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Dave ‘Softy’ Mahler Thinks Most Of His Shows Suck

“I would love to go on the air one day and tell my audience that the f***ing Sonics are coming back to Seattle. That’s a goal. That’s the kind of shit I dream about.”

Brian Noe

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One of the best scenes in the movie This Is Spinal Tap is when Nigel Tufnel explains that his guitar amps go to 11. “If we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? 11. Exactly.”

There are many sports radio hosts that only go to six or seven in terms of passion, work ethic, and entertainment value. Dave “Softy” Mahler is not one of those hosts. He could coast by based on a long history of success. Instead Softy attacks each show as if he still has something to prove. That’s refreshing.

Softy has been a kingpin in Seattle dating back to 1997 when he got his first show on 950 KJR. The Bellevue native currently hosts afternoon drive from 3-7pm alongside Dick Fain. Softy talks about his East Coast delivery and unique sound in the market. It’s kind of like putting Slayer or Cannibal Corpse among the Seattle grunge scene, but it works. Softy also touches on what he regrets most in his career, the area as a host he isn’t good in, and what would be a dream come true before his career ends. Enjoy.

Brian Noe: How did you get your nickname?

Dave “Softy” Mahler: Basically I had erectile dysfunction when I was a teenager, which — no I’m kidding.

BN: [Laughs]

DM: I used to weigh 270 pounds. When I was hired at KJR back in the early ‘90s I worked with a producer named Pat Haller. For some reason he just started calling me Softy. He started poking me one day and just said “Man you’re kind of soft. You’re like the Pillsbury Doughboy.” It was back in the day when it was still acceptable to poke fun at people for their weight. I just took it all in stride and figured hell nobody else is nicknamed Softy so I guess I could be the first one. I’m either going to be a genius or a complete idiot. That’s how I got the nickname back in my fatter days. 

DM: It’s been a while since you’ve been that big, right?

DM: Yeah almost five years. I ended the 30/10 program in November of 2015 and was down 70 pounds. That was four and a half years ago. I went from a double D cup to an A cup. I just got tired of waking up and being exhausted. I saw the pictures of myself and just said, man, I look disgusting. I just got tired of it. Ian Furness did 30/10. He lost a bunch of weight. I said hell if that bastard can do it then I can do it too. I lost 70 pounds and I’ve kept the weight off ever since so it’s pretty cool.

BN: You’re back in the studio now?

DM: Yeah back in the studio now, man. I had a chance to do the show from home. I basically turned it down. Dick Fain, who does the show with me, he’s doing the show from his house. He’s got kids. He’s got a wife at home as well. He felt more comfortable doing the show from home. Despite what people think in this business, we don’t have an endless supply of equipment for everybody. When you’ve got eight radio stations in the same cluster, you’ve got to share a lot. We just didn’t have enough equipment to go around for everyone to do their show from home.

Plus I think it’s good for one of us to be in the main studio. They set it up so nobody uses the same mic throughout the day. The chair that I sit in, the mic that I use is my mic and my chair. Nobody else uses it. They’ve done a great job of spreading everybody out and making sure everybody is staying healthy and safe and happy. I think I’d go freaking crazy if I was staying home all day long. Doing the show from home would drive me nuts. Just getting in the car and doing the drive to work is kind of giving me a sense of normalcy.

BN: What has it been like doing a show in general with the pandemic going on?

DM: It’s been fine. Honestly dude, with all the shit going on in the world right now and people out of work and struggling to get by, it just seems a little bit ridiculous for me to be complaining about putting together a radio show. Radio in the end is about entertainment. There are a million ways to keep people interested. There are a million things to talk about.

KJR radio host Dave 'Softy' Mahler has love-hate relationship with ...

There’s never been an easier time to get guests on because guys are sitting around doing nothing. Guys that you’d normally have a hard time getting on are like, “Oh yeah, I’ll jump on. Sure, no problem.” We’ve had no problem putting together a show. We’ve had no problem putting together content.

I don’t know if anybody’s listening for God’s sake. It’s a double whammy; there are no sports and there’s nobody in their car. It’s been tough in that regard, but actually putting together a show and having content and creating good radio that you feel like is actually something that people want to listen to, it’s been the least of our concerns.

BN: You’ve been at KRJ for over 25 years. What did you do before that?

