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Harry Teinowitz Needs Your Help

“I’m not going to get a liver on Twitter, but I’ve been trying.”

Derek Futterman




On the night of March 4, 2011, ESPN 1000 Chicago personality Harry Teinowitz was behind the wheel on the way back from a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game. The team had defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2, the latest victory en route to a 97-point season and appearance in the NHL Western Conference Quarterfinals, and Teinowitz had thoroughly enjoyed himself at the United Center. He was used to drinking beer at sporting events, oftentimes being tasked by executives at the station to mingle over drinks with sponsors at various Chicago-based venues. Despite enjoying the beverage, he hardly drank too much, usually not finishing two beers on a given night.

Yet when the venues began serving alcoholic beverages, he was unable to control himself. The same went for remote broadcasts, which his show, Mac, Jurko and Harry, would conduct biweekly on Fridays across Chicagoland. Upon concluding the four-hour remote broadcast, he and his co-hosts would converse with the listeners over drinks. Once these events or games ended, Teinowitz was oblivious and took the wheel without waiting to sober up or even bothering to try to find an alternate means of transportation. 

Two blocks away from his home on that March 2011 night, a police officer pulled Teinowitz over after a tow truck driver had seen him and called him in. While Teinowitz is grateful for that driver, he was irate towards him once he was told the only reason he was reported that night was so the driver could make money off of his vehicle once it was impounded. After police found that his blood alcohol content was .131, significantly above legal intoxication, Teinowitz’s driver’s license was immediately revoked. Moreover, he was charged with a count of DUI, along with a count of DUI greater than .08 and two counts of improper lane usage.

“If I don’t get pulled over that night, I’m long gone,” Teinowitz said. “…I should not have been driving and I blamed everybody but me. ‘The bartender served me so much. The second bartender served me so much. The valet shouldn’t have given me my car back.’ It was never my fault. I took full responsibility for what happened.”

Teinowitz was released from police custody and returned to the radio station where he was asked to draft a press release to be disseminated to major media outlets and others in the Chicago area. Furthermore, they requested he join an anonymous rehabilitation program and deliver a public statement about how he would work to correct his actions. Initially, Teinowitz was resistant to comply; however, his mindset quickly changed.

“At the time of my DUI, I said, ‘Guys, right now [and] the way I feel, I don’t think I was drinking that much,’” Teinowitz recalled. “Then I saw the tape of it and it was horrible. I said, ‘I don’t think I’m ever going to drink again.’ I went to rehab and I learned how I had to exist if I wanted to stick around not only at ESPN but with life itself.”

Aside from being an avid fan of Chicago’s various teams from his youth, attending sporting events afforded Teinowitz perspectives he may not have otherwise realized that he could then bring to the air. Despite ESPN 1000 Chicago being exclusively available on its AM frequency at the time, the show made a habit of being No. 1 in afternoon drive, beating out its direct competition from 670 The Score. Nicknamed “The Afternoon Saloon” because of the contentious debate that would take place between Teinowitz and co-host Dan McNeil. Joined by John Jurkovic, the trio cultivated a compelling and entertaining sound, and they tried to make light of Teinowitz’s DUI, which, of course, was a very serious matter. In fact, they recently reunited last month at ESPN 1000’s sold-out 25-year celebration event and reminisced on their time on the air.

When Teinowitz was young, he never foresaw himself working in sports talk radio solely because it did not exist. When The Score launched on AM 820 on Jan. 2, 1992, he took heed to what they were doing and thought he had the passion and skills to be a part of it. After all, he knew how to entertain audiences working as a standup comedian and was a skilled writer from his time as a theater major at the University of Kansas. He also performed baseball play-by-play and followed the local teams, presenting him as an on-air talent with deft versatility and someone who took pride in their work.

Teinowitz’s professional career in radio began at WLUP The Loop, a station initially broadcasting in the talk format featuring shows where he would update listeners on the latest news and information in sports. Jonathon Brandmeier and Steve Cochran, two established radio voices in the city of Chicago, hosted shows on the station on which Teinowitz would report on sports. Additionally, he was the co-host of a show with Spike Manton, eponymously titled Harry & Spike, which would later be reborn at ESPN 1000 Chicago in 1998. 

