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Replacing Iconic Shows Is a Very Tall Order

“Replacing Francesa is a tall order. He’s arguably the most successful sports radio host to ever work in New York City.”

Jason Barrett

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Photo Credit: Anthony Behar of AP Images

It happens in sports all the time. Legendary players treat us to decades of success and heartwarming moments before reaching the end of the line and paving the way for the next crop of superstars. Sometimes teams move on without missing a beat. Other times they go into a funk for a sustained period of time. It’s what separates good and bad organizations.

To prepare for those situations, teams dedicate time and resources to identifying future stars. No matter how much preparation is done though, until the moment arrives and a new talent is on the field, court or rink, you won’t know how mentally tough they are or how effective they’ll be until they face the music.

As a lifelong Yankees fan I was recently reminded of how important planning for the present and the future can be. When Derek Jeter retired, Didi Gregorious stepped in. As Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira moved on, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez became the new faces of the franchise. Coincidentally, the Yankees surpassed expectations and were one game away this season from playing for the World Series. That was a testament to exceptional scouting, talent development, managing and a roster coming together and developing great chemistry.

In radio, the same challenges occur but when they do, it can be difficult for programmers and corporate executives to roll the dice on the unknown. Too often we gravitate towards established commodities because of the instant pressure of sustaining ratings and revenue. Rather than bet on the better long-term play, we’ll flock to someone who can ease the immediate pain. It doesn’t matter if the wound gets reopened next year, if we can put a band aid on the cut, that spares us from having to go to the doctor and deal with potential surgery.

Think about it for a minute as it relates to sports. Two years ago, some Yankees fans would’ve dealt Aaron Judge to land a pitcher who could’ve helped the team contend faster. Can you imagine how badly the franchise would’ve been setback if Judge had been traded for someone like Johnny Cueto? At the time it would’ve sounded good considering that Cueto was an ace and Judge was in Triple A and nowhere near the home run machine we now know him to be. The organization might have won a few more games that season, but had they taken that approach, they would have spent the next 10 years paying dearly for it.

We’re at a point in time where some of the best in the sports media industry are starting to fade away. Over the past few years, play by play legends like Vin Scully, Brent Musburger and Verne Lundquist have moved on. Familiar faces on sports television like Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, John Saunders, Ron Jaworski, Ed Werder, John Clayton, Stuart Scott and Craig Sager have left our screens. In sports radio, local stars such as Terry Boers, John Dennis and Terry Foster have all exited stage left.

Before you know it, Al Michaels, Bob Ley, Dick Vitale, Lee Corso and Bob Costas will vanish. So too will be Angelo Cataldi, Joe Beningo, Norm Hitzges and Gary Radnich. All of these broadcasters have been extremely successful. Some may even stick around longer than expected, but father time remains undefeated and eventually even the best step aside at some point. When they do, that’s when you learn a lot about a brand and its programming team.

In thinking about some of these situations over the past few years, I’ve seen a number of them turn out positively. When CBS moved on from Phil Simms, Tony Romo took the ball and ran with it. After John Madden left Sunday Night Football, Chris Collinsworth moved in and delivered an immediate impact. In fact, NBC has already prepared itself well for Al Michaels’ exit with the addition of Mike Tirico. ESPN also did a fantastic job years ago elevating Buster Olney and Adam Schefter to their top MLB and NFL insider roles continuing the great work done previously by Peter Gammons and Chris Mortensen.

A few others I’d add to the list were FOX Sports’ choice to install John Smoltz opposite Joe Buck on MLB playoffs/World Series broadcasts after previously using Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, and David Ortiz taking over for Pete Rose on FS1’s postseason baseball pre and postgame coverage. Although Skip Bayless created more buzz and made more headlines with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take, you can also add Max Kellerman to this list since he’s played his role well on the show and helped continue the program’s success.

On the radio side, despite losing established stars like Terry Boers in Chicago and John Dennis in Boston, 670 The Score and WEEI in Boston continued to excel. Each station developed future solutions in advance, so when Boers and Dennis left, Jason Goff and Kirk Minihane were ready to take on bigger roles. Both men were familiar to the local audience, and adequately tested before being trusted in bigger positions.

