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Anti-Social Vs. Socially Consumed: Which One Are You?

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It’s safe to say that there’s been a social media explosion over the past 10 years and chances are you’ve caught the bug. Each day we wake up and check our Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds before we even look at a website, listen to a radio station, watch a TV channel or god forbid open a newspaper (I actually know some people who still do it). This is a way of life for us and our listeners and given how many platforms launch and succeed each year, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

If you scan the country today, you’ll find tons of sports radio personalities who are passionately engaged in these forums and take the responsibility of connecting very seriously. To list a few examples, Damon Bruce & John Middlekauff at 95.7 The Game-SF, Chad Doing at 750 The Game-Portland, Shan Shariff at 104.3 The Fan-Dallas and Chad Dukes & Grant Paulssen at 106.7 The Fan-Washington DC are just some of the on-air hosts who do a great job in this space.

johnkincadeI’ll also catch guys like John Kincade at 680 The Fan-Atlanta, Bob Fescoe at 610 Sports-KC and Freddie Coleman at ESPN Radio use their Twitter feeds to drive radio teases and content tune-ins on their shows and I think that’s very smart. It certainly makes you wonder what they’re talking about and creates an urgency to want to click the station’s app button on your phone and hear what’s going on.

While there’s no denying the importance social media plays in our daily lives, there is some debate in the sports talk radio universe of how heavily invested we should be in it. While that may seem crazy to some of you, there’s some good reasoning offered on the other side to make for a great discussion.

Case in point, Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York has talked openly for the past few years about his lack of interest in it. Mike admits that he doesn’t have a Twitter or Facebook account and has no plans to adjust. He also doesn’t think athletes should be using the forum. There are plenty of other established major market personalities who share similar views.

Now some of you will dismiss that and say “he’s behind the times” or “he doesn’t get it” and maybe there’s some validity to that point of view but there’s equal value to the point he raises about giving things away for free in too many places and not making your radio show a unique one of a kind destination.

twitterLet’s face it, in the ratings world today it’s likely that a user with a PPM meter has a Facebook account. Maybe even a Twitter account. One could say that being active in both of these locations gives you a better chance to form a loyal bond with the individual which then makes them want to consume your show more.

The other side of that equation is that because the individual with a meter already knows what you think and has seen you interacting with everyone about it online, there’s no specific need now to tune into your radio show. It may seem far fetched but can you be so sure that isn’t accurate?

I myself have a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn account and I believe there is great value in being accessible, connecting with people and staying involved in what the latest trends are but I do know that each medium has the ability to infect you like a virus and keep you so busy that you lose focus and decrease your own productivity.

Once you start letting the feedback consume you and ultimately influence you, you’re likely to hate it. That’s where social media can be really dangerous. I have watched hosts change segments based on a few tweets and I’ve seen them also spend hours going back and forth with 2-3 people who have no interest in having a good healthy discussion and are only interested in getting under their skin.

stltodayI can recall in 2006 moving to St. Louis to program 590 The Fan, KFNS and before Twitter/Facebook became the powerful outlets for feedback that they are today, message boards were the popular thing. I was new to town and unfamiliar with them so I figured I’d better get up to speed since every host, producer and employee seemed consumed by one of my former colleagues Bernie Miklasz’s “Bernie’s Press Box” in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Well before I knew it I found myself reading the board daily, hearing my staff talk about stuff from it and letting it influence their opinions. At one point I started to even question my own beliefs because I was working for a place which had made some bad decisions and the reaction to what I was involved in was strong and I felt I needed to be aware.

I finally woke up one day and thought to myself “what the hell am I doing“? While I couldn’t fix every single issue with the company, I knew I had to detach myself from that outlet because it was now causing me to not do what I was good at which was trust my gut.

Today, I use Twitter and I do engage at times with listeners and I’ve even been known to conduct special chat sessions or use the social media world for surveys and soliciting focus group participants. What I make sure not to do these days though is let it impact the way I think about my brand, my staff and any decision I make.

