Connect with us

Barrett Blogs

BSM Programming Summit Day 1

Jason Barrett

Published

on

We’re live in Chicago for the inaugural Barrett Sports Media programming summit hosted by Jason Barrett. This blog will be updated throughout the day so be sure to check back regularly for new information.

INTRODUCTION: Jason Barrett opens the Barrett Sports Media programming summit welcoming over 30 PD’s from markets throughout the country.  During the two-day event everyone involved has the opportunity to  share insights, strengthen relationships and inherit wisdom from many of our industry’s top sports radio minds.

SESSION 1 – Experience, Sound & Reinvention: 

  • Mitch Rosen – 670 The Score
  • Justin Craig – ESPN Radio
  • Mike Thomas – 98.5 The Sports Hub

Mitch Rosen – The Score brand is bigger than our personalities.  The radio station is 26 years old, and to stay relevant and fresh, you can’t be afraid to make change.  We could have kept things the same and done well, but we have to ask how can we reinvent ourselves?  Change was needed in acquiring new talent, but we still wanted to keep our heritage.

Staying topical is key.  How many people heard of Loyola Chicago before the tournament?  Being creative and having a great imaging director is one of the most important aspects for a sports station.  Our best primetime show is the Chicago Cubs.  They’re our marketing campaign and in all of our imaging, not just on The Score, but our entire cluster.

The best way to perform market research is talking with listeners.  They are our customers and they give honest feedback and I make the time to respond to all of them.

We need to own our local content because local content wins, and people want to talk about their teams.  This format is here to stay, because it’s live, local and all about strong opinions.

Justin Craig – Pushing the ESPN brand is more important than an individual station.  It doesn’t matter how a show is consumed, whether it’s on the radio, television or streamed.

As soon as a host’s show ends is when their job really begins.  That’s when the talent needs to stay connected, promote a show and build the brand.  Having a younger producer who knows how to properly use social media can be important to help the host continue to stay connected after the show.

The hardest thing to do on a national level is relating to the listeners.  Are we putting out a product that fans want?  The local station is part of their audience, they interact with them.

We aim to hit mass consumption with our shows.  It’s not just about one particular location.  It’s about radio, TV, the app, social media, anywhere fans are and interested in sports content, we want to be who they turn to for content.

Mike Thomas – The importance of imaging and making sure a station sounds fresh.  Each of us have had those moments where we heard a talent or imaging from a station that made us say, this is what we want to do.

The Sports Hub is a “sports station that rocks.”  We’re a former rock station and that can be heard in our imaging.  Boston was ready for a younger sports station and a lot of other markets are as well.

Even though we don’t carry the Red Sox, its important to still have Red Sox imaging.  We have a baseball reporters show to compete with WEEI’s Red Sox pregame and we promote that as well as when a reporter will be joining one our other shows.

Jason Barrett – Responded to a question about running a station that does not have broadcast rights to a popular local team.  At 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, they had rights to the Athletics’ games, but not the Giants.  It was still important to give the listener what they want, although the A’s wanted the station to talk less Giants during the day, its necessary to put the listener first even if that means focusing on your rival station’s team.

SESSION 2 – The Tangled Web of Social Media: 

  • Danny Parkins – 670 The Score
  • Barry Meister – Meister Sports Mgmt.
  • Scott Shapiro – Fox Sports Radio

Danny Parkins – It seems obvious to be active on social media to interact with the listeners.  I’ve told people I will be at a game and offer a meeting point to buy people beer.  I have 40,000 followers, I might only get a dozen people to show up, but 40,000 fans will see that I’m willing to do that.

You’re not being human if you’re not talking about what your audience is talking about including political topics.  Eventually fans will tune in to listen to a talent because they want to hear that person regardless of what they’re talking about.  There are ways to be profitable while being polarizing.

You don’t have to sell your soul to go viral or make a name for yourself, you just have to be creative.  If you’re going to be controversial, you have to be genuine and able to sleep at night.

From a compensation standpoint there are cost benefits to using social media.  It may not be easy to dissect but by being active on social media it caught the attention of Mitch Rosen and resulted in me now working for my hometown station in market #3 in afternoon drive.

Barry Meister – You can tweet something that 50% of the population finds funny and 50% finds offensive.  It never makes sense to alienate half of your audience.  A tweet that offends a large group of people is different than an opinion that people disagree with.

My job is to protect my client at all costs but I tell them “you want to be right, but you want to be employed.”

Whatever the platform is, you have to know who you’re talking to.  You also have to know who the individual is and educate them on the benefits and dangers of operating in the space.  Among my clients, Chris Sale has no use for Twitter.  It’s not who he is.  On the other hand, Sergio Romo is very active in the space and has generated a lot of additional revenue on it.

