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The Clock Is Ticking on Sports Radio Updates

Jason Barrett

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I sat down recently with Damon Amendolara to tape an upcoming episode of the BSM Podcast and after our conversation he asked me “who out there today is revolutionizing sports radio”? I wanted to respond with a laundry list of sports stations who were doing unique things and staying ahead of the curve but I couldn’t.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If a station has a system in place, and it’s working, and their fans are enjoying what they provide, then who am I to suggest that they should change just for the sake of being an industry leader?

But let’s be honest, not every brand in the business today is enjoying ratings and revenue success. Yet there’s a comfort factor that exists inside many buildings, which prevents stations from taking bold steps to improve programming in order to satisfy the growing demands and needs of the listening audience.

If you missed it, KNBR in San Francisco announced last week they were eliminating on-air sports updates. The move cost two update anchors employment at the radio station. While I never like to see anyone lose their position, the radio station made the right call, even if it wasn’t conventional or popular. Even the two terminated employees agreed with the station’s forward thinking.

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For decades, sports radio stations have featured two to three sports updates per hour. WFAN in New York introduced the 20/20 sports flash which many CBS stations have adopted over the years, and brands which have aligned themselves with ESPN Radio, have taken a similar approach by using the branding of “SportsCenter Updates”.

In the past, the audience was at the mercy of relying on the radio station, newspaper and television for up to the minute information. We started our day reading the paper, utilized sports radio throughout the work day, and then turned to local sports television or SportsCenter at night to fill us in on what we didn’t know. These services were valuable because our access to information was limited and much slower.

But then along came the internet, which started making everything better, and in real time. All of a sudden, waiting until the next day to read a columnist’s opinion or reporter’s game story seemed ridiculous. As did waiting for the 10 o’clock news to watch a 3 minute sports report of information you learned about 8-12 hours earlier.

The worst of the group to adapt were newspapers. For decades the print business relied on selling advertising and charging people to read their work, but now thanks to the online space, readers were seeking the content online, and for free, causing the print industry to lose a ton of revenue it was dependent on.

The shift also placed more pressure on writers who were now tasked with writing their stories, adding blogs, chatting with readers, and in some cases, creating video. The same began to take place in television where some reporters and on-air commentators were heading into the field with cameras and being expected to edit their own work.

Next came the explosion of social media. Facebook and Twitter took off, and soon we’d have conversations with family and friends, while increasing our connections and relationships with brands and their key people. As we gained more knowledge of the social experience, we started passing along content which we found interesting, helping brands reach more people with their content in the process.

This forced reporters, columnists and personalities to open themselves up even more. Soon they were reporting information on social platforms, before even doing so on their own airwaves or websites. Once again, the audience demanded instant information, and if sports media members weren’t providing it, they’d find others who could.

So that brings us to the present state of sports radio and its connection to on-air updates.

Many have mixed opinions on the impact and benefit of these reports, so let me present both sides of the debate so you can process the information and arrive at your own conclusion regarding their future value.

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First, why should they be kept? Those in favor of keeping them on the air will tell you that they provide a few positives. Here are six examples.

  • They air 2-3x per hour, which means sponsors have the opportunity to attach their :05-:10 tag lines to them. Considering that during the span of a 13-hour broadcast day, a radio station is going to provide 26-39 of these reports, which adds up to 130-185 per week, that’s a lot of frequency for sponsors to latch onto.
  • The updates help inform sports fans of the most important stories of the day in a short amount of time and if the talk show host isn’t discussing a particular story, the listener can still find out about it.
  • They are positioned at set times, which allows the audience to develop a routine with the radio station. The listener knows that regardless of what’s happening on a talk show, they can rely on the brand to inform them at specific times.
  • They add an extra voice to the daily conversation, and help break up the talk show. The extra voice in the room also at times becomes a contributor to the talk show, leading to an increase in entertainment value.
  • By having the updates in place, the audience doesn’t have to rely on their phones while driving, allowing them to stay informed without risking the potential of an accident.
  • They serve as a great marketing tool for promoting the radio station’s on-air content, often using audio from other parts of the broadcast day which the audience may not have heard, helping to drive digital downloads or additional listening to other shows.

All of the reasons that I mentioned above are valid and why some programmers and market managers are reluctant to change course. But now let’s look at the other side of the argument.

