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Why We Can’t Keep Ignoring The Signs

Jason Barrett

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“It’s the same old story, same old song and dance, my friend”
– Aerosmith

It’s ironic that a couple of lyrics written by a rock band (Aerosmith) which relied heavily on radio for the past four decades would perfectly describe the radio business and some of its biggest problems in 2016.

Yes there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. The talent pool is stronger than ever, stations have migrated from AM to FM, apps and streaming sessions are now available, and content is provided on demand. The ability to reach people during and outside of the show is enormous thanks to the invention and evolution of social media.

But that doesn’t eliminate the industry’s biggest problems – our inability to get out of our own way, a lack of focus on the talent and content creation process, and a willingness to settle for mediocrity and do the same things over and over again.

It’s assumed that our industry is innovative. One which is led by creative people who work thirteen to fourteen hour days because they possess an endless passion to produce content and connect with communities. It’s supposed to be the cool business to work in, guided by leaders who crave teaching, motivating, and introducing new ideas to excite an audience and their own programming teams.

But somewhere along the way, that changed.

Programmers started becoming saddled with sales, digital, promotions, and payroll duties. In some cases, engineering, and production responsibilities were added too. Suddenly, the head of a programming department who was uniquely qualified to identify key talent, and create great programming, became handcuffed. No longer did the content or talent development process matter as much as finding ways to make the radio station more profitable.

Can you imagine if the movie industry pulled Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese away from writing, directing, and producing films? We’d have a whole lot of suck on the screen.

attackRadio Is Under Attack:

If you’re not aware of this by now, where have you been? Audio content today is available in more locations than ever before. But, there’s still a difference between quality and quantity. One issue that we have to solve is finding a way for our best people to spend more of their time on things that matter most to the audience – the talent and content.

This is the part where you tell me “relax JB, radio has been tested before, it always works out”.

Maybe it has because of our dominance on the dashboard, but advertising revenues for the radio business are in a much different universe than digital and television. The last time I looked, digital was diving deeper into the audio waters. They’re doing the same with video.

It seems like every month I’m reading a story about ESPN losing television subscribers, and just yesterday, Twitter secured a deal with the NFL to stream its Thursday night games. CBS and NBC spent a fortune to offer the NFL on television, yet here comes the social media giant right behind them to take out their legs and put the same programming on digital devices. If you’re running CBS or NBC that has to make your blood boil.

Let’s examine some recent history for a minute.

sxmTen years ago, Sirius was thought to be a neat idea that wouldn’t last. Many felt consumers wouldn’t pay for radio content. But then Sirius forged a deeper relationship with the auto industry. Now the product is available in millions of vehicles, and since they struck that deal, the satellite company has grown its consumer base to nearly thirty million people. Suddenly, paying $10-$15 per month for quality content with minimal interruptions isn’t such an outrageous idea.

Then came the podcasting business, or as it was labeled by radio people at the time, “niche programming with limited appeal”. But here we are years later, and brands like Serial, Bill Simmons, Adam Carolla, and many others are dominating each week on iTunes, and becoming attractive platforms for advertisers. Consumers also love the programming because it’s shorter, unique, available on demand, and presented without a heavy barrage of ads.

Next we have the newspaper business, which once thought the internet stood no chance. Now, the majority of their business exists because of it.

That same print industry which for decades employed columnists and reporters who ridiculed sports radio personalities for a lack of journalistic integrity and common sense, now have a large portion of their most talented writers shifting to audio and video content providers to make a living.

tribAnd that same desperate print business which turned its nose at sports radio, is now making heavier investments to be bigger players in the audio space. The Pittsburgh Tribune and Boston Herald for example, offer full service sports talk channels on their websites. Others such as the New York Times are starting to follow suit.

Whether it’s the podcasting business, the newspaper business, or satellite radio, each are committed to creating sports audio content. Make no mistake about it, any brand that delivers sports spoken word content on an audio platform is a competitor. If they can creep into the mind of your audience and pull them away from your product, that makes them a threat.

As more businesses enter the sports audio world, you’ll find them placing their time, energy, and resources into creating special content. Case in point, when Facebook bid for the NFL streaming rights, they never objected to paying for the content. It was when the NFL insisted that heavy advertising be part of the digital package that they developed a sour taste in their mouth. After the NFL refused to reverse their stance, Facebook walked away from the deal.

Can you imagine a radio station doing that? Fat chance.

coachInvesting Time In Your People:

So with competition increasing, and content creators becoming vital to a brand’s success, what is radio doing about it? The usual. It ignores the signs, and worries only about today’s results.

I recognize that leading an operation is extremely difficult, but I’m beyond stunned by the amount of feedback I get from on-air people who receive little to no support or feedback. When they do receive it, it’s usually the result of a company policy change, a request to do something that helps sales or a business partner, or it’s to highlight a mistake the individual made. Rarely do they receive positive reinforcement or guidance on how to execute better.