The flipside of this situation has been the reception to the changed strategy of the 6pm SportsCenter on ESPN and Sam Ponder’s ascension to host of Sunday NFL Countdown. Maybe in time fans will come around to both shows but so far the immediate reaction hasn’t been strong. We’ve also seen the Reynolds and Verducci combo fail to deliver for FOX Sports the way Tim McCarver did previously, and CBS Sports’ NCAA Tournament coverage hasn’t created the same level of noise and intrigue as it did when Billy Packer was involved.

I’ve gone down this road because in the next thirty days, both ESPN and WFAN will go thru the biggest adjustments to their brands in quite some time. Both Mike Francesa and Mike and Mike will end their shows, leaving both companies under the microscope. Francesa vacates The Fan after thirty years, twenty eight of which have included hosting afternoon drive. The Mikes sign off after waking up listeners all across the nation on America’s largest sports radio network for the past seventeen years.

In ESPN’s case, Golic will stick around and be joined by longtime football host Trey Wingo. The two men have chemistry from working together on NFL Live and although some may deem the choice as safe or predictable, ESPN isn’t under the same ratings pressure with their radio show the way local stations are. Network officials say Wingo and Golic will be given a chance to ease into the show, find their groove and provide stability. They also take pride in the fact that despite breaking up a highly visible and popular morning show, they’ve only lost one top 20 market affiliate, and it was on a station which was already planning to go local in morning drive.

For WFAN this is a much different conversation. Replacing Francesa is a tall order. He’s arguably the most successful sports radio host to ever work in New York City. For each media member who gripes about his show being outdated, the New York sports radio host’s ratings and revenue have remained strong for nearly three decades. That’s a feat that few can lay claim to.

Making the story even more interesting, is that WFAN will go in an entirely new direction with Francesa’s replacement. According to the New York Daily News, Chris Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray have been selected as the station’s new afternoon show, instantly making them the most scrutinized local program in the entire nation.

The new show will be a complete departure from Francesa’s style. Scott and Gray add an African American (plus former player’s point of view) and female perspective, and the station will feature three hosts in afternoons opposite Michael Kay’s program on 98.7 ESPN NY which also features a three member cast. Adding to the curiosity are the list of names who were reportedly contacted by WFAN and offered the job yet turned it down. Adam Schein, Max Kellerman, Chris Simms and Kim Jones all declined, and Chris Christie, Mike Valenti, and Evan Roberts were given drive time auditions. Prior to re-signing with SiriusXM, Chris Russo had expressed interest in being considered, and former WFAN personality Sid Rosenberg was interested but his contract with WABC prevented that from becoming a possibility.

In Carlin’s case, he returns to the big apple after a solid but short stint in Philadelphia at WIP. When I asked Chris just two months ago if he envisioned pursuing this opportunity and giving up a great gig in Philadelphia, he said he wanted WIP to become his permanent home. To be fair, I’m sure at that time he didn’t expect this job to be offered. Besides, we’re all entitled to change our minds, especially when prime real estate at one’s former station is offered.

After this story broke, I was bombarded with texts, emails and social media messages, most of which felt The Fan had made a grave mistake. From the outside looking in it does feel different, and the odds of it working aren’t as high as the chances of the show being a miss. We’d likely say that though about any show that goes in after Francesa. When you replace a legend, it’s more likely you turn out like David Lee Roth after Howard Stern than Colin Cowherd after Tony Kornheiser.

Having faced these challenges before, Mark Chernoff (WFAN’s programming czar) has shown that when his back is against the wall he usually does his best work. He hit a homerun by rolling the dice on Boomer and Carton after Imus, and when Chris Russo left afternoons, he could’ve installed a new partner with Francesa, especially with the show being over five hours long, but he trusted his workhorse to succeed solo, and that’s exactly what he did.

