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The Valuable Lessons I Learned In 2015

Jason Barrett

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It’s common for each of us to take a few minutes each year to walk down memory lane and reflect on all we experienced during the previous 12 months. We re-live all of our trials and tribulations, and make promises to ourselves for the new year that we’ll soon forget, and hope to simply live long enough to do it all again the following December.

Except this time, I’m actually appreciating the process and taking the time to enjoy everything I endured in 2015. On the surface, it was a year which started with me working inside the halls of a radio station, and ended with me operating a business out of a home office. That normally doesn’t sound like a year full of growth and optimism. But for yours truly, it was everything I could’ve hoped for and it gives me great confidence that 2016 will be even better.

We all reach a point in our lives when we have to face a difficult situation and make a tough choice. Although I’ve had more than my fair share of them over the years, none were as challenging, stressful, important and satisfying as the one I made in 2015.

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Last Christmas, I went home to New York to spend the holiday’s with my family. My contract in San Francisco was expiring in June 2015 and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to stay. Being separated from my son by 3,000 miles was emotionally exhausting, and after nine years of flying back and forth every other weekend, I finally had enough.

There were also some personal things developing in his life that I knew needed to be addressed and I couldn’t tackle those issues if I wasn’t nearby. I talked with my son and parents and listened to their feedback and then flew back to San Francisco to have the same conversation with my girlfriend. She knew I was mentally ready to return to New York, even if it meant a major change professionally.

When I first moved to San Francisco, I poured every bit of my heart and soul into building 95.7 The Game. There were many twists and turns and unexpected changes, but in the end we built a product that grew from 24th to 3rd in less than 4 years. That’s something I’m forever proud of and it can never be taken away from me or the crew that helped create it.

As I reflected on the previous four years, I felt like I had accomplished the goals I set for myself when I accepted the job. I had built a quality brand and earned the respect of my staff and executives inside the company and now it was time for the station to receive a new message and hopefully ascend to an even higher level. That challenge now belongs to Don Kollins and I know he’s excited about it.

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One of my biggest coaching influences is Bill Parcells. If you look at his resume, most of his stints were between 3-5 years. He’d join an organization, build them up, lead them to success, and then move on. The Giants were the only organization where he had a lengthy stay. While Bill Cowher, Bill Belichick, and Tony Dungy preferred working in one location, Parcells gravitated towards change and new challenges.

That’s sort of the way I am. I’m not the type of person who’s going to spend 15-20 years in the same spot. At times, I wish I was. There’s great value in consistency and knowing what to expect but what can I say, I enjoy new challenges and learning from different people.

It’s crazy how certain periods of your career end up resurfacing at later points. I remember having a conversation with Steak Shapiro in St. Louis in 2007 when he co-owned Big League Broadcasting with Andrew Saltzman. Steak was upset with me because he learned that I was talking with another company about a possible Programming opportunity when KFNS was going through some turmoil.

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Steak asked me “Do you want to be known as the Larry Brown of our business“? I answered “If that means winning an NBA Title in Detroit, going to the Finals in Philadelphia, leading teams in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Indiana, Denver and New Jersey to the playoffs, and winning a National Title in Kansas, then yes I’d love to be Larry Brown.

He wanted to be pissed at me but he knew the response was pretty good and accurate and couldn’t help but laugh. He then reminded me that I better stay put! Which I did a while longer before we eventually went our separate ways.

When I returned to my office in San Francisco last year after the Christmas break, I had made up my mind and knew I had to alert the company. Hiring a Program Director takes time and I cared for the staff and wanted them to be in good hands. I made the choice to share the news with my bosses and they were gracious in the way they handled everything. I was asked to reconsider and take some time to make sure it’s what I truly wanted to do but I knew in my heart it was time to go home and be where my son needed me most.

Many of us in this industry bury ourselves in our work because it’s a highly competitive field. If you take your eye off the ball for a split second, someone else is right behind you ready to run you over. For nine years that approach helped me succeed, but what many of my colleagues didn’t see were the times that I had to share an upstairs bedroom at my parents house just to have a weekend with my son.

