For the past two decades, sports radio stations across the country have made a stronger commitment to pairing broadcasters and former athletes. It’s been labeled as the “winning combination” inside industry circles and when built properly and executed well, it can draw larger audiences to the dial.
The idea is to put the broadcaster in charge of handling the formatics, topic building, audience engagement, and sponsor reads, while delivering the opinions that are representative of the local fan base. The athlete meanwhile provides the on the field insight and experience and utilizes their relationships inside the game to create content that is unique and unable to be duplicated.
On the surface that formula may make sense but there are also a few things that aren’t often taken into consideration.
First, an athlete certainly does provide great name value to draw in the common fan. That doesn’t mean though that they’re going to click with the broadcaster you pair them with. Some air talent are insecure, jealous, and agitated by the fact that the former player didn’t have to pay dues to earn their spot. Quite frankly, they don’t have the right mental makeup to be part of that type of program.
Secondly, the athlete doesn’t always respect the medium or care to put in the hard work that’s required to help a show succeed. Some players lose sight that their career may have helped them gain entry inside the building but that only lasts for so long. A number of them turn to this line of work because they’re not sure what to do when their playing days are done, and this seems like an easy transition. Once they recognize that their is a homework assignment every day and night, they get frustrated, mentally check out and eventually leave.
Most most athletes who break into this business usually do so between the ages of 35-50. That’s often when a personality’s career is just taking off. For a broadcaster who has paid dues and chased success and finally has it within their grasp, the last thing they desire is to be connected to an athlete who was given a shortcut to the same position and doesn’t care to invest themselves as much as they do in the opportunity. In many instances, they believe that the athlete is in foreign territory and doesn’t belong in it because they don’t understand the rules of the radio game nor care about them the same way.
But that’s where even the smartest broadcasters in this business can be wrong and make a major mistake.
The reason some of these pairings perform at a high level is because both men involved in the creation of the program understand their roles and how to present something of value to the audience. They realize their own strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to build a show that connects with everyone. They share a strong work ethic individually and collectively, and they place a high priority on developing a chemistry and relationship that carries onto the airwaves. There is no “ego” in worrying about who the star is or how much mic time they receive, only a focus on creating good content and lifting each other up.
I’ve been lucky to work with some great former athletes, coaches and front office executives like Lorenzo Neal, Eric Davis, D’Marco Farr, Chris Duncan, Rick Venturi and Tony Softli who did their homework and cared about what they were presenting. I found them all to be excellent to work with because they had a number of things in common – they loved to compete and win, they believed in preparation, and they were willing to accept coaching and criticism when they weren’t taking care of their responsibilities. These guys made their living for years off of winning and losing, and they understood that when they made plays and put more W’s on the board, it led to more money in their pockets.
Because I understood their mentality and could relate it to the sports radio business, they were able to digest a lot of what we do, and have their own successes. I learned that what I was worried would appear foreign to them, actually became very simple for them to pick up because it all tied back to wins/losses, strategy, preparation, teamwork, and being accountable.
If you’re an on-air talent, producer or programmer and you have an athlete on your team, remember this. Just because a former player didn’t grow up on teases, re-sets and TSL and take the same road to radio stardom that you did, doesn’t mean they don’t have the same desire or an ability to understand how to execute. It sounds cliche but the best teams in sports often deliver the best results, and in radio it’s not much different.
One person who has had experience with this subject is Program Director Bob Richards. Bob has worked in Boulder and Denver, Colorado, Buffalo, New York and was most recently in charge of programming for 790 The Zone in Atlanta before the station flipped formats. Having managed a number of former athletes during his career, I thought he’d have some great insight to offer and I think you’ll really enjoy the way he lays out tackling this topic.
Everyone Can Relate To The Scoreboard
Here we are getting ready to celebrate the New Year, a time for resolutions to do things differently in an effort to create better results in various areas of our lives. For me, I’m praying to God that 2016 brings a FATTER bank account and a THINNER body. It’s the same prayer I had last year but I apparently I didn’t communicate it very well and he got the two mixed up!
