In August, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf spoke at the Television Critics Association summer tour about the state of the television industry. Landgraf said “I long ago lost the ability to keep track of every scripted TV series, but this year, I finally lost the ability to keep track of every programmer who is in the scripted programming business. This is simply too much television, and my sense is that 2015 or 2016 will represent peak TV in America, and then we’ll begin to see declines coming the year after and beyond.”
On the other hand, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shares a different point of view. Speaking last week at The New York Times DealBook Conference he said “John’s wrong. There’s not nearly enough. There’s a lot more food than ever before, there’s a lot more choice, but I think when you do great content you’re going to find viewers. It comes back to entertainment spending, and entertainment spending has been increasing faster than disposable income for decades. I think as we come up with new experiences, when you look at virtual reality and how that’s going to improve video gaming, you’re seeing continued investment in entertainment.”
Both men raise interesting points and a case can be made for each but I’m not here to analyze whether television has too much programming. I want to spin it towards the sports radio industry because the same question deserves to be asked – are there too many stations operating the format, and does that hurt the format’s ability to generate higher ratings and larger revenues?
When you look at the sports radio landscape today, there are 5 national networks offering the product full time. If you want to include Sports Byline that makes 6.
Then you have SiriusXM which provides national content through Mad Dog Radio and Bleacher Report, and delivers targeted content on channels such as NBA Radio, MLB Home Plate, the NFL channel, NHL Radio and College Sports Nation.
That’s just the national talk part of the conversation. Now let’s add play-by-play into the mix.
Westwood One, Sports Radio USA, Compass Media Networks, IMG, Learfield Communications, and the Touchdown Radio Network all play in this space, and I may be missing one or two but you get the picture.
Now let’s take a look at the local markets. For the sake of this conversation, I’m going to focus on the Top 25 markets. If we went beyond that, you’d find many smaller markets featuring the same amount of choice which is even more alarming considering there are less people and advertisers in many of these places.
|NEW YORK CITY||WFAN, 98.7 ESPN NY|
|LOS ANGELES||ESPN LA 710, 570 KLAC, 980 THE BEAST, AM 830 KLAA|
|CHICAGO||670 THE SCORE, ESPN 1000|
|SAN FRANCISCO||KNBR 680, 95.7 THE GAME, 1050 KNBR|
|DALLAS||105.3 THE FAN, 1310 THE TICKET, ESPN 103.3|
|HOUSTON||610 KILT, ESPN 97.5, SPORTS TALK 790, 1560 KGOW|
|WASHINGTON DC||106.7 THE FAN, ESPN 980, CBS SPORTS RADIO 1580|
|PHILADELPHIA||97.5 THE FANATIC, 94 WIP, 610 SPORTS|
|ATLANTA||92.9 THE GAME, 680 THE FAN, ESPN 1230, FOX SPORTS 1340|
|BOSTON||93.7 WEEI, 98.5 THE SPORTS HUB, ESPN WEEI 850|
|MIAMI||790 THE TICKET, 560 WQAM, 640 SPORTS, 940 WINZ|
|DETROIT||97.1 THE TICKET, DETROIT SPORTS 105.1, WDFN 1130AM|
|SEATTLE||710 ESPN, 950 KJR, 1090 THE FAN|
|PHOENIX||ARIZONA SPORTS 98.7, FOX SPORTS 910, NBC SPORTS 1060|
|MINNEAPOLIS||KFAN 100.3, 1500 ESPN|
|SAN DIEGO||MIGHTY 1090, XTRA SPORTS 1360|
|DENVER||104.3 THE FAN, 105.5 ESPN, MILE HIGH SPORTS 1340AM|
|TAMPA||620 WDAE, 1040 THE TEAM|
|BALTIMORE||105.7 THE FAN, WNST AM 1570, CBS SPORTS RADIO 1300|
|ST. LOUIS||101 ESPN, CBS SPORTS 920, 590 THE FAN, 1490 THE CHAMP|
|PORTLAND||1080 THE FAN, RIP CITY RADIO 620, 750 THE GAME, 910 ESPN|
|CHARLOTTE||610 THE FAN, ESPN 730, FOX SPORTS 98.7|
|PITTSBURGH||93.7 THE FAN, 970 ESPN|
|SAN ANTONIO||ESPN 1250, THE TICKET 760, CBS SPORTS RADIO 860|
|SACRAMENTO||KHTK 1140, ESPN 1320|
As crowded as the list above might be, I’m not even close to being done.
In Pittsburgh and Boston for example, The Boston Herald and the Pittsburgh Tribune have their own full service sports radio stations online through their websites. Those count as programming options which pull away sports radio listeners.
In most of these markets, you’ll find News/Talk brands that also dabble in sports. To shed light on a few, KMOX and KTRS in St. Louis, have produced sports talk at night and on the weekends along with carrying play by play. KOA in Denver, WGN in Chicago, WOR in New York, and WCCO in Minneapolis have all followed a similar strategy.
