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The Valuable Lessons I Learned In 2015

Jason Barrett

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It’s common for each of us to take a few minutes each year to walk down memory lane and reflect on all we experienced during the previous 12 months. We re-live all of our trials and tribulations, and make promises to ourselves for the new year that we’ll soon forget, and hope to simply live long enough to do it all again the following December.

Except this time, I’m actually appreciating the process and taking the time to enjoy everything I endured in 2015. On the surface, it was a year which started with me working inside the halls of a radio station, and ended with me operating a business out of a home office. That normally doesn’t sound like a year full of growth and optimism. But for yours truly, it was everything I could’ve hoped for and it gives me great confidence that 2016 will be even better.

We all reach a point in our lives when we have to face a difficult situation and make a tough choice. Although I’ve had more than my fair share of them over the years, none were as challenging, stressful, important and satisfying as the one I made in 2015.

jbdaLast Christmas, I went home to New York to spend the holiday’s with my family. My contract in San Francisco was expiring in June 2015 and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to stay. Being separated from my son by 3,000 miles was emotionally exhausting, and after nine years of flying back and forth every other weekend, I finally had enough.

There were also some personal things developing in his life that I knew needed to be addressed and I couldn’t tackle those issues if I wasn’t nearby. I talked with my son and parents and listened to their feedback and then flew back to San Francisco to have the same conversation with my girlfriend. She knew I was mentally ready to return to New York, even if it meant a major change professionally.

When I first moved to San Francisco, I poured every bit of my heart and soul into building 95.7 The Game. There were many twists and turns and unexpected changes, but in the end we built a product that grew from 24th to 3rd in less than 4 years. That’s something I’m forever proud of and it can never be taken away from me or the crew that helped create it.

As I reflected on the previous four years, I felt like I had accomplished the goals I set for myself when I accepted the job. I had built a quality brand and earned the respect of my staff and executives inside the company and now it was time for the station to receive a new message and hopefully ascend to an even higher level. That challenge now belongs to Don Kollins and I know he’s excited about it.

parcellsOne of my biggest coaching influences is Bill Parcells. If you look at his resume, most of his stints were between 3-5 years. He’d join an organization, build them up, lead them to success, and then move on. The Giants were the only organization where he had a lengthy stay. While Bill Cowher, Bill Belichick, and Tony Dungy preferred working in one location, Parcells gravitated towards change and new challenges.

That’s sort of the way I am. I’m not the type of person who’s going to spend 15-20 years in the same spot. At times, I wish I was. There’s great value in consistency and knowing what to expect but what can I say, I enjoy new challenges and learning from different people.

It’s crazy how certain periods of your career end up resurfacing at later points. I remember having a conversation with Steak Shapiro in St. Louis in 2007 when he co-owned Big League Broadcasting with Andrew Saltzman. Steak was upset with me because he learned that I was talking with another company about a possible Programming opportunity when KFNS was going through some turmoil.

lbSteak asked me “Do you want to be known as the Larry Brown of our business“? I answered “If that means winning an NBA Title in Detroit, going to the Finals in Philadelphia, leading teams in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Indiana, Denver and New Jersey to the playoffs, and winning a National Title in Kansas, then yes I’d love to be Larry Brown.

He wanted to be pissed at me but he knew the response was pretty good and accurate and couldn’t help but laugh. He then reminded me that I better stay put! Which I did a while longer before we eventually went our separate ways.

When I returned to my office in San Francisco last year after the Christmas break, I had made up my mind and knew I had to alert the company. Hiring a Program Director takes time and I cared for the staff and wanted them to be in good hands. I made the choice to share the news with my bosses and they were gracious in the way they handled everything. I was asked to reconsider and take some time to make sure it’s what I truly wanted to do but I knew in my heart it was time to go home and be where my son needed me most.

