Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

Barrett Blogs

2020 BSM Summit – Day 1

“A recap of what’s been taking place at the 2020 BSM Summit.”

Brandon Contes

Published

on

blank

9:00-9:10 – Opening Remarks by Jason Barrett

Jason Barrett welcomes the attendees to the 2020 BSM Summit and introduces the first panel featuring Mike Thomas, Spike Eskin, Mitch Rosen and Scott Masteller.

9:10-9:50 – 5 on 5 presented by Core Image Studio

blank
  • Mitch Rosen-PD, 670 The Score Chicago/105.7 The Fan MKE
    Reaching Younger Audiences – Most younger people do not use AM radio, some cars don’t even come with AM radio anymore. The challenge is getting the younger person to our content, once they get there, we’re confident they’ll like it, but we need to find different ways to bring people in.

    The Value of Team Partnerships – Play-by-play partnerships with teams are absolutely important. Teams value sports radio especially in Chicago. Team executives listen to sports radio, they listen when their players and coaches are on. Having play-by-play on radio is vital for sales and marketing. There are also partnerships such as DePaul University that are more of a revenue deal where we put in the contract the games won’t air before 6pm.

  • Mike Thomas-Market Manager-ESPN 1000 Chicago
    Reaching Younger Audiences: Utilize Twitch and YouTube, younger people spend hours and hours online, we need to have our content accessible to where they are.

    The Value of Guests – Guests can be crutches for shows, fans tune in to hear the hosts. The connection listeners have to shows is through their hosts. But the importance of a guest can also depend on the show. Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub were not originally sports hosts, so a sports guest can be helpful to their show. For Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000, Waddle played in the NFL, he’s going to be better at breaking down the game and connecting with our audience than a guest will.

  • Spike Eskin-PD, WIP/WPHT Philadelphia
    The younger demographic has grown up in a world that creates content tailored to their wants. We can’t only think about how to deliver the content, we need to think does the traditional sports talk on our main stream actually appeal to them? The content itself has to be right because they’re used to being catered to.

    The Value of Guests – When a show discusses having a guest, I say why and what are we going to ask them. If it’s not easily answered then we’re not going to use the guest.

    Ratings vs. Total Audience Reach – Traditionally, radio used the web to point users back to the radio. The future of WIP, is our brand is Philadelphia sports, but we need to find as many audiences as we can and it’s okay to have separate audiences. Our content on Facebook can appeal to Facebook users, our content on Twitter will appeal to Twitter users and it doesn’t need to all point back to the radio. The future is being able to monetize them separately.

    The Value of Team Partnerships – We can have too much play-by-play. Every year I revisit as to if we should carry the NCAA Tournament. Unless there is a local team making a run in the Tournament, nobody in Philly is talking about. The Eagles and Phillies are always great to have on-air, but you can have too much play-by-play.

  • Scott Masteller-PD, WBAL Baltimore
    The Value of Guests – Less is more because attention spans have never been shorter. A great interview can be three or four minutes and then you react to it after. Why are people tuning in? They tune in to hear the host and their perspective. Talent must know how to conduct a good interview to keep the listener tuned in.

    Coaching Talent – You need to let the talent know you have their back. Unless you’ve been a host, it’s hard to grasp how difficult it is especially with requests from sales. The most important thing is being able to provide feedback. Let the talent have their way, respect the talent and when you do that, they’ll be more receptive to feedback.

    The Value of Team Partnerships – It has to be an ongoing conversation and it has to be that there are no big surprises. If there’s ever going to be a time we’re going to be critical of the team, we pick up the phone and let them know so they’re not blindsided. It’s important to maintain the relationship so the team doesn’t want to look for a partnership elsewhere. Play-by-play partnerships have to be relevant. You can have too much , you don’t want broadcasts to get lost in the shuffle, it needs to be relevant and something you can promote.
  • Moderator: Jason Barrett, President, Barrett Sports Media

9:50-10:25 – Sports Radio on the Infinite Dial

  • Larry Rosin-President, Co-Founder Edison Research

TSL – Time Spent Listening is falling.

For Americans’ 13+ AM/FM radio represents 44% of listening, all other platforms are 56%. Age 55+ represents 62% of the AM/FM listening share, age 35-54 represents 45% and age 13-34 is just 28%.

For people listening to sports radio, 65% of it is done on AM/FM radio, while 35% is on other platforms.

Rosin includes a graphic offering reasons why people change the radio station. 74% have said they want to find something different, 65% want to browse channels, 59% switch because a commercial started, 43% said they just like switching stations.

