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The Results of the BSM Sports Radio Survey

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Conducting research is a critical part of every brand’s strategy and development. It’s not an easy process and not every piece of feedback is informative, but it’s necessary in helping your company and people avoid danger signs and pursue opportunities to enjoy greater success. Throughout my career, I’ve used ratings results, focus groups, social media responses, and digital analytics to help my brands build momentum and steer clear of landmines. The radio host and programmer’s responsibility is to know what moves and interests the audience. That information then allows you to design your product strategy to generate larger ratings, deeper brand loyalty, and revenue.

I compare it to being in a popular band. Fans buy tickets to see you perform. When they attend your concert, they expect you to play the songs they enjoy most and do things which are consistent with the way you’ve represented yourself throughout the years. If you hit the stage and act differently and showcase material that you love but the audience isn’t familiar with it will have a negative impact on your future ability to sell tickets, music, and merchandise.

The downside of research is that certain traits have more or less importance from individual to individual. Listeners may tell you that they want to hear a heavy dose of NFL content on your airwaves during their morning commute, and your hosts may provide it, yet not move the needle in the ratings. What does that tell you? It can mean many things. It could be that your talent doesn’t possess the ability to present the content in a spectacular way. It can mean that your competitor has an established show which your audience won’t break their loyalty to. Or it can be an issue with the meters in your market or something else. This is why researching your audience regularly is necessary. The longer you do it, the better read you’re able to get on multiple situations.

Since it’s been a while since I last analyzed the listening habits and interests of sports radio listeners, I thought I’d take a crack at it to see if people’s tastes had changed. I was blown away by the response of 2,006 participants. I have many of my friends in the industry to thank for getting listeners involved. Although a few responses didn’t jive with other projects I’ve worked on, I did find that the majority of responses offered valuable information that we can learn from.

When you look at the feedback below, keep in mind, these responses are coming from sports radio fans all across the United States and Canada. If this exercise were done in an individual market the results would likely be different. But there are some trends which would be consistent anywhere you listen.

Altogether I asked nine questions in this survey, and my goal was to find out which answers the audience identified with MOST. I stress the word “most” because a number of people reached out on social media expressing a frustration with not being able to provide multiple answers. In most case studies, it’s understood that fans of a product will like multiple things. But what brands want to know, is which items make the biggest difference? That was my goal too with this survey.

I will now share with you the results of the BSM sports radio research survey. You’ll find my analysis under each question, highlighting what I felt was most important to take away. Enjoy!

survey1

BSM: The majority of fans who took this survey are hardcore sports radio listeners. 85% or 1,700+ said they listen daily which is great news if you’re in the industry. However, if you look at most radio markets and the ratings that support each brand, most don’t have 85% of their listeners tuning in daily. Those who listen 2-3X per week are also higher than 12% in most cases.

survey2

BSM: For all of the talk about the growing power of the phone, it’s good to see that the car is where listeners still listen to sports radio the most. The phone does come in second with 1 out of 5 listeners tuning in. When you combine that number with the percentage of listeners who listen on a computer, laptop or ipad, the total grows to 30.5%. Why is that important? Because if your website or app delivers a poor listening experience, is difficult to navigate, or features outdated content, 3 out of every 10 listeners are going to notice. You can’t just program your radio station. You must treat your digital brands with great care too.

I did find it interesting that listening at home or at work came in at 11.4%. When that number is combined with listening in the car, you have 68% of hardcore sports radio listeners who are tuned in through an actual radio, not a digital device. That surprised me. We can expect more listening in the future to the sports format to be done on the phone and less on a radio. If we analyzed all formats in the radio industry instead of focusing just on the sports format, this would be a close call between the two primary options.

survey3

BSM: If you judge listening habits based on the ratings data many radio stations receive, you’d be convinced that few people exist during the hours of 10a-3p, and everyone listens to sports radio programming during the morning or afternoon commute. I’m not sure if this is a case of hardcore sports radio fans having a different routine but I was surprised to see middays produce such a healthy number. In comparing mornings, middays, and afternoons they were extremely close but PM drive held a slight advantage. Nights, overnights, and weekends were much lower which is consistent with what many stations experience across the country.

survey4

BSM: No surprise here. Fall is the most important time of the year for the sports format and that’s reflected with almost 84% of listening being most likely between the months of July and December. This is why so many brands air football games and position their Monday’s and Friday’s around football programming. It’s also why each fall you hear a heavy amount of football related guests on local stations during the course of the week. The big challenge for brands moving forward is to figure out how to get those individuals back to the dial between the months of January and June.

survey5

BSM: This was my favorite part of the survey because it gave a good look into the different things listeners hear daily and what moves the needle most with them. The #1 takeaway was that people want to hear a host deliver strong opinion and allow room for debate. I’ve often said drama is what fuels listening to sports radio, and when coupled with opinion and disagreement it becomes a recipe for success.

