Each quarter at BSM we highlight how sports radio stations across America have performed in their latest ratings books. I’ve been asked before why this piece comes out a few weeks after the results are in and the answer is that it takes time to gather information from over 20+ markets and other business needs require attention too. That said, I’m grateful that many format folks look forward to reading it.
Having been a programmer and analyzed panel changes, meter counts, hot zips, listener trends and every other factor that goes into generating ratings, I know how much it means to those involved with a radio station to have their work matter and be appreciated. Because I love this format, respect those involved in programming circles, and understand the challenges brands face generating advertising dollars, I continue to research market results and write this column. I hope it helps educate clients on why sports radio brands are worth investing in. I’m also optimistic that industry leaders will be reminded of some of the great work being done by their people and brands and put a few things into perspective when analyzing the numbers. Sometimes they lose sight of it.
But I’d be lying if I said I enjoy writing this column as much as I once did. Although I love giving brands recognition and credit for a job well done, there’s also the reality of this industry continuing to be poorly measured, especially digitally. When I analyze 20-30 markets and find streaming numbers practically invisible for some of the format’s top brands, it’s difficult for me to fake enthusiasm. Too many of these stations have bigger audiences and impact than they receive credit for. It’s got to get better.
This is not a ‘get off my lawn’ moment. It’s a simple reminder that we need more comprehensive data to compete against ALL media. Social media giants and tech companies are eating everyone’s lunch. The projections for the future look similar. To have a fighting chance we’ve got to be able to capture the full story of what these brands are delivering while also adjusting internal mindsets that it doesn’t begin and end with numbers.
Ratings have been a part of my world for the past 15 years. I love studying them and seeing friends, peers, and industry professionals reap the rewards of a job well done. Sports talk radio delivers an emotional connection with its audience and in the process these personalities earn trust. That helps businesses that align with them move product. That by itself is worth investing in. The numbers are the icing on the cake.
With that in mind, here’s a look at how sports radio brands around the country performed during the 2019 spring book.
Sports radio listening in the big apple remained strong with WFAN’s Boomer and Gio finishing 1st in the market in morning drive with Men 25-54. FAN’s morning team finished with a low 6 share, two points higher than 98.7 ESPN NY’s airing of Golic and Wingo which came in 10th.
Middays were strong for Beningo and Roberts and CMB on WFAN. Joe and Evan produced a low 7 share to finish 1st between 10a-1p. CMB recorded a high 6 share to come in 2nd during their timeslot of 1p-3p. 98.7 ESPN’s Humpty and Canty and the Stephen A. Smith show generated the same number (just under a mid 3 share) for the quarter. Humpty and Canty were 10th, Smith 11th.
The always interesting battle between Mike Francesa and the Michael Kay Show remained close. If you include both radio and streaming listening for both stations, Francesa wins the head to head matchup by two tenths of a point. Without the Fan’s streaming taken into account Kay wins. Using the combined number, Francesa delivered just above a mid 6 share. Kay was just under a mid 6 share. The two shows finished 1st and 2nd respectively in the market which is outstanding.
The one issue that has created confusion in New York City’s ratings has been the way Entercom New York and ESPN New York’s differ in how they operate and sell ads. ESPN combines radio and streaming whereas The Fan produces them separately.
Regardless of how you want to slice it, both brands had reasons to celebrate the spring book. Summer could be a little different with Kay off the radio due to vocal cord surgery, Gray out due to maternity leave, and Francesa taking a week or two for summer vacation.
ESPN LA 710 was pleased with its progress for the quarter. The station finished just under a 3 share, gaining six tenths of a point year to year. Mason and Ireland remained the top rated program in the market with a high 3 share. All of 710’s weekday programs improved their numbers from spring to spring. It was the stations best spring book since 2015.
AM 570 LA Sports also had a few reasons to be happy with the quarterly report. The radio station picked up a full point spring to spring in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p). 570 also nearly doubled their share in morning drive year to year thanks to the Dan Patrick Show.