Scott Shapiro – Social media is an extraordinary brand connection.  There are so many people doing what we do, it’s a very competitive business, we want fans to be watching a game and thinking of our talent to see what they’re doing next.  Social media is free advertising.

For anyone in radio, to not use social media to promote your brand or station is a mistake.  That said, talent need to represent the values of the company when using Twitter.  The “f-word” is something that makes many people uncomfortable, if you use that on social media, you better not have our brand represented anywhere on the page.

Handling a talent crossing the line with an opinion depends on the employer and how much the company is willing to allow.

We use Facebook Live, it’s important, we try to make it look good and sound good, but any extension of our brand to a different platform is used as a way to try and convert that listener back to terrestrial radio.

SESSION 3 – Gaining Dollars and Attention From Sports Radio Advertisers: 

  • Dean Lamb – CDW
  • Laurel Cline – Wintrust Financial

Dean Lamb – From an advertising standpoint we look at ratings as one element, but there is so much other data we focus on as well.

How do we create a degree of relevance between what we’re doing and what you’re doing.  Talking to a program director to see what their audience listens to can help to create an ad.  I would prefer if someone told us to go back on the drawing board, rather than put something on-air that you don’t think works.

When working with talent, we look for an element of brand safety, but we also want someone interesting and relevant.

One difficulty with advertising during play-by-play is the spot can be played on terrestrial radio, but not heard on any streaming platform due to league rules, but streaming and smart speakers are obviously becoming more popular.

Sports radio stations who appeal to an older demo should absolutely push that story. It’s not just about Men 25-54. For example, when we do business with the PGA Tour we definitely look to reach the higher end of the demo.

Laurel Cline – There are so many things we look at, ratings are an aspect of it, but most importantly we want it to be something that fits our brand.  Sometimes there is too much data and it’s difficult to decipher what’s helpful and what isn’t.

We look for someone who is local, involved with the community and actually supports our product or brand. We try to stay away from anything too political or controversial, sometimes an ad might run during a show and we’ll get feedback from people upset.

Finding a way to integrate advertisers into podcasts will become more invaluable.  One challenge with podcasts is it fragments the audience, but if more people are listening to them, are less people listening to the radio? Knowing where the audience listens is important.

In our world, we know that the majority of our customers are older so we look to appeal to a younger audience.

It would be beneficial to us and all advertisers if we had a chance to meet, talk and get feedback from program directors. I have never met a programmer until today.

SESSION 4 – Tackling Diversity in Sports Radio: 

  • Sarah Spain – ESPN Radio
  • Jason Goff – Chicago Sports Radio Host
  • Dan Zampillo – ESPN Los Angeles

Jason Barrett introduced the topic by mentioning there are 425 Monday – Friday radio hosts in the country, 87% of them are white males. Although many deserve to be in their positions and are doing an excellent job it’s also disappointing to see the lack of progress offering diverse talent on the air.

The numbers over the past three years are unchanged. As a whole the format has to make major improvements. 38% of the population is non-white yet only a third of that population is represented on sports talk radio.

Dan Zampillo – The idea of hiring someone who isn’t like you is very important.  Someone with differing opinions might make me feel uncomfortable, but to overcome something you have to leave your comfort zone.

It’s not about my world and thinking what I think is funny or not, you need to know your audience and seek out opinions from different people.

Jason Goff – I grew up listening to sports talk radio.  I feel we sometimes insult our listeners because we think they can’t handle certain topics.  Sports can be a vehicle to talk about something else, people say stick to sports, but sometimes there’s something deeper than sports and people like learning more than they don’t like learning.

Sometimes for a minority or female host in an industry dominated by white males, there are some things you may have to subconsciously deal with that you say “that didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.” But if anyone else heard it they might be like “you’re going to put up with that” and I say “yeah, because it’s my dream.”

How many people have zero connection with a minority during their day? Radio stations can provide people with that connection.

The challenge we have is getting more diverse people behind these microphones and behind the scenes and understanding that there’s a blending that’s taking place but the loud minority is shouting down that blending.

I never understood why a sports station isn’t rated number one because everyone can relate to sports and has a reaction to it. I’m not here to make you feel the best or worst, but I’m here to make you feel, and it’s great to think differently because the audience isn’t just the 25-54 year old white male.

Sarah Spain – Nobody ever really only followed the stick to sports model.  The current climate just makes people more aware of someone not talking about sports.  Sticking to sports can be small-minded.  Why not appeal to a broader audience?