Many of us in this industry bury ourselves in our work because it’s a highly competitive field. If you take your eye off the ball for a split second, someone else is right behind you ready to run you over. For nine years that approach helped me succeed, but what many of my colleagues didn’t see were the times that I had to share an upstairs bedroom at my parents house just to have a weekend with my son.

JBAIRPORTThey didn’t realize that every other Thursday I’d spend 13-14 hours at work, take a 30 minute ride to the airport, wait an hour to board an overnight flight from California to New York which lasts more than 5 hours, follow it up by renting a car in New York and driving 2 hours north to my family’s home, possibly grabbing a quick 3 hour nap before driving over to pick my son up from school and spending 2 days with him before doing the same travel routine again on Sunday.

They also didn’t see the pain and tears in his eyes when I had to get back into a rental vehicle and drive away, or the numerous texts and phone calls begging me to come home. I loved every bit of the ride professionally but personally it was a struggle. Although I sacrificed more than most people would to stay involved in his life, it still wasn’t fair to a boy who had grown up wanting his Dad to be around every day and could care less about what he did for a living.

I contemplated whether or not I could see myself in San Francisco for 3-4 more years and the answer was an unequivocal no. When you do this job and oversee a company, you can’t do it on a year to year basis. You’re either all-in or all-out. There is no in between.

IMG_2426At this point, my son was thirteen, not four, which was how old he was when this travel schedule began. I wasn’t going to miss his teenage years and development into becoming a man. I couldn’t picture myself not being there when he drove a car for the first time or started his first job. Those things mattered more to me than anything I might accomplish inside a radio station.

When it was time to deal with my pending departure, we collaborated as a group, and made the decision to alert the staff and radio industry of the news in February. Getting the news out in advance was important for attracting great candidates but it was also mentally taxing on me. You can attempt to do things the way you’ve always done them, but when others know you’re dead man walking, and your future is elsewhere, it’s tough to be as sharp, passionate and emotionally connected as you once were.

Luckily I had enough things to keep me busy and a staff which understood my situation, but during that process I learned that providing a five month notice and announcing it publicly isn’t a great idea. It sounded good at the time and was helpful to the company, but it’s impossible to not have the cloud linger over you each day when you walk through your office. It also leaves people unsettled for a long period of time.

957staffMental challenges aside, I was happy and at peace with my decision, more so than I even thought I’d be. It’s easy to second guess yourself when you’re running a great sports radio station in Market #4, in a gorgeous city like San Francisco, working with quality people, for a company like Entercom who believe and invest in the format and treat you extremely well.

Combine that with the fact that I was moving to New York where fewer sports radio programming opportunities exist, and a possible career change or trip to the unemployment line seemed certain. Despite all of that, I had no regrets and was eager to face the unknown.

May 29th then arrived and the long wait was officially over. I said my goodbyes at the radio station, and went to my last Oakland Athletics game where I proudly wore my New York Yankees cap and jersey and didn’t have a care in the world if anyone was bothered by it. My girlfriend Stephanie and I then packed up our home that weekend, and set out on a cross country road trip to get to New York.

A word of advice, if you ever get the opportunity to make a coast to coast drive at any point in your life, do it! It’s well worth it. We traveled from San Francisco to Reno, Nevada to Salt Lake City, Utah to Denver, Colorado to Keystone, South Dakota (drove out of the way to see Mount Rushmore) to Omaha, Nebraska to St. Louis, Missouri to Cleveland, Ohio to Niagra Falls, New York to home! It was a memorable trip which allowed me to unwind, have fun, and forget about what was in my rear view mirror.

Once we arrived home in New York, everything began to come together.

xmaseveMy son was elated to have me home and our bond has grown stronger since I returned. He now lives with me and is happy and healthy and I couldn’t be more happy than I am when we spend time together. That trumps every professional success I’ve had. We found a great place to live and decided after years of discussion to finally get a dog. Our English Bulldog “Trump” is awesome and the joy he’s brought to our lives has been greater than we ever anticipated.

