Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

Barrett Blogs

Growing a Business Requires Making Further Investments

Jason Barrett

Published

on

Whether you’re a small market operator or a big market difference maker, there’s always a challenge in keeping expenses low and profits high. In a perfect world we’d use 1 or 2 people to do the work, keep costs down, make a fortune, and earn the envy of the industry.

But the reality is that it takes people to produce content and deliver ratings. It takes people to make sales and hit budgets. It takes people to create social media impact and institute a good brand strategy. And it takes people to make your workplace a desirable business destination.

Having run radio companies in different regions of this country I’ve seen it all firsthand. I’ve prided myself on the image, execution and results of the brands I’ve managed but I’ve also learned to operate each station as if it were my own. Content people often think about what’s best for the show, but they’re not always familiar with what it costs to provide that type of excellence. Whether it’s been pursuing play by play partnerships, adding weekly contributors, creating special events and promotions, or hiring talent, I’ve always kept the bottom line in mind when making calls. You can brag about your brand and its incredible ratings, but if your profitability is in the toilet, jobs will be lost and the results you provide carry far less value.

No time has that been understood more on my end than the past two and a half years.

When I launched BSM in September 2015 and became an independent business owner I hoped to simply pay the rent and keep food on the table. I didn’t think about hiring people, setting travel budgets or making sure I invested enough back in the business to not take a punch in the stomach from Uncle Sam during tax time.

As the time has progressed and the company has grown, I’ve found myself at times trying to tackle more than I could. I’m a big thinker and ambitious person so I’m always trying to challenge myself to make the next year bigger and better than the last.

In the past twelve to eighteen months I’ve launched the BSM podcast and delivered 33 episodes, hired five columnists and a daily news writer, expanded the number of stations I’ve worked with, and produced my first programming summit for sports radio programmers. Those have been strategic decisions which have fueled growth for the company.

When you increase your workload though and remain the sole owner and operator of a growing company there are times where it becomes a massive challenge. My first and foremost commitment is to serve my clients. That means listening, observing, presenting ideas and information, and having numerous phone conversations and in person meetings. As important as the website and my social media’s presence is to the business, and as proud of the work I am of all involved in it, I know that it’s a marketing piece that keeps the brand front and center and it isn’t as critical as providing value to business partners.

Therein lies the struggle.

As a consultant and strategist, the majority of my focus is on the brands I work with, but there’s also the daily tug on my time to crank out compelling, topical and informative content on the website. If the commitment to the website isn’t consistent then it’s a poor reflection on me and that’s the last thing I want to be known for, especially to people who may become clients somewhere down the line.

One of the biggest positives of doing this line of work is that I have seen how the website has elevated the perception of the sports format and helped people find opportunities to grow their careers. This website has been a valuable resource, allowing many to learn from either myself, the BSM writing staff or other industry members. It’s also increased communication in the business between people at different companies and stations.

Not to be ignored, when an individual or station does something well and we’re able to present it on this website, it becomes a story which many sports radio professionals are able to use to showcase their people or brand’s success to advertisers. Sometimes our clients and potential buyers need a subtle reminder to continue making investments in our format and every little bit of press has potential to make a difference.

I bring this to light because as I’ve developed BSM, I reflect back on my beliefs of running quality sports radio brands. Every market manager I’ve spent time working with knows how much I believe in investing in people who can help deliver results, and I’d be a hypocrite if I wasn’t willing to do the same with BSM. Even if it’s much scarier doing so without the backing of a billion dollar company.

With that in mind, I’ve made the decision to hire Demetri Ravanos as Assistant Content Director of BSM.

Since joining the website as a weekly columnist in September 2017, Demetri has done a fantastic job of producing thought provoking pieces that serve a benefit to those working in the business. His increased role with the company means he’ll become further involved in the website’s content creation process. His years of experience in radio have also helped him develop a great ear and feel for the business, so when I assign him other projects to work on I know he’ll be able to provide good analysis that benefits me and anyone I work closely with.

