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The Challenge of Covering Sports in 2016

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This week it was Richard Sherman. Last week it was DeMarcus Cousins. Prior to that, Jeff Fisher, Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump and others found ways to deflect criticism, and blame the media for the difficult positions they placed themselves in.

Which raises a few questions.

Is the media not supposed to hold high profile people accountable? Are an individual’s words and actions not fair game to scrutinize, especially when they create a distraction or potential threat to their organization? Does the paying public not deserve answers from the local athletes and teams they spend their hard earned money supporting?

In 2016, the media is under a microscope more than ever. At times it’s justified, but not always.

Industry professionals are operating during a time where sensitivity has swept the nation by storm, and the media blame game gets introduced whenever a challenging situation arises.

If you missed it, Sherman threatened the career of longtime Seattle reporter and on-air host Jim Moore after he didn’t take kindly to Moore’s line of questioning. Rather than ignoring the question or providing a bland response, Sherman let it become personal.

To his credit, he’s since backtracked and acknowledged regret for making a mistake. But it’s difficult to buy that he’s accepted any wrongdoing because this isn’t the first time Sherman has had a dustup with a member of the media. In fact, it’s happened on a number of occasions.

But let’s forget about Sherman for a minute, and take a closer look at DeMarcus Cousins. The star forward of the Sacramento Kings jabbed a finger into the face of Sacramento Bee writer Andy Furillo after being angry over a piece that was published in the newspaper. He also has a history of refusing to answer questions from beat reporters whenever a member of the media is present who has written an unflattering story about him that he doesn’t appreciate.

After the incident, Cousins apologized and was docked fifty thousand dollars by the Kings. He issued a statement which said, “There is a time, place and manner to say everything, and I chose the wrong ones. Like most people, I am fiercely protective of my friends and family, and I let my emotions get the best of me in this situation. I understand my actions were inexcusable and I commit to upholding the professional standards of the Kings and the NBA. I apologize to my teammates, fans and the Kings organization for my behavior and the ensuing distraction and look forward to moving on and focusing on basketball.

Maybe I’m being cynical, but that statement looks like it came from a public relations official, not Cousins. If he truly felt he made a mistake, and wanted to repair the damage, Cousins should’ve sought out Furillo to express his remorse man to man. That’s how respect is regained, and it puts an unfortunate incident for both men in the rear view mirror.

Instead, the only media attention that has come Cousins way during the past week has been about whether or not he’s too thin skinned to handle the heat in a larger market, and if he’s worth the headache and huge price tag.

When a player’s resume details a history full of explosions against the media, it stays with them. If Cousins wants to earn the benefit of the doubt from those who cover him on a regular basis, he has to give them the same courtesy in return. That’s something he’s yet to do.

So if trust is shattered, and a lack of respect exists between the media and the athletes, coaches, and executives that they cover, how do we make it better?

For starters, I don’t believe change is created by one specific act or individual. It takes a series of events, and communication on both sides to create a better working relationship. A little bit of respect, understanding, and compromise wouldn’t hurt either.

Professional and collegiate athletes, coaches, and executives need to remember why media members occupy space inside their buildings. In a nutshell, coverage of a team fuels public interest. That leads to increased ticket sales, merchandise sales, a spike in the ratings for the club’s radio and television partners, and support of the franchise’s business partners.

The athlete or coach may not necessarily view the media’s role in this way, but their presence and consistent content delivery on the franchise’s key storylines plays a huge part in the franchise’s financial success. If you don’t believe the media has that type of influence, I dare one professional franchise to hold a game in their stadium with no radio, television, or digital coverage involved.

While the disrespect for the media can be frustrating at times to those who work in the industry, it’s naive to think that this issue is a one way street. There’s plenty of blame to go around on our side as well.

During the past decade, the expansion of the industry has created a ripple effect. Much of it due to the growing influence of digital and social media. When locker rooms were filled with 10-20 media members, mistakes were marginal, and agendas were easier to pinpoint. Now with hundreds of outlets invading locker rooms, providing similar content, and rushing to be first on every story, the quality in coverage has slipped.

