Connect with us
Outkick 360

Barrett Blogs

Golic and Wingo Are Rolling With The Punches

Published

on

It’s 8am in Charlotte, the middle of May, and Uber driver Mike has his SiriusXM dial tuned to ESPN Radio. Being a transplanted New Yorker, he isn’t attached to the local sports stations, but has pledged his support to the one network which has provided him with a consistent listening experience that suits his tastes, ESPN Radio.

Just ten years ago the father of two relocated to the area, hoping to find a show that talked about his hometown teams and partially resembled the program he had grown up on, “Mike and the Mad Dog.” But that type of show didn’t exist in North Carolina so it required adjusting to what was available. Although he enjoyed Mark Packer on WFNZ, he didn’t care as much about local topics.

That opened the door to finding a new brand and talk show. After sampling a number of options, “Mike and Mike” became his preferred listening experience. The show spent time talking about the New York sports teams, and had their finger on the pulse of what mattered most to sports fans each day. Over the next decade, Greeny and Golic were part of Mike’s routine, until November 2017 when ESPN decided to make a change in mornings.

“When they announced Mike and Mike were going away, I was upset and not sure I was going to stick around,” said Mike. “I enjoyed Greenberg and Golic and wasn’t happy that ESPN split them up. Luckily though Golic stayed and they added Trey who I knew and liked from TV, and that convinced me to give them a chance. I’m glad I did because it’s a similar show.”

The feelings shared by Mike are similar to what many others feel. There’s been a comfort in hearing ESPN Radio’s morning programming for close to two decades, and although “Mike and Mike” had their differences from “Golic and Wingo,” there’s enough similarities to retain the base that’s been loyal to ESPN’s morning show.

But anytime a station or network changes a popular show after eighteen years, it’s going to create noise, especially if the show isn’t considered broken. “Mike and Mike” were a huge part of the morning radio experience for sports radio listeners all across the nation, not to mention one of the most popular tandems on any of ESPN’s platforms. If the network was going to split them up and explore a new direction in morning drive, they’d likely have been given a pass. After all, introducing new faces and voices on a huge national network like ESPN Radio requires time.

But starting over isn’t an easy decision. It’s made even more difficult when you still have one part of the show in tact, and he’s familiar and popular with listeners and advertisers, and shown an ability to continue performing on a high level. Figuring out where Golic fit into the company’s plans was very important but this wasn’t just a company call. Golic had to make a few decisions too.

After going thru multiple morning shows on the same network with different partners, did he want to give it a third try? Did he want to continue dealing with comparisons to his former show? Was he still excited, energized and in love with the job he had done for over two decades, and willing to trust his employer to set him up for success after the previous year had produced a number of internal and external tensions as a result of his breakup with Mike Greenberg?

When the dust settled, ESPN chose to make subtle tweaks in morning drive rather than wholesale changes. There was an internal belief that Golic had more left in the tank, and affiliates and advertisers were comfortable and satisfied with the association and preferred for it to continue. Once Golic learned that Trey Wingo was an option to be his partner, and the addition of his son Mike Golic Jr. was being considered, it was clear to him that it wasn’t time to ride off into the sunset just yet.

“When the idea of working with my son and Trey was brought up it re-energized me,” said Golic Sr.. “This is my third time around the block. I worked first with (Tony) Bruno, then Greeny, and now Trey, and I felt the show was at its best when it was focused on being a radio show. The company said they wanted to get back to that and as I thought about it and the idea of working with Trey and my son, I felt we had a chance to grow faster than the last two shows did because the relationships were already established.”

Upon the announcement of ESPN Radio naming “Golic and Wingo” its new morning show, enthusiasm wasn’t as high among sports radio members outside of the ESPN Bristol campus. Many hoped the network would shake things up, and the idea of offering a similar style show was initially viewed as less than inspiring. As one unnamed source told me “ESPN had an opportunity to do something exciting and instead served up a second serving of vanilla radio.”

To content people not inside the ESPN bubble, higher value is placed on big personalities and unfiltered opinions. What isn’t given much consideration is whether a show is the right fit for the ESPN brand, sustainable for affiliates, and pleasing to the company’s paying clients.

But in executive circles, the ESPN brass had to consider a myriad of factors including the difficulties of replacing a high profile show. It’s easy to clamor for something new when moving on from an established program, but why purchase a new car if the one you already own drives well, is strong under the hood and only needs a few cosmetic changes?