Teinowitz and Manson’s show was broadcast on WLUP The Loop in the midst of the Chicago Bulls championship dynasty featuring superstars Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, a seminal time period in Chicago sports. While most shows attempted to interview a star player or head coach Phil Jackson, Teinowitz and Manton opted to book Jud Buechler for a recurring Saturday night appearance. Buechler was a reserve who averaged a meager nine-and-a-half minutes per game as a member of the Bulls on approximately 46% shooting, and he brought an unparalleled frame of reference listeners simply could not get anywhere else.

“Spike and I kind of committed to [having fun],” Teinowitz said. “If we’re having fun, the audience is having fun. [We thought], ‘Let’s do different stuff.’”

In order to be distinctive, Teinowitz and Manton adopted an assortment of different segments all around the premise of being able to make fun of oneself and craft a lighthearted atmosphere. When he began hosting with McNeil and Jurkovic on ESPN 1000 Chicago, that mindset remained important to him to carry over, so much so that they spent an hour just talking about the best place to get a burger in the city. While these types of idiosyncratic topics may seem extraneous to a sports talk radio show, including them in the program facilitated listenership and ratings success.

“The big bosses were in town one day, and we were talking about how cold it was in Chicago,” Teinowitz said. “I think we had a meteorologist on from ABC because they were in the same building as us. Eventually, they’re like, ‘Why are you guys talking about how cold it is?’ ‘Well, because in Chicago right now, that’s what everybody’s talking about.’”

Even before his time at ESPN 1000 Chicago, Teinowitz attended events for WLUP The Loop involving beer; however, a van would be sent for him just in case he drank too much. Part of the reason he attended these events was ostensibly because of his ability to connect with an audience, a skill he attained from his time in standup comedy. It provided him the confidence necessary to try new things and humor his audience, even if an idea he conjured proceeded to fail.

“There’s a lot of guys that know sports, and there’s a lot of guys that are funny, but there’s not a lot that are funny and know sports,” Teinowitz said. “To have that opportunity is really something…. I would encourage the powers that be at the different stations across America to give these people a chance.”

Alcoholism, however, remains no laughing matter. Its effects on health and wellbeing cannot be understated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 140,000 people die in the United States annually from excessive alcohol use. It is the country’s leading cause of preventable death.

Teinowitz attended a rehabilitation program following his DUI arrest and found that his sports talk radio experience eased his recovery in that he was able to genuinely make fun of himself. When he entered the facility though, he was unfamiliar with what the intent of the program was, and obtained an education in the dangers and risks associated with alcohol consumption. Two weeks into his enrollment, Teinowitz took a physical examination where doctors discovered complications with his liver, the organ responsible for removing toxins from the bloodstream.

“I went into rehab without knowing what rehab was,” he said. “This is how aware I was; I literally didn’t know rehab meant [to] stop drinking. I thought [it meant] now you were going to drink like a gentleman; like James Bond [saying], ‘May I have a vodka martini, shaken not stirred?’ Not, ‘Hey, give me four shots of Cuervo.’ I drank a lot and I had a real need for rehab.”

Tom, who was Teinowitz’s best friend of 43 years, had passed away after he caught pneumonia following a liver transplant, rendering his weakened immune system unable to stave off the significant complications related to the infection. He and his friend saw the same doctor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. and did not realize the severity of the condition they were facing. Once his friend passed away, Teinowitz protested seeing that doctor, as he figured the medical professionals were the cause of his death. When he mentioned this to his primary doctor, he said that the onus is on the individual to take responsibility for their situation and ensure they do everything possible to get better. It compelled Teinowitz to take his impediment seriously and lose 30 pounds, and he continues to actively try to lose more weight.

