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A Brand New Partnership

Jason Barrett

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The interest in sports radio personalities, programming, and industry information has grown rapidly over the past few years. This site’s existence is proof of it.

When I launched this website in June 2014, I had no idea it would generate the amount of interest, and attention that it has. I was simply looking to do a little bit of writing, offer some advice to help some people in the industry, and have some fun promoting our format, and the people who work in it. I was running a radio station at that time, so making this my top focus wasn’t an option.

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Interesting enough, one of my friends and former employees, Zach McCrite, who hosts weekdays from 9am-Noon on 107.7 The Franchise in Oklahoma City, was going through a similar situation. He was looking for a sports radio podcast to listen to so he could learn more about other top personalities in the format, except when he went searching, he couldn’t find anything.

Rather than sit around and wait for the day to come when someone decided to finally do it, Zach got busy, and launched “The Podcast About Sports Radio” in March 2015. His first guest was me, so you can tell how low he set the bar, but as the months have passed, he’s done a great job landing some conversations with some of the industry’s best.

What I liked more than anything about Zach taking on this project, was that he was trying something new, and doing his part to help promote our format. If there’s one pet peeve of mine today, it’s how hard some people have to be pushed just to promote themselves and their brands.

When it comes to business, I’m known to ask “how can we make this better“, “what’s missing“, and “where’s the opportunity“.  I use that same approach in the way I manage this website.

I want the information I post to be of value to those who come here. I want the grammar to be accurate, the news to be posted in a timely fashion, and I want to provide a presentation that reflects what’s happening all across the country in the sports media business. I hope that I’ve provided that for you during the past sixteen months.

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If there’s one challenge, it’s finding the time to keep up. I don’t have a staff, I have me. As great as it would be to have extra editors, and writers, that’s not realistic. Add in the responsibilities of working with clients, talking to people throughout the industry, and finding some time in between all of the chaos to be available to my family, and you get a sense of the challenges I face.

I’m not complaining though. This is a true labor of love, and it’s with me when I wake up, as well as when I go to sleep.

As much as I enjoy writing and featuring the top sports media stories across the nation, I did feel the website could benefit by having more audio available. I considered launching a podcast, but knowing my professional and personal schedules, I knew I wouldn’t be able to provide it consistently.

So I started to thinking, “how else could I solve the website’s audio problem“?

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If I was going to partner with someone, and put my brand name behind it, I wanted to make sure that it was good, done consistently, and provided by someone I know, respect, and trust. Zach McCrite checks all those boxes.

I’ve known Zach ever since I sprung a surprise history of St. Louis sports quiz on him in a restaurant in Louisville in February 2011, while he was interviewing with me for a job at 101 ESPN. He tells everyone who will listen that I gave him his break, but truth be told, the audience did that. I just provided the platform for him to entertain.

Having five years of history together doesn’t hurt, but I’ve also paid attention to his work with “The Podcast About Sports Radio” and I admired how engaged he was in doing it. It wasn’t a case of trying something out, and getting tired of it. Instead he seemed energized with each week’s episode.

We started talking about each of our platforms, and how they had grown since we first launched them, but what made little sense, was how we were both offering content to similar audiences, yet asking those people to find it in two different places. As much as we all enjoy having our own thing, presenting our work to the largest number of people possible should be the ultimate goal.

Together we covered a number of issues, found common ground, and decided it would benefit us both, and all sports radio fans, to work together again.

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Today I am pleased to announce that we have formed a partnership, and all previous episodes, and future episodes of “The Podcast About Sports Radio” will be available here on www.barrettsportsmedia.com. There are thirty one previous episodes loaded for your enjoyment, plus a brand new installment (episode #32) with one of the real good guys of the format, ESPN Radio host Bob Valvano. Make sure to give it a listen.

By joining forces, this helps solve the website’s audio issue, and it gives those of you who frequent the website another reason to check in and enjoy content. For Zach, the increased attention from people inside and outside the industry benefits him too, plus he earns a little more time with his family since he doesn’t have to operate his own website on a daily basis.

More importantly though, you benefit! Instead of having to dig in multiple places to find written stories, opinion pieces, and podcasts with popular sports radio personalities, you can now find it all in one place.

I do want to point out that Zach and I are also working on some additional audio offerings that will differ from the regular podcast presentation. Future announcements will be available on the website at the proper time. If you have any suggestions of things you’d like to see/hear in the future, please email me here or Zach here.

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I appreciate you dropping by today, as well as during the past sixteen months. I hope that the addition of “The Podcast About Sports Radio” provides even more incentive to return in the future.

If there’s one thing you can do to help us, it’s this – tell a friend, retweet or share one of our posts, and visit the website. We’re not in this to be rich, we’re in it to raise the profile of the sports radio format. With your help we’ll be able to do that! Thanks for your patronage.

