Connect with us

BSM Writers

It’s About Reps, Not Age For Jake Asman

“Asman is hosting his own show nationally syndicated show at 23 because of every little thing he did leading up to now.”

Tyler McComas

Published

on

The intro music played and the red light came on. It was show time. The all too familiar feeling for so many in the business, meant big nerves for Jake Asman. For the first time in his life, he was behind a live mic. There was no turning back now. 

Just about every show host can recall their first ever time on the air. For some, it came in college at the school’s radio station. For others, it came during an internship with a station. But for Asman, it came all the way back in the ninth grade at his high school in Long Island at WXWZ 88.5 FM. Most freshman in high school don’t have a clue as to what they want to do after they graduate. It’s a distant decision that will take care of itself in 3-4 years. But Asman wasn’t like most high school freshman. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. 

Granted, he can’t exactly remember what he talked about during his first day on the air, but he bets it was about his beloved New York Jets in the playoffs, seeing as his sports radio debut came in December of 2009. He always knew what he wanted to do, but this was more just confirmation. Asman wanted to be a sports radio host. 

Image result for jake asman sb nation

On Monday, Asman sat in the SB Nation studios at the ripe age of 23 to host the inaugural hour of The Power Hour with Jake Asman. He was hosting his own show with his own name attached to the title while in his early 20’s. Sure, there were probably a little bit of nerves, but nothing about it was overwhelming, seeing as he’d been in the seat many times before. Age didn’t matter as much as the number of reps he had received since his early days of high school. He was prepared for the moment and he delivered.

With PD Craig Larson and CEO David Gow deciding to grow and add talent at SB Nation, Asman was offered a weekday show from 7-8 p.m. It was a no-brainer decision for the guy that had graduated from Ithaca College just a short time before in 2017. But how did Asman move so quickly from a graduation gown, cap and tassel to a national radio show host?

The journey included working part time at WFAN/CBS Sports Radio as a board op and producer, as well as a short stop in Los Angeles to intern at Fox Sports Radio in the spring of 2016. While that time around the best in the business was extremely helpful, sometimes you have to just get behind the mic and figure out who you are and who you want to be.

After searching and searching for any kind of paid opening, Asman finally got an opportunity with an internet community start up called SportsOnTheGo1 Radio in Suffolk County, Long Island. At the same time he was with WFAN/CBS Sports Radio, SportsOnTheGo1 Radio gave him a daily show and even helped with sales to earn some extra cash. No, the listener base wasn’t huge, but he was getting the opportunity to learn the process and feel of doing a daily show. Plus, he was even able to take the show to the Super Bowl while he was there. 

Asman is hosting his own show nationally syndicated show at 23 because of every little thing he did leading up to now. It goes all the way back to hosting a show in the 9th grade and getting ahead of everyone else his age. Back to spending nearly a year with SportsOnTheGo1 Radio to improve as a show host, despite the lack of listeners. Back to internships in New York and Los Angeles that gave him a front row seat as to how a successful radio show is done. Back to working at ESPN 97.5 in Houston and SB Nation Radio where his fill-in worked proved he was capable of hosting a daily show. His hard work, determination and willingness to explore the business at an early age, paved the way for a successful start to his promising career.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Asman is on a rocket ship up to the top of the business. His career trajectory is trending more favorably with each passing year. But his success isn’t by accident. Asman was once the young intern that read and listened to everything on Barrett Sports Media. But he was also the kid that found a way to get reps. If you’re someone who’s interested in the sports radio business but has no experience – find a way to get reps. It will only pay huge dividends in the long-term of your career. 

TM: How is it doing a one-hour show? Is it challenging to fit everything you think is relevant and worthy of being discussed?

JA: Yeah, it’s a great question. So far, in the last couple of months, I’ve had a couple of opportunities to fill in for an hour here and there. So I’ve had experience doing it and I really think it just depends on the time of the year and what’s going on. Monday was a cake walk, because it was just a preview of the national championship game. You hit that and a segment on Wild Card weekend and you’re good.

There’s definitely going to be some days, after football season ends, where you really have to think and decide what the lead stories are, or an interesting angle to those stories. It’s definitely something I’m looking forward to because you have an opportunity to really be creative when it’s just an hour, knowing that the whole premise of the show is to look back at what happened for that day, as well as the big games to come that night. A good challenge will be to come up with something funny and creative that the listener didn’t hear if they were previously listening to sports radio all day. 

TM: Were you told by management, or maybe it’s just an unspoken rule, to really try to promote pieces from SB Nation on the air?

