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Bruno Believes In Podcasting Model

Jason Barrett



On the surface, everything seemed ideal. After nearly two decades away, veteran sports talk show host Tony Bruno returned to CBS Radio’s Sportsradio 94 WIP in January to team up with brash, upstart Josh Innes. In a little more than five months, the duo overtook rival Mike Missanelli of 97.5 The Fanatic in what had been a bitter afternoon drive ratings war.

But behind the scenes, Bruno, 63, had tired of the grind of doing a daily five-hour show and didn’t like what sports talk radio had become. So after four decades spent working for large conglomerates, Bruno abruptly tendered his resignation earlier this month via email as Innes ranted about the situation on the air.

So what’s next for the long-time sportscaster? Bruno said he will turn his focus to podcasting rather than seek a return to terrestrial radio.

Do you regret going back to WIP after leaving The Fanatic last year?

I don’t regret coming back to WIP. I had left 97.5 and I heard Josh a few times at night. I did a few shows with him and it was fun. But once we started, there was all of this constant nonsense. But I would come to work and wonder what was going to happen today. It wasn’t like we didn’t get along. It wasn’t cause he was the alpha dog.

Josh always put people on who were going to rip him. Back in the day, you could have someone disagree with you without hating you. Every time I would go out somewhere, people would tell me how much they hated Josh. But they were listening. And we climbed to the top of the ratings. It’s not the reason I left but it was part of it.

Then why did you leave?

I was worn out from the daily nonsense and the podcasting was growing. I was putting in 10 hour days and coming home exhausted. I thought afternoons would be easier but you can’t do anything during the day, you come home at 7 p.m. and you are exhausted. It was really a quality of life issue for me. I am 63. I am not going to be one of those guys who is going to do this forever. I don’t want to die on the air. When I turn 65, I’m shutting this down completely and enjoying myself. But in the meantime, I can do the podcasts.

How tough is it to replace a host from a business standpoint?

You don’t need to be number one in the market to make a lot of money for your station. I was able to generate more money [via endorsements for sponsors] than they were paying me. So they didn’t want to see me go.

The biggest problem is from a sales standpoint is what happens to the endorsements when someone leaves. I had 13 different endorsements. So I am sure the sales department is disappointed with my departure because there is no guarantee they will hold on to those relationships. Anthony Gargano had a lot of endorsement relationships when he left WIP and I know there was concern that they would follow him to The Fanatic. It’s a big issue.

You can’t have Josh read 20 endorsements in five hours. He would be doing nothing but that. You need more than one person. When you hear the morning show, you hear Angelo [Cataldi], Al [Morganti], Rhea [Hughes] and even Keith Jones doing spots for different sponsors. So there could be a ripple effect. Do you replace 13 clients or will 97.5 swoop in and try and recruit them.

What’s the business model of podcasting?

The business model relies on whether you can sell it. Rita’s Water Ice signed on for six shows with me. I go out to their locations like it’s a public appearance. Except we do a show there and people can interact with us there and ask questions. There are no commercial breaks. I might read something from [a sponsor such as]

Podcasts can also tell exactly how many people are listening. And podcast listeners tend to be more loyal and likely to listen to your sponsor reads. They don’t tune out. I heard a stat that 24 percent of listeners to terrestrial radio buy the products of sponsors. For podcasts, that number is 75 percent.

So you can make significant money podcasting?

Adam Corolla makes $5 million a year with podcasting. So, yes. I’ve been doing it since October and it’s been growing, even while I was working full-time. And I’ve seen tremendous growth potential just over the last month. It’s like what DVR or Netflix are for television. People can listen whenever they want. I do one or two shows a week. I have a studio in my home and we also take it on the road. Sometimes it’s sports-related and sometime not.

What is the key to making it successful?

With podcasting, I control the content, brand and marketing. The success is contingent on how hard you are willing to work on it and you don’t have to deal with executives up this massive food chain. You don’t have any overhead. I do it for two hours. I get tons of calls. People want options and they want convenience. Terrestrial radio is about crunching numbers. This is the future.

Credit to the Philadelphia Business Journal who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Toucher & Rich Mock Dan Shaughnessy Column Expressing Concern Over Gambling Ads

“He’s sick of the commercials for sports gambling and Rich and I are talking about it off the air like ‘What do you want? More Burger King commercials?’”.