Jason on the mic in TorontoFor talent, that challenge is much harder. When you’re on a microphone communicating your position on every single sports topic, it’s going to lead to reaction. I’m a PD so I don’t have to endure the wrath of a half of a market when I speak my opinion about a sports topic but as a personality it comes with the territory. While I think it’s great to know that your words do connect with people, I think it’s equally wise to remember that a strong well informed opinion on a subject that has value to local people should create a response every single time! If you’re not creating a reaction then you’re likely just background noise.

The real key for on-air personalities is trying to strike a balance between being active and accessible yet not giving away the farm for free. People love to see you online during a game talking about it with them and you want to be able to provide some color on the game but saving the good stuff needs to factor into your thinking if you want to keep people interested and adjusting schedules to catch your show.

I do believe that the future of media personalities requires you to be much more than a radio host. In the future (and present) companies are going to expect you to be able to do a radio show, video commentary, write a blog, engage on social media, sell products, appear in the community and get out to games and build relationships with teams and fans.

moneyballSome will bitch and moan “that’s a lot of work” or “it wasn’t like that back in the day” and much like with everything else in life, change happens. If I recall correctly, in the movie “Moneyball” Brad Pitt said it best “Adapt or Die“.

Ask someone in local television today who shoots their own video and does their own stand ups. Sure some will say “this is ridiculous” and “it wasn’t like this before” but the media industry will move on just fine without those who adapt and the list of people interested in this line of work will only increase.

The next part I want to touch on is the value or lack thereof of following people back and blocking them. Unless someone starts firing personal attacks or provides little benefit to me to engage with them, I usually refrain from blocking people. Once again though, I’m a PD and not an on-air personality. Some of the things that get sent to personalities today would make you sick to your stomach. I’ve seen it occur in multiple markets where things that were sent in were so over the line and being done so frequently that there could be grounds for an arrest for harassment.

twitterblockedNone the less, as a personality you’re in a no-win situation. Your opinions drive reactions and people will always have different viewpoints on everything you say and you’re in the public spotlight so the second you begin engaging in a confrontational way, it consumes your mind day/night and in most cases it just fuels the fire of people who’s sole purpose is to get under your skin. And if you react and take it too far? It could cost you your job.

If you follow Keith Olbermann on Twitter you’ll see that he doesn’t hide from the negativity and at times he even welcomes it. While I don’t see a lot of benefit for KO in getting into twitter battles with viewers, I will say that I find his jabs very entertaining. In some ways I’m glad he does it because too many personalities get verbally abused and are then expected to not stand up for themselves.

The only areas of concern for me are “what is really being gained from it” and “is it worth it if a line gets crossed and some corporate executive or key client gets offended“? Let’s face it, we’re in a very sensitive world today and people presume you guilty a lot faster than they consider you innocent. That said, Olbermann’s responses are hysterical.

. I’ve had jobs for 35 years, little one. You have a twitter account. And not much of that.

While KO has his approach, Jay Mohr has a very different approach. I read an interview with him (click here) where he discussed his views on social media and what blew me away was when he talked about his strategy on positive and negative reactions.

jaymohrHis exact quote was “The golden rule of Twitter is you cannot ever respond to somebody saying something negative to you. It took me a good three years to learn that, and, even still, I’ll start to type something and be a sentence or two in before I realize, What am I doing? Why am I answering this person? I’ve blocked about 3,000 people. I’ve made Twitter this ivory tower of Babel where people only say nice things about me.”

Here’s Jay, a popular public figure doing a daily show and expected to be accessible and yet he’s shutting down future communications with more than 3,000 people. Is that really wrong though? For his own peace of mind I bet he’s much happier opening his twitter account each day and not dealing with a ton of negativity. That probably puts him in a better frame of mind to be creative and do a great show and if he’s blocking people who don’t enjoy what he does anyway, are they really the fans who you want to focus your energy on anyway?

You can also make the case that by only promoting the positive, it creates the illusion that everyone likes Jay and his show and that can often create a domino effect where others feel like they need to start getting familiar with what’s happening on the show so they don’t feel left out. That’s one of the simple rules of marketing, say something enough times and people will start repeating it.