By the way, when people clamor for things to return to how they used to be, the way that it was though didn’t actually stick to sports.  A lot of women and minorities were alienated.  Gay people were offended.  The main people listening and in charge didn’t notice though because the commentary reflected their own opinions.

When I say something that goes off sports or is specific to me it becomes noteworthy, but when a straight white male goes on a rant about going to a strip club or women shouldn’t go to Vegas, they ruin everything, it just feels like the regular conversation because that’s what you’re used to.

We talk often about how to fix major league baseball because those who like the game are all old white men. When I talk to people in power positions in radio instead of saying “all of our listeners are white men who are aging” they say “we don’t want to alienate our listeners who we do have.”

What business runs like that?  What business says “no, we prefer to still not to attract 50% of the population of women and another 30+% that are minorities because we’re worried that the white audience that we have might go away if we force them to listen to someone who is mildly different from them.”

Why wouldn’t you want to appeal to as many people as possible who are interested in sports radio?  If you’re wondering why your audience is a certain way, maybe look at the people you have hosting and the things that they’re saying and realize that they’ve been turning away a really big chunk of people for a very long time.

You need to find people that don’t know what they want yet.  I never wanted to get into sports radio because I thought someone would ask me who hit the most home runs in 1985 and I wouldn’t know the answer, because my parents didn’t watch sports and I wasn’t watching sports in 1985.  To find different types of talent you have to be willing to put yourself into positions where you’re going to do things differently.  Whatever your daily routine is, wherever you usually go, go somewhere different.

Pipelines exist in every business for white males, but we need to create pipelines for everyone else.  If you’re hiring me because you need to hire a woman then great. I will be that woman and I will kick ass and inspire other women to create that pipeline for others to get these kind of opportunities.  If you’re a token hire, that’s fine, as long as you’re not disrespected.  Once you get the job is yours though you need to be yourself and take advantage of it and make people ask themselves why they didn’t try it sooner.

SESSION 5 – The Infinite Dial 2018: 

  • Larry Rosin – Edison Research

Podcasting is an important tool for radio stations.  Many people want to turn on a station and listen to whatever is on right now, but others want to catch up and listen to a specific show on their own time, and podcasts provide that opportunity.  If you’re not providing the listener with unique podcasts, they’ll find them elsewhere.

86% of Americans older than the age of 13 listen to music.

41% of Americans listen to speech based content.

The average American listens to three hours and 49 minutes of audio per day, 57 minutes of that is speech based.

Of the 41% that listen to speech content regularly, they listen to four hours and 54 minutes of content daily, of which two hours and 19 minutes is speech based.

Average listening platforms for Americans over the age of 13:

AM/FM Radio 53%
Streaming 15%
Owned Music 14%
SiriusXM 7%
TV Music Channels 5%
Podcasts 3%
Other 3%

Terrestrial radio is still by far the most consumed form of audio content, but with each new study, its percentage decreases a little bit.

Once a listener begins listening to podcasts, they quickly listen to more podcasts.  Of those who regularly consume podcasts, 59% of their daily listening is to podcasts, while AM/FM Radio drops to just 24% of their listening.

Once you enter the digital world, more people consume podcasts when listening on a phone or computer than they listen to AM/FM radio.

50% of people 18-34 said they do not own a radio in their home, ten years ago that number was just 6%.

SESSION 6 – The Trump Effect (moderated by Tim Spence 630 KHOW Orange and Blue 760 Denver): 

  • Todd Manley – WGN Radio
  • Brian Long – KOGO/Xtra 1360
  • Chris Kinard – 106.7 The Fan

Chris Kinard – When we started, we brought in hosts that could talk about social issues.  Over the course of the last two years its become too divisive and less fun, so we have cut back on that and the ratings have responded positively.

Continuing down a political path is something a host doesn’t always want to do because they don’t want to brand themselves in that way.  Politics might not be the majority of what a sports station or host does, but it’s going to be the loudest thing they do.

We’re done talking about politics.  Our listeners know when they turn on The FAN, they’re going to be entertained, and not moved to turn the radio off because they’re hearing the same political topics they heard at work all day.

Brian Long – Sports radio hosts aren’t always well-versed in what’s going on politically, but they still have opinions that could become divisive.  From a sports standpoint, we decided to get out of talking politics rather quickly.  Still, there are times that a sports conversation will have to crossover to being a political conversation.

We preach playing the hits, but you need to know why the audience is tuning into your station.  You can give a hot take on sports each day, but when talking about a social issue, a host may upset the audience if it’s not a topic the audience wants to hear about.

Todd Manley – I’ve noticed music stations coming out of nowhere in the market, because people are looking to get away from political conversations.  Looking at the balance of what to talk about is important, you need to have fun.  We have shows that are targeted towards sports and others that are not.

