Scott Masteller has over 40 years of experience in the radio/audio industry. We aren’t talking about a guy that has worked in a tiny market and once covered the line dancing competition at the local fair six years ago. Scott was one of the biggest of the big wigs at ESPN Radio in Bristol. His title was Senior Director II – Radio/Audio Content. That just sounds fancy — as if the person with that gig either sips lattes with a pinky in the air, or drives something that goes 0 to 60 before you can blink.
In addition to being a program director in Dallas, Portland, and currently at WBAL in Baltimore, Scott has a ton of on-air experience. He was an afternoon drive host in numerous markets including Portland and Salt Lake City, as well as a play-by-play announcer. He not only has overseen transcendent talent like Colin Cowherd, Scott fully understands the challenges that hosts face in order to create great radio.
The Pennsylvania native has experienced so much in the industry as a sports, news, oldies, and adult contemporary programmer. Scott has worn a suit as an executive and rolled up his sleeves behind a mic as a host. Practically the only thing he hasn’t done is save a whale, which come to think of it, I didn’t ask him about so don’t quote me on that. As you will see in the interview below, Scott has a lot of wisdom. It would be wise for you to tap into it. Enjoy.
Brian Noe: What are you looking to gain by attending the BSM Summit later this month?
Scott Masteller: I think it’s always good to get out and see different events and see what is going on. I don’t work in sports the way I used to. I have some involvement, but it’s spoken word. A good programmer is what I’m looking to hear from. There are some really good programmers who will be participating in this event. Anytime you can learn — part of that to me is really important so I can help other folks.
I’ve been very blessed with a really good career experience. I’ve done a lot of cool things and I’ve always tried to give back whether it was when I was at ESPN or other sports stations, or where I am now, I’m just trying to help that next young talent get an understanding of what it’s like. Obviously it’s changed a great deal in the last several years — multiple platforms, different ways to hear content. So it’s two-fold; wanting to understand what’s happening so I can be as competitive as I can be in the current business that I’m in, and then also allowing me to teach and coach talent that either work for me or talent that I know and I want to try to help.
BN: What are a couple of the best nuggets of advice you can apply to the rapidly changing world of radio right now?
SM: I would say be open to doing things differently. Everywhere I’ve gone, you go into a building and you’ll hear the phrase, “We’ve always done it that way.” I think we’re in a world where we have to be creative and different and understand that there are different ways to consume content. Most of the radio listening is done in the car. But so many people are streaming and they’re also listening to podcasts. They’re listening to content in different ways. I think that’s important.
They also have to be able to understand what plays best with the consumer. What does the consumer want? I did this when I was on the air; I would want to talk about a certain topic, but was it really the right topic to play to what I call the broadest set of the audience? I think it’s important to understand your audience and what they’re looking for. If you can get that part of it right, that opens up a lot of other avenues.
BN: If you look at the world of sports radio versus news radio, what would you say is the biggest striking similarity and the biggest difference between the two?
SM: I’ve always subscribed to the theory that when I worked in the sports arena, the NFL was the world’s greatest soap opera. That’s what I talked to my talent about is understand that that’s part of what you’re trying to convey to the audience. Well it’s very similar in the world of politics. You’ve got a president who is not afraid to speak his mind. There are all the elements at times of a soap opera and you have to be able to kind of roll with that flow.
The biggest difference that I see, in sports if you’re in a local market, if you’re in Philadelphia you’re going to talk about the Eagles. You’re going to talk about the Phillies. Those things play into it all the time. In news talk you’re going to try to play to whatever the biggest story of the day is and it depends whether you’re local or national where you go with that. My station is local all day from 5am to 11 o’clock at night. We’re looking for both great local stories but also the big national stories. There are similarities but there are also differences.
BN: You’re going to be on a panel at the Summit. What is your on-air background?
SM: I started at a small radio station in my hometown of Williamsport, PA. I was a jock playing music. Then I started covering sports — high school games. I actually did some minor league baseball; I did five years of Double-A. From there I got into sports radio and went to Lexington, Kentucky. I was also a program director. I was on in that market, then Salt Lake City. Spent time in Portland, Oregon for about five years. Then when I went to Dallas and went to work for ESPN, I became primarily an off-air program director.
I always felt being on air helps me coach talent because I can point out and say, “See how you made that mistake there? I made that mistake many times.” I liken it to a manager in baseball that played the game; there’s just an ability to connect with the talent in that way. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a great program director if you were not on the air, but I do feel it’s helped me in what I try to do.
BN: With you being in news talk now, I think of it a little bit like a football player who retires. He might say, “Man, I miss those guys looking at me in the huddle, but I don’t miss the practices at all.” What do you miss the most about sports radio and what do you not miss whatsoever?
SM: That’s a good question. I get to cheat a little bit because I’m in charge of the production of the Baltimore Ravens. That’s the fun part of my job. What I miss is the excitement around a winning team — when things are going really, really well and everybody is fired up. I remember when I was working in Dallas and the Mavericks made it to the NBA finals; the whole city was just abuzz and just excited to no end about everything that was going on. I look for those goosebump moments that as a fan you get really excited about. I had a great experience in sports radio. People ask me do I miss it; sure I miss the friendships and the colleagues, but I’m still doing spoken word radio.
What’s been kind of interesting to see is that there are several sports programmers like myself who have gravitated over to general talk and have done really well with it. Kevin Graham is someone that I worked with at ESPN, now is in Dallas overseeing WBAP. I worked with Brian Long at ESPN. He’s still got a FOX Sports station, but he’s also got a great news talk station. I’ve learned different things being in news that maybe I couldn’t have learned while I was in sports. It’s kind of an evolution of the process.
BN: Which talent do you think improved the most that you were able to work with?
