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5 Podcasts in 5 Days

5 Podcasts in 5 Days: MMQB with Albert Breer

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We’ve reached the end of our 5 Podcasts in 5 Days series. My thanks to veteran sports radio programmer Gregg Henson for taking his time to evaluate all of these great shows and share his analysis thru a collection of individual columns. Hopefully the feedback has been helpful to the content creators who develop these programs, as well as to the individuals who consume them.

If you missed Gregg’s input on Pardon My Take click here. For his evaluation of The Big Podcast with Shaq click here. To read his review of The Voice Behind The Voice click here. And if you’re interested in his analysis of The Player’s Tribune’s R2C2 with Ryan Ruocco and CC Sabathia click here.

For the final day, Gregg has taken a listen to the MMQB Podcast with Albert Breer. If you haven’t read the previous four days of columns, and are unfamiliar with Gregg, he’s no stranger to the sports radio business. He’s programmed stations in Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne. He’s also spent the better part of the past twenty five years hosting in a number of different cities including Dallas, Austin, Grand Rapids and the others I previously mentioned.

Now that you have a better idea of Gregg’s background, let’s get to the best part of this column, Gregg’s in-depth assessment of The MMQB Podcast!

  • TITLE: MMQB Podcast With Albert Breer
  • DATE: July 26, 2017
  • LENGTH: 1 hour 21 minutes
  • CAST: Albert Breer (Host) + Guests
  • SPONSORS: ADT Security
  • PRODUCTION: Good production. The show starts with a pre-produced commercial which was professionally done; the bumper music transition was smooth and served its purpose.

SHOW BREAKDOWN:

In this episode Albert gets you ready for the start of training camp by welcoming in the one and only PFT Commenter of Barstool Sports, and CBS Sports Radio host Andy Gresh for his weekly segment. Plus a six pack of your twitter questions.

SHOW ANALYSIS:

This show was a revelation. I’d never heard of it before and I am glad I found it.

As a host, Breer is as good as most professional sports talk show hosts. This podcast provides that evidence as Breer is chalk full of opinion, information, insight and entertainment.

During the show, Breer moves from a great, smart take on the Colin Kaepernick situation, which wasn’t the same old predictable take, to an outstanding NFL segment with sports radio host, Andy Gresh. I was shocked by Breer’s comfort level with delivering courageous opinions and backing them up with thoughtful facts. Not many in the media would take as strong a stance that Kaepernick was not being blackballed, and then proceed to give multiple examples of why “politics” wasn’t the reason the former SF QB isn’t working. Many sports talk hosts could learn a thing or two about his thoughtfulness and preparation on these issues.

The thing that really struck me about Breer is his absolute command and depth of knowledge regarding the NFL and the issues facing the league. Facts, stats and information flowed from his mouth as if he was born to report on the NFL. Just great work with an excellent presentation. Gresh is also a perfect foil for Breer with his high energy delivery and occasional twist of a phase, which helped raise the entertainment value.

Between the great content, insight and a fun delivery, the segment with Gresh was a winner. The two were insightful, fun, and told long interesting stories, and that makes for a winning combination. The story on Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva was especially interesting, and illustrated the show’s ability to offer content that not all NFL fans would be aware of.

In particular, football fans will be drawn to this podcast because Breer has insight and contacts within the NFL that ninety eight percent of NFL insiders don’t. He can retell a story and quote multiple players and head coaches, which is invaluable to the rabid NFL fan.

To my ear, Breer is an A-level podcast talent. This program is conversational, entertaining and most of all, you receive great insight from listening to it. It wasn’t hard to follow, and they do a great job of moving from topic to topic and not getting bogged down in the minutia.

CLOSING COMMENTS:

This show has breakout potential. It is really well done, thoughtful, insightful and entertaining.

In my opinion, Breer’s show could easily hold down a slot on terrestrial radio. It checks off all the boxes – passion, excitement, forward momentum, opinion, analysis and a few laughs.

The only criticism I can add is that I think they can give even more hard edged opinions. The great stance on Kaepernick was the only real “hard” opinion on the show. I think Breer and Gresh could have built on that when discussing a few other NFL stories throughout the rest of the show.