If you take it one step further, look at brands in general. Some feel strongly about following back listeners and some don’t. Some will post station only content benefits and some will respond to listeners messages. As a good brand example, I personally think the airline industry does a great job of responding to their customers. They’re very timely and often witty and I’m sure they see great value in it.

Get hurt. Try to fly back home and mechanical issues. Awesome.

 

Our apologies for the delay, Josh. We’ll do what we can to keep our plane off the . What’s your flight number?

One big challenge we have today in our business with social media is trying to keep up with the thousands of responses per day while putting the responsibility on staff members who are also trying to balance doing 2-3 other jobs. Yes the interaction is very important and we don’t want to be dismissive of our audience but if the on-air product suffers from it, is it worth it? At that point you’re choosing between sipping two different poisons. Either way you’re in trouble.

I’ll close with this. If you’re not on Twitter today, you’re missing out on knowing about breaking news. Whether you love the service or not, if you’re not aware of what’s going on there you’re missing key information that matters to your audience. Every single reporter across the country is breaking news on Twitter before they do it on their ow company’s platforms and while that boggles my mind and one could question why, this is how the news cycle works in today’s environment and you need to be where the action is.

francesaI do think one key takeaway from Mike Francesa’s views on social media is valid – are you giving away your best material for free and leaving nothing unique and special for your show? If your best stuff is left on Twitter or you’re recycling the same exact lines from the night before, you may want to alter your approach. For more on his views on the subject, watch his keynote address on the sports talk radio industry by clicking here.

That said I believe there’s great personal and promotional value for personalities and it’s a smarter long-term strategy for your career to be accessble and active in social locations where fans are. It’s certainly not for everybody but I see more upside being there than downside for not but that’s just my point of view.

I’ll leave you to consider this. Mike Francesa has no connection in any social space and yet he’s been (and still is) one of the highest rated performers in the #1 media market in the country. Maybe he’s missing out on what’s important to people today and he’s not thinking about what’s going to matter tomorrow but given his track record of success, he might not be as crazy as you might think. I’ll let you be the judge!

How do you feel about the importance of social media and how active personalities and sports radio professionals should be? Leave a comment below to continue the conversation!

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Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?

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How many times have you heard this sentence uttered at conferences or in one of the trades; radio has to do a better job of telling its story. Sounds reasonable enough right? After all, your brands and companies stand a better chance of being more consumed and invested in the more that others know about them.

But what specifically about your brand’s story matters to those listening or spending money on it? Which outlets are you supposed to share that news with to grow your listenership and advertising? And who is telling the story? Is it someone who works for your company and has a motive to advance a professional agenda, or someone who’s independent and may point out a few holes in your strategy, execution, and results?

As professionals working in the media business, we’re supposed to be experts in the field of communications. But are we? We’re good at relaying news when it makes us look good or highlights a competitor coming up short. How do we respond though when the story isn’t told the we want it to? Better yet, how many times do sports/news talk brands relay information that isn’t tied to quarterly ratings, revenue or a new contract being signed? We like to celebrate the numbers that matter to us and our teams, but we don’t spend much time thinking about if those numbers matter to the right groups – the audience and the advertisers.

Having covered the sports and news media business for the past seven years, and published nearly eighteen thousand pieces of content, you’d be stunned if you saw how many nuggets of information get sent to us from industry folks looking for publicity vs. having to chase people down for details or read things on social media or listen to or watch shows to promote relevant material. Spoiler alert, most of what we produce comes from digging. There are a handful of outlets and PR folks who are great, and five or six PD’s who do an excellent job consistently promoting news or cool things associated with their brands and people. Some talent are good too at sharing content or tips that our website may have an interest in.

Whether I give the green light to publish the material or not, I appreciate that folks look for ways to keep their brands and shows on everyone’s radar. Brand leaders and marketing directors should be battling daily in my opinion for recognition anywhere and everywhere it’s available. If nobody is talking about your brand then you have to give them a reason to.

