Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

Barrett Blogs

The Advantages of Selling and Hosting by Jason Minnix

Jason Barrett

Published

on

When I started my career in upstate New York, I had no business being on the air. I was brand new to radio, and aside from having some knowledge about sports and listening to a lot of WFAN talk shows, I wasn’t trained or prepared to be behind a microphone.

But since I was working for a small privately owned radio station with minimal expectations, I was able to convince the owner to give me a chance to host my own show on the weekends. That allowed me to earn reps and make my fair share of mistakes so I could improve and one day be considered for bigger opportunities.

JB at WTBQTo earn that one hour of air time, I had to go door to door selling sponsorships to local businesses. The deal was simple, bring four sponsors to the table, and you’ve got your shot.

I wasn’t going to be denied so I put on my sales hat and went to work and within two weeks, I fulfilled my obligation and had signed up four clients. The owner was so impressed that after the first few weeks of shows, he rewarded me with an extra hour.

I took that job very seriously, including making sure my clients were happy. If I couldn’t bring them a large audience, I was going to make sure they felt appreciated on the air, and every individual I knew was going to be encouraged to support them. In some cases I’d show my gratitude by sending my clients tickets to broadway plays, Nascar races, or any other freebies we had available at the radio station.

For the next two years I developed my on-air skills and eventually moved from 2-hours on Saturday’s to 2-hours each night to 2-hours each afternoon. While I continued growing as a host, I also did as a seller. Soon my four weekend sponsors turned into business deals with shopping malls, corporations, and a relationship with a memorabilia dealer which led to popular New York athletes coming to town for autograph signings which I hosted my show and sold sponsorships around.

I was making more money selling the show than I was receiving for hosting it. Although my goal was to get paid to host and not be involved in sales, it was too good financially to pass up. As luck would have it, one of those autograph shows ended up featured on the front page of a local newspaper, and that caught the eye of a General Manager at a larger local radio station, which led to my next opportunity.

As I moved on to focus on hosting and programming on a bigger stage, my days of having to sell advertising were behind me. Despite eliminating those responsibilities, I never lost sight of how important sales were to a radio company, or how difficult the job was. I’ve tried to keep that in mind when programming radio stations and interacting with sales departments.

minnix3For this week’s piece, I called on Jason Minnix of ESPN San Antonio because he has a very unique background. I’ve gotten to know Jason a little bit over the past six months and had the pleasure of meeting him in Philadelphia during the Army-Navy game in December. What stood out to me was how he wears two different hats for his employer. He’s the host of afternoon drive alongside former NFL player Dat NGuyen, and he’s one of his station’s top sales people.

When you first hear of someone doing sales and hosting, the quick assumption is “if they’re paying to be on the air then they’re probably not that good”. It’s a stigma that many individuals have to fight to overcome.

What I’ve discovered over the past ten years of working in this business is that this particular formula can be very lucrative for some people, if they have the passion, patience, knowledge, and focus to pull off dual roles.

timFor example, in St. Louis, Tim McKernan hosts morning drive on CBS Sports Radio 920. He also runs the entire operation. Ten years ago Tim was a guy making a good radio salary to strictly be an on-air talent. But he had bigger plans. He focused his time on developing his own media company InsideSTL, and built it up by selling ads, creating events, and turning it into a profitable business.

That then led to buying air time on radio so he could control the inventory and cross marketing opportunities available to his radio program and media company. By using that approach, he made more money, and put himself in position to now run the radio station, instead of just making a check for hosting a talk show. I can appreciate that type of hard work and hustle.

On the national level, Yahoo Sports Radio hired Matt Perrault to serve in a dual role. Matt had hosted shows during his career in Boston, Omaha, Des Moines, and Huntsville and during one stop in New Hampshire, he served as General Manager and Host for Absolute Broadcasting. By taking on added responsibilities beyond hosting a show, he was able to develop a deeper understanding of the radio business, and help provide a better living for his family.

mattSince joining Yahoo, Matt has gone from working in Houston to operating out of the Palazzo Casino in Las Vegas. By embracing the hybrid role, it’s helped Yahoo expand their reach into a city where entertainment and money go hand in hand, and that in turn has helped Matt expand his profile along with his wallet.