Then you have music brands which also get involved. In Pittsburgh, 105.9 The X offers music throughout the day, and Mark Madden’s afternoon sports show and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey. 102.5 WDVE which is also in Pittsburgh and a classic rock brand, is the home for Pittsburgh Steelers football.
I haven’t even touched on the stations that offer sports programming in Spanish. When you add them into this conversation, it becomes even more congested.
As of January 2015, the sports format was the 4th largest at 794 stations in the United States. Only Country, News/Talk and Spanish formats received more clearance. Growth has been consistent for nearly a decade, and to put it in perspective, in 2005 there were 500 sports stations, which means that there’s been nearly 60% growth during the past 10 years.
But is that a good thing?
In many of these markets, stations are clearing the programming and using the clearance to justify larger dollars from national advertisers, but the performance is minimal. While the industry loves to tout the number 794 to illustrate massive interest in the programming, it’s a case of smoke and mirrors. Yes there are brands doing a phenomenal job to captivate audiences, but there are also hundreds who are filling air time with national content, and not generating ratings or revenue.
What becomes more puzzling is when you look at the total percentage of audience who consume sports radio. The format’s success is largely dependent on Men 25-54, and even if you stretched the demographic to Men 18-64, an entire market might produce 15-25% of listening. Certain cities like Boston and Detroit may outperform that number, but as a whole this is where we are.
If that’s the percentage of listening that’s available, then how can 4-5 brands operate the format in one local city and expect to run a successful business?
Some folks will point to stations that only offer national content on a smaller brand and say that they shouldn’t count, but the way I see it, if a station can be heard in a local market, and sports programming exists on it, then it counts. If that station pulls in a half a point of listening, that’s a half a point that didn’t go to one of the other sports radio brands in the market.
You can make a case that a city like New York which has close to 15 million people and 9 professional sports teams, can support three sports stations. Dallas and Houston have already demonstrated that three can work, but Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco haven’t had the same luck. However, I can’t see three to four sports brands being successful in a market like St. Louis, Portland, Pittsburgh, or Baltimore.
Seattle and Minneapolis (which have a larger population than each of those four cities) tried to introduce a third sports talker over the past few years only to fail. Another similar sized city, Tampa, saw its only FM sports brand (98.7 The Fan) get flipped when the station was sold by CBS to Beasley. The feeling was that the pie wasn’t large enough, even though The Fan had started to make inroads.
It may sound good when we tell people the format is nearly 800 stations strong, but the performance can’t match the distribution. Many in the industry today believe there are too many networks offering national programming. The same can be said of play-by-play providers, and local markets with too many choices and not enough people to listen to them.
With digital listening growing, it’s only a matter of time until the options for consuming content become even smaller. Television is on the verge of an ala carte viewing world, and radio will experience the same fate. The listener today has less time, more distractions, and they want more control, and once the inside of their vehicle matches their cell phone or computer, it’s going to be a game changer. It won’t matter if you have distribution, it’ll matter if your brand and personalities are important enough to be consumed.
To put it in simpler terms, a personality like Bill Simmons will be more valuable than an entire radio station. Users won’t care if the content is distributed through radio or a podcast. If it’s digital or terrestrial radio. If the show is on a station with a big signal or a digital channel that can be picked up by having a wifi connection. You can offer them ten different local outlets to enjoy sports programming and they’re going to go to the one that supplies them consistently with the best content experience.
This discussion started with two CEO’s disagreeing over whether or not there is too much programming on television. I connect more with FX Networks CEO John Landgraf who says there are too many choices, and I believe the same holds true for sports radio.
Being available as an option on the dial is one thing, but standing out on it is another. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. That’s what sports radio groups need to focus on because without high quality programming it’s only a matter of time before a brand is obsolete.
I can’t help but think about how much better our format would be in local markets if the best content and people weren’t so divided between so many stations. They say there’s strength in numbers, but I’m not so sure that’s accurate in this case.
Crunching The Numbers:
WDAE in Tampa enjoyed a good October book. The station finished 7th with a 4.9 in the desired Men 25-54 demographic. That was up from 3.8 in September, and a 4.3 during the same time last year.
KNBR in San Francisco turned in a great October, finishing 1st with a 6.3 with Men 25-54. Year to year the station was down nearly three points (9.2) but but that’s largely due to the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series last year.
95.7 The Game in San Francisco had a strong month finishing 6th with a 4.1 with Men 25-54. The station was up from 3.9 in September, and beat KNBR in the 12p-3p timeslot. The Game’s “Papa and Lund” finished in that slot in 3rd with a 5.2. KNBR’s “Fitz & Brooks” were 4th with a 4.7.
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.”
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!
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.”
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!
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.”
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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