There are a lot of radio hosts that say they have great passion for sports and the broadcasting industry. There aren’t as many of those same hosts who actually show it. David Weiglein — better known as Carmichael Dave – isn’t one of these fake smooth talkers. The guy oozes passion for the Sacramento Kings and his sports radio gig. He doesn’t prove his enthusiasm solely through words. Carmichael Dave proves it through his many actions.
Carmichael is a suburb in Sacramento where Dave grew up. His stage name originates from the many times he called Sports 1140 KHTK as a kid. Dave was so fired up to participate as a teenager that he recorded his calls on a boombox. It was a drug to him. He now hosts a weekday show from 6-9am on the same station he grew up adoring — KHTK.
Dave details the highs and lows of getting fired and re-hired by his current employer. While out of work, he didn’t sit around twiddling his thumbs feeling sorry for himself. Not only did he start a podcast back then, Carmichael Dave raised money and commandeered a 27-foot RV. This dude ended up in New York City during a Board of Governors meeting as he fought for the Kings to remain in Sacramento. If that isn’t real, authentic, genuine passion, I don’t know what is. Enjoy.
Brian Noe: With you being a former caller, does that impact the way you engage with callers now because you understand what it’s like to be on the other end?
Carmichael Dave: One trillion percent. But radio is going away from calls in a lot of ways because of texting and emails. I think the lifeblood of sports radio is trying to create passion. You throw out as a host that bait and you’re trying to hook passion. Every single blinking hold light to me was like a biting fish. As somebody who had gone through it as a kid and as a young adult, I’m taking it very seriously. The radio is off, nobody can talk to me, and I’m shut in a room somewhere because I’m afraid the host is going to come to me at any point. I have taken the time to completely shut my life down so that I can call in unpaid on a radio show and contribute free content.
Sometimes that content sucks, we all know there are crappy callers, but it doesn’t matter. These people are taking time to contribute to your show. You better respect what they’re doing. When they get on the air, we may yell, we may scream, I may think the person’s a moron, but you’re damn straight I’m going to respect their time. You’re taking the time out of your life to participate in my show, I’m going to respect that and I’m going to talk to you.
BN: What helps you connect with your audience the most?
CD: My brand is like an anti-brand. I’m a kid from Carmichael that lucked his way into being able to work at the station he grew up listening to and covering the team that he adores more than anything, the Sacramento Kings. My name is local. Carmichael Dave doesn’t work in Houston. It doesn’t work in New York or L.A. It works in Sacramento and that’s it. I am bonded to this city.
Sacramento is not the first prize in the Price Is Right Showcase Showdown for the vacation. That’s not what we’re known for. It’s a stepping stone.
Think about some of the shittiest cities in the country like Detroit. Everybody thinks Detroit is shitty, right? Like you do not want to go to Detroit. That is a terrible city. But talk to people from Detroit. They’re like yeah D-Town what’s up? They are the most loyal people in the world. Same thing with Stockton here, which is like the Detroit of California. That’s their reputation. But they’re so loyal to where they’re from. That’s my brand.
This isn’t a cultivated character. I’m going to go at it with you. I’m very active on Twitter. I won’t say your mother’s a whore or anything, but in the end I’m a native Sacramentan. I’m born here, raised here, going to die here. We’re all kind of an extended dysfunctional family. If you want to say a brand, that’s my brand. It’s local.
BN: How did things unfold for you going from a caller to being on the air?
CD: The program director at the time was a guy named Mike Remy. He’s one of my big-time mentors. I had an internship when I was 17. The guy who was running the board, who was kind of in charge of everything, he opens the door and he goes “Alright, step into my office. I’ll give you the rundown.” His name was Steve Goss. He’s still there today. He’s our traffic director.
Well, his office was the bathroom. He just starts taking a leak while I’m sitting there at the sink. He says all right here’s what you do, here’s what you don’t do. He’s like turning around from the urinal talking to me. That was my first indoctrination into the inside of a radio building.
