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The Producer and Host Relationship

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I’m a fan of a variety of music and one group who’s style I’ve grown fond of the past 7-8 years is the heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. Initially the band’s earlier songs lacked flow from start to finish. They’d feature some excellent riffs, lyrics and instrumental parts but when the songs were completed they felt like they were missing something. I could tell the band’s talent was there but they hadn’t figured out how to put it all together.

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As the years passed, I’ve noticed how the group has matured and become more focused and serious about the song writing process. Their songs now sound well organized and have a much stronger flow and the lyrics and melodies have become much stronger. Coincidentally they’re selling more records now than they ever have before.

Now you’re probably thinking “what the heck does that have to do with sports talk radio” and actually there’s a specific reason why I’m bringing it up. Make sure to read the question and answer exchange at top of the article. In it you’ll notice some of the feedback from Guitarist Zacky Vengeance who talked to Revolver Magazine about the involvement of a producer in the band’s music making process.

closedThis is important because it’s no different than what occurs in radio. In this case, the “talent” went in with a closed mind and initially rejected the idea of coaching and constructive criticism, only to discover later that when they embraced it, they made better music. When people collaborate and keep an open mind to the content creation process, more times than not the result is better than when one tries to go it alone.

I’m not pointing this out so you’ll enter your building tomorrow and give your producer a big hug and tell them you’ll listen to them in the future. Doing that and changing your approach isn’t going to unlock some magical formula that is going to assure you of having a kick ass show that dominates in the ratings.

bradyjoshInstead I’m bringing it up to illustrate the value in having a strong producer involved in the daily process. In many cases, this individual is another supporter and believer in your abilities and they’re willing to be honest, candid and helpful to seeing you reach your full potential as a personality.

One thing that always stands out to me is how similar the responses are when I talk to different talent about how they measure their growth or improvement. Most will say stuff like “we chat as a show about what we thought worked and that determines if we’re making progress or not“, “the ratings tell us if what we’re doing is working” and my personal favorite “you can feel when it’s good or when it isn’t“.

gameplanWhile there’s some validity to those responses, how can anyone truly show performance improvement if these are the ways talent go through the improvement and coaching process? If I asked you as a host to show me a clear difference of something you’ve worked on and improved upon over the past 90 days could you do it? Maybe some could but I guarantee most couldn’t.

Call me old fashioned but I still believe there is an art to creating great radio and it starts with preparation, shared vision and a game plan to track success. If those things aren’t in place or don’t matter and regular feedback isn’t provided, then how can you tell if you’re any better or different than from when you first spoke to an audience on a microphone? Aside from a possible voice change or different PD opinion, you’re going to be hard pressed to prove you’ve grown as a broadcaster.

Think for a second about professional sports and how it relates to this situation. I’ll use Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw as my examples since they’re both at the top of their games. Each spends a few hours watching video to study their own performances as well as their opponents tendencies and they’ll seek out further opinion from their managers, coaches and fellow teammates in order to make sure they’re set up to have success. Why do they do it? To get better and help their teams win.

excusesThese guys spend 9-10 hours per day at their jobs, they travel constantly and juggle media, fans and sponsor requests plus find time to sleep, spend time with their families, work out and do some things to take their mind off the game. Still they find time to evaluate their work and the competition. Oh and they do this while making millions! They’ve got plenty of excuses to be lazy but they don’t use them because they’re focused on always getting better.

Sports isn’t the only industry that’s relatable. Let’s use an example from the movie business. Leonardo DiCaprio makes millions to shoot a movie and I’m sure some directors would probably just let him walk into a room and say “do whatever you want and we’ll film it and make it great” but instead a guy like DiCaprio seeks out top notch directors like Martin Scorsese who are going to challenge him and cast him in roles that help him be his very best. There’s obviously a respect and trust between director and actor and due to that connection, the product on the screen is usually strong and movie fanatics show their appreciation by filling up theatres to watch their work.

Most radio talent have more time available, less distractions and a lot less money than a professional athlete or film star yet most don’t make time to assess how they’re performing, what they’re going to do to get better going forward and how they’re going to measure it. Some personalities never listen back to their work or embrace hearing what’s less than stellar on the show and it baffles me because if you’re not willing to hear honesty from those who care and appreciate your talents then how do you expect to grow?