Our afternoon show is topicality driven, there are so many topics to choose from right now, and choosing what news story to talk about is a conversation we have everyday, along with how can we shift gears to making the topic fun.

SESSION 7 – Sports Radio Reimagined: 

  • Jason Barrett

Should the male 25-54 demo change?

People are living longer.  Older listeners have the most money.  The debate should be about which demo best represents the true impact made by sports talk radio stations.  18-54? 25-54? 25-59? 25-64? 35-64?

Niche content is gaining steam.  Trying something different such as a daily sports betting or eSports show can’t be dismissed, especially when you look at how much money is projected to be invested in those spaces in the future.  Just type in sports or sports radio on iTunes and look at what comes up.  Wrestling for example, dominates the charts.  It’s why Podcast One and Westwood One have launched wrestling programs.  There’s big money and interest in many of these forms of content.

Sports program directors are comfortable spending money on weekly NFL, NBA, MLB contributors, but have you ever considered a weekly political guest? Betting experts? A popular wrestling personality or eSports enthusiast?

How are you looking to groom young talent, or employ women and minority talent? Barstool Radio has more women in their weekday lineup than any station. They also feature shorter shows. Why not experiment with a 30-60 minute show? If the average commute is under 30-minutes and your average metered listener spends less than one hour listening to your station each day, can you say with certainty that shorter programs wouldn’t be seen as a benefit to your audience? With digital platforms available, stations should be using them as a way to experiment and develop new talent.

How much money are you generating from your digital content?  How much are you earning from podcasts, and people using your app or streaming? How many hours are invested in making your digital platform look and sound right?  Station’s need to find ways to make the digital part of their business profitable and charging for it can’t be dismissed.

If radio revenues are flat to down and you look at what’s going on in the subscription world in the sports media business, it’s fair to ask if 100,000 listeners paying zero on a platform that you monetize poorly and spend ample resources in is more important to your business than 10,000 paying $8.00 per month.  If the content and talent are special and offering quality on a consistent basis people may not be as opposed to paying for it as you might think.

Brands should be analyzing how their meters use their stations and adapt their clock structure to the way people use the radio station’s programs, not just installing the same clock design across all 13 hours just because it’s simpler.  As long as the inventory gets in during each four to five hour daypart, it’s the programmer’s job to review when people are listening most/least and capitalize on opportunities.

PD’s should be asking themselves, “can my brand survive and thrive without me?”  You have to think about the job description going forward differently.  There’s going to be much more to the position than analyzing ratings, coaching talent, meeting with sales and promotions, etc.  Are you involved in digital content creation, social strategy, merchandising, graphic design, etc.?  Don’t dismiss learning about those things because they may be part of your job in the next few years.  Otherwise a company may one day decide to install a virtual PD.

SESSION 8 – The Next Big Category: 

  • Chad Millman – Action Network
  • Bill Adee – VSiN

Chad Millman – It’s harder to do a national campaign if sports gambling is regulated in each state differently.  League’s would prefer if the future of sports betting was federally legislated the same everywhere.  From a content standpoint, it doesn’t matter, we’re still going to provide information to help people learn to bet smarter on sports.

There are still glitches, the betting technology has to catch up for the market to grow where I expect it to grow

We want to be conversational and connect with an audience that might not bet daily, but it still remains a part of their lives.  The generation that is 15-35 has grown up with moneyball, fantasy sports and video games.  They view sports as an opportunity.

The NFL is so backwards regarding their stance on sports betting.  They think differently than other leagues.  Knowing legal sports gambling is coming, the NFL’s thinking should be more about how to monetize it.

Bill Adee – Nobody really thought about why sports gambling was legal or illegal because the law was that way for so long.  The attitude toward sports betting has changed.  It’s a states right’s issue, Nevada was grandfathered in, why shouldn’t New Jersey be allowed to legalize sports betting?

At VSiN, we like to inform and entertain, but most of all we like to educate.  There is a big audience for sports betting and we need to explain it in a way that doesn’t insult the audience’s intelligence, because a lot of them think they know what they’re doing in-terms of betting, but they really don’t.

You want to put information on-air that makes sense and draws the listener in, focus on lines and how they move, knowing that a lot of the betting conversation needs to be explained properly to the audience.  We try to demystify sports gambling.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media Announces 3 Additions, Social Media Changes

“Luckily, I’ve been able to assemble a stellar group of people, which allows us to earn your attention each day, and I’m happy to reveal that we’re adding to our roster yet again.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

It’s taken years of hard work, adjustments, and a whole lot of trial and error to turn this brand into a trusted source for industry professionals. It’s been exciting and rewarding to tell stories, highlight the industry, and use my decades worth of knowledge and relationships to help the brands I work with make progress. But while I may prioritize the work I do for others, I’ve also got to balance it with making sure BSM and BNM run smoothly.

