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Why Great Brands Never Stop Making Adjustments

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If you want to watch a group of people freak out, utter the one word that makes them uncomfortable – change! The minute they hear it, overreactions take center stage. If you can navigate your way through the threats, and insults, and avoid reversing course due to public pressure, you can stumble into success and enjoy a wonderful journey.

Take for example last week’s radio news in San Francisco. KNBR came to terms on an agreement with John Lund which will move him from middays with Greg Papa on 95.7 The Game, to afternoons with Tom Tolbert on KNBR once his contract expires in July. Lund is an incredibly talented host who will fit well with Tolbert, but KNBR was atop the ratings without him. One could make the case, “why mess with a good thing if it was already working”?

By adding John to their lineup, they not only put Tom in a stronger position, but they created long-term stability in afternoons with a host who knows how to get best out of his partners. They also added a fresh new voice to their lineup, and pulled someone away from their competitor, who was part of a show which was having ratings success against KNBR. That should give the brand confidence that Lund can be a solid ratings performer alongside Tolbert.

Although the majority of feedback was positive, not everyone was a fan of the move.

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The same story took place on the east coast too, where 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland announced they were promoting Anthony Lima to the morning show to join Ken Carman. Having listened to the show a few times during its transition period, it was obvious that Ken and Anthony had good chemistry, a lot in common, and sounded invested in the local sports scene. Once again, most of the feedback was positive, but some still took exception to it.

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These type of responses happen in sports radio all the time, and it doesn’t make them right or wrong. If anything, it should serve as motivation to the talent to prove that the new program will be great. When a show can convert critics to fans, that makes the job a lot more fun.

As common as it is in radio to hear listeners complain about changes, it’s even more magnified when it involves television personalities.

Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock have yet to debut their new program “Speak For Yourself” on FS1, but that hasn’t stopped many from reading the show its last rites. Skip Bayless hasn’t even left ESPN yet to join FS1, but his show too has already been written off. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know when it will air or who will be involved, critics who dislike Skip can’t fathom the idea that the program could possibly work. If you think each of those moves have generated a response, just wait until ESPN names Bayless’ replacement. ”

Jamie Horowitz, Fox Sports’ National Networks President who put Colin-Whitlock together, and stole Bayless away from ESPN, has already been labeled incompetent, and the dumbest sports media executive on the planet for attempting to create a sports television formula similar to Fox News, one which he’s already proven to be successful for his former employer.

Does Horowitz’s past success mean that he can stick any two people together, and have them debate topics and enjoy a rapid rise in television ratings? Not at all. But if it’s what he knows and does best, and it’s produced results, and he’s adding people who understand how to execute the vision, why wouldn’t he attempt it again?

Ask yourself this question, if you were Jamie Horowitz, and Fox hired you based on your track record of creating opinion led programming, would you really try to build a network without using your best pitch? That’d be like telling Randy Johnson not to use his fastball just to prove he can win without it. That makes zero sense.

Every single move in the media is going to draw mixed reviews. That comes with the territory when you work in a public business. But what’s important to understand is why brands must freshen up their presentations, introduce new personalities and programming, and avoid overreacting to immediate feedback.

People dislike the unknown. Whether it’s changing schools, jobs, the homes they live in, or even throwing away that one pair of sneakers that they’ve worn for the past few years, saying goodbye to something we’re comfortable with is difficult.

But people also get bored. When they lose interest, it’s hard to reel them back in. You might be the show they’ve grown up with, but if they view you as a part of their past, and irrelevant to their present or future, is that really helping you?

As much as we prefer routine, we also get sick of it. The thought of something new terrifies us, and leaves a pit in our stomachs. It also peaks our curiosity. It’s that suspense that leads us to check out new things, even if our first instincts were to reject them.

Don’t believe me? Turn on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News, and take a look at how many politicians have done a full reversal on Donald Trump.

To keep listeners/viewers interested, it’s important to disrupt patterns, and introduce new layers. For decades, people stuck with the same things because it was frowned upon if they attempted to satisfy their own individual tastes. They drove the same cars, kept the same jobs, ate at the same restaurants, and even stayed in the same marriages.

In professional sports, players used to report to the minors, and spend four to five years developing before being called up to perform at the major league level. Today, players like Bryce Harper, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe Bryant are rushed into action, and expected to dominate immediately. Although they may have experienced some growing pains along the way, most of them have proven that it’s a different era, and that they can handle the expectations.