If Chernoff feels this show can succeed, then he’s earned the benefit of the doubt to try it. If he’s wrong, some will question if Mark still has the magic touch. But considering how many reportedly rejected the opportunity, it does leave a few questions. Is this the move Chernoff really wanted to make? Does he have complete confidence in the show being WFAN’s next big hit? Or is WFAN putting forward its 5th best option and the one they had the best chance at getting a deal done with?

It’s easy to throw darts from the sidelines and blast a radio station for its decision, but unless you’ve walked in those shoes and put your name on a call, supported your choice and dealt with the arrows flying in your direction, you won’t understand how hard it is. These type of moves determine if a station will continue winning or losing and it’s the ultimate test in conviction and measurement of a programmer’s vision and decision making.

Having developed professional relationships over the years with Chris and Mark, and having grown up as a listener to The Fan, I’m rooting for them to succeed. I don’t know if the new afternoon show will excite an audience to tune in daily but it’s their challenge to find a way to do so. We’re in a different world than we were 10-20 years ago and content options are greater than ever before. I applaud The Fan for going outside the box and attempting to freshen up the look and sound of its product. Whether it’s the right call or not can only be determined by the audience. Hopefully additional surgery isn’t necessary in the future.

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media Announces 3 Additions, Social Media Changes

“Luckily, I’ve been able to assemble a stellar group of people, which allows us to earn your attention each day, and I’m happy to reveal that we’re adding to our roster yet again.”

Jason Barrett

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It’s taken years of hard work, adjustments, and a whole lot of trial and error to turn this brand into a trusted source for industry professionals. It’s been exciting and rewarding to tell stories, highlight the industry, and use my decades worth of knowledge and relationships to help the brands I work with make progress. But while I may prioritize the work I do for others, I’ve also got to balance it with making sure BSM and BNM run smoothly.

Each day, Barrett Media produces nearly fifty social posts, one to two newsletters, and twenty to thirty sports and news media stories and columns. I didn’t even mention podcasts, which is another space we recently entered. Making sure we’re delivering quality not quantity is vital, and so too is promoting it consistently and creatively.

Today, we have thirty people on our payroll. I never expected that to be the case, but as needs have increased and deeper bonds have been formed between the brand, our audience, and our clients, it’s allowed us to find new ways to invest in delivering insight, information, and opinion to our readers. Writing, editing, and creating content for a brand like ours isn’t for everyone. I just spent the past three months interviewing nearly forty people, and there’s a lot of quality talent out there. But talent for radio and journalism doesn’t always mean the fit is right for BSM and BNM. Luckily, I’ve been able to assemble a stellar group of people, which allows us to earn your attention each day, and I’m happy to reveal that we’re adding to our roster yet again.

First, please join me in welcoming Garrett Searight to BSM and BNM. Garrett has been hired as our FT Brand Editor, which means he will oversee BSM and BNM’s website’s content M-F during normal business hours. He will work closely with yours truly, our nighttime editors Arky Shea and Eduardo Razo, and our entire writing teams to create content opportunities for both of our brands. Garrett joins us after a decade long stint in Lima, OH where he most recently worked as program director and afternoon host at 93.1 The Fan. He also programmed classic country station 98.5 The Legend. His first day with us is August 1st, but he’ll be training this month to make sure he’s ready to hit the ground running.

Next, I am excited to welcome Alex Reynolds as our Social Media Coordinator. Alex’s creativity and curiosity stood out during our interview process, and we’re excited to have him helping with social content creation and scheduling for BSM and BNM. He’s a graduate of Elon University, a big fan of lacrosse, and he’ll be working with Dylan Barrett to improve our graphic creation, schedule our content, and further develop the social voice for both of our brands.

Speaking of our two brands, though we produce content on the website for both sports and news, how they get promoted on social is changing. When I started this company, the website was known as SportsRadioPD.com. That worked perfectly with my Twitter and Instagram handles, which were also @sportsradiopd. But since we switched our URL to BarrettSportsMedia.com and started ramping up content for both sports and news it’s become clear that we needed dedicated brand pages. It’s harder to expect people to share an individual’s content, and the mix of sports and news often feels off-brand to the two different audiences we serve. It feels even stranger if I’m buying social media ads to market content, a conference, and other things, so it’s time to change things up.

