Sports Radio News
Bensinger’s In-Depth Rolls On
St. Louisan Graham Bensinger has begun the fifth season of his nationally syndicated sports interview TV show, and for now can put his monetary worries to rest.
He said “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” has stabilized financially after some rough times last year, when he greatly expanded the operation by adding staff and affiliates. That came after he was a one-man show in the early days, when he not only was conducting the interviews but also was selling advertising and lining up outlets to carry the program plus booking travel and guests. Now he has nine full-time staffers.
“Everything’s going in the right direction,’’ he said Thursday. “It’s been a bit of a battle. There’s been financial pressure in growing it.”
That sounds like an understatement. Bensinger, 28, said after making a small profit the first three seasons when the show was on a smaller scale, last year was a loser. That’s when he syndicated the show, which had been on cable and the internet, to over-the-air stations across the country.
It was a big risk.
Last year he said he funded the expanded business with “the money I had made to that point plus my life savings. I said, ‘What the hell, I want to give this a shot.’’’
A long shot?
“Without a doubt this past year has been the toughest of my life,’’ he said. “I don’t think I ever realized how much the financial pressure would impact me. I’d go to bed thinking about it, get up thinking about it. That was pretty much the life I lived the last year.
“It was entirely self induced. I made the decision to invest every last dollar I could into the show, whether it be in production quality or hiring additional people. I believe that was necessary to grow it. If I had reined it in slightly, there wouldn’t have been the financial pressure. But looking back, I’m glad I made the decisions I made. But it definitely taught me a valuable lesson in that I never want to have to go through that again.”
He was on vacation with his parents this summer when he finalized a sponsorship deal that would not only put him into the black for the coming season, but assure that he also would cover last season’s losses. It was an emotional experience.
“Never in a million years would I have expected this reaction, but I just went down to tell my mom and burst out crying because it’s just been a long path to get to this place,’’ Bensinger said.
He is in a more prominent time slot locally this season, at 10:35 p.m. Sundays on KTVI (Channel 2) after being on at 6:30 a.m. Saturdays last year.
Basketball personality Charles Barkley was the subject last week in the season debut of the half-hour program, with tennis’ Caroline Wozniacki the focus this week. Among topics she discusses is golfer Rory McIIroy recently breaking off their engagement. Football’s Emmitt Smith and Ray Lewis follow next.
It’s been a prominent — albeit different — path for Bensinger, who at one time seemed to be gliding on the fast track to a network reporter’s role. At age 19, he scored a big interview for ESPN with receiver Terrell Owens, who in the conversation talked his way out of a job with the Philadelphia Eagles. He also did other reports for the network.
But he always had wanted to try to make his mark on his own, not by working for someone else.
“Had I looked for an opportunity where I would have been employed by a media outlet, it would have been more financially lucrative the past several years,’’ he said. “So it has been exciting to get (the show) to the place where it is now.
“It’s still far and away the most satisfying work I’ve ever done. In prior roles, I’d only conduct an interview or book an interview. Now I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in every facet of building this.”
And there is a key bottom line.
“It’s exciting that there’s no longer the day-to-day financial pressure that there has been in the past,’’ he said. “It’s been a long five years.”
For more, read Dan Caesar’s column at STL Today where this was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Phoenix Suns Radio Voice Al McCoy Retiring At Season’s End
“Well I don’t think it’s any big thing because I think everybody knew this was probably going to wrap it up for me obviously.”
Longtime Phoenix Suns radio play-by-play announcer Al McCoy has announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the current NBA season.
The 89-year-old McCoy has been the voice of the Suns for the past 51 years.
After joining the team in 1972, McCoy called games on both television and radio for the franchise until the NBA outlawed the practice in the early 2000s.
He scaled back his schedule in 2010, and called road games from a remote studio in Phoenix during the 2020-2021 season. The club’s road contests are currently broadcast by Jon Bloom.
“Well I don’t think it’s any big thing because I think everybody knew this was probably going to wrap it up for me obviously,” McCoy told KTAR News’ Gaydos & Chad on Friday.
McCoy was honored with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award in 2007.
Sports Radio News
Adam Schein Signs Extension at SiriusXM
“I truly appreciate the platform, power and prestige of hosting Schein On Sports every weekday on Mad Dog Sports Radio.“
SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio Host Adam Schein has inked a four-year extension to remain with the satellite provider.
“I am so incredibly elated and fired up to re-sign another long-term deal with SiriusXM, my radio home for the last 18 years,” said Schein. “I love working with the amazing people at SiriusXM. I truly appreciate the platform, power and prestige of hosting Schein On Sports every weekday on Mad Dog Sports Radio. It’s my passion.
“And I am thrilled to host our rebranded Rise and Scheinpodcast, a show to remind people why they love sports while interviewing the people in sports and entertainment that fascinate me the most and share that excitement and joy.”
Schein joined SiriusXM in 2004 and was the first voice ever heard on SiriusXM NFL Radio. He moved to SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio in 2019.
“Adam is an exceptional talent with a passion for sports that is obvious every time he cracks open the mic,” said Eric Spitz, VP of Sports Programming, SiriusXM. “SiriusXM has been his home since 2004 and it has been a thrill to see his star rise over these last two decades. We’re thrilled to extend our great relationship with Adam, keep him as a mainstay on our Mad Dog Sports Radio channel, and ensure our listeners continue to get his one-of-a-kind brand of sports talk on a daily basis.”
Sports Radio News
Doug Gottlieb: I Would Give Up Radio For Coaching Job
“I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up.”
Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb recently interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at Wisconsin-Green Bay and detailed the experience on his podcast.
“I got a chance to talk to (Wisconsin-Green Bay AD) Josh Moon several times during the year after they had made their coaching job available and my approach to how I’ve done these things — and this is not the first time I’ve gone down this path, but this was a different path,” Gottlieb said on his All Ball podcast.
“This is a low-major, mid-major job, and there’s no connection there. I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up. I love doing it and I think there’s a very smart world where if I’m coaching I can still do this podcast and still do it with basketball people all over the country and the world, and it’s kind of like a cheat code.”
He continued by saying that seeing Shaka Smart be successful at Marquette has motivated him to continue to search for the right fit as a college basketball coach.
“That’s what I want to do. And last year when I was coaching in Israel, that also continued to invigorate me…this is something that I would really like to do. It has to be the right thing. It has to be the right AD who hits the right message.”
He continued by saying that a sticking point of negotiations was he wasn’t willing to give up his nationally syndicated radio program for the job. He was willing to take less money for his assistants pool, but also to continue doing his radio show.
Gottlieb did not get the position with the Phoenix, noting that he was a finalist but was never offered the job. The position ultimately went to Wyoming assistant coach Sundance Wicks. Wicks had previous head coaching experience and had worked with Green Bay athletic director Josh Moon at Division II Northern State. He admitted he wasn’t necessarily “all-in” on the job due to the current ages of his children and whether the timing was right to uproot his family to move to Northeastern Wisconsin.
The Fox Sports Radio host does have coaching experience. He has worked as a coach for the U.S. men’s basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Olympics.
Gottlieb’s father — Bob — was the head men’s basketball coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1975-1980, compiling a 97-91 record.