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They didn’t realize that every other Thursday I’d spend 13-14 hours at work, take a 30 minute ride to the airport, wait an hour to board an overnight flight from California to New York which lasts more than 5 hours, follow it up by renting a car in New York and driving 2 hours north to my family’s home, possibly grabbing a quick 3 hour nap before driving over to pick my son up from school and spending 2 days with him before doing the same travel routine again on Sunday.

They also didn’t see the pain and tears in his eyes when I had to get back into a rental vehicle and drive away, or the numerous texts and phone calls begging me to come home. I loved every bit of the ride professionally but personally it was a struggle. Although I sacrificed more than most people would to stay involved in his life, it still wasn’t fair to a boy who had grown up wanting his Dad to be around every day and could care less about what he did for a living.

I contemplated whether or not I could see myself in San Francisco for 3-4 more years and the answer was an unequivocal no. When you do this job and oversee a company, you can’t do it on a year to year basis. You’re either all-in or all-out. There is no in between.

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At this point, my son was thirteen, not four, which was how old he was when this travel schedule began. I wasn’t going to miss his teenage years and development into becoming a man. I couldn’t picture myself not being there when he drove a car for the first time or started his first job. Those things mattered more to me than anything I might accomplish inside a radio station.

When it was time to deal with my pending departure, we collaborated as a group, and made the decision to alert the staff and radio industry of the news in February. Getting the news out in advance was important for attracting great candidates but it was also mentally taxing on me. You can attempt to do things the way you’ve always done them, but when others know you’re dead man walking, and your future is elsewhere, it’s tough to be as sharp, passionate and emotionally connected as you once were.

Luckily I had enough things to keep me busy and a staff which understood my situation, but during that process I learned that providing a five month notice and announcing it publicly isn’t a great idea. It sounded good at the time and was helpful to the company, but it’s impossible to not have the cloud linger over you each day when you walk through your office. It also leaves people unsettled for a long period of time.

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Mental challenges aside, I was happy and at peace with my decision, more so than I even thought I’d be. It’s easy to second guess yourself when you’re running a great sports radio station in Market #4, in a gorgeous city like San Francisco, working with quality people, for a company like Entercom who believe and invest in the format and treat you extremely well.

Combine that with the fact that I was moving to New York where fewer sports radio programming opportunities exist, and a possible career change or trip to the unemployment line seemed certain. Despite all of that, I had no regrets and was eager to face the unknown.

May 29th then arrived and the long wait was officially over. I said my goodbyes at the radio station, and went to my last Oakland Athletics game where I proudly wore my New York Yankees cap and jersey and didn’t have a care in the world if anyone was bothered by it. My girlfriend Stephanie and I then packed up our home that weekend, and set out on a cross country road trip to get to New York.

A word of advice, if you ever get the opportunity to make a coast to coast drive at any point in your life, do it! It’s well worth it. We traveled from San Francisco to Reno, Nevada to Salt Lake City, Utah to Denver, Colorado to Keystone, South Dakota (drove out of the way to see Mount Rushmore) to Omaha, Nebraska to St. Louis, Missouri to Cleveland, Ohio to Niagra Falls, New York to home! It was a memorable trip which allowed me to unwind, have fun, and forget about what was in my rear view mirror.

Once we arrived home in New York, everything began to come together.

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My son was elated to have me home and our bond has grown stronger since I returned. He now lives with me and is happy and healthy and I couldn’t be more happy than I am when we spend time together. That trumps every professional success I’ve had. We found a great place to live and decided after years of discussion to finally get a dog. Our English Bulldog “Trump” is awesome and the joy he’s brought to our lives has been greater than we ever anticipated.

After we got settled, I made a professional decision in August to start a new chapter for my career and explore a side of the industry I had been curious of but never had the nerve to pursue – consulting. I entered into it expecting it to be bumpy for a while and I had to remind myself to stay focused on the big picture, not the immediate returns. That’s easier said than done when you’re as competitive as I am and industry friends are constantly calling to find out when you’re going to return to work.