Starting today, you can now follow Barrett Sports Media on Twitter @BSMStaff. You can also follow Barrett News Media on Twitter @BNMStaff. Each brand also has its own Facebook page. Moving forward, we will promote sports media content on our sports accounts, and news media content on our news accounts. We started with that approach for BNM when the brand launched in September 2020, but expecting people to read another site and follow other social accounts was a tall order for a brand that was finding its footing. We made a choice to promote both sports and news under the same social accounts for the past year in order to further grow awareness for the content, and as we stand today, I think many would agree that BNM has made great strides. We’ve built a kick ass team to cover the news media industry, and I’m hoping many of you will take a moment to give BNM’s pages a follow to stay informed.

One thing you will notice is that the @BSMStaff account has replaced the @sportsradiopd account on Twitter. Let’s face it, most people who have followed me on Twitter have done so for BSM or BNM’s content, not for my NY Knicks and pro wrestling rants. I am keeping my @sportsradiopd handle but that is being developed as a brand new personal account. That said, if you enjoy sending DM’s my way, give the new @sportsradiopd account a follow so we can stay in touch. The only account we will use to promote content from both brands under is the Barrett Media account on LinkedIn. Instagram is not a focus right now nor is TikTok or Snapchat. I realize audiences exist everywhere but I’d rather be great at a few things than average at a lot of them.

Now that we’ve tackled the social media changes, let me share another exciting piece of news. I’m thrilled to welcome Jessie Karangu to our brand as a BSM weekly columnist. Jessie has great energy, curiosity, and a genuine love and passion for the media industry. He’s worked for Sinclair television, written for Awful Announcing, and has also hosted podcasts and video shows on YouTube. His knowledge and interest in television is especially strong, and I’m looking forward to featuring his opinions, and perspectives on our website. His debut piece for the site will be released this Wednesday.

With all of this happening, Demetri Ravanos is shifting his focus for the brand to a space he’s passionate about, audio. His new title is BSM’s Director of Audio Content. This means he will be charged with overseeing the editing, execution, and promotion of our various podcasts. He will also work closely with me in developing future Barrett Media shows. We have 3 in weekly rotation now, and will be adding Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves next week, and The Jason Barrett Podcast the week after that. The goal is to increase our audio library in the future provided the right ideas, talent, and interest are there.

Another goal of mine moving forward is to grow our advertising partnerships. Between our website, social media channels, podcasts, and newsletters, we have many ways to help brands connect to an affluent, influential, and loyal industry audience. We’ve enjoyed working with and helping brands over the years such as Point to Point Marketing, Jim Cutler NY, Steve Stone Voiceovers, Core Image Studio, Skyview Networks, Compass Media Networks, ESPN Radio and Harker Bos Group. That doesn’t include all of the great sponsors we’ve teamed up with for our annual BSM Summit (2023’s show will be announced by the end of the summer). I’m excited to add to the list by welcoming Backbone as a new website and newsletter partner. We’re also looking forward to teaming up in the near future with Quu and the Sports Gambling Podcast Network, and hope to work with a few others we’ve had recent dialogue with.

When it comes to marketing, I try to remind folks of our reach, the value we add daily across the industry, and the various ways we can help. I know it’s human nature to stick with what we know but if you work with a brand, I invite you to check into BSM/BNM further. Stephanie Eads is awesome to work with, cares about our partners, and our traffic, social impressions, and most importantly, the quality of our audience is proven. To learn more about what we can do, email Stephanie at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Yes we continue to grow, and I’m happy about that, but just because we’re adding head count doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to be better. It takes every person on a team holding up their end of the bargain, creating killer content, setting expectations, and paying attention to the follow through. We take pride in our work, value the support of our partners, and are extremely thankful for the continued readership of our material. That consistent support is what allows me to add to our team to better serve fans, partners, and industry professionals.

