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Don’t Bully The Bully

Brian Noe

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Do you remember growing up with the kid in school that would talk trash about the other kids? That boy who would try to make himself look better on the playground by making the kids around him look worse? Well, those same little meanies eventually become adults. Even worse, some of those adults turn out to be your co-workers.

Most people have a story about someone that is difficult to get along with at work. Chris Rock pointed this out in his stand-up comedy routine “Bigger & Blacker.” Rock said, “Every woman’s got another woman at her job that she can’t stand. And women, y’all exaggerated everything. You always turn it into some Dynasty [stuff] like, ‘She’s trying to destroy me.’ What are you talking about? You wrap up bags at JC Penney.”

Sure, we’re all capable of making drama out to be bigger than it actually is, but we don’t exaggerate everything. Some people are just flat-out difficult to deal with. You may find yourself in some tense situations during your professional career. It gets a lot trickier when the person that’s tough to deal with happens to be your on-air partner. Then what?

I’ve been in situations before and have heard many other shows where one host is trying to outperform the other. I don’t mean the times a host is trying to make a better argument. That’s totally fine. I mean when one host is taking cheap shots while attempting to discredit the other person. Intentionally trying to sabotage a teammate is one of the worst sins a host can commit.

Make no mistake, two people that do a show together are teammates. Do you think a football team would be successful if the left tackle tried to sabotage the quarterback by letting his man go free for an easy sack? Of course not. All that would do is make the left tackle look bad and the team look worse, yet there are plenty of hosts that choose this exact path thinking it’ll somehow pay off. It never does.

Former Los Angeles Raiders linebacker Matt Millen made a few comments years ago that relate to this topic. On NFL Network’s “America’s Game,” Millen said, “If somebody holds you, how do you make him stop? You need to talk to the official? Fine. If you need to grab him by the throat, great. If you need to punch him in the throat — whatever you need to do, get that done.”

Although it might be deserved, we aren’t on a football field so grabbing or punching your co-host’s throat is not an option. Instead, dropkick your partner in the throat. Just kidding. The entire throat area is off limits. So how can you deal with a selfish co-host without having the HR police after you? Don’t get personal. Get creative. Here are a few strategies to make the situation better.

The first thing you have to do is be the bigger person. It’s very tempting to fight fire with fire. It won’t help anything and you will look equally as silly. It’s bad enough that one host is belittling the other. The audience will feel like they’re listening to their parents argue if both hosts do the same thing. It’s just uncomfortable. First things first, don’t get sucked in by retaliating and also getting personal.

The next part is letting the producer produce. Bill Belichick preaches to “do your job.” That obviously means to focus solely on taking care of your responsibilities. What’s hidden is actually letting others do what they’re required to do. “Do their job” if you will. It’s the producer’s job to keep the on-air talent in check, not the co-host’s responsibility. Instead of the quarterback telling the wide receiver how to run his routes, a coach should be stepping in. Allow them to.

What if you don’t have a strong producer? I guess you’re back to the throat-dropkick tactic. No, just simply communicate. Believe it or not, many people are actually unaware that they’re behaving like idiots. It needs to be brought to their attention. Calmly say that it’s important to attack the argument, not the person — especially if that person happens to be your partner for crying out loud.

Everybody in sports radio wants to shine. The problem is that there are way more Carmelo Anthony hosts than Steve Nash personalities — many look for ways to assist themselves instead of setting up their teammates. It’s vitally important to get hosts to focus on putting on a good show, not just being the star. It’s the worst formula possible when a host is willing to do absolutely anything to outshine the other.

Did you see Scottie Pippen constantly refusing to share the ball with Michael Jordan? Ever see Robin intentionally sabotage Batman? How about Shaggy trying to lead Scooby Doo down a harmful path? No, no, and are you crazy? Shaggy was a man of principle! Think of how ridiculous and damaging it would’ve been for each to try to outclass the other at any cost. It just doesn’t work.

Matt Damon’s character in Rounders perfectly describes professional poker players competing against amateurs at the same table — “It’s like the Nature Channel. You don’t see piranhas eating each other, do you?” The same should always apply to sports talk radio. Unfortunately, there are many piranhas that love nothing more than to feast on their fellow fish. Don’t bite back by stooping to the same level.

One of the toughest things in life is to show respect to someone who doesn’t deserve it. At times it’s a job requirement in sports radio when you have a self-centered partner. Just don’t bully the bully. It only leads to added tension and the situation becoming more awkward. Think long-term. You have to lead by example instead of getting sucked into the drama. The ultimate test is to have your partner’s back even when they don’t have yours.

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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BSM Podcast

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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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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