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Telemundo’s Multi-Platform Strategy Should Be Duplicated!

Jason Barrett



It’s often difficult to step back, analyze, and think about the big picture when you operate a brand. So much of what we do revolves around day to day business. But with 2016 looming, there’s no better time than now to review your brand’s strengths and weaknesses and think about what you need to do to stay ahead of the curve with the audience.

Many times I’ve stated that I believe the sports format’s ability to attract larger revenues and showcase its overall impact and success will come from presenting an impressive total reach story. Listeners want content available on demand across multiple platforms and advertisers want to know their messaging is reaching the largest potential audience with the goal being to show an increase in profits. A monthly radio ratings report is nice but when the companies paying for the service don’t believe in its accuracy, how can you expect a paying client to do so?

imptWhile it can be daunting and feel impossible to pull off due to the workload involved, a brand has to deliver great content consistently across multiple platforms to matter. 30 years ago success started with a powerful signal and being the first in a market to experiment with sports talk.

Today, you better have a good radio signal, on-air talent who appeal to the audience, content that is timely, topical, and better than the competition’s, social media accounts that are active and engaging with listeners, and a great website with exclusive audio, video and written content.

As established and respected as some brands are, they can all be beaten. Audiences today care about the content experience more than they care about which brand provided it. Loyalty isn’t given based on reputation but rather from demonstrating a consistent ability to provide the user with something of value. For each person who tells me a brand is unbeatable, I remind them of the previous importance placed on newspapers, landline telephones and CD’s and cassettes.

Today’s audience consumes content in numerous ways. The same individual who spends 30-60 minutes per day with your station while sitting in their car, is the same person who is at home engaging with your brand on social media and downloading podcasts on your website. In the old days of ratings, this person was unavailable once they left their automobile. Now, they are always accessible.

The question is, are you creating enough buzz for your brand beyond what people hear over the airwaves? Are you equipped with a strong multi-platform strategy? Is it understood, embraced and carried out by your staff?

telemundoI came across a piece on Digiday about the television network Telemundo. During the past year, the channel has experienced incredible growth.

First, they tripled their audience on YouTube. The channel crossed the 1 million subscriber mark during the Thanksgiving holiday and have added more than 613,000 subscribers this year between January 1 and October 31.

During that same period, the channel also generated 460 million views (up 262 percent from the previous year) and more than 3.1 billion minutes in watch time (up 278 percent).

Ask yourself this, does your sports radio station have a video strategy for YouTube or Facebook? I’ve seen some brands like WEEI, KNBR, 790 The Ticket and 101 ESPN do a good job with video but they are the exception not the rule. Some stations don’t even have a video channel created. In today’s technology savvy world, how is that possible?

And let me be clear, I’m not referring to the occasional situation when a producer pulls out their phone to record a guest in-studio or when you create a custom feature for a client that is built exclusively for the video channel. Those are parts of a strategy. Unless there’s a consistent plan with an understanding of why it matters and how it can lead to more non-traditional revenue and brand growth, then you’ve got little chance to be effective.

Consider this, 1.3 billion people use YouTube to watch nearly 5 billion videos per day. The average time spent per user on the website is forty minutes. That amount of time per day is equal to many radio show’s daily time spent listening. And that’s only YouTube – with Facebook now involved in the video arena that number jumps even higher.

Three years ago, Telemundo’s digital and social teams operated independent of each other (doesn’t that sound familiar radio folks?). It was then that the network decided to merge both teams under its Telemundo Studios division. The task was to figure out how each show should be presented and promoted on each platform.

blackerPeter Blacker, EVP of Digital Media and Emerging Businesses at NBC Universal Telemundo Enterprises said “Every single one of my programming people has to be thinking about all of these platforms. We need to be where our audience is. A fan of one of these shows is going to spend a certain amount of time on YouTube, Facebook and other social platforms, and the fact is that they want different things in each of those areas. The good thing is we make so many hours of content that we have this enormous engine to feed it.”

That strategy has led the company to growth beyond YouTube too. From January 1st to October 31st, all channels combined to add 1.1 million subscribers, 761 million views and 4.58 billion minutes of watch time.

On Facebook, Telemundo’s main account has over 7 million fans (57 million fans across all shows) and the network is also experimenting with video. They have partnered with Facebook to generate interest for upcoming programming. The network will either release preview clips or sometimes even full episodes of a show.