From there I did everything I could working for free. Mike Remy said hey dude check it out, you got to learn how to be on the air and you’re not going to get the time you need here right now. There’s a bunch of music stations in town. Go work at a music station, come back to me in a few months and we’ll see what we can do. So I went to this alternative rock station in town. I worked there about a year.
Then eventually I went back to KHTK in ‘01. I got my first break doing backup sports updates for Jason Ross. Jason was doing updates for our afternoon drive host Grant Napear who is also the play-by-play TV voice for the Kings. I grew up absolutely idolizing this dude. He was the alpha and the omega to me. I’m 23 or 24. I called him Mr. Napear. I don’t know what that first update sounded like, but I know Grant will often say that I was like this scared little bunny. He actually told me at one point hey speak up. I did backup updates for four years.
Then one day Mike Remy hired somebody else to do a show from 9 to midnight. That dude lasted a year. His name was Tim Montemayor. He got a job at KMOX in St. Louis and quit that day. I get a call at 4pm. I had a 104-degree temperature. I had strep throat. I was lying in bed but I recognized Mike Remy’s phone number. He said hey I need you to fill in for Tim. He’s no longer with us. The show starts in five hours. It’s at a Hooters for a live remote. So with strep throat and a 104-degree fever and Hooters girls being shoveled in and out of my broadcast, that was the first time I ever hosted a show. Two weeks later they let me keep the spot. I did 9 to midnight for the next six years.
BN: Man, only a few hours to prepare — you’re on location so that’s a whole different animal — what do you remember most about that first show?
CD: I just shit my pants in front of Hooters girls because I was scared to death. I was on right after a Kings-Timberwolves game and thank God it was a win. But I didn’t know enough to know anything. I had never hosted a show. I had never, ever done anything but a sports update on the station and here I am soloing for three hours.
During that broadcast, after I got through all the schematics and phone numbers and stuff, all of a sudden I heard that telltale white noise in my ear again and I was a caller. I was on the air and it was time to dance. All the times that I had spent calling in on Grant Napear’s show or Scott Ferrall’s show or any of these radio shows I called as a kid, instead of having a five-minute phone call it was now a three-hour phone call with commercial breaks. It just kicks in. You’re either able to do it or you’re not. I certainly wasn’t great. I was far from perfect, but I did it well enough to get called back the next day.
It’s always been like that. I’ve always had that attitude that I’m really on a day-to-day contract. What I did today doesn’t matter now. It’s what I do tomorrow that matters. I don’t think I’m ever going to get rid of that attitude. That’s the attitude I had from the very first day I did a show.
BN: What led to you being fired and how tough of a situation was that for you?
CD: The Sacramento Kings had announced that the ownership had come to a deal and they were going to sell the team and move to Seattle. You’ve got to understand again I’m a native Sacramentan. There’s nothing else here, at least at the time. It was the only professional team. I became very vocal as a fan and used my platform as much as I could to speak out against ownership and against the move.
I’ll never forget it; it was a meeting with the bosses in our corporate office. I remember the market manager at the time saying we no longer need you and thank you for your service basically. I was just unbelievably crushed. I just got fired. I didn’t do anything wrong, but ultimately what I did is the powers that be within and outside of the station thought I was being a little bit too noisy and a little bit too much of a nuisance.
At the time I had my brand new wife and I had a two- and a one-year-old child. My wife had not yet gone back to work. I was the sole breadwinner and I got fired in part for speaking out about the Kings.
I started a podcast in my garage. The local magazine here did a cool little front-page cover photo with me in a Kings jersey, wearing handcuffs that were broken to symbolize being free to speak freely. I did a podcast in my garage for a few months where I was basically bringing in a thousand bucks a month in sponsorships, which just barely kept the roof over our head while I was getting unemployment.