From the business side, Breer didn’t handle any of the commercials. There was only one spot in the show so there wasn’t much required of the hosts form a commercial perspective.

My advice, if you like compelling talk, subscribe to this podcast the first chance you get.

Gregg Henson has spent over twenty five years working in sports radio as a host and programmer. He’s enjoyed stints in Austin, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, and recently joined Alpha Media in Lincoln, Nebraska as a program director and morning drive host. He can be reached on Twitter @GreggHenson or if you prefer to send him an email click here.

5 Podcasts in 5 Days

5 Podcasts in 5 Days: Real_Sports with Jack and Abe

“Jay Soderberg offers his thoughts on BluWire’s ‘Real Sports’ podcast.”

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Editor’s note from Jason Barrett:

We’ve reached the final day of our ‘5 Podcasts in 5 Days‘ series. A big thank you to our special guest reviewer Jay Soderberg who took the time to listen to five different shows and offer his candid, direct, and unapologetic thoughts on each program. Though some of the input can sting those hosting the shows, Jay’s focus throughout this project has been to lend a few thoughts to help those creating the content improve their presentation.

As podcasting continues to grow due to its limitless offerings of unique, creative, and original content, it still remains a space without structure and a clear understanding of what does and doesn’t work. Unlike radio which uses ratings measurement to justify the effectiveness of a particular show or host, the success or ineffectiveness of a podcast can often be disguised by how a program is ranked on the Apple podcasting charts.

To help make some sense of it all, we reached out to Jay, who’s served as the Head of Content for BlogTalk Radio, and a digital audio producer, imaging director, and podcast creator for the ESPN Radio network, to put his ear on five shows and let folks know what’s working and what needs some fine tuning. The five programs we chose were Mystery Crate by Dan Le Batard and Friends, The GM Shuffle with Adnan Virk and Michael Lombardi, The Most Valuable Podcast with Charlotte Wilder and Jess Smetana, Locked on Jazz with David Locke, and Real Sports from BlueWire’s Jack Settleman and Abe Granoff.

We hope you’ll find Jay’s reviews of these 5 programs to be informative, honest, and well explained. If you have further feedback you can find him on Twitter @TheRealPodVader or you can email by clicking here. Enjoy!

REAL_SPORTS WITH JACK AND ABE:

Title: NBA Draft Preview, Kyrie Irving Breaking News and the Mike Conley Trade

Date: June 20, 2019

Length: 46 minutes

Cast: Jack Settleman and Abe Granoff

Sponsors: none

Production: Produced Open, music bed at the end

Show Breakdown:

0:00 – Tease on what’s up

:21 – Open featuring a montage of sports highlights

:41 – Introducing your hosts

1:19 – Abe’s NBA draft profile from Jack (he was robbed of living the dream as a child) but Jack mentions he was as a slow 6 footer…player comp: Draymond Green or RJ Barrett…Time for Jack’s draft profile from Abe…player comp: Lonzo Ball or Jalen Brunson…

4:15 – Time to move on to thoughts on the NBA Draft…what hasn’t been said about Zion Williamson already?…Jack believe RJ Barrett is the best player in the draft…Ja Morant break down…

11:50 – Picking apart some other NBA Draft prospects: Cam Reddish (got a pick with him earlier in the day…Abe isn’t a numbers guy, he likes to make decisions on players from what he sees on the court); Brandon Clark (Jack’s favorite player, not the best, in this draft);

20:56 – Busts: Nassir Little (shot up the boards because of hype and his length but doesn’t have a college background); Jared Culver (his size and strength won’t help him in the NBA)

24:20 – Breaking down the point guards – there are other names besides Morant and Garland

28:30 – What will Boston do with their picks? They’re in the limbo area of knowing their true identity – push forward to win with their young core or tank for more young talent?…The East is going to get weaker and the Celtics need to get an established player…the guys are split on Danny Ainge…

31:57 – What they’re most excited about for the NBA Draft…wouldn’t it be fun if the Lakers/Pelicans trade didn’t go through?