Each day, Barrett Media produces nearly fifty social posts, one to two newsletters, and twenty to thirty sports and news media stories and columns. I didn’t even mention podcasts, which is another space we recently entered. Making sure we’re delivering quality not quantity is vital, and so too is promoting it consistently and creatively.

Today, we have thirty people on our payroll. I never expected that to be the case, but as needs have increased and deeper bonds have been formed between the brand, our audience, and our clients, it’s allowed us to find new ways to invest in delivering insight, information, and opinion to our readers. Writing, editing, and creating content for a brand like ours isn’t for everyone. I just spent the past three months interviewing nearly forty people, and there’s a lot of quality talent out there. But talent for radio and journalism doesn’t always mean the fit is right for BSM and BNM. Luckily, I’ve been able to assemble a stellar group of people, which allows us to earn your attention each day, and I’m happy to reveal that we’re adding to our roster yet again.

First, please join me in welcoming Garrett Searight to BSM and BNM. Garrett has been hired as our FT Brand Editor, which means he will oversee BSM and BNM’s website’s content M-F during normal business hours. He will work closely with yours truly, our nighttime editors Arky Shea and Eduardo Razo, and our entire writing teams to create content opportunities for both of our brands. Garrett joins us after a decade long stint in Lima, OH where he most recently worked as program director and afternoon host at 93.1 The Fan. He also programmed classic country station 98.5 The Legend. His first day with us is August 1st, but he’ll be training this month to make sure he’s ready to hit the ground running.

Next, I am excited to welcome Alex Reynolds as our Social Media Coordinator. Alex’s creativity and curiosity stood out during our interview process, and we’re excited to have him helping with social content creation and scheduling for BSM and BNM. He’s a graduate of Elon University, a big fan of lacrosse, and he’ll be working with Dylan Barrett to improve our graphic creation, schedule our content, and further develop the social voice for both of our brands.

Speaking of our two brands, though we produce content on the website for both sports and news, how they get promoted on social is changing. When I started this company, the website was known as SportsRadioPD.com. That worked perfectly with my Twitter and Instagram handles, which were also @sportsradiopd. But since we switched our URL to BarrettSportsMedia.com and started ramping up content for both sports and news it’s become clear that we needed dedicated brand pages. It’s harder to expect people to share an individual’s content, and the mix of sports and news often feels off-brand to the two different audiences we serve. It feels even stranger if I’m buying social media ads to market content, a conference, and other things, so it’s time to change things up.

Starting today, you can now follow Barrett Sports Media on Twitter @BSMStaff. You can also follow Barrett News Media on Twitter @BNMStaff. Each brand also has its own Facebook page. Moving forward, we will promote sports media content on our sports accounts, and news media content on our news accounts. We started with that approach for BNM when the brand launched in September 2020, but expecting people to read another site and follow other social accounts was a tall order for a brand that was finding its footing. We made a choice to promote both sports and news under the same social accounts for the past year in order to further grow awareness for the content, and as we stand today, I think many would agree that BNM has made great strides. We’ve built a kick ass team to cover the news media industry, and I’m hoping many of you will take a moment to give BNM’s pages a follow to stay informed.

One thing you will notice is that the @BSMStaff account has replaced the @sportsradiopd account on Twitter. Let’s face it, most people who have followed me on Twitter have done so for BSM or BNM’s content, not for my NY Knicks and pro wrestling rants. I am keeping my @sportsradiopd handle but that is being developed as a brand new personal account. That said, if you enjoy sending DM’s my way, give the new @sportsradiopd account a follow so we can stay in touch. The only account we will use to promote content from both brands under is the Barrett Media account on LinkedIn. Instagram is not a focus right now nor is TikTok or Snapchat. I realize audiences exist everywhere but I’d rather be great at a few things than average at a lot of them.

Now that we’ve tackled the social media changes, let me share another exciting piece of news. I’m thrilled to welcome Jessie Karangu to our brand as a BSM weekly columnist. Jessie has great energy, curiosity, and a genuine love and passion for the media industry. He’s worked for Sinclair television, written for Awful Announcing, and has also hosted podcasts and video shows on YouTube. His knowledge and interest in television is especially strong, and I’m looking forward to featuring his opinions, and perspectives on our website. His debut piece for the site will be released this Wednesday.