670 The Score continued its winning ways, securing victory for the spring book in both weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) and the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with Men 25-54. The Score generated a low 5 share to finish 4th and 5th respectively in those two categories. Cubs baseball certainly helped. ESPN 1000 came in 9th in prime, and 11th for the full week.
Fueling The Score’s success was the morning team of Mully and Haugh who finished 3rd with just under a mid 7 share. The show was just one tenth of a point away from being tied for 1st overall with Men 25-54. ESPN 1000’s airing of Golic and Wingo did make strides too, gaining 10% to climb into the top 10 with a mid 3 share.
A close race developed in middays between The Score’s Bernstein and McKnight and ESPN 1000’s Kap and Company. The Score’s tandem won the quarter by finishing 7th with a high 3 share. Kap’s program was tied for 9th with a mid 3 share. Also, Laurence Holmes bested Carmen and Jurko between the hours of Noon and 2pm by a little more than a point. Holmes finished 5th, Carmen and Jurko were 9th.
The afternoon drive battle this quarter was won by The Score’s McNeil and Parkins. 670’s show was tied for 3rd with a little better than a mid 5 share, nearly a point and a half ahead of ESPN 1000’s Waddle and Silvy who were 7th with a low 4 share.
One last item worth sharing, 670’s combination of Cubs baseball and Joe Ostrowski were 1st between the hours of 6p-10p. Play by Play and Julie DiCaro were ranked 3rd between the hours of 10p-12a.
Both KNBR and 95.7 The Game had success stories worth sharing this quarter. KNBR finished 2nd overall in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a high 5 share, three tenths of a point ahead of The Game. The Sports Leader also won the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) edging The Game by one tenth of a point. The Game’s big victory came in the month of June when the station won the month, finishing 1st overall in the market.
In mornings, KNBR’s Murph and Mac came in 4th, four tenths of a point ahead of Joe, Lo and Dibbs who finished 6th. The former midday team of Gary and Larry led KNBR to a win between 10a-1p, finishing six tenths of a point ahead of Steiny and Guru and 1-hour of The Greg Papa Show with Bonta Hill (Papa has since joined KNBR). The final 2-hours of Papa and Hill’s show from 1p-3p earned The Game a seven tenths of a point victory over Fitz and Brooks (Brooks has since moved to PM drive on KNBR, Fitzgerald is no longer with the station).
Afternoons saw both Tom Tolbert and Damon Bruce perform strong with Tolbert winning the matchup by six tenths of a point. Bruce’s daypart though was The Game’s highest ranked for the quarter. Both shows benefited from a few Giants and Warriors games airing during their time slot.
Closing things out at night, The Game placed 2nd to KNBR’s 5th, winning the evening matchup for the quarter by nearly a point and a half.
Overall a strong showing by both brands. With the recent lineup shuffling at both stations, and football season approaching, the next two books should be an interesting follow.
It was a strange quarter for both Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan. In weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) The Ticket was 1st and The Fan was tied for 10th. For the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) The Ticket was 1st and The Fan 14th. That’s the good news if you’re at The Ticket. Not so much if you’re at The Fan.
However, what makes this strange is that the winter book had the two brands ranked 1st and 3rd in the market, and last year during this same time period The Fan was ranked 4th. Looking deeper into the numbers, June was especially tough year to year for all of the Dallas sports stations. Among Men 25-54, The Ticket’s share was 44% lower, The Fan was down by 38% and ESPN 103.3 down 37.5%. Considering that the lineups haven’t changed, and both stations remain strong relevant brands, it appears a meter or two has created market challenges.
Meter challenges aside, The Ticket had more reason to celebrate thanks to a 1st place finish in mornings from The Musers, a 2nd place finish between the hours of 10a-3p with Norm and Donovan and BaD Radio, and a 1st place performance in afternoons from The Hardline.