I’m a big advocate of prayer but prayer isn’t a strategy, especially when it comes to your air staff and communicating with them to get the most out of them. If your staff is composed of air talent who come from a radio background and former players who have played for one of the major sports leagues, you’re sitting on a potential time bomb that you need to manage before it blows up.
Air talent working with former players creates an interesting dynamic. Think about it, the radio guys view the jobs they do as their career and they think former players view their job as a hobby they do to satisfy their egos! They question the player’s motivation and dedication. They take issue when players seem to operate under different rules. They think some players can be condescending, operating from the position that if you didn’t play the game you can’t possibly have an opinion, let alone a correct opinion.
Their fear is that the players think show prep and guest acquisition is beneath them and they either won’t participate in remotes and client meetings or they don’t know how to act in those situations. Throughout my career I’ve heard it all. If it isn’t being verbalized between members of the air staff it’s being thought about. So what’s a manager to do?
Clearly there are significant benefits to having former players on your air staff. They bring a much higher profile to a new show both with the audience and with potential guests. It’s important that the staff understands those benefits and buys into them. Former players usually come with unique issues. The higher the profile, the more issues, especially with regards to scheduling. Helping the staff understand why it’s worth it is key.
For me, the answer to getting buy in from the staff is the same answer as getting more out of the former player, it’s a meeting I call the Scoreboard. The key to managing a former player is to appeal to the one thing they can relate to – COMPETITION! They have to know if they’re winning or losing and what’s working and what isn’t.
In this meeting I start with a picture of an NFL scoreboard. It shows the score is 21–17, it’s the 4th quarter with two minutes left, the visitors have the lead but the home team has the ball on their own 20. Both teams are out of time outs.
I then ask the former player(s) what they know from looking at the scoreboard and I get the obvious answers. Most will say the visitors scored three touchdowns and kicked three extra points and the home team scored two touchdowns and kicked a field goal. There are other ways to have achieved those point totals and we discuss what those unlikely but possible scenarios might have been.
Then I ask, what is the strategy we can assume from looking at the Scoreboard? We spend time discussing that a field goal does the team no good, they need a touchdown and since they have no time outs and 80 yards to go, they most likely won’t be running the ball. The defense is going to counter by using extra defensive backs, defending the boundaries so the offense can’t get out of bounds to stop the clock, and likely dialing up different blitz packages.
After we go through all the scenarios based on nothing more than looking at the Scoreboard I then ask the most important question of the former player(s). Do you expect that your teammates can read the scoreboard and know everything we just discussed? How would you feel about a teammate who couldn’t read the scoreboard, didn’t know how many points a touchdown was, and had to be told what to do in every case, then didn’t follow what they were told because they thought they knew a better way?
After I hear all the macho answers about the different ways that teammate would no longer be a teammate, I put up the second slide. It says, under no circumstances should anyone in the room answer any of the questions I’m going to ask next.
Then I put up ratings, AQH, Cume, Shares, ATE, etc. and I inform them that this is a radio scoreboard. Can you read it? Do you know who’s winning? Can you figure out how they put up those points? Can you develop a strategy based on what you see? If your answer to any of these question was no, are you being the best teammate you can be?
The reality is they don’t need to understand all of the ratings minutia, that’s my job. What they do need to understand is that in the PPM world attention to detail matters, proper execution matters, getting one person in their target demo to listen for 5 more minutes a day can mean the difference between winning and losing, and being paid a bonus or missing out.
The Scoreboard meeting is meant to put everyone on notice of what my expectation is of them, all of them. It’s meant to appeal to their sense of competition. It’s meant to get them to come in for individual coaching sessions tailored to their level of knowledge and to get everyone on the team to the same basic level of understanding about why we do what we do and what my expectations are of them.