This is why I chose today to focus on the producer-talent relationship. If a show truly wants to grow and find its groove, it starts with those two individuals and then it extends to the Program Director. No full-time show tandem spends more time together than Host-Producer so if that combination isn’t clicking, the rest of the product can be in big trouble.

Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll, Darrell BevellThose who have worked for me have heard me use this following example. Inside any radio station, I see the Program Director as the Head Coach, the Producer as the Offensive Coordinator and the On-Air talent as the Quarterback. We must all to agree on what style of offense we’re going to play before we hit the field but once we’re out there, we need to trust our training, work together on the game plan and respect, understand and utilize what each other does so we can have individual and team success.

respectIf you’re a producer and you think you’re going to instruct your talent to “do as they’re told“, good luck getting anything done. They’re the star the audience is paying to see and you need to respect that, appreciate it and remember it. You can put things down on paper and beat someone up for every small detail that gets missed but if you don’t enjoy the wins and remind your on-air talent of when they do something outstanding, you’ll never get the full support you’re seeking.

Some producers think that doing a talk show is easy and formatics should never be missed but that’s not realistic. That’s like expecting Peyton Manning to never throw an interception. Clearly he has the talent to make every throw on the field and his intention isn’t to make a mistake but people are human and they screw up sometimes.

radiostudioI remember meeting once in St. Louis with a group of producers and when I raised the question of why we weren’t supplying our talent with more information to further support their opinions on the air, I was told that it required a lot more work and the talk show hosts were paid a lot to know to sports so they should know it all.

I then asked the group “can you remember the 5-6 bullet points to one of your topics from earlier today“? After being told they could, I took a group of producers down the hall to a production studio, turned on a microphone and had them each try to do a 10-minute segment recalling what they thought they remembered from earlier that day. Not one lasted 2 minutes.

The purpose of the exercise wasn’t to demonstrate that they couldn’t host a show like a personality could, it was to make them aware of just how tough it is to remember everything inside your head. When you have the benefit of information in front of you on paper or on a screen and when you know you have someone in your corner who’s trying to give you details to help you along, you’re going to be more likely to place your faith in them. If the producer maintained the initial mindset that existed when we first entered that meeting, the talent would have lost respect, trust and interest in working with him in the future.

What people off the air sometimes lose sight of is that doing a 3-4 hour radio show 5 days per week and being entertaining, compelling and interesting to an audience is very hard! Even the best in the business have off-days and off-segments. The challenge is getting your people past those bumps in the road and not letting it become a consistent issue.

stinkOn the other hand, if you’re a talent, you need to be cognizant of the fact that your shit does stink some time and the one who’s going to tell you, is the person who’s in your corner the most, your producer. If you really care about being great, then you have to be open minded to feedback and criticism. It comes with the territory. If Peyton Manning can face millions of people after an off-day in the Super Bowl, then you should be able to handle some dialogue with your producer.

Most producer’s have good intentions and want to earn the trust and respect of their hosts. If they’re being hard on a host for breaking late, blowing off a tease or asking bad questions during an interview, they’re doing it because they know the host can do better and they want to help that person reach their full potential. They take pride in the show just like the host does and they want to see their hard work pay off in the eyes of the audience, their peers and their bosses.

officespaceOne misconception I’ve seen and heard too many times in multiple markets from a number of hosts is what they believe a producer’s job is. Many think the job is to book 2-3 guests, print a few stories off the internet, answer the phones, grab coffee and stay out of the way. That is not a producer. That is called a “yes man”. You can break it into other parts too such as “booker”, “information gatherer”, “call screener”, “runner”, etc.

A producer is going to work with you to “produce” content and shape the vision for the show and do everything in their power to see that the vision becomes a reality. They’re not there to sit back and wonder where the show is going or why it’s going there. Having a plan and an agreed upon destination that both people are aware of shouldn’t require pulling teeth.

If someone is working on a show with you and they’re not challenging you on where things are going or asking to be more involved with the layout then that’s when you should be concerned as a host. Anyone who cares about the program and helping you deliver a great product is going to want to work with you on the show’s creation. They’re also going to look for ways to add to the presentation while the show is in progress because having an idea of what’s going to take place fosters more creativity.

stevejobsFor those who produce shows, think of the way you approach your show each day and ask yourself “what’s the one thing I’ve worked on with my host in the past 30-60 days to make them better“? If you can’t identify it, then it’s something you’re going to want to work on.