I’m writing this column today because I just spent a day in New York City at the Disney Upfront, which was attended by a few thousand advertising professionals. Though I’d have preferred a greater focus on ESPN than what was offered, I understand that a company the size of Disney with so many rich content offerings is going to have to condense things or they’d literally need a full week of Upfronts to cover it all. They’re also trying to reach buyers and advertising professionals who have interests in more than just sports.

What stood out to me while I was in attendance was how much detail went into putting on a show to inform, entertain, and engage advertising professionals. Disney understands the value of telling its story to the right crowd, and they rolled out the heavy hitters for it. There was a strong mix of stars, executives, promotion of upcoming shows, breaking news about network deals, access to the people responsible for bringing advertising to life, and of course, free drinks. It was easy for everyone in the room to gain an understanding of the company’s culture, vision, success, and plans to capture more market share.

As I sat in my seat, I wondered ‘why doesn’t radio do this on a local level‘? I’m not talking about entertaining clients in a suite, having a business dinner for a small group of clients or inviting business owners and agency reps to the office for a rollout of forthcoming plans. I’m talking about creating an annual event that showcases the power of a cluster, the stars who are connected to the company’s various brands, unveiling new shows, promotions and deals, and using the event as a driver to attract more business.

Too often I see our industry rely on things that have worked in the past. We assume that if it worked before there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for the client. Sometimes that’s even true. Maybe the advertiser likes to keep things simple and communicate by phone, email or in-person lunch meetings. Maybe a creative powerpoint presentation is all you need to get them to say yes. If it’s working and you feel that’s the best way forward to close business, continue with that approach. There’s more than one way to reach the finish line.

But I believe that most people like being exposed to fresh ideas, and given a peak behind the curtain. The word ‘new’ excites people. Why do you think Apple introduces a new iPhone each year or two. We lose sight sometimes of how important our brands and people are to those not inside the walls of our offices. We forget that whether a client spends ten thousand or ten million dollars per year with our company, they still like to be entertained. When you allow business people to feel the excitement associated with your brand’s upcoming events, see the presentations on a screen, and hear from and interact with the stars involved in it, you make them feel more special. I think you stand a better chance of closing deals and building stronger relationships that way.

Given that many local clusters have relationships with hotels, theaters, teams, restaurants, etc. there’s no reason you can’t find a central location, and put together an advertiser appreciation day that makes partners feel valued. You don’t have to rent out Pier 36 like Disney or secure the field at a baseball stadium to make a strong impression. We show listeners they’re valued regularly by giving away tickets, cash, fan appreciation parties, etc. and guess what, it works! Yes there are expenses involved putting on events, and no manager wants to hear about spending money without feeling confident they’ll generate a return on investment. That said, taking calculated risks is essential to growing a business. Every day that goes by where you operate with a ‘relying on the past’ mindset, and refuse to invest in growth opportunities, is one that leaves open the door for others to make sure your future is less promising.

There are likely a few examples of groups doing a smaller scaled version of what I’m suggesting. If you’re doing this already, I’d love to hear about it. Hit me up through email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com. By and large though, I don’t see a lot of must-see, must-discuss events like this created that lead to a surplus of press, increased relationships, and most importantly, increased sales. Yet it can be done. Judging from some of the feedback I received yesterday talking to people in the room, it makes an impression, and it matters.

I don’t claim to know how many ad agency executives and buyers returned to the office from the Disney Upfront and reached out to sign new advertising deals with the company. What I am confident in is that Disney wouldn’t invest resources in creating this event nor would other national groups like NBC, FOX, CBS, WarnerMedia, etc. if they didn’t feel it was beneficial to their business. Rather than relying on ratings and revenue stories that serve our own interests, maybe we’d help ourselves more by allowing our partners and potential clients to experience what makes our brands special. It works with our listeners, and can work with advertisers too.