In the follow up individual meetings we go into what we can learn from the ratings and how we can manipulate them. They learn the importance of cross promotion with other dayparts, how to create a Target User Profile that defines who their audience is and help focus content decisions. They see the first of a few weekly reports, an On Time Report detailing how often they go into break on time ranked against the stations other shows and their competition.
I publish a “Social Media” report monthly that looks at Twitter and various social media follower totals that ranks them against other air talent in the market. There is a weekly website report that details the number views of their show page vs. other shows. I also publish a podcast download report that details the number of downloads vs. the stations other shows. Everything is designed to educate them on how they’re doing, how they can get better and to promote competition, the very thing former athletes thrive on.
In my career I’ve had the privilege of working with both the good and the bad when it comes to former players transitioning to air talent. It was easy to see why Alge Crumpler was a four time Pro Bowler. He was a tireless worker who couldn’t put in enough time to learn his new craft. Former Quarterbacks Dave Archer and DJ Shockley came with the same preparation for show they put into a game plan.
Rodney Harrison recorded his weekly show for Westwood One from our studios in Atlanta and every week he came in with pages of handwritten notes well before his recording was supposed to start. I’ve also had to fire two very well known players from the Falcons Super Bowl team who didn’t give their radio jobs the respect it deserved. Both were hired by the competition and subsequently fired by them!
The New Year is only a few days away, and people treat the holiday like it’s some sort of life changing event, but the truth is, if the ratings and work ethic sucked last year, they’re going to suck next year. The way you change that is by motivating your staff to work as a team, and be laser focused on proper PPM blocking and tackling by tapping into the one thing they all understand – COMPETITION!
Bob Richards has served as an On-Air Talent, Program Director, Operations Manager, Vice President and Market Manager. He has worked in many different markets and formats can be reached by email at BobRichardsRadio@gmail.com or on Twitter @radiorichards.
Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?
How many times have you heard this sentence uttered at conferences or in one of the trades; radio has to do a better job of telling its story. Sounds reasonable enough right? After all, your brands and companies stand a better chance of being more consumed and invested in the more that others know about them.
But what specifically about your brand’s story matters to those listening or spending money on it? Which outlets are you supposed to share that news with to grow your listenership and advertising? And who is telling the story? Is it someone who works for your company and has a motive to advance a professional agenda, or someone who’s independent and may point out a few holes in your strategy, execution, and results?
As professionals working in the media business, we’re supposed to be experts in the field of communications. But are we? We’re good at relaying news when it makes us look good or highlights a competitor coming up short. How do we respond though when the story isn’t told the we want it to? Better yet, how many times do sports/news talk brands relay information that isn’t tied to quarterly ratings, revenue or a new contract being signed? We like to celebrate the numbers that matter to us and our teams, but we don’t spend much time thinking about if those numbers matter to the right groups – the audience and the advertisers.
Having covered the sports and news media business for the past seven years, and published nearly eighteen thousand pieces of content, you’d be stunned if you saw how many nuggets of information get sent to us from industry folks looking for publicity vs. having to chase people down for details or read things on social media or listen to or watch shows to promote relevant material. Spoiler alert, most of what we produce comes from digging. There are a handful of outlets and PR folks who are great, and five or six PD’s who do an excellent job consistently promoting news or cool things associated with their brands and people. Some talent are good too at sharing content or tips that our website may have an interest in.
Whether I give the green light to publish the material or not, I appreciate that folks look for ways to keep their brands and shows on everyone’s radar. Brand leaders and marketing directors should be battling daily in my opinion for recognition anywhere and everywhere it’s available. If nobody is talking about your brand then you have to give them a reason to.
I’m writing this column today because I just spent a day in New York City at the Disney Upfront, which was attended by a few thousand advertising professionals. Though I’d have preferred a greater focus on ESPN than what was offered, I understand that a company the size of Disney with so many rich content offerings is going to have to condense things or they’d literally need a full week of Upfronts to cover it all. They’re also trying to reach buyers and advertising professionals who have interests in more than just sports.