Z100 in New York has a 14-minute commercial block everyday at 10:03am. Edison Research played the full break for a younger demographic to see their reaction to the commercials. The listeners were clearly uncomfortable needing to sit through that many ads, some of them didn’t believe the break was legitimate, but they all said they would have started listening to content on another platform at various points.

Consumers understand there is now an escape from radio. If they’re getting bored listening to the radio they can go to podcasts or Spotify, they have other options.

Radio stations believe their job is to get commercials on the radio station, but Edison believes the job should be to get people to hear radio commercials, not just to play them. If commercial ratings were tracked, the mentality of radio stations would change. Having less commercials, but attracting more commercial listeners should be valued. Radio needs more engaging, relevant and local commercials.

10:40-11:20 – Inside The Game presented by Benztown Branding

blank
  • Howie Deneroff – Executive VP/Producer Westwood One Sports
    Having announcers with radio backgrounds is important. Calling a game on TV is very different from radio and they need to know how detailed the calls have to be. It can’t just be ‘his foot was out of bounds,’ it has to be his left foot is out of bounds, on the left sideline at this specific yard line.

    What signals a great broadcast? A better game makes for a better broadcast. You can only make so much out of a terrible game. I beat myself up if we don’t get a note in that I wanted to, but we also can’t force it. I’m never satisfied, but if you don’t misidentify anything, if you don’t give out wrong information and you have fun, it’s a good broadcast.

  • Bob Wischusen – ESPN PXP Announcer & Voice of NY Jets
    You have to understand your audience, if I’m calling a Jets game in New York, most of the listeners are Jets fans. If I’m covering a Rams-Titans game on a Thursday night, the research for both teams is even and the excitement has to be the same for touchdown calls. If it’s a Jets’ broadcast, Jets fans don’t care about an interesting story from the third wide receiver on the opposition.

    Adjusting to television from radio, sometimes less is more, letting the crowd set the scene in a big moment can be important. On radio, you’re always talking and you can’t say the clock and score enough. If an announcer with a TV background goes to radio, they need to remember or be reminded to constantly give the clock and score, you can’t go 15-minutes of real time without updating the listeners.

    For TV it’s not a problem to have a three-person booth, but you can’t do it on radio. On television, the play-by-play announcer doesn’t have to talk as much so there is room for two analysts, on radio the analysts would need to agree to alternate. Radio is a play-by-play announcer’s world, TV is an analyst’s world.

    If a radio station that carries the Jets games calls me and asks me to go on one of their shows, I consider that part of the job even if they’re not the flagship.

  • Matt Nahigian – PD, 95.7 The Game, Entercom Co-Captain of SF
    A lot of people think we’re the Warriors station and don’t know anything else about us. So getting promos in for our shows during broadcasts is very important.

    When I got to 95.7 The Game, we had the Athletics on our station. I made a choice content-wise to talk more about the Giants on our shows. The A’s didn’t like that and left when the contract was up. We aired their games, we promoted their games, but just like I didn’t tell them who to sign and trade for, they couldn’t tell us what to talk about. Don’t let teams tell you what to talk about even if you have the rights to their games. It’s your station.

    Be honest, but don’t take personal shots at players or teams, and don’t just say something for the sake of saying it. With the Warriors, they were good for so long that it doesn’t make sense to start taking shots at them now that they’re the worst team in the league.

    It’s not worth having partnerships with players if they’re going to be late to interviews or not say anything interesting on-air.

  • Jason Dixon – Director of Sports Programming, SiriusXM
    I think there is a lot more to the A’s leaving radio than is shown. All 30 teams aren’t going to just decide there is no need for radio. Those partnerships are still important.

    We have different levels of promotion for games, if it’s a big game we’ll push it, especially day of because on SiriusXM there is so much content, people don’t choose what they’re going to listen to days in advance.
  • Moderator: Bruce Gilbert, SVP Sports Cumulus/Westwood One

11:20-12:00 – The Relevance of Radio

  • Brandon Tierney-Host of Tiki & Tierney on CBS Sports Radio, TV contributor on CBS Sports Network, Discovery, The BIG 3, St. John’s Basketball
    Radio is oxygen to me. It’s a gripping medium if it’s done right and properly.

    You have to identify what will make you happy. I enjoyed the unknown, the unpredictability of working in radio and not knowing what was next. If you’re afraid of failure, you’re going to get crushed in this business because it’s incredibly competitive. Be prepared for some bumps and see how resilient you are.