As I entered this space, I wanted to create a platform to showcase the format strongly. I was committed to writing, networking, and utilizing social media to promote great stories and I believed that if I executed well, new doors would open. Sure enough they have and that part has been exciting.

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I’ve started forming new relationships and friendships but my friend and fellow consultant Rick Scott wasn’t kidding when he said this wouldn’t be easy. His support and wisdom helped me in my decision to head down this path, and my passion and stubbornness to succeed at it will serve me well entering 2016. I have a long ways to go but I’m committed to further building my brand and proving that my involvement pays dividends for those I do business with.

If there’s one part of the past year’s journey that has surprised me, it’s the way this website has grown and become a bigger priority. It began in June 2014 as a labor of love but I wasn’t producing content on a daily basis. Earlier in my career I wrote a lot but when you’re managing people and programming radio stations, it’s difficult to find time to put your words on a screen and showcase your creativity. This website grew organically and allowed me to reconnect with my creative side which has been personally and professionally rewarding.

In the past year alone, I’ve received compliments about the website from numerous industry people and when exceptional writers like Bernie Miklasz, Richard Deitsch, Ric Bucher and Jay Marriotti reach out and speak favorably about my writing, I’m blown away. Not only are they incredible at painting pictures with words, but they’ve also written for some of the most recognized and successful newspapers and publications in the world. If I can be 10% the writer that any of them are, that would be a huge victory.

Taking attendance inside a building may no longer be part of my routine, but my desire for radio has never been stronger. Because I have the opportunity to listen to shows all across the country and study trends and connect with people throughout the industry, I find myself more informed which helps when I’m creating content, talking with stations, and sharing my opinion.

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Two things I’m appreciative of are that some of the work on this website has mattered enough to people in the industry that they’ve taken the time to share it with their peers. A few weeks ago I traveled to Philadelphia for the Army-Navy experience and to hear the first thing out of people’s mouth’s be some form of praise for this website and the way it has helped them was very uplifting.

I never imagined that my words would have an impact on people, so when I see someone retweet a column, send me a Facebook or Twitter message, or shoot me a text or email to share how a piece connected with them, it’s very gratifying. Many of the columns I create take hours to complete because I want to be thorough and present good information. I’m also my toughest critic. I don’t concern myself with the word count of a column or how many pieces per day I create, only the quality.

The other part which I’m proud of is that I’ve operated this website as a one-man band. There are no ghost writers, interns, or account executives selling advertising for it, just me. Managing this site while trying to build a business and enjoy my family can be tough at times but I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s inspired me in ways I never expected it to.

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The growth in popularity though wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of many others.

First, I was fortunate to team up with Zach McCrite who has produced an excellent weekly podcast. If you haven’t listened to an episode yet, make a New Year’s resolution right now to change that in 2016.

Secondly, my friend and former colleague Andy Drake helped me design a great logo and cleaned up some of the bugs that were limiting the website’s potential. And last but not least, I’ve had the privilege of connecting with numerous industry folks who have written some thought provoking opinion pieces for the site which have helped them raise their own profiles while providing a perspective that’s been beneficial to others.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the numerous programmers, talent, market managers, executives, and owners who have helped me gain the right information so I could showcase the format’s brands and personalities in a fair and objective manner.

I don’t fancy myself as a media critic because I know how hard it is to build a successful brand, connect with an audience, and create an amazing show for 3-4 hours per day. I also understand how ratings and negotiations work. While my opinions may differ on occasion from a few of my peers, the intent on my end is to provide quality information and an informed opinion, not embarrass or trash any individual or company.

As fortunate as I’ve been to enjoy some early returns on this new endeavor, I’ve equally learned that there are a few misconceptions about the role of a consultant.

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Believe it or not, I’m not looking to become the Adam Schefter of the sports radio world. Yes I have connections and relationships which help me gain access to critical information. I’m proud of that, enjoy it, and it’s one of the perks from spending two decades in this industry.

That said, I often sit on stories because I’m not interested in hurting someone’s livelihood or damaging a brand. No story and increase in web traffic is worth violating trust. Some may not like that I operate that way, and that’s fine, but I’m going to work the way that I feel most comfortable. If all that mattered was being first to report a story on this format, I’d have no problem doing well in that setting.