After we got settled, I made a professional decision in August to start a new chapter for my career and explore a side of the industry I had been curious of but never had the nerve to pursue – consulting. I entered into it expecting it to be bumpy for a while and I had to remind myself to stay focused on the big picture, not the immediate returns. That’s easier said than done when you’re as competitive as I am and industry friends are constantly calling to find out when you’re going to return to work.

As I entered this space, I wanted to create a platform to showcase the format strongly. I was committed to writing, networking, and utilizing social media to promote great stories and I believed that if I executed well, new doors would open. Sure enough they have and that part has been exciting.

BSM_TwitterI’ve started forming new relationships and friendships but my friend and fellow consultant Rick Scott wasn’t kidding when he said this wouldn’t be easy. His support and wisdom helped me in my decision to head down this path, and my passion and stubbornness to succeed at it will serve me well entering 2016. I have a long ways to go but I’m committed to further building my brand and proving that my involvement pays dividends for those I do business with.

If there’s one part of the past year’s journey that has surprised me, it’s the way this website has grown and become a bigger priority. It began in June 2014 as a labor of love but I wasn’t producing content on a daily basis. Earlier in my career I wrote a lot but when you’re managing people and programming radio stations, it’s difficult to find time to put your words on a screen and showcase your creativity. This website grew organically and allowed me to reconnect with my creative side which has been personally and professionally rewarding.

In the past year alone, I’ve received compliments about the website from numerous industry people and when exceptional writers like Bernie Miklasz, Richard Deitsch, Ric Bucher and Jay Marriotti reach out and speak favorably about my writing, I’m blown away. Not only are they incredible at painting pictures with words, but they’ve also written for some of the most recognized and successful newspapers and publications in the world. If I can be 10% the writer that any of them are, that would be a huge victory.

Taking attendance inside a building may no longer be part of my routine, but my desire for radio has never been stronger. Because I have the opportunity to listen to shows all across the country and study trends and connect with people throughout the industry, I find myself more informed which helps when I’m creating content, talking with stations, and sharing my opinion.

armynavy2Two things I’m appreciative of are that some of the work on this website has mattered enough to people in the industry that they’ve taken the time to share it with their peers. A few weeks ago I traveled to Philadelphia for the Army-Navy experience and to hear the first thing out of people’s mouth’s be some form of praise for this website and the way it has helped them was very uplifting.

I never imagined that my words would have an impact on people, so when I see someone retweet a column, send me a Facebook or Twitter message, or shoot me a text or email to share how a piece connected with them, it’s very gratifying. Many of the columns I create take hours to complete because I want to be thorough and present good information. I’m also my toughest critic. I don’t concern myself with the word count of a column or how many pieces per day I create, only the quality.

The other part which I’m proud of is that I’ve operated this website as a one-man band. There are no ghost writers, interns, or account executives selling advertising for it, just me. Managing this site while trying to build a business and enjoy my family can be tough at times but I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s inspired me in ways I never expected it to.

zach7The growth in popularity though wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of many others.

First, I was fortunate to team up with Zach McCrite who has produced an excellent weekly podcast. If you haven’t listened to an episode yet, make a New Year’s resolution right now to change that in 2016.

Secondly, my friend and former colleague Andy Drake helped me design a great logo and cleaned up some of the bugs that were limiting the website’s potential. And last but not least, I’ve had the privilege of connecting with numerous industry folks who have written some thought provoking opinion pieces for the site which have helped them raise their own profiles while providing a perspective that’s been beneficial to others.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the numerous programmers, talent, market managers, executives, and owners who have helped me gain the right information so I could showcase the format’s brands and personalities in a fair and objective manner.

I don’t fancy myself as a media critic because I know how hard it is to build a successful brand, connect with an audience, and create an amazing show for 3-4 hours per day. I also understand how ratings and negotiations work. While my opinions may differ on occasion from a few of my peers, the intent on my end is to provide quality information and an informed opinion, not embarrass or trash any individual or company.