JA: So it’s interesting, with SB Nation Radio we promote a lot of our writers by having them on as guests. If you ever listen to the network on a random day, you’ll be hearing different writers and columnists on various shows throughout the day. The great thing about SB Nation Radio, is that anytime I had the opportunity to do extended fill-in work, a lot of times the guests would be writers from the website to cross-promote each other.

We also run a lot of spots on the network for SB Nation podcasts that are really starting to take off on the iTunes charts. But depending on the day and what the hot topic is, you’ll hear our writers on the air as guests. 

TM: SB Nation seems to be growing and adding talent. What’s the goal for the network?

JA: We added over 25 new affiliates with the biggest ones in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tulsa. It’s really exciting. A lot of that, of course, has to do with NBC Sports Radio not being 24/7 with their coverage anymore, so I give a lot of credit to our program director and CEO, that’s Craig Larson, for being really aggressive and bringing affiliates.

Image result for craig larsen sb nation

The hope, is that with bringing in more affiliates and expanding the reach of SB Nation Radio, it can only mean good things for everyone that works in the sales side of the network. I think we’re in a great place, it’s just the fact that we’re something different with our talent skewing as much younger than most. That offers fresh perspective on various topics throughout the day. Ultimately, 2019 is setting up to be a really awesome year, if you consider where SB Nation has been in year’s past and how it’s continuing to grow. 

TM: It’s unique that you’re able to contribute to both SB Nation Radio and ESPN 97.5. Are both of those studios in the same building?

JA: Yeah, both are in the same exact building and about 10 feet from each other. It’s pretty cool. Take someone like Patrick Creighton who now does our 9-noon show every day. He hosts a show on the network and then he has a show that airs at night from 7-9 on ESPN 97.5. Both companies intertwine. 

TM: If you’re young and trying to improve your hosting skills, can anything replace constant reps? Be it at a small station, podcast, whatever?

JA: I know this is Barrett Sports Media, I’ve been reading this site since the beginning. I remember when I was an intern at Fox Sports Radio in Los Angeles and I discovered it. I think a site like this, I think it’s awesome. If you’re into broadcasting and a radio junkie like I am, Barrett Sports Media is great to inform you and keep you up to date with what’s going on in the business.

I try to read everything and listen to as much sports talk radio as possible, but you said it best, there’s nothing that can replace reps. I think what’s great about where we are right now in 2019, is that anyone can find a mic and record a podcast. I spoke to a kid a few weeks ago that’s a ninth-grade student at the high school I went to, who wanted advice on how to get reps. I told him to find creative ways as possible to get experience. I always tell people to listen to sports talk radio, but do so with a critical ear. How are they formatting their show? What are they talking about? How are they developing the personalities? If you grew up listening to Mike Francesa on WFAN, that doesn’t mean try and be just like him. But you can ask yourself what makes him successful so you can find the format on how to do a really good show.

If sports radio is what you want to do, listen to as much of it as possible. If you want to do play-by-play, listen to as much of it as possible. Try and study as much as the business as you can. But yes, again, there’s nothing you can do to replace reps. If that means podcast, blogging, or even talking into your own phone, anything you can do will help you. 

BSM Writers

The NFL Hopes You’re Lazy Enough to Pay Them $5

“This app reportedly doesn’t even have any original content of it’s own. NFL Films produces content for ESPN+, HBO Max, Peacock, Tubi, Epix, Paramount Plus, and Prime Video. It has also reportedly had discussions about producing content for Netflix. Unless they plan to bring all of those shows in-house, what kind of shows could NFL Films produce for NFL Plus that you couldn’t already find on all of those other apps?”

Published

on

NFL Streaming

Corporate goodwill is a hard thing to ask for. It’s not something that is a requirement for any entity to engage in. But it can go a long way in establishing a deeper bond for the future. According to Sports Business Journal, NFL owners are contemplating launching a streaming service for the league.

The app would feature podcasts, content created by teams and radio content. It’s unknown where the podcast content will come from but one can assume it’ll include the various podcasts the NFL produces with iHeartRadio. Team content that is expected to be featured could come from videos and audio that is already posted on team websites and social media platforms such as YouTube.

Various organizations across the league have expanded their YouTube efforts over the last couple of years as the Google-owned site has slowly set itself apart as a leading source for viewership. My hometown team, the Baltimore Ravens, for example promotes a talk show with cornerback Marlon Humphrey where he interviews players and other key figures from the team about their lives and careers and how they got to where they are today.