“We’re proud of what we accomplished with Mike and Mike and saw this is an opportunity to build on the past 16 years,” explained ESPN Radio Senior Director, Programming and Operations Justin Craig. “Since making the change in mornings to Golic and Wingo, not one major market affiliate or dollar has been lost. I think that speaks to the power of our brand, the quality of our talent, and the trust we’ve earned from super serving our radio partners.”

Fast forward to today, six full months into their morning radio adventure, and “Golic and Wingo” have done their part to represent ESPN Radio well in the affiliate and advertising space. They’ve also produced the same multi-platform content that has made ESPN successful in mornings in previous years. The ratings may be down year over year in top markets like New York and Chicago (Two of ESPN’s owned stations and operated markets), but that’s not a surprise as any new show going in after Mike and Mike would require time before an audience committed to them. ESPN Radio Senior VP Traug Keller mentioned on the BSM Podcast last month that he believes new shows need over a year in order to establish a connection.

The bigger reflection of the show striking the right chord for company folks is that it’s held on to the “Mike and Mike” base, fueled the fire of the same “Mike and Mike” critics, and done its part to satisfy business partners. Although there’s a confident belief in the show’s development, areas of improvement aren’t being dismissed either.

“I think it’s a good show right now, but it has the potential to be great,” said Marcia Keegan, Vice President, National Radio Programming and Production. “The show could benefit from adding a few bigger guests, football talkers, and creative stunts. We’re always trying to find ways to improve. We’re only a few months into this show and already I can hear how it’s grown. As the guys gain more reps, they’re going to develop an even stronger rhythm.”

One advantage “Golic and Wingo” have over the prior two morning shows on ESPN Radio is the instant chemistry and familiarity that already existed between Golic Sr., his son Mike Jr. and Trey. Their relationship history doesn’t guarantee anything, but it helps a host feel comfortable when they already know their partner’s hot buttons, weaknesses, quirks, and day to day approach. It certainly was a huge factor in Wingo in making the decision to take on the challenge of hosting a 4-hour radio morning show.

“It’s very rare in this business to be twenty years in and get the chance to do something new with someone you love working with,” said Wingo. “Our prior relationship made this easy and worth doing. My biggest adjustment was adjusting to the morning schedule. I’m a night person. I’m still on that routine of “wake up idiot”.”

If Wingo thinks it’s rough hitting the airwaves at 6am each day, imagine what must be rolling thru Mike Golic Jr.’s head. He wakes up each day after 2am and sets a number of additional alarms just to make sure he doesn’t oversleep. He then hits the airwaves across the country at 4am, hosting “First and Last,” before making a seamless transition from his solo show to joining the first hour of the morning program.

Despite not having the opportunity to pre-plan with the morning crew due to being on the air, Golic Jr. says they’ve found a way to work around it.

“We talk a lot and prep the night before,” explained Golic Jr.. “They also get to listen to me while driving in which gives them a chance to hear what I’m passionate about and react to it too. We’re fortunate to have a good cast around us too and we’ll rely on them and trust their feedback to determine if we should stick with something or change direction. Nobody is afraid to speak up and voice their opinion on ways to make the show better.”

But when family relationships carry over to the workplace, sometimes they’re counterproductive. That isn’t the case though for the Golic’s. Mike Jr. made the choice to pursue a football career just like his father, and when that didn’t work out, he pursued his father’s second labor of love, the sports media business. So far, so good.

Since making the move, Golic Jr. has increased his value inside ESPN. He’s gone from making occasional on-air appearances, contributing to fantasy football programming, and co-hosting “First and Last,” to hosting “First and Last,” taking part in social media shows, and appearing each day on “Golic and Wingo.”

Given the nature of the sports media business, there will of course be whispers about Golic Jr. gaining advantages due to who his father is. He’s not naive, he understands that. Ironically, most who move up the ladder in this industry do so based on having talent and relationships. Rarely do people land a high profile opportunity by blindly submitting a resume and demo tape.

No matter what your perception is of Jr.’s ability to get his foot inside the door, he’s had to work hard to stay there. He’s also had to perform in front of the nation’s eyes and ears, knowing that he’ll forever be compared to his father. Though those comparisons may bother some, Golic Jr. wears them like a badge of honor. He’s proud of who his father is, and acknowledges how much of an influence he’s had on his career.