As fortunate as I’ve been to enjoy some early returns on this new endeavor, I’ve equally learned that there are a few misconceptions about the role of a consultant.

schefter2Believe it or not, I’m not looking to become the Adam Schefter of the sports radio world. Yes I have connections and relationships which help me gain access to critical information. I’m proud of that, enjoy it, and it’s one of the perks from spending two decades in this industry.

That said, I often sit on stories because I’m not interested in hurting someone’s livelihood or damaging a brand. No story and increase in web traffic is worth violating trust. Some may not like that I operate that way, and that’s fine, but I’m going to work the way that I feel most comfortable. If all that mattered was being first to report a story on this format, I’d have no problem doing well in that setting.

Next, I’m a consultant and talent resource, not an agent. I don’t negotiate talent contracts and I’m not going to lead your job search. If I know of things going on and believe there could be a fit, I’ll reach out and mention it. I’m not going to evaluate your past ten airchecks and give you weekly updates or tell every Programmer why you’re the next big thing. I’ll have dialogue with you, provide an honest assessment and pass along updates when I hear of things that may make sense for your career, but I have many masters to serve and can’t focus solely on the needs of an individual talent. If you do great work, and network with the right people, they’ll seek you out when the time is right.

Finally, contrary to what you may believe, a skilled consultant is not expensive. Many operators assume that bringing in an added resource is going to hurt their budget and that’s not accurate. Of course we don’t work for free but if your brand can gain larger success across multiple platforms and your people can improve from an investment in their development, isn’t that worth it?

If I can offer one piece of advice to industry folks as we enter 2016, make a resolution to network more with programmers and executives. If the only time they hear from you is when they have a job opening, they’re going to have little chance to learn anything about you beyond a resume and demo. There’s no excuse for not connecting when most people are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin. Get to know people, interact with them socially as you would with your friends, and when that connection is built and future needs arise, they’ll touch base if you fit the bill.

sixpAs far as improvements are concerned, we’ve got to do a much better job of telling our format’s story. I never realized how protective and nervous many in our industry get when discussing their performance. It was instilled in me years ago to be in control of my own message and to not be afraid to promote the truth when it benefitted those around me. I’ve tried sharing that advice with those I talk to. Some may view it as shameless self-promotion, others may feel it’s breaking some secret code of silence, but from where I sit, if you have a powerful story to share, then why wouldn’t you tell it?

One of radio’s biggest problems is the negativity it receives from outside media outlets. The damage that has been done to the industry’s image has led to stocks plummeting and millions of dollars being lost. We can blame everyone else for not reporting our successes, but if we don’t do our part to address misleading facts and highlight the people who make a huge impact in the lives of the audience each day, then we’re equally to blame.

Maybe I’m naive, but I’d rather sit in front of an advertiser or CEO and answer questions about my work based on the information they’ve read, rather than have to educate them on who I am, what I’ve done, and why I’m worth investing in. You can have the highest rated show, station, or the most innovative idea in the format’s history, but if nobody knows it beyond your own walls, then don’t be surprised when you don’t receive the credit you rightfully deserve.

To those who have shared information and opinions, and been willing to do their part to help increase the awareness of our format, I’d like to say thank you! This website only works if people contribute and take the time to read and learn from it. It’s been great learning from all of you and I hope you’ve gained some insight from me as well.

JB at WTBQWorking inside a radio station has been a huge part of my life for the past 20 years but in 2015 I discovered a new way to help the business I love. I now get to work with different stations, companies, and people, while creating content on my own platform, and with social media a huge influence and big part of our lives, it’s made it very easy to promote so others can gain from it.

One year ago I made a decision for my own personal benefit, and by doing so, it put me in position one year later to do something for the professional benefit of others. It may sound corny but that’s pretty cool to me. But still not as cool as waking up each morning and seeing my son’s face before he heads off to school.

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

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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 BSMSummit.com 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 JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com 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 BSMsummit.com.