On the other hand, one thing that’s drastically different is that there are no longer five to ten year plans in professional sports, let alone the sports media business. We perform in a win-now business, that exists in a “what have you done for me lately” world! You can put your vision on paper, and sell it to corporate bosses behind closed doors, but at some point in time, that strategy will require an adjustment. Everyone preaches patience, and the importance of understanding the big picture, but if progress isn’t experienced within two years, that’s when the finger pointing begins.

One brand which is always under fire is ESPN. When you’re the top dog in the sports media industry that’s to be expected. Critics quickly point out SportsCenter’s declining ratings, and the network’s loss of key talent. What they’re not as fast to point out is how the network still trumps every sports provider for audience size on-air and online, or how the company still employs the largest collection of on-air media talent in the entire sports business. That doesn’t mean they don’t face challenges, but few brands can sustain them the way the mothership has.

Speaking of moves, two big changes were made at the network yesterday. Mike Tirico’s departure to NBC was confirmed, but so were the exits of Ray Lewis, and Cris Carter. Stepping in to fill their voids are Sean McDonough, and Randy Moss. McDonough assumes Tirico’s spot in the MNF booth, and Moss is expected to take over for Carter, and/or Lewis.

If you’ve paid attention over the years, ESPN is known for giving its NFL programming a fresh coat of paint every few years. They do this to keep people interested in the programming.

We can debate which talents were great, and which ones weren’t, but shows like “NFL Countdown” have featured Steve Young, Michael Irvin, Jim Kelly, Bill Parcells, Rush Limbaugh, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, and Mike Ditka. Each of those men have had stellar careers and proven themselves worthy as analysts but that hasn’t stopped the network from changing the cast. They enter the 2016 season with a new cast of characters which is expected to include Charles Woodson, Matt Hasselbeck, and Randy Moss.

What that shows the viewer is that ESPN is committed to featuring compelling people, and providing a new reason to check out the show each season. The changes aren’t necessarily a reflection of the previous talent not doing something right, as much as they are about keeping things fresh, and offering players who are recently removed, but still connected to the game. I myself can appreciate what some of those former analysts brought to the table, but I’ll definitely tune in to see what Moss, Woodson, and Hasselbeck have to offer.

Think about your favorite television sitcoms or series. They usually run for three or four months, and include a variety of characters and different storylines, leading up to a season finale ends which ends with a twist, and leaves you in suspense wanting more. When the show returns a few months later, it has a new feel and approach. That’s done to help the program avoid becoming stale, and remain top of mind. If new elements aren’t introduced to draw people back in and keep them excited, ratings may decline, and the show could be cancelled.

In sports radio though, there is no off-season, so I’m going to use the WWE as a comparison since they deal with the same challenge.

This past April, the company’s signature event, WrestleMania 32, was held. It’s a major event which this year drew more than 100,000 fans to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Another million plus people in the United States and internationally watched the program on pay per view and the WWE Network.

WrestleMania is supposed to be the show which brings closure to many of the company’s biggest storylines of the year. But after it’s over, a new season begins the following night on Monday Night Raw. In twenty four hours, the company has to close the door on multiple angles, and introduce new characters, storylines, and twists and turns. If they fail on Monday night, the previous night’s momentum loses value.

Now think about that as if it were your radio show. If on Friday you delivered your normal talk show, and on Monday you were due to receive a big boost in listening due to more sampling, what would you do to get people talking, and make them want to tune in again the next day?

From a week to week standpoint it might be difficult to introduce wholesale changes, but it absolutely can be and should be done on a seasonal or annual basis. All that requires is creativity and effective game planning.

Depending on what moves the needle most in your town, maybe it makes sense to introduce new regular guest appointments throughout one of those seasons. Or maybe you create a day where you pair two popular station personalities from two different shows together for an hour in-studio. You can also create roundtable debates, topical features, branded hours, themed road shows, and a number of other programming ideas. It all comes down to what suits your style and your audience’s interests.

Regardless of which path you choose, the goal is to keep people listening, talking, and wanting to come back. Whether it’s an annual makeover, a seasonal adjustment, or a monthly tweak, the more you keep the audience on their toes in suspense, and looking forward to new developments with your show, the better your chances of turning them into long-term fans.

And don’t think that this only applies when you’re trailing in the ratings. The best shows make adjustments when they’re on top. You don’t see professional sports teams standing pat at the trade deadline when they’re in first place and have an opportunity to add someone who can help them win a championship. That same mentality is necessary in keeping your program and/or station fresh.

If your personality, and presentation is strong, and new twists and turns are introduced to keep listeners excited, the audience will buy what you’re selling – even if their immediate reaction is to reject it. But, remember that people will change a car, job, and even a marriage, so if you treat them to a predictable brand of programming, don’t be surprised when they treat you to a sticker that reads “you’ve been replaced”.

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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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