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Takeaways From The NAB Show and Six Days in Las Vegas

“I’m certainly not afraid to be critical but my enthusiasm for the NAB Show was elevated this year.”

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Six days on the road can sometimes be exhausting. Six days in Las Vegas, and it’s guaranteed. That was my world last week, as I along with more than fifty thousand people headed to sin city to take in the 2022 NAB Show.

The event didn’t draw as many as it had in the past, but after two years of inactivity due to the pandemic, it was good to be back. Judging from some of the vendors I talked to, the sessions I attended, and the feedback I received from folks I met with, though far from perfect, it was a solid return for an important event. Seeing people interact, celebrate others, and talk about ways to improve the business was a positive reminder of the world being closer to the normal of 2019 than the normal of 2020-2021. The only negative from the week, the consistent failure of Uber to appear in the right place at the right time. But that had zero to do with the NAB.

It feels like whenever I attend industry conferences, there are two different type of reviews that follow. Some writers attend the show and see the glass half full. Others see the glass half empty. I’m certainly not afraid to be critical but my enthusiasm was elevated this year. Maybe it was because BSM was a media partner or maybe it was due to the show not happening for years and just being happy to be among friends, peers, and clients and operate like normal. Either way, my glass was definitely half full.

For those who see events this way, it’s likely they’ll remember the numerous opportunities they had to create and reestablish relationships. They’ll also recall the access to different speakers, sessions, products, and the excellent research shared with those in attendance. The great work done by the BFOA to recognize industry difference makers during their Wednesday breakfast was another positive experience, as was the Sunday night industry gathering at The Mayfair Supper Club.

Included in the conference were sessions with a number of industry leaders. Radio CEO’s took the stage to point out the industry’s wins and growth, credit their employees, and call out audio competitors, big tech, and advertisers for not spending more with the industry. When David Field, Bob Pittman, Ginny Morris and Caroline Beasley speak, people listen. Though their companies operate differently, hearing them share their views on the state of the business is important. I always learn something new when they address the room.

But though a lot of ground gets covered during these interviews, there are a few issues that don’t get talked about enough. For instance, ineffective measurement remains a big problem for the radio business. Things like this shouldn’t happen, but they do. NBC and WarnerMedia took bold steps to address problems with TV measurement. Does radio have the courage to take a similar risk? That’s an area I’d like to see addressed more by higher ups.

I can’t help but wonder how much money we lose from this issue. Companies spend millions for a ratings service that delivers subpar results, and the accountability that follows is often maddening. Given the data we have access to digitally, it’s stunning that radio’s report card for over the air listening is determined by outdated technology. And if we’re going to tell folks that wearables are the missing ingredient for addressing this problem, don’t be shocked if the press that follows is largely negative. The industry and its advertising partners deserve better. So too do the reps at Nielsen who have to absorb the hits, and make the most of a tough situation.

Speaking of advertising, this is another one of those critical areas that deserves another point of view. Case in point, I talked to a few ad agency professionals at the show. Similar to what I’ve heard before, they’re tired of hearing radio leaders blame them for the industry’s present position. This has been a hot button topic with executives for years. I often wonder, do we help or hurt ourselves by publicly calling out advertisers and ad agencies? How would you feel if you ran an agency which spent millions on the industry and were told ‘you don’t do enough’? I’m a champion of radio/audio, and am bullish on spoken word’s ability to deliver results for clients, but having attended these shows for nearly seven years, it might be time for a new approach and message. Or maybe it’s time to put one of our CEO’s with one of theirs and have a bigger discussion. Just a thought.

Of the sessions that I attended, I thought Erica Farber’s ‘What Business Are You In?’ was excellent. I especially liked Taja Graham’s presentation on ‘Sharing Your Truth’. I also appreciated Eric Bischoff’s tips on ways to monetize podcasts, and am curious to see how Amazon’s AMP develops moving forward. My favorite session at the show though was “A GPS Session For Your Station’s Car Radio Strategy” led by Fred Jacobs. The insight shared by Joe D’Angelo of Xperi and Steve Newberry & Suzy Schultz of Quu was outstanding. Keeping the car companies on our side is vital to our survival, and how we position ourselves on the dashboard can’t be ignored. Other tech companies and audio operators take it seriously. We must too.