In a sense me getting fired from KHTK took me from the idea I always had that I was a caller who was lucky to be there who had a seat at the kids’ table at Thanksgiving and not the adults’ table. When I came back I had kind of proven to myself that even without this station I was able to make some waves and had a voice. The people in Sacramento had my back. They saved my life. They saved my job. When I came back it was like I grew up. I was an adult now. I knew I belonged here and I’ve never looked back. That was almost eight years ago.
BN: The day you got fired compared to the day you returned — how did those completely different experiences impact the way you look at the business?
CD: When I left I thought I’d never work in radio again. I thought that was over. I was going to have to go wear a suit and tie. What happened was…necessity is the mother of invention. It allowed me to spend time on the Kings saga that I couldn’t have before. It allowed me to free myself from the politics that were attached to me — because the Kings and KHTK were partners — and really be an independent voice. It allowed me to rally with the city itself.
What leaving also showed me again, when I returned it was because the people here supported what I did. They supported me and they let their voices be heard. We banded together and it created this bond between myself and this base of listeners and fans where I’m forever indebted to them. I am merely one of them who happens to have a platform and a microphone. When I go to ball games I don’t dress in a suit and tie, dude. I wear a Kings jersey. I’m not a journalist. I’m a fan with a microphone. I’m here to represent the fans. I’m not here for any political bullshit. It’s always, always, always listeners first, Kings fans first.
When I came back it gave me humility. It gave me, not paranoia, but it gave me an understanding that this is a fleeting business. The moment that you sell out, the moment that you stop respecting the people that listen to your station, the moment that you take for granted the fact that you have an audience — with Spotify and Apple Music and streaming services and everything else — for someone to tune in to terrestrial radio and listen to you whether live or on-demand, that is such an insane compliment and an amazing responsibility.
BN: However many more years you have left in radio, what do you want it to look like?
CD: I think the first thing I’d say is that I don’t think I’m much longer for this business. I’ve done what I want to do. Radio is changing. I don’t want this to sound like an old guy fighting the new wave, but what works now are quick-hitter, minute-half sound bits and little video bits. What works now is having two guys at a microphone screaming at each other and throwing out these outlandish takes that they don’t believe. Then you put the video clip of them on Twitter yelling at each other. Then everybody on Twitter yells at each other. Meanwhile you throw in a 30-second commercial for Purina dog food and that’s how you make your money. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be a part of argue radio.
I expect I’ll have another two, three, four years in the business at most doing what I do. I’d like to be able to broadcast on my last day. I don’t want to do one of those things where I was fired on a Thursday, there was no show on Friday, and then my replacement is there on a Monday. I’d actually like to go on the air and be trusted enough by my radio station to thank the station and thank the listeners and actually say goodbye. Then I want to go do some real stuff.
BN: Do you have something specific in mind that you want to do whenever you hang up your headphones?
CD: Yeah, I’m going to be the mayor of Sacramento when I get out. I’ve spent years watching and studying people on all levels. When the whole fight for the Kings thing happened I got to know a lot of people here locally, politically. Whether it’s our current mayor Darrell Steinberg, I was very close to Kevin Johnson before him, a lot of our city council members — I see what they do.
What I want to do is take the love and energy I have for Sacramento and the insane growth pattern it has shown since that turning point in 2013 where we have a new arena, Major League Soccer, businesses are coming out here, the Bay Area silicon sector is beginning to expand out here, things are happening in my city that we couldn’t have even dreamt about 20 years ago.
I want to be a part of taking that into the next generation. To spend my life selling the city, getting new business to come here, making it affordable for our current residents, and being able to literally go out there and speak to people each and every day that have problems in this city. Instead of it being a problem with our starting lineup, it’s a problem with the bus system or a library or their school — and really be able to make a solid impact.
I know it sounds silly, but someone’s going to pull this article in some weird Google search in 10 years and you’re going to see me saying I’ll be the mayor of Sacramento at some point in my life. Not out of a sense of ego, but simply out of a sense of duty and out of a sense of wanting to give every part of my being back to the city that gave me so much.