Next, I’m a consultant and talent resource, not an agent. I don’t negotiate talent contracts and I’m not going to lead your job search. If I know of things going on and believe there could be a fit, I’ll reach out and mention it. I’m not going to evaluate your past ten airchecks and give you weekly updates or tell every Programmer why you’re the next big thing. I’ll have dialogue with you, provide an honest assessment and pass along updates when I hear of things that may make sense for your career, but I have many masters to serve and can’t focus solely on the needs of an individual talent. If you do great work, and network with the right people, they’ll seek you out when the time is right.

Finally, contrary to what you may believe, a skilled consultant is not expensive. Many operators assume that bringing in an added resource is going to hurt their budget and that’s not accurate. Of course we don’t work for free but if your brand can gain larger success across multiple platforms and your people can improve from an investment in their development, isn’t that worth it?

If I can offer one piece of advice to industry folks as we enter 2016, make a resolution to network more with programmers and executives. If the only time they hear from you is when they have a job opening, they’re going to have little chance to learn anything about you beyond a resume and demo. There’s no excuse for not connecting when most people are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin. Get to know people, interact with them socially as you would with your friends, and when that connection is built and future needs arise, they’ll touch base if you fit the bill.

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As far as improvements are concerned, we’ve got to do a much better job of telling our format’s story. I never realized how protective and nervous many in our industry get when discussing their performance. It was instilled in me years ago to be in control of my own message and to not be afraid to promote the truth when it benefitted those around me. I’ve tried sharing that advice with those I talk to. Some may view it as shameless self-promotion, others may feel it’s breaking some secret code of silence, but from where I sit, if you have a powerful story to share, then why wouldn’t you tell it?

One of radio’s biggest problems is the negativity it receives from outside media outlets. The damage that has been done to the industry’s image has led to stocks plummeting and millions of dollars being lost. We can blame everyone else for not reporting our successes, but if we don’t do our part to address misleading facts and highlight the people who make a huge impact in the lives of the audience each day, then we’re equally to blame.

Maybe I’m naive, but I’d rather sit in front of an advertiser or CEO and answer questions about my work based on the information they’ve read, rather than have to educate them on who I am, what I’ve done, and why I’m worth investing in. You can have the highest rated show, station, or the most innovative idea in the format’s history, but if nobody knows it beyond your own walls, then don’t be surprised when you don’t receive the credit you rightfully deserve.

To those who have shared information and opinions, and been willing to do their part to help increase the awareness of our format, I’d like to say thank you! This website only works if people contribute and take the time to read and learn from it. It’s been great learning from all of you and I hope you’ve gained some insight from me as well.

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Working inside a radio station has been a huge part of my life for the past 20 years but in 2015 I discovered a new way to help the business I love. I now get to work with different stations, companies, and people, while creating content on my own platform, and with social media a huge influence and big part of our lives, it’s made it very easy to promote so others can gain from it.

One year ago I made a decision for my own personal benefit, and by doing so, it put me in position one year later to do something for the professional benefit of others. It may sound corny but that’s pretty cool to me. But still not as cool as waking up each morning and seeing my son’s face before he heads off to school.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

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The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media is Making Changes To Better Serve Our Sports and News Media Readers

“We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future.”

Jason Barrett

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When I launched this website all I wanted to do was share news, insight and stories about broadcasters and brands. My love, passion and respect for this business is strong, and I know many of you reading this feel similar. I spent two great decades in radio watching how little attention was paid to those who played a big part in their audiences lives. The occasional clickbait story and contract drama would find their way into the newspapers but rarely did you learn about the twists and turns of a broadcaster’s career, their approach to content or the tactics and strategies needed to succeed in the industry. When personal reasons led me home to NY in 2015, I decided I was going to try my best to change that.