“I saw the proof of concept in my dad,” shared Golic Jr.. “Mike and Mike was a big part of my life. The work dad did on that show inspired me to want to be in this business. Now look at where we are. How many people get to talk sports with their dad each day for a living? The only downside of working with him is that he’s wrong a lot. He could also dress better and improve his footwear.”

That good ole fashioned ribbing between father and son has been on display since the show was introduced on ESPN Radio in November. It allows them to provide a family friendly sports program for morning commuters, while embracing unexpected moments that may leave them initially startled. No time was that more evident then when Rhonda Rousey appeared on the program.

“Golic and Wingo” aren’t going to be confused for a shock-jock morning show or a program which goes for the throat of whoever’s on the front page of ESPN.com. They concentrate their efforts on having insightful, topical and entertaining sports conversations while mixing in laughter, guests and social interaction. That may not be a revolutionary approach but it’s a formula that keeps an audience engaged and advertisers and affiliates happy.

“We want to continue building the relationship and get comfortable discussing anything on the show,” said Wingo. “I’m not worried about numbers and things beyond our control. We’re just going to roll with the punches, do what we do, and see what happens. Just like the NFL Draft, nobody really knows what’s going to happen. You’re making educated guesses. Right now, we’re having fun and delivering what we feel is a good show and we’re going to enjoy the ride as long as it lasts.”

Though he might downplay it, Wingo understands the high stakes involved in running point on ESPN Radio’s morning show. The program, which also broadcasts on television on ESPNEWS, is critically important to the network’s success. If ratings, revenue or affiliates were to decline, so too would the fun.

But unlike some in local situations, if the show doesn’t work out, Trey doesn’t have to worry about finding employment. Having been one of the best and most respected hosts on ESPN’s NFL programming, he’s earned trust with the viewer, and likely gained a few more fans in the company by agreeing to take on the challenge of filling Greeny’s spot and hosting the morning show. Despite having done a great job on the network’s NFL coverage, Wingo admits the chance to expand his horizons was welcomed.

“My presence on ESPN around the NFL has been tremendous but this now gives people a chance to learn more about me and my personality,” said Wingo. “Sports fans are discovering that I keep my finger on the pulse of other sports too. You’re not going to hear hot takes from me. That’s not my style. I’ll give opinions when I feel I need to, but I believe it’s about organic conversation and this shows provides plenty of opportunities to create that.”

The challenge of creating those organic conversations depends largely on strong chemistry and familiarity. Trey and the Golic’s have a firm handle on that. Golic Sr. has been down this road before, and knows all too well how difficult it can be and how long it can take to find the right mix with a co-host. His prior two morning shows with Greeny and (Tony) Bruno were each successful, but required developing relationships and learning what to do and what not to do.

In this case though, relationships were already formed. Golic and Wingo have worked inside the same location for over twenty years, they’ve done shows together, and they’re friends with mutual interests. That certainly helps when assembling a new show, and Justin Craig says that preexisting chemistry has made a difference in the way the show has grown over the first six months.

“They’re in their first season,” Craig points out. “In sports, teams get better with time. There’s still work to be done of course but I think Mike and Trey launched at a higher point than others.”

To make sure the morning show is firing on all cylinders, ESPN Radio has spared no expense in surrounding their on-air stars with a top notch behind the scenes crew. The production team is led by radio producer Dan Stanczyk, social media producer Ali Bronson, board op Cliff Augustin, production assistant Devin Kane, and imaging director Jerry Mailhiot.

And that’s just the radio side of things. The television crew includes producer Rob Morgan, director Carlos Mejia, production assistant Andrew Distler, and researchers Brett Perrotta and Riley Foreman.

With that type of support given to the show, creating a multi-platform successful product for ESPN is the expectation. When you watch on TV, listen on radio, follow on social media, or catch up later on the website, the reason things run smoothly is because of all of the individuals involved in the show.

But how does that factor into the content creation process? Ali Bronson acknowledged that teamwork, attitude and role definition are important behind the scenes, but having consistent input and solid execution from the hosts makes all the difference.