    I didn’t have an agent until after I left Detroit. It’s beneficial to learn the mechanics of the industry. If you can avoid having an agent you first few years, it helps to learn the business. But talking about money is an uncomfortable position, and once that happens it’s a good idea to get an agent.

  • Bomani Jones-ESPN High Noon, Right Time w/ Bomani Jones
    The relationship with your audience on radio is different than anywhere else. The connection you have can’t be replicated.

    There are a lot of narrow mediums, if you love radio than do it. If you like people and enjoy doing this then give it a run. You might not do it for 20 or 30 years, but there aren’t many jobs that you can have for 20 or 30 years. You can be an accountant, so if you feel like dying for 30 years then go do that, but if you love radio then go for it.

    If you’re trying to be ambitious with a show, you need a program director that believes in you enough to let it happen. If you have a program director that will try to tinker and monitor it to shape it back to what they want, then you don’t have a chance even if you’re successful. A lot of program directors don’t give listeners enough credit in believing they can handle more than traditional sports talk.

    Figuring out how to monetize podcasts is very difficult because anybody can make a podcast. That’s not an insult, but literally anybody can record a podcast. Radio shows are limited, if you’re doing a radio show, someone has vouched for you and it gives you credibility.

    We also need to pay producers. If you want to have good people running these shows, you need to pay them because they have families, they have kids and they’ll have to leave for other jobs. For talent, at some point it becomes, how much more money do we really need? The convenience becomes the thing you value and a lot of time producers are just seen as line items.

  • Peter Rosenberg-Co-Host on The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN NY, morning show co-host on Ebron in the Morning on Hot 97, Host of the Cheap Heat Podcast
    If you love radio then do it. Radio has been amazing to me, I’ve sat in rooms with people I have no business being near. Looking back to when I was in Ocean City, which was great, I had no idea what heights radio could have brought me to.

    I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I didn’t have positive relationships with both of my program directors and both relationships are different. My co-host at Hot 97, Ebron was a program director so he kind of programs our show. I mostly hear from our program director just saying good job, keep it up. With ESPN, Ryan Hurley worked on The Michael Kay Show, he’s involved in the show and we still meet daily. But both relationships are great.

    I have heard that radio is dying and people look at podcasting as the future because it’s a cool new medium where people talk about different topics and people can find different shows to listen to. You know what podcasting sounds like? Radio! Ultimately it comes back around to radio where someone vouches for you as being good and people can find the best shows in one place.
  • Paul Finebaum-Host of The Paul Finebaum Show on The SEC Network and ESPN Radio, TV contributor to College Gameday and Get Up
    Radio was an escape for me because I was a newspaper columnist that saw that business crashing and it gave me somewhere to go. We don’t have the best guests, we might not be the best show, but we have the best calls. It’s an insane asylum, but it’s my insane asylum and the bond with the audience is different than any other medium.

    I would tell people not to get into radio. Someone called me and thanked me recently for convincing them to go to law school instead of trying this business. I don’t think there has ever been a more difficult time to get in this business and be successful.

    You can’t do this for money. Radio is more about loving it than it is cashing a paycheck. At the local level it’s especially difficult because some local stations won’t even talk to an agent. You want to work with a program director that understands what the talent needs and wants. When a middle-level manager won’t stand up for talent, it kills the talent. You’ll lose them and they will become disgruntled.
  • Moderator: Jason Barrett, President, Barrett Sports Media

1:00-1:35 – BSM Awards Ceremony presented by Premiere Radio Networks

blank

The Jeff Smulyan Award:

  • Jeff Smulyan-CEO Emmis Communications
    Every year that this award is presented in my honor and not my memory is a big thrill for me.

    The first 18 months of WFAN were very rocky. Every day at 5:00pm, Rick Cummings would walk into my office and say ‘it’s 5 o’clock, we lost another $29,000.’ The line in life of being a genius and an idiot is very fine. With WFAN, I quickly went from being an idiot to a genius. I’ve done other things where I went from a genius to an idiot.

    There isn’t anything in this business Dan Mason hasn’t done. He’s operated stations, he’s been a play-by-play announcer. In addition to all that he’s done in radio, he’s also served as a chairman to the Broadcasters Foundation of America which raises money for broadcasters in need. The mark he has left in not only sports radio, but all of American radio is indelible.

  • Dan Mason-Chairman VSiN

    I think of all of the risks Jeff Smulyan took with WFAN back in its early years, and how important the success of that brand has been to the growth of the sports radio format, it’s an honor to be presented with an award in Jeff’s name.