Chris Broussard Is No Longer Just A ‘Basketball Guy’
“There’s no doubt that gets attached to you and that can be good because you’re seen as an ‘expert’ in one sport which is great.”
After embarking on a career in sports, Chris Broussard made a name for himself as a writer, specifically as it pertains to covering the NBA. Whether it was covering the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, covering the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets for The New York Times, or doing television hits for ESPN, Broussard had always, whether it was justified or not, been pigeon-holed as a “basketball guy”.
That was the perception then, but today, the reality is different.
“There’s no doubt that gets attached to you and that can be good because you’re seen as an ‘expert’ in one sport which is great,” said Broussard, the co-host of First Things First on FS1 and the co-host of The Odd Couple on FOX Sports Radio.
“But what was good for me was that at ESPN, I had done First Take with Skip Bayless a lot. There were a few years where it was a rotation and I was in that rotation. That enabled me to at least do the other sports.”
Broussard has certainly made a seamless transition from print to electronic media.
After joining The New York Times in 1998, Broussard started to get television exposure doing local hits and then appearances on the various ESPN platforms would soon follow. He joined ESPN full-time in 2004 as a writer for ESPN The Magazine, but that also included regular guest appearances and fill-in hosting opportunities on shows like First Take and the opportunity to be a co-host for NBA Countdown for the 2010-11 season.
With that gig came the opportunity to work with Michael Wilbon, Jon Barry, and his childhood hero Magic Johnson.
“I think that may be have been the pinnacle because Magic is Magic,” said Broussard. “He was my favorite player until Jordan came along and (with Wilbon and Barry), we just had great chemistry.”
After one season, Broussard and Barry were replaced by Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose. A few years later, Broussard would make the move that would bring him to the next chapter of his career.
In 2016, Broussard left what amounted to being just a reporters role at ESPN for a new opportunity at FS1 where he would also be an analyst as well as a regular panelist for shows like Undisputed, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, First Things First and Lock It In. In 2018, he began co-hosting The Odd Couple radio show with Rob Parker on FOX Sports Radio.
And then in August of 2021, Broussard was named the full-time co-host of First Things First, something that almost had happened when the network first launched.
“When they asked me to come on as a full-time co-host, it was great and maybe a long time coming,” said Broussard. “I know when Jamie Horowitz first brought all the people over from ESPN to be on FS1 in 2016, he was considering doing a show where Nick Wright and I were the co-hosts.”
Broussard now co-hosts the show with Wright and Kevin Wildes.
“I thought that I really just fit right in with the chemistry and it’s just been a great trio,” said Broussard.
Born in Baton Rouge, Broussard and his family also lived in Cincinnati, Indiana, Syracuse, Iowa, and Cleveland. He was a star football and basketball player for Holy Name High School in Parma Heights, Ohio and went on to play basketball for Oberlin College, an NCAA Division III school in Ohio.
Believe it or not, his first love was not basketball.
“My favorite sport growing up was football,” said Broussard. “I played football through high school. I played basketball at Oberlin College but they recruited for me football and basketball. I even played baseball up until I was about 16 years old.”
So much for being just a basketball guy, right?
After college, Broussard had a decision to make. He knew he wanted to be a sports reporter but wasn’t sure if it was going to be print or electronic media. When he was an intern at The Indianapolis Star, he spoke to people in the know about which direction to go.
“I was told that it’s just easier and there are more spots in print journalism than there are in television and radio,” said Broussard. “I chose print because I thought I had more opportunities.”
Broussard’s first taste of covering pro sports was in 1995 at the Akron Beacon Journal when he was a backup writer covering the Cleveland Indians who would go to the World Series for the first time since 1954. Then came covering the Cavaliers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and then it was off to New York and a bit of culture shock for Broussard.
