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A Millennial’s Open Letter To The Radio Industry

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For the past twenty to thirty years, sports radio has been led by many of the same personalities. And for good reason. They’ve built powerful brands all across the country, delivering big ratings and large revenues.

But soon the sports format is going to undergo changes and be tested to provide personalities that can lead us through the next twenty to thirty years. I’m often asked is “Who’s the next Mike Francesa? Where are tomorrow’s superstars? Will Millennials want to work in sports radio in 5 years?”

oneThe reason those questions can’t be answered are because it varies from market to market and programmer to programmer. Some believe it’s their responsibility to invest in the future and plan ahead, others are worried about winning today’s ratings battle and protecting their own position.

What gets lost in the shuffle is how disconnected from the future we are. There’s a limited focus placed on finding, developing, and promoting young talent. Maybe that’s not a grave concern at the moment, but when the format’s best personalities ride off into the sunset, and the day arrives when technology giants start exploring a move into the sports audio space, then what will radio do?

Radio may be well positioned as the in-car companion, and its transition to digital has drastically improved, but if exclusive sports content is offered on platforms like Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter, etc. it’ll create a big challenge for the radio industry. In the current economic climate, these companies have more money, a larger reach, stronger stockholder support, and the full attention of the advertiser community.

socialI raise this point because younger people today are growing up interested in consuming content and working for platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. The idea of working for a local newspaper or radio company is foreign to them. When I was young, options were limited, and the thought of being a radio personality or featured sports columnist seemed like the best job in the world. But today, media groups are launching everywhere on a daily basis, and as interest in the content increases in social and digital circles, so will the amount of career interest from younger candidates.

This is why radio can’t fall asleep at the wheel and needs to be committed to discovering new talent and making the industry cool and fun to younger people. Just the other day I was driving with my son, and when I turned on the radio, he said “Dad, do we have to listen to the radio?” I reminded him that this was my business, and one that he’s grown up around, and he said “I’m sorry Dad but my phone sounds better, doesn’t play all of those commercials, and more people interact on social media. Radio feels old to me.”

My son turns 14 this weekend so he’s not in the demo that sports radio courts to showcase its success, but if that view of radio continues over the next 10 years, it’s going to be harder to get people to listen, and even more difficult to lure them to work in the industry, especially when it pays considerably less.

That got me to thinking, what does a current radio professional who’s part of the millennial class think of the industry today? Is it fun? Is it a business that they see long-term growth and stability in? How do they feel about the coaching that’s provided and opportunities to develop?

craighoffman2Fortunately, Craig Hoffman was willing to share his point of view and I think it’s not only riveting, but it’s important for programmers, market managers, and corporate executives to pay attention to it. We can dismiss the way the youth perceive the industry and continue telling ourselves everything will stand the test of time like it always has, but eventually, the world does catch up. If we don’t make a more concerted effort on our part to bring young people to the party, it’ll only be a matter of time until the music stops playing and the lights go out.

Rather than take my word for it, here’s Craig’s column to give you something to think about.

A Millennial’s Open Letter To The Radio Industry by Craig Hoffman

The sports radio industry is in a very interesting place. It’s volatile. It’s rapidly changing. It’s very future seems up in the air.

At least that’s the way I see it.

craighoffmanMy name is Craig Hoffman, and I’m a 26 year-old free agent after I was laid off in Washington, DC. Before that, I spent nearly two and a half years in Dallas.

Despite my youth, I’ve seen a lot in my career.

I’ve had my station bought out, costing me a boss that believed in me, coached me and made me better, not to mention many qualified co-workers that created a quality operation. I’ve seen superiors stretched just as thin as those of us in the studio, as they too have been given more responsibility while the hours in a day and their wages stay the same. I’ve been told “we’d love to hire you, but we just don’t have the money” more times than I can count.

That’s obviously left me with some worries about where we are and where we’re going as an industry, so when Jason asked for people to write guest columns I jumped at the opportunity to write about those things from my point of view. I’m a millennial. I’ve been in top 10 markets. It’s an odd juxtaposition that gives me a different view than so many in our business, and certainly those running it.

I want to stress that I would have wanted to write this piece whether I had a job or not. I’m looking to make you think, and maybe get some responses that quell my concerns. I certainly know I don’t have all the answers. I probably have barely any of them, but I’m hoping some of you do.

I love sports media. I’ve studied the industry since I was 18 years old and decided to get into it. I want us, as an industry, to succeed. I want us to put out a product we’re proud of. I want that product to make us money.

microwaveHowever chief amongst my fears about both our present and our future is that we’re trying to shortcut too many things. I know that’s ironic coming from a member of the instant gratification, “microwave generation.”

Microwaves are great. They’re efficient. They have a purpose. That purpose is not to create anything worth eating from scratch. Shouldn’t our business be something prepared and served with care, not instant eggs?

If we want the very best quality, we need the best ingredients and to use them properly, to treat them well.

Jason wrote earlier this week about coaching, and I agree with many of the points he made. The de-emphasis of coaching is something that terrifies me as a young talent. I’ve gotten a lot of coaching from some of the best and brightest in our industry, but nearly all of it I’ve had to seek out. As programmers are asked to do more, talent development seems to be the one thing that gets pushed to the side.

qualityIt’s not just the quantity of coaching that’s important though; it’s the quality. How we communicate evolves and changes generationally. Societally, there are certain words that we just don’t say anymore because we’ve realized that they’re harmful and hurtful to people. Some people push back and say that’s PC and represents the wussification of America. If you’re ready to puff out your chest as one of those people, why?

