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If The Audience Is Hungry, Don’t Make Them Wait To Eat

Jason Barrett



Scott Seidenberg

One of the biggest challenges sports radio shows face on a daily basis is maximizing air time and diving into valuable content. When you’re on the air for 3-4 hours a day, it can be really hard to create one powerful segment after another. But with audiences on the go, and looking for an immediate return on their time invested, a host must always be dialed in and ready to share a unique opinion and perspective to keep them engaged.

Scott Seidenberg understands that challenge based on his experience working for 98.7FM ESPN New York and hosting a national overnight show for NBC Sports Radio where audiences are much lighter. It may seem smart to sell an audience on returning later for something of quality, but too often we worry about what’s happening later in the show, rather than seizing the moment right in front of us. If we prioritized our content and treated the audience to something of substance, they might spend a few extra minutes with us, and in this radio game of inches, that can make a world of difference.

I asked Scott to put together a few of his thoughts on a subject he was familiar with and passionate about, and I’m happy to share his perspective on the importance of diving into content and avoiding laundry lists. Enjoy!

If The Audience Is Hungry, Don’t Make Them Wait To Eat

Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. It’s an old cliché but a good one. Every good radio host knows the importance of preparation. Some like to outline their thoughts. Others prefer a strict rundown, timing out each segment and topic. We’ve even seen TV shows find success by putting an actual rundown on the screen (think PTI).

But does that mean we should give the radio audience a script to follow? The answer is no.

There’s no need to provide the listener with your “laundry list”. In fact, I would argue its counterproductive. The average radio consumer more times than not, is doing something else while listening to you. They may be driving their car, walking the dog, running on the treadmill at the gym, etc. It’s rare nowadays to find people who just sit down and listen to live radio and give it their full undivided attention. Podcasts, maybe, but live talk radio, not as much. Throw in the fact that time spent listening gets shorter and shorter as attention spans get shorter and shorter and what you have is the cold hard truth – no one is listening to your show in its entirety from start to finish.

It is with this understanding that you must approach your airtime wisely. Every second counts. I think every program director in the country has uttered those words at some point and it’s because it’s absolutely true. I’m not saying this for PPM sake here, but for keeping your audience engaged. You need to hit them with your strongest take right away. No delay.

Why do hosts waste precious seconds (often minutes) providing a list of topics they will eventually get to later on in the show, when those listening to them at that very moment, won’t be around later in the show? I know what you’re thinking, teasing. No! There is a difference between a tease and a “laundry list”. Teasing should only be for what comes up next. Think in terms of the quarter hour. Tease what will come up within that time frame, nothing further. The goal of any tease is to keep the listener hooked so that they stay in their car when they pull into their driveway or think twice before closing the app on their phone. Thus the payoff is equally as important as the tease.

For lack of a better term, you need to instill fear in the listener that they will miss what you have to say on a certain topic. This is why you tease, and then pay it off. Rinse. Repeat. The listener gets used to the pattern and soon trusts that the wait will be worth it.

What happens more times than not with “laundry lists” is that certain topics get lost in the shuffle or get pushed aside due to a lack of time. We’ve all been there. When a topic is good you ride it and sometimes you don’t get to things you planned on during your pre show preparation. The one exclusion to immediate teasing would be appointment listening. If there is a certain time you will have a big name guest on, or a popular show feature, feel free to push that. Other than that, keep your rundown to yourself.

Theres another aspect of this that I want to mention. When providing a list of topics at the beginning of your show, you are delaying the audience from hearing your opinion. After all, thats why they tuned in to hear you right? Every show talks about the same topics, but what separates you is your opinion and personality. Why push that off?

Let me share with you an example.

I was listening to a sports radio show recently, and the top of the hour imaging hit, followed by a series of sound bites. The host then came on, credited the audio sources, and followed up by identifying themselves and throwing out the call in number and their twitter handle. After that, the host announced the list of topics that would be discussed on the show, followed by once again throwing out the number and contact information. When that was over, the host starting giving background information on the first topic.