The most important part of this app will be NFL games itself. On Sunday afternoons, whatever games are airing in the specific location you’re in while using the app, those are the games you have access to watch. If you’re in Baltimore and a Ravens game is airing on CBS while the Commanders are on Fox, those are the games the app will offer. If you’re in Boston and a Patriots game is on CBS while a Giants game is on Fox – you won’t have access to the Ravens game airing on CBS in Baltimore or the Commanders game on Fox in Baltimore even if that’s where you normally live. These games used to be a part of a deal with Yahoo Sports and Verizon – who distributed them on their apps for free.

JohnWallStreet of Sportico notes, “longer term, the existence of a league-owned streaming platform should help ensure broadcast rights continue to climb.” But at the end of the day, how does this help the fan? The increase of broadcast rights is going to end up costing viewers in the long run through their cable bill.

ESPN costs almost $10 per cable customer. The app, as of now, isn’t offering anything special and is an aggregation of podcasts, games and videos that fans can already get for free. If you want to listen to an NFL podcast – you can go to Spotify, Apple Podcasts and various other podcast hosting platforms. If you want to watch content from your favorite teams, you can go to their website or their social media platforms. And if you want to watch games, you can authenticate your cable subscriptions and watch them for free through your cable company’s app or CBS’ app or the Fox Sports app.

It’s nothing more than a money grab. Games are already expensive to go to as it is. Gas prices have reached astronomical highs. Watching content has become extremely costly and it’s debatable whether buying streaming services is cheaper or more expensive than the cable bundle. And now the NFL wants to add more stress and more expenses to their viewers who just desire an escape from the hardships of life through their love of a beautiful game? It seems wrong and a bit cruel to me.

The beauty of paying for content apps is that you’re going to gain access to something that is original and unique from everything else in the ecosystem. When House of Cards first premiered on Netflix, it was marketed as a political thriller of the likes we had never seen and it lived up to its expectations for the most part. The critically-acclaimed series led viewers to explore other shows on the app that were similarly a more explicit and unique journey from what had been seen on television before.

This app reportedly doesn’t even have any original content of it’s own. NFL Films produces content for ESPN+, HBO Max, Peacock, Tubi, Epix, Paramount Plus, and Prime Video. It has also reportedly had discussions about producing content for Netflix. Unless they plan to bring all of those shows in-house, what kind of shows could NFL Films produce for NFL Plus that you couldn’t already find on all of those other apps? Even YouTube has partnered with NFL Films to produce behind the scenes footage of games that is available for FREE.

If you’re going to force viewers to pay $5 to watch games on their phone, the least you could do is give fans access to speak with players and analysts before and after the games. Take NFL Network over the top so that we can wake up with Good Morning Football. Offer a way for fans to chat while games are being watched on the app. The ability to watch an All-22 feed of live games. A raw audio options of games. The ability to screencast. Even a live look at the highly paid booths who are calling the games.

Five bucks may seem small in the grand scheme of things but it is a rip-off especially when the content is available for free with a few extra searches. Goodwill and establishing a person to person online relationship with fans could go a long way for the NFL. It’s not going to work using these tactics though. And after facing such a long pandemic, offering it up for free just seems like the right thing to do.

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Sports Talkers Podcast – Danny Parkins

Published

on

Danny Parkins opens up to Stephen Strom about why he is so passionate about defending Chicago. He also gives his best career advice and explains why a best friend is more important sometimes than an agent.

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Marc Hochman is The Lebron James of Miami Sports Radio

The Hochman and Crowder Show with Solana isn’t like anything you’ll hear in most major markets. But they wear that distinction with a badge of honor. They’re not interested in breaking down why the offensive line can’t get a push on short-yardage situations, they want to make you laugh, regardless if it’s sports content or not. They’re perfectly Miami sports radio. 

Tyler McComas

Published

on

Marc Hochman

There’s 30 minutes to go until Marc Hochman’s summer vacation and he’s suddenly overcome with emotion. Instead of staring at the clock, he’s staring at an article from The Miami New Times, which has just named him Best Talk Radio Personality in its “Best of 2022” awards issue. It’s an incredible honor in a city that has several worthy candidates, including the man sitting right next to him, Channing Crowder. 