Maybe you’re waiting for the feedback to come from the mouth or email of your PD but if you want the respect of your talent, then you can lead the charge too when you hear an opportunity for something to improve. If the only time you speak up to offer advice is when the PD is present, how do you expect the host to trust your evaluation of their work?

If you’ve thought about the areas where your personality can improve but haven’t been able to come up with a plan for how to make it better that’s ok. In that case, talk to your PD and let them know what you think could be tighter on the show and give some examples to support your beliefs. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it and then work with you to come up with a strategy for how to measure improvement.

nielsenI’ll wrap this piece up with this, if your future earning potential and length of stay at your current place of work was measured on your ratings growth or being able to demonstrate improvement in what you’re doing, what would you put your faith in? One system is flawed and out of your control, the other is in your hands and only takes your commitment, creating a detailed plan and holding yourself accountable.

If you produce a show, listen to it closer and think of the places inside of it where you can help. If you’re on the air, think of the advantage you have by having a trusted colleague working next to you to help you create a great show. In some markets, personalities are producing their own shows and I know a few who have also had to host while producing and running their own board. That’s not fun but neither is the flip side, paying for great support, only to have the host not value it or utilize it.

measuregrowthHere’s a challenge for you. Host/Producer, identify one thing you both agree could be better on the show and spend the next 30 days trying to make it better. Whether it’s your teases going to break, resetting the show during segments, improving the pace of the show, shortening your interviews or diving into content faster at the start of segments. There are a ton of other possibilities too but that gives you some things to get started.

Pull some audio to show how it sounds when it works or fails and come up with a game plan for what you’re going to do differently to make it better. Step back in 30 days to see where you’re at and continue the dialogue with one another to keep finding ways to make the show feel better and more fulfilling.

mjjaxLet’s be honest, you wouldn’t be in your position if you didn’t have ability to do the job. However, a lot of people have talent and those who push themselves to continue improving go further. Great ones like Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter didn’t need to be told to accept coaching, work with their teammates or find ways to measure and improve their performances regularly, they did it because they wanted to be the best at what they did.

If they could do it then there’s no reason you can’t. Measuring your improvement isn’t difficult and it’s not a bad place to start when showing your bosses why you’re worth a larger investment down the road. Then again, if you don’t want to go that way, you can always put your fate in the hands of the Nielsen gods. Please be sure to let me know how that turns out for you.

Barrett Blogs

Angiolet, Borod, Craig & Sottolano Added To 2022 BSM Summit

“If you’re planning to attend, please buy your tickets as soon as possible. We have limited room and it’s first come, first serve.”

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We promised we had more great news to share regarding the 2022 BSM Summit. Just four days after revealing the addition of ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro to this year’s show, we’ve added four more heavyweights to March’s sports media industry conference.

First, it’s a pleasure to welcome for the first time, DraftKings Chief Media Officer Brian Angiolet to the BSM Summit. Brian joined DraftKings in April 2021 after two decades with Verizon where he helped the company strike a number of multi-billion dollar broadcasting, sports and entertainment content and advertising deals. Some of the key groups to do business with Verizon during Brian’s tenure included the NFL, NBA, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM. DK has been a large advertiser and supporter of the sports media industry for many years, in addition to becoming a larger content provider following the acquisition of VSiN. We look forward to having Brian join our sports betting executive panel (hosted by ESPN’s host Joe Fortenbaugh) to share his insights on how he sees sports betting groups participating now and in the future in the sports media content world.

Second, it’s an honor to add Fanatics Chief Commercial Officer Ari Borod to the sports betting executive panel for his first appearance at the BSM Summit. Ari’s fingerprints have been all over the sports betting business for years, first with FanDuel, then with the Action Network. He joined Fanatics in June 2021, reuniting with former FanDuel CEO Matt King, and in less than a year, the company became the official trading cards partner of MLB, purchased the Topps Trading Company, and applied for a sports betting license in New York. Possessing a massive customer base, deep executive knowledge of the sports betting business, and a desire to make a larger dent in the sports betting arena, we’re thrilled to have Ari lend his perspective on how Fanatics views the future of sports betting and the evolution of the sports media industry.