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

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Barrett News Media To Gather The Industry in Nashville in September 2023

“I’ve been lucky enough to play a key role in bringing the sports media industry together on an annual basis, and in 2023 we’re going to attempt to do the same for news/talk media professionals.”

Jason Barrett

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One of the best parts about working in the media business is that you’re afforded an opportunity to use your creativity, take risks, and learn if an audience or advertisers will support your ideas. Sometimes you hit a homerun, other times you strike out, but regardless of the outcome, you keep on swinging.

I’ve tried to do that since launching a digital publishing and radio consulting company in 2015. Fortunately, we’ve delivered more hits than misses.

When I added news media industry coverage to our brand in September 2020, I knew it’d be a huge undertaking. The news/talk format is two and a half times larger than sports, many of its brands are powered by national shows, and the content itself is more personal and divisive. I wanted our focus and attention on news media stories, not politics and news, and though there have been times when the lines got blurred, we’ve tried to be consistent in serving industry professionals relevant content .

What made the move into news media more challenging was that I’d spent less time in it. That meant it’d take longer to find the right writers, and it required putting more time into building relationships, trust, respect, and support. Though we still have more ground to cover, we’ve made nice strides. That was reflected by the participation we received when we rolled out the BNM Top 20 of 2022 the past two weeks. Hopefully you checked out the lists. Demetri Ravanos and I will be hosting a video chat today at 1pm ET on BNM’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and through Barrett Media’s YouTube page discussing the series, as well as this article.

It’s because of that growing support, trust, and confidence in what we’re doing that I’m taking a risk yet again. I’ve been lucky enough to play a key role in bringing the sports media industry together on an annual basis, and in 2023 we’re going to attempt to do the same for news/talk media professionals.

I am excited to share the news that Barrett News Media will host its first ever BNM Summit on Thursday September 14, 2023 in Nashville, TN. Our one-day conference will take place at Vanderbilt University’s Student Life Center Ballroom. The venue we’ve selected is tremendous and I’m eager to spend a day with news/talk professionals to examine ways to further grow the format and industry.

If you’re wondering why we chose Nashville, here’s why.

First, the city itself is awesome. The access to great restaurants, bars, entertainment, hotels, and famous landmarks is unlimited, and when you’re traveling to a city for a business conference, those things matter. Being in a city that’s easy for folks across the country to get to also doesn’t hurt.

Secondly, a conference is harder to pull off if you can’t involve successful on-air people in it. If you look at Nashville’s growth in the talk media space over the past decade, it’s remarkable. Many notable talents now live and broadcast locally, major brands have created a local footprint in the area, and that opens the door to future possibilities. I have no idea who we’ll include in the show, and I haven’t sent out one request yet because I wanted to keep this quiet until we were sure it made sense. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of interest in participating and I can’t promise we’ll be able to accommodate all requests but if you have interest in being involved, send an email to Jason@BarrettNewsMedia.com.

Third, finding the right venue is always difficult. We looked at a bunch of great venues in Nashville during our vacation this past summer, and when we stepped on to the campus at Vanderbilt University and walked through the SLC Ballroom, we knew it was the right fit. It had the space we needed, the right tech support, access to private parking, a green room for guests, and it was within walking distance of a few hotels, restaurants, and the Parthenon.

As I went through the process of deciding if this event was right for BNM, a few folks I trust mentioned that by creating a Summit for news/media folks, it could create a competitive situation. I don’t see it that way. I view it as a responsibility. I think we need more people coming together to grow the industry rather than trying to tear each other down. I hear this far too often in radio. We worry about what one station is doing rather than strengthening our own brand and preparing to compete with all audio options.

For years I’ve attended conferences hosted by Radio Ink, NAB, Talkers, and Conclave. I’ve even spoken at a few and welcomed folks who operate in the consulting space to speak at my shows. I’ll continue to support those events, read various trade sites, and invite speakers who work in a similar field because they’re good people who care about helping the industry. I believe BNM and BSM add value to the media business through its websites and conferences, and though there may be a detractor or two, I’ll focus on why we’re doing this and who it’s for, and let the chips fall where they may.

