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A Sports Radio Education From Bill Belichick

Jason Barrett



Bill Belichick

One of the real joys of my occupation is when I stumble onto a piece of content that I know will provide a great education for every single person making a living in the sports media industry. Today I’m thrilled to share one of those examples with you.

If you’re a talk show host, producer, anchor, reporter, salesperson, program director or market manager, and you haven’t yet watched Bill Belichick’s interview on CNBC, stop reading this column, and click on it right now. You’ll thank me for it later.

For those of you who have seen it, continue reading to get a better understanding of how many of Bill’s views on life, leadership, and competition relate to the world of sports media.

Stand For Something – Every successful company, brand, and individual occupies a unique position in the mind of the audience. Understand what it is that makes you special, deliver that message consistently across all of your platforms, and demonstrate thru your actions why it matters and is part of who you are.

Preparation – Inside the Patriots locker room hangs a sign “Every Battle Is Won Before The Battle Is Fought”. Simply put, it’s easier to win when you already know what to do. Before you present your content to an audience, pitch your brand to an advertiser or introduce a strategy to generate ratings and knock off your competition, you must first have a game plan and solid evidence to support your convictions. The better you know your team, product, opponent, and the challenges you’re facing, and the more your people understand the goal, process, and methods of how to win, the easier it becomes to succeed.

Focus On The Moment – It would’ve been easy for the Patriots to point fingers, second guess decisions, and become rattled after Atlanta dominated them in the first half of Super Bowl 51. Instead, Bill Belichick and his team stayed the course. They remained upbeat, focused on the next play and kept on working. In radio, this is no different than investing your energy in your next segment. Worrying about your signal limitations, the competition’s advantages or the lack of meters in your market is beyond your control. What you do control is delivering great content. When you execute consistently, you give yourself a chance to win. Those who do benefit from a little bit of luck along the way, just as the Patriots did when Julian Edelman made that miraculous catch in the 4th quarter.

Game of Adjustments – In sports, teams prepare in advance, and have an idea of what they want to accomplish when the game begins. But when the unexpected occurs, adjustments are required. Those who adapt best often emerge victorious. The same is true in radio. A host and producer may enter the studio with a great rundown, but the second breaking news happens or a guest doesn’t show up, it’s how you respond that determines if the show moves smoothly or gets derailed. Programmers can set a vision that’s sure to deliver ratings, salespeople can create presentations which are guaranteed to impress clients, and marketing director’s can develop promotions which will get the whole city talking, but the second things change, you’ve got to adjust. How you respond determines if you’ll win or lose.

Winning Is The Goal – You can enjoy your occupation and build relationships with those around you, but never forget what the ultimate team goal is. The team/company added you to the organization because they valued a skill you possess. It’s why they’re depositing funds into your bank account each pay period. Radio and sports are very competitive and when you fail they can be downright cruel. Whether it’s making your budget or delivering ratings, never lose sight of your responsibilities and the contributions that the team is counting on you to produce.

Remember Why You Do It – As you grow as a sports media professional, you learn about different aspects of the business that you never imaged being part of your job description. Whether it’s taking part in an endorsement pitch, talking to the media, helping a local charity raise funds, conducting focus groups or dissecting ratings and local meter use, these are areas of our profession that become part of what we do once we’re involved in it. But the reason we chose to chase our dreams and work in this industry is because we loved sports and the platform radio provided in allowing us to share our passion and love for it with others. It’s OK to tackle new challenges and move away from a microphone. And yes there will be days when you feel like you’re going thru the motions and doing a job that isn’t that important. But whether you see it at the time or not, your brand has great value and a special connection to everyone listening on the outside. Don’t lose sight of how powerful that connection is and what it once meant to you. After all, it’s the reason why you’re now working on the inside.

Develop Your Style – While we pursue our own paths and strive to create a unique identity, we’re also influenced by many people along the way. The best performers and teachers in the world take a little bit from everyone and find a way to make it their own. Study others who you respect, enjoy and are inspired by, and find out what makes certain areas of their game special. There’s nothing wrong with using a winning formula and adding your own personal touch.