I looked at my clock and it was 8 minutes past the hour. That means that 8 minutes had gone by and nothing of substance had been said. Meanwhile on another network, after the top of the hour update and the opening imaging, the host immediately dove into the lead topic. 3 minutes past the hour and I was already hearing an opinion.

Ask yourself, which show are you more likely to listen to when those two options are available? Of course, you’re going to choose the 2nd one.

Why should I or any listener wait 5 more minutes to hear an opinion when we’re only in the car for 10 minutes? The first host could have been way more entertaining than the 2nd, and maybe they would’ve had a more interesting take on the same topic. But they hurt their chances of getting me to listen again, because they wasted my time.

Lists are great. They are important to help you prepare for a show. It helps serve as an overall guideline. But for the listener, they don’t care about that. They also don’t care how you prepared for the show. No one wants to know how the sausage is made, they just want to eat it. So feed your audience. Give them your best right away, and you’ll keep them coming back for more. The more you waste their time, or lose their trust, the more you’ll be talking to yourself.

Scott Seidenberg is the host of “Overtime w/Scott Seidenberg” 1am-3am ET on NBC Sports Radio. Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottsOnAir or reach him via email Sc**************@gm***.com.

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Rachel Nichols and Baron Davis Headline Final Speaker Announcements For the 2023 BSM Summit

“I’m sure Baron and Rachel will have all eyes and ears focused on them when they take the stage together next Tuesday at 2:45pm PT.”

Jason Barrett




The 2023 BSM Summit schedule is set. After months of planning and talking to everyone across the industry, I’m ecstatic to roll out next week’s agenda including making one final announcement involving seven great additions to our conference.

For starters, it is a pleasure to welcome Showtime’s Rachel Nichols to the BSM Summit. I’ve admired her work on television for years, and am thrilled to have her guiding a session which I think many in the room are going to really enjoy.

Rachel’s guest will be former NBA star Baron Davis. Baron runs his own company, Baron Davis Enterprises, and he has been active in investing in media brands, and exploring ways to evolve the industry. Among his areas of passion, athletes taking more control of their brands, and the media industry needing to improve its track record with diversity. I’m sure Baron and Rachel will have all eyes and ears focused on them when they take the stage together next Tuesday at 2:45pm PT.

Also joining the Summit are a few longtime industry friends. For starters, VSiN’s program director Jon Goulet is someone who I’ve known and worked with, and he understands the sports betting audio space extremely well. Jon and BetQL VP of Programming Mitch Rosen will spend time with another industry friend, Bryan Curtis of The Ringer. Collectively they’ll examine the state of sports betting audio on Tuesday March 21st from 3:35p-4:10p, and what they look for when it comes to sports betting talent, and how they determine what is and isn’t success in the sports gambling content world.

With Mitch taking part in the sports betting panel, Jeff Rickard of WFNZ in Charlotte steps into The Programmer’s Panel alongside Jimmy Powers, John Mamola and Raj Sharan. The session is scheduled for Wednesday March 22nd from 9:10a-9:45a PT. Ironically, all four of these programmers work for different companies, so it’ll be interesting to hear how they differ and where they align while navigating through a few sports radio programming topics.

Next, I’m excited to introduce a social media session with Karlo Sy Su of ESPN Los Angeles and Matthew Demeke of AM 570 LA Sports. If you look at the performance of their brands on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, they’ve each delivered strong audiences and engagement. I’m looking forward to hosting this one and learning about their processes, how they decide which platforms to focus on most, what they consider a social media win when analyzing social statistics, and how they develop their content process. Given our location, we’re calling the session ‘Social Media Goes Hollywood‘. It’s scheduled for Wednesday March 22nd from 3:35-4:10 PT.

I realize you’re not going to remember all of these session speakers and times off the top of your head, so to make it easier, log on to and scroll down past our speakers. That’s where you’ll find our detailed list of sessions/times and activities planned each day. We have eighteen sessions, two awards ceremonies, and two parties. Our kickoff party is presented by the WWE and takes place Monday March 20th from 7p-9p at the 1880 Founders Room. The ESPN Radio After Party takes place Tuesday March 21st from 6p-8p at the Lab Gastropub. Both party locations are in walking distance of the USC Hotel and our conference venue.