Another factor to take into account is that in each city there are many individuals attending games, practices, and press conferences who don’t invest the time in fostering relationships with the teams and people they cover. The focus on quality reporting takes a backseat to sensationalism because it leads to more clicks, views and tune ins.

We’ve also seen a growing number of media folks entering team facilities unprepared, untrained, and with hidden agendas. They arrive on site in search of a soundbyte to fit their story, rather than telling the one that’s been provided. Others may even use their positions to demonstrate to the team and its players who they are and why they need to be given preferential treatment from the rest of their peers. This is the type of nonsense that leads to certain players with hall of fame resumes, not receiving votes for the hall of fame after their career is done.

On a few occasions, I’ve turned on the television to watch sports programming, only to find a personality or two buying into their own hype, and using their platforms to step over the line and get personal. It’s fine if a broadcaster and athlete have differing opinions on a performance related subject, but when commentaries tuns personal, respect for one another goes out the window, and without that, you can’t move a conversation forward.

As a rule, I’ve consistently preached the importance of providing strong candid opinions on the performance of a team or individual. That’s fair game in my book. We cover sports and the people who play them, and if someone has a bad game or commits an act that hurts the team, that coach or individual needs to be thick skinned enough to handle a series of tough questions. They don’t have to like the way we ask our questions or the subject matter we’re asking about, but they owe it to their league and organization, and the fans who support them to face the music. It’s part of the job responsibility that they accept when they sign a contract to play professional sports.

I also believe the media has a right to question athletes, coaches, executives or owners when the decisions they make outside the lines have a carryover effect on their organizations. Whether it’s Michael Floyd’s DUI arrest, Aaron Hernandez being linked to a murder, or Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel instead of standing up for the national anthem, if an individual creates headlines for the wrong reasons, the media has the right to ask questions about it. We can’t control their answers, but questions do need to be asked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umYJjZuUY9Q

It may sound simple and cliche, but respect for each other and the jobs we do, goes a long way towards preventing ill will. In the current climate of our society, many athletes, coaches, and executives have this perception that the media are in their buildings to uncover dirt and make them look bad. That’s not how the majority of reporters, and hosts operate. They also feel that if they form a business relationship with the media member’s organization, that they’re entitled to a different set of rules which is not the case.

Those who earn the privilege of covering a team can also do a better job of building trust with the people they cover. When solid relationships are established, it leads to more give and take from both sides. It also leads to receiving more information which helps you do your job better.

However, the individuals who represent professional franchise’s also need to realize that they don’t decide what gets reported. If they want to avoid creating distractions or headlines which can paint the organization in a negative light, there’s a simple solution – don’t make a mess. It’s not the media’s job to clean things up. It’s our responsibility to inform the public that it happened.

But if there’s one part of the media’s decision making that can be improved it’s having a better grasp on who from each organization is entering a team’s workplace to cover them. Some people are professional and thrive in the environment, others are unfit, unsure, and unlikely to help the brand by being there. Not every member of your organization deserves to be in the room, and if they are going to be there, they should know what to do and how to do it.

I remember being in St. Louis at a Rams game a few years ago when I was running 101 ESPN, and enduring the wrath of a Rams PR official for the way one of my staff members was representing the station inside the press box. I began to think about who I had credentialed for the game, and I couldn’t come up with anyone who I thought would harm the station’s reputation.

The Rams PR official then pointed to the individual who was wearing a Rams jersey in the press box, and I discovered that it was a member of our promotions team. This person wasn’t part of the programming team, but they had access to the stadium because they were working in our tent and helping the station connect with listeners.

Were they there to cover the team? No. Did they mean to make the station look bad? Of course not. They didn’t even know it was a cardinal sin to wear a team’s jersey in the press box. It was a place inside the stadium that they hadn’t been to before, and they only entered the room to grab a sandwich and cup of soda.