    When I first met with VSiN I quickly realized they were set with on-air talent. We discussed working at the executive-level and eventually moved to being a partner. Over the course of one dinner I went from being on-air to being a partner. VSiN lowers the demographic of sports. Younger people look for stats and numbers because they want to bet.

The Tony Bruno Award:

  • Tony Bruno-Host Tony Bruno Show
    I can’t believe this is the 50th anniversary of me starting in radio and some of the people in this room ran my board years ago. That’s what’s great about this business, seeing people work their way up in the industry. I’ve done AM radio, FM radio, satellite radio and now I’m embracing digital. Many people my age don’t know what Twitch is. If you create great content, whether it’s sports or news, people will find it.

    Terrestrial radio will never die, but people who don’t embrace digital are not dealing with the facts of life. I’m not dominating the digital world, but I’m having fun and that’s what it’s about.

    Last year it was Clay Travis, a former lawyer who won this award, this year it’s a former punter, who left his NFL career to make his mark in the radio industry.
  • Pat McAfee-Host CBS Sports Radio/Westwood One, DAZN, TV Contributor to ESPN and the WWE
    I started out with the Bob and Tom Show, a nationally syndicated show based out of Indianapolis and Bob Kevoian told me, terrestrial radio is free, nobody is ever going to be done with anything that’s free because people love free s**t.

    I asked Mike Francesa for recommendations to getting into this business. His only advice was ‘don’t listen to anybody.’ People will try to change you, but don’t listen to anybody. That’s our approach.
    I’m very thankful and lucky for the people on my show and Westwood One. If you’re a program director that has our show, you probably get complaints that we missed a break or didn’t end our show on time, but that’s 100% because we have no f*****g idea what we’re doing.

1:35-2:20 – A Conversation with Mike Francesa

  • Mike Francesa, WFAN/Radio.com
    I had the same day forever. I worked on the same station at the same time for almost 34 years. I was on-air from 1pm – 6:30pm everyday. I would leave the house around 10am and get back 8:30 at night. It was a very long day. I wanted to spend more time with kids, I thought it was important to downsize.

    I wasn’t expecting to do the FAN, I thought I was going to just to RADIO.COM, but they wanted me to stay and still be involved at the station and WFAN is my home. It’s enough to keep busy, but I’m used to being the epicenter of everything, so it’s a transition, but it’s time to let someone else carry the ball.

    Do you like the nickname Number 1? “I love it, I’m the most competitive guy alive.”

    My producers and board-ops got paid handsomely if we finished first, they didn’t get anything extra if we finished second. This is a very competitive city, radio is a very competitive business. Revenue and ratings. That’s it, that is radio. If you want to be paid in this business, it’s about ratings and revenue.

    Mark Chernoff would never talk to me about content, he would never suggest topics to talk about, but he would come in and say ‘lets put commercials this way, or do this in a specific quarter hour,’ he knows things about ratings that no one else knows. He’s a mad-scientist with ratings.

    I looked at ratings every week as soon as they came out. You can’t react week to week because one day can throw them off. People should not change their performance based on one week, but they should look at what they can do better. Use them to see if different things work, it shouldn’t change your content, but it can change how you use the clock.

    I was someone who, people wanted my take. People tuned in to hear what I thought. I didn’t like teasing segments, but that might not work for everyone.

    Every show came from Mike and the Mad Dog. It changed sports talk. Pardon The Interruption came from Mike and the Mad Dog, Mike and Mike came from Mike and the Mad Dog. Dog and I have both worked alone for 13 years now, but we changed the model of sports talk.

    To turn away the 55-65 age group in advertising is stupid. Advertisers are missing a golden audience. The ratings demo should have shifted. People under 30 can’t buy houses, they have a ton of debt, a big night is going out with their girlfriends to Wendy’s. Ask a Mercedes dealership how many cars they sold to someone between the age of 18-34, then ask them how many cars they sold to people between the ages 55-65. We checked my ratings, they went up three points when we included the listeners between 55 and 65. They’re still working, people don’t retire as early as they used to.

    When you get a lot of attention and paid really well, with that comes criticism. I’m outspoken and brash, I gave it, so I have to take it. I was covered like the teams, I would get the back page two or three times a week. I’m a click magnet, so people look for stories to write about, if they don’t have a story to write, they’ll make one up. You take the good with the bad.