With all of this happening, Demetri Ravanos is shifting his focus for the brand to a space he’s passionate about, audio. His new title is BSM’s Director of Audio Content. This means he will be charged with overseeing the editing, execution, and promotion of our various podcasts. He will also work closely with me in developing future Barrett Media shows. We have 3 in weekly rotation now, and will be adding Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves next week, and The Jason Barrett Podcast the week after that. The goal is to increase our audio library in the future provided the right ideas, talent, and interest are there.

Another goal of mine moving forward is to grow our advertising partnerships. Between our website, social media channels, podcasts, and newsletters, we have many ways to help brands connect to an affluent, influential, and loyal industry audience. We’ve enjoyed working with and helping brands over the years such as Point to Point Marketing, Jim Cutler NY, Steve Stone Voiceovers, Core Image Studio, Skyview Networks, Compass Media Networks, ESPN Radio and Harker Bos Group. That doesn’t include all of the great sponsors we’ve teamed up with for our annual BSM Summit (2023’s show will be announced by the end of the summer). I’m excited to add to the list by welcoming Backbone as a new website and newsletter partner. We’re also looking forward to teaming up in the near future with Quu and the Sports Gambling Podcast Network, and hope to work with a few others we’ve had recent dialogue with.

When it comes to marketing, I try to remind folks of our reach, the value we add daily across the industry, and the various ways we can help. I know it’s human nature to stick with what we know but if you work with a brand, I invite you to check into BSM/BNM further. Stephanie Eads is awesome to work with, cares about our partners, and our traffic, social impressions, and most importantly, the quality of our audience is proven. To learn more about what we can do, email Stephanie at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Yes we continue to grow, and I’m happy about that, but just because we’re adding head count doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to be better. It takes every person on a team holding up their end of the bargain, creating killer content, setting expectations, and paying attention to the follow through. We take pride in our work, value the support of our partners, and are extremely thankful for the continued readership of our material. That consistent support is what allows me to add to our team to better serve fans, partners, and industry professionals.

It may seem small, and unimportant but those retweets, comments, and mentions on the air about our content makes a difference. To all who take the time to keep our industry conversations alive, thank you. This is an awesome business with a lot of great brands, people, content, and growth opportunities, and the fact that we get to learn from you, share your stories, and help those reading learn in the process makes waking up to do it an honor.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media To Launch Podcast Network

“We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

To run a successful digital content and consulting company in 2022 it’s vital to explore new ways to grow business. There are certain paths that produce a higher return on investment than others, but by being active in multiple spaces, a brand has a stronger chance of staying strong and overcoming challenges when the unexpected occurs. Case in point, the pandemic in 2020.

As much as I love programming and consulting stations to assist with growing their over the air and digital impact, I consider myself first a business owner and strategist. Some have even called me an entrepreneur, and that works too. Just don’t call me a consultant because that’s only half of what I do. I’ve spent a lot of my time building relationships, listening to content, and studying brands and markets to help folks grow their business. Included in my education has been studying website content selection, Google and social media analytics, newsletter data, the event business, and the needs of partners and how to best serve them. As the world of media continues to evolve, I consider it my responsibility to stay informed and ready to pivot whenever it’s deemed necessary. That’s how brands and individuals survive and thrive.

If you look at the world of media today compared to just a decade ago, a lot has changed. It’s no secret during that period that podcasting has enjoyed a surge. Whether you review Edison Research, Jacobs Media, Amplifi Media, Spotify or another group’s results, the story is always the same – digital audio is growing and it’s expected to continue doing so. And that isn’t just related to content. It applies to advertising too. Gordon Borrell, IAB and eMarketer all have done the research to show you where future dollars are expected to move. I still believe it’s smart, valuable and effective for advertisers to market their products on a radio station’s airwaves, but digital is a key piece of the brand buy these days, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

Which brings me to today’s announcement.

If you were in New York City in March for our 2022 BSM Summit, you received a program at the show. Inside of one of the pages was a small ad (same image used atop this article) which said “Coming This Summer…The BSM Podcast Network…Stay Tuned For Details.” I had a few people ask ‘when is that happening, and what shows are you planning to create?’ and I kept the answers vague because I didn’t want to box ourselves in. I’ve spent a few months talking to people about joining us to help continue producing quality written content and improve our social media. Included in that process has been talking to members of our team and others on the outside about future opportunities creating podcasts for the Barrett Sports Media brand.

After examining the pluses and minuses, and listening and talking to a number of people, I’m excited to share that we are launching the BSM Podcast Network. We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July. Demetri Ravanos will provide oversight of content execution, and assist with production and guest booking needs for selected pods. This is why we’ve been frequently promoting Editor and Social Media jobs with the brand. It’s hard to pursue new opportunities if you don’t have the right support.