An honest mistake it might have been, but they worked for my station, therefore they represented my brand, which means I messed up. I took the heat that day, and spoke to the individual afterwards, and it was never an issue again. But what it taught me, was the importance of making sure all staff members knew the ground rules for how to act and conduct themselves in specific places when representing the brand. It would’ve been easy to blame this person for heading into the press box without my permission, but it was just as much on me for not making sure they understood the rules before doing so.

All it takes is one media member conducting themselves improperly in the wrong location for the entire group to look bad. Had my employee entered the locker room that day after the game dressed in that jersey, it would’ve compromised every other reporter, writer, anchor and host’s ability to do their job. That’s permanently damaging to one’s reputation, even if it isn’t intentional.

I bring that specific example to light because in stations across America, I’m sure there are times where an intern or staff member is given a press credential to a local team’s games, and we think nothing about it. We assume they’re going to watch the game, post a few details about it on social media, possibly record some audio afterwards, and then exit.

But have you spoken to them about the way to conduct themselves inside that locker room? Have you given them specific instruction on what to do and how to help the brand while they’re in attendance? Are they shadowing a member of your organization who provides a positive influence and helps them learn the ropes? Or are they going to the game because the food is free and the press pass gives them access to players that they may even attempt to bother for a selfie or an autograph?

I don’t want to insinuate that the media was at fault for the situations that occurred with Richard Sherman and DeMarcus Cousins because I don’t believe they were. The coverage was warranted. Whether each athlete liked the line of questioning or the story that was written is irrelevant. They have a responsibility to be professional, even towards people they don’t see eye to eye with.

But let’s also learn from these situations, and prepare ourselves the best way possible.

Not everyone from your organization belongs inside a locker room. When they do earn the right, make sure they’re prepared and conducting themselves in a way that doesn’t embarrass you, their teammates or the brand. Be specific about your expectations of what they should be doing when they enter a stadium or arena on behalf of the company.

We can’t control the respect others have for us or our medium. But we can be responsible for our own actions and behavior. If we’re treating the people we cover fairly and with respect, maintaining a professional demeanor during the process, and meeting the standards that our employer has outlined are necessary, than that should be enough to help you sleep well at night. The rest is beyond your control.

Barrett Blogs

Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?

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How many times have you heard this sentence uttered at conferences or in one of the trades; radio has to do a better job of telling its story. Sounds reasonable enough right? After all, your brands and companies stand a better chance of being more consumed and invested in the more that others know about them.

But what specifically about your brand’s story matters to those listening or spending money on it? Which outlets are you supposed to share that news with to grow your listenership and advertising? And who is telling the story? Is it someone who works for your company and has a motive to advance a professional agenda, or someone who’s independent and may point out a few holes in your strategy, execution, and results?

As professionals working in the media business, we’re supposed to be experts in the field of communications. But are we? We’re good at relaying news when it makes us look good or highlights a competitor coming up short. How do we respond though when the story isn’t told the we want it to? Better yet, how many times do sports/news talk brands relay information that isn’t tied to quarterly ratings, revenue or a new contract being signed? We like to celebrate the numbers that matter to us and our teams, but we don’t spend much time thinking about if those numbers matter to the right groups – the audience and the advertisers.

Having covered the sports and news media business for the past seven years, and published nearly eighteen thousand pieces of content, you’d be stunned if you saw how many nuggets of information get sent to us from industry folks looking for publicity vs. having to chase people down for details or read things on social media or listen to or watch shows to promote relevant material. Spoiler alert, most of what we produce comes from digging. There are a handful of outlets and PR folks who are great, and five or six PD’s who do an excellent job consistently promoting news or cool things associated with their brands and people. Some talent are good too at sharing content or tips that our website may have an interest in.

Whether I give the green light to publish the material or not, I appreciate that folks look for ways to keep their brands and shows on everyone’s radar. Brand leaders and marketing directors should be battling daily in my opinion for recognition anywhere and everywhere it’s available. If nobody is talking about your brand then you have to give them a reason to.