    I prefer doing the show by myself, but I miss Dog because there were days we reached heights that I have never reached and no one has ever reached. Dog and I haven’t been together for a year and a half, but if he was here, we could captivate you for an hour. It’s a rare organic chemistry.
  • Moderator: Jason Barrett, President, Barrett Sports Media

2:20-2:55 – What Am I Buying? presented by Premiere Radio Networks

blank
  • Pam Koss-Trax Marketing, Media Director
    One of the best things I’ve done in this job is build relationships. I have great relationships with WFAN, WEEI, The Sports Hub. I consider them my friends, not in that we’re going out to dinner, but we have an organic relationship with our partners. If I don’t get the feel of a relationship and partnership that’s a two-way street, then they’re not working with us anymore.

    ‘Nobody Beats Town Fair, Nobody,’ I don’t need a 30-second commercial, I just need it to be said for people to remember it. People recognize that brand from hearing it on sports radio especially when the host puts emphasis on the ‘no’ in nobody.

    78% of my media budget is sports radio. My boss recently questioned if we’re shifting too much to radio from TV, but radio always delivers.

    If you can’t buy sports in Boston then you’re not doing your job. They have one team in each sport, men and women listen to those games. Sports is thriving.

  • Lauren McHale-Katz Media, SVP Director of Sales
    There is not a one-size fits all as to what platforms advertisers should be focused on. If the foundation is terrestrial radio, you can look to expand into the digital space. Advertisers need to start with where you know you want to be and figure out what you’re not getting from that relationship.

    Non-original podcasts are still important for advertising. People are busy, they like specific hosts and digital gives them a different way to get that audio. In the audio space, every time something gets introduced, it adds to the audio consumption for the listener. Online isn’t cannibalizing terrestrial, it adds to the way people can find audio.

    I don’t care if there are 40 spots in a minute during a play-by-play broadcast, I just need to know the talent is going to read the ad organically. In Chicago, New York and Boston, those baseball play-by-play broadcasts bring in a lot of listeners when the season starts and it’s not because people happen to move into the area every year in late March.

  • Mark Lefkowitz-Furman Roth, Executive VP and Partner Media Director
    The more integrated we are with radio stations, the better. The close relationships that we have with those stations helps advertisers feel comfortable with the partnership they have with them.

    Commercials on terrestrial radio might reach more people, but the person that downloads that same show as a podcast and listens to the show when they’re not at work, they might have a better chance of hearing and consuming the commercial.

    Play-by-play broadcasts are over-commercialized. Carriage fees are exorbitant, but having too many ad spots cheapens and diminishes the value that we as advertisers are looking for.

    The older demographic is a big part of our advertising and sports is a great way to reach them.
  • Moderator: Don Martin, SVP Sports FOX Sports Radio/Premiere Radio Networks, VP and GM of AM 570 LA Sports

3:10-3:45 – 4 Ways To Fix Sports Radio’s Podcasting Problem

Steven Goldstein, CEO Amplifi Media
There are over 900,000 podcasts. The medium age of podcast listeners is 35, the medium age for AM/FM listening is 47, the medium age for a sports talk listener is 51.

Media involves reinvention, but radio stations don’t have a real podcast strategy. They check the box by turning their shows into a podcast and they move on. They barely promote them and who wants to listen to three straight hours of content anyway? Have a podcast strategy based on target, content, promotion and discoverability.

59% of AQH comes from P1 listeners, the average P1 listener listens to 47 minutes of a morning show, which means they hear 26% of a three hour show. The average P1 listener listens just two days a week to that show. There is a lot of room to get those P1 listeners with the show’s best content through a podcast if it’s marketed correctly.

1310 The Ticket in Dallas takes the best bits of the day and puts them into one podcast which gets 1 million listens per month. 1050 WTKA podcasts Michigan Insiders and gets 400,000 monthly listens because they market it correctly.

Smart speakers are thought of as being a great way to get radio back inside homes, but the reason radios ended up in the basement was because the listener didn’t need radio, they had other options and they still do. Only 4% of homes listen to AM/FM on smart speakers. Alexa will soon be in cars, and consumers will be able to easily ask for whatever they want to hear without relying on terrestrial radio.

3:45-4:20 – Bet On It

  • Patrick Keane-CEO Action Network
    Education is just as important as entertainment for sports betting because there are a lot of consumers that don’t fully understand how to bet.

    There’s probably 12 to 15 million people that bet $50 per week right now. Betting has to be mobile, it has to be accessible, it has to be responsible and there is a massive market that will explode as more states legalize it. 87% of New Jersey’s sports betting is done online.

    Trust and authenticity is important, people see through it if we’re not authentic. We’ve done the analysis and used our tools, we’re not going to guarantee betting success, but we’ll let you make an informed decision.