34:50 – Brief bit of feedback

35:28 – Breaking news after the pod was recorded and this is being put in afterwards…The Nets are concerned with bringing in Kyrie Irving unless he can bring Durant with him…laughing at the “trolls” who sent Jack photoshopped Kyrie pics in a Nets uniform and Irving is heading to the Knicks…Abe tells him to stop…this lends more to Kyrie going back to the Celtics or back to LeBron…

38:23 – A little more feedback

38:40 – Breaking down the Mike Conley trade…the Jazz could make some noise in a down year in the West…Derrick Favors being swapped out for a superstar before the deadline???…

45:00 – hope you liked it…give us 5 stars…thanks for the listens…want to hear from you…RSPod on Instagram… this has been Real Underscore Sports

Show Analysis:

Before we start analyzing the show, a quick lesson on the Apple Podcast charts. First, they only measure activity on Apple Podcast products (iTunes, iPods, iPads, iPhones, etc). Second, the charts are some sort of algorithm measuring new subscription activity – not a real measurement of audience size. That’s why a show like Real Sports is in the top 20 shows, but doesn’t have an episode in the top 200 episodes.

The team at BlueWire has done something smart to drive engagement on Snapchat and Instagram, running a raffle contest to get people to write reviews and ratings for the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Rob Walch on Libsyn will tell you ratings do not matter when it comes to positioning on the Apple Podcasts charts, but it definitely looks good to see a podcast with 7 episodes and 4211 reviews (as of this writing). Most of those reviews are 5 star because as one of the 1 star ratings put it “He bribes people with giveaways on social media and makes them give 5 stars to be eligible.” 

So who is Jack Settleman? According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. He’s focused on social media marketing while at the school and is currently the Social Media Community Manager at The Action Network. He clearly knows how to work the social media marketing angle, but understanding how that game works is important to understanding the real chart position of this podcast. I couldn’t find much on Abe Granoff, but it’s clear from listening to the show, they are big fans of the NBA and college basketball.

Closing Comments:

A critical review of the show stated “These guys just basically read off scoresheets” and I’m inclined to agree. The scary secret to that comment though, is that’s exactly what most radio hosts are doing. The difference is, experienced radio hosts sound less stiff and more genuine with their takes. Jack and Abe can at times sound robotic in their delivery. The key to improving that will come from gaining more reps.

I thought this podcast was just like most other ones, lacking innovation. It was just two guys providing their takes on the news of the day. The next generation of sports talk hosts are going to come from podcasts, so I’m hopeful the younger generation of broadcasters will introduce new original ideas instead of following the pattern of what everyone else has been doing.

The disappointing part of the story is that these guys really know how to get their message out to the younger masses – as shown in their ability to generate 1 million followers on Snapchat. But if the younger generation thinks this is what great sounding podcasts should sound like though, I tremble for our future.

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5 Podcasts in 5 Days

5 Podcasts in 5 Days: Locked on Jazz

“Special guest reviewer Jay Soderberg reviews the Locked on Jazz podcast with David Locke.”

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Editor’s note from Jason Barrett:

5 Podcasts in 5 Days‘ continues with special guest reviewer Jay Soderberg spending day four to analyze the Locked on Jazz podcast by Utah Jazz voice David Locke. For those unfamiliar with Jay, he is the former the Head of Content for BlogTalk Radio, and a digital audio producer, imaging director, and podcast creator for the ESPN Radio network. He’s candid, direct, and unapologetic with his feedback, and focused on trying to help content creators produce exceptional material, even if it means having to get under their skin in the process.

As podcasting continues to grow due to its limitless offerings of unique, creative, and original content, it still remains a space without structure and a clear understanding of what does and doesn’t work. Unlike radio which uses ratings measurement to justify the effectiveness of a particular show or host, the success or ineffectiveness of a podcast can often be disguised by how a program is ranked on the Apple podcasting charts.

Since this space has turned into the audio version of the wild west, we thought it’d be beneficial to bring back 5 Podcasts in 5 Days and find out which audio shows are checking the right boxes, and which ones could use some fine tuning. The five podcasts we charged Jay with listening to and critiquing were Mystery Crate by Dan Le Batard and Friends, The GM Shuffle with Adnan Virk and Michael Lombardi, The Most Valuable Podcast with Charlotte Wilder and Jess Smetana, Locked on Jazz with David Locke, and Real Sports from BluWire’s Jack Settleman and Abe Granoff.