I’m writing this column today because I just spent a day in New York City at the Disney Upfront, which was attended by a few thousand advertising professionals. Though I’d have preferred a greater focus on ESPN than what was offered, I understand that a company the size of Disney with so many rich content offerings is going to have to condense things or they’d literally need a full week of Upfronts to cover it all. They’re also trying to reach buyers and advertising professionals who have interests in more than just sports.

What stood out to me while I was in attendance was how much detail went into putting on a show to inform, entertain, and engage advertising professionals. Disney understands the value of telling its story to the right crowd, and they rolled out the heavy hitters for it. There was a strong mix of stars, executives, promotion of upcoming shows, breaking news about network deals, access to the people responsible for bringing advertising to life, and of course, free drinks. It was easy for everyone in the room to gain an understanding of the company’s culture, vision, success, and plans to capture more market share.

As I sat in my seat, I wondered ‘why doesn’t radio do this on a local level‘? I’m not talking about entertaining clients in a suite, having a business dinner for a small group of clients or inviting business owners and agency reps to the office for a rollout of forthcoming plans. I’m talking about creating an annual event that showcases the power of a cluster, the stars who are connected to the company’s various brands, unveiling new shows, promotions and deals, and using the event as a driver to attract more business.

Too often I see our industry rely on things that have worked in the past. We assume that if it worked before there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for the client. Sometimes that’s even true. Maybe the advertiser likes to keep things simple and communicate by phone, email or in-person lunch meetings. Maybe a creative powerpoint presentation is all you need to get them to say yes. If it’s working and you feel that’s the best way forward to close business, continue with that approach. There’s more than one way to reach the finish line.

But I believe that most people like being exposed to fresh ideas, and given a peak behind the curtain. The word ‘new’ excites people. Why do you think Apple introduces a new iPhone each year or two. We lose sight sometimes of how important our brands and people are to those not inside the walls of our offices. We forget that whether a client spends ten thousand or ten million dollars per year with our company, they still like to be entertained. When you allow business people to feel the excitement associated with your brand’s upcoming events, see the presentations on a screen, and hear from and interact with the stars involved in it, you make them feel more special. I think you stand a better chance of closing deals and building stronger relationships that way.

Given that many local clusters have relationships with hotels, theaters, teams, restaurants, etc. there’s no reason you can’t find a central location, and put together an advertiser appreciation day that makes partners feel valued. You don’t have to rent out Pier 36 like Disney or secure the field at a baseball stadium to make a strong impression. We show listeners they’re valued regularly by giving away tickets, cash, fan appreciation parties, etc. and guess what, it works! Yes there are expenses involved putting on events, and no manager wants to hear about spending money without feeling confident they’ll generate a return on investment. That said, taking calculated risks is essential to growing a business. Every day that goes by where you operate with a ‘relying on the past’ mindset, and refuse to invest in growth opportunities, is one that leaves open the door for others to make sure your future is less promising.

There are likely a few examples of groups doing a smaller scaled version of what I’m suggesting. If you’re doing this already, I’d love to hear about it. Hit me up through email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com. By and large though, I don’t see a lot of must-see, must-discuss events like this created that lead to a surplus of press, increased relationships, and most importantly, increased sales. Yet it can be done. Judging from some of the feedback I received yesterday talking to people in the room, it makes an impression, and it matters.

I don’t claim to know how many ad agency executives and buyers returned to the office from the Disney Upfront and reached out to sign new advertising deals with the company. What I am confident in is that Disney wouldn’t invest resources in creating this event nor would other national groups like NBC, FOX, CBS, WarnerMedia, etc. if they didn’t feel it was beneficial to their business. Rather than relying on ratings and revenue stories that serve our own interests, maybe we’d help ourselves more by allowing our partners and potential clients to experience what makes our brands special. It works with our listeners, and can work with advertisers too.

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Takeaways From The NAB Show and Six Days in Las Vegas

“I’m certainly not afraid to be critical but my enthusiasm for the NAB Show was elevated this year.”