“These guys are motivated to deliver a great show and there’s a collective understanding of what’s expected each day,” said Bronson. “They each know their role on the show, and participate in the content process including how to use social media and GIF’s to create tune ins. Golic Sr. steers us back to where we need to be if we get off track. Trey drives the show and looks for his spots to react. His being new to the show has brought a new energy and allowed everyone to have fun. In terms of what we talk about, it depends on what matters most at that particular time. The NBA Playoffs and NFL topics though generate the strongest reactions from Trey and Mike Sr. so we make sure they’re a big part of what we do.”

With nearly six months in the books and having weathered the storm of replacing a high profile morning show, it’s natural to wonder “what’s next?” The content may be topical, the chemistry natural and the energy high, but to expand the audience, increase the confidence, and elevate the position of what was initially viewed by some as “Mike and Mike Part 2,” it’s all about where the show goes from here.

Golic Sr. acknowledges that they’re off to a strong start, but hasn’t lost sight of the way the business works or his own career aspirations:

“I view this industry very similar to my football career, I’m on the same team but the roster changes sometimes,” explained Golic. “I think this show has the ability to grow faster than the last two did and we’re off to a good start but if we’re able to get Jr. more involved in the future that would be welcomed. As long as I’m having fun, I want to keep doing this. I would though like to call more games.”

So, that begs the question, should Golic Jr. be more involved? If the network is going to include him in the first hour, why not utilize him during the remaining three?

To their credit, network officials have eased Golic Jr. into the show rather than immediately throwing him into the deep end. That strategy has allowed Trey and Mike Sr. to find their groove together, which is essential for the program to ascend to its highest level.

However, the youthful approach that Golic Jr. supplies has added a nice touch. That’s especially important given that Trey and Mike are in their mid fifties. It allows the show to play to both ends of the sports radio demographic. One thing’s for sure, an increased role certainly wouldn’t be rejected by Golic Jr. if it were to be presented.

“I love doing this and want to contribute more but that’s not up to me,” Golic Jr. said. “If they feel in the future that my role should be expanded then I’ll happily have that conversation. But right now, I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.”

Golic Jr. may have his sights set on advancing his career and earning more air time on the nation’s largest sports morning show, but after enduring the public barrage that comes with replacing a popular show like “Mike and Mike,” Trey and Mike have reached a point where they’re done looking in the rear view mirror. They’re not worried about how they stack up to the former show, if ESPN executives are second guessing their decision, or if their style of show makes the masses happy. Their primary concern is doing a show they can feel good about it. If that results in affiliates, advertisers, listeners, and executives being satisfied, then that’s icing on the cake.

“I don’t get caught up in numbers and all that stuff” said Golic. “If I can leave you with one serious and one funny note then I feel good about what we did.”

Never one to pass up an opportunity to lighten the mood, Wingo countered with “If I can wake up and get thru 4 hours, that’s a good day.”

Six months into the start of their show, the lights remain on, the affiliates are still there, and the revenue is strong. That has to give ESPN executives confidence that they’re on the right track.

For Golic and Wingo though, there’s another way to measure progress. Their badges still work, the checks still clear, and they continue to do a show with people they enjoy being around. If that’s not the definition of success, then what is?

Barrett Blogs

Angiolet, Borod, Craig & Sottolano Added To 2022 BSM Summit

“If you’re planning to attend, please buy your tickets as soon as possible. We have limited room and it’s first come, first serve.”

Published

on

We promised we had more great news to share regarding the 2022 BSM Summit. Just four days after revealing the addition of ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro to this year’s show, we’ve added four more heavyweights to March’s sports media industry conference.

First, it’s a pleasure to welcome for the first time, DraftKings Chief Media Officer Brian Angiolet to the BSM Summit. Brian joined DraftKings in April 2021 after two decades with Verizon where he helped the company strike a number of multi-billion dollar broadcasting, sports and entertainment content and advertising deals. Some of the key groups to do business with Verizon during Brian’s tenure included the NFL, NBA, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM. DK has been a large advertiser and supporter of the sports media industry for many years, in addition to becoming a larger content provider following the acquisition of VSiN. We look forward to having Brian join our sports betting executive panel (hosted by ESPN’s host Joe Fortenbaugh) to share his insights on how he sees sports betting groups participating now and in the future in the sports media content world.