What stood out to me while I was in attendance was how much detail went into putting on a show to inform, entertain, and engage advertising professionals. Disney understands the value of telling its story to the right crowd, and they rolled out the heavy hitters for it. There was a strong mix of stars, executives, promotion of upcoming shows, breaking news about network deals, access to the people responsible for bringing advertising to life, and of course, free drinks. It was easy for everyone in the room to gain an understanding of the company’s culture, vision, success, and plans to capture more market share.
As I sat in my seat, I wondered ‘why doesn’t radio do this on a local level‘? I’m not talking about entertaining clients in a suite, having a business dinner for a small group of clients or inviting business owners and agency reps to the office for a rollout of forthcoming plans. I’m talking about creating an annual event that showcases the power of a cluster, the stars who are connected to the company’s various brands, unveiling new shows, promotions and deals, and using the event as a driver to attract more business.
Too often I see our industry rely on things that have worked in the past. We assume that if it worked before there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for the client. Sometimes that’s even true. Maybe the advertiser likes to keep things simple and communicate by phone, email or in-person lunch meetings. Maybe a creative powerpoint presentation is all you need to get them to say yes. If it’s working and you feel that’s the best way forward to close business, continue with that approach. There’s more than one way to reach the finish line.
But I believe that most people like being exposed to fresh ideas, and given a peak behind the curtain. The word ‘new’ excites people. Why do you think Apple introduces a new iPhone each year or two. We lose sight sometimes of how important our brands and people are to those not inside the walls of our offices. We forget that whether a client spends ten thousand or ten million dollars per year with our company, they still like to be entertained. When you allow business people to feel the excitement associated with your brand’s upcoming events, see the presentations on a screen, and hear from and interact with the stars involved in it, you make them feel more special. I think you stand a better chance of closing deals and building stronger relationships that way.
Given that many local clusters have relationships with hotels, theaters, teams, restaurants, etc. there’s no reason you can’t find a central location, and put together an advertiser appreciation day that makes partners feel valued. You don’t have to rent out Pier 36 like Disney or secure the field at a baseball stadium to make a strong impression. We show listeners they’re valued regularly by giving away tickets, cash, fan appreciation parties, etc. and guess what, it works! Yes there are expenses involved putting on events, and no manager wants to hear about spending money without feeling confident they’ll generate a return on investment. That said, taking calculated risks is essential to growing a business. Every day that goes by where you operate with a ‘relying on the past’ mindset, and refuse to invest in growth opportunities, is one that leaves open the door for others to make sure your future is less promising.
There are likely a few examples of groups doing a smaller scaled version of what I’m suggesting. If you’re doing this already, I’d love to hear about it. Hit me up through email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com. By and large though, I don’t see a lot of must-see, must-discuss events like this created that lead to a surplus of press, increased relationships, and most importantly, increased sales. Yet it can be done. Judging from some of the feedback I received yesterday talking to people in the room, it makes an impression, and it matters.
I don’t claim to know how many ad agency executives and buyers returned to the office from the Disney Upfront and reached out to sign new advertising deals with the company. What I am confident in is that Disney wouldn’t invest resources in creating this event nor would other national groups like NBC, FOX, CBS, WarnerMedia, etc. if they didn’t feel it was beneficial to their business. Rather than relying on ratings and revenue stories that serve our own interests, maybe we’d help ourselves more by allowing our partners and potential clients to experience what makes our brands special. It works with our listeners, and can work with advertisers too.
Takeaways From The NAB Show and Six Days in Las Vegas
“I’m certainly not afraid to be critical but my enthusiasm for the NAB Show was elevated this year.”
Six days on the road can sometimes be exhausting. Six days in Las Vegas, and it’s guaranteed. That was my world last week, as I along with more than fifty thousand people headed to sin city to take in the 2022 NAB Show.