Toucher and Rich

Sports betting has taken off like a rocket in the state of Massachusetts. Not only are bets being placed at a record pace, but advertising for the newly legal mobile books is everywhere. That annoys Dan Shaughnessy, and his frustration is to the delight of Toucher & Rich.

“Shaughnessy’s got a pretty funny article,” Fred Toucher said Tuesday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. “He’s sick of the commercials for sports gambling and Rich and I are talking about it off the air like ‘What do you want? More Burger King commercials?’”.

“It’s not like if they took all that off, we’d get to see more of the game,” Rich Shertenlieb added.

In a column published on Tuesday, Shaughnessy wrote that the state could use a break from the relentless television advertising, which he says makes gambling look like a carefree, fun endeavor.

Shertenlieb began to riff on what commercials showing the bad side of gambling could look like and how it may lead to commercials for other industries showing the worst possible outcome of using their products.

“Every fast food commercial shows somebody puking in a toilet and then Brendan Frasier from The Whale,” he said.

He also noted that Shaughnessy turned to some fairly out-of-touch experts for their opinion on the matter. One of them was Faye Vincent, the octogenarian former commissioner of Major League Baseball, who complained about legalized gambling leading to fixing games.

Toucher and Rich mocked how out of touch with the realities of sports gambling in 2023 all of the concerns expressed in the column are. Fred Toucher joked that every complaint and concern in the piece was said while old men were shouting at clouds.

“He’s sick of the commercial and the commercials make it seem like the product’s fun,” he said of Shaughnessy’s complaint. “As opposed to every other commercial? That’s why they did the Schlitz Gay commercial on SNL with Sandler and Farley. I mean, Spuds McKenzie was always with chicks.”

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Sports Radio News

Evan Roberts: NFL Would Never Let Roger Goodell Talk To Craig Carton

“It’s because you aren’t going to climb in his derriere and make sure you don’t push him on anything.”

Jordan Bondurant




Craig Carton would love to interview NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but the problem is that Carton isn’t going to play by the league’s rules for shaping the conversation.

On Monday’s edition of Carton & Roberts, Carton mentioned the fact that Goodell hadn’t appeared on WFAN airwaves in over a decade. Co-host Evan Roberts pointed out that the league usually limits what media appearances the commissioner makes.

“He doesn’t do a lot of interviews unless it’s NFL related, where you can kind of control what you’re being pushed on,” Roberts said.

Carton figured that Goodell typically will do a sit-down interview with each of the league’s media partners, but Roberts said the commissioner’s office wants to make sure Goodell is not caught off guard.

“There’s always gonna be restrictions on him. There just always is,” he said. “The league is partners with those networks. So they’re not gonna put Roger Goodell in a spot in which he’s getting pummeled with tough questions. He doesn’t put himself in that spot.”

Carton mentioned doing a commissioner’s summit with Gary Bettman, Adam Silver and Rob Manfred. He said he requested Goodell, and he was turned down because the preseason had already started and generally the NFL doesn’t want the commissioner in the spotlight when the focus should be on the games and the players.

Roberts responded that the league was just being protective of Goodell knowing full well that Carton would likely ask him some tough questions.

“It’s because you aren’t going to climb in his derriere and make sure you don’t push him on anything,” he said. “I’ve never seen Goodell pushed on anything. So when he does do these interviews, it’s usually like NFL Network’s putting him on.”

“Maybe if I start a podcast he’ll come on that,” Carton said.

Craig added that he wouldn’t agree to tipping his questions for the commissioner ahead of time or only sticking to certain topics. Evan said the unpredictability of a free-flowing interview wouldn’t be a good thing optically for Goodell.

“You also don’t know what it’s gonna lead to,” he said. “You don’t know what he says that’s gonna lead to a topic you never even thought that you’d talk about.”

Carton responded saying that’s why so many people are terrible at interviewing others, because they generate their list of questions and don’t actually listen to the conversation.

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Sports Radio News

Cameron Maybin Adds Radio to Tigers Broadcast Role

“Maybin will be behind the microphone for around 30 Tigers games on 97.1 The Ticket in 2023.”

Jordan Bondurant




The Detroit Tigers have added another voice for their radio broadcasts this season in Cameron Maybin.

Maybin will be behind the microphone for around 30 Tigers games on 97.1 The Ticket in 2023.

Maybin is a former Tiger himself and will also do some TV work on team broadcasts on Bally Sports Detroit. Cameron has also contributed to Yankees broadcasts on YES Network and MLB Network.

Dan Dickerson will be on play-by-play for games on the radio this season.

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