DM: Before KJR I worked as a producer on an alcohol recovery talk show. It was wild taking calls from alcoholics, running the board for Neil Scott, who hosted the radio show, who now works for us. I did play-by-play for Seattle Prep for two years. I basically was in school. I got hired at KJR when I was 21 years old as an intern in March of ‘94. I got hired full time in November of ‘94.

I was at a community college in Bellevue and got hired at KJR and just figured the hell with it. I already got the job I’m looking for. I can go to a four-year school somewhere else and just get in debt, but I’m going to end up looking for the same job I have now. I just left school early, did two years at JC, and went to KJR in November of ‘94 full time. I’ve never had a penny of school debt, which has been great obviously. I got lucky, man. I got that job right out of the gate and I’ve been there ever since.

BN: Has there been anything from those early days when you were just learning radio that you still incorporate in the show you’re doing now?

DM: Oh yeah, all the time. Working hard is working hard, right? Busting your ass is busting your ass whether it’s as a producer in the ‘90s or a guy that’s on the air right now in 2020. In the end I think all of us have certain philosophies about what’s kept us going and what’s kept us employed. I’ve always thought for me really before what we do on the air it’s about the clients. It’s about making money for the radio station. It’s about proving your worth financially. I think people tend to forget that sometimes in this business — that in the end are we in the ratings business? Yeah. Are we in the great content business? Yeah. But you know what? In the end honestly we’re all in the f***in’ making money business. That’s what we’re doing this for. That’s why we’ve been hired.

We’ve been hired to go on the air and make money for the company that we work for. If I’m not making money for iHeartMedia, then I’m worthless. If I’m not making money for KJR, then what’s the point of having me on the radio station? I’ve seen a lot of great shows that do great radio but can’t make money because their sales staff can’t sell makeup to a clown. I’ve heard some boring radio shows that put me to sleep but they make money because they work for a great sales staff and they have great relationship with their clients and they also have tremendous play-by-play partners that bring in big numbers for the radio station. Really when it’s all said and done, dude, doing great radio is awesome and having funny, entertaining content is awesome, but if you’re not making money for the station, if you’re not bringing in cash for the company you work for, then what good are you?

BN: I like your style; you sound Philly. You sound New York. You’ve got some edge. If you were brand new to the Seattle market, do you think that style would play?

DM: It’s a great question. I honestly have no idea, man. My father is from New York. My mother is from Michigan so I do have a little bit of East Coast blood in me for sure. Do people want maybe a little bit of a less abrasive guy now than they did 25, 30 years ago? I’ve got no idea. I really don’t. I just know one speed and one way. I kind of pride myself in believing that I’m the same guy on the air as I am off the air. People have told me that before and I really take that as a compliment.

Nothing drives me more crazy when I flip on a radio station or listen to a game on radio and I hear mister radio guy or mister broadcaster. All these cookie cutters out there that just do the same damn thing over and over again and have the same tired guests and the same tired ideas and the same tired segments and the same tired approach.

I want something unique. I want something that I can’t get on the other station. I want something that I can’t get in a different city. I want something that’s memorable. I want personality. Hopefully we give that to people. If we ever get to a point where they’re not getting it, then I’m probably doing something else to be honest with you.

BN: Who are some of the other hosts that you think are good? 

DM: I love Cowherd. I think Cowherd is great at what he does. I think he’s full of shit half the time, but aren’t we all? So what. Who cares that I disagree with his takes? Who cares that I think his takes are out there? He’s entertaining. He entertains me. I think he’s funny as hell. I think his takes are strong as hell. I think his takes are intelligent. I may disagree with him half the time but they’re intelligent. They’re well thought out. He does a great job of basically presenting his arguments so everybody can understand it. I think he’s great at what he does.

I’m a big fan of Tony Bruno. I’ve known Tony for a long, long time going back to his days on ESPN Radio when it was him, Chuck Wilson, and Peter Brown. They were doing a three-man show on the weekends and it was the greatest sports talk radio I’ve ever heard. It was like 25 years ago.

Tony Bruno returning to sports-talk radio: 'It's really not that ...

T-Man Rob Tepper when he was doing a show for Sports Fan and then eventually working for us doing nine to midnight. I thought Rob was one of the best sports talk radio hosts I’ve ever heard in my life. It was great to get a chance to work with him for that short time.