Teinowitz was eventually ousted from ESPN 1000, amidst a stretch of losses in the ratings to Dan Bernstein and Terry Boers on 670 The Score. Although he eventually landed at The Athletic as a writer and WGN Radio AM 720 where he filled in for various personalities and co-hosted both White Sox Weekly and The Beat, he remained aware of the changing landscape of sports media and how he nearly jeopardized his career.

His time rehabilitating, combined with struggling to find work, led him to revitalize his aspirations to become a playwright and begin compiling a play titled When Harry Met Rehab. The production, which originally started as a movie, evolved into a one-man play complete with maudlin retrospection on his journey and struggles with alcohol. The premise of the show was changed once his former co-host Manton read the script and offered to help Teinowitz complete it, pointing out how the concept revolved around the importance of collaboration and group therapy. Since the program he participated in was anonymous, the parts of the show pertaining to other members are fabricated to protect their identities and uphold standards.

“Spike is just a brilliant writer and we added stuff and took stuff out,” Harry Teinowitz says. “He said [that] my story was more of a manifesto than a play at some points. We wrote it, and the whole concept is it’s going to get real heavy at the end so it has to be real funny at the beginning.”

Teinowitz and Manton presented the script to Don Clark, Tom’s brother and an accomplished trial attorney who also produced plays. He offered to fund the scriptwriting and create a production that ran at the greenhouse Theater Center. Some of the show’s cast included Dan Butler, who famously played “Bulldog” on Frasier; Melissa Gilbert, who portrayed “Laura Ingalls” in Little House on the Prairie; and Elizabeth Laidlaw, who played “Vic Renna” on The Red Line. The tagline of the play is, “A comedy that takes sobriety seriously,” and has given Teinowitz a sense of closure on this chapter of his life while trying to honor and support those in recovery. The play opened to rave reviews in Chicago, aligning with Teinowitz’s success as a sports talk radio host, but had to close upon the spread of COVID-19. The show will be making an off-Broadway return next autumn in New York, and the show is in the midst of revamping its cast with hopes of reaching a large audience. 

Clark offered Teinowitz the ability to depict himself in the production; however, he declined, stating that he had already done it and nearly died as a result. Nonetheless, he is excited for the play to make its return to the stage and hopes to receive more opportunities to re-immerse himself in the industry. It is a dream scenario – simultaneously working in sports media and the theater. It may not be possible though without a liver transplant, and fast. 

Teinowitz is in desperate search for a donor and is urging people to email if someone or someone they may know could potentially be a fit.

“If you wanted to give me a liver right now, you would need to be blood-type A or O, and be 55 or younger,” Teinowitz said. “You could not be obese and there’s a day of testing – an MRI is a big thing – they want to check your history. When you have a living donor, you’re able to spend time testing specifically on what you want, and you can ask questions and interact; as opposed to when you get an organ from someone who had too much to drink coming home, and now we’ve got to get their liver inside of someone soon.”

Since he shared his urgent need for a liver donor over Twitter, Teinowitz has received support from those across the industry, including WFAN morning host Gregg Giannotti. At the conclusion of Boomer and Gio this past Friday, Giannotti, who had never heard of Teinowitz before reading an article on Barrett Sports Media outlining the situation’s exigency, displayed disappointment in the lack of engagement with the message. The way he phrased it in particular caught the attention of Giannotti, who retweeted the plea for help on his Twitter account. Although the message has been viewed over 200,000 times, he is aware of the uphill climb he faces in order to receive this life-saving procedure and receive a chance to reemerge in sports media.

“I’m not going to get a liver on Twitter, but I’ve been trying – on that last tweet specifically – on just getting it [in] front of people’s eyes,” Teinowitz said. “I’ve had friends come up to me [who] said, ‘What do [I] do to be [your] donor?’”

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Ian Rapoport Is Competing Against Everyone

“When I’m working, when I’m not working – my brain is still going on overdrive.”

Derek Futterman




The 2023 NFL Draft was a weekend filled with speculation, intrigue and musing among football fans and experts alike. After two quarterbacks were selected with the first two picks – C.J. Stroud by the Jacksonville Jaguars; and Bryce Young by the Houston Texans – Ian Rapoport had the inclination that something was about to break at the event in Kansas City.