Sessions aside, it was great to check out the VSiN and Blue Wire studios, connect with a bunch of CEO’s, GM’s and Market Manager’s, and visit with Kevin Jones, Joe Fortenbaugh, Jeremiah Crowe, Jon Goulet, Bill Adee, Q Myers, Mike Golic Jr. and Stormy Buonantony. The NFL’s setup for the Draft, and the light show presented at the Bellagio was without a doubt spectacular, plus Stephanie had a chance to say hello to Raiders owner Mark Davis who was inside the back room of a Westgate restaurant where we were having a business lunch meeting. The personal tour we received at the Wynn showed off some of the best suites I’ve seen in Las Vegas, and I was finally able to witness Circa’s Stadium Swim in person, and meet owner Derek Stevens (heck of a suit game). What an outstanding hotel and casino.

Altogether, it was a productive trip. As someone who knows all about building and executing a conference, I appreciate the work that goes into pulling it off. This event is massive, and I have no idea how the NAB makes it happen so flawlessly. This was the first time my head of sales, Stephanie Eads, got to attend the show. She loved it. Our only negative, going back and forth between convention halls can get exhausting. Wisely, Stephanie and Guaranty Media CEO Flynn Foster took advantage of the underground Tesla ride to move from the North hall to the West hall. I wasn’t as bright. If that’s the worst part of the experience though, that’s pretty solid. I look forward to returning in 2023, and attending the NAB’s NYC show this fall.

Additional:

You’ve likely seen posts from BSM/BNM on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn promoting a number of open positions. I’m adding crew to help us pump out more content, and that means we need more editors, news writers, features reporter’s and columnists. If you’re currently involved or previously worked in the industry and love to write about it, send a resume and few writing samples by email to JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

With that said, I’m excited to announce the addition of Ryan Brown as a weekly columnist for BSM. Ryan is part of ‘The Next Round’ in Birmingham, Alabama, which previously broadcast on WJOX as JOX Roundtable. The show left the terrestrial world in June 2021 to operate as its own entity. Ryan’s knowledge and opinions should provide a boost to the site, and I’m looking forward to featuring his columns every Tuesday. Keep an eye out for it tomorrow, and if you want to check out the guest piece he previously wrote for us, click here.

Demetri Ravanos and I have talked to a lot of people over the past month. More additions will be revealed soon. As always, thanks for the continued support of BSM and BNM.

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Six New Contributors Join Barrett Media

“These latest additions will make our product better. Now the challenge is finding others to help us continue growing.”

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Building a brand starts with a vision. Once that vision is defined, you identify the people who fit what you’re creating, lay out the game plan, and turn them loose to execute. If the product you’re creating is original, fills a gap in the marketplace, and the work turned in by your team is consistently excellent and promoted in the right locations, more times than not you’ll build an audience.

As you grow, the focus turns to studying what your audience wants, needs, and expects from your brand. Certain things you expect to be big turn out small, and the things you saw limited upside in create opportunities you never saw coming. It’s critical to be open minded and ready to pivot while also examining where and when people consume your product, which pieces of content do and don’t matter, and then use that information to direct your team to give folks more of what they value and less of what they don’t. Team members should want that feedback too. It tells them what is and isn’t worth spending their time on.

As I lay all of that out it may sound like I’m talking about a radio station or television operation. These are the things programmers do frequently to make sure the talent, shows, and brand is satisfying the expectations of an audience. But what I’m actually referring to is the brand you’ve made a choice to click on to read this column, Barrett Media.