    The most forward thinking leagues for sports betting have been the PGA and NBA. They recognize the shift to wagering is inevitable, whereas the NFL is taking baby steps. Challenger leagues like the XFL are going to and have moved very quickly, they’re the most forward thinking leagues.

  • Mike Dee-President of Sports Entercom
    I’ve seen the change in the last two years from where we started to where we are today. I think there will be a continued gradual expansion and embracing of sports betting content . If we look back, we’ll see opportunities that we missed two years ago and I suspect two years from now we can look back to today and do the same thing. We’re still in the early innings of this process and we’ll continue to modulate how much sports betting content we expose our core radio audience to, but we’ll supplement that with content on other avenues.

    Leagues are challenged with how to keep fans engaged over the course of an 82-game or 162-game season, but sports betting and FanDuel presents a way for them to do that. Consumers stay tuned in and engaged if they have a betting interest in the game.

    It’s not just about money lines and spreads, it’s about appealing to the fans. We’re the gateway for new sports betting customers, we offer a reservoir of sports fans who may not have bet since they filled out a football card years ago.

  • Joe Yanarella-GM/SVP of Sports Betting Bleacher Report
    Our demo is largely 21-34 and our way to connect with them is through culture and interest. Three things have changed the way we watch sports – television, fantasy and betting. It changes the way the average consumer sits down to watch a game.

    Our most liked social post this year was on the prop bet about when will an Astros player get hit by a pitch this year.

  • Mike Raffensperger-Chief Marketing Officer FanDuel
    Sports betting also offers great stories, the amount of data we have with how the line has moved and different prop bets creates content. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that did not exist two years ago.

    The commercial opportunity is there for sports radio because we have unique promotions that the hosts doing the reads are legitimately excited about and you can hear that on-air.

  • Moderator: Brian Noe, Host FOX Sports Radio

4:20-4:55 – The Barstool Way

  • Erika Nardini-CEO Barstool Sports
    We understand the internet, we’re very hungry and disruptive by nature. We now have 55 brands and more than 70 personalities, we’re good at finding talent on the internet and figuring out how to grow them. We understand Instagram and Twitter very well, we’re starting to understand TikTok and we use podcasts very well.

    When I got to Barstool in 2016, we didn’t really have a company, we were a regional blog with 12 employees. Dave Portnoy and I were able to build a company the way it should be built in 2016, which is primed for the internet.

    There are still a lot of people who root against us, but Dave built a relationship with the audience that was real. Social media companies didn’t walk up to us in 2016 and want to build partnerships, we just used what was available to us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    We give everybody freedom, anyone that works at Barstool can end up on camera, everyone winds up in content. A lot of things suck and that’s okay, but that’s how you find things that work.

    Radio is a really powerful medium, people write off radio and it’s not fair and people wrote Barstool off in the same way. I want to be more like radio because I look at the podcast business and think the internet people are going to screw it up. In radio, you have listeners and people who care about what the hosts are going to say. I still listen to 98.5 and what they have to say about the Patriots.

    Kirk Minihane has fans that hang on every single thing Kirk has to say. I love Kirk, we have a great relationship. We’re very honest with brands that we’re looking to partner with, we have super loyal fans, hosts that are unafraid and will attack any topic, and a lot of times that translates to more listens and downloads. With Kirk, I had an activist that wrote me hundreds of emails, that were disturbing. I can only imagine the emails Kirk received. In the places Kirk came from, no one stood with Kirk, he was told he’s wrong.

    An ad-only business is dangerous because the advertiser controls what you can say. I didn’t want our personalities who are funny and creative to worry about what a suit is going to say. Talent comes first. If I ran a radio station I would create merchandise, I would make hosts stars through meetups and events. Take what the hosts really care about and let them connect with their fans through that.


    There is a ton that has to be figured out with the podcast business, but the biggest thing about a podcast is it’s a relationship between the hosts and a section of listeners. It was easy for our personalities to move from blogging to podcasting, because it was the same concept – have a topic to talk about.

    When Big Cat says he used betMGM, he drinks Bud Light or he lent PFT money with Cash App, our consumers use betMGM, drink But Light and download Cash App because he’s woven that ad into a story-line. The host listener relationship is really important.

    People who, need a script, have to ask what to say and be told what time to be do something are too rigid for Barstool. The people that I like are the people who are breaking through on their own. If you can stand out in front of millions and maybe billions of pieces of content online, that’s who want.