The titles that will make up our initial offerings are each different in terms of content, host and presentation. First, we have Media Noise with Demetri Ravanos, which has produced over 75 episodes over the past year and a half. That show will continue in its current form, being released each Friday. Next will be the arrival of The Sports Talkers Podcast with Stephen Strom which will debut on Thursday June 23rd, the day of the NBA Draft. After that, The Producer’s Podcast with Brady Farkas will premiere on Wednesday June 29th. Then as we move into July, two more titles will be added, starting with a new sales focused podcast Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves. The final title to be added to the rotation will be The Jason Barrett Podcast which yours truly will host. The goal is to have five weekly programs distributed through our website and across all podcasting platforms by mid to late July.

I am excited about the creation of each of these podcasts but this won’t be the last of what we do. We’re already working on additional titles for late summer or early fall to ramp up our production to ten weekly shows. Once a few ideas and discussions get flushed out, I’ll have more news to share with you. I may consider adding even more to the mix too at some point. If you have an idea that you think would resonate with media professionals and aspiring broadcasters, email me by clicking here.

One thing I want to point out, this network will focuses exclusively on various areas of the sports media industry. We’ll leave mainstream sports conversations to the rest of the media universe. That’s not a space I’m interested in pursuing. We’ve focused on a niche since arriving on the scene in 2015 and have no plans to waver from it now.

Additionally, you may have noticed that we now refer to our company as ‘Barrett Media’. That’s because we are now involved in both sports and news media. That said, we are branding this as the BSM Podcast Network because the titles and content are sports media related. Maybe there will be a day when we introduce a BNM version of this, but right now, we’ve got to make sure the first one works right before exploring new territory.

Our commitment to delivering original industry news, features and opinions in print form remains unchanged. This is simply an opportunity to grow in an area where we’ve been less active. I know education for industry folks and those interested in entering the business is important. It’s why young people all across the country absorb mountains of debt to receive a college education. As valuable as those campus experiences might be, it’s a different world once you enter the broadcasting business.

What I’d like to remind folks is that we continue to make investments in the way we cover, consult, and discuss the media industry because others invest in us. It’d be easy to stockpile funds and enjoy a few more vacations but I’m not worried about personal wealth. I’m focused on building a brand that does meaningful work by benefitting those who earn a living in the media industry or are interested in one day doing so. As part of that process I’m trying to connect our audience to partners who provide products, services or programs that can benefit them.

Since starting this brand, we’ve written more than 18,000 articles. We now cover two formats and produce more than twenty five pieces of content per day. The opportunity to play a small role in keeping media members and future broadcasters informed is rewarding but we could not pay people to edit, write, and host podcasts here if others didn’t support us. For that I’m extremely grateful to those who do business with us either as a consulting client, website advertiser, Summit partner or through a monthly or annual membership. The only way to get better is to learn from others, and if our access to information, knowledge, relationships and professional opinions helps others and their brands, then that makes what we do worthwhile.

Thanks as always for the continued support. We appreciate that you read our content each day, and hope to be able to earn some of your listenership in the future too.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Pursuing Media Jobs

“Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

I recently appeared on a podcast, Monetize Media, to discuss the growth of Barrett Media. The conversation covered a lot of ground on business topics including finding your niche, knowing your audience and serving them the right content in the right locations, the evolution of the BSM Summit, and why consulting is a big part of our mix but can’t be the only thing we do.

Having spent nearly seven years growing this brand, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I just know what’s worked for us, and it starts with vision, hard work, consistency, and a willingness to adapt quickly. There are many areas we can be better in whether it’s social media, editing, SEO, sales, finding news, producing creative original content or adding more staff. Though there’s always work to be done and challenges to overcome, when you’re doing something you love and you’re motivated to wake up each day doing it, that to me is success.

But lately there’s one part of the job that I haven’t enjoyed – the hiring process. Fortunately in going through it, I was able to get to know Arky Shea. He’s a good guy, talented writer, and fan of the industry, and I’m thrilled to share that he’s joining us as BSM’s new night time editor. I’ll have a few other announcements to make later this month, but in the meantime, if you’re qualified to be an editor or social media manager, I’m still going through the process to add those two positions to our brand. You can learn more about both jobs by clicking here.

Working for an independent digital brand like ours is different from working for a corporation. You communicate directly with yours truly, and you work remotely on a personal computer, relying on your eyes, ears and the radio, television, and internet to find content. Because our work appears online, you have to enjoy writing, and understand and have a passion for the media industry, the brands who produce daily content, and the people who bring those brands to life. We receive a lot of interest from folks who see the words ‘sports’ and ‘news’ in our brand names and assume they’re going to cover games or political beats. They quickly discover that that’s not what we do nor are we interested in doing it.