Locally Mike Gastineau and Dave Grosby are the godfathers of sports talk radio in Seattle. Gas has been retired for a while and Groz is doing his gig on 710. Those two guys for me were one of the biggest reasons why I got in to radio. Hell I used to call both of those guys when I was just Dave in Bellevue calling KJR when Groz and Gas were doing shows together. Separately I would call Gas and I would call Groz and talk to both those guys as a caller. I’ve still got tapes of me calling Groz back when I was probably 19, 20 years old. Those guys inspired me. They were local heroes to me growing up and the fact that I was even able to remotely follow in their footsteps is pretty freaking crazy. It’s like a dream come true today even 25 years later.

BN: When you evaluate yourself as a host, what area do you look at and say, ‘I’m not the greatest at this?’

DM: I think most of the shows I do suck to be honest with you. I can’t stand listening to myself. I hate hearing myself. It drives me nuts when I’m in the car and I hear one of my spots come on the air, or I hear somebody replay an interview of mine. I just cringe. I just can’t stand listening to my own voice. It’s a miracle the audience doesn’t feel the same way to be totally honest with you. I’m always uber-critical. We could have a phenomenal show for 99 out of 100 minutes and that one minute that sucks is the one minute I’m going to dwell on for the rest of the evening.

I’m way too hard on myself when it comes to little things. Things that people that aren’t in this business probably for the most part wouldn’t even notice, I freakin’ hammer myself for. I wish I enjoyed it more because in the end as Kevin Calabro once told me we are all lucky enough to work in the toys and games department. We’re not curing polio. We’re not saving lives over here. We’re not putting our lives on the line like cops and firemen are every single day. We’re not fighting the pandemic the way nurses and doctors are. We are talking sports for f***’s sake. We should be enjoying this.

My biggest problem that I’ve had is that I get way too stressed out and I don’t enjoy it as much as I should. I would really, before it’s all said and done no matter when that is, I would like to find a way to slow down and actually enjoy this because we’re lucky as hell, both of us, to do what we do.

BN: No doubt about that. How about your biggest strength — what do you think it is?

DM: I think my biggest strength is I just maybe — first of all I just feel terrible talking about myself like this. It actually embarrasses me. To sit here and actually jump on the phone with you and have me talk about what I do well, it just makes me want to throw up. Guys that are self-congratulatory, guys that go out of their way to tell people how great they are, it makes me want to puke.

It’s not your job to decide what you’re good at. It’s your audience’s job. It’s your boss’s job. It’s your client’s job to decide what you’re good at. I could tell you I do a million things great. I think I do a great interview. I think I get to the damn point when it comes to interviews unlike some people who beat around the bush. I pride myself on being able to have a take on really any topic you can throw at me. If I don’t have a take I can bullshit my way through it. I just feel that it’s not our job to decide what we’re good at.

BN: As far as the future goes, man, what would you like to do before it’s over and you retire?

DM: Great question. I thought about that maybe 10, 15 years ago getting into play-by-play. I would have loved to have tried my hand at play-by-play. My dream job growing up as a kid was to be the voice of Husky football, to be the next Bob Rondeau and just for whatever reason didn’t put in the work to go down that road. I believe if I did put the work in there’s a chance I may have been pretty good at it. I just never got a chance to prove to myself whether I was right or wrong. I kind of regret that. That’s one regret that I have that I wish I would have put a little more effort into trying to get in to play-by-play. 

Not that I don’t enjoy and love what I do as a talk radio host but I think I would have also enjoyed doing play-by-play. I wonder every now and then how things would have gone. Is it too late for me to get in to that side of the business? I’m 46. I’ll be 47 years old in August. Maybe that ship has sailed. Maybe I’m too abrasive to be in that role for certain people. Maybe they want more of a neutral type guy, a guy that’s not going to ruffle feathers. I’ve actually talked to folks in the industry before who say that maybe I would be way too opinionated on the air to be in that role. I don’t know. That’s one regret that I’ve got.

KJR radio host Dave 'Softy' Mahler has love-hate relationship with ...

You know what I would love to do honestly? I would love to go on the air one day and tell my audience that the f***ing Sonics are coming back to Seattle. That’s a goal. That’s the kind of shit I dream about. Doing play-by-play one day would be great, but going on the air and telling people the Sonics are coming back to Seattle and the NBA has approved a relocation or an expansion team for Seattle, that’s the stuff that drives me. I hope I last long enough to be able to do something like that.