The event didn’t draw as many as it had in the past, but after two years of inactivity due to the pandemic, it was good to be back. Judging from some of the vendors I talked to, the sessions I attended, and the feedback I received from folks I met with, though far from perfect, it was a solid return for an important event. Seeing people interact, celebrate others, and talk about ways to improve the business was a positive reminder of the world being closer to the normal of 2019 than the normal of 2020-2021. The only negative from the week, the consistent failure of Uber to appear in the right place at the right time. But that had zero to do with the NAB.
It feels like whenever I attend industry conferences, there are two different type of reviews that follow. Some writers attend the show and see the glass half full. Others see the glass half empty. I’m certainly not afraid to be critical but my enthusiasm was elevated this year. Maybe it was because BSM was a media partner or maybe it was due to the show not happening for years and just being happy to be among friends, peers, and clients and operate like normal. Either way, my glass was definitely half full.
For those who see events this way, it’s likely they’ll remember the numerous opportunities they had to create and reestablish relationships. They’ll also recall the access to different speakers, sessions, products, and the excellent research shared with those in attendance. The great work done by the BFOA to recognize industry difference makers during their Wednesday breakfast was another positive experience, as was the Sunday night industry gathering at The Mayfair Supper Club.
Included in the conference were sessions with a number of industry leaders. Radio CEO’s took the stage to point out the industry’s wins and growth, credit their employees, and call out audio competitors, big tech, and advertisers for not spending more with the industry. When David Field, Bob Pittman, Ginny Morris and Caroline Beasley speak, people listen. Though their companies operate differently, hearing them share their views on the state of the business is important. I always learn something new when they address the room.
But though a lot of ground gets covered during these interviews, there are a few issues that don’t get talked about enough. For instance, ineffective measurement remains a big problem for the radio business. Things like this shouldn’t happen, but they do. NBC and WarnerMedia took bold steps to address problems with TV measurement. Does radio have the courage to take a similar risk? That’s an area I’d like to see addressed more by higher ups.
I can’t help but wonder how much money we lose from this issue. Companies spend millions for a ratings service that delivers subpar results, and the accountability that follows is often maddening. Given the data we have access to digitally, it’s stunning that radio’s report card for over the air listening is determined by outdated technology. And if we’re going to tell folks that wearables are the missing ingredient for addressing this problem, don’t be shocked if the press that follows is largely negative. The industry and its advertising partners deserve better. So too do the reps at Nielsen who have to absorb the hits, and make the most of a tough situation.
Speaking of advertising, this is another one of those critical areas that deserves another point of view. Case in point, I talked to a few ad agency professionals at the show. Similar to what I’ve heard before, they’re tired of hearing radio leaders blame them for the industry’s present position. This has been a hot button topic with executives for years. I often wonder, do we help or hurt ourselves by publicly calling out advertisers and ad agencies? How would you feel if you ran an agency which spent millions on the industry and were told ‘you don’t do enough’? I’m a champion of radio/audio, and am bullish on spoken word’s ability to deliver results for clients, but having attended these shows for nearly seven years, it might be time for a new approach and message. Or maybe it’s time to put one of our CEO’s with one of theirs and have a bigger discussion. Just a thought.
Of the sessions that I attended, I thought Erica Farber’s ‘What Business Are You In?’ was excellent. I especially liked Taja Graham’s presentation on ‘Sharing Your Truth’. I also appreciated Eric Bischoff’s tips on ways to monetize podcasts, and am curious to see how Amazon’s AMP develops moving forward. My favorite session at the show though was “A GPS Session For Your Station’s Car Radio Strategy” led by Fred Jacobs. The insight shared by Joe D’Angelo of Xperi and Steve Newberry & Suzy Schultz of Quu was outstanding. Keeping the car companies on our side is vital to our survival, and how we position ourselves on the dashboard can’t be ignored. Other tech companies and audio operators take it seriously. We must too.
