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Networking: The Real Reason We Were All In LA

“You never know when a new contact can help you down the road, right?”

Tyler McComas

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The passing of a microphone inside Clive Davis Theater at the Grammy Museum signaled the end of the BSM Summit last Friday. It was the final opportunity for all guests in attendance to give their biggest takeaway from the two-day event in Los Angeles. From FOX Sports Radio/AM 570 LA Sports’ Don Martin to The Sports Hub’s Mike Thomas to The Score’s Mitch Rosen, comments were made about the future of podcasting, the importance of working together as industry professionals and even the importance of surrounding your station with good content.

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All those submission were great, but for me, the biggest takeaway was a simple, one-word answer: Opportunity. 

What an incredible opportunity the BSM Summit provided each show host in attendance. I already mentioned Martin, Thomas and Rosen, but that room also hosted Bruce Gilbert of Cumulus, Gow Media CEO David Gow and 97.3 the Game PD Adam Klug, to name a few more. That’s six high-profile names who have a big influence in the industry, without even scratching the surface of the other 100-plus in attendance.

The opportunity for a sports talk show host to be in front of that many program directors is priceless. Seriously, what other industry event in the country provides the opportunity to make personal contacts with so many accomplished influencers?

The answer is zero. 

Don’t take this article as one that’s meant to pump up next year’s summit and advise you to hurry up and buy tickets. That’s not my objective.

The point, is that show hosts should always be trying to connect with other high-profile program directors on a personal level. You never know when a new contact can help you down the road, right? 

Case in point: Josh Innes. Whether they’re positive or negative, I’d be willing to bet a lot of people in sports radio have a strong opinion on him. If you had asked me about the Sports Radio 790 morning man before the summit, I probably would have said he’s a super-talented show host, who isn’t shy to controversy. Maybe I was alone on that thought. Maybe I wasn’t.

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Regardless, it was a brilliant move for him to show up to the BSM Summit. Sure, he had to cover the expenses of a flight, hotel and tickets to the event, but he also got to personally change the narrative around himself in front of several high executives. That’s priceless for his career. 

“I knew there would be a lot of people that I would want to meet,” said Innes. “I wanted the opportunity to meet the Don Martins and the executive people like the Bruce Gilberts and Mike Thomases of the industry. Someone like me, might have a reputation issue, and people think they know the real story, but they’ve really only heard what’s on the radio. This is an opportunity to meet them and get to know them on a personal level, so they can see you’re not the whack job that people think you are.”

My interactions with Josh were pretty brief, but I found him to be a really cool guy. My perception of him was never bad, but even I came away feeling differently about him. From what I could tell, everyone he came in contact with was impressed, too. I’d be willing to bet Josh left Los Angeles with new contacts he didn’t previously have, and a few minds changed about who he is and how he operates. I’d also be willing to bet at least one of the contacts he made helps create a new opportunity somewhere down the line. Plus, a lot of the people he met will be way more apt to tune into his show. Think that’s worth his expenses?

How about Emily Austen? Her message about the power of social media was as powerful of a moment the BSM Summit had to offer. Sure, she made a mistake she’s still paying for, but everyone who heard what she had to say came away impressed. So much so, that when the microphone was being passed around to wrap up the event, The Sports Animal’s Chris Baker, Sirius XM’s Evan Cohen and ESPNLA’s Dan Zampillo all mentioned her as the highlight of the two day conference.

She was able to impress a number of decision makers in the industry, and like Innes, create new contacts while changing her perception. Emily couldn’t have made a better decision to fly from Atlanta and put herself in that environment and in front of that crowd. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if one of the contacts she made at the BSM Summit offers her a future opportunity. After hearing and meeting Emily, I’m rooting for that to happen.

For me, personally, I was there as a member of the BSM Summit team, but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think I also used it as an opportunity to get in front of more program directors. As a 29-year-old show host, I would have been crazy not to show up to Los Angeles and make new contacts. Luckily, I left with a wallet-full of business cards and new contacts I would never have made otherwise. Will it lead to anything in the future? Only time will tell, but I assure you it will only benefit my career. 

Think of it this way: If you’re a show host and Scott Shapiro of Fox Sports Radio is in the same building with you, you’d probably make it a point to introduce yourself or even attempt to have a conversation, right? The intimate setting of the Grammy Museum, along with the cocktail reception on Thursday night, created as favorable of an environment as one could ask for.

Again, the point of this piece isn’t to push next year’s BSM Summit. It’s to show every host how beneficial the two-day event can be. If I would have had the mic in my hand to close up the summit, my final takeaway would have been the opportunity that was given. Sure, I learned and laughed during my two days at the BSM Summit, but I did something even better: I networked.

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 Writers

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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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

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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