Barrett Blogs

Julie Talbott to Receive The Jeff Smulyan Award at the 2023 BSM Summit

“The best leaders are the ones who empower their people, work with their talent, and study situations to determine where room for growth exists.”

Jason Barrett

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Each year at the BSM Summit, we take time to recognize some of the true difference makers in the sports media industry. It’s become a special part of the event, and it reminds everyone in the room of what’s possible if you do your job well and create impact.

Four awards in total are presented over the two-day event thanks to our friends at Premiere Networks. Each award has a different focus.

The Jeff Smulyan Award is presented to a radio industry executive who has led by example, taken risks, produced results, and made a significant difference for the sports radio business. The Mark Chernoff Award is given to sports radio’s top programmer. The Mike and the Mad Dog Award is presented to the top local sports radio show in America. And The Champions Award along with a financial contribution from BSM is given to an industry member who has used their platform to make a difference for others.

Since we began taking the Summit live in 2019, Mitch Rosen and Rick Radzik have been recognized as winners of the Mark Chernoff Award. Adam Schefter and the team of Keith Murphy and Andy Fales have been recipients of the Champions Award. And the top rated combination of Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti received the first ever Mike and the Mad Dog Award at the 2022 BSM Summit in NYC.

Which brings us to the Jeff Smulyan Award.

A number of top notch executives have joined us to accept this honor over the years. It started in Los Angeles with Kraig Kitchin, continued in New York City with Dan Mason, and then Traug Keller took home the honor during our last show, which also took place in the big apple.

As we looked to 2023, the goal was to identify someone who’s been active in growing their company’s footprint across the sports radio industry. Equally important was someone who has the full confidence and trust of their people, a track record of delivering results, and has uncovered new business opportunities to lead their company forward.

After a brief conversation, Jeff and I knew exactly who the right person was.

It is my honor to announce and congratulate Julie Talbott, President of Premiere Networks on being named our recipient of the 2023 Jeff Smulyan Award. Julie will be present in Los Angeles at the Founders Club at the Galen Center at USC to accept the honor at the 2023 BSM Summit on March 21-22, 2023.

“I’m humbled and honored to receive this award – especially with Jeff Smulyan’s name associated with it. I’ve been a fan of his throughout the years” shared Julie Talbott. “Premiere Networks and FOX Sports Radio are dedicated to delivering the best multiplatform sports audio content the industry has to offer, and this award truly recognizes the amazing efforts of our entire team, who I couldn’t be more proud of.  Thanks to Jason Barrett and BSM for this incredible honor.” 

“I have known Julie for many, many years and our industry doesn’t have a better ambassador than her” added Jeff Smulyan. “She has worked tirelessly to build Premiere into a remarkable enterprise and she has made legions of friends and admirers along the way. She is so deserving of this award and I couldn’t be happier that my friend, Julie Talbott is the winner of the 2023 Jeff Smulyan Award. Nothing makes me happier than to present it to her this March at USC!” 

“FOX Sports Radio’s growth under Julie’s watchful eye has been impressive, but when combined with Premiere’s performance and reach, and seizing opportunities in the digital space by launching strong brands such as The Volume, in partnership with Colin Cowherd, you start to see how she’s put her magical touch on the industry,” explained BSM President Jason Barrett. “The best leaders are the ones who empower their people, work with their talent, and study situations to determine where room for growth exists, and few have the respect, trust, and confidence of their people better than Julie Talbott.”

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Omaha Productions, The Volume, Dirty Mo Media and Silver Tribe Media to Appear at the 2023 BSM Summit

Jason Barrett

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The 2023 BSM Summit is five months away but the process to build sports media’s annual industry event continues. We’ve already announced 11 participants for our next show including Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome and Joy Taylor, but by the time this show takes place, attendees can expect to hear from 50-60 people as the agenda becomes action packed.

I do want to share one thing for those inquiring about speaking. Though I appreciate the interest, I’m selective in who we feature on stage because it’s important to keep the show fresh and full of actionable content. There are tons of smart people in this industry but I can’t accommodate everyone. I try to create sessions that benefit radio, digital and television executives, programmers, general managers, talent, agents, salespeople, production staff, etc. and to do that, we’ve got to cover a lot of different subjects over a two-day span. My goal is to send folks home with ideas and information to improve their brands, while providing a space for groups and individuals to meet since it opens the door to additional business. We’ve been fortunate to have good support and participation over our past four events, and I’m expecting this one to be even bigger and better.

Before I announce the latest additions to our speaker lineup, I want to thank Premiere Networks for their continued support of the Summit. They’ve been wonderful partners for years, and I appreciate them joining us to create the annual Awards ceremony. It is always a hit with attendees. More to come soon on this year’s honorees.