The third pick of the night was held by the Arizona Cardinals, but through previous intel, Rapoport knew there was a chance the team would trade it. His phone then lit up with a text message from a source that simply read, “Texans trading.” Receiving a message of this magnitude takes years of networking, credibility and immense trust from the people you cover. Rapoport has worked hard to attain all of them. 

He replied by asking, “Did the Texans trade up to three?,” as the team was not set to pick again until No. 12 overall. Once he got confirmation of the scenario, he began to visibly shake in excitement and captured the attention of the NFL Network team.

“I sit there with a camera in front of me that’s not always on air – this is during the Draft – and the producer gets in my ear and he goes, ‘Can you go on air with whatever you have?,’ and I just say, ‘Yes.’” Rapoport recalled. “And then I hear Rich Eisen go, ‘Ian, you have news,’ and I was able to break that the Texans have traded up to three to go get Will Anderson.”

This is the craft through which Rapoport has cultivated a successful journalism career, ultimately distinguishing him as NFL Network’s goto insider. He hardly ever separates himself from the job, equipped with an unparalleled work ethic to ensure he can communicate messages accurately and in a timely manner. While some people may argue that he is in direct competition with others in his position, such as Adam Schefter of ESPN, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports, the reality of the situation is that it is Rapoport vs. the world.

“It’s such a small world now and everyone is interconnected – and with Twitter, literally anyone could break a story and have it go viral,” Rapoport said. “Obviously, you want everything first, but really you’re competing against everyone that exists because anyone could get the story at any moment.”

Work-life balance in such a role is usually quite insurmountable in today’s dynamic, interminable breaking news environment. Rapoport strives to find some level of normalcy in his life by playing golf and attending his sons’ sporting events. In the end though, he knows the world of football never sleeps, and it is up to him to remain in the know at all hours of the day, essentially always on standby to break the next big story.

“I do not turn my phone off because that’s actually way more stressful,” Rapoport said. “At least now when my phone’s on and near me, if something crazy happens, I can react rather than having a fake relaxation moment and then being caught off guard with something.”

Rapoport recognized that journalism was the field for him almost immediately after stepping onto the Columbia University campus. He worked his way up at The Dial to ultimately become its associate sports editor. In the summer preceding his senior year, he landed a coveted internship with ESPN where he gained invaluable experience in the world of television production. 

By the time he graduated, Rapoport envisioned himself becoming a nationally acclaimed sportswriter, but he knew it was going to require he start small. Three hundred eleven job applications and two interviews later, he landed a part-time role with The Journal News in Westchester, N.Y. covering high school sports. It gave him a start in the highly-competitive business – and kept him close to home while trying many new things.

Two years later, he found himself moving from the bright lights of New York City to the quaint town of Starkville, Mississippi for a notable opportunity. He had landed a job covering the Mississippi State Bulldogs for The Clarion-Ledger in the nearby capital city of Jackson and was under the direction of sports editor Rusty Hampton.

“I knew how to write, but I really didn’t know how to report,” Rapoport said. “He was probably the best [at] showing me, ‘This is all about reporting. It’s all about telling people something they don’t know rather than how well you can pen a sentence.’ To be really valuable to society or your newspaper, you really need to inform rather than entertain. I think he was probably the first and best person to teach me that.”

After spending two years in Mississippi, Rapoport became a beat reporter for The Birmingham News tasked with following the Alabama Crimson Tide. Just months into his new role, the program made a coaching change and hired Nick Saban, who has since led the program to six national titles. 

Rapoport learned the thoroughness necessary to cover the Southeastern Conference as he rapidly watched the program become a perennial contender. In turn, he became an eminent college football reporter and his work began to be consumed nationally.

Simultaneously, Bill Belichick, another accomplished football head coach in his own right, was in the process of trying to lead the New England Patriots back to championship glory. Known to be stoic and restrained in his press conferences, reporters asking him questions knew extrapolating answers was not the easiest of tasks. 