BSM Writers

Twitter Blue Debacle Showcases Company’s Ongoing Concerns

“If you start giving away blue badges to everyone, then it has no value. It’s the equivalent of a currency. if you start printing more, it gets devalued. Same for verified badges.”

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For years, a blue “verified” check mark on Twitter has long been considered a symbol of status. Anyone — entrepreneurs, journalists, business executives — could potentially end up in the same exclusive space as celebrities like Taylor Swift and Tom Brady. 

Perhaps the one quality that the blue check mark represented that had been overlooked was its authenticity stamp. The badge has been used all across social media platforms to signal an account’s authenticity — a verification that recently has proven to be of significant importance to not only people, but brands as well. 

Shortly after Elon Musk’s $44-billion takeover of Twitter, the billionaire swiftly made his mark which, among many things, included a democratization of the app’s verification system. With a $7.99 monthly subscription to Twitter Blue, which launched last year as the company’s first subscription service, users could now possess what had long evaded them: a blue check mark.

“Theoretically, this would have made it easier for some brands or influencers to get verified than it has been in the past,” Galen Clavio, director of undergraduate studies for the Media School at Indiana University Bloomington, wrote in an email about the possible benefits of Twitter Blue’s verification accessibility. 

“From an algorithmic perspective, that would have made sense to pursue under the Twitter setup that everyone had come to know,” he added. 

While perhaps not a surprise to Musk or Twitter executives, everyday people were paying for the newly revamped Twitter Blue to boast their social media clout. Whether Twitter leadership knew it or not, though, those same subscribers took the opportunity to verify themselves using the alias of actual people. 

Very quickly, Twitter Blue created an abundance of impersonators masquerading as verified celebrities and companies. Misinformation was hard to identify, making it tougher to find information in an era already plagued by discrepancies between fact and fiction.

“If you start giving away blue badges to everyone, then it has no value,” Alessandro Bogliari, CEO of the Influencer Marketing Factory, an influencer marketing agency, wrote in an email. “It’s the equivalent of a currency. if you start printing more, it gets devalued. Same for verified badges.”

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A screenshot of a fake account created to appear as pharmaceutical company Eli Lily shows the dangers of allowing anyone to be verified on Twitter.

Shortly after the Twitter Blue re-launch, a tweet was sent from an account using the same logo and name of Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company. It read, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.” The tweet seemed legit — the branding seemed real, as did the company name. It also boasted a blue-check mark, so it had to be true. 

As just one of many misrepresentations that succeeded it, the Eli Lilly tweet was a fake. Even when Twitter finally removed the tweet, more than six hours later, the fraudulent account had more than 1,500 retweets and 10,000 likes. The pharma company’s stock also plummeted $368 a share to $346 a share, reportedly erasing billions in market cap, according to several economic reports. Eli Lilly’s stock price currently sits at roughly $352 as of Nov. 16th.

“I can only imagine the damage a tweet like that made for the company, its employees, stakeholders, shareholders and anyone really related to their offering,” Bogliari said. “Some were able to tweet from their official accounts and restore it a bit. Others, I imagine, used PR and reputation firms to get to a solution fast. But it’s not that easy for all of them… for others it could be potentially a damage so big they won’t be able to survive, not just in terms of market cap/stock value, but also in terms of reputation and customers love.”

The verification mishap affected not only Eli Lilly’s reputability and profitability, but could also spell trouble for Twitter’s revenue stream.

“It’s making it really easy for advertisers to say: ‘You know what, I don’t need to be here anymore,’ and walk away,” Jenna Golden, who previously ran Twitter’s political and advocacy ad sales team, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “People are not just providing inaccurate information but damaging information, with the ability to look legitimate. That is just not a stable place for a brand to invest.”

Sports personalities were also hurt by the preponderance of fake users across Twitter. Basketball star LeBron James trended on the platform after a tweet from someone with the user handle, @KINGJamez, claimed that the 37-year-old was leaving the Los Angeles Lakers to join his former club, the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Adam Schefter, a notable football analyst at ESPN, also trended after someone with the user handle, @AdamSchefterNOT, revealed that Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels lost his job. While the user handle clearly indicates that it didn’t come from the actual Adam Schefter, the fact that it was quote tweeted could have led many people to assume it was really Schefter, since many were unlikely to take the time to click and confirm the tweet — and tweeter’s — validity.

These are just a few specific instances where, while a more open verification system could have helped Twitter users, the idea did not lead to a successful implementation.