Please understand that not everyone is equipped to do sales and on-air hosting. Radio operators need to remember that before putting people on the air who belong inside a cubicle, not behind a microphone. I see these situations take place occasionally and no matter how a company tries to spin it, the brand is devalued the second the audience hears a poor content presentation. For every McKernan, Perrault and Minnix, there are great sellers who can’t broadcast, and hosts who can engage an audience but couldn’t sell a band aid to a person who’s bleeding.

Fortunately for the purposes of this column, Jason Minnix has been successful doing both, and he’s been kind enough to take the time to explain how he does it and how it’s paid off for him. If you’re interested in pursuing a similar path and would like to learn more, feel free to contact Jason. He can be reached on Twitter by clicking here or on Facebook by clicking here.

The Advantages of Selling and Hosting by Jason Minnix

All of us on the programming end of the building have heard that the only way to make money is in sales. Every host has also been told to tie themselves to as much revenue as possible, but understand that the real money is on the sales side. Most on-air personalities don’t want to give up their microphone to do sales, but I have managed to do both and now I couldn’t imagine having an on-air job without a sales component.

minnix1Honestly, I never wanted to do sales. In 2005 I had to because I needed a job. A friend told me I serviced my endorsement clients better than most reps and that I should get into sales. He was looking for a sales rep so I took the job doing sales with some on-air components at a small News Talk station and had success.

In 2007 before ESPN San Antonio launched, we included sales responsibilities in my job description. There was some reluctance on the part of the station but with it being a brand new station they let me try. We officially launched ESPN San Antonio in February 2008 and as we approach our 8th anniversary, the station, my show and sales are strong.

I am not a pay-for-play radio host. I am a full-time talk show host and a full-time account executive. I am often asked how I make it work. It starts with the support of management. My sales manager and PD understand my dual-role at the radio station.

minnix5Time management and focus are the keys to doing both sales and on-air hosting. I generally get to the office between 8:30a and 9a and work on my sales duties until about 1p. Then I shift into show mode. My co-host Dat Nguyen and I start putting the show together at 2p and we’re on the air from 4-7p. Once I get into show mode, my focus is on the show.

There are many advantages to being on-air and selling. When I call on a client and they listen to my show or at least know my name, chances are I am going to get that meeting. I get more callbacks than most people do in sales because of my on-air position.

As the rep and host , the client is dealing with the guy on-air that is going to execute the plan. I have more protection of my show because I won’t promise a client something that I know I can’t or won’t do on the air. Essentially I have cut out the middle man for my clients.

minnix4All on-air hosts are selling in one way or another. You’re selling content to the audience. You’ve gone to lunch with a client to help an AE close business. You’re reading LIVE endorsements during your show. Sure you’ll get paid a talent fee for it, but you can get a lot more.

How many times when on remote or through social media has somebody asked how they can advertise on your show and you’ve passed that contact information along to your sales team? Think about how much money you just handed off.

Doing both jobs is not for everyone. You have to be organized, great at time management and willing to put in the work. It’s not easy but when I see my paycheck every month, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media is Making Changes To Better Serve Our Sports and News Media Readers

“We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

When I launched this website all I wanted to do was share news, insight and stories about broadcasters and brands. My love, passion and respect for this business is strong, and I know many of you reading this feel similar. I spent two great decades in radio watching how little attention was paid to those who played a big part in their audiences lives. The occasional clickbait story and contract drama would find their way into the newspapers but rarely did you learn about the twists and turns of a broadcaster’s career, their approach to content or the tactics and strategies needed to succeed in the industry. When personal reasons led me home to NY in 2015, I decided I was going to try my best to change that.

Since launching this brand, we’ve done a good job informing and entertaining media industry professionals, while also helping consulting clients and advertising partners improve their businesses. We’ve earned respect from the industry’s top stars, programming minds and mainstream media outlets, growing traffic from 50K per month to 500K and monthly social impressions from a few thousand to a few million. Along the way we’ve added conferences, rankings, podcasts, a member directory, and as I’ve said before, this is the best and most important work I’ve ever done, and I’m not interested in doing anything else.