As an added bonus, thanks to the generosity of our friends at WWE, we will be giving away a pair of tickets to the first night of WrestleMania, and a WWE title at our kickoff party. WrestleMania takes place this year in Los Angeles at Sofi Stadium on March 25-26. You must be present at the kickoff party to win either prize.

We’ll have more to share next week including providing an ongoing blog with session news and notes for our readers. We’ll also have a ton of content available on our social media channels so if you’re not following @BSMStaff on Twitter, @BarrettSportsMedia on Facebook or @BarrettMedia on LinkedIn, what are you waiting for?

The focus now shifts to finishing our creative for next week’s show, sending information to our speakers for their sessions, and finalizing our attendees list. For those who are attending, we’ll be sending out an email on Friday or Saturday with a complete list of names of who’s coming so you can plan meetings in advance.

If you forgot to buy your ticket after seeing months of promotion about the event and meant to do so, you can still do that, but it costs more. Students on the other hand can take advantage of a low rate established for college kids at

Putting this event together isn’t easy, but I’m extremely pleased with how it’s come together. We have a lot of smart, talented, and accomplished people making time to be part of this, and I appreciate each and every one of them for doing so. Now, it’s all about the execution. Hope to see you next week in LA.

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Sports Broadcasting Icon Al Michaels To Be Honored at the 2023 BSM Summit

“This is a man who has spent more than five decades on your television screen calling the biggest games, and producing some of the most iconic moments sports has to offer.”

Jason Barrett




If you work in the sports media industry you’ve likely heard someone along the way utter the phrase “don’t bury the lead“. I’m usually good about following that advice but I didn’t do that at our 2022 BSM Summit.

We introduced the greatest tandem in sports radio history, Mike Francesa and Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo and it was a special half hour. Mike and the Mad Dog were reunited after seven years apart and every individual at the event knew they were witnessing something magical on stage. I created a Mike and the Mad Dog Award for the event, which went to Felger and Mazz, who were the absolute right choice to win it. Even Chris remarked ‘that’s the right call‘.

But I learned quickly that although the intention was right in honoring the industry’s current top performing show, when you have legends in the room and they’re in their element, the last thing you want to do is overcrowd them. The connection Mike and Chris had on the air became the gold standard by which we measure successful sports talk shows, and they didn’t need an award created to deliver a special moment, just two mics and 20-30 minutes of stage time.

As I began thinking about the 2023 BSM Summit, I knew there was an opportunity to build on what we started last year with Mike and Chris, and after talking to a few people who I trust and respect, the decision of who we would recognize became crystal clear. I believe it’s important to honor the greats in our business because those who leave a permanent mark on our industry deserve it. The man we’ve selected has spent more than five decades on your television screen calling the biggest games, and producing some of the most iconic moments sports has to offer. He’s worked with the best of the best inside the booth, has helped elevate the presentation and execution of in-game content for ABC, NBC and Amazon, and his call of the Miracle on Ice, the US Olympic hockey team’s 1980 gold medal win over Russia remains one of the best calls in the history of sports.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honored and privileged to share that Al Michaels will join us on Wednesday March 22nd at the 2023 BSM Summit for our awards presentation, where we will present him with BSM’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michaels is one of America’s most respected sports broadcasting voices, known for his exceptional work on Monday Night Football (1986-2005), Sunday Night Football (2006-2022) and Thursday Night Football (2022-Present). He’s called the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, Hagler-Hearns, the Olympics, the Indy 500, Horse Racing’s Triple Crown races, College Football and Basketball games, Golf, and more. He’s even held roles as the voice of the University of Hawaii, the Cincinnati Reds, and the San Francisco Giants, and was in the booth in 1989 when an earthquake rocked the Bay Area during Game 3 of the A’s-Giants world series.