Next, I am thrilled to have Audacy’s EVP of Programming Jeff Sottolano appear on stage for the first time at the Summit. In his current role, Jeff is responsible for the content strategy and performance of Audacy’s local brands in all formats across all broadcast and digital platforms. Jeff has played a key role in the launch, development and growth of the BetQL Network, while also helping Audacy evolve its position as one of America’s top audio companies. Jeff will be part of one of my favorite sessions, The Power Panel, which includes SVP of Premiere Sports and EVP of iHeart Sports Don Martin, Cumulus and Westwood One SVP Bruce Gilbert, and SiriusXM SVP of Sports Programming Steve Cohen. All four men will participate in a lengthy discussion on sports talk programming and the various challenges facing brands, talent, and programmers today.

A BSM Summit can’t just feature new faces though, especially when familiar ones add valuable knowledge to important programming conversations. ESPN Radio Program Director, former colleague and longtime friend Justin Craig will join us for our Programmers Masterclass alongside a few other notable leaders. The group will examine what does and doesn’t work from a content standpoint when trying to capture ratings. They’ll also share which ingredients are essential in successful talent/shows, and provide an on-site review of a piece of audio content. Those interested in learning how great programmer’s think will want to be present for this panel.

If you haven’t purchased a ticket to the Summit but are planning to attend, please do so before seats are no longer available. We have limited room inside the theater and it’s first come, first serve. Additionally, all attendees in New York will receive an online registration to be able to watch the show on-demand afterwards. This can be helpful when looking to share insight with local staffs who aren’t able to attend.

For those not able to travel but interested in enjoying the Summit, we do have virtual tickets available. Details on tickets, speakers, and hotel rooms can be found on BSMSummit.com. I hope to see you there!

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Barrett Blogs

ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro To Speak At The 2022 BSM Summit

“Having Jimmy with us will allow our attendees to learn how ESPN views the current sports media landscape in order to better understand where the business is headed in the future.”

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The largest player in the sports content business today is ESPN. From television to radio to streaming, social, podcasts, websites and more, the network remains a force in satisfying the appetites of sports fans around the globe.

But creating sustainable global success isn’t easy. It requires investing billions of dollars in key programming partnerships, holding off competitors who seek to elevate their own standing, and hiring and retaining talented professionals and providing an environment for them to thrive in. If that wasn’t difficult enough, a company must also embrace new technology, and accept that certain things will fail while pursuing a path to excellence.

The man charged with making sure ESPN thrives in each of these areas is Chairman Jimmy Pitaro, and I’m excited to share that he’ll be joining us in March in New York City for the 2022 BSM Summit.

I’ll have the pleasure of spending 35 minutes on stage with Jimmy discussing the state of the sports media industry, the opportunities and challenges facing operators in 2022 and beyond, the growth of sports betting, network radio, podcasts, subscriptions, social, and many other issues. No matter what space we’re talking about, ESPN has held a dominant position among all media brands. Having Jimmy with us will allow our attendees to learn how ESPN views the current sports media landscape in order to better understand where the business is headed in the future.

Jimmy has been with the Walt Disney Company since 2010. He became ESPN President in 2018 and was elevated two years later to his current role as Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content. You can learn more about his professional background by clicking here.

A reminder that the 2022 BSM Summit is an industry-only event. You must work in the media business in order to attend the show. This includes sales, public relations, advertising agency professionals and agents, as well as programming folks. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of attending the Summit, feel free to visit our YouTube page to see some clips from past shows. It’ll give you an idea of what you can expect. You can also see the full list of speakers scheduled to appear at our 2022 show by visiting BSMSummit.com. We’ll announce a few more executive additions to March’s event later this week.

For those who manage brands and have joined us before in New York, Los Angeles and/or Chicago and are planning to come but haven’t bought a ticket yet, please do so asap. Seating is limited and once we’re full, we can’t add seats inside the room. You can also take advantage of a great hotel deal ($109 per night) with our partner Hotel Edison by clicking here.

One additional note, for those who are concerned about traveling, there is an opportunity to buy a virtual ticket. This year’s show is available both online and in person. For those planning to join us in NYC, in addition to receiving your live ticket, you’ll also get an online account so you can view the event on-demand afterwards. This can be especially helpful if you wish to replay a session or use any information afterwards to help members of your team. A big thanks to our virtual partner Nuvoodoo Media for helping make it happen.