Since launching this brand, we’ve done a good job informing and entertaining media industry professionals, while also helping consulting clients and advertising partners improve their businesses. We’ve earned respect from the industry’s top stars, programming minds and mainstream media outlets, growing traffic from 50K per month to 500K and monthly social impressions from a few thousand to a few million. Along the way we’ve added conferences, rankings, podcasts, a member directory, and as I’ve said before, this is the best and most important work I’ve ever done, and I’m not interested in doing anything else.

If I’ve learned anything over seven years of operating a digital content company it’s that you need skill, strategy, passion, differentiating content, and good people to create impact. You also need luck, support, curiosity and an understanding of when to double down, cut bait or pivot. It’s why I added Stephanie Eads as our Director of Sales and hired additional editors, columnists and features reporters earlier this year. To run a brand like ours properly, time and investment are needed. We’ve consistently grown and continue to invest in our future, and it’s my hope that more groups will recognize the value we provide, and give greater consideration to marketing with us in the future.

But with growth comes challenges. Sometimes you can have the right idea but bad timing. I learned that when we launched Barrett News Media.

We introduced BNM in September 2020, two months before the election when emotions were high and COVID was a daily discussion. I wasn’t comfortable then of blending BNM and BSM content because I knew we’d built a trusted sports media resource, and I didn’t want to shrink one audience while trying to grow another. Given how personal the election and COVID became for folks, I knew the content mix would look and feel awkward on our site.

So we made the decision to start BNM with its own website. We ran the two brands independently and had the right plan of attack, but discovered that our timing wasn’t great.

The first nine months readership was light, which I expected since we were new and trying to build an audience from scratch. I believed in the long-term mission, which was why I stuck with it through all of the growing pains, but I also felt a responsibility to make sure our BNM writing team and the advertising partners we forged relationships with were being seen by as many people as possible. We continued with the original plan until May 2021 when after a number of back and forth debates, I finally agreed to merge the two sites. I figured if WFAN could thrive with Imus in the Morning and Mike and the Mad Dog in the afternoon, and the NY Times, LA Times, KOA, KMOX and numerous other newspaper and radio brands could find a way to blend sports and news/talk, then so could we.

And it worked.

We dove in and started to showcase both formats, building social channels and groups for each, growing newsletter databases, and with the addition of a few top notch writers, BNM began making bigger strides. Now featured under the BSM roof, the site looked bigger, the supply of daily content became massive, and our people were enjoying the increased attention.

Except now we had other issues. Too many stories meant many weren’t being read and more mistakes were slipping through the cracks. None of our crew strive to misspell a word or write a sloppy headline but when the staff and workload doubles and you’re trying to focus on two different formats, things can get missed. Hey, we’re all human.

Then a few other things happened that forced a larger discussion with my editors.

First, I thought about how much original material we were creating for BSM from our podcast network, Summit, Countdown to Coverage series, Meet the Market Managers, BSM Top 20, and began to ask myself ‘if we’re doing all of this for sports readers, what does that tell folks who read us for news?’ We then ran a survey to learn what people valued about our brand and though most of the feedback was excellent, I saw how strong the response was to our sports content, and how news had grown but felt second fiddle to those offering feedback.

Then, Andy Bloom wrote an interesting column explaining why radio hosts would be wise to stop talking about Donald Trump. It was the type of piece that should’ve been front and center on a news site all day but with 3 featured slots on the site and 7 original columns coming in that day, they couldn’t all be highlighted the way they sometimes should be. We’re actually going through that again today. That said, Andy’s column cut through. A few sports media folks didn’t like seeing it on the site, which wasn’t a surprise since Trump is a polarizing personality, but the content resonated well with the news/talk crowd.

National talk radio host Mike Gallagher was among the folks to see Andy’s piece, and he spent time on his show talking about the column. Mike’s segment was excellent, and when he referenced the article, he did the professional thing and credited our website – Barrett SPORTS Media. I was appreciative of Mike spending time on his program discussing our content but it was a reminder that we had news living under a sports roof and it deserved better than that.

I then read some of Pete Mundo, Doug Pucci and Rick Schultz’s columns and Jim Cryns’ features on Chris Ruddy, Phil Boyce, and David Santrella, and knew we were doing a lot of quality work but each time we produced stories, folks were reminded that it lived on a SPORTS site. I met a few folks who valued the site, recognized the increased focus we put on our news/talk coverage, and hoped we had plans to do more. Jim also received feedback along the lines of “good to see you guys finally in the news space, hope there’s more to come.”