Telemundo also has 6 million Twitter followers, 3 million on Instagram and 67,000 on Vine. All of those platforms are also in play for video and other forms of social content.

I have seen more sports radio stations doing a better job at committing to being active and topical on social platforms but there is still work to be done. Today for example, I witnessed three major market stations not even post one item on Facebook before 10am. Considering that the audience wakes up every day and checks their Facebook account, it’s a missed opportunity to present content for people to engage with and remind them of why to tune in to the radio station or visit the website.

zuckMany stations gravitate to Twitter, and while I love the platform myself and value the way content can be shared on it, Facebook still dominates the total audience picture. King Zuckerberg’s company delivers 5x the audience that Twitter does. If you look at the amount of re-tweets or comments that a sports station gets on Twitter, it fails in comparison to the activity seen on Facebook.

I’m not suggesting that stations focus less on Twitter. I’m simply stating that Facebook needs to be a much bigger priority consistently. Often we become tired of things and search for the next cool trend and while Facebook has lost some of its luster, it still occupies 1 out of every 5 minutes that an individual spends with their phone. That’s an area where you want your brand to be present so you can re-direct the audience to your programming.

What we share on social outlets is also important. Your content should be topical and promoted regularly. Anytime you can use a tease to create suspense, that’s recommended.

For example, you could type a headline that says “Kobe Bryant has announced he’s retiring” and you’ll probably get a click on it. But if the link said “Kobe Bryant’s retiring but not before addressing one key issue” it’s more likely to pull someone in.

As stations have internal dialogue about ways to grow in the future, digital and social expansion should be front and center in every market discussion. The audience is ahead of where many of our brands are and in some cases, our staffs. You can pretend things will slow down and we’ll catch up, but as we’ve seen too many times, by the time we fix this issue, there will be a newer challenge ahead of us that we’re also not prepared for.

mindsetForward thinkers are assets and this format has many of them but it needs many more. Having the ability now to step back and examine things from the outside looking in, we miss too many opportunities to highlight our content and people. You can’t just promote things 1x per week or 1x per month, you have to do it daily. You also need to identify what great content looks and sounds like and focus on the different ways to get it in front of the audience.

In some markets, stations will spend a few hundred thousand dollars on creating a TV commercial and pushing it across local television stations for 13 weeks rather than hire a dedicated video producer year round to create daily content and expand the station’s entire digital and social footprint. That in my opinion makes little business sense. It’s the old way of doing business – run the TV commercial to boost awareness and hope that it leads to recall so the radio station gets a few tune ins to drive an increase in ratings.

Except there’s one big issue with that approach – the audience consumes your programming differently and advertisers have adjusted the way they invest their money. They also happen to spend more online than on radio and that’s expected to increase even more by 2019.

What all of this amounts to is this; a lot more work, a lot more creativity, a lot more strategic planning, a bigger challenge for programming staffs, a bigger commitment from companies in the digital/social space, a deeper connection with the audience across multiple channels, and a lot more revenue!

Although it may be taxing at times and require more of an investment than some may want to make, it’s too important to not be where the audience and business community is. As Telemundo has demonstrated, when you bring a group together and share a unified vision and commitment, the growth follows. And that’s the secret sauce that makes the meal taste a whole lot better!

Crunching The Numbers:

  • 610 Sports in Kansas City smashed its November ratings book. The station finished #1 overall with ALL listeners 6+ (think the Royals World Series games might have helped?). The station delivered a 10.6 for the month which was nearly 5 points higher than its October book and a full 3 points ahead of the market’s second highest rated brand 101 The Fox. Congrats to John Hanson and his team on an amazing month.
  • 980 The Beast in Los Angeles recorded its best month in station history. Morning Drive jumped from 0.7 in October to 1.5 in November. Middays climbed from a 0.3 in October to a 0.6 in November and Afternoons grew from 0.7 in October to 1.0 in November. With the station making lineup changes recently, the early returns are positive.

Under The Radar:

  • Congrats is in order for Adam Kuperstein who has returned to the Miami airwaves. The former WQAM midday host is now hosting Part-Time for 790 The Ticket.
  • An additional congratulations goes out to Eric Love Stain” Reiser who’s joined 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland as a Producer.