We’re just 49 days away from putting on a spectacular show for industry folks in the big apple. We hope to see you there!

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BSM, BNM Ready To Grow In 2022

“We’ve ended 2021 with record high’s for monthly traffic and social impressions, and our client and advertiser base the best its ever been thanks to the support of outstanding partners.”

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It’s commonplace in our business to self-reflect when a new year full of possibilities arrives. We should probably do it more often rather than reserving it for the final day of the year or the first day of the next, but in the media business, finding time isn’t always easy.

As I look back at 2021, and the obstacles, adversity, accomplishments, enlightenment, and unpredictability that awaits BSM and BNM in 2022, I’m grateful to be able to do work that many enjoy and benefit from. Since I left the programming world in 2015 not a day has passed where I thought ‘I need to get back to running a radio station‘. That may sound crazy considering I spent two decades inside of buildings, loving the job, and living and breathing it 24/7, but from the second I moved into this space, I knew it was where I needed to be.

I had my fun building brands, chasing ratings, leading corporate programming calls, and making good money, but that restricted me to working in one city for one company with one brand and one staff. Now, I get to wake up each day and help clients in multiple cities, and run my own brand, collaborating with a great group of people to tell stories about the business we love. Combine that with hosting an annual conference, working with advertising partners and industry friends to create cool content and examine ways to grow their businesses, and connecting with folks to stay plugged in on details that others won’t know about until weeks or months later, and I consider myself very lucky. The added bonus, I get to do it in running pants and t-shirts inside the comfort of my home office/studio.

But with operating a business comes a different set of challenges. In 2020, we ended the BSM Summit on a high only to watch the entire world spin out of control weeks later due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That created a bunch of short-term issues, which fortunately we were able to overcome. Fast forward to this year, and we’ve ended 2021 with record high’s for monthly traffic and social impressions, and our client and advertiser base the best its ever been thanks to the support of outstanding partners. I never assume we’re in the clear because things can change quickly, but the support we’ve received is appreciated. It fuels me to reinvest in others to continue growing our operation and helping the industry.

So let’s talk a little bit about how we’re doing that in 2022.


First, we merged Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media in May 2021 to bring news and opinion from both the sports/talk and news/talk worlds under one roof. We tried running them independently initially but that wasn’t the best strategy for a new brand. Since bringing them together, BNM’s exposure has increased, the content has been read more regularly, and though we have more to do to get the brand on par with BSM, we’re making progress. BSM had a 5+ year head start on BNM, and though I know at times it may seem weird to read a sports media and news media story on the same website or social media account, as I tell those who ask, sports and news have mixed together since the invention of television, radio and newspapers.

Boosting BNM’s awareness and content is a goal for 2022, and to do that I want to share two things we’re creating to help us make progress.

I’m excited to share that we are launching The BNM Rundown. This will be a newsletter we distribute 3x per week (Monday-Wednesday-Friday) via email similar to what we’ve done with the BSM 8@8. The Rundown will go out around 5pm ET on each of those three days, and it’ll contain ten (10) news media stories, five (5) advertising slots, and the latest stock prices for radio groups. There will be additional content and advertising added in the future, and we may increase delivery to five days per week down the line. I’m happy with the layout and think you’ll enjoy it. If you’d like to receive the BNM Rundown or discuss advertising opportunities inside of it, click here to sign up. A big thanks to Ryan Jaster for all the work he’s done getting it ready for distribution.

In addition to the newsletter, 2022 will become the first year where we roll out BNM’s Top 20 of 2022. Similar to how we’ve produced the BSM Top 20, we are going to do the same for the News/Talk format. Categories will be announced at a later time, and we’re expecting to present our results towards years end. There’s a lot to be done to make it a success, but if we’re able to do for News/Talk what we’ve done for Sports/Talk during the past 6 years, I’m confident folks will appreciate it.