It may seem small, and unimportant but those retweets, comments, and mentions on the air about our content makes a difference. To all who take the time to keep our industry conversations alive, thank you. This is an awesome business with a lot of great brands, people, content, and growth opportunities, and the fact that we get to learn from you, share your stories, and help those reading learn in the process makes waking up to do it an honor.

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media To Launch Podcast Network

“We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July.”

Jason Barrett

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To run a successful digital content and consulting company in 2022 it’s vital to explore new ways to grow business. There are certain paths that produce a higher return on investment than others, but by being active in multiple spaces, a brand has a stronger chance of staying strong and overcoming challenges when the unexpected occurs. Case in point, the pandemic in 2020.

As much as I love programming and consulting stations to assist with growing their over the air and digital impact, I consider myself first a business owner and strategist. Some have even called me an entrepreneur, and that works too. Just don’t call me a consultant because that’s only half of what I do. I’ve spent a lot of my time building relationships, listening to content, and studying brands and markets to help folks grow their business. Included in my education has been studying website content selection, Google and social media analytics, newsletter data, the event business, and the needs of partners and how to best serve them. As the world of media continues to evolve, I consider it my responsibility to stay informed and ready to pivot whenever it’s deemed necessary. That’s how brands and individuals survive and thrive.

If you look at the world of media today compared to just a decade ago, a lot has changed. It’s no secret during that period that podcasting has enjoyed a surge. Whether you review Edison Research, Jacobs Media, Amplifi Media, Spotify or another group’s results, the story is always the same – digital audio is growing and it’s expected to continue doing so. And that isn’t just related to content. It applies to advertising too. Gordon Borrell, IAB and eMarketer all have done the research to show you where future dollars are expected to move. I still believe it’s smart, valuable and effective for advertisers to market their products on a radio station’s airwaves, but digital is a key piece of the brand buy these days, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

Which brings me to today’s announcement.

If you were in New York City in March for our 2022 BSM Summit, you received a program at the show. Inside of one of the pages was a small ad (same image used atop this article) which said “Coming This Summer…The BSM Podcast Network…Stay Tuned For Details.” I had a few people ask ‘when is that happening, and what shows are you planning to create?’ and I kept the answers vague because I didn’t want to box ourselves in. I’ve spent a few months talking to people about joining us to help continue producing quality written content and improve our social media. Included in that process has been talking to members of our team and others on the outside about future opportunities creating podcasts for the Barrett Sports Media brand.

After examining the pluses and minuses, and listening and talking to a number of people, I’m excited to share that we are launching the BSM Podcast Network. We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July. Demetri Ravanos will provide oversight of content execution, and assist with production and guest booking needs for selected pods. This is why we’ve been frequently promoting Editor and Social Media jobs with the brand. It’s hard to pursue new opportunities if you don’t have the right support.

The titles that will make up our initial offerings are each different in terms of content, host and presentation. First, we have Media Noise with Demetri Ravanos, which has produced over 75 episodes over the past year and a half. That show will continue in its current form, being released each Friday. Next will be the arrival of The Sports Talkers Podcast with Stephen Strom which will debut on Thursday June 23rd, the day of the NBA Draft. After that, The Producer’s Podcast with Brady Farkas will premiere on Wednesday June 29th. Then as we move into July, two more titles will be added, starting with a new sales focused podcast Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves. The final title to be added to the rotation will be The Jason Barrett Podcast which yours truly will host. The goal is to have five weekly programs distributed through our website and across all podcasting platforms by mid to late July.

I am excited about the creation of each of these podcasts but this won’t be the last of what we do. We’re already working on additional titles for late summer or early fall to ramp up our production to ten weekly shows. Once a few ideas and discussions get flushed out, I’ll have more news to share with you. I may consider adding even more to the mix too at some point. If you have an idea that you think would resonate with media professionals and aspiring broadcasters, email me by clicking here.

One thing I want to point out, this network will focuses exclusively on various areas of the sports media industry. We’ll leave mainstream sports conversations to the rest of the media universe. That’s not a space I’m interested in pursuing. We’ve focused on a niche since arriving on the scene in 2015 and have no plans to waver from it now.