    When I got to Barstool I had a hard time finding women that wanted to work with us, but now we are 40% women, we have more women on radio and podcasting than anybody. Our management team is predominantly female. It ticks me off when people say Dave is misogynistic, because then I am the benefit of that misogyny.

Barrett Blogs

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

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

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.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media is Making Changes To Better Serve Our Sports and News Media Readers

“We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

When I launched this website all I wanted to do was share news, insight and stories about broadcasters and brands. My love, passion and respect for this business is strong, and I know many of you reading this feel similar. I spent two great decades in radio watching how little attention was paid to those who played a big part in their audiences lives. The occasional clickbait story and contract drama would find their way into the newspapers but rarely did you learn about the twists and turns of a broadcaster’s career, their approach to content or the tactics and strategies needed to succeed in the industry. When personal reasons led me home to NY in 2015, I decided I was going to try my best to change that.

Since launching this brand, we’ve done a good job informing and entertaining media industry professionals, while also helping consulting clients and advertising partners improve their businesses. We’ve earned respect from the industry’s top stars, programming minds and mainstream media outlets, growing traffic from 50K per month to 500K and monthly social impressions from a few thousand to a few million. Along the way we’ve added conferences, rankings, podcasts, a member directory, and as I’ve said before, this is the best and most important work I’ve ever done, and I’m not interested in doing anything else.

If I’ve learned anything over seven years of operating a digital content company it’s that you need skill, strategy, passion, differentiating content, and good people to create impact. You also need luck, support, curiosity and an understanding of when to double down, cut bait or pivot. It’s why I added Stephanie Eads as our Director of Sales and hired additional editors, columnists and features reporters earlier this year. To run a brand like ours properly, time and investment are needed. We’ve consistently grown and continue to invest in our future, and it’s my hope that more groups will recognize the value we provide, and give greater consideration to marketing with us in the future.

But with growth comes challenges. Sometimes you can have the right idea but bad timing. I learned that when we launched Barrett News Media.

We introduced BNM in September 2020, two months before the election when emotions were high and COVID was a daily discussion. I wasn’t comfortable then of blending BNM and BSM content because I knew we’d built a trusted sports media resource, and I didn’t want to shrink one audience while trying to grow another. Given how personal the election and COVID became for folks, I knew the content mix would look and feel awkward on our site.

So we made the decision to start BNM with its own website. We ran the two brands independently and had the right plan of attack, but discovered that our timing wasn’t great.

The first nine months readership was light, which I expected since we were new and trying to build an audience from scratch. I believed in the long-term mission, which was why I stuck with it through all of the growing pains, but I also felt a responsibility to make sure our BNM writing team and the advertising partners we forged relationships with were being seen by as many people as possible. We continued with the original plan until May 2021 when after a number of back and forth debates, I finally agreed to merge the two sites. I figured if WFAN could thrive with Imus in the Morning and Mike and the Mad Dog in the afternoon, and the NY Times, LA Times, KOA, KMOX and numerous other newspaper and radio brands could find a way to blend sports and news/talk, then so could we.

And it worked.

We dove in and started to showcase both formats, building social channels and groups for each, growing newsletter databases, and with the addition of a few top notch writers, BNM began making bigger strides. Now featured under the BSM roof, the site looked bigger, the supply of daily content became massive, and our people were enjoying the increased attention.

Except now we had other issues. Too many stories meant many weren’t being read and more mistakes were slipping through the cracks. None of our crew strive to misspell a word or write a sloppy headline but when the staff and workload doubles and you’re trying to focus on two different formats, things can get missed. Hey, we’re all human.

Then a few other things happened that forced a larger discussion with my editors.

First, I thought about how much original material we were creating for BSM from our podcast network, Summit, Countdown to Coverage series, Meet the Market Managers, BSM Top 20, and began to ask myself ‘if we’re doing all of this for sports readers, what does that tell folks who read us for news?’ We then ran a survey to learn what people valued about our brand and though most of the feedback was excellent, I saw how strong the response was to our sports content, and how news had grown but felt second fiddle to those offering feedback.

Then, Andy Bloom wrote an interesting column explaining why radio hosts would be wise to stop talking about Donald Trump. It was the type of piece that should’ve been front and center on a news site all day but with 3 featured slots on the site and 7 original columns coming in that day, they couldn’t all be highlighted the way they sometimes should be. We’re actually going through that again today. That said, Andy’s column cut through. A few sports media folks didn’t like seeing it on the site, which wasn’t a surprise since Trump is a polarizing personality, but the content resonated well with the news/talk crowd.