If I’ve learned anything over seven years of operating a digital content company it’s that you need skill, strategy, passion, differentiating content, and good people to create impact. You also need luck, support, curiosity and an understanding of when to double down, cut bait or pivot. It’s why I added Stephanie Eads as our Director of Sales and hired additional editors, columnists and features reporters earlier this year. To run a brand like ours properly, time and investment are needed. We’ve consistently grown and continue to invest in our future, and it’s my hope that more groups will recognize the value we provide, and give greater consideration to marketing with us in the future.

But with growth comes challenges. Sometimes you can have the right idea but bad timing. I learned that when we launched Barrett News Media.

We introduced BNM in September 2020, two months before the election when emotions were high and COVID was a daily discussion. I wasn’t comfortable then of blending BNM and BSM content because I knew we’d built a trusted sports media resource, and I didn’t want to shrink one audience while trying to grow another. Given how personal the election and COVID became for folks, I knew the content mix would look and feel awkward on our site.

So we made the decision to start BNM with its own website. We ran the two brands independently and had the right plan of attack, but discovered that our timing wasn’t great.

The first nine months readership was light, which I expected since we were new and trying to build an audience from scratch. I believed in the long-term mission, which was why I stuck with it through all of the growing pains, but I also felt a responsibility to make sure our BNM writing team and the advertising partners we forged relationships with were being seen by as many people as possible. We continued with the original plan until May 2021 when after a number of back and forth debates, I finally agreed to merge the two sites. I figured if WFAN could thrive with Imus in the Morning and Mike and the Mad Dog in the afternoon, and the NY Times, LA Times, KOA, KMOX and numerous other newspaper and radio brands could find a way to blend sports and news/talk, then so could we.

And it worked.

We dove in and started to showcase both formats, building social channels and groups for each, growing newsletter databases, and with the addition of a few top notch writers, BNM began making bigger strides. Now featured under the BSM roof, the site looked bigger, the supply of daily content became massive, and our people were enjoying the increased attention.

Except now we had other issues. Too many stories meant many weren’t being read and more mistakes were slipping through the cracks. None of our crew strive to misspell a word or write a sloppy headline but when the staff and workload doubles and you’re trying to focus on two different formats, things can get missed. Hey, we’re all human.

Then a few other things happened that forced a larger discussion with my editors.

First, I thought about how much original material we were creating for BSM from our podcast network, Summit, Countdown to Coverage series, Meet the Market Managers, BSM Top 20, and began to ask myself ‘if we’re doing all of this for sports readers, what does that tell folks who read us for news?’ We then ran a survey to learn what people valued about our brand and though most of the feedback was excellent, I saw how strong the response was to our sports content, and how news had grown but felt second fiddle to those offering feedback.

Then, Andy Bloom wrote an interesting column explaining why radio hosts would be wise to stop talking about Donald Trump. It was the type of piece that should’ve been front and center on a news site all day but with 3 featured slots on the site and 7 original columns coming in that day, they couldn’t all be highlighted the way they sometimes should be. We’re actually going through that again today. That said, Andy’s column cut through. A few sports media folks didn’t like seeing it on the site, which wasn’t a surprise since Trump is a polarizing personality, but the content resonated well with the news/talk crowd.

National talk radio host Mike Gallagher was among the folks to see Andy’s piece, and he spent time on his show talking about the column. Mike’s segment was excellent, and when he referenced the article, he did the professional thing and credited our website – Barrett SPORTS Media. I was appreciative of Mike spending time on his program discussing our content but it was a reminder that we had news living under a sports roof and it deserved better than that.