I had one personality reach out recently and mention that they hadn’t received a critique from their boss in over a year. One other host shared his frustration over receiving mixed messages during content evaluations, and another expressed concern over his boss’ ability to coach and offer specifics to help him grow.

I’m not present in each of their locations, so there could be other reasons for why those situations exist, but to use an example from the world of sports, a player and manager will have disagreements over the course of a long season. The manager can never stop coaching, and the player has to keep playing and looking for ways to improve their game.

If you’re going to lead a team, my one piece of advice is to never lose sight of what your title says you are – “Program Director”. If the last thing you care about is your on-air programming, and the talent creating it, it’ll come back to bite you in the ass.

techEmbracing Technology:

There shouldn’t be a disconnect between radio and digital, but unfortunately there are still some folks who see digital as a threat to radio’s existence. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should be aware that Facebook has introduced its video service, Facebook Live. It’s a major attraction to users and television broadcast companies, so it should be a big draw for radio groups too right?

Not exactly.

In the United States, Fox Sports and ESPN are using it to compliment their sports television coverage. In the UK, the BBC and Sky were two of the first sports broadcast groups to embrace Facebook’s Live video potential. All use the platform to feature special content and behind the scenes opportunities, and the response from each of their audiences has been strong.

For example, the BBC’s first two uses of Facebook Live for a Match of the Day with Gary Lineker, and a showcasing of Everton fans celebrating their team’s FA Cup quarter final victory over Chelsea, were viewed over 1.7 million times.

Sky on the other hand used Facebook Live to feature exclusive content such as a Soccer discussion on the England squad with Adam Smith and Alex Scott, and that led to 150,000 views during the course of an hour.

closedDuring the past week, I talked to four Program Directors and Producers who told me they were instructed by their companies not to use the video service. All had been using the platform and were generating thousands of views for their shows and radio stations.

One programmer was told not to use it because the video couldn’t be counted towards the station’s ratings. A producer was told by his boss to turn off the service because it could distract the host and cause the station to receive less phone calls. My personal favorite was the programmer who told me that his Sales Manager wanted the service turned off because they were going to bring Facebook and Periscope executives to the table, and have them bid to be the station’s sole video provider.

That sounds great, but the day that happens, they’ll have Instagram and Apple bidding to be the station’s exclusive photo provider, and birds paying for the right to fly in the same sky as airplanes.

When I hear these examples, I can’t help but think about how many times people have criticized the radio industry for being late to respond to changes in the world. It’s confusing, and disappointing. The audience lives on social media. They’re not leaving these platforms, and neither are advertisers. In fact, the numbers are growing for both.

fblIf thousands are watching your talent on Facebook Live, is that really a bad thing? Isn’t it the station’s job to figure out how to monetize it? Do we not podcast audio because it may take away from the radio station’s ratings? Do we not promote things on Twitter because the audience will know the answer and not want to put the dial on?

Rather than putting our blinders on, we need to step back and look at the big picture. Do you really think Facebook Live video isn’t going to last? Do you think your audience isn’t going to use it? Not everything can be measured by ratings or sales. Sometimes you make decisions because it’s the right thing to do for your audience. If you can show that the personality or brand will be damaged by being available on this platform then that’s a different story, but I think that’ll be a hard case to make.

It reminds me of a chat I had a few years ago with an executive about Twitter. They urged me not to follow the audience back on one of my station accounts. When I asked “Why not?” the response I received was “if you do it for one, you have to do it for all”, and “it will clutter up your Twitter feed”.

Nowhere in the response did they take into account how it made the listener feel. I believed then and still do to this day, that if someone loves a brand enough to follow it, and you provide them with the same courtesy, you’ll gain more word of mouth advertising, brand promotion through retweets, and heavier listening.

PPM2I also believe that there are PPM users in every market who have social media accounts, and are following their favorite brands. If you can remind them of the quality content you have available, and make them feel good by following them back, I’m confident it’ll help your station’s performance.

If a show on your radio station is able to bring in thousands of viewers through a platform like Facebook Video, then you should be all over it. The same applies to using Periscope, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any platform where you’re able to generate mass audience.

Do you know for a fact that the viewer you’re reaching doesn’t have the radio on where they’re at? Have you considered that by seeing you through the video service they could want to click on your stream or turn on the radio to hear the rest of the presentation?

Rather than doing what radio usually does and saying “we’ll do this when everyone else does it”, how about doing the opposite and taking an initiative to provide a benefit to the audience? The only conversations you should be having are “how do we make this better” and “how can we utilize the service and the results we’re producing to generate more ratings and revenue”?

phoneIn-Game Interaction:

The final portion of this article that I want to examine involves interaction during live play by play broadcasts. In the current environment, broadcasters describe and explain to people what’s happening on the field during a sporting event. The listener is then expected to consume and process the message.