The second most popular item was funny stories and bits. This means the top two things a host can deliver on a daily basis to engage an audience are passionate opinion and humor.

Coming in third were interviews. Although I enjoy them and believe they can help a brand create or extend content and generate additional buzz, they are not more important than what the host has to say. Many stations also make the mistake of keeping them on for a long period of time, which is why listeners lose interest.

The last item to highlight is the lack of interest in hearing callers. I’ve heard this same story in multiple markets I’ve worked in. Only 5% of people in this survey listed the callers as their favorite part of a sports radio show. If you think your show is connecting based on how many times you’ve seen the phone line light up you’re missing the boat. Calls represent a small fraction of your audience. Although a good passionate call can add entertainment value, and elicit good response from a host, a great on-air talent can perform without them and still kick ass in the ratings.

survey6

BSM: It’s an NFL world that we’re living in, and the survey results confirm that yet again. 1 out of every 2 listeners wants it, and the reason why your audience spikes between July and December is because the NFL becomes the main attraction. This should be no surprise. If you’re not finding a way each day to discuss your local team AND other key storylines from the National Football League, you’re allowing an opportunity to connect with your audience get away.

I’ll admit that I was surprised to see MLB and College Sports so close, because baseball simply has a longer amount of time to be a featured part of the daily conversation. If we did this survey in April I wonder if MLB would be higher. That said, the appetite for College Football and Basketball is strong, and growing, and that’s excellent news for brands who enter the fall seeking a big lift.

The one area that stood out negatively was how poorly the NBA was received in this survey. Once again, depending on your market it’s either a hot or cold conversation, but for the purposes of this survey it’s behind the NFL, MLB and College Sports, and even the NHL. Having worked in multiple NHL markets I can tell you that this evidence doesn’t jive with what I’ve seen in previous research studies. Usually the NHL is beaten 4-5 to 1 by the NBA. But the geography of the individuals taking the survey or the time of the year when we’re conducting this survey could have factored into the final totals.

Something important to remember for all air talent and programmers. You may think your show can afford to spend 2-3 segments per day focusing on lesser stuff because the majority of it deals with the important topics, but those 2-3 segments where you discuss lesser subjects (in this case the NBA and NHL), could be the difference in winning or losing your next book. If people tell you they want NFL, MLB and College Sports content, don’t argue with them – give them what they want. That type of customer service often puts more money in your pocket.

survey7

BSM: The number one reason listeners leave your radio station is not as cut and dry as you might have thought. It’s actually a tie between commercials, and the personality of a host. Face it, people hate interruptions. But they’re a part of our business. You know when every show begins that people will leave at some point when they hear a commercial. But if your personality is divisive, fake or difficult to connect with, it can be as damaging as a Kars For Kids jingle. Some hosts can’t control this, but people listen to talent they want to hang out and have a beer with. If you sound detached from the audience or dismissive of their input, they’ll make you pay for it by tuning you out.

Not far behind those two options was poor content. As I stated in the previous section, if you’re forcing 2-3 segments into the show because you enjoy them but the majority of your audience doesn’t, that’s considered poor content. It doesn’t matter how great you deliver it, if nobody cares about the subject matter.

Right behind poor content were callers at nearly 20%. That number surprised me. But if you’re wondering if hearing the audience weigh in with mindless responses is valuable to your show, remember this survey. 5% said hearing listeners call-in was their most enjoyable part of a sports radio show. 20% said they find them to be the #1 reason to tune out.

survey8

BSM: It’s clear that people prefer to listen to sports talk LIVE but if we did this survey 5 years ago, I bet it would’ve been 90-10 instead of 73-26. What this tells me is that podcasting is growing, and listening on demand has become more attractive to the audience. The interest in the content our format creates remains high but having the ability to enjoy it when it suits an individuals schedule continues to increase. What will really be interesting is to see the results to this same exact question in 2-3 years.

survey9

BSM: Many of us who have made a living in the sports format have been beaten over the head with the message – you must deliver local, local, local. That content strategy drives ratings and revenue higher than national sports programming in most markets. This survey showed that 3 out 4 people prefer local to national. That’s not a surprise. It should make every local radio operator feel good to know that local talent discussing local content still has tremendous value.

However, if you’re dismissing national sports radio programming, that would be a mistake. 1 out of 4 hardcore sports fans in this survey (500+) didn’t care if the programming was local or not. There’s plenty of room at the table for national sports radio networks like ESPN, FOX, CBS, NBC, SiriusXM and SB Nation Radio. When you add the success these national brands have on digital platforms due to their extended reach and cross promotional opportunities on television and websites, it builds an even more impressive story.

The bottom line, we can have a thriving format with both local and national sports radio. It does not have to be a case of picking one or the other.

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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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