The Brooklyn native turned Los Angeles resident has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and owns a ton of hardware including five sports Emmy’s, three NSMA Sportscaster of the Year honors, the 2013 Pete Rozelle Radio & Television Award distributed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award given out by the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Though his trophy case may be full, we’re excited to add another to his collection to show our appreciation and respect for the impact he’s made on the sports media business.

A quick reminder, the BSM Summit takes place on Tuesday March 21st and Wednesday March 22nd at the Founders Club at the University of Southern California. Tickets are on-sale at

Be advised, we have started adding sessions and times on the website. As always, the schedule is subject to change. Our final agenda will be posted by the end of next week. In addition, attendees will receive an email by next Friday with details of who will be in attendance. We hope to see you there.

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Rob Parker, Brian Long, Sean Thompson and Matt Fishman Join The BSM Summit Speaker Lineup

“I’m excited to welcome a few folks who have enjoyed success in different parts of the country, and in different areas of the business.”

Jason Barrett




As we gear up for our 5th annual BSM Summit on March 21-22, 2023, I’m starting to get a better feel for how the final puzzle may look. When this process starts I have no idea how it’s going to turn out because so much depends on who says yes and no. Many who’ve attended over the years have complimented our lineups, and I appreciate it because I put a lot of time and effort into featuring a strong mix of professionals from different areas of the industry. Though I’m proud of the work we do and the schedule we deliver, there are so many things pursued leading up to the event that I can’t help but wonder ‘what if this or that had worked out?’

One thing that some folks don’t understand if they haven’t been to the show before is that this is not a talent conference. It’s a sports media business conference. That means we feature radio, TV and digital executives, programmers, researchers, sales professionals, and yes, talent. I believe on-air performers are vital to the industry’s success and I want the best of the best sharing their wisdom with everyone in the room, but we’re also not going to do two full days of on-air conversations. Being successful in sports media requires understanding the on-air side and the business side, and we do our best to offer a blend of both.

For today’s announcement, I’m excited to welcome a few sports media pros who have enjoyed success in different parts of the country, and in different areas of the business.

First, Rob Parker is someone who has made a name for himself as a radio host, writer, TV commentator, and teacher. He’s currently heard weeknights on FOX Sports Radio, teaches students at USC Annenberg, writes for Deadspin, and is helping MLBBro gain awareness and a bigger mainstream media presence covering Major League Baseball. He’s experienced, smart, and never short on opinion. I’m looking forward to having him join Mitch Rosen of 670 The Score/BetQL, and Scott Shapiro of FOX Sports Radio for a session titled “Aircheck On Campus“. They’ll take the stage together on Wednesday March 22nd from 2:10-2:45.

My next three speakers, all come from the sports radio programming department.

Matt Fishman is the Director of Content for ESPN 850 Cleveland. Fishman has been with the brand since January 2020 following stints at SiriusXM, 610 Sports in Kansas City, and 670 The Score in Chicago. He even wrote for BSM for a few years.

Sean Thompson is responsible for programming decisions at Arizona Sports and ESPN 620 AM. He joined the well respected Phoenix brand after more than a decade in Atlanta at 92.9 The Game. Sean has also worked in affiliate relations for Westwood One, and on the air and as a programmer in music radio for Good Karma Brands in Madison, WI.

Brian Long is the program director of both San Diego Sports 760 and KOGO 600 in San Diego. In addition to guiding two of the top talk brands in his market, he has also managed Seattle Sports 710, and served as the Assistant Program Director for ESPN LA 710.

Matt, Sean, and Brian will be part of one of our final sessions on day two of the Summit. The Last Call which yours truly is hosting, will explore unique revenue opportunities created by local brands, and examine a few new ideas and missed opportunities that brands and managers may want to take advantage of in the future.

As of today, the Summit has more than forty accomplished professionals taking the stage at the Founders Club at USC’s Galen Center on March 21-22, 2023. I’ve got a few others still to announce as well, including a few cool giveaways planned for the WWE’s Kickoff party.

If you haven’t bought a ticket and wish to be in the room, visit The last day for ticket sales will be Monday March 13th. I’m hoping to release our final schedule of sessions on Tuesday March 14th. Hopefully I’ll see you in the city of angels.

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