Second, it’s an honor to add Fanatics Chief Commercial Officer Ari Borod to the sports betting executive panel for his first appearance at the BSM Summit. Ari’s fingerprints have been all over the sports betting business for years, first with FanDuel, then with the Action Network. He joined Fanatics in June 2021, reuniting with former FanDuel CEO Matt King, and in less than a year, the company became the official trading cards partner of MLB, purchased the Topps Trading Company, and applied for a sports betting license in New York. Possessing a massive customer base, deep executive knowledge of the sports betting business, and a desire to make a larger dent in the sports betting arena, we’re thrilled to have Ari lend his perspective on how Fanatics views the future of sports betting and the evolution of the sports media industry.

Next, I am thrilled to have Audacy’s EVP of Programming Jeff Sottolano appear on stage for the first time at the Summit. In his current role, Jeff is responsible for the content strategy and performance of Audacy’s local brands in all formats across all broadcast and digital platforms. Jeff has played a key role in the launch, development and growth of the BetQL Network, while also helping Audacy evolve its position as one of America’s top audio companies. Jeff will be part of one of my favorite sessions, The Power Panel, which includes SVP of Premiere Sports and EVP of iHeart Sports Don Martin, Cumulus and Westwood One SVP Bruce Gilbert, and SiriusXM SVP of Sports Programming Steve Cohen. All four men will participate in a lengthy discussion on sports talk programming and the various challenges facing brands, talent, and programmers today.

A BSM Summit can’t just feature new faces though, especially when familiar ones add valuable knowledge to important programming conversations. ESPN Radio Program Director, former colleague and longtime friend Justin Craig will join us for our Programmers Masterclass alongside a few other notable leaders. The group will examine what does and doesn’t work from a content standpoint when trying to capture ratings. They’ll also share which ingredients are essential in successful talent/shows, and provide an on-site review of a piece of audio content. Those interested in learning how great programmer’s think will want to be present for this panel.

If you haven’t purchased a ticket to the Summit but are planning to attend, please do so before seats are no longer available. We have limited room inside the theater and it’s first come, first serve. Additionally, all attendees in New York will receive an online registration to be able to watch the show on-demand afterwards. This can be helpful when looking to share insight with local staffs who aren’t able to attend.

For those not able to travel but interested in enjoying the Summit, we do have virtual tickets available. Details on tickets, speakers, and hotel rooms can be found on BSMSummit.com. I hope to see you there!

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro To Speak At The 2022 BSM Summit

“Having Jimmy with us will allow our attendees to learn how ESPN views the current sports media landscape in order to better understand where the business is headed in the future.”

Published

on

The largest player in the sports content business today is ESPN. From television to radio to streaming, social, podcasts, websites and more, the network remains a force in satisfying the appetites of sports fans around the globe.

But creating sustainable global success isn’t easy. It requires investing billions of dollars in key programming partnerships, holding off competitors who seek to elevate their own standing, and hiring and retaining talented professionals and providing an environment for them to thrive in. If that wasn’t difficult enough, a company must also embrace new technology, and accept that certain things will fail while pursuing a path to excellence.

The man charged with making sure ESPN thrives in each of these areas is Chairman Jimmy Pitaro, and I’m excited to share that he’ll be joining us in March in New York City for the 2022 BSM Summit.

I’ll have the pleasure of spending 35 minutes on stage with Jimmy discussing the state of the sports media industry, the opportunities and challenges facing operators in 2022 and beyond, the growth of sports betting, network radio, podcasts, subscriptions, social, and many other issues. No matter what space we’re talking about, ESPN has held a dominant position among all media brands. Having Jimmy with us will allow our attendees to learn how ESPN views the current sports media landscape in order to better understand where the business is headed in the future.

Jimmy has been with the Walt Disney Company since 2010. He became ESPN President in 2018 and was elevated two years later to his current role as Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content. You can learn more about his professional background by clicking here.

A reminder that the 2022 BSM Summit is an industry-only event. You must work in the media business in order to attend the show. This includes sales, public relations, advertising agency professionals and agents, as well as programming folks. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of attending the Summit, feel free to visit our YouTube page to see some clips from past shows. It’ll give you an idea of what you can expect. You can also see the full list of speakers scheduled to appear at our 2022 show by visiting BSMSummit.com. We’ll announce a few more executive additions to March’s event later this week.

For those who manage brands and have joined us before in New York, Los Angeles and/or Chicago and are planning to come but haven’t bought a ticket yet, please do so asap. Seating is limited and once we’re full, we can’t add seats inside the room. You can also take advantage of a great hotel deal ($109 per night) with our partner Hotel Edison by clicking here.