National talk radio host Mike Gallagher was among the folks to see Andy’s piece, and he spent time on his show talking about the column. Mike’s segment was excellent, and when he referenced the article, he did the professional thing and credited our website – Barrett SPORTS Media. I was appreciative of Mike spending time on his program discussing our content but it was a reminder that we had news living under a sports roof and it deserved better than that.

I then read some of Pete Mundo, Doug Pucci and Rick Schultz’s columns and Jim Cryns’ features on Chris Ruddy, Phil Boyce, and David Santrella, and knew we were doing a lot of quality work but each time we produced stories, folks were reminded that it lived on a SPORTS site. I met a few folks who valued the site, recognized the increased focus we put on our news/talk coverage, and hoped we had plans to do more. Jim also received feedback along the lines of “good to see you guys finally in the news space, hope there’s more to come.”

Wanting to better understand our opportunities and challenges, I reviewed our workflow, looked at which content was hitting and missing the mark, thought about the increased relationships we’d worked hard to develop, and the short-term and long-term goals for BNM. I knew it was time to choose a path. Did I want to think short-term and keep everything under one roof to protect our current traffic and avoid disrupting people or was it smarter to look at the big picture and create a destination where news/talk media content could be prioritized rather than treated as BSM’s step-child?

Though I spent most of my career in sports media and established BSM first, it’s important to me to serve the news/talk media industry our very best. I want every news/talk executive, host, programmer, market manager, agent, producer, seller and advertiser to know this format matters to us. Hopefully you’ve seen that in the content we’ve created over the past two years. My goal is to deliver for news media professionals what we have for sports media folks and though that may be a tall order, we’re going to bust our asses to make it happen. To prove that this isn’t just lip service, here’s what we’re going to do.

Starting next Monday November 28th, we are relaunching BarrettNewsMedia.com. ALL new content produced by the BNM writing team will be available daily under that URL. For the first 70-days we will display news media columns from our BNM writers on both sites and support them with promotion across both of our brands social channels. The goal is to have the two sites running independent of each other by February 6, 2023.

Also starting on Monday November 28th, we will begin distributing the BNM Rundown newsletter 5 days per week. We’ve been sending out the Rundown every M-W-F since October 2021, but the time has come for us to send it out daily. With increased distribution comes two small adjustments. We will reduce our daily story count from 10 to 8 and make it a goal to deliver it to your inbox each day by 3pm ET. If you haven’t signed up to receive the Rundown, please do. You can click here to register. Be sure to scroll down past the 8@8 area.

Additionally, Barrett News Media is going to release its first edition of the BNM Top 20 of 2022. This will come out December 12-16 and 19-20. The category winners will be decided by more than 50 news/talk radio program directors and executives. Among the categories to be featured will be best Major/Mid Market Local morning, midday, and afternoon show, best Local News/Talk PD, best Local News/Talk Station, best National Talk Radio Show, and best Original Digital Show. The voting process with format decision makers begins today and will continue for two weeks. I’ve already got a number of people involved but if you work in an executive or programming role in the news/talk format and wish to be part of it, send an email to me at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

We have one other big thing coming to Barrett News Media in 2023, which I will announce right after the BNM Top 20 on Wednesday December 21st. I’m sure news/talk professionals will like what we have planned but for now, it’ll have to be a month long tease. I promise though to pay it off.

Additionally, I’m always looking for industry folks who know and love the business and enjoy writing about it. If you’ve programmed, hosted, sold or reported in the news/talk world and have something to offer, email me. Also, if you’re a host, producer, programmer, executive, promotions or PR person and think something from your brand warrants coverage on our site, send it along. Most of what we write comes from listening to stations and digging across the web and social media. Receiving your press releases and getting a heads up on things you’re doing always helps.

If you’re a fan of BSM, this won’t affect you much. The only difference you’ll notice in the coming months is a gradual reduction of news media content on the BSM website and our social accounts sharing a little about both formats over the next two months until we’re officially split in February. We are also going to dabble a little more in marketing, research and tech content that serves both formats. If you’re a reader who enjoys both forms of our content, you’ll soon have BarrettSportsMedia.com for sports, and BarrettNewsMedia.com for news.

Our first two years in the news/talk space have been very productive but we’ve only scratched the surface. Starting November 28th, news takes center stage on BarrettNewsMedia.com and sports gets less crowded on BarrettSportsMedia.com. We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future. If we can count on you to remember two URL’s (add them to your bookmarks) and sign up for our newsletters, then you can count on us to continue delivering exceptional coverage of the industry you love. As always, thanks for the continued support. It makes everything we do worthwhile.

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.