Learn From Each Experience – While you’re pursuing world domination as a host or executive, you’ll likely first go thru a number of situations that aren’t as glamorous. Although you won’t see it immediately, these lessons will come in handy further down the line. Every little bit you absorb will make you more well rounded and better equipped to handle bigger challenges when you finally ascend to greater heights.

Take Chances – You’re going to introduce topics, features and guests that go over like a lead balloon. You’ll create promotions, sales, events, and team functions that you swear can’t miss but leave you with egg on your face. No matter how many times you get knocked down, get back up and keep swinging. Great hitters make an out 70% of the time. Michael Jordan missed 50.3% of the shots he took. If you’re afraid to fail, you will. Be creative, be fearless and trust your instincts. The wins you enjoy will be that much sweeter.

Define and Defend Your Principles – Every leader and individual has fundamental beliefs that they will not waver from. This is important in growing relationships, maintaining a winning culture and keeping people focused. If rules get broken and aren’t addressed, it’s only a matter of time until anarchy ensues. Be clear and concise on what you expect, repeat the message frequently so it’s understood, and if people violate your trust and infect the group, be prepared to act swiftly and firmly. The way you respond will have a lasting impact on those around you and will speak volumes about your integrity and leadership.

Eliminate Distractions – The job you’re doing is hard enough. When you allow outside influencers and public criticisms to seep into your head, it can become overwhelming. Although those things can be difficult to ignore, they offer little benefit to your career. If you execute your duties to the best of your abilities, deliver the results you’re accountable for, and maintain a strong professional relationship with your boss, you’ll never have to wonder where you stand, even when the outside noise gets louder.

You Get What You Earn – Jealousy and frustration exists in many buildings. Often it’s due to employees feeling that different rules exist for different team members. The reality is that there will be cases where some individuals receive longer leashes than others. Why you ask? Because they’ve earned it. When you perform consistently and help a company make money, you’re going to receive benefits that others may not. Rather than complaining about your lower position on the importance ladder, do something to change it. When leaders know they can count on you, and business increases because of your efforts, it’s amazing how much more rope you’re afforded.

Dependability, Consistency and Coachability – Great talent are always in demand. Those with a passion to improve and who deliver on a daily basis though are what many leaders classify as special. We’ve seen thousands of examples in sports of players who had a ton of talent but never maximized their full potential. In radio it’s similar. If you have skill and can be relied upon to produce, are open minded to hearing feedback, and are willing to put in the work to make improvements, you’ll have a lot of bosses going to bat to add or keep you on their teams.

It’s a Relationship Business – You can be the most talented host, executive or salesperson on Planet Earth but if you fail to possess any meaningful relationships the rest of the world may never know. One of the keys to working in the sports media business is fostering relationships. They come in very handy when all things are equal between two candidates pursuing an opportunity and one has an existing relationship or acquaintance with the hiring manager. If the only time you reach out to an executive is when they have a job posting, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Get to know people when there’s nothing at stake except friendship, education, and conversation, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when it comes around full circle.

Celebrate Your Success – The quest for perfection is endless, and the victories you enjoy along the way become forgotten when the next day’s challenge arises. Which is why it’s critical to acknowledge your wins and celebrate them with your team when they happen. If the Patriots can take a few hours to pour and sip champagne after winning a title, and laugh, cry and act silly with their friends, family and teammates, so too should those who are busting their tails inside of a radio station each day to help their companies succeed. If there’s no team togetherness after wins, and little recognition beyond an internal email, success becomes hollow and less important. Take a few hours to appreciate the obstacle you’ve overcome, and the people who’ve helped you do it, and they’ll be helping you enjoy many more special moments in the future.

Barrett Blogs

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

Jason Barrett




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 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




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

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

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 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




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 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

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 for sports, and 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 and sports gets less crowded on 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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