Barrett Blogs

Jeff Catlin, John Mamola, Gordy Rush & Maggie Clifton Join The 2023 BSM Summit Lineup

Jason Barrett




We’re less than two months away from the 2023 BSM Summit in Los Angeles. This year’s conference takes place on March 21-22, 2023 at the Founders Room inside of the Galen Center at USC. Many industry professionals are set to attend but sports media folks tend to be a last minute crowd whether it’s buying a ticket, reserving a room or committing to be a sponsor. Yes, tickets, rooms, and a select few sponsorships are still available, but the longer you wait, the more you risk not being in the room, featured as a partner, and paying higher prices for travel. To make sure you have a seat and a place to stay, log on to For sponsorship inquiries, email Stephanie at

I am really excited about this year’s Summit. The venue is tremendous, the agenda is coming together nicely, and there’s no doubt we’ll have great weather when we gather in LA. Some have asked me why I don’t reveal the full schedule of sessions months in advance, and it’s because I believe in swinging for the fences and trying to do big things. To do that, you’ve got to be willing to invest time and explore every opportunity that can be impactful. It’d be much easier to fill the schedule and be done with everything but if it’s going to take a little longer to deliver the best speakers, discussions and experiences for all in the room, then that’s what I’m going to do.

Those involved in the creation of this conference know that I set a very high standard for it. We’ve run some great events over the years, and it’s because we put everything we have into making sure each session is valuable to a different segment of the industry. My goal each year is to present an action packed agenda that helps people learn, gain access to information to improve themselves and/or their brands, and create a few connections and memorable moments to justify it being worth a few days away out of the office or studio. If we can do that, it makes the sacrifices worthwhile. If we can’t execute at a high level, then I’d probably pass on doing it.

Before I tell you about the four people we’re adding to our speaker lineup, I do want to remind you that we recently announced a contest for California college students. We’re giving away ten (10) FREE tickets to the show courtesy of Steve Kamer Voiceovers. If you know a student in California please let them know about this. If they’re not in California but want to attend the event, we’ve created a special college rate to make it affordable for young people. Everything is listed on

Now, for the new additions to the lineup.

I’m excited to welcome Jeff Catlin of The Ticket in Dallas to the Summit. This will be Jeff’s first Summit visit, and I appreciate him making time to share his programming wisdom with the rest of the room. Jeff will be part of a programming panel that kicks off day #2. That panel will include Jimmy Powers of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, Raj Sharan of Denver’s Sports Station 104.3 The Fan, and our next addition, John Mamola of WDAE. John has been at all of our events dating back to our first test event in Chicago. I’m looking forward to giving him an opportunity to offer his programming insights alongside this talented group.

Also joining the Summit lineup is Maggie Clifton, Blue Wire’s Senior Vice President of Business Development. Maggie has played a vital role in growing Blue Wire’s revenue, and I’m looking forward to having her join Barstool Sports’ SVP, Head of Sales Matt Berger, and Magellan AI’s Chief Revenue Officer John Goforth on a panel that focuses on digital monetization.

Guiding that conversation will be Guaranty Media’s Gordy Rush. The Baton Rouge Vice President and General Manager who doubles as LSU’s sideline reporter on football broadcasts is well versed in monetizing content, and understanding the opportunities and challenges broadcasters face. I’m confident those in the room charged with maximizing digital revenue for their brands will gain great value from these four professionals.

There’s much more in the works that I’m looking forward to announcing in the coming weeks. Whether you own a company, manage a cluster as a GM, lead a sales team, host or produce a podcast or radio/TV show, buy advertising, oversee a brand’s social media strategy or program a network or local outlet, there’s something for every sports media professional at the BSM Summit. I invite you to come see for yourself. To do so, visit

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Barrett Blogs

Jimmy Powers to Receive The Mark Chernoff Award at the 2023 BSM Summit

“Jimmy received the most votes from our industry panel to become our third recipient of the Mark Chernoff Award.”

Jason Barrett




As a former programmer turned consultant, I pay more attention than most to those who lead brands, manage talent, and create consistent success. When you look across the country at the hundreds of stations delivering sports radio content, and analyze who operates at a high level, there’s maybe ten to twenty who are changing the game, and others who are rising and hoping to become a bigger part of the conversation.

What makes this annual award special in addition to having Mark Chernoff’s name on it, is that it’s voted on by eighteen industry heavyweights. These are folks tasked with overseeing radio companies, major networks, and having exceptional track records of broadcasting success. So when they vote and an individual earns an honor, it means a little more.