I’d also like to thank Harker Research for returning as a partner of the event, and MRN Radio for signing on as a new partner. Harker has sponsored all of our live events, and MRN has been in attendance for those shows. Having their support makes a difference. They join Premiere Networks, Stone Voiceovers and Core Image Studio as Summit partners. If you haven’t secured a sponsorship but would like to be, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com. She can update you on what we still have available.

As far as the content is concerned, I’m excited to announce a very cool session we’re adding which will include involvement from Omaha Productions, The Volume, Dirty Mo Media, and Silver Tribe Media.

Everywhere you look these days, athletes are taking more control of their own messaging. They’re also more interested in content creation and are investing in people to help build today and tomorrow’s sports media empires. Whether it’s been Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dale Earnhardt Jr. or broadcasters such as Colin Cowherd, Bill Simmons, Dave Portnoy and Pat McAfee, the era of personality-led audio networks has arrived. This session will examine where we are, where we’re going, what’s been learned, and how it will affect change across traditional media moving forward.

Jack Rose of Silver Tribe Media will moderate the session. Joining him on stage will be Logan Swaim, Head of Content at The Volume. Richelle Markazene, Head of Audio for Omaha Productions, and Mike Davis, President and Executive Producer of Dirty Mo Media. Each of these folks have great insight and experience with leading personality-built brands, and Jack’s understanding of the media landscape through his work with Michael Klein’s company make him an ideal fit to guide the conversation. This is a session that traditional media folks are going to want to be present for.

If you haven’t purchased a ticket or booked your hotel room, don’t wait until the last minute. Everything you need to be in attendance for the Summit is available at BSMSummit.com. We are excited to host the show at The Founders Club at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California. This is a great location and the biggest room we’ve run our conference in yet. I’m hoping to see you there.

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Jeff Smulyan, Mark Chernoff, Scott Shapiro, Scott Sutherland and Evan Cohen To Participate at 2023 BSM Summit

“The 2023 BSM Summit is a two-day media industry conference designed to help broadcasting professionals.”

Jason Barrett

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Building an annual sports media conference is no day at the beach. It takes months to assemble and involves a lot of different steps. We analyze what matters to those attending, brainstorm ideas, create a sketch of the show to make sure there’s enough variety to satisfy different segments of the industry, pursue tons of speakers who have experience and an ability to add something unique or valuable on stage, and create sales decks and talk to existing and potential clients about supporting the show. If all of it doesn’t flow seamlessly, we run the risk of not delivering the type of event I expect us to.

Fortunately, over the years we’ve put together a pretty good conference. I’m proud of how it’s grown and that’s only possible because we’ve had great support across the industry. If you work in sports media and value learning, relationship building, and connecting with teammates, peers and competitors, this is an event you need to be at. It’s one that companies looking to reach sports broadcasting professionals should be involved in from an advertising standpoint too. Though there’s a lot of work still to be done, when we arrive in Los Angeles for the 2023 BSM Summit at USC’s Founders Club at the Galen Center on March 21-22, 2023, I’m expecting our team will deliver another top-notch performance.

To help us make that happen, I’m thrilled to share that we’ll have participation from some of the industry’s most accomplished broadcasting professionals. Joining us on site for our awards ceremonies will be the man who started the sports talk format, Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan. Also making the trip to the west coast will be former WFAN program director and CBS Radio/Entercom/Audacy sports format captain Mark Chernoff. Both men are honored annually with awards in their names. We’ll reveal the winners of both of those awards in the weeks and months ahead.

Additionally, I’m pleased to welcome back Scott Sutherland. Scott serves as the Executive Vice President of Regional Media Operations for Bonneville International Corporation, and is responsible for the strategic development and business growth of the company’s market leading sports brands in Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Sacramento. Also returning to the Summit is FOX Sports Radio’s Vice President of Programming Scott Shapiro. Scott is charged with guiding FOX Sports Radio’s daily content strategy, and always enjoys lending his perspective on key issues facing talent, brands, and content leaders.

I realize many of you reading this who work in the industry are last minute planners. That’s ok, but I’d encourage you to reserve your hotel room in advance if you wish to stay close to the Galen Center. Our hotel partner is the USC Hotel, and you can learn more about the discounted rate we’ve established for attendees by clicking here.

The 2023 BSM Summit is a two-day media industry conference designed to help broadcasting professionals. The sports media industry is rapidly changing and the more we can learn from one another and take advantage of information and relationships, the better it’ll serve us moving forward. To attend this show, you must be involved in the media business whether it’s on-air, digital, behind the scenes, in management, sales, ad buying, talent representation or something else. We will also allow college students to attend the show in person if they are pursuing a future in sports broadcasting. Details on student tickets will be made available closer to the holidays.

In the meantime, if you want to make sure you have a seat in the room to enjoy the sessions and network with industry professionals, purchase your ticket(s) by visiting BSMSummit.com. I look forward to seeing you there.

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