SM: Oh, that’s easy. That was Colin Cowherd. I was fortunate to be Colin’s program director in Portland, Oregon. He came in and he was very raw, but he was really, really talented. He just worked really hard. Now he’s arguably, in my book, the best spoken word talent that is out there. I’ve got other talent that I’ve worked with — when I was in Dallas, Randy Galloway, who has since retired was doing sports one way and we adjusted it and put him in an ensemble and he really took off. He was one of the best talents that I ever worked with.
Then on the news talk side I’ve got some great talent as well that I’m working with that are as good as any in the country. It’s all about being able to adjust to the format, being able to adjust to the talent, and helping the talent understand I’m not there to tell them what to do, I’m just there to be a resource to them to help them look at things from a different perspective and hopefully take that and improve upon it. I’ve been very blessed with that.
BN: When you say Colin was raw, which areas specifically did you see improvement in?
SM: I saw him be better able to close out the payoff. I’ve always talked about that if you’re an on-air talent, you’ve got to deliver the payoff. He does that I think as well as anybody right now. He’s got great people he’s working with including Scott Shapiro — who we worked together at our time at ESPN — he’s really helped him. He’s able to also look at things — he always did this — and use analogies and different perspectives to make it easy for the common person who’s driving around in their car to grasp what he’s talking about. It’s like anything, the more he did what he was doing, the better he got. That’s why at one point ESPN found that they had to hire that guy. Of course he did great there and then he’s gone on to FOX. He’s just truly a magnificent talent.
BN: With Cowherd or any great talent in mind, I think it’s fascinating that although they’re raw at one point, you can still see that it’s going to click. What is the it factor that lets you know once it does get sorted out, the host is going to be really legit?
SM: I’ve always been one to look at how you’re able to get the audience to stay engaged. Knowing that there’s a lot of discussion about ratings and you have to get the five minutes to get the quarter hour; when I heard him initially it’s like you could just tell he’s got something. He’s able to keep the audience engaged for extended periods of time.
Now that being said, it’s hard to do that. I was at enough sessions with him and other talent where they’re being tested by panels of people listening. They might really engage them for three or four minutes, but then they kind of run out of steam. Colin got to the point where he can go on and keep going and keep it interesting. I knew he had that in him as soon as I heard him the first time. That was a long time ago in the ‘90s in Portland, Oregon.
BN: What do you consider to be the most important qualities for a radio host to possess?
SM: It’s simple things. A great talent is always curious. I believe self-deprecation is one of the greatest traits of a talent; that you can poke fun at yourself. I think the instincts are there to know what to do in an interview; ask short succinct open-ended questions to get the most out of the talent. What I find is not every talent can do everything. I like on a radio station to have all the talent be kind of different. If you had the same traits in every talent it could get boring all day.
Every talent is like a quarterback and has certain skill sets that are better than others. What does Colin really do well, better than a lot of people? He tells a story. Every talent is so different in what they can do. I believe energy is really important. You’ve got passion. You give strong opinions and it comes across to the audience. “I’m really happy to be here today.” Likability is a really strong talent. I know if I have a talent that’s got a half dozen of those traits, then I feel that’s a talent that’s got real potential and I can work with.
BN: If one of your hosts has a view that the audience just doesn’t want to hear — maybe it’s critical in nature — what advice would you give to your talent on how to approach those situations?
SM: What I tell my talent is do it from a foundation of fact. You have some kind of fact to back up what you want to say. On my station we’ll say do it from a foundation of news because that’s basically what we are. We’re always talking about the news events of the day. The second thing — and I was very consistent about this everywhere I worked — never make it personal. If you make it personal that’s where problems happen. Whether it’s sports, news, a morning show; that’s not going to help you. My midday host, Clarence Mitchell IV, is a former Maryland politician. He’s well known by everybody in the market. He’s a really passionate guy. He’s not afraid to go after anybody. But he never, ever gets personal. That to me is the big difference.
When you’re a flagship for a professional sports team such as my station is for the Ravens, if the team is losing and having real problems, you still have to talk about it. But you’ve got to be smart in how you do that because you’ve got that partnership and you want to make sure that it moves forward in a positive direction. We had a case like that a year ago when the Ravens were struggling before they decided to put Lamar Jackson in. People on the talk shows were very upset that the team wasn’t doing what they should be doing to win football games. We were involved in that, but we made sure we communicated to the talent about how to approach it and not get to a point where it becomes personal. When it gets personal you’ve got problems.
BN: I’m curious about your personal background, have you always been big into politics?
SM: Not really. I really wasn’t even big into sports. But I got big into radio. I loved being an on-air jock playing bad disco records in the late ‘70s. I played a lot of those, but I was on the air and it was just engaging to me.
The best program directors are ones that can do multiple formats. I did sports for a long time. I also did adult contemporary. I did oldies. Now I’m doing news and spoken word. The medium is still very engaging to me. It’s changing and we have to be smart and adapt to that. To me it was always about wanting to be a broadcaster.
BN: What do you think about Jason Barrett putting on the Summit and the work he’s doing with BSM?
SM: The biggest thing is, I think it’s important to understand the amount of work that goes into putting a conference together. My last year at ESPN I had to put together a conference for a bunch of affiliates from across the country and get them to come to Bristol. When you work on a project like this, it takes up almost a year.
I noticed Jason was reacting as soon as he was done with the last one. Where is he going to have it? He’s got to find a venue. He’s got to then set up who he’s going to have involved in the conference. He’s got to put the agenda together. There’s so much behind the scenes work that goes on. By the way that’s while he’s doing all of the other stuff he has to do in his business. That to me is what it’s all about and understanding how to prioritize. You can’t do it all by yourself. He’s got to have people he respects and counts on to help him put that whole process together. I’m looking forward to the event and checking it out because this will be my first time attending.
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.
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.
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.