When I look at BNM right now, I see a number of excellent writers on the site. If you’re not reading Pete Mundo, Jerry Barmash, Douglas Pucci, Rick Schultz, McGraw Milhaven, Ryan Hedrick and Eduardo Razo, you really should. Each of those guys have been rock stars for the brand, but we need more help, especially another columnist or two. If you work in news radio or TV, love writing, and live and breathe the business, email: JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

Though we do need to add columnists, a bigger hole has been a dedicated Assistant Content Editor. I’ve poured my heart and soul into BSM over the years, Demetri Ravanos has as well, and that’s helped us build a strong connection with sports radio folks. For BNM, that love, interest, and unwavering passion for telling stories about news radio and news television has been missing in the editor role. Though frustrating at times, it’s all part of building a brand. You have to go thru a few things before it all starts to click. Now after talking to a bunch of talented people over the past two months, and thinking about the brand’s need for TLC, I’m happy to announce the internal promotion of Eduardo Razo.

Since joining us Eduardo has been a steady fixture on the site, writing news, scheduling social posts, and putting an extra set of eyes on the content that comes in from our team. He cares about the site being clean, conducts himself neutrally and professionally when adding news, and he believes in the brand. If hours go by and the site doesn’t have new content, he’s the one who points it out. When Eduardo first joined us he was just learning the ropes. Over the past fifteen months he’s been consistently excellent, and I have no doubt he’ll make even more progress in his new role as BNM’s Assistant Content Editor.


Making sure Eduardo has support to help him though is also important. I’d love to be that person myself, but client projects require much of my focus, so having a strong #2 is key. I’ve been lucky to have a great one in Demetri Ravanos who I’m excited to share is being elevated to the new role of Director of Content. In his new position, Demetri will continue producing columns, creating original feature stories, and hosting a weekly podcast. He’ll also be responsible for daily social creation and scheduling, working with yours truly on client projects and Barrett Media events, recruitment of writers, growth of the BSM Member Directory, BSM merchandising, additional BSM audio projects, and oversight of BSM and BNM’s Assistant Content Editors.

That last line implies that there will be multiple editors involved in shaping BSM and BNM’s content, and with Demetri and Eduardo promoted, that means we’re adding someone to help grow BSM. I’m thrilled to welcome Ian Casselberry to our team as BSM’s new Assistant Content Editor. Ian is familiar to many in the sports media universe for his work with Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He’s also contributed to Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, SB Nation Detroit, and MLive.com among others.

I’ve read Ian’s work for years and have always appreciated his passion for sports radio and sports television. Adding someone with his experience, creativity, and attention to detail has been a huge priority for me. I’m looking forward to turning him loose on January 17th when he officially begins working with us. Under his direction, and in tandem with Demetri and I, we’re going to aim to produce more quality sports media content, and continue expanding BSM’s footprint across the industry.

As awesome as all of these moves are for creating interest in reading the site, if you don’t have someone in position to help sell it, the upside is going to be limited. For the past six years I’ve been the one making those sales myself. But I’ve also had to be a consultant, social scheduler, content creator, summit organizer-creator-host, finder of new clients, and the one in charge of billing and payroll. I love being busy, but a brand’s potential can’t be maximized without help.

Placing the company’s sales efforts in someone else’s hands though requires trust. I’ve learned the past few years that unless you’re inside my world and understand everything that goes on with BSM and BNM, it’s not an easy brand to sell. Media sellers are used to working with more assets, bigger dollars, and they expect things to move faster. They’re also used to corporate environments where a crew provides support from the beginning to the end of a sale. That’s not how it works here. This is more of a family business. Our success depends on one on one relationships, accessibility, being a self-starter, and patience. It means keeping in touch with industry friends and partners even when there isn’t a sale to be made. Nobody knows this brand, business, and who we serve better than the person who’s lived it with me for the past six and a half years, Stephanie Eads, my new Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Not only has Stephanie worked in sales and customer service most of her adult life, she’s honest, organized, and outstanding with people. She’s been exposed to every aspect of my radio life for the past sixteen years, and if you’ve been to a BSM Summit before then you already know how on the ball she is at making sure things get done. This is something we’ve talked about for years, but the timing was never right. Now it is, and I’m excited to watch her blossom. Having her add extra support to help me with billing and payroll is an added bonus.