“Being verified would have given those brands more credibility and be marked as the official brand — impersonation happens also for smaller brands and not just for Fortune 100 companies,” Bogliari said. “So the idea was theoretically good — I would say only for brands and certain individuals and not just for everyone… documents and proof (are still) required but the execution showed us all the flaws.”

Verification issues aside, Twitter faces an uncertain future under Musk’s leadership. As much as 50% of the company’s 7,500 employees predating Musk’s ownership have been laid off under his tenure. The billionaire also revealed that Twitter’s cost-cutting methods are a result of the company losing upwards of $4 million daily. He’s even announced potential bankruptcy if Twitter doesn’t correct its financial woes. 

“I see the Twitter Blue controversy as one of several items that are likely to just make brands and creators look elsewhere in the social media landscape,” Clavio said. “Twitter offers minimal exposure for creators and brands to the public when compared to other networks, and a much higher risk of doing or saying something that can cause a crisis.”

As more people grow skeptical about Twitter, alternatives have started to emerge. More people are visiting platforms like Discord, Reddit, even Tumblr. Others are joining Mastodon, a free and open-source microblogging site that has drawn comparisons to Twitter for its timeline of short updates arranged chronologically rather than algorithmically. 

As recently as Nov. 12th, Mastodon boasted approximately 6.63 million accounts, a 17% increase from the 5.65 million users it had on October 28th. 

From internal struggles to increased competition, Musk inherited a Twitter that, for better or worse, might be on a continual spiral to irrelevancy. 

“It’s clear that the Twitter platform is pretty fractured right now,” Clavio said. “At the end of it all, I think a lot of brands will just opt out of having a presence on Twitter, paid or otherwise. It’s just not big enough of a platform to justify the potential negative exposure.”

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BSM Writers

Christian Arcand Returns To Where It All Started At WEEI

“Going to WEEI was a no-brainer for me. I started there. That’s my radio home.”

Derek Futterman

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Since the turn of the century alone, Boston has hosted 12 ticker tape parades to celebrate championships. Christian Arcand has had the opportunity to experience that success firsthand, initially as a diehard Boston sports fan and then as a voice of the fan. Now as he begins his second stint at the WEEI — this time as a producer and weekend host — he aims to ensure a seamless transition for both the Merloni, Fauria, & Mego afternoon drive show and his career in sports media.

Returning to a station where his Boston radio career began, Arcand enters the same building where he started his last sports media job with 98.5 The Sports Hub. Once the station moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts, WEEI moved its studios to the location – and it is where its shows are broadcast from today. Arcand’s time at 98.5 The Sports Hub ended in being laid off last month; despite that though, going to work evokes feelings of nostalgia and déjà vu.

“Walking back in there for the first time was pretty wild,” Arcand said, who returned to WEEI earlier this week. “I was laid off from The Sports Hub and it was a big surprise to me and to, I think, everybody that [it] happened.”

After graduating from the University of Colorado, Arcand moved back east to work for WDIS AM 1170 in Norfolk, Massachusetts, which he says isn’t really an option for those entering the business today.

“These little stations are all gone,” Arcand expressed. “Those were pipelines to places like WEEI and WFAN and other places in the area. You’d work in Connecticut or you’d work in Rhode Island or whatever and these places all just disappeared.”

Just over a year later, Arcand made the move to ESPN New Hampshire, initially co-hosting Christian and King with Tom King, a sportswriter for the Nashua Telegraph covering the New England Patriots, Boston Bruins and other college and high school sports. The show was broadcast during the midday time slot from noon to 3 p.m. and sought to entertain the audience while informing them about the day’s action.

After nearly four years on the air, Arcand transitioned to work with Pete Sheppard, a former member of the heralded WEEI program The Big Show hosted by Glenn Ordway, on Arcand and Sheppard. Additionally, Arcand was named as the show’s executive producer, meaning that while the show was going on, he was often focused on many different tasks. Once Christian and King was brought back, he continued working in this dual role before the show ended in January 2017, six months before the format flipped from ESPN-branded sports to oldies.

“It was a lot – cutting up all the audio you want to play, then playing it during the show, then cutting the commercial [and] trying to answer the phone,” Arcand said. “It was this whole thing, but I really loved it; we had a lot of fun up there.”