Additionally, you may have noticed that we now refer to our company as ‘Barrett Media’. That’s because we are now involved in both sports and news media. That said, we are branding this as the BSM Podcast Network because the titles and content are sports media related. Maybe there will be a day when we introduce a BNM version of this, but right now, we’ve got to make sure the first one works right before exploring new territory.

Our commitment to delivering original industry news, features and opinions in print form remains unchanged. This is simply an opportunity to grow in an area where we’ve been less active. I know education for industry folks and those interested in entering the business is important. It’s why young people all across the country absorb mountains of debt to receive a college education. As valuable as those campus experiences might be, it’s a different world once you enter the broadcasting business.

What I’d like to remind folks is that we continue to make investments in the way we cover, consult, and discuss the media industry because others invest in us. It’d be easy to stockpile funds and enjoy a few more vacations but I’m not worried about personal wealth. I’m focused on building a brand that does meaningful work by benefitting those who earn a living in the media industry or are interested in one day doing so. As part of that process I’m trying to connect our audience to partners who provide products, services or programs that can benefit them.

Since starting this brand, we’ve written more than 18,000 articles. We now cover two formats and produce more than twenty five pieces of content per day. The opportunity to play a small role in keeping media members and future broadcasters informed is rewarding but we could not pay people to edit, write, and host podcasts here if others didn’t support us. For that I’m extremely grateful to those who do business with us either as a consulting client, website advertiser, Summit partner or through a monthly or annual membership. The only way to get better is to learn from others, and if our access to information, knowledge, relationships and professional opinions helps others and their brands, then that makes what we do worthwhile.

Thanks as always for the continued support. We appreciate that you read our content each day, and hope to be able to earn some of your listenership in the future too.

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Barrett Blogs

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Pursuing Media Jobs

“Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.”

Jason Barrett

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I recently appeared on a podcast, Monetize Media, to discuss the growth of Barrett Media. The conversation covered a lot of ground on business topics including finding your niche, knowing your audience and serving them the right content in the right locations, the evolution of the BSM Summit, and why consulting is a big part of our mix but can’t be the only thing we do.

Having spent nearly seven years growing this brand, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I just know what’s worked for us, and it starts with vision, hard work, consistency, and a willingness to adapt quickly. There are many areas we can be better in whether it’s social media, editing, SEO, sales, finding news, producing creative original content or adding more staff. Though there’s always work to be done and challenges to overcome, when you’re doing something you love and you’re motivated to wake up each day doing it, that to me is success.

But lately there’s one part of the job that I haven’t enjoyed – the hiring process. Fortunately in going through it, I was able to get to know Arky Shea. He’s a good guy, talented writer, and fan of the industry, and I’m thrilled to share that he’s joining us as BSM’s new night time editor. I’ll have a few other announcements to make later this month, but in the meantime, if you’re qualified to be an editor or social media manager, I’m still going through the process to add those two positions to our brand. You can learn more about both jobs by clicking here.

Working for an independent digital brand like ours is different from working for a corporation. You communicate directly with yours truly, and you work remotely on a personal computer, relying on your eyes, ears and the radio, television, and internet to find content. Because our work appears online, you have to enjoy writing, and understand and have a passion for the media industry, the brands who produce daily content, and the people who bring those brands to life. We receive a lot of interest from folks who see the words ‘sports’ and ‘news’ in our brand names and assume they’re going to cover games or political beats. They quickly discover that that’s not what we do nor are we interested in doing it.

If you follow us on social media, have visited our website or receive our newsletters, you’ve likely seen us promoting openings with the brand. I’ve even bought ads on Indeed, and been lucky enough to have a few industry folks share the posts on social. We’re in a good place and trying to make our product better, so to do that, we need more help. But over the past two months, Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.

Receiving applications from folks who don’t have a firm grasp of what we do is fine. That happens everywhere. Most of the time we weed those out. It’s no different than when a PD gets an application for a top 5 market hosting gig from a retail employee who’s never spoken on a microphone. The likelihood of that person being the right fit for a role without any experience of how to do the job is very slim. What’s been puzzling though is seeing how many folks reach out to express interest in opportunities, only to discover they’re not prepared, not informed or not even interested in the role they’ve applied for.