For The Fan, their best results came in middays courtesy of GBag Nation. The show was ranked 7th for the quarter. The station’s drive time programs with Shan and RJ and Ben and Skin finished in the teens which hasn’t happened since we started following the market a few years ago.
One positive for The Fan, they defeated The Ticket in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with Men 18-34. Those numbers though were also lower than usual.
A word of caution to industry folks looking at the market this quarter, tip your cap to Jeff Catlin and his team at The Ticket for their overall 1st and 2nd place finishes but don’t overreact to the results. Both of these stations have been rock solid brands consistently ranked in the Top 5 with much higher shares. With football season approaching, it’s just a matter of time til the meters return and we’ve got another strong battle between two great sports radio brands.
Sports Radio WIP has been on a roll for quite some time, and the spring book was no exception. The station won the local competition against 97.5 The Fanatic, finishing a little more than 2 points ahead with Men 25-54 and just under 2 points in front with Persons 25-54.
Mornings remained the same with Angelo Cataldi continuing to own the daypart, registering a 2nd place finish with just under a 10 share. He was also 2nd with Adults with a high 6 share. The Fanatic though has been making strides with Marc Farzetta and turned in a very respectable high 6 share performance to finish 3rd.
In middays, Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie were 3rd for the quarter with just under an 8 share. The Fanatic’s Anthony Gargano and Jason Myrtetus continued to gain ground but were a little more than a point and a half behind en route to finishing 4th.
Turning to afternoons, WIP’s duo of Jon Marks and Ike Reese claimed another quarterly victory, finishing three tenths of a point in front of The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli. The Fanatic points out that if streaming numbers are included in the mix, it’s a different story. Marks and Reese were ranked 1st overall with Men 25-54 with just above a 9 share. Missanelli was 2nd just under a 9.
Not to be forgotten, evenings on WIP featuring Philadelphia Phillies baseball and night time host Joe Giglio turned in a 1st place finish with Men 25-54 at just under a 10 share. The Fanatic was tied for 5th for the quarter.
ESPN 97.5 enjoyed another successful quarter, winning weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) against Sports Radio 610 and SportsTalk 790. 97.5 was three tenths of a point higher than 610 and a point and a half better than 790. One thing worth noting, the lineup schedules for 610, 790 and 97.5 are all different. This can create some confusion if you’re just looking at the traditional Nielsen dayparts.
Looking at the local weekday shows, 97.5 won the hours of 7a-9a thanks to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein. John and Lance have now won those hours every month since October 2018.
Another positive for 97.5 was the afternoon performance by The Blitz with AJ Hoffman and Fred Faour. The Houston duo won their timeslot of M-F 4p-7p for the quarter. They’ve now finished ahead during those three hours every month since January 2018.
Two positives for 610 saw the station finish one tenth of a point ahead of 97.5 between the hours of 2p-6p. 610 and 97.5 were also tied between the hours of 10a-3p.
610 recently made changes to their weekday lineup which they’re hoping will reverse the latest results. The summer book will offer the first look at how the market receives those changes. For now, 97.5 is in front.
98.5 The Sports Hub cruised to a comfortable spring book victory generating a low 9 share to finish 1st with Men 25-54. WEEI was 4th with just under a mid 5 share. Both station’s numbers include their streaming performance.
In mornings, Toucher and Rich were 1st with a low 9 share. WEEI’s former morning show Mut and Callahan came in 5th with a mid 6 share. WEEI has since turned mornings over to The Greg Hill Show.
Middays saw The Sports Hub’s Zolak and Bertrand deliver a 3rd place finish with a mid 9 share. The team of Dale and Keefe on WEEI came in 4th with a low 6 share.
The Hub got their best performance in afternoons thanks to Felger and Massarotti. The market’s top rated program produced a low 12 share en route to a 1st place finish. WEEI’s OMF ranked fourth with just under a mid 5 share.