While Arcand currently works at WEEI, it is his second stint with the station – and this time, he is working in a brand new role. He initially joined the station in 2013 as a sports anchor and co-host of the evening program Planet Mikey featuring Mike Adams. Shortly thereafter, he helped launch WEEI Late Night, airing from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. where he became known in the Boston marketplace going on the air after the conclusion of Boston Red Sox live game broadcasts.

Unlike his time in New Hampshire though, he was solely hosting and not producing – requiring him to adjust to not having as much oversight regarding the inner workings of each program.

“I’m not a control freak, but I remember [thinking], ‘Wow, this is different. I’m not running the board anymore. I’m not playing my own stuff,’” Arcand said. “….That was kind of jarring at first [but] I ended up working with a lot of great producers and I still am today.”

Mike Thomas, who currently serves as the senior vice president and market manager for Audacy Boston, was integral in building 98.5 The Sports Hub from its launch in August 2009. He was responsible for signing Arcand away from WEEI to join the brand as co-host of The Adam Jones Show airing weeknights.

Working alongside show producer Jeremy Conley, he gained an in-depth understanding of what it entails to produce a sports talk radio show in a major market, helping broaden his knowledge of the craft and position him for his current job with WEEI.

“I really had a good opportunity to learn from some of, I think, the best [producers] in the business,” Arcand said. “….It’s cool being a fan of these guys and then getting to work with them and learn from them and all that other stuff…. It’s really a job that requires a lot, and the guys who are really good at it, I think, are just top-notch.”

Over the last several years, 98.5 The Sports Hub has earned massive wins across the Nielsen ratings, recently finishing number one in the summer book across all dayparts in the men 25-54 demographic. Days later though, the station’s parent company Beasley Media Group made budget cuts, resulting in Arcand and Toucher and Rich producer Mike Lockhart’s employment being terminated.

While Lockhart has since been re-hired after Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb lobbied for the decision to be reversed, Arcand was in the job market quickly mulling over his future in the industry. In fact, it was reported that Arcand was on the verge of signing a three-year contract that would have kept him at the station before the termination of his employment.

“I was so shocked that it had happened and it was sort of hard to deal with it,” Arcand expressed. “Then I was angry about it and then I sort of channeled that into, ‘Okay, what am I going to do next here?’ You start thinking, ‘Is this it? Is this the end of the career? Are you going to even continue doing this?,’ and that was a thought I had a couple of times.”

Arcand’s abrupt departure from 98.5 The Sports Hub and Boston sports radio was short-lived though, as there was a substantial market for his services. In the end, he communicated with Thomas and WEEI operations manager Ken Laird, utilizing industry connections and his own versatility to return to the place where he began working professionally in Boston.

“Seeing that WEEI was in the market for someone on-air and to produce [the afternoon] show, I was right there and willing to try out something I hadn’t done in a while,” Arcand said. “It was a no-brainer, really. Going to WEEI was a no-brainer for me. I started there. That’s my radio home.”

As someone once again “new” to the station, Arcand is looking to foster a working chemistry with afternoon hosts Lou Merloni, Christian Fauria and Meghan Ottolini, along with radio producer Ryan Garvin. Arcand enters the role replacing show executive producer Tyler Devitte who left the station to pursue other opportunities and feels that the composition of the show is unique in the sports radio landscape. In short, it gives them an opportunity to further differentiate themselves from other afternoon programs across multiple platforms of dissemination.

“It’s an interesting show because Lou and Christian are both ex-jocks,” Arcand explained. “It’s rare that you sort of see shows where it’s just two guys like that and it was just them for a while but then with [Glenn] Ordway and then they brought in Meghan [Ottolini].”

Arcand had been listening to the afternoon drive program long before the offer to return to WEEI was made to him and now looks to offer his insight and expertise when necessary. He does not want to enter his new role with insolence or by coming off as dogmatic when expressing his opinions about the show.

“I’m sort of taking the approach of observing more than maybe I would in a couple of weeks from now or something,” he said. “I want to sort of make sure I get the rhythm of the show and the clock and everything like that. Those are all things that you have to be more aware of when you’re behind the glass as opposed to on the air.”

Arcand will be hosting a solo radio program on WEEI every Saturday afternoon, reminiscent of Sunday Service, a weekend show he used to host on 98.5 The Sports Hub. He is excited to be able to return to the Boston airwaves and connect with his audience once a week to bring them the latest sports news and entertaining talk – all while bringing his trademarks of sarcasm and congeniality.

