set for Outkick’s next 6 months
- If the brand plans to add more talent in the near future
FROM THE GUEST:
Sam’s Linkedin profile: Sam Savage