But it’s not just the honor that’s catching Hochman’s eye, it’s also the paragraph where the newspaper compares him to Lebron James. No, seriously. Compliments are nothing new for the Miami radio veteran, but being compared to one of the best basketball players of all-time is new territory. Part of the paragraph reads like this:

“His current domination of the afternoon drive simulcast on both WQAM and 790 The Ticket (WAXY) is akin to Lebron playing for the Lakers and Clippers simultaneously. Could he do it? Probably. Does Hochman do this daily? Yes. Advantage, Hochman.”

Talk about incredibly high praise for a sports radio host. Especially one in Miami where there’s still a lot of hard feelings towards Lebron. But the praise is accurate, because the Hochman and Crowder Show with Solana airs on two different Audacy stations every day. It’s an interesting dynamic, especially for a market the size of Miami/Fort Lauderdale. 

“We have a joke that if you don’t like what you’re hearing on 560, feel free to tune in on 790,” laughed Hochman. “But it’s fun and I think in some strange way it’s increased our audience. As crazy as it is to say in 2022, there are people who listen to a particular radio station and don’t ever change it. I do think being on both stations has expanded our audience. We have fun with it. The show is on for four hours on 560 WQAM and three hours on 790 The Ticket.”

It’s cool to see Hochman get this type of honor during his 10th year of being an afternoon host on 560 WQAM. Especially since he’s originally from Chicago, but has carved out an incredible career in a city he’s called home since the late 80s. It’s funny to think Hochman had no interest in sports radio in 2004 when his college friend Dan Le Batard offered him a job as an executive producer at a startup station in Miami. Now, 18 years later, he’s being voted as the best to do it in the city. 

“Everybody likes to be recognized for what they do,” said Hochman. “We get recognized all the time by the listeners, but when someone out of your orbits writes their opinion of what you’re doing, and it’s that glowing of an opinion, it’s great. I’ve been compared to Lebron before, but it’s always been my hairline. It was nice to be compared to him for another reason. That was super cool.”

The best part about all of this is how Hochman will use this as a funny bit on the show, because, above anything else, he’s instantly identified as someone who’s incredibly gifted at making people laugh on the air. There’s no doubt it will become a theme on the show, both with him and his co-hosts, Crowder and Solana. 

“The award came out about 30 minutes before I was leaving for my summer vacation, so I had about 30 minutes on the air to respond to it,” Hochman said. “So I’m sure it will become a bit on the show, I certainly will refer to myself as the Lebron James of sports talk radio in Miami. Although, there’s still some hard feelings here towards him.

That was the one part that jumped out, obviously, to me, Crowder and to Solana. I don’t think I’m Lebron James but Crowder said on the air that sometimes you have to acknowledge when you’re playing with greatness, and he said “I used to play defense with Jason Taylor and Junior Seau, now I’m doing radio and I will acknowledge greatness.”

With or without this honor, it’s pretty evident Hochman is the happiest he’s ever been in sports radio. He’s surrounded with two talented co-hosts, but the sentiment is that Hochman does an incredible job of putting both Solano and Crowder in situations to be the best versions of themselves on the air. However, Hochman sees it differently. 

“I think that’s more on the people around you,” he said. “If you have great teammates, they’re great. Crowder and Solana, those dudes, if you want to make a basketball comparison, we have ourselves a Big Three.

Solana is the best at what he does, Crowder is the absolute best radio partner I’ve had in my career. He’s so aware of what it takes to entertain but also has broadcast sensibilities at the same time. I actually think he’s the one that makes us sound better than what we really are. He has a really incredible knack for entertaining but also informing.”

The Hochman and Crowder Show with Solana isn’t like anything you’ll hear in most major markets. But they wear that distinction with a badge of honor. They’re not interested in breaking down why the offensive line can’t get a push on short-yardage situations, they want to make you laugh, regardless if it’s sports content or not. They’re perfectly Miami sports radio. 

“I would say Miami is the strangest sports radio market in the country,” said Hochman. “I grew up in Chicago so I’m intimately familiar with Chicago sports talk. Miami sports talk, which is Le Batard, who redefined what works. In Miami, that’s what it needed. It’s more guy talk than sports talk. We certainly can’t break down a third inning in a Marlins game and why a runner should have been running when he wasn’t, the way that New York, Philadelphia or Boston radio could.”

“That doesn’t work here. When Crowder and I go on the air everyday, we’ve always said, our goal is we want to laugh the majority of our four hours on the air. If we’re laughing, we assume the audience is laughing, as well. That’s our personality. We both like to laugh and have fun. I like to do it, no matter what is going on. That translates to the radio. Luckily, Miami is a sports radio market that embraces that, because I don’t think we could do a show any other way.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.