“I’m really comfortable just sitting in the room, cracking the mic and talking with the callers or putting out my points and getting to certain things that I want to touch on,” Arcand said. “….I think my style is one that you just sort of tune in and you’re hanging out with me for a couple of hours.”

Ultimately, Christian Arcand has made the move back to what he refers to as his radio home. As he concludes his first week back at WEEI, he is focused on producing the afternoon drive program and complimenting that with his solo show on Saturdays, the first of which will take place tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. Through all of his endeavors, he will talk about Boston sports with his listeners no matter the season, giving them a platform to engage with the hyperlocal coverage.

“Being back at WEEI is something that I’m really happy about,” Arcand expressed. “I was excited to get started, [and] now that I’m there, I’m excited to see where we can take this show.”

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BSM Writers

What Twitter Alternatives Exist For Sports Media?

Sports Twitter is a major vehicle that has helped establish the platform’s reputation for accurate and authentic up to the minute information.

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The reality of Twitter dying as a platform was looked at as a bit hyperbolic when Elon Musk first took over the social media network. Now though, it is slowly coming closer and closer to potential reality.

Musk has been on a quest to salvage Twitter’s economic stability but has done so in an irrational and unplanned fashion. The actions he has taken include publicly criticizing his employees and firing them after pushback and firing essential engineers who literally keep the platform from crashing. Developers have even warned Twitter users with two factor authentication to either remove the feature or to remain logged in because the function that handles that process no longer works.

Sports Twitter is a major vehicle that has helped establish the platform’s reputation for accurate and authentic up to the minute information. It has helped establish the careers of insiders such as Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania and Adam Schefter. In case Twitter does actually come to an end, what should reporters who rely so much on the platform do?

Establish an email list through Substack

With permission from their employers, I would suggest starting a newsletter list that they would be able to carry with them in case they decided to leave their employer at some point (all three of the mentioned journos recently signed extensions). Posting on Substack through a mobile device is just as easy as posting on Twitter and it gives users an almost similar experience to what they had with using Twitter in the sense that they could have their email notifications turned on and they could interact with other basketball lovers through Substack’s comments section.

Create a live blog that always exists on your employer’s page

A running page of information that was sponsored and existed on ESPN or Stadium’s page would make digestible, quick hit commentary monetizable for the networks that employ Shams, Woj and Schefter. It brings people back to their employer’s page and establishes even more of a bond between consumers and apps/websites – a connection that has been taken away from many due to the existence of social media.

Establish a Mastodon server

With over a million users, Mastodon has become the closest thing to a Twitter alternative that’s available. Even though signing up for an account is a little confusing and the ability to search for unique users and takes isn’t fully established in comparison to Twitter – Mastodon has a similar look and feel to Elon’s platform and it gives employers more control over who is and isn’t interacting with their employees and what they are able to see. It would make it easier on ESPN or Stadium’s part to constantly promote links to their pages for viewers and readers to consume.

It’s the closest thing that is available to establishing your own social media network without the startup costs, hiring of engineers and figuring out tech issues. An advertising mechanism hasn’t been established yet but ESPN or Stadium could be in the forefront (because of the credibility they bring to the table) of establishing the revenue side of things alongside Mastodon.

Stick it out with Elon

NBC Universal’s advertising head recently told AdAge that NBC is sticking it out with Twitter. Twitter’s ad program has faced setback since Elon’s takeover but it is still much more established and streamlined that anything else available out there that is similar to Twitter. She also said that Twitter is the biggest host of NBC content on the internet (besides NBC owned platforms of course).

If a major company like NBC is standing with Twitter and if most major advertisers haven’t left yet, maybe sports reporters should also stay put for now. Twitter is not a startup. Despite the disarray we read about everyday, it’s still an established company that is up and running. We are all using Twitter itself to talk smack about its mismanagement but the reality is we are all still using Twitter. Even those who have gone away from the platform still come back more often than not to check in on what is happening directly on Twitter.

Maybe the grass will eventually be greener on the other side and Elon will have Twitter on more established ground. Maybe Elon files for bankruptcy and sells it to bankers who create an environment of stability for the company.

The reality is there is no other platform as good at real time reaction than Twitter so maybe sticking it out and keeping status quo is the best thing for everyone to do. See you later on Twitter (follow me @JMKTVShow).

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