Sessions aside, it was great to check out the VSiN and Blue Wire studios, connect with a bunch of CEO’s, GM’s and Market Manager’s, and visit with Kevin Jones, Joe Fortenbaugh, Jeremiah Crowe, Jon Goulet, Bill Adee, Q Myers, Mike Golic Jr. and Stormy Buonantony. The NFL’s setup for the Draft, and the light show presented at the Bellagio was without a doubt spectacular, plus Stephanie had a chance to say hello to Raiders owner Mark Davis who was inside the back room of a Westgate restaurant where we were having a business lunch meeting. The personal tour we received at the Wynn showed off some of the best suites I’ve seen in Las Vegas, and I was finally able to witness Circa’s Stadium Swim in person, and meet owner Derek Stevens (heck of a suit game). What an outstanding hotel and casino.
Altogether, it was a productive trip. As someone who knows all about building and executing a conference, I appreciate the work that goes into pulling it off. This event is massive, and I have no idea how the NAB makes it happen so flawlessly. This was the first time my head of sales, Stephanie Eads, got to attend the show. She loved it. Our only negative, going back and forth between convention halls can get exhausting. Wisely, Stephanie and Guaranty Media CEO Flynn Foster took advantage of the underground Tesla ride to move from the North hall to the West hall. I wasn’t as bright. If that’s the worst part of the experience though, that’s pretty solid. I look forward to returning in 2023, and attending the NAB’s NYC show this fall.
You’ve likely seen posts from BSM/BNM on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn promoting a number of open positions. I’m adding crew to help us pump out more content, and that means we need more editors, news writers, features reporter’s and columnists. If you’re currently involved or previously worked in the industry and love to write about it, send a resume and few writing samples by email to JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
With that said, I’m excited to announce the addition of Ryan Brown as a weekly columnist for BSM. Ryan is part of ‘The Next Round’ in Birmingham, Alabama, which previously broadcast on WJOX as JOX Roundtable. The show left the terrestrial world in June 2021 to operate as its own entity. Ryan’s knowledge and opinions should provide a boost to the site, and I’m looking forward to featuring his columns every Tuesday. Keep an eye out for it tomorrow, and if you want to check out the guest piece he previously wrote for us, click here.
Demetri Ravanos and I have talked to a lot of people over the past month. More additions will be revealed soon. As always, thanks for the continued support of BSM and BNM.
Six New Contributors Join Barrett Media
“These latest additions will make our product better. Now the challenge is finding others to help us continue growing.”
Building a brand starts with a vision. Once that vision is defined, you identify the people who fit what you’re creating, lay out the game plan, and turn them loose to execute. If the product you’re creating is original, fills a gap in the marketplace, and the work turned in by your team is consistently excellent and promoted in the right locations, more times than not you’ll build an audience.
As you grow, the focus turns to studying what your audience wants, needs, and expects from your brand. Certain things you expect to be big turn out small, and the things you saw limited upside in create opportunities you never saw coming. It’s critical to be open minded and ready to pivot while also examining where and when people consume your product, which pieces of content do and don’t matter, and then use that information to direct your team to give folks more of what they value and less of what they don’t. Team members should want that feedback too. It tells them what is and isn’t worth spending their time on.
As I lay all of that out it may sound like I’m talking about a radio station or television operation. These are the things programmers do frequently to make sure the talent, shows, and brand is satisfying the expectations of an audience. But what I’m actually referring to is the brand you’ve made a choice to click on to read this column, Barrett Media.
I’ve mentioned many times on this website how I started this operation by myself, and didn’t expect to have a team of writers involved in it. I was focused on consulting sports stations, sharing my programming views on this website, and as I cranked out content consistently, I discovered others loved the business like I did and had a desire to share their insights too. Rather than sticking to my original plan, I pivoted and increased our content offerings. In return, the audience grew, clients grew, and it’s led this brand to grow beyond my expectations. Now we cover sports AND news media, we run an annual conference, feature a membership program, create podcasts, deliver a daily 8@8 and three times per week BNM Rundown newsletter, and work with various brands and companies across the broadcasting industry. I’m extremely fortunate to be in this position and don’t take it for granted.