The first step to effective communication doesn’t change by generation. That is to realize that the correspondence is about the receiver, not the sender. It might be the sender’s message, but if the person or people receiving it don’t perceive it in the way the sender intended, the communication has failed. In radio terms, the message has to be tailored to the audience.

crucialThe goal in all communication is mutual understanding. I can’t recommend the book “Crucial Conversations: Talking When the Stakes Are High” enough, which discusses this in great detail.

Mutual understanding doesn’t allow for the messenger to dictate the terms because the goal is mutual. So if you’re a programmer reading this and you’re “old school,” my generation probably thinks you’re an asshole, and you probably don’t care. You should.

I’m inclined work harder for a boss that I respect than a boss that I fear could lash out at me for a mistake. The only time fear effectively enters the equation is fear of letting that person I respect down. Learning how to work for any boss is part of being a professional. In the end, we all have jobs to do. However, if all you care about is me doing the job, then communicating in a beneficial way should interest you too, whether that’s in the form of coaching or day-to-day communication.

Is that the wussification of America? Some might say yes, but if you are let me ask you a question. Do you like being told you’re good at something? Or, if you’re not, being told that you’ve got potential? I’m pretty sure the answers yes. Who doesn’t?!

worthlessBeing told you’re worthless, or, to not be as extreme, merely a pawn in the chess game might harbor resentment that results in a short term positive in the form of motivation. It’s also going to result in an “eff you” attitude that will prove you wrong and then leave you to be successful elsewhere. That isn’t generational. That’s human.

Part of this equation of effectiveness is also financial. When you hold an anchor position in a top 10 market and make the equivalent of what a board op in market 84 does, that can be frustrating. On one hand you’re grateful to hold a position and earn a living doing what you love, but on the other hand, you have bills to pay and a higher cost of living to contend with. When I arrived in DC and told people what my best year of income had been up to that point, they were appalled. Do you realize how hard it is to appall a radio person when it comes to salary? We’re all making less than we should be.

I may have been young, but my company determined I could do the job with the evidence being that they hired me. Should a company get to give the young guy the job and pay him an amount that someone his age “should” be earning?

sdOf course, because that’s how a free market economy works! It’s supply and demand and it’s exactly why, even though I was living paycheck to paycheck I never considered quitting. I decided it was worth it to make that sacrifice. However supply and demand when it comes to human resources completely ignores quality.

There may be an endless supply of people who want to be in this business, but that doesn’t mean they’re all capable of doing the job, especially at the highest levels.

There are so many people who want to talk about sports for a living for the obvious reason that it’s a pretty sweet gig. If I weren’t willing to do that job, someone else would have snatched it up in an instant.

It was my choice to determine that the job was far more important than the wage, just like it was the company’s job to determine that the risk of me going elsewhere was not worth paying me more. That’s part of growing up in any industry.

nomoneyHowever, what makes me nervous is seeing so many talented friends drop out of the industry because at some point reality kicks in and you have to pay your bills. People also would like to have some semblance of a social life in their 20’s and by the back half of them, many are ready to get married and family becomes a consideration.

As the industry continues to shrink, this problem is only going to get worse. As syndication and automation continue to expand, there are fewer and fewer jobs, specifically on the entry level.

Overnights are no longer a training ground because they don’t exist. Now the best places to get reps are in bigger cities because they might actually run an operation that isn’t completely skin and bones, but even those shops are dwindling their numbers.

There’s nothing wrong with sacrifice early in your career. In fact, it should be expected. You give up something (the wage to live the life you want) to get something (the invaluable experience you need to get the job that will provide you that life).

My concern is that we’re asking people to sacrifice to the point of committing industrial suicide. 

pushMy concern is that in ten years we’ll have pushed so many people away and not developed our people enough that our quality will have dipped to a point that no one will want to consume it. Even if we take all the romance of the job and acknowledge the goal is to maximize profit, we’re going the wrong way.

So many companies are bleeding money, yet they all follow the same path. They cut. How many has it worked for?

Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing and expecting a different result?

Maybe I am just a young, dumb millennial. Actually, in this case, that’d be great!

Maybe our industry is in a much, much better place than it seems. I certainly haven’t been privy to the books. However, I have first hand experience with the consequences.

Maybe I’m just a kid with a warped sense of reality because of a somewhat unbelievable string of bad luck, but there seems to be more and more evidence every where I turn.

So why stick with it? Why, if all this stuff is so awful, do I want to go through another job-hunt and dive right back in as soon as I can?

solutionsBecause I believe we can do better. We do this thing in sports where if we don’t have a perfect solution, we’d rather just not deal with the problem.  “Why do we have instant replay if we can’t even get it right?!” That’s not the right question. The right question is “why can’t we get it right?”

There are so many smart people in key places that are capable of getting it right, and there are reinforcements with new ideas and new ways of thinking on the way.

In sports talk, we’re lucky to be in a format that can’t be 100% replaced by syndication and automation. Our product requires humans. We are our most valuable resources. I hope that in the very near future we return to treating them as such.

 

 

 

 

To connect with Craig Hoffman on Twitter, click here. You can also read his blog by clicking here.

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Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?

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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.

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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.”

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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.

Additional:

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.

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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.”

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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.

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