I’ve mentioned many times on this website how I started this operation by myself, and didn’t expect to have a team of writers involved in it. I was focused on consulting sports stations, sharing my programming views on this website, and as I cranked out content consistently, I discovered others loved the business like I did and had a desire to share their insights too. Rather than sticking to my original plan, I pivoted and increased our content offerings. In return, the audience grew, clients grew, and it’s led this brand to grow beyond my expectations. Now we cover sports AND news media, we run an annual conference, feature a membership program, create podcasts, deliver a daily 8@8 and three times per week BNM Rundown newsletter, and work with various brands and companies across the broadcasting industry. I’m extremely fortunate to be in this position and don’t take it for granted.

But with growth comes change. We’ve been blessed to have a lot of talented people contribute to this site over the years, and as they produce quality work, and others across the industry recognize it, they earn interest for their services. That then leads to some having to sign off for bigger opportunities. I see that as a great positive for the brand. Would it be nice to have more consistency and keep a crew together for years? Of course. I know it’d make Demetri’s life a lot easier. If we’re losing people for the right reasons though, and they’re landing opportunities that help them advance their careers, I’m going to be happy for their success, and trust that we’ll find others to keep us moving forward. The success of our team helps make what we do more attractive to others because it shows that if you do good consistent work here, you can put yourself in a position to attract attention.

Over the past two months, I have challenged Demetri Ravanos to invest more time talking to people about writing for us. Expanding our Barrett News Media roster is a priority. So too is adding quality people to help us improve Barrett Sports Media. BSM has had just under seven years to earn trust with readers. BNM has had less than two. We’ve put out ads on our website and newsletters, social posts, an ad on Indeed, and we’ve reached out directly to people who we’ve felt may be able to add something interesting to our brand. Most of my time is spent listening to stations and talking with clients, but my eyes are always roaming looking for content, and my mind is always thinking about what we can create next to make an impact.

I don’t judge our brand’s success based on clicks, shares, breaking news before other outlets or showing up in the top three listings on Google. I care more effort accuracy, timeliness, passion, consistency, storytelling, insight, and being fair and non-agenda driven. We’ve found our niche being able to tell stories about broadcasting professionals, relaying news, and offering expert knowledge to serve those involved in the broadcasting industry. If we continue to excel doing those things consistently, I’m confident our audience will reward us by reading and sharing more of our content. It’s why we never stop recruiting to keep things fresh.

Having said that, I am excited today to reveal six new additions to the Barrett Media staff. Peter Schwartz is a name and voice many in New York sports radio circles are familiar with. Peter has spent three decades working with various outlets and I’m thrilled to have him writing weekly feature stories for us. Brady Farkas is a talented host and former programmer who now works for WDEV in Burlington, VT. Karl Schoening is a play by play broadcaster who has worked in San Antonio sports radio and has had the added benefit of learning the industry from his talented father Bill who calls Spurs games. Each of them will produce bi-weekly feature stories for the brand. Jason Ence is in Louisville and has written about sports betting for Twin Spires while also working for ESPN 680. He’ll be writing sports betting content for us on a weekly basis. Jasper Jones will help us by adding news stories on Friday’s. He’s presently in Philadelphia learning the business working for Audacy. Last but not least, veteran author, Brewers writer, and former radio professional Jim Cryns comes on board to help us with features on news media professionals.

These six additions make us stronger, and I’m excited to have them join the team to help us add more quality content to the website. That said, we’re not done yet. Demetri and I are still talking with others and I expect to make a few more additions in the weeks ahead. As I said earlier, we want to improve the news media side of our operation and continue adding people to help us make a bigger dent in the sports media space. Broadcast companies invest in us to help them, and I believe it’s important to invest back.

If you’ve programmed, hosted a top rated show, worked in measurement, led a cluster as a GM, sold advertising, represented talent or have worked in digital and feel you have knowledge to share, reach out. I can’t promise we’ll have room but we’re always willing to listen. I’m not worried about whether or not you’ve written for professional publications. Passion, experience and unique insights matter much more than a resume or journalism degree.

I appreciate everyone who takes time to read our content, like and share it on social, and all involved with this brand who help bring it to life each day. The latest additions of Schwartz, Farkas, Schoening, Ence, Jones and Cryns will make our product better. Now the challenge is finding others to help us continue growing.

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