During his 2 ½ years covering the Cavaliers, Broussard typically wore a rugby shirt, jeans and sneakers at games. But he noticed that when the Knicks and Nets would come to Cleveland or when Broussard travelled to New York and New Jersey when the Cavaliers visited the Knicks and Nets, that the New York writers would typically wear suits and ties when covering the games.
So, when he interviewed for the job with The New York Times, Broussard had an important question for his future editor.
“I asked him when I was being interviewed for the job do they require that your writers dress up,” said Broussard. “He said no but they do generally in New York because they know television opportunities are there. So, when I started working at The New York Times, I started dressing up wearing a suit and tie or sportscoat and tie whenever I would cover games. Ultimately that led to television.”
And the rest is history.
This coming week, Broussard will be busy co-hosting his shows from the Super Bowl in Arizona. It’s one thing to host a radio show or a television show from a studio but it’s really something special to do it from a live event, especially on the giant stage of the Super Bowl.
And this week, Broussard will be center stage in front of a lot of ears and eyeballs.
“It’s always great,” said Broussard. “FOX Sports Radio always has one of the biggest and best platforms on radio row. It’s always fun when you’re doing these live shows at the big events and you’ve got an audience, it really can kind of bring out the best in you. I’m excited about it both for TV and radio.”
Chris Broussard has certainly come a long way in his career in sports.
From his days as an athlete in high school in college to getting his start as a write to a transformation into a radio and television personality, Broussard has worked hard to get to where he is today.
“I haven’t written a word since I went to Fox,” said Broussard. “I do feel fortunate that I’ve been able from morph from a writer into TV and radio. What you want to do in this business is stay relevant and you want an audience and a platform. There’s not that many people who get that opportunity to do it.”
He’s no longer just a “basketball guy”. He’s a “sports guy”.
Peter Schwartz has been involved in New York sports media for over three decades. Along the way he has worked for notable brands such as WFAN, CBS Sports Radio, WCBS 880, ESPN New York, and FOX News Radio. He has also worked as a play by play announcer for the New Yok Riptide, New York Dragons, New York Hitmen, Varsity Media and the Long Island Sports Network. You can find him on Twitter @SchwartzSports or email him at DragonsRadio@aol.com.
What Are The Right Social Media Answers For Sports Radio?
“What are the limits of social media for radio brands? Are there any?”
Social media does not stand still. The platforms that matter today can fall out of favor with the general public in the blink of an eye. Conversely, the right feature or attention from the right people can catapult a site’s importance in the social pecking order.
How does a radio company determine what matters? Are all formats received similarly on social media or is sports radio such a unique animal that brands have to be much more deliberate in how resources are allocated? To answer these questions, I turned to some experts.
Tom Izzo doesn’t exclude any platform when he is plotting WFAN’s social strategy. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter may each attract a different type of sports fan, but they all matter in building and serving the larger audience.
“There is sports radio audience on every social media platform, you just have to talk to them differently depending where you are,” he told me. “The language and audience on Twitter is different than the language and audience on Facebook, but there is audience everywhere.”
Audience is everywhere. That’s what is at the heart of the conundrum. How do you best utilize your assets in a landscape that isn’t just constantly changing? It’s also constantly growing!
Lori Lewis has overseen social media strategy at an executive level for Cumulus, Westwood One, Jacobs Media and iHeart among others. Now she coaches companies on creating great content with her own company, Lori Lewis Media.
She told me that the key for not just sports stations, but for any brand, is understanding what their audience prioritizes. That doesn’t mean it should be the brand’s only focus though.
“Obviously, for sports radio, it’s Twitter. But don’t sleep on short-form vertical video,” she said in an email. “When done right, you’ll see success (meaning converting views into new fans) with YouTube Shorts and/or Instagram Reels as well as playback videos on Facebook (those are visual replays from the audio show).”
Converting views into new fans was taken to a bit of an extreme in Nashville. 104.5 The Zone launched Zone TV in 2021. Will Boling took the lead in creating the product. He says that launching a proprietary video stream was never about moving away from other social platforms. It was about giving listeners more access to better content in more places.