But, if you’re watching or listening to a game in 2016, chances are you’re also using your phone, tablet, or computer to interact with others. Take a look at the amount of tweets that were sent out on Monday night during the NCAA College Basketball Championship game, and on Sunday night during WWE’s WrestleMania 32. It’s a very powerful story for Twitter and Facebook.

Radio and television broadcasts may introduce a handful of tweets during a game but it doesn’t take Nostradamus to figure out what’s coming next. If you’re the voice of a local team’s games, or the face of a broadcast on local or national television channels, start preparing for a world where you’re calling the action over the air, and interacting on social platforms during it. No longer will it be enough to present a message, without also being accessible.

reporter-scheftyThe quick response from many play by play announcers will be “That’s not possible. I do a ton already, and can’t take away from my focus on the air”. They do have a point, but I’ve also spent enough time inside of broadcast booths to know that announcers still find time to text their buddies, read the internet, and browse social media. To suggest that they can’t respond during a game is ludicrous. If players can use Snapchat during a gamePeriscope during pre-game, and reporters can be locked into Twitter during an NFL and NBA Draft, then announcers and analysts can find time to respond to the audience.

I’m not saying it’s easy, or ideal, but if you think that the future isn’t going to include play by play hosts and analysts being accessible on social media, and promoted on-air to attract listener/viewer responses, you’re sadly mistaken. I expect national television groups to make it a heavier part of their presentation because they’re always looking for ways to innovate the broadcast. Even when they do things that drive us nuts, I appreciate that they take risks to try and make things better. For example, we now have in-game reporter’s next to the dugout, in-game interviews with managers, a graphic to show if a pitch was in the strike zone or not, etc.

The one challenge I see will be the cooperation from local teams and professional sports leagues. Some will embrace the future and want to tap into the passion of the audience during their game broadcasts, and others will reject it because they’re either set in their ways or unwilling to give on-air exposure to a social media platform for free.

There will also be issues to navigate with advertisers once they enter the mix, but rest assured, radio stations and local teams will make it a bigger part of their programming strategy in the future. I already hear some announcers responding to tweets, others working out of town stringer reports into their broadcasts, and I suspect video streaming will find its way into radio booths in the near future.

toeny32Prior to leaving San Francisco in 2015, I approached the Oakland Athletics about adding our Pre/Post host Chris Townsend into the game broadcast. I knew the play by play crew of Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo would be open minded to the idea because they had a great relationship with Chris, plus let’s be honest, during a three hour broadcast, there’s plenty of time to fill. Tossing it downstairs a few times for a handful of minutes would not compromise the broadcast, especially when that exact situation occurs frequently during a TV broadcast.

The idea was to use Chris as an in-game reporter and social media correspondent. If a major injury or key moment in the game took place and required further explanation, Chris would have access to provide an update for the audience. He’d also be active on Twitter interacting with fans throughout the game using a special hashtag which we’d promote during the broadcast.

By doing this, it would give fans an opportunity to interact with Chris during the game, and potentially have their messages appear on-air during the broadcast. It was an easy way to use social media to bring fans and the broadcast together, and take them further inside. There was also the possibility of introducing behind the scenes video with Chris through Periscope.

Unfortunately, I was leaving town two months later, and the team felt there were a number of hurdles that would need to be cleared to make it work. There were also union restrictions, and MLB approvals that needed to be met, so it unfortunately never materialized.

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be with the A’s broadcast, but I guarantee you that it will become a part of game broadcasts in the future. If teams and leagues want broadcast companies to keep paying premium dollars for their rights, they’re going to have to allow more access and unique opportunities to generate revenue. If not, those rights deals will decrease.

We may all agree that the team’s games have value to a radio station’s airwaves, but not if they’re going to cause the company to lose large sums of money. With digital consumption and interaction rapidly growing, and advertiser interest following suit, it’s going to be an area where both sides allow for flexibility. Without it, they both lose.

finishThe Conclusion:

I recognize that some of my views may produce a difference of opinion. If you disagree with any of it, that’s ok. Nobody is 100% right. But I will leave you with a few points to ponder.

  • Is there any platform on the planet where more of your audience exists besides Facebook?
  • If thousands are clicking your video stream to watch your talent, is it really hurting your business?
  • How are you adjusting your schedule to make sure your people receive feedback, support and understand your expectations?
  • Do you think the audience isn’t going to demand more access to your play by play broadcast and members of their local teams?

This is where the world is headed. Rather than rejecting ideas because they’re different than what you’re used to, think about the long-term ramifications of the decisions you make. They could have a big effect on whether your company and audience see you as an innovator, or an obstacle standing in the way of progress.

Barrett Blogs

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

Jason Barrett

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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