One additional note, for those who are concerned about traveling, there is an opportunity to buy a virtual ticket. This year’s show is available both online and in person. For those planning to join us in NYC, in addition to receiving your live ticket, you’ll also get an online account so you can view the event on-demand afterwards. This can be especially helpful if you wish to replay a session or use any information afterwards to help members of your team. A big thanks to our virtual partner Nuvoodoo Media for helping make it happen.

We’re just 49 days away from putting on a spectacular show for industry folks in the big apple. We hope to see you there!

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

BSM, BNM Ready To Grow In 2022

“We’ve ended 2021 with record high’s for monthly traffic and social impressions, and our client and advertiser base the best its ever been thanks to the support of outstanding partners.”

Published

on

It’s commonplace in our business to self-reflect when a new year full of possibilities arrives. We should probably do it more often rather than reserving it for the final day of the year or the first day of the next, but in the media business, finding time isn’t always easy.

As I look back at 2021, and the obstacles, adversity, accomplishments, enlightenment, and unpredictability that awaits BSM and BNM in 2022, I’m grateful to be able to do work that many enjoy and benefit from. Since I left the programming world in 2015 not a day has passed where I thought ‘I need to get back to running a radio station‘. That may sound crazy considering I spent two decades inside of buildings, loving the job, and living and breathing it 24/7, but from the second I moved into this space, I knew it was where I needed to be.

I had my fun building brands, chasing ratings, leading corporate programming calls, and making good money, but that restricted me to working in one city for one company with one brand and one staff. Now, I get to wake up each day and help clients in multiple cities, and run my own brand, collaborating with a great group of people to tell stories about the business we love. Combine that with hosting an annual conference, working with advertising partners and industry friends to create cool content and examine ways to grow their businesses, and connecting with folks to stay plugged in on details that others won’t know about until weeks or months later, and I consider myself very lucky. The added bonus, I get to do it in running pants and t-shirts inside the comfort of my home office/studio.

But with operating a business comes a different set of challenges. In 2020, we ended the BSM Summit on a high only to watch the entire world spin out of control weeks later due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That created a bunch of short-term issues, which fortunately we were able to overcome. Fast forward to this year, and we’ve ended 2021 with record high’s for monthly traffic and social impressions, and our client and advertiser base the best its ever been thanks to the support of outstanding partners. I never assume we’re in the clear because things can change quickly, but the support we’ve received is appreciated. It fuels me to reinvest in others to continue growing our operation and helping the industry.

So let’s talk a little bit about how we’re doing that in 2022.


First, we merged Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media in May 2021 to bring news and opinion from both the sports/talk and news/talk worlds under one roof. We tried running them independently initially but that wasn’t the best strategy for a new brand. Since bringing them together, BNM’s exposure has increased, the content has been read more regularly, and though we have more to do to get the brand on par with BSM, we’re making progress. BSM had a 5+ year head start on BNM, and though I know at times it may seem weird to read a sports media and news media story on the same website or social media account, as I tell those who ask, sports and news have mixed together since the invention of television, radio and newspapers.

Boosting BNM’s awareness and content is a goal for 2022, and to do that I want to share two things we’re creating to help us make progress.

I’m excited to share that we are launching The BNM Rundown. This will be a newsletter we distribute 3x per week (Monday-Wednesday-Friday) via email similar to what we’ve done with the BSM 8@8. The Rundown will go out around 5pm ET on each of those three days, and it’ll contain ten (10) news media stories, five (5) advertising slots, and the latest stock prices for radio groups. There will be additional content and advertising added in the future, and we may increase delivery to five days per week down the line. I’m happy with the layout and think you’ll enjoy it. If you’d like to receive the BNM Rundown or discuss advertising opportunities inside of it, click here to sign up. A big thanks to Ryan Jaster for all the work he’s done getting it ready for distribution.

In addition to the newsletter, 2022 will become the first year where we roll out BNM’s Top 20 of 2022. Similar to how we’ve produced the BSM Top 20, we are going to do the same for the News/Talk format. Categories will be announced at a later time, and we’re expecting to present our results towards years end. There’s a lot to be done to make it a success, but if we’re able to do for News/Talk what we’ve done for Sports/Talk during the past 6 years, I’m confident folks will appreciate it.