We hope you’ll find Jay’s reviews of these 5 programs to be informative, honest, and well explained. If you have further feedback you can find him on Twitter @TheRealPodVader or you can email by clicking here. Enjoy!

LOCKED ON JAZZ

Title: Kevin Pelton stops by to discuss the Lakers and the NBA Draft by the Numbers

Date: June 19, 2019

Length: 38 minutes

Cast: David Locke, guest: Kevin Pelton

Sponsors: Lenovo, Homie (local? BYU creators), The Store (local), Hotels.com, Shamrock Auto Group (local)

Production: minimal

Show Breakdown:

0:00 – Produced open for 10secs, 30sec pre-produced ad for Lenovo, David Locke teases what’s up on the show and then says he’s going on vacation for a bit

2:17 – Kevin Pelton interview begins…starting with 2 questions about the Anthony Davis trade…the two local Locked On hosts loved the deal but the national guys have been slamming it

8:55 – Reset – that was Kevin Pelton’s trade analysis, now getting into his Draft projections…he’s been really good at finding the 25-35 range, that’s the strength of his scenarios…highlighting some examples of guys that Pelton has projected guys in that range…how good has he been at projecting busts?

13:43 – Reset, again with a tease of what’s coming up…but today’s show is brought to you by Homie (host read ad) also brought to you by The Store at 60 and 200 South and 20th East

16:43 – Kevin, who’s top 10 in his numbers and who’s top 10 generally accepted?

23:47 – Distracted by computer noises…teasing what’s coming up but I can’t stand this throw to commercial “…that and more when we’re back on the Locked On Podcast Network.”

24:15 – Hotels.com (pre-produced), Shamrock Auto Group (host read), Locked On NBA Net on Draft night

26:50 – Why is there not a big difference between 19 and 22 year olds?

29:29 – Who’s Fred Van Fleet or Monte Morris this year? Not sure there’s anyone Kevin feels that strongly about this year but here are some guys Kevin likes more than others.

34:54 – Guys who will go in top 20 that Kevin’s numbers just don’t see it.

36:31 – Go follow Kevin @kpelton…going on vacation

37:00 – Promo for Locked on Cougars, reminder that your smart speaker can play your podcasts (but it’s cut off before Dave finishes the explanation)

Show Analysis:

When I was first introduced to podcasting at ESPN 15 years ago, I remember thinking the brilliance of it was that you no longer needed to have your peanut butter mixed with your chocolate. Meaning – I can have my football without having to listen to the baseball or the basketball or the hockey. David Locke has taken that one step further with his Locked On network, making podcasts for individual teams, mainly in the NBA and NFL. David is the voice of the Utah Jazz and has a professional radio background and it’s apparent listening to his show.

David has multiple resets with his guest (which for a podcast listener can become a little annoying), teasing upcoming content before commercial breaks and then extremely professional reads on those ad deliveries. David has worked on this network for quite some time and the mix between the pre-produced ads from Megaphone and the local ads (which I’m assuming David has acquired on his own) gives the podcast a strong local feel (literally naming the streets to find The Store).

While this does sound like a re-purposed local radio show, it’s hard to complain about that lack of innovation because the focus is on one local team. That said, David did have a national guest on to talk about the NBA Draft and never asked a specific question regarding the Utah Jazz. To be fair, David’s interview did center mostly on later round options in the draft (the Jazz had the 23rd pick and a couple of second round choices). And to really hit the minutiae, he never tells us Kevin Pelton is from ESPN.

There are a lot of assumptions being made and for a regular listener, that’s probably great. For a brand new listener though, they might feel lost. Every new piece of content is an opportunity for a new listener.

Speaking of formatics, I HATE hearing these phrases around commercial breaks on the radio and especially on a podcast – “we’ll be right back” “and we’re back” “we’re going to take a break” “the break is all done”. You and especially the podcast listener never left! A majority of podcast listeners don’t even hit the fast forward button available to them to skip the ads so why give them a warning flag that a commercial is coming up?

I’m a big proponent of the tease before a commercial break. Give the audience that cliff hanger. They can’t wait to hear Kevin’s deep draft gems. Just leave it at that. “In a moment, Kevin’s going to tell us his deep draft gems” – lay out. Commercials. “Kevin, what do your numbers say about the potential Superstars around pick number 23?”

