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Does It Pay To Be On Social Media?

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It’s evening time. You’ve arrived home from work, ate your dinner, and are finally unwinding and getting ready to watch your television. If you work in the sports media business, that likely means watching some form of sports programming.

socialtvYou absorb the content, and before you know it, you’re reaching for your phone, iPad, or laptop, and logging on to one of your social media accounts to see what others are saying about the program you’re watching.

As you start reading the comments, they get your juices flowing. Soon you have the itch to type a response, and engage in the conversation. After all, you get paid to talk, and interact with people on your show each day, and you have bosses, and the entire media industry telling you how vital it is to connect with the audience outside of your show to build deeper fan loyalty.

And then it happens…..you press send, and offer an opinion that gets the whole world talking, and not for the right reason.

The responses to your opinion start coming in rapidly. Your audience begins sharing and retweeting your commentary, and soon the media industry, one which you make your living in, is now highlighting your opinion, and seeking your removal and/or an apology.

You start to panic, and think “maybe I can delete the comment and this will all go away“. Except, it’s been saved at this point by numerous outlets, and you recognize that it’s going to spread like a virus no matter what you do.

Then you ponder “what if I just apologize, and promise not to do it again“? That sounds good in theory, but the damage has already been done, and the dogs are lined up outside the door, and barking, and not going away until they taste blood.

cellAs you contemplate the chaos you’re involved in, you decide to reach out to your boss, and let them know what’s transpired, so they know the situation, and understand your role in it. Whether you get along great or terribly with this individual is irrelevant, because you know the conversation is necessary.

Together you discuss the next steps for handling the storm, and when you go to sleep that night, you’re hopeful to wake up the next day and have it all be just a dream. Except it isn’t, and the nightmare isn’t close to being over.

Then the phone call comes in. It’s likely your Program Director, or it might even be your General Manager, or CEO, asking for more details on what took place.

You offer your thoughts on the situation, and explain how you were simply taking part in a conversation with the audience outside of the show, and offered an opinion that wasn’t well received. But you do this all the time on your show, so this shouldn’t be any different right?

Your boss listens to you, probably takes some notes, and tells you they’ll be in touch afterwards to discuss what to do next.

At this point you’re stressed out, blaming yourself (or the audience who outed you) for putting your commentary on social media, and you’re walking on egg shells waiting to hear how the company wants to proceed.

vinceAnd then the phone call comes…..you’ve been suspended or fired.

Instantly you’re asking your employers to reconsider. You’re pissed off at the audience for making a big deal out of what you thought was an innocent comment. You’re feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable about your future because you know this blemish is now going to hang over your head like a dark black cloud.

And as I sit here laying out this scenario for you, I have one simple question I want you to answer – did it make any sense at all to participate on social media?

Some people will immediately say “well if you weren’t stupid and didn’t say those things, you wouldn’t be in this predicament“. That’s true. I often read some personalities social media responses and question their line of judgment because I know that they’re on the verge of unflattering attention for a pointless reason.

I also recognize though that some of the most opinionated people in our business, performers who by the way drive ratings, and command big advertising endorsement rates (and offer similar commentaries on-air that they’re now being attacked for using on social media), don’t always handle things properly. I don’t want to excuse personal responsibility because it should factor into the equation.

But let’s also recognize that people are human, and they do have flaws, and make mistakes.

Here’s a cold reality. In every industry, there are people who’s views, character traits, and decisions, will make you uneasy. You see them as the lowest form of scum, while others see them in a different light.

When it comes to social circles, we gravitate towards those we like, but still we focus our additional energies on people we don’t identify with. As petty as it may be, we spend a lot of time and negative energy analyzing what other people say and do.

logosThat today has become one of the most powerful seductions for Twitter and Facebook. You wake up, read your timeline, and you interact with those you like, and then proceed to talk or complain about a couple of others who posted something that you don’t agree with.

Is it really important? No. But in today’s world, we’re consumed with everyone’s opinion, and we feel an immediate need to dive into everyone else’s conversation.

That doesn’t make social media bad. Instead it calls into question our own abilities to operate with a filter. We want to be ourselves, and speak freely without consequence, and when you’re communicating with people you have established relationships with, that may be acceptable. When you’re presenting your views though to those you share no personal history with, that’s a different ballgame.

It’s our own personal responsibility to assess whether it makes sense to respond, or walk away from certain conversations. Unfortunately, most of us can’t help to stop and look at the car crash, rather than continue driving.

Personally, I enjoy social media, and many of the benefits it provides. But I’m also not on the air, and I don’t command the same attention that an on-air personality does. If I were working in that position, and had every one of my assessments being scrutinized, as much as I love being social, and connecting with people, I’d have to think twice about my level of activity, and what I hoped to gain by being accessible on it.