I know juggling two conferences in one year is likely going to make me crazy at times, but I welcome the challenge. In the months ahead I’ll start lining up speakers, sponsors, building the conference website, and analyzing every detail to make sure we hold up our end of the bargain and deliver an informative and professionally beneficial event. The news/talk media industry is massive and making sure it stays healthy is critically important. I think we can play a small role in helping the business grow, and I look forward to finding out on September 14th in Nashville at Vanderbilt University.

Hope to see you there!

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Jimmy Powers, Raj Sharan, Matt Berger and John Goforth Added to 2023 BSM Summit Lineup

“BSM is having a special Holiday SALE this week. Individual tickets are reduced to $224.99 until Friday night December 23rd at 11:59pm ET.

Jason Barrett

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In less than a hundred days, the BSM Summit will return to Los Angeles for two-days of networking, learning, laughing, and celebrating. The conference hasn’t been held on the west coast since 2019, and we’re looking forward to returning to the city of angels on March 21-22, 2023, and bringing together sports media professionals at the Founders Club, located inside the Galen Center at the University of Southern California.

For those of you who haven’t purchased your ticket(s) yet, BSM is having a special Holiday SALE this week. From today (Monday) through Friday 11:59pm ET, individual tickets are reduced to $224.99. If you’re planning to come, and want to make sure you’re in the room, take advantage of the extra savings and secure your seat. To buy tickets, reserve your hotel room, and learn more about the Summit’s speakers, click here.

We’ve previously announced twenty one (21) participants who will join us on stage at the 2023 BSM Summit. Today, we’re excited to expand our lineup by welcoming four (4) more additions to March’s industry spectacular.

First, BSM is thrilled to have two accomplished sports radio programmers contributing to the event. Jimmy Powers of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit will make his Summit debut in L.A.. Fresh off of a Marconi victory earlier this fall, The Ticket’s brand manager will share his insights on the present and future of sports radio on one of our programming panels. Also taking part in that panel will be the leader of 104.3 The Fan in Denver, Raj Sharan. Raj appeared on stage at the 2022 BSM Summit in NYC, and we look forward to having him return to lend his voice to an important sports radio programming discussion.

But programming won’t be the only thing we invest time in out west. Growing a business, more specifically, a digital business will be part of our conference agenda as well.

When it comes to maximizing digital revenue, few brands understand the space better than Barstool Sports. Charged with growing the brand’s revenue is Senior Vice President and Head of Sales Matt Berger, and we’re looking forward to having Matt join us for a conversation that will focus on monetizing digital opportunities. Before joining Barstool, Matt sold for Bleacher Report/House of Highlights. He’s also worked for Warner Brothers and the Walt Disney Company. We’re excited to have him share his wisdom with the room.

Also taking part in our digital sales panel will be John Goforth of Magellan AI. John knows the radio business well from having served previously as a sales manager and salesperson. Since leaving traditional media and joining Magellan AI, John has studied the podcasting advertising space and learned who the top spenders are, who’s making big moves with their podcast advertising budgets, and which publishers are best positioned to benefit. Having his expertise on stage will help many in the room with trying to better understand the digital sales space.

There are other speaker announcements still to come. We have some big things planned, which I’m hoping to reveal in January and February. I want to thank ESPN Radio, FOX Sports, Showtime, and Point to Point Marketing for coming on board as partners of the 2023 BSM Summit. The support we’ve received heading into Los Angeles has been tremendous, and we greatly appreciate it. If you’re looking to be associated with the Summit as an event partner, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

That’s all for now, but be sure to take advantage of the Summit Holiday Sale. You have until Friday night December 23rd at 11:59pm ET to take advantage of discounted tickets. Happy Holidays!

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