If you follow us on social media, have visited our website or receive our newsletters, you’ve likely seen us promoting openings with the brand. I’ve even bought ads on Indeed, and been lucky enough to have a few industry folks share the posts on social. We’re in a good place and trying to make our product better, so to do that, we need more help. But over the past two months, Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.

Receiving applications from folks who don’t have a firm grasp of what we do is fine. That happens everywhere. Most of the time we weed those out. It’s no different than when a PD gets an application for a top 5 market hosting gig from a retail employee who’s never spoken on a microphone. The likelihood of that person being the right fit for a role without any experience of how to do the job is very slim. What’s been puzzling though is seeing how many folks reach out to express interest in opportunities, only to discover they’re not prepared, not informed or not even interested in the role they’ve applied for.

For instance, one applicant told me on a call ‘I’m not interested in your job but I knew getting you on the phone would be hard, and I figured this would help me introduce myself because I know I’m a great host, and I’d like you to put me on the radar with programmers for future jobs.’ I had another send a cover letter that was addressed to a different company and person, and a few more applied for FT work only to share that they can’t work FT, weren’t interested in the work that was described in the position, didn’t know anything about our brand but needed a gig, were looking for a confidence boost after losing a job or they didn’t have a computer and place to operate.

At first I thought this might be an exclusive issue only we were dealing with. After all, our brand and the work we do is different from what happens inside of a radio or TV station. In some cases, folks may have meant well and intended something differently than what came out. But after talking to a few programmers about some of these things during the past few weeks, I’ve been stunned to hear how many similar horror stories exist. One top programmer told me hiring now is much harder than it was just five years ago.

I was told stories of folks applying for a producer role at a station and declining an offer unless the PD added air time to the position. One person told a hiring manager they couldn’t afford not to hire them because their ratings were tanking. One PD was threatened for not hiring an interested candidate, and another received a resume intended for the competing radio station and boss. I even saw one social example last week of a guy telling a PD to call him because his brand was thin on supporting talent.

Those examples I just shared are bad ideas if you’re looking to work for someone who manages a respected brand. I realize everyone is different, and what clicks with one hiring manager may not with another, but if you have the skills to do a job, I think you’ll put yourself in a better position by avoiding these 5 mistakes below. If you’re looking for other ways to enhance your chances of landing an opportunity, I recommend you click here.

Educate Yourself Before Applying – take some time to read the job description, and make sure it aligns with your skillset and what you’re looking to do professionally before you apply. Review the company’s body of work and the people who work there. Do you think this is a place you’d enjoy being at? Does it look like a job that you’d gain personal and professional fulfillment from? Are you capable of satisfying the job requirements? Could it potentially put you on the path to greater opportunities? If most of those produce a yes, it’s likely a situation to consider.

Proofread Your Email or Cover Letter and Resume – If the first impression you give a hiring manager is that you can’t spell properly, and you address them and their brand by the wrong names, you’re telling them to expect more mistakes if they hire you. Being detail oriented is important in the media business. If this is your introduction to someone and they have a job you’re interested in, you owe it to yourself to go through your materials thoroughly before you press send. If you can have someone else put an extra set of eyes on your introduction to protect you from committing a major blunder even better.

Don’t Waste People’s Time – You’d be annoyed if a company put you through a 3-4 week process only to tell you they didn’t see you as a viable candidate right? Well, it works the other way too. If you’re not seriously interested in the job or you’re going into the process hoping to change the job description later, don’t apply. If the fit isn’t right or the financials don’t work, that’s OK. Express that. People appreciate transparency. Sometimes they may even call you back in the future when other openings become available. But if you think someone is going to help you after you wasted their time or lied to them, trust me, they won’t.

Don’t Talk Like An Expert About Things You Don’t Know – Do you know why a station’s ratings or revenue is down? Are you aware of the company’s goals and if folks on the inside are satisfied or upset? Is the hiring manager someone you know well enough to have a candid professional conversation with? If the answers are no, you’re not helping your case by talking about things you don’t have full knowledge of. You have no idea how the manager you’re talking to has been dealing with the challenges he or she is faced with so don’t pretend you do. Just because someone wrote an article about it and you read it doesn’t mean you’re informed.

Use Social Wisely – Being frustrated that you didn’t get a job is fine. Everyone goes through it. Asking your friends and followers for advice on social of how you could’ve made a better case for yourself is good. That shows you’re trying to learn from the process to be better at it next time. But taking to social to write a book report blasting the hiring manager, their brand, and/or their company over a move that didn’t benefit you just tells them they made the right move by not bringing you in. Chances are, they won’t be calling you in the future either.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.