For instance, one applicant told me on a call ‘I’m not interested in your job but I knew getting you on the phone would be hard, and I figured this would help me introduce myself because I know I’m a great host, and I’d like you to put me on the radar with programmers for future jobs.’ I had another send a cover letter that was addressed to a different company and person, and a few more applied for FT work only to share that they can’t work FT, weren’t interested in the work that was described in the position, didn’t know anything about our brand but needed a gig, were looking for a confidence boost after losing a job or they didn’t have a computer and place to operate.

At first I thought this might be an exclusive issue only we were dealing with. After all, our brand and the work we do is different from what happens inside of a radio or TV station. In some cases, folks may have meant well and intended something differently than what came out. But after talking to a few programmers about some of these things during the past few weeks, I’ve been stunned to hear how many similar horror stories exist. One top programmer told me hiring now is much harder than it was just five years ago.

I was told stories of folks applying for a producer role at a station and declining an offer unless the PD added air time to the position. One person told a hiring manager they couldn’t afford not to hire them because their ratings were tanking. One PD was threatened for not hiring an interested candidate, and another received a resume intended for the competing radio station and boss. I even saw one social example last week of a guy telling a PD to call him because his brand was thin on supporting talent.

Those examples I just shared are bad ideas if you’re looking to work for someone who manages a respected brand. I realize everyone is different, and what clicks with one hiring manager may not with another, but if you have the skills to do a job, I think you’ll put yourself in a better position by avoiding these 5 mistakes below. If you’re looking for other ways to enhance your chances of landing an opportunity, I recommend you click here.

Educate Yourself Before Applying – take some time to read the job description, and make sure it aligns with your skillset and what you’re looking to do professionally before you apply. Review the company’s body of work and the people who work there. Do you think this is a place you’d enjoy being at? Does it look like a job that you’d gain personal and professional fulfillment from? Are you capable of satisfying the job requirements? Could it potentially put you on the path to greater opportunities? If most of those produce a yes, it’s likely a situation to consider.

Proofread Your Email or Cover Letter and Resume – If the first impression you give a hiring manager is that you can’t spell properly, and you address them and their brand by the wrong names, you’re telling them to expect more mistakes if they hire you. Being detail oriented is important in the media business. If this is your introduction to someone and they have a job you’re interested in, you owe it to yourself to go through your materials thoroughly before you press send. If you can have someone else put an extra set of eyes on your introduction to protect you from committing a major blunder even better.

Don’t Waste People’s Time – You’d be annoyed if a company put you through a 3-4 week process only to tell you they didn’t see you as a viable candidate right? Well, it works the other way too. If you’re not seriously interested in the job or you’re going into the process hoping to change the job description later, don’t apply. If the fit isn’t right or the financials don’t work, that’s OK. Express that. People appreciate transparency. Sometimes they may even call you back in the future when other openings become available. But if you think someone is going to help you after you wasted their time or lied to them, trust me, they won’t.

Don’t Talk Like An Expert About Things You Don’t Know – Do you know why a station’s ratings or revenue is down? Are you aware of the company’s goals and if folks on the inside are satisfied or upset? Is the hiring manager someone you know well enough to have a candid professional conversation with? If the answers are no, you’re not helping your case by talking about things you don’t have full knowledge of. You have no idea how the manager you’re talking to has been dealing with the challenges he or she is faced with so don’t pretend you do. Just because someone wrote an article about it and you read it doesn’t mean you’re informed.

Use Social Wisely – Being frustrated that you didn’t get a job is fine. Everyone goes through it. Asking your friends and followers for advice on social of how you could’ve made a better case for yourself is good. That shows you’re trying to learn from the process to be better at it next time. But taking to social to write a book report blasting the hiring manager, their brand, and/or their company over a move that didn’t benefit you just tells them they made the right move by not bringing you in. Chances are, they won’t be calling you in the future either.

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