  • Although the radio station presents 26-39 updates per day and 130-195 per week, and they may be available for sponsorship, most brands use them as value added for advertisers, which means there isn’t a ton of revenue being generated specifically for the reports. Some will argue that the station wouldn’t land the advertisers dollars it does without added value sponsorship’s, but the client cares most about the frequency of their message being communicated on the air. Whether they’re attached to a time check, sports update, on-air reset or show feature, they’re flexible.
  • The update may serve up sports information but most of it is material which the the majority of the audience is already aware of. Sports fans are constantly seeking out information and opinion and feeding them material which lacks urgency, suspense and value gives them reason to change the dial.
  • Routine is certainly a benefit IF the audience values the content being presented. If not, you’ve created a position on the radio station which tells them the exact times of when to tune out the radio station.
  • Adding extra voices to a talk show helps keep it interesting, but does that mean the station needs to feature 8-12 reports during the show just to include the anchor in 5-10 minutes of conversation? Is that really a wise way to use a station’s resources, if this is the best value that comes from the position?
  • Yes it’s true, keeping the phone out of the listener’s hands when they’re in their car is a great idea. Nobody wants to see loyal listeners die or end up in a hospital, but this is assuming the driver in each car is going to act responsible, which we all know, they won’t. There’s also the reality that listening to shows by phone has increased and will continue to do so, and if a station is fielding 13 hours of updates when most people spend 1-2 hours per day in their cars, then the question is, why is that a smart strategy?
  • I love the idea of marketing the radio station’s content in updates but how many anchors actually do that? Most use the time to look ahead to what’s coming up each night or they use the time to share stories they discovered on other sports websites. Scan around the country and aside from hearing a different voice, cadence and energy, much of the content is similar. If it’s not unique, and not redirecting the audience back to the station’s website, talk shows or social media pages, then it’s not taking advantage of the on-air marketing opportunity.

When I raise this issue, I do so with a big picture view of the industry in mind. I’m not one of these people who thinks we should change things just for the sake of change. But I also don’t think that you fix the problem by just having your host read reports or changing the name from your updates. Those are the dumb things that we do as an industry sometimes that just miss the point. It’s not about name changes or who reads the script, it’s about the value of the actual update/content.

To move a brand forward I believe you need to look at things from the inside out. Each station and company has to decide what matters most and direct their resources to the areas where they can make the biggest difference. If your station has a bottomless budget and isn’t under pressure to satisfy the bottom line, then feel free to ignore this entire piece because clearly your brand is in such a unique position that it can do whatever it pleases.

But from where I sit, I see the world of digital and social media exploding and being critical to the future of our brands. It’s already grown leaps and bounds over the past decade and it’s only going to increase as we move forward. Yet when I look at the creativity, execution, originality and engagement of sports radio brands in these spaces it’s very underwhelming.

Have you looked at the iTunes charts to see which shows perform best? Aside from a few national programs which have the scale of hundreds of markets pushing their content, the majority of top rated programs come from shows which aren’t on radio stations. Whether it’s Bill Simmons, Pardon My Take, Richard Deitsch, Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Vertical or numerous wrestling podcasts which have built up dedicated audiences, sports fans who turn to the most powerful digital platform to hear sports audio can’t find sports radio shows here because they don’t stand out.

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Keep in mind, sports stations have a megaphone to use to promote their audio offerings. Many of these other digital offerings don’t.

But let’s move iTunes to the side for a second. Have you taken a look at the websites of most of the nation’s sports radio brands? Many operate with the same shell, pull information from the Associated Press or other news providers, and when you turn to their audio section, you find 3-4 hours of audio per show (minus the commercials) and minimal original content of value.

A big reason why digital audio is attractive is because it gives the listener something back that they value tremendously – time! They want to enjoy the show/host, but do so in shorter fashion. Yet most sports stations take the same exact on-air product, throw it on the web, and call it a day.

Except that is not giving the audience what they want. The best 60 minutes of your content gives them reason to click and listen. A GREAT 15-30 minutes of your best stuff makes them even more likely to download your material. Heck, even websites like Clammr allow brands to showcase up to 24 seconds of audio, which can be used as a short teaser to give the listener incentive to listen to the podcast. Sadly not many take advantage of these opportunities.

But that’s only the audio portion of this story. Now let’s examine the social media picture. After all, it is where the audience begins, continues, and ends their day, and a space you can’t afford to not be an expert in. I’ll let you know that I spent 2 days last week evaluating a ton of sports radio stations across the country on social media and I’ll be sharing my findings in a future column.

Take a minute and locate your favorite sports radio station on Facebook and Twitter. Now go thru their last 10 posts, and tell me how much unique content you find on each platform. Then look at how often the station redirects the audience back to the airwaves, its website, its podcasts or another area where the brand can benefit.

You’re going to find a lot of holes, but that’s not even the worst of our sins.

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Let’s now examine how often the radio station engages in conversation with its audience on social media. Go thru those same 10 posts, and tell me how many times you’ve seen the radio station respond or acknowledge any comments left behind by the brand’s most important asset, its listeners. It rarely happens.