The evening slot also belonged to The Sports Hub. The Adam Jones Show and combination of Bruins and Celtics playoff games led 98.5 to a 1st place finish with a low 10 share. WEEI’s mixture of Boston Red Sox baseball and local programming came in 8th with a low 4 share.
106.7 The Fan continued to excel taking 3rd place for the quarter in both weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) and full week (M-SU 6a-Mid). The Fan popped a mid 6 share for the full week and a low 7 share in weekday prime. The Team 980 was rated in the high teens in both categories.
The best performance on The Fan came from The Sports Junkies who delivered a 2nd place finish with just under a 10 share. Grant and Danny ranked 3rd in middays with a low 7 share. Chad Dukes finished up the weekday prime shows by securing a 6th place finish in afternoons with a mid 4 share. The Team 980’s weekday shows were all ranked in the upper teens.
With Cumulus introducing a new sports talker to the market in ESPN 630 The Sports Capitol, there will be more to keep an eye on going forward. Until proven otherwise though, The Fan is operating on a different level.
97.1 The Ticket continues to operate on another level, delivering some of the best performances for the entire format. The spring book saw the Detroit sports station finish 1st in every daypart with Men 25-54 except mornings (2nd). Karsch and Anderson‘s midday show, Mike Valenti’s afternoon show and the station’s full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) all produced above a 12 share.
An even more impressive case for the brand is how they’ve continued to excel with Persons 25-54. The Ticket were 3rd in mornings with Adults with a mid 5 share, 1st in middays with a low 8 share, 1st in afternoons with a mid 7 share, 2nd in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with just under a 7 share, and 5th for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with a solid 6 share showing.
The Ticket’s continued dominance is a great example of sports radio’s ability to compete and win against ALL formats in top markets. These type of numbers are a big reason why the station was recently nominated for the Marconi Award for Sports Station of the Year.
Congratulations is in order for the staff at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM who for the first time in station history entered the top 10 (8th overall) in the money demo of Persons 25-54 for weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p).
An even more impressive performance was found with Men 25-54 where 98.7’s morning team of Doug and Wolf finished 4th with just under a 6 share. The morning show was also 6th with Persons 25-54.
Afternoons saw Burns and Gambo turn in a top 3 performance with a low 6 share among Men 25-54. John and Dave produced the best share on the radio station for the quarter.
Rounding things out, the midday team of Bickley and Marotta came in 6th with a mid 4 share among Men 25-54, and the evening combination of live play by play and Luke Lapinski produced a 5th place finish with Men 25-54 with just under a 5 share.
710 ESPN led steady as the market’s top rated sports station due to a strong spring book performance. Among Men 25-54, the radio station ranked 4th in mornings (Brock and Salk), 5th in middays (Bob, Groz and Tom) and 3rd in afternoons (Danny, Dave and Moore). 710 finished 6th overall. KJR was in the upper teens.
Given the lack of excitement from the Mariners this baseball season, both local stations have to be clamoring for football season to hurry up and get here. 710 though made the most of a slower sports period.
KFAN continued to impress, turning in a strong spring book. The station finished 2nd in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with just under an 11 share and 2nd for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with just under a mid 9 share.
Leading the way were The Power Trip who came in 2nd in morning drive with just under a 13 share. Paul Allen followed up by pulling in a low 10 share from 9a to 12p to generate a 3rd place finish.
Moving to the afternoon portion of the schedule, ‘The Common Man‘ also grabbed 3rd place with a low 9 share from Noon to 3p, and Dan Barreiro stayed strong in afternoons, locking up 1st place with a low 11 share.
SKOR North which launched in January and places less emphasis on traditional radio ratings did see some nice gains during the book too. The station grew by a half of a point book to book and year to year. They’ve also increased their cume with Men 25-54 from January to June by 60%.
Two particular stories worth highlighting, Golic and Wingo have tripled their share year over year with Men 25-54, and the afternoon show, Mackey and Judd with Ramie has increased the station’s share by nearly a full point year to year during the hours of 4p-6p. Even more impressive given the brand’s digital first focus, they’ve increased podcast downloads by 60% year to year.