When I look at BNM right now, I see a number of excellent writers on the site. If you’re not reading Pete Mundo, Jerry Barmash, Douglas Pucci, Rick Schultz, McGraw Milhaven, Ryan Hedrick and Eduardo Razo, you really should. Each of those guys have been rock stars for the brand, but we need more help, especially another columnist or two. If you work in news radio or TV, love writing, and live and breathe the business, email: JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

Though we do need to add columnists, a bigger hole has been a dedicated Assistant Content Editor. I’ve poured my heart and soul into BSM over the years, Demetri Ravanos has as well, and that’s helped us build a strong connection with sports radio folks. For BNM, that love, interest, and unwavering passion for telling stories about news radio and news television has been missing in the editor role. Though frustrating at times, it’s all part of building a brand. You have to go thru a few things before it all starts to click. Now after talking to a bunch of talented people over the past two months, and thinking about the brand’s need for TLC, I’m happy to announce the internal promotion of Eduardo Razo.

Since joining us Eduardo has been a steady fixture on the site, writing news, scheduling social posts, and putting an extra set of eyes on the content that comes in from our team. He cares about the site being clean, conducts himself neutrally and professionally when adding news, and he believes in the brand. If hours go by and the site doesn’t have new content, he’s the one who points it out. When Eduardo first joined us he was just learning the ropes. Over the past fifteen months he’s been consistently excellent, and I have no doubt he’ll make even more progress in his new role as BNM’s Assistant Content Editor.


Making sure Eduardo has support to help him though is also important. I’d love to be that person myself, but client projects require much of my focus, so having a strong #2 is key. I’ve been lucky to have a great one in Demetri Ravanos who I’m excited to share is being elevated to the new role of Director of Content. In his new position, Demetri will continue producing columns, creating original feature stories, and hosting a weekly podcast. He’ll also be responsible for daily social creation and scheduling, working with yours truly on client projects and Barrett Media events, recruitment of writers, growth of the BSM Member Directory, BSM merchandising, additional BSM audio projects, and oversight of BSM and BNM’s Assistant Content Editors.

That last line implies that there will be multiple editors involved in shaping BSM and BNM’s content, and with Demetri and Eduardo promoted, that means we’re adding someone to help grow BSM. I’m thrilled to welcome Ian Casselberry to our team as BSM’s new Assistant Content Editor. Ian is familiar to many in the sports media universe for his work with Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He’s also contributed to Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, SB Nation Detroit, and MLive.com among others.

I’ve read Ian’s work for years and have always appreciated his passion for sports radio and sports television. Adding someone with his experience, creativity, and attention to detail has been a huge priority for me. I’m looking forward to turning him loose on January 17th when he officially begins working with us. Under his direction, and in tandem with Demetri and I, we’re going to aim to produce more quality sports media content, and continue expanding BSM’s footprint across the industry.

As awesome as all of these moves are for creating interest in reading the site, if you don’t have someone in position to help sell it, the upside is going to be limited. For the past six years I’ve been the one making those sales myself. But I’ve also had to be a consultant, social scheduler, content creator, summit organizer-creator-host, finder of new clients, and the one in charge of billing and payroll. I love being busy, but a brand’s potential can’t be maximized without help.

Placing the company’s sales efforts in someone else’s hands though requires trust. I’ve learned the past few years that unless you’re inside my world and understand everything that goes on with BSM and BNM, it’s not an easy brand to sell. Media sellers are used to working with more assets, bigger dollars, and they expect things to move faster. They’re also used to corporate environments where a crew provides support from the beginning to the end of a sale. That’s not how it works here. This is more of a family business. Our success depends on one on one relationships, accessibility, being a self-starter, and patience. It means keeping in touch with industry friends and partners even when there isn’t a sale to be made. Nobody knows this brand, business, and who we serve better than the person who’s lived it with me for the past six and a half years, Stephanie Eads, my new Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Not only has Stephanie worked in sales and customer service most of her adult life, she’s honest, organized, and outstanding with people. She’s been exposed to every aspect of my radio life for the past sixteen years, and if you’ve been to a BSM Summit before then you already know how on the ball she is at making sure things get done. This is something we’ve talked about for years, but the timing was never right. Now it is, and I’m excited to watch her blossom. Having her add extra support to help me with billing and payroll is an added bonus.