When I see this occur, it reinforces a few of my opinions.

First, it speaks to a lack of internal focus on the digital and social experience. People just post content and assume the audience will see it. They don’t always think about what they’re posting, how they’re saying it, what times they’re posting it or if it involves a strategic element to redirect the listener to another part of the radio station’s business.

Secondly, it shows a lack of manpower in most buildings. Stations tack on the responsibility of social and digital media execution to their employees, but because they don’t understand the space or how to be experts in it, and don’t sell a ton of advertising on it, they just assume it’s an extra thing the brand must do.

The third thing I’m reminded of is that unless things change, a listener who values their time and making connections, is better served NOT following the radio station’s social media accounts. Instead they should invest their time in the hosts. Why? They’re more likely to earn a response on-air or on social media from the talent, plus they’ll get to know them better. They can also still learn about what’s taking place on the air from the host, and if the brand is only interested in a one way relationship, then what’s the return on time spent supporting the brand for the audience?

Folks, it’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. It’s not “push content at you and ignore your existence” media. If an audience litters your social media pages with hundreds to thousands of responses per day, and you never take a minute to hit the like button or respond to their questions, suggestions, comments or complaints or provide any special benefits or unique experiences that are only available to your followers, then there’s little reason for them to actively supporting your pages.

So now let’s bring this full circle.

The format lacks original podcasts. Brands don’t promote short-clips of their station’s best content to entice the audience to download their programming. They’re not condensing a 4 hour show into the best 30-60 minutes to make it more appealing to the listener. We’re also not engaged or strategically exploring ways to increase brand loyalty with the audience.

Yet here we sit, having a debate about the value of sports updates, an area of the business which many would agree is not critical to the success of our stations. Our reluctance to change what we do and focus on the areas of our business that matter is no different than the print industry’s ignorance of thinking their customers would continue paying to read their stories online. At some point you have to make difficult decisions or risk becoming expendable by the audience.

I’m not saying there aren’t some excellent anchors on the air in markets across the country. I’m also not suggesting that brands like WFAN or ESPN Radio should abandon utilizing sports updates because they’ve built a certain expectation with their products that the audience does tune to them for. There are always exceptions.

But that’s not the case with most brands.

It’s not the anchor’s fault that the audience has gained access to information faster on social and digital media. Or that the listener has been treated to thousands of audio options and now utilizes the station they love for a shorter amount of time. But if that’s what people are doing, and these are the platforms where they are spending time, and it’s where advertisers are shifting their dollars (they are), then your brand has to make a commitment to being great in the space or it will come back to haunt you.

I mentioned this on my last episode of the BSM Podcast, those who are in anchor positions, should be thinking of the ways they can reinvent themselves and offer value beyond two two-minute reports per hour. Can you deliver video commentaries? Write columns? Report on local teams and break news? Host shows? If you have knowledge of how to help the brand master its digital and social media experience that helps too.

Sports updates have lost their appeal because the content isn’t special, the information is available elsewhere, and it can be consumed in a much shorter time. The phone and computer have become great weapons for the audience, which makes it harder than ever to win the battle for their time.

The audience craves our talk shows and personalities. This is our entry point to their hearts and minds. They don’t get interrupted 2-3x per hour when watching a movie, sitcom or sports television show, and we can’t continue to place speed bumps in front of them during our shows and think it’s going to better serve us in the battle to grow ratings and brand loyalty. That makes zero sense.

Whether we like it or not, the audience’s demands have increased. We’re now operating in a sea of audio after decades of being the dominant fish in the pond. Attention spans are shortening, listening occasions are less frequent, and the appetite for social and digital media continues to rise like a phoenix.

The same hurdles exist on television where SportsCenter now finds itself having to reinvent its approach after being the go to source for the entire sports universe. As a result, ESPN has been losing money and viewers, and finds itself in the most vulnerable spot it’s ever been in as a business.

This is the reality of the world today, and when it comes to providing a strong digital and social experience, radio is standing in the batter’s box with a toothpick trying to hit an Aroldis Chapman fastball over the fence. It may not be comfortable, but to stay ahead in this competitive environment, each brand, manager, anchor and company has to evaluate the areas of their brand that matter most, and figure out how to shift resources from areas that are less important to others which provide a significant benefit.

KNBR recognized it needed to change for the betterment of its future, and did so by eliminating a convenient part of their product, but not a necessary one, sports updates. I can only hope that you’re willing to make the same gutsy decision down the line, because it’s not a question of IF it will be necessary, it’s a question of WHEN!

Barrett Blogs

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

Jason Barrett

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

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

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

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Barrett Blogs

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

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

Jason Barrett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Barrett Blogs

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

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

Jason Barrett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it worked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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