When Rapoport saw a job opening to cover the team with the Boston Herald that required NFL experience, he knew that he was not qualified verbatim per se. Yet he figured the experience he had in covering Saban and Alabama would serve him well in the role, and articulated such in a protracted email to the newspaper’s editors. His strategy worked, proving why Rapoport is considered one of the industry’s best communicators at the micro and macro levels.

“You don’t see a lot of sources within the Patriots or sources within Alabama – there’s not a lot of that,” Rapoport said. “So I learned to report despite that and kind of work the edges and get the information I needed, despite head coaches who weren’t always the most forthcoming with information.”

NFL Network oftentimes has local beat reporters on the air to interact with studio talent and give their perspectives about teams, and it was something Rapoport did while at the Boston Herald. He had no television experience outside of other appearances he made on Comcast New England and certainly no intention to pursue the medium as a career. 

In Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants overcame the New England Patriots, who were undefeated for the year entering the game. Rapoport was on hand for the proceedings, and shortly afterwards was called into a meeting with NFL Network executives. 

He didn’t know he was interviewing for a job until he asked just why he had been summoned. He expressed his lack of television experience to the executives, who said the network would teach him everything he needed to know. 

Once the meeting concluded, Rapoport called his wife, who he had met while living in Starkville, Mississippi, and told her what had just happened. She tempered his expectations, warning him not to get his hopes up as he remained optimistic. One month later, Rapoport received a job offer and found himself moving once again – this time to the Lone Star State.

“I hired an agent and moved to Dallas and basically spent the next year reporting on the Cowboys and some other things being very, very bad at TV, but learning and eventually figuring it out,” Rapoport said. “At the time, this guy, Eric Weinberger, who was our boss, kind of mentioned to me the possibility of transitioning [me] from reporter to insider.”

Rapoport acknowledged that he did not have the contacts necessary to effectively work as a league insider for a national outlet, but through his years of experience, he knew how to network and he was ready and willing to take the challenge. 

Once he began the new position, Rapoport, along with reporter Michael Silver, was on the road for Thursday Night Football and contributed to its pregame and halftime coverage. While his television skills improved, Rapoport was hard at work bolstering his contacts and took somewhat of a geographical approach. 

Every time he arrived in a new city, he would contact anyone and everyone he could conjure up, including general managers, scouts and head coaches. If he could not schedule a meeting time with them, he would introduce himself by roaming the sidelines at practices and before games. He engaged in a similar practice before the NFL Draft Combine, training camps and the Super Bowl along with other premier events, always staying focused on the task at hand.

“It probably took me five or six years to get a baseline of sources where if something happened, I had someone to call,” Rapoport said. “And then it took me a couple more years to get to the point where I would know before a lot of people when something was about to happen. It’s all a multi-step process, and just [the] layering and layering and layering of sources is really the sort of engine that drives this thing.”

Ian Rapoport always attempts to triangulate his sources to verify information before he releases it publicly. There is no guarantee sources are always truthful or acting in a professional manner. Therefore, it is incumbent on a journalist to ensure the validity of content before publishing it themselves. 

“If you’re only right some of the time, then none of it is really worth it,” Rapoport expressed, “because then you say something and they’re like, ‘Well, wow, that’s a big story if this is true.’ The whole point of doing this is when I pop up on TV or when people see my Twitter alerts or whatever, they have to know that it’s true – they have to know.”

One day, Rapoport was having a conversation with a source and discovered through their conversation that Rob Gronkowski had informed the New England Patriots that he would return to the game of football under the stipulation he be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady. There had been much speculation pertaining to Gronkowski’s future after he had worked as an NFL analyst with FOX Sports, and now Rapoport realized he had a monumental scoop – that is, if it was true. Within six minutes, Rapoport verified the story with three sources, contacted his editor and reported to the world Gronkowski’s intentions. The story was picked up virtually everywhere.