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Six days on the road can sometimes be exhausting. Six days in Las Vegas, and it’s guaranteed. That was my world last week, as I along with more than fifty thousand people headed to sin city to take in the 2022 NAB Show.

The event didn’t draw as many as it had in the past, but after two years of inactivity due to the pandemic, it was good to be back. Judging from some of the vendors I talked to, the sessions I attended, and the feedback I received from folks I met with, though far from perfect, it was a solid return for an important event. Seeing people interact, celebrate others, and talk about ways to improve the business was a positive reminder of the world being closer to the normal of 2019 than the normal of 2020-2021. The only negative from the week, the consistent failure of Uber to appear in the right place at the right time. But that had zero to do with the NAB.

It feels like whenever I attend industry conferences, there are two different type of reviews that follow. Some writers attend the show and see the glass half full. Others see the glass half empty. I’m certainly not afraid to be critical but my enthusiasm was elevated this year. Maybe it was because BSM was a media partner or maybe it was due to the show not happening for years and just being happy to be among friends, peers, and clients and operate like normal. Either way, my glass was definitely half full.

For those who see events this way, it’s likely they’ll remember the numerous opportunities they had to create and reestablish relationships. They’ll also recall the access to different speakers, sessions, products, and the excellent research shared with those in attendance. The great work done by the BFOA to recognize industry difference makers during their Wednesday breakfast was another positive experience, as was the Sunday night industry gathering at The Mayfair Supper Club.

Included in the conference were sessions with a number of industry leaders. Radio CEO’s took the stage to point out the industry’s wins and growth, credit their employees, and call out audio competitors, big tech, and advertisers for not spending more with the industry. When David Field, Bob Pittman, Ginny Morris and Caroline Beasley speak, people listen. Though their companies operate differently, hearing them share their views on the state of the business is important. I always learn something new when they address the room.

But though a lot of ground gets covered during these interviews, there are a few issues that don’t get talked about enough. For instance, ineffective measurement remains a big problem for the radio business. Things like this shouldn’t happen, but they do. NBC and WarnerMedia took bold steps to address problems with TV measurement. Does radio have the courage to take a similar risk? That’s an area I’d like to see addressed more by higher ups.

I can’t help but wonder how much money we lose from this issue. Companies spend millions for a ratings service that delivers subpar results, and the accountability that follows is often maddening. Given the data we have access to digitally, it’s stunning that radio’s report card for over the air listening is determined by outdated technology. And if we’re going to tell folks that wearables are the missing ingredient for addressing this problem, don’t be shocked if the press that follows is largely negative. The industry and its advertising partners deserve better. So too do the reps at Nielsen who have to absorb the hits, and make the most of a tough situation.

Speaking of advertising, this is another one of those critical areas that deserves another point of view. Case in point, I talked to a few ad agency professionals at the show. Similar to what I’ve heard before, they’re tired of hearing radio leaders blame them for the industry’s present position. This has been a hot button topic with executives for years. I often wonder, do we help or hurt ourselves by publicly calling out advertisers and ad agencies? How would you feel if you ran an agency which spent millions on the industry and were told ‘you don’t do enough’? I’m a champion of radio/audio, and am bullish on spoken word’s ability to deliver results for clients, but having attended these shows for nearly seven years, it might be time for a new approach and message. Or maybe it’s time to put one of our CEO’s with one of theirs and have a bigger discussion. Just a thought.

Of the sessions that I attended, I thought Erica Farber’s ‘What Business Are You In?’ was excellent. I especially liked Taja Graham’s presentation on ‘Sharing Your Truth’. I also appreciated Eric Bischoff’s tips on ways to monetize podcasts, and am curious to see how Amazon’s AMP develops moving forward. My favorite session at the show though was “A GPS Session For Your Station’s Car Radio Strategy” led by Fred Jacobs. The insight shared by Joe D’Angelo of Xperi and Steve Newberry & Suzy Schultz of Quu was outstanding. Keeping the car companies on our side is vital to our survival, and how we position ourselves on the dashboard can’t be ignored. Other tech companies and audio operators take it seriously. We must too.

