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Be The Mandalorian

“If you’ve worked in radio for longer than ten minutes, surely you’ve heard the phrase “everyone steals.” It’s the blanket excuse for taking something you found interesting or entertaining on another show and doing it on your show.”

Demetri Ravanos

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Man, how long does it feel like it has been since we first started seeing ads for Disney+? The OTT streaming service finally launches on Tuesday. If you watched any college football on Saturday on ESPN or ABC or NFL Countdown on ESPN on Sunday, you likely saw a crawl reminding you that Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic content will all be available on the service when it makes its debut.

I, for one, am super excited. I signed up for my account last month and since then it has been a countdown to midnight this coming Tuesday. Like any other guy my age, I have incredibly high hopes for The Mandalorian, the new Jon Favreau series set in the outskirts of the Star Wars universe.

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My loves in life go (in order): my wife, Star Wars, my kids, college football, the Muppets. Sorry, kids. Star Wars was here first.

Next month, the original saga comes to an end with The Rise of Skywalker, and I’m excited, but not nearly as excited as I am for The Mandalorian. I started thinking about why this was last week. The answer I settled on is something any content creator on any platform should take to heart.

I love the original Star Wars movies I grew up with. I always stop for a bit if I run across them on TV. I will always sit down with my kids if that is what they are watching. My enthusiasm for those movies has never wavered, but if I want to watch those movies, I will watch those movies.

Since taking over as the creative force behind the Star Wars franchise, JJ Abrams has proved that he is a huge fan, but he has also been eager to follow the familiar formula rather than take risks and create something new and exciting. So do I want to see how he closes out the Skywalker Saga? Of course, but I also have come to believe there are limits to his creativity and expect Ewoks to play a major role, because they did in Return of the Jedi.

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If you’ve worked in radio for longer than ten minutes, surely you’ve heard the phrase “everyone steals.” It’s the blanket excuse for taking something you found interesting or entertaining on another show and doing it on your show.

This plays out in a lot of ways and there is a lot of truth in the idea that all of the best ideas come from somewhere else, so there is nothing wrong with using them per se. I mean, it isn’t illegal and if someone calls you out for it, there is no harm in acknowledging that a good idea came from somewhere else. Listeners mostly won’t care so long as you keep them entertained.

Where it becomes harmful is when hosts, producers, or program directors insist on keeping elements, segments, or even staff members that worked for a previous show. Think back to the early 2000s. Imagine if ESPN had demanded that Colin Cowherd keep Tony Kornheiser’s “Old Guy Radio” bits because they worked so well for Tony. It would have sounded insane and it would have stunted Colin’s growth.

Sure, our listeners just want to be entertained. Maybe they don’t care how long a bit or guest has been around so long as they still deliver the goods. Think about this though, particularly with bits: if you heard a new voice doing a bit that made an old host famous, is your first inclination to just be entertained or is it to listen for all the ways the old host did it better?

It’s a lesson I wish JJ Abrams would take to heart with Star Wars. Sure, Maz Kanata’s cantina in The Force Awakens was cool, but you know what was cooler? The first time we saw the wretched hive of scum and villainy that was the Mos Eisley cantina in the original Star Wars.

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There will always be a temptation to do the things you see working, but is that setting you up for long term success? This is a business that values originality. Yes, we want you to be able to keep an audience entertained and engaged, but what is going to give you that chance in the first place is doing things that are easy to identify as what makes you unique.

What is so interesting about The Mandalorian is Jon Favreau took something that clicks with Star Wars fans and then throws out all the rules. Supposedly there will be no Skywalkers, Jedi, or storm troopers showing up in The Mandalorian.

How can you do that with sports radio? What interesting spin can you put on picking games? If you’re joining an already-established show, what can you do to take it to the next level? How do you keep the other host(s) on their toes and motivated to not get complacent and keep that brand innovative and relevant?

What are ratings? Take away the numbers and success in the radio business is based purely on how memorable you are. Success is creating a loyal fan base.

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You aren’t Star Wars. You don’t have more than 40 years of history and nostalgia behind everything you do. That is why it is imperative you approach the format like The Mandalorian and carve your own path in familiar terrain instead of being the guy that plays it safe by following the same path in the same way as the people that carved it years before.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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