Closing Comments:

As a frequent podcast listener, the difficulties David faces with a network like this is finding clones of himself. While David is a professional broadcaster, there are others in his network that could use some polishing. Having worked on the business side of the podcast industry, I know how difficult it can be to find a sales team that will focus on local businesses to feature in a local podcast. Many podcasters carry that load upon themselves while most podcast sales agents (like Megaphone or Midroll) will focus on a national type sponsor. For a podcaster with no previous media experience, you can see how difficult a task that would be to undertake.

That’s an advantage the Locked On Network has with David at the helm. He’s on to something good, delivering the type of niche content sports fans are looking for. The podcast is also offered daily during the NBA season, giving fans the chance to enjoy the content they want on their own schedule. If local stations aren’t careful, he’ll steal their audience and then their sponsors.

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5 Podcasts in 5 Days

5 Podcasts in 5 Days: Most Valuable Podcast

“Jay Soderberg offers his assessment of the Most Valuable Podcast”

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Editor’s note from Jason Barrett:

The third day of ‘5 Podcasts in 5 Days‘ with special guest reviewer Jay Soderberg has arrived. Jay is the former the Head of Content for BlogTalk Radio, and a digital audio producer, imaging director, and podcast creator for the ESPN Radio network. He’s candid, direct, and unapologetic with his feedback, and focused on trying to help content creators produce exceptional material, even if it means having to get under their skin in the process.

As podcasting has continued to grow due to its limitless offerings of unique, creative, and original content, it still remains a space without structure and a clear understanding of what does and doesn’t work. Unlike radio which uses ratings measurement to justify the effectiveness of a particular show or host, the success or ineffectiveness of a podcast can often be disguised by how a program is ranked on the Apple podcasting charts.

Since this space has turned into the audio version of the wild west, we thought it’d be beneficial to bring back 5 Podcasts in 5 Days and find out which audio shows are checking the right boxes, and which ones could use some fine tuning. The five podcasts we charged Jay with listening to and critiquing were Mystery Crate by Dan Le Batard and Friends, The GM Shuffle with Adnan Virk and Michael Lombardi, The Most Valuable Podcast with Charlotte Wilder and Jess Smetana, Locked on Jazz with David Locke, and Real Sports from BluWire’s Jack Settleman and Abe Granoff.

We hope you’ll find Jay’s reviews of these 5 programs to be informative, honest, and well explained. If you have further feedback you can find him on Twitter @TheRealPodVader or you can email by clicking here. Enjoy!

Title: It’s the perfect time for Anthony Davis to shave his unibrow and rebrand

Date: June 20, 2019

Length: 1 hour, 6 minutes

Cast: Christine Wilder and Jess Smetana, Brandon (the Producer)

Sponsors: none

Production: a music bed to start and end the show

Show Breakdown:

0:00 – Revisiting a trip to Boston for the NHL Finals…more in a bit, but first, the NBA Finals which feel like they finished a long time ago and now free agency is top in the news cycle…Woj Bomb in the middle of Finals that Kawhi won’t resign with the Raptors and he hasn’t even accepted the trophy yet…torn ACL’s are the worst…Did you understand what was happening at the end of that Game with the technical foul?…revisiting last week’s conversation on all sports fans are a**holes, according to tweet, Canadians find Toronto is the a**hole of Canada…

8:25 – Don’t like the uniforms that say “North” – not even the most northern NBA city…Taking pride in local teams like the Portland (Maine) Red Claws…

12:27 – Should we do more NBA free agency stuff since we just talked about the NBA??? Anthony Davis got traded…Jess wouldn’t be a great GM because she likes to be frugal…Would you want to play with LeBron? No, because he’ll make you play in Space Jam 2 and it won’t be as great as the first one…Davis now has the perfect opportunity to look the best he’s ever looked and shave the unibrow…

17:34 – An idea for an app – Kyrie Irving and James Harden ghosting their teams…ghosting is so easy in any relationship, but you really should just say something so that the other person doesn’t hang on…the app will get all the relevant info on the relationship and send the let down information for you…Kyrie could use this with Danny Ainge…

22:00 – Sorry to Charlotte who watched a sucky blowout in Game 7 of the NHL Finals (pretty clear Charlotte is a Bruins fan)…

23:50 – Brandon the Producer jumps in as he doesn’t like mosquitos and Jess just got bit by one…back to the NHL…What would you eat if you just lost the NHL Finals?…Anheuser Busch headquartered in St. Louis?