I know that may sound crazy since every media company today preaches the importance of social media, and why it’s necessary to be active, but let me ask you this – how much money have you or your brand made off of Twitter? How about Facebook?

lionsIf your best personalities can’t turn off their emotions (which by the way, you love and push for more of when they’re on the air), and have a rational conversation on social media without torching their own career and your brand in the process, then is it really worth it to be on there in the first place?

These are highly emotional, and opinionated people, and we send them into the lion’s den, but ask them to play nice. Each day they log on to their accounts, and share their personal beliefs, and invite the world in, while enduring public criticisms, and personal attacks. We then expect them not to be brash or irrational with their responses when faced with negativity. While we may want all talent to flip a switch, and avoid confrontation over meaningless drama, not everyone marches to the same beat.

I want to understand this, and approach the conversation strictly from a business point of view for a second, because remember, this is a business, and everything we do comes back to the almighty dollar.

If you make little to no money by being on Twitter, and the same holds true for your presence on Facebook, yet you stand to lose your livelihood if you make a mistake on one of these platforms, then can someone please tell me why it makes any sense at all to be candid, engaged, and heavily involved in these social spaces?

The risk certainly seems to outweigh the reward.

I’ve heard certain personalities who choose not to participate in social media, say that they believe that by sharing their lives and opinions outside their show, it takes away from the mystery of their programs, and could potentially cost them additional audience. While I don’t necessarily agree with all of that (I can make a case that by promoting yourself, and your show on social media it can lead to an increase in tune-ins), I do understand their point, and concern.

moneyA talent makes their money on the air. Their ratings determine whether or not they get to continue doing it. If speaking your mind in other locations takes away from the allure of what you’ll offer on your show, then I can understand why there’d be hesitation to participate. Some managers may frown upon that, but this is why you can’t treat every personality the same.

What I don’t understand though is why we all feel the need to be in these spaces, and why we continue to think that our comments on social media aren’t seen by all, and potentially damaging. I’ve sat back and watched some personalities swear, ridicule and insult listeners, and trash other companies, yet they wouldn’t do most of that on their own airwaves. They’re not being paid by these social media outlets to be outspoken, but still they feel the need to express themselves more candidly here, than they often do on their own radio stations.

Here’s a newsflash for every on-air personality, and public figure, Twitter and Facebook are no different than your radio or television station. When you type a comment, and press send, your opinion enters the social media universe, which is equal to grabbing the microphone, and saying something offensive that leads to the FCC or your own company taking action against you. You may think that it’s this fun little platform where you can be yourself and have colorful conversations, but it’s not.

I started thinking about this subject based on the story that generated national attention yesterday. Mike Bell of 92.9 The Game in Atlanta made some unflattering jokes and comments about ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza, and his poor judgment on social media led to him being suspended by the radio station.

I personally think Mike made a terrible error, and he said some things that were insensitive and stupid. The station had every right to suspend him, and I applaud them for taking action.

jessica2I also think his analysis of Jessica Mendoza was off base. As a Yankees fan, I watched that game, and was curious to see how she’d perform, and I came away from that broadcast extremely impressed. She was sharp, well spoken, easy to follow, made excellent points and counterpoints, and proved that she belonged on that stage.

Yes her involvement as an analyst on a baseball broadcast is foreign territory, and as we’ve seen so many times, change isn’t accepted quickly. The immediate response from most people is to complain, and reject any new idea until it’s proven to be socially acceptable.

What I learned from this story, is that Jessica has a lot of talent, and class, and she lets her work speak for her. If you browse her Twitter account, you’ll find most of her tweets promote something she’s involved in, or she’s retweeting something positive. That’s a smart approach. By steering clear of controversial discussions, it keeps her in control, and unlikely to be in a position to have to explain herself to her bosses, or even worse, the entire country.

On the other hand, there are so many others that can’t hit the delete button, and have put themselves in hot water by using poor judgment on social media.

In the past week alone, Mike Bell was suspended, a social media staffer for the Texas Rangers was fired after posting a remark about Texas Head Football Coach Charlie Strong on the team’s Twitter account, and one of the world’s most powerful media moguls Rupert Murdoch was under the microscope for a tweet where he said “Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.”

If you’re keeping score, that’s one media person suspended, another fired, and another publicly embarrassed and likely to face some advertiser backlash, all because they used poor judgment on social media platforms.

prosconsSo I ask these questions again – why are you on there, and is it really worth it?

If the risk means losing your career, or being publicly embarrassed, and there’s no money or career advancement coming your way from being active on it, then why do it?

What brings this full circle for me is that we focused a lot of attention this week on the Mike Bell-Jessica Mendoza controversy, but it never should have even been a topic of conversation in the first place. If Curt Schilling, hadn’t taken to social media, and performed like Mike Bell, Jessica Mendoza wouldn’t have been in that position to draw a reaction.

Which goes to show that when you follow Mendoza’s example, and use social media in small doses, and for the right reasons, you avoid dangerous situations, make a lot of money, and professionally benefit. Bell and Schilling should be taking notice of that, not just her performance in a baseball booth! Although that too may cause future problems for Curt.

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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