The BSM brand will also welcome a few additional writers starting this week. First, I’m glad to have Danny O’Neil joining us as a weekly columnist. I got to know Danny in Seattle at 710 ESPN Seattle over the past six years, and he’s always been smart, passionate about media, and an exceptional writer. He’s now based in NYC and his debut column will hit the site this Friday. Also joining us in a daily news writer role is Will Dundon. Will is based in Nashville where he works as a producer for 102.5 The Game. Having him involved will help us stay on top of day to day news stories.


In terms of upcoming content, the BSM Top 20 of 2021 will be released February 7-11 and 14-15. The series moves back a week this year in accordance with a later Super Bowl date. During the seven day span we will highlight the best local sports radio stations, program directors, and morning, midday, and afternoon shows. We will also recognize the best national sports talk shows and original sports podcasts. To do that, we will once again involve more than 50 program directors and executives in the voting process.

One thing we will do differently this year is create an extra piece which recognizes the top performer in twenty smaller categories. These will be determined by a combination of BSM staff and select experts for specific fields. Some of these categories will include Best Sports Betting Content Brand, Best Wrestling Audio Show, Best Sports Radio Social Brand, and more.

After the Top 20 concludes, we’ll turn our attention to the 2022 BSM Summit, which is scheduled for March 2-3, 2022 in New York City at the Anne Bernstein Theater. The show will also be available virtually for those who can’t attend in person. I’m excited about the guest speakers we’ve lined up for this year’s event, and have more tremendous additions to announce later this week and next week. I realize the Omicron/Covid-19 situation has created some concern over the past month, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. As of today, we’re planning to host the event. If the situation were to worsen and we couldn’t keep people safe and comfortable, we’d reschedule the show. I’m hopeful of seeing familiar faces and many of sports media’s best and brightest in sixty days. If you haven’t bought your ticket, log on to BSMSummit.com and do so before you’re on the outside looking in. In the meantime, stay tuned to this website and the BSM 8@8 for details. We should all know more January 15th when New York State updates everyone on their mask ordinance.

Other content projects are in the works as well for March-December. We’ve got a number of ideas we’ve talked about for March Madness, and the NFL Draft. Items like last year’s Meet The Market Managers or a programmer’s version of it may also land on the content calendar. Not to be forgotten is the importance of continuing to improve the BSM Member Directory to help people stay informed, ready, and land in front of the right decision makers when job openings arise. Seeing a few of our members earn gigs the last 4-5 months of 2021 was very cool, and we hope to see more of that in 2022. Last but not least, I’m hopeful of giving the website a new layout in either quarter 2 or 3.


As I bring this column to a close, I’d like to remind you that BSM and BNM exists because we love the business and advocate for it daily. Since 2015, I’ve prioritized professional storytelling, research, industry news, relationship building, social media marketing, and consulting. Inside information and building relationships are important, and sure, it’s occasionally fun being first, but I’ve never worried about clicks, scoops, cash grabs or ruining reputations to elevate my own. I try to think about the big picture, even if it means missing out in the short-term. That applies to who I work with in a consulting capacity as well as how I operate the site. There’s no better example of it than last week. Most of our crew had the week off. It was tough missing out on stories when we were taking a mental timeout, but people come first. If you want long-term productivity and a staff to stick with you, support and sacrifice are essential.

If there’s one thing I know, this outlet has been a great resource for industry professionals. I wasn’t as fortunate during my studio days to have a site this rich in content to learn from, debate with, and stay connected to. We’ve hired 20+ contributors to help serve the industry, and I’m honored to have each one of them here. The additions we’ve made to improve the brand in 2022 will make us even better. We’re not perfect by any stretch, but we try to be fair and accurate. I also try to be accessible, especially when difficult situations arise. There are going to be times when our crew deliver strong opinions or tackle sensitive issues, and when those instances occur, I hope you’ll remember what I said about accuracy and fairness. We won’t operate as shills for the industry but we’re also not going scorched earth on folks.

Our goal here is simple, help folks stay informed about the sports and news radio/television formats, overdeliver for clients who place their trust in us, connect our advertising partners and members to others who can benefit from their services, and give industry people access to content from other professionals so they can do their jobs better.

If we can do these things consistently we’ll be in great shape. If we miss along the way, we’ll clean up the mess, and try to learn from it. We’re nine months away from celebrating seven years in operation, and we couldn’t have made it this far without your full support. Thanks for riding with us, now let’s make 2022 a year to remember.

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