27:45 – Gary Woodland wins the US Open…didn’t realize it ends on Father’s Day every year…don’t assume because Charlotte is a woman she doesn’t know what she’s talking about with sports…they spoke this outcome into existence in a previous show…shout out to Gary…also, who still names their kids Gary?…he’s also never drank a warm beverage, does soup count?…

32:07 – Let’s talk about the World Cup…our girl Julie Ertz scored a goal vs Chile…the bad tweet from someplace, CBS?, that Zach Ertz left training camp to watch his wife in the world cup – hello, she has a name…we’re beyond this now and Julie Ertz has way more Instagram followers than Zach (but he has more Twitter followers), but Instagram is the way more used platform (well, we’ll discuss that in a moment…)…can everyone just follow us on Instagram?…

37:26 – Do we have any personal news because all it says on the little Google Doc is personal news and nothing below it…

39:27 – We have to cancel something…LaVar Ball…people forgot that he’s been canceled already and he’s still saying stupid things…need to cancel OJ Simpson again because now he’s on Twitter…

44:18 – Some Agro Facts this week…well, basically we’ve found really good brands of dried seaweed

47:29 – Underrated… this week it’s sour cream, the unsung hero of Taco Tuesday

49:53 – Future Wedding to each other…this came up from a viral tweet about going to a wedding with me and still liking me after…

51:32 – The Patriot of the Week…viral video of guy at a baseball game who caught foul ball and chugged a beer

55:36 – Shout out to Summer of #20WineTeen…how do you spell that out?

59:30 – Unofficial Official Mike Trout Fan Club…thanks to everyone pointing out what we should be paying attention to…he’s been really good at the baseball and his W-A-R has been really good…he pet a dog named Moo Moo…

1:02:12 – What is that noise (that the audience can’t hear)? The phone in the podcast room is ringing…

1:03:00 – Mike Trout had a really good transportation tweet…

1:03:58 – Time to go (because they said so and there’s the music bed)…give us high ratings and boost our Instagram

Show Analysis:

When creating a podcast it’s important to know who your target audience is. This podcast is clearly targeted towards millennial sports fans, is internet driven (lots of social media talk), and uses swear words. There isn’t a problem with that at all, but even millennial’s like to hear some cool sounding production elements.

In listening to the show, it’s clear that Jess and Charlotte do some form of prep for their show – because you can hear their transitions from topic to topic. They also mention the “Google Doc” in this episode.

So why don’t they have production elements for their regular segments? If the producer doesn’t have time to create them, why not ask the audience for some help? It’s a great way to forge an everlasting bond with your audience and frankly, sometimes you get some really great work for free.

One thing I struggle with when listening to podcasts that tend to be more on the jovial side is when they tackle subjects that are more serious. In this episode for instance, sexism in sports. I agree that Julie Ertz and any woman playing professional sports should be given the respect of being called by their name, but it’s hard to take Jess and Charlotte seriously when they’re talking about wanting to marry the guy who catches the foul ball and chugs his beer or oogling over Mike Trout petting a puppy. It’s just a little awkward.

Also, I’m assuming there were inside jokes or previous jokes when talking about Mike Trout “being good at the baseball” and his “W-A-R was really good”, but a first time listener may hear that and stereotype it as “another female sports show”. It’s a delicate line to balance and begging for more Instagram followers doesn’t help.

Closing Comments:

While this is definitely not “old guy, stuffy sports program”, there’s still a lack of innovation for a sports podcast. It sounds similar to most other sports radio products with the exception being the show features two women and they’re talking to a younger audience. The sourcing of social media is clever to help drive engagement from an audience that is using the internet to listen to the show, but adding some production would really help this show sing.

I do think there is great potential here with a few tweaks that could help drive how sports radio evolves for future generations. There needs to be a little more effort than just sitting down in a studio for an hour with microphones recording a conversation. It’s a good start, but it can be taken to the next level with a few adjustments.

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