“I just think about the job all the time, and I make little lists for myself of things that I need to track down, and I just make a lot of phone calls for it,” Rapoport said. “When I’m working, when I’m not working – my brain is still going on overdrive. It ends up just a brain full of football thoughts, and then I spend the rest of the time trying to figure out what I can learn from it.”

Working for a league-owned entity can sometimes epitomize an inherent conflict of interest. For Rapoport however, he has found working at NFL Network to be hassle-free. He knows, however, the nature of his job means he will not be universally liked.

“Whatever you do, you’re going to report and the people you report on are going to be happy or upset or neutral – or whatever it is,” Rapoport said. “I’m never going to criticize a referee, for instance, because that’s a nuanced thing and people might say, ‘NFL criticizes referees.’ I’m never going to do that, but I wouldn’t do that anyway.”

Rapoport continues to appear on a variety of external media outlets, perhaps most notably The Pat McAfee Show, which recently concluded its “Up to Something Season.” The grand conclusion of the proceedings was McAfee announcing he would be bringing his show to ESPN’s linear and digital platforms starting in the fall. 

While McAfee is retaining creative control and has expressed on multiple occasions that his show will not be changing, many have wondered whether insiders employed by other networks will be able to continue making appearances. It is an answer Rapoport himself does not know, nor has he asked about.

“When the news broke, my phone blew up with all sorts of people saying all sorts of different things,” Rapoport said. “I have no idea. I really don’t.”

Even so, Rapoport is elated for McAfee and his team taking the next step in their show’s journey and is genuinely glad to see them succeed. He does not think McAfee’s goal was to reshape sports media, but rather to cultivate a distinctive sports talk program built for fans and today’s generation of consumers.

“You get to know someone and you think they’re a good person and you respect the way they work. Some people have success and some people have a little success and some people don’t. It’s really rare to see someone who has every bit of success that’s essentially possible and deserves every bit of it, and that’s kind of how I thought about Pat. It’s really cool, honestly. He’s built it himself.”

It was on McAfee’s show where another prominent football insider – Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports – said it would be a matter of “when,” not “if” the NFL would have games seven days per week. While devoted football fans like Rapoport are open to such a proposition, he is not sure the league would ever go that far. 

“I don’t even know that it would affect my schedule that much,” he said. “It sort of doesn’t matter. I’ll report all year round anyway.”

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Face-to-Face Sales Meetings Have Never Been More Valuable

“With the increase in virtual meetings, new buyer preferences, limited time, and better tech, we have our work cut out to get the F2F.”

Jeff Caves




When did you last attend a face-to-face (F2F) in-person sales call? Let’s imagine for a second.

In New York, Sarah, a determined sports radio salesperson, got tired of chasing a major client for months. Despite her calls, emails, and text, she couldn’t break through to get a meeting. 

Throwing caution to the wind, Sarah decided to go for it. She loaded her deck and took her burning desire via airplane to Florida to make the pitch. She showed up unannounced at the client’s office and startled the decision-maker. She was given the meeting and won over the client, getting a substantial annual contract and a movie deal in Hollywood. 

We have all seen that storyline. F2F meetings used to be the obvious choice over a phone call, and most buyers were open to that idea. We even conducted market trips to meet our buyers in person and create better relationships. 

With the increase in virtual meetings, new buyer preferences, limited time, and better tech, we have our work cut out to get the F2F. Lots of us work and listen from home. 

Gartner Research points out that live, in person selling is superior to virtual selling in financial services or, as I think, in radio sales. Now, prospecting new clients F2F is much more difficult. You have never met them, you don’t know who you are looking for, and gatekeepers and remote decision-makers make walk-ins more challenging. 

How about getting out and seeing your current or former clients F2F? 65% of outside account executives attain quota, 10% more often than inside reps. Here are some simple strategies to get outside and F2F:


Turn the sales faucet on ‘drip’ and contact your current clients with whatever works: phone calls, emails, or texts. Tell them you are checking in to see if anything has changed, give them a local business lead, or share your latest insight on their favorite team. When doing so, tell them you want to meet F2F and go deep into the next quarter’s ad plan or a new idea to get them back on the air. They may start looking forward to your communication. 