Sessions aside, it was great to check out the VSiN and Blue Wire studios, connect with a bunch of CEO’s, GM’s and Market Manager’s, and visit with Kevin Jones, Joe Fortenbaugh, Jeremiah Crowe, Jon Goulet, Bill Adee, Q Myers, Mike Golic Jr. and Stormy Buonantony. The NFL’s setup for the Draft, and the light show presented at the Bellagio was without a doubt spectacular, plus Stephanie had a chance to say hello to Raiders owner Mark Davis who was inside the back room of a Westgate restaurant where we were having a business lunch meeting. The personal tour we received at the Wynn showed off some of the best suites I’ve seen in Las Vegas, and I was finally able to witness Circa’s Stadium Swim in person, and meet owner Derek Stevens (heck of a suit game). What an outstanding hotel and casino.

Altogether, it was a productive trip. As someone who knows all about building and executing a conference, I appreciate the work that goes into pulling it off. This event is massive, and I have no idea how the NAB makes it happen so flawlessly. This was the first time my head of sales, Stephanie Eads, got to attend the show. She loved it. Our only negative, going back and forth between convention halls can get exhausting. Wisely, Stephanie and Guaranty Media CEO Flynn Foster took advantage of the underground Tesla ride to move from the North hall to the West hall. I wasn’t as bright. If that’s the worst part of the experience though, that’s pretty solid. I look forward to returning in 2023, and attending the NAB’s NYC show this fall.

Additional:

You’ve likely seen posts from BSM/BNM on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn promoting a number of open positions. I’m adding crew to help us pump out more content, and that means we need more editors, news writers, features reporter’s and columnists. If you’re currently involved or previously worked in the industry and love to write about it, send a resume and few writing samples by email to JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

With that said, I’m excited to announce the addition of Ryan Brown as a weekly columnist for BSM. Ryan is part of ‘The Next Round’ in Birmingham, Alabama, which previously broadcast on WJOX as JOX Roundtable. The show left the terrestrial world in June 2021 to operate as its own entity. Ryan’s knowledge and opinions should provide a boost to the site, and I’m looking forward to featuring his columns every Tuesday. Keep an eye out for it tomorrow, and if you want to check out the guest piece he previously wrote for us, click here.

Demetri Ravanos and I have talked to a lot of people over the past month. More additions will be revealed soon. As always, thanks for the continued support of BSM and BNM.

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Six New Contributors Join Barrett Media

“These latest additions will make our product better. Now the challenge is finding others to help us continue growing.”

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Building a brand starts with a vision. Once that vision is defined, you identify the people who fit what you’re creating, lay out the game plan, and turn them loose to execute. If the product you’re creating is original, fills a gap in the marketplace, and the work turned in by your team is consistently excellent and promoted in the right locations, more times than not you’ll build an audience.

As you grow, the focus turns to studying what your audience wants, needs, and expects from your brand. Certain things you expect to be big turn out small, and the things you saw limited upside in create opportunities you never saw coming. It’s critical to be open minded and ready to pivot while also examining where and when people consume your product, which pieces of content do and don’t matter, and then use that information to direct your team to give folks more of what they value and less of what they don’t. Team members should want that feedback too. It tells them what is and isn’t worth spending their time on.

As I lay all of that out it may sound like I’m talking about a radio station or television operation. These are the things programmers do frequently to make sure the talent, shows, and brand is satisfying the expectations of an audience. But what I’m actually referring to is the brand you’ve made a choice to click on to read this column, Barrett Media.

I’ve mentioned many times on this website how I started this operation by myself, and didn’t expect to have a team of writers involved in it. I was focused on consulting sports stations, sharing my programming views on this website, and as I cranked out content consistently, I discovered others loved the business like I did and had a desire to share their insights too. Rather than sticking to my original plan, I pivoted and increased our content offerings. In return, the audience grew, clients grew, and it’s led this brand to grow beyond my expectations. Now we cover sports AND news media, we run an annual conference, feature a membership program, create podcasts, deliver a daily 8@8 and three times per week BNM Rundown newsletter, and work with various brands and companies across the broadcasting industry. I’m extremely fortunate to be in this position and don’t take it for granted.

