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Podcast Ad Firm Formed by Top Media Sales Execs

Brandon Contes

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Podcasts are no longer “the future,” but generating consistent advertising revenue through podcasts hasn’t caught up. A new sales company is looking to change that.

Crossover Media Group Sales is a startup of veteran media sales executives targeting podcasts and over-the-top platforms to offer advertising sales representation.  The company’s three managing members are Scott Calka, Sue Freund and Ron Hartenbaum.  Calka has worked in advertising sales for Madison Square Garden, Comcast Spotlight, Fox Sports and DirecTV.  Freund spent a decade as VP of sales for the Western Region of SiriusXM and Hartenbaum’s credentials include serving as the VP of Sales for Westwood One.

“There is a strong and surprisingly un-tapped market for advertising to support personalities and brands seeking to maximize revenue potential across all the platforms available to them,” Freund said. “If you have an audio presence, we can be your video partner. If you have a video brand but have had difficulty breaking through the clutter, we can help. We understand cross-platform branding, promotion and monetization, and how to serve the needs of content providers, media buyers and brands alike.”

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, $314 million was invested in podcast ads in the United States last year.  That number is an 86% jump from the previous year, but still a small fraction when compared to the advertising dollars collected by mainstream media platforms.

Advertisers spent $68.5 billion on TV ads, $22.8 billion on internet search ads, $39.9 billion on Facebook and $17.6 billion for radio.  The IAB predicts podcast ad revenue will jump by another 110% over the next three years, bringing the amount to $659 million.  Considering the amount of hours consumers spend listening to digital audio, even at $659 million, the medium’s advertising revenue is miniscule.

Advertisers have hesitated to invest in podcasts for a number of reasons.  Their goal is to create an ad that will be placed in front of a large audience, but podcasts are consumed through a variety of devices at different times, making it difficult to track listenership.

Part of the reason podcasts gained popularity is because advertisers weren’t spending money on the platform.  A 15 or 30 minute podcast offers 15 or 30 minutes worth of content whereas 60 minutes of a terrestrial radio show might contain commercials for 25% of the hour.

Podcasting today is a credible medium with popular shows that deserve advertising investments.  Crossover Media Group Sales will work to bypass advertisers’ hesitations and monetize the platform effectively.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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John Skipper: Media Has Not Treated Adam Silver Like He’s Teflon

“I don’t think anyone has hesitated to criticize him when he has done things that are controversial or difficult. Certainly, our friends at FOX News have not provided him with a Teflon coating.”

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Dan Le Batard hosted an interesting conversation on his Thursday show examining the performance of NBA commissioner Adam Silver during the press conference in which he announced the suspension of Suns owner Robert Sarver. David Samson and John Skipper joined Le Batard in the discussion.

Samson, former president of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins, said of Silver “it’s amazing the level of Teflon he’s had, and I don’t know that it’s deserved in any way.” He added that the NBA commissioner’s performance was “not very well workshopped” when addressing the media.

John Skipper, co-founder of Meadowlark Media, acknowledged that the performance was not strong. He said that it was clear that Adam Silver was frustrated by the limitations his job put on what he could do about someone behaving in a way that he did not think was appropriate for the NBA. He did pushback on the idea that Silver had been immune from criticism.

“I’m not sure that I accept that he’s Teflon-like,” Skipper said. “He’s actually made most of the right decisions and done most of the right things and he’s gotten credit for that. I don’t think anyone has hesitated to criticize him when he has done things that are controversial or difficult. Certainly, our friends at FOX News have not provided him with a Teflon coating.”

Samson smiled during the answer, which Skipper addressed by acknowledging that Samson knows that Skipper is friends with Adam Silver. The Meadowlark boss called himself an “apologist” for Silver, but added

“I mostly think he’s done a fabulous job. If you want to hold up what commissioner has done most of the right things in the last seven or eight years, he’s not Teflon-coated, but he has a tremendous track record, which I think deserves our support.”

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Chris Long Tells Jim Rome He’s Gambled on Games to Keep Him Interested For His Podcast

“So you’re like alright I need to do my job tonight, and I’m tired I want to go to bed, but maybe I’ll just throw a couple hundred bucks on the Jaguars,” Long said. “And now I’m invested…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Placing bets on NFL games adds a whole other layer to the NFL viewing experience, and Super Bowl champion Chris Long understands that.

Long, who is not that far removed from his playing days in the league, was a guest on The Jim Rome Podcast, and said he initially considered gambling on football as something to compete at after retiring.

But now that he’s had some time to better learn the ins and outs of wagering, he’s become wiser and better informed. It’s helped him when talking about gambling on his own podcast, Green Light with Chris Long.

“I want to be responsible and give out good picks,” Long said. “I don’t want to just throw stuff out there because I’m getting paid by a casino. I’m really interested in the artform of gambling if that makes any sense.”

Long added that having that wagering itch definitely keeps him enthralled in watching football all day like a lot of other NFL fans, even those games people generally think won’t be that good competitively ahead of time.

He said it’s definitely helped with his show.

“I’m not even gonna lie, dude, sometimes you get burned out by football, right? I played it for a long time, now I’m covering it. So you’re like alright I need to do my job tonight, and I’m tired I want to go to bed, but maybe I’ll just throw a couple hundred bucks on the Jaguars,” Long said. “And now I’m invested and I can do my job more effectively because I’m gonna be glued to the TV. So like in a weird way it’s held me a little bit more accountable when it comes to staying on my game.”

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Shams Charania Signs New Contracts to Remain with Stadium and The Athletic

Shams joined those outlets in 2018 and had agreed to two other deals with them in that span.

Jordan Bondurant

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After speculation over his future, NBA insider Shams Charania is not going somewhere new.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Wednesday night that Charania has signed new contracts to remain at Stadium/Bally Sports and The Athletic.

Shams joined those outlets in 2018 and had agreed to two other deals with them in that span.

Shams has been an integral piece in the growth and evolution of Stadium, elevating our content across both digital media and television experiences,” said Stadium CEO Jason Coyle. “He is one of the finest professionals and people in our industry, and we are truly excited to continue building upon our longstanding and trusted relationship.”

Charania, 28, is an integral part of Stadium/Bally Sports NBA coverage. He makes regular appearances on the Sinclair-owned networks on shows like Inside the Association and The Rally.

Shams has not yet addressed the news on his Twitter account, which has 1.8 million followers.

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