Schedule an annual review ahead of their busiest time of year to review the upcoming messaging in ads. Go over what worked or didn’t last year. Share a success story of a similar advertiser in another market or show them a new opportunity that fits. 

Be upfront that with F2F, we can get more specific, work with better feedback, and partner on hitting their goals. Be the person who looks ahead and helps keep your client focused.


Organize workshops for your current clients. Teach that about streaming, OTT, or Google ads. Get your digital person involved. Let them know you are bringing in other local businesspeople they may want to know or network with and meet F2F! A Mortgage broker may want to meet a realtor who wants to meet a wealthy local businessperson interested in meeting the local head coach. Stand out as a leader in the industry and watch clients brag about working with you. 


Attend trade shows where your current clients will be. This will show you are serious about their business and want to stay current so you can learn and earn. Set up a meeting over coffee or a drink. Share what you learned. 


Client Appreciation Events held at your town’s most meaningful events or places. Do whatever it takes to get hospitality tents at big games and concert suites to show appreciation and bond with your current clients. Host a luncheon at the hottest new local restaurant. Focus on providing an atmosphere or experience everyone wants, but not many can attend. Be the exclusive person in town.


Leverage your existing client relationships to seek referrals. Do it in person. Tell them you want to see them and ask for help and advice. Ask for introductions to potential new clients they know, and you will be surprised how much they like working with you. 


Bring your Digital manager to them and do a free review of their SEO, PPC, whatever. Working off your client’s pc and bringing them an expert at no charge or obligation is much easier. Watch your partnership grow by providing so much expertise at no extra expense. 

Don’t forget the value of F2F meetings. It’s a great way to build trust, connect, and unlock new opportunities. We are in a people business doing business with tons of local directs who still make most of their money serving retail customers F2F. Let’s get out and sell! 

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All Jason Timpf Needed Was A Moment of Clarity

“I didn’t know it until after I was hired, but they said they played my video for Colin and he knew right away that I could do this.”

Tyler McComas




There was once a time when Jason Timpf always included Colin Cowherd in his commute to work. As he made his morning drive to a sales job at Verizon, The Herd was appointment listening each morning for Timpf. The ex-college basketball player would marvel at Cowherd’s ability to make relatable references and break down all of the same basketball games he would watch the night before. 

One of the unique things Timpf can remember from listening to The Herd during that time was Cowherd saying if FOX ever put someone in front of him, he could tell in five seconds if that individual had the skills to be a host. It was far from a hot take on the Lakers, but still a distinct moment that stuck with Timpf for many years. Little did he know at the time but Cowherd would soon give a five-second evaluation of Timpf’s career.

Jason Timpf was a late-bloomer in basketball. He played college hoops at an NAIA school in Utah, but not until his third year, after being a regular student the first two. After graduating, he pursued a basketball career overseas in India. However, after the league folded, he left the game for a normal job in the States.

There was a real desire for Timpf to get into the sports media business, but he was having difficulties finding the right fit. He wanted advice on the best way to start, but the tips he received just didn’t feel like the right initial path.

“I’d hear, hey, go bang on a radio station’s door and ask if you can work the soundboard,” said Timpf. “Or, try to go to a journalism school. Another big one that everyone was doing was the SB Nation blogs and FanSided blogs. I briefly tried to do that a little bit. But none of it was materializing the way that I had hoped.”

But then the lightbulb went off for Timpf and it happened during the middle of a podcast interview. In October of 2020, Jason Maples of Blue Wire reached out to Timpf to talk hoops on his podcast. It was in the middle of that interview when it all made sense. It felt exactly like the camaraderie he enjoyed with his old teammates and friends talking basketball. It was relaxed, fun and what he used to do for enjoyment. The perfect fit had just found Timpf organically. 

“It was, ‘this is it,’” said Timpf. “‘This is how I want to do it.’ It was like a moment of clarity. Like, this is the way I want to talk about the game. Fortunately, I was working in real estate at the time, so I was super flexible, so I literally was just trying to fake it until I made it.”