What you’ll immediately notice in the coming days is that Demetri will be taking on the responsibility of writing daily sports television and print stories. Brandon Contes has done a great job handling the sports television beat but his true passion is sports radio, and this now allows us to turn him loose on the beat he values most without losing anything on the television and print side.

In addition, Demetri will serve as the point of contact for our columnists so their pieces are featured in a timely manner. We’ll also work together on creating original story ideas. One of the challenges I face as an independent business owner is making sure everything is posted in a timely manner, especially when I’m on the road working with a client or buried in a listening project. This will make things much smoother for all involved.

There are other things on the horizon for BSM but we’ll cross those bridges down the line. For now, I’m just thrilled to be doing what I absolutely love, working with great clients, smart people, and a talented writing team who offer their insights and opinions to help others involved in the sports radio business.

As the old saying goes, to make money you’ve got to spend money. By investing in good people, I’m counting on it doing for BSM what it’s done for the previous brands I’ve managed. That’s a formula that benefits any business.

Here’s to the next step!

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media’s Top 20 National Sports Radio Shows of 2022

“A total of 101 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the National Sports Radio Shows category.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

The 8th annual BSM Top 20 series kicks off with a look at the Top 20 National Sports Radio Shows of 2022. These shows have the largest reach in America, and are distributed by the largest networks in the industry, airing across hundreds of radio stations, as well as on various digital and television outlets.

As you review this year’s selections, please remember that the results represent the collective opinions of forty six (46) industry executives. I’d like to thank Alex Reynolds, Stephanie Eads, and Dylan Barrett for helping with the Top 20 process, and Steve Kamer Voiceovers for being our exclusive sponsor for this year’s Top 20 series. Steve’s voice is heard across the nation on many top shows, stations, and networks, and if you’re not familiar with his work, take a second to learn what makes him stellar at his craft by clicking here.

As it pertains to the voting, here are a few key things to be aware of.

– These results are based on 2022’s performance. 2023 changes have no effect on the voting.

– Our executive panel consists of forty six (46) program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Audacy, iHeart, Cumulus, Beasley, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, and independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large number of people in this process in order to include feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to prevent the results from heavily favoring one company.

 A total of 101 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the National Sports Radio Shows category.

– Voters choose their Top 20 based on a myriad of factors including the ear test, originality, ability to entertain, multi-platform impact, on-air chemistry, and ratings success. Keep in mind that voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and value certain factors higher than others. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best system we’ve been able to come up with to showcase how sports radio’s brain trust view the best in the format.

And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s National Sports Radio Shows. For only the 2nd time in 8 years, we have someone at the top other than Colin Cowherd. The winner this year for best National Sports Talk Show of 2022 is The Pat McAfee Show. It was a close race, which included Cowherd earning more first place votes, eighteen (18) to McAfee’s twelve (12), but Pat scored seven more votes in the 2-5 range, allowing him to prevail by seventeen points. McAfee’s show is now consumed through podcasts, YouTube, and social media but 2022 did include eight months of distribution on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio. We congratulate Pat, AJ, and the entire crew on earning this year’s top honor, as well as every other show which appeared on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 National Sports Radio Shows of 2022!”

blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
5
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank

Additional Notes:

  • The Herd w/ Colin Cowherd earned a category best eighteen (18) first place votes. The Pat McAfee Show was second with twelve (12).
  • 21-25 was occupied by Outkick 3602 Pros & a Cup of Joe, The Zach Gelb Show, Spain & Fitz, and Bart & Hahn.
  • The closest contest saw You Better You Bet edge Ben Maller by 4 points.
  • Of the 101 shows eligible for consideration this year, 9 received at least one 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2022.

  • Tuesday February 7 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2022
  • Wednesday February 8 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Midday Shows of 2022
  • Thursday February 9 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Afternoon Shows of 2022
  • Friday February 10 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Program Directors of 2022
  • Monday February 13 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2022

To view prior years of BSM’s Top 20 results, click here.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

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

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

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

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

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

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

Now, for the new additions to the lineup.

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

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

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

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

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

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

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

Which brings me to this year’s winner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading
Advertisement

blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2023 Barrett Media.