“Our video platform affects a lot of our social strategy,” he said. “On Twitter, we don’t want to just be seen as a radio station, but as a media company. Our Twitter stream allows us to react to breaking news while also sharing our broadcast at the same time. And with Twitch’s video producer, we can create featured clips from shows whenever we want. That allows us to push video out of featured guests, funny callers and anything in between to promote our podcasts from each show too.”
Video matters so much more than ever before. It does not matter who you talk to or what platform it is you are talking about. The answer always comes back to using video to attract more eyeballs.
TikTok, our most controversial social video platform, is trying to figure out what its reach could be without the visuals. Last month the company announced that it would experiment with its version of podcasts – a mode on the app that would allow users to experience TikTok content as audio-only entertainment.
I asked all three of my experts what their initial impression of the story is. Only Izzo expressed reservations.
“Probably no need for us to be first anywhere if there isn’t any particular benefit to doing that,” he said. “We’ll watch and see what happens and if it turns out that people like consuming podcasts on TikTok we will certainly address that.”
That doesn’t mean WFAN hosts and bosses won’t keep a keen eye on the feature. I would anticipate that there may be some experimental posts that either don’t receive much of a push or perhaps never see the light of day at all.
Boling is adamant that any use of TikTok is a wise one for stations. He says anything set up with an algorithm that rewards creators for posting content the audience connects with is an asset that cannot be ignored.
“We use social media to push listeners to our YouTube channel because it’s an algorithm based platform. If we get someone to click on our page once, then our channel will get recommended to them the next time they get on YouTube. TikTok helps radio companies accomplish that and own every space in the digital market right now.”
Unsurprisingly, it’s Lori Lewis that approaches the feature in the most scientific way. Do TikTok podcasts represent a sort of new frontier for audio brands? Sure, but just like Grogu and the Mandalorian, you have to go there and poke around before you can figure out how it will work best for you.
“If TikTok expands to audio, how might you complement the mothership (The FM/AM stick) and build on the trust you’ve earned from your show? What’s a unique way to tap into new features? As social media evolves, so should our approach.”
What are the limits of social media for radio brands? Are there any? Since the onset of the pandemic, so much listening has shifted from terrestrial signals to digital streams. We have totally rethought what we are. Why should it stop with how our audience consumes our content?
I asked Lewis if we are too narrow in thinking about how social media can serve us. Are we so focused on what is that we have not considered what could be? Can a brand have one identity on air and use social media to create something that does not mirror it, but instead compliments it?
“Depends on why you’re using social media,” she answered. “If you’re leveraging social media for increased awareness and building trust to drive more engagement during your show, it might not make sense to be different on social than on-air. But, if you’re a vanilla brand limited to creativity on-air, why not? Throw yourself out there. Show your real, relatable self (assuming it’s legal and appropriate, ha-ha). Relatability wins every time.”
Do we have to be deliberate in sports radio with how we allocate our social media resources? Yes, but that doesn’t mean there is a single correct answer.
Strategy matters on air. It’s no different on social media. But in order to figure out the best strategy, you have to be open-minded and eager to play around with new offerings to determine what works.
Demetri Ravanos is the Assistant Content Director for Barrett Sports Media. He hosts the Chewing Clock and Media Noise podcasts. He occasionally fills in on stations across the Carolinas. Previous stops include WAVH and WZEW in Mobile, AL, WBPT in Birmingham, AL and WBBB, WPTK and WDNC in Raleigh, NC. You can find him on Twitter @DemetriRavanos and reach him by email at DemetriTheGreek@gmail.com.
Radio Row Is One of Sports Radio’s Worst Weeks
Radio Row is a great opportunity for hosts, PDs, and executives. But it isn’t an inherently great opportunity for your listeners.
From strictly a listener’s perspective, sports radio the week of Super Bowl’s Radio Row is one of the worst weeks.