While Timpf was grinding away on his new platform choice, he was constantly putting out his content on social media. For a handful of years, he had used Twitter as an outlet for basketball talk – not because he was trying to build his brand, but because it was his preferred method of sharing his takes during and after basketball games. 

“My wife actually played basketball in college but she, like a lot of people, got out of it and was like, ‘actually I’m so sick of basketball, since it’s all I did growing up, that I’d rather not talk about it,’” laughed Timpf. 

As Timpf had built up years of basketball takes on Twitter, he also built up followers. Not a crazy amount, but enough to have regular interactions with several basketball fans. He had no idea at the time, though he remembers occasionally interacting with him, but one of his followers in the beginning was Logan Swaim, who just happens to be Head of Content at The Volume.

Being such a huge fan of Cowherd, Timpf was absolutely familiar with The Volume, a company started by the FOX Sports Radio host. In fact, during his first plunge into podcasts, he quickly took note of how much success The Volume was having with instant reaction and video content. He wanted to emulate what they were doing and would host a Twitter Space after each Lakers game.

Swaim kept up with Timpf’s journey and continued to be impressed with what he saw. He was so impressed, in fact, that a video eventually made it in front of Cowherd’s eyes. It was the moment Timpf had always heard about while driving to his job at Verizon. Cowherd was about to make a declaration on Timpf’s abilities. 

“I didn’t know it until after I was hired, but they said they played my video for Colin and he knew right away that I could do this,” Timpf said. “That was a huge boost of confidence for me, because it meant somebody I deeply respected believed I could work in this business.”

Timpf made his dream come true. He was offered a job by The Volume hosting Hoops Tonight. As much of a dream as it was when he was initially hired, the experience since has been nothing but ideal for Timpf. He gets to cover his favorite sport the way he wants to cover it. 

“When I first started and Logan and I were structuring out the show, he kinda viewed it as my show would be the slower, more methodical pace, where I work through my thought process of a game. And also that I’d be a guest on other Volume shows for more conversational podcasts. I really wanted to break down pick and roll coverage. It’s just going to take me a while, so trying to do that in a debate show format or conversational format can get hard. It’s a place where I can let more of my crazy depth out. And I can also have a side format where it’s more conversational.”

Timpf has learned prep for podcasts is one of the biggest elements to being successful. As Hoops Tonight continues to draw impressive numbers over audio and YouTube, he’s figured out the best method to prepare for a long-form podcast where he’s hosting solo. 

“I digest the game from the simple concept of how the game was won,” said Timpf. “Where was it won? There’s 100-something possessions in this game, there’s seven different storylines and several runs and sequences and sways in momentum, but what’s the one? Usually I’ll target that first in the opening segment of the show.

“While I’m watching the game I’ll take ancillary notes. About five minutes before I record, I sift through everything I’ve written down and limit it down to the things I think are most important. But generally the flow of the show is how the game was won.”

The whole experience has been gratifying and a full-circle moment in many ways for Timpf. Not only has it been vindicating to do things his way and see it become a success, but he’s gotten to do it with someone who he considers an idol.

Sure, Timpf always envisioned growing up he would be talking to Cowherd as a pro athlete, but talking to him as a colleague is certainly the next best thing. So when he got the call to talk with Cowherd during last year’s West Conference Finals, he didn’t hesitate.

“I was so incredibly nervous, as you could imagine,” laughed Timpf. “But I immediately remember him making me feel comfortable and confident. It immediately calmed me down.

“This is probably my favorite part of the entire experience, I think a lot of people think that these networks try to shove people in certain directions and The Volume has given me such freedom to cover the game exactly the way I want to and nobody is telling me to say crazy stuff. Nobody is pushing me in certain directions, it’s like total creative freedom. The way that Logan and Colin have been letting me do me, so to speak, has been so cool. To see my version of what I want it to look like makes me feel vindicated for talking about it the way I want to.”

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