The BSM brand will also welcome a few additional writers starting this week. First, I’m glad to have Danny O’Neil joining us as a weekly columnist. I got to know Danny in Seattle at 710 ESPN Seattle over the past six years, and he’s always been smart, passionate about media, and an exceptional writer. He’s now based in NYC and his debut column will hit the site this Friday. Also joining us in a daily news writer role is Will Dundon. Will is based in Nashville where he works as a producer for 102.5 The Game. Having him involved will help us stay on top of day to day news stories.


In terms of upcoming content, the BSM Top 20 of 2021 will be released February 7-11 and 14-15. The series moves back a week this year in accordance with a later Super Bowl date. During the seven day span we will highlight the best local sports radio stations, program directors, and morning, midday, and afternoon shows. We will also recognize the best national sports talk shows and original sports podcasts. To do that, we will once again involve more than 50 program directors and executives in the voting process.

One thing we will do differently this year is create an extra piece which recognizes the top performer in twenty smaller categories. These will be determined by a combination of BSM staff and select experts for specific fields. Some of these categories will include Best Sports Betting Content Brand, Best Wrestling Audio Show, Best Sports Radio Social Brand, and more.

After the Top 20 concludes, we’ll turn our attention to the 2022 BSM Summit, which is scheduled for March 2-3, 2022 in New York City at the Anne Bernstein Theater. The show will also be available virtually for those who can’t attend in person. I’m excited about the guest speakers we’ve lined up for this year’s event, and have more tremendous additions to announce later this week and next week. I realize the Omicron/Covid-19 situation has created some concern over the past month, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. As of today, we’re planning to host the event. If the situation were to worsen and we couldn’t keep people safe and comfortable, we’d reschedule the show. I’m hopeful of seeing familiar faces and many of sports media’s best and brightest in sixty days. If you haven’t bought your ticket, log on to BSMSummit.com and do so before you’re on the outside looking in. In the meantime, stay tuned to this website and the BSM 8@8 for details. We should all know more January 15th when New York State updates everyone on their mask ordinance.

Other content projects are in the works as well for March-December. We’ve got a number of ideas we’ve talked about for March Madness, and the NFL Draft. Items like last year’s Meet The Market Managers or a programmer’s version of it may also land on the content calendar. Not to be forgotten is the importance of continuing to improve the BSM Member Directory to help people stay informed, ready, and land in front of the right decision makers when job openings arise. Seeing a few of our members earn gigs the last 4-5 months of 2021 was very cool, and we hope to see more of that in 2022. Last but not least, I’m hopeful of giving the website a new layout in either quarter 2 or 3.


As I bring this column to a close, I’d like to remind you that BSM and BNM exists because we love the business and advocate for it daily. Since 2015, I’ve prioritized professional storytelling, research, industry news, relationship building, social media marketing, and consulting. Inside information and building relationships are important, and sure, it’s occasionally fun being first, but I’ve never worried about clicks, scoops, cash grabs or ruining reputations to elevate my own. I try to think about the big picture, even if it means missing out in the short-term. That applies to who I work with in a consulting capacity as well as how I operate the site. There’s no better example of it than last week. Most of our crew had the week off. It was tough missing out on stories when we were taking a mental timeout, but people come first. If you want long-term productivity and a staff to stick with you, support and sacrifice are essential.

If there’s one thing I know, this outlet has been a great resource for industry professionals. I wasn’t as fortunate during my studio days to have a site this rich in content to learn from, debate with, and stay connected to. We’ve hired 20+ contributors to help serve the industry, and I’m honored to have each one of them here. The additions we’ve made to improve the brand in 2022 will make us even better. We’re not perfect by any stretch, but we try to be fair and accurate. I also try to be accessible, especially when difficult situations arise. There are going to be times when our crew deliver strong opinions or tackle sensitive issues, and when those instances occur, I hope you’ll remember what I said about accuracy and fairness. We won’t operate as shills for the industry but we’re also not going scorched earth on folks.

Our goal here is simple, help folks stay informed about the sports and news radio/television formats, overdeliver for clients who place their trust in us, connect our advertising partners and members to others who can benefit from their services, and give industry people access to content from other professionals so they can do their jobs better.

If we can do these things consistently we’ll be in great shape. If we miss along the way, we’ll clean up the mess, and try to learn from it. We’re nine months away from celebrating seven years in operation, and we couldn’t have made it this far without your full support. Thanks for riding with us, now let’s make 2022 a year to remember.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.