If you’re in the business and follow sports radio, then you’re aware of Mark Chernoff’s accomplishments as a program director. He was one of the true architects and consistent winners, and his ability to excel as a sports radio manager has influenced and shaped many careers. Mark graciously agreed to be part of our awards ceremony a few years ago when I approached him with the idea in New York City. I’m thrilled to share that although he doesn’t attend many industry conferences on the west coast, he will be with us at the 2023 BSM Summit in Los Angeles for the ceremony.

Which brings me to this year’s winner.

It is my honor to congratulate the leader of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, Jimmy Powers. Jimmy received the most votes from our industry panel to become our third recipient of the Mark Chernoff Award. He follows Rick Radzik of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, and Mitch Rosen of 670 The Score in Chicago. Jimmy will be in attendance at the Summit to pick up the award, and will take part in a program director panel at the show. Further details on that to be shared next week.

“It’s such a great honor not only to be mentioned in the same breath with Mark Chernoff, but to receive the ‘Mark Chernoff Award’ is really, really cool” shared 97.1 The Ticket Program Director Jimmy Powers. “With so many great program directors across the country who are deserving of this award, I truly appreciate the recognition.”

Since late 2009, Powers has led the Detroit sports radio station to unmatched local success. Brought in to build upon what was created by the late great Tom Bigby, he’s helped The Ticket become one of the format’s best examples of success. The station has consistently dominated the Male 25-54 demo, while also becoming a ratings force with Persons 12+ and Adults 25-54.

“Jimmy has done an amazing job over the years running 97.1 the Ticket,” said legendary sports radio programmer Mark Chernoff. “He knows how to work with talent, and maintain balance while managing relationships with the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons, which is not an easy job. The ratings remain high, and the Ticket continues to be one of America’s top sports stations, which reflects the great work Jimmy has done as the station’s program director.”

In addition to delivering double digit shares, quarterly ratings wins, and presenting a star studded lineup and Michigan’s top sports franchises, The Ticket has taken home plenty of hardware too. The station has won the Marconi award for best sports station in 2016 and 2022. And now, they can add the 2023 Mark Chernoff Award to their trophy case.

“2022 was another big year for The Ticket, and many in Detroit deserve credit for the brand’s consistent success, but none more so than their exceptional brand leader, Jimmy Powers,” added BSM President Jason Barrett. “Jimmy has been a staple of consistency, guiding one of the crown jewels of sports radio, managing top personalities, important play by play partnerships, and helping the brand generate large revenues. I’m thrilled that our industry voters took notice of the fantastic work Jimmy has done and look forward to celebrating his career and accomplishments in Los Angeles this March.”

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Barrett Blogs

California College Students Earn Chance to Win 10 Free Tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit Thanks to Steve Kamer Voiceovers

“In order to win tickets to attend the Summit, students must submit a 2-minute video by email explaining why they’d like to be in attendance and what they hope to learn at the event.”

Jason Barrett




With a new year comes renewed energy and optimism for the sports media business. Yours truly is looking forward to showcasing the best our business has to offer when we gather the industry in Los Angeles, CA at the 2023 BSM Summit at the Founders Club at the University of Southern California on March 21-22, 2023. Our conference is returning to the west coast for the first time since 2019. We’ve announced some super talented speakers. We’ve got additional things in the works and I plan to make additional announcements in the next few weeks.

People often ask me what the biggest challenge is putting this event together. My answer is always the same, it’s getting people to leave the comfort of their office and spend two days in a room together learning and discussing ways to grow the business. We have great sponsorship support and exceptional people on stage and are fortunate to have a lot of folks already set to attend. Our venue this year has extra space though, so I’m hoping a few more of you make time to join us. If you haven’t bought a ticket or reserved your hotel room, visit to make sure you’re all set.

If there’s one thing our industry could get better at it’s opening our minds to new ideas and information. There’s more than one path to success. Just because you’re in good shape today doesn’t mean you will be tomorrow. Building brands, growing audiences, increasing revenue, and examining new opportunities is an ongoing process. There are many shifts along the way. We may not solve every business challenge during our two-days together but you’ll leave the room more connected and informed than when you entered it.

Each year I’ll get two or three emails from folks sharing that they learned more about the industry in two-days at the Summit than they have in ___ years inside of their building. That’s truly gratifying and what I strive to achieve when I put this event together. I remember when conferences like this didn’t exist for format folks and I take the risk and invest the time and resources to create it because I love the sports media industry and believe I can help it thrive. I see great value in gathering professionals to share ideas, information, and meet others who can help them grow their business, and if we do our part, I’m confident some will want to work with us too. That’s how we benefit over the long haul.