Wanting to better understand our opportunities and challenges, I reviewed our workflow, looked at which content was hitting and missing the mark, thought about the increased relationships we’d worked hard to develop, and the short-term and long-term goals for BNM. I knew it was time to choose a path. Did I want to think short-term and keep everything under one roof to protect our current traffic and avoid disrupting people or was it smarter to look at the big picture and create a destination where news/talk media content could be prioritized rather than treated as BSM’s step-child?

Though I spent most of my career in sports media and established BSM first, it’s important to me to serve the news/talk media industry our very best. I want every news/talk executive, host, programmer, market manager, agent, producer, seller and advertiser to know this format matters to us. Hopefully you’ve seen that in the content we’ve created over the past two years. My goal is to deliver for news media professionals what we have for sports media folks and though that may be a tall order, we’re going to bust our asses to make it happen. To prove that this isn’t just lip service, here’s what we’re going to do.

Starting next Monday November 28th, we are relaunching BarrettNewsMedia.com. ALL new content produced by the BNM writing team will be available daily under that URL. For the first 70-days we will display news media columns from our BNM writers on both sites and support them with promotion across both of our brands social channels. The goal is to have the two sites running independent of each other by February 6, 2023.

Also starting on Monday November 28th, we will begin distributing the BNM Rundown newsletter 5 days per week. We’ve been sending out the Rundown every M-W-F since October 2021, but the time has come for us to send it out daily. With increased distribution comes two small adjustments. We will reduce our daily story count from 10 to 8 and make it a goal to deliver it to your inbox each day by 3pm ET. If you haven’t signed up to receive the Rundown, please do. You can click here to register. Be sure to scroll down past the 8@8 area.

Additionally, Barrett News Media is going to release its first edition of the BNM Top 20 of 2022. This will come out December 12-16 and 19-20. The category winners will be decided by more than 50 news/talk radio program directors and executives. Among the categories to be featured will be best Major/Mid Market Local morning, midday, and afternoon show, best Local News/Talk PD, best Local News/Talk Station, best National Talk Radio Show, and best Original Digital Show. The voting process with format decision makers begins today and will continue for two weeks. I’ve already got a number of people involved but if you work in an executive or programming role in the news/talk format and wish to be part of it, send an email to me at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

We have one other big thing coming to Barrett News Media in 2023, which I will announce right after the BNM Top 20 on Wednesday December 21st. I’m sure news/talk professionals will like what we have planned but for now, it’ll have to be a month long tease. I promise though to pay it off.

Additionally, I’m always looking for industry folks who know and love the business and enjoy writing about it. If you’ve programmed, hosted, sold or reported in the news/talk world and have something to offer, email me. Also, if you’re a host, producer, programmer, executive, promotions or PR person and think something from your brand warrants coverage on our site, send it along. Most of what we write comes from listening to stations and digging across the web and social media. Receiving your press releases and getting a heads up on things you’re doing always helps.

If you’re a fan of BSM, this won’t affect you much. The only difference you’ll notice in the coming months is a gradual reduction of news media content on the BSM website and our social accounts sharing a little about both formats over the next two months until we’re officially split in February. We are also going to dabble a little more in marketing, research and tech content that serves both formats. If you’re a reader who enjoys both forms of our content, you’ll soon have BarrettSportsMedia.com for sports, and BarrettNewsMedia.com for news.

Our first two years in the news/talk space have been very productive but we’ve only scratched the surface. Starting November 28th, news takes center stage on BarrettNewsMedia.com and sports gets less crowded on BarrettSportsMedia.com. We had the right plan of attack in 2020, but poor timing. So we’re learning from the past and adjusting for the future. If we can count on you to remember two URL’s (add them to your bookmarks) and sign up for our newsletters, then you can count on us to continue delivering exceptional coverage of the industry you love. As always, thanks for the continued support. It makes everything we do worthwhile.

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