I then read some of Pete Mundo, Doug Pucci and Rick Schultz’s columns and Jim Cryns’ features on Chris Ruddy, Phil Boyce, and David Santrella, and knew we were doing a lot of quality work but each time we produced stories, folks were reminded that it lived on a SPORTS site. I met a few folks who valued the site, recognized the increased focus we put on our news/talk coverage, and hoped we had plans to do more. Jim also received feedback along the lines of “good to see you guys finally in the news space, hope there’s more to come.”

Wanting to better understand our opportunities and challenges, I reviewed our workflow, looked at which content was hitting and missing the mark, thought about the increased relationships we’d worked hard to develop, and the short-term and long-term goals for BNM. I knew it was time to choose a path. Did I want to think short-term and keep everything under one roof to protect our current traffic and avoid disrupting people or was it smarter to look at the big picture and create a destination where news/talk media content could be prioritized rather than treated as BSM’s step-child?

Though I spent most of my career in sports media and established BSM first, it’s important to me to serve the news/talk media industry our very best. I want every news/talk executive, host, programmer, market manager, agent, producer, seller and advertiser to know this format matters to us. Hopefully you’ve seen that in the content we’ve created over the past two years. My goal is to deliver for news media professionals what we have for sports media folks and though that may be a tall order, we’re going to bust our asses to make it happen. To prove that this isn’t just lip service, here’s what we’re going to do.

Starting next Monday November 28th, we are relaunching BarrettNewsMedia.com. ALL new content produced by the BNM writing team will be available daily under that URL. For the first 70-days we will display news media columns from our BNM writers on both sites and support them with promotion across both of our brands social channels. The goal is to have the two sites running independent of each other by February 6, 2023.

Also starting on Monday November 28th, we will begin distributing the BNM Rundown newsletter 5 days per week. We’ve been sending out the Rundown every M-W-F since October 2021, but the time has come for us to send it out daily. With increased distribution comes two small adjustments. We will reduce our daily story count from 10 to 8 and make it a goal to deliver it to your inbox each day by 3pm ET. If you haven’t signed up to receive the Rundown, please do. You can click here to register. Be sure to scroll down past the 8@8 area.

Additionally, Barrett News Media is going to release its first edition of the BNM Top 20 of 2022. This will come out December 12-16 and 19-20. The category winners will be decided by more than 50 news/talk radio program directors and executives. Among the categories to be featured will be best Major/Mid Market Local morning, midday, and afternoon show, best Local News/Talk PD, best Local News/Talk Station, best National Talk Radio Show, and best Original Digital Show. The voting process with format decision makers begins today and will continue for two weeks. I’ve already got a number of people involved but if you work in an executive or programming role in the news/talk format and wish to be part of it, send an email to me at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

We have one other big thing coming to Barrett News Media in 2023, which I will announce right after the BNM Top 20 on Wednesday December 21st. I’m sure news/talk professionals will like what we have planned but for now, it’ll have to be a month long tease. I promise though to pay it off.

Additionally, I’m always looking for industry folks who know and love the business and enjoy writing about it. If you’ve programmed, hosted, sold or reported in the news/talk world and have something to offer, email me. Also, if you’re a host, producer, programmer, executive, promotions or PR person and think something from your brand warrants coverage on our site, send it along. Most of what we write comes from listening to stations and digging across the web and social media. Receiving your press releases and getting a heads up on things you’re doing always helps.

If you’re a fan of BSM, this won’t affect you much. The only difference you’ll notice in the coming months is a gradual reduction of news media content on the BSM website and our social accounts sharing a little about both formats over the next two months until we’re officially split in February. We are also going to dabble a little more in marketing, research and tech content that serves both formats. If you’re a reader who enjoys both forms of our content, you’ll soon have BarrettSportsMedia.com for sports, and BarrettNewsMedia.com for news.

Our first two years in the news/talk space have been very productive but we’ve only scratched the surface. Starting November 28th, news takes center stage on BarrettNewsMedia.com and sports gets less crowded on BarrettSportsMedia.com. We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future. If we can count on you to remember two URL’s (add them to your bookmarks) and sign up for our newsletters, then you can count on us to continue delivering exceptional coverage of the industry you love. As always, thanks for the continued support. It makes everything we do worthwhile.

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.