But with growth comes change. We’ve been blessed to have a lot of talented people contribute to this site over the years, and as they produce quality work, and others across the industry recognize it, they earn interest for their services. That then leads to some having to sign off for bigger opportunities. I see that as a great positive for the brand. Would it be nice to have more consistency and keep a crew together for years? Of course. I know it’d make Demetri’s life a lot easier. If we’re losing people for the right reasons though, and they’re landing opportunities that help them advance their careers, I’m going to be happy for their success, and trust that we’ll find others to keep us moving forward. The success of our team helps make what we do more attractive to others because it shows that if you do good consistent work here, you can put yourself in a position to attract attention.

Over the past two months, I have challenged Demetri Ravanos to invest more time talking to people about writing for us. Expanding our Barrett News Media roster is a priority. So too is adding quality people to help us improve Barrett Sports Media. BSM has had just under seven years to earn trust with readers. BNM has had less than two. We’ve put out ads on our website and newsletters, social posts, an ad on Indeed, and we’ve reached out directly to people who we’ve felt may be able to add something interesting to our brand. Most of my time is spent listening to stations and talking with clients, but my eyes are always roaming looking for content, and my mind is always thinking about what we can create next to make an impact.

I don’t judge our brand’s success based on clicks, shares, breaking news before other outlets or showing up in the top three listings on Google. I care more effort accuracy, timeliness, passion, consistency, storytelling, insight, and being fair and non-agenda driven. We’ve found our niche being able to tell stories about broadcasting professionals, relaying news, and offering expert knowledge to serve those involved in the broadcasting industry. If we continue to excel doing those things consistently, I’m confident our audience will reward us by reading and sharing more of our content. It’s why we never stop recruiting to keep things fresh.

Having said that, I am excited today to reveal six new additions to the Barrett Media staff. Peter Schwartz is a name and voice many in New York sports radio circles are familiar with. Peter has spent three decades working with various outlets and I’m thrilled to have him writing weekly feature stories for us. Brady Farkas is a talented host and former programmer who now works for WDEV in Burlington, VT. Karl Schoening is a play by play broadcaster who has worked in San Antonio sports radio and has had the added benefit of learning the industry from his talented father Bill who calls Spurs games. Each of them will produce bi-weekly feature stories for the brand. Jason Ence is in Louisville and has written about sports betting for Twin Spires while also working for ESPN 680. He’ll be writing sports betting content for us on a weekly basis. Jasper Jones will help us by adding news stories on Friday’s. He’s presently in Philadelphia learning the business working for Audacy. Last but not least, veteran author, Brewers writer, and former radio professional Jim Cryns comes on board to help us with features on news media professionals.

These six additions make us stronger, and I’m excited to have them join the team to help us add more quality content to the website. That said, we’re not done yet. Demetri and I are still talking with others and I expect to make a few more additions in the weeks ahead. As I said earlier, we want to improve the news media side of our operation and continue adding people to help us make a bigger dent in the sports media space. Broadcast companies invest in us to help them, and I believe it’s important to invest back.

If you’ve programmed, hosted a top rated show, worked in measurement, led a cluster as a GM, sold advertising, represented talent or have worked in digital and feel you have knowledge to share, reach out. I can’t promise we’ll have room but we’re always willing to listen. I’m not worried about whether or not you’ve written for professional publications. Passion, experience and unique insights matter much more than a resume or journalism degree.

I appreciate everyone who takes time to read our content, like and share it on social, and all involved with this brand who help bring it to life each day. The latest additions of Schwartz, Farkas, Schoening, Ence, Jones and Cryns will make our product better. Now the challenge is finding others to help us continue growing.

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