But with growth comes change. We’ve been blessed to have a lot of talented people contribute to this site over the years, and as they produce quality work, and others across the industry recognize it, they earn interest for their services. That then leads to some having to sign off for bigger opportunities. I see that as a great positive for the brand. Would it be nice to have more consistency and keep a crew together for years? Of course. I know it’d make Demetri’s life a lot easier. If we’re losing people for the right reasons though, and they’re landing opportunities that help them advance their careers, I’m going to be happy for their success, and trust that we’ll find others to keep us moving forward. The success of our team helps make what we do more attractive to others because it shows that if you do good consistent work here, you can put yourself in a position to attract attention.
Over the past two months, I have challenged Demetri Ravanos to invest more time talking to people about writing for us. Expanding our Barrett News Media roster is a priority. So too is adding quality people to help us improve Barrett Sports Media. BSM has had just under seven years to earn trust with readers. BNM has had less than two. We’ve put out ads on our website and newsletters, social posts, an ad on Indeed, and we’ve reached out directly to people who we’ve felt may be able to add something interesting to our brand. Most of my time is spent listening to stations and talking with clients, but my eyes are always roaming looking for content, and my mind is always thinking about what we can create next to make an impact.
I don’t judge our brand’s success based on clicks, shares, breaking news before other outlets or showing up in the top three listings on Google. I care more effort accuracy, timeliness, passion, consistency, storytelling, insight, and being fair and non-agenda driven. We’ve found our niche being able to tell stories about broadcasting professionals, relaying news, and offering expert knowledge to serve those involved in the broadcasting industry. If we continue to excel doing those things consistently, I’m confident our audience will reward us by reading and sharing more of our content. It’s why we never stop recruiting to keep things fresh.
Having said that, I am excited today to reveal six new additions to the Barrett Media staff. Peter Schwartz is a name and voice many in New York sports radio circles are familiar with. Peter has spent three decades working with various outlets and I’m thrilled to have him writing weekly feature stories for us. Brady Farkas is a talented host and former programmer who now works for WDEV in Burlington, VT. Karl Schoening is a play by play broadcaster who has worked in San Antonio sports radio and has had the added benefit of learning the industry from his talented father Bill who calls Spurs games. Each of them will produce bi-weekly feature stories for the brand. Jason Ence is in Louisville and has written about sports betting for Twin Spires while also working for ESPN 680. He’ll be writing sports betting content for us on a weekly basis. Jasper Jones will help us by adding news stories on Friday’s. He’s presently in Philadelphia learning the business working for Audacy. Last but not least, veteran author, Brewers writer, and former radio professional Jim Cryns comes on board to help us with features on news media professionals.
These six additions make us stronger, and I’m excited to have them join the team to help us add more quality content to the website. That said, we’re not done yet. Demetri and I are still talking with others and I expect to make a few more additions in the weeks ahead. As I said earlier, we want to improve the news media side of our operation and continue adding people to help us make a bigger dent in the sports media space. Broadcast companies invest in us to help them, and I believe it’s important to invest back.
If you’ve programmed, hosted a top rated show, worked in measurement, led a cluster as a GM, sold advertising, represented talent or have worked in digital and feel you have knowledge to share, reach out. I can’t promise we’ll have room but we’re always willing to listen. I’m not worried about whether or not you’ve written for professional publications. Passion, experience and unique insights matter much more than a resume or journalism degree.
I appreciate everyone who takes time to read our content, like and share it on social, and all involved with this brand who help bring it to life each day. The latest additions of Schwartz, Farkas, Schoening, Ence, Jones and Cryns will make our product better. Now the challenge is finding others to help us continue growing.