Before I was a sports radio programmer, I was a sports radio listener. And while I didn’t realize it at the time, I was listening to sports radio with a programmer’s mindset. And every year, I would spend the entire week listening to shows produced live — or pretending to be live — from Radio Row at the Super Bowl. And each year, I would wonder “What the hell is the point of this?”
And now, as a former sports radio programmer, I will sit this week and listen to shows produced live — or pretending to be live — from Radio Row at the Super Bowl. And each day, I will wonder “What the hell is the point of this?”
Who does it serve? Let’s take an in-depth look at that question.
It serves the NFL. Hundreds of media professionals are stationed at its largest event, talking about it, ensuring it stays at the forefront of the public consciousness and providing millions in value for its sponsors.
It serves NFL players. Both past and present. Dozens of current and former stars will flock to Radio Row to record dozens of interviews. They’ll be paid thousands of dollars to pitch their wares as often as possible while expanding their brands outside the cities in which they currently or formerly played.
It serves the sponsors of NFL players. Radio Row provides a one-stop-shop for sponsors to send their endorsers down a line of interviews to continually get in front of new audiences. Scale, baby!
It serves the hosts, PDs, and executives. You get a working vacation! It’s awesome! I live in the Midwest, and yesterday was one of a handful of days I’ve seen the sun since November. Being in Arizona in early February is phenomenal! Plus, you get to hob knob with celebrities, get your photos taken, go to awesome parties with extravagant hor dourves and open bars, and it’s fantastic. You deserve the little break Radio Row provides; better yet, it’s all on the company dime. You get some bonding with your co-workers, you get to network, and it really is an awesome opportunity.
But you know who isn’t served? Your listeners. At least, the vast majority of them. Because here’s the reality: While it’s really cool that you’re hanging out with other radio folks, and you’ll have a plethora of former and current players swinging by for interviews, your listeners really don’t care. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the truth. While there’s a subset of listeners who are living vicariously through you — and that can’t be completely shortchanged, it’s a big deal — the overwhelming majority couldn’t be less invested in your Radio Row interviews.
Think of it from a listener’s viewpoint: Outside of the Bay Area, do you think anyone has thought “Man, I wonder who Kyle Juszczyk thinks is gonna win the Super Bowl?” I’ll tell you that, no, they haven’t thought that, and they don’t particularly care what he thinks. Furthermore, they definitely don’t care that he’s sponsored by Old Spice, which gives him the P-P-P-Power!™
And it would be fine if there was one interview here or there, but there are some shows — both local and national — that will completely fill out their rundowns with interviews with people your listeners don’t especially care about, ask questions that your listeners don’t especially care about, and end the interview by asking who they think wins Sunday, why they think that way, and allow them to pitch their boner pills or whatever else they’re schlepping. Every day. For five straight days. For two, three, four, or even five hours.
Self-serving isn’t bad as long as you recognize it’s self-serving. And that could be potentially the biggest issue. Now and then, you’ll get a host that is sanctimonious and pretends they’re doing the listener a favor by spending a week away from their family in a warm weather destination, rubbing elbows with some of the greatest players — both past and present — in the game. You’re not. You’re spending a week eating all the free food you can find, drinking all the free beer you can find, and taking pictures to post on your Instagram. And that’s fine, but don’t pretend like it’s something it isn’t. You can talk yourself into its importance, but it’s important to you.
Radio Row is a great opportunity for hosts, PDs, and executives. But it isn’t an inherently great opportunity for your listeners. You can turn it into one with thoughtful questions, a unique spin on the traditional interview, or avoiding the same boring questions your subject has been asked 1,000 times during the day, but you’ve gotta go the extra mile to accomplish that. And I hope that’s not something you lose sight of this week.
Garrett Searight is the Editor of Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media. He previously was the Program Director and Afternoon Co-Host on 93.1 The Fan in Lima, OH. He is also a play-by-play announcer for TV and Radio broadcasts in Western Ohio. Reach him at email@example.com.