But as much as I focus on serving the professional crowd, I also think we have a responsibility to educate young people who are interested, passionate, and taking steps to be a part of our business in the future. The BSM website is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each month and it’s become a valuable resource for folks who enjoy sports radio and television. I think it’s vital to use our platform, influence and two-day event to connect generations and I’m happy to announce that we will once again welcome college students at this year’s Summit.

Most of us who’ve been in this line of work for two or three decades learned the business without podcasts, YouTube, social media, the web or conferences delivering two full days of sessions that taught you more about the business than what’s available inside of a class room. We learned by doing, and hoping we were right. Then we copied others who had success. Some of that still exists, and that’s not a bad thing. But where our business goes in the future is going to be drastically different.

I’d like to see the difference makers in our format remembered for years to come, and practices that have stood the test of time remain valued down the line. Change is inevitable in every business and I’m excited about the road that lies ahead especially some of the technological advancements that are now available or will soon become a bigger part of our industry. I think we can embrace the future while enjoying the present and celebrating the past. The best way to do that is by bringing together everyone who is and is hoping to be a part of the sports media universe.

So here’s two things we’re doing to make sure future broadcasters have an opportunity to learn with us.

First, I want to send a HUGE thank you to Steve Kamer Voiceovers. Thanks to Steve’s generosity, TEN (10) college students will be given FREE tickets to attend the 2023 BSM Summit in March. Steve is a USC graduate (Class of 1985) and he bought the ten tickets to help young people learn about the industry, save money and make valuable connections. When I first received his order, I thought he hit the wrong button. I reached out to tell him a mistake was made and I needed to refund him. That’s when he told me what he wanted to do for students who were pursuing their broadcasting dreams just as we both did years ago. A very classy gesture on his part.

As it pertains to the contest, here’s how it’s going to work.

To win tickets to attend the Summit, students must submit a 2-minute video by email to explaining why they’d like to be in attendance and what they hope to learn at the event. Included in your email should be a list of steps that you’ve taken or are pursuing to explore opportunities in the media industry. If you want to pass along a resume and audio or video clips too to showcase your work and experience, that’s fine as well. BSM will accept submissions until February 17th. The winners will be announced on Friday February 24th.

Helping me select the winners will be an exceptional panel of media executives. Each of these folks below will choose one person to attend our L.A. event. The final two will be picked by Steve Kamer and myself.

  • Scott Shapiro – Senior Vice President, FOX Sports Radio
  • Justin Craig – Senior Program Director, ESPN Radio
  • Jeff Sottolano – Executive Vice President, Programming, Audacy
  • Bruce Gilbert – Senior Vice President of Sports, Cumulus Media & Westwood One
  • Amanda Gifford – Vice President, Content Strategy & Audio, ESPN
  • Jacob Ullman – Senior Vice President, Production and Talent Development, FOX Sports
  • Greg Strassell – Senior Vice President, Programming, Hubbard Radio
  • Scott Sutherland – Executive Vice President, Bonneville International

To qualify for the BSM Summit College Contest, students must be enrolled in college in the state of California, pursuing a degree that involves course work either in radio, television, print or the digital business. Those attending local trade schools with a focus on broadcasting are also welcome to participate. You must be able to take care of your own transportation and/or lodging.

This is a contest I enjoy running. We’ve had great participation during our prior two shows in New York City but haven’t done it before on the west coast. I’m hoping it’s helpful to California students and look forward to hearing from many of them during the next month.

For students who live out of state and wish to attend or those enrolled at local universities who enter the contest but aren’t lucky enough to win one of the ten free tickets from Steve Kamer Voiceovers, we are introducing a special two-day college ticket for just $124.99. You must provide proof that you’re currently in school to take advantage of the offer. This ticket gives you access to all of our sessions inside the Founders Club. College tickets will be limited to forty (40) seats so take advantage of the opportunity before it expires.

The 2023 BSM Summit will feature award ceremonies with Emmis Communication CEO Jeff Smulyan and legendary WFAN program director Mark Chernoff, sessions with influential on-air talent such as Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome, Joy Taylor, and Mina Kimes, big picture business conversations with executives from groups such as Audacy, iHeart, Bonneville, Good Karma Brands, Barstool, The Volume, Omaha Productions and more. For details on tickets and hotel rooms visit

I look forward to seeing you in March in Los Angeles!

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