The spring book found 104.3 The Fan in good shape, finishing 4th overall in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a mid 6 share. The station was also 6th for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with a low 5 share.
Leading the way for The Fan was the morning team of Schlereth and Evans who secured a 1st place ranking with a low 9 share. The combination of Cecil and Pritch and Nick Ferguson (Nick took over the midday slot in late April) delivered a low 5 share to place 7th from 9a to noon. Stokley and Zach came in 8th between noon and 3p with a low 5 share, and The Drive with Tom Nalen and DMac (Nalen joined the show in mid April) were tied for 1st in afternoons with a low 6 share.
Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 which moved to the FM dial in mid-September 2018 also saw some progress this quarter. The station picked up 4 tenths of a point for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with Men 25-54 and 5 tenths of a point in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p). The station’s weekday shows, Moser, Lombardi and Kane, Harris, Hastings and Dover, and Kreckman and Lindahl (Andy joined the show in early June) all gained five tenths of a point book to book.
A few notes from Tampa where WDAE is still celebrating landing the rights to USF by blasting Creed tunes inside the program director’s office. The reunited tandem of Ron and Ian continued making progress finishing the quarter up a full share to secure a top 10 finish. Afternoon drive has improved by 35% year to year.
Another positive worth sharing were the gains among Men 35-64 (Tampa tends to skew older for sports radio listening). Ronnie and TKras were 9th in the demo in mornings up a full share year to year. The station’s weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) performance with Men 35-64 was also in the top 10.
Last but not least, a good start from the Tampa Bay Rays helped the station grow more than 20% year over year at night with Men 25-54.
102.9/750 The Game has been on quite a roll in 2019. The Portland sports station won the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) for the quarter, besting former market leader 1080 The Fan, and the Trail Blazers’ radio home NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620. The Game produced a low 3 share, nine tenths of a point higher than The Fan and nearly triple the performance of Rip City’s.
The best market performance was turned in by The Dan Patrick Show which delivered just under a 9 share for The Game, earning 2nd place with Men 25-54. The show was also 6th with Adults 25-54. The Fan’s morning team of Dusty and Cam finished 13th. Rip City’s morning show was in the mid 20’s.
From 9a-12p The Jim Rome Show won his matchup with just under a 4 share. Rome finished 10th overall. The Fan and Rip City were in the 20’s.
Between the hours of Noon and 3pm, The Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano led The Game to victory over The Fan and Rip City. Canzano was 10th at just under a 4 share. The Fan was ranked 19th. Rip City finished in the mid 20’s.
Closing up in afternoons, The Fan picked up a win thanks to the team of Isaac and Suke. The familiar drive time duo generated a mid 3 share to rank 16th. The Game’s airing of Bill Reiter’s show ranked 21st. Rip City’s Chad Doing and Travis Demers were slightly behind in 22nd.
101 ESPN remained consistent across all four local dayparts in the spring book. The St. Louis sports station produced a low 7 share to lock up the 3rd position in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) among Men 25-54.
Turning to the weekday programs, The Bernie Miklasz Show‘s mid 7 share performance was enough to lock up 3rd place in morning drive. The Kevin Wheeler also secured a 3rd place finish between 10a-1p with a high 6 share.
The Turn with Anthony Stalter delivered the station’s best share for the quarter, popping a high 8 share to finish 3rd between 1p-3p. And the always strong afternoon show, The Fast Lane, held down the 3rd spot in their daypart with a high 7 share.
No Hornets. No Panthers. No local MLB. No problem.
WFNZ turned in a top 10 performance with Men 25-54 for the quarter, driven by an impressive 1st place ranking for the book with TSL. Those who listen to the station are spending a lot of time with it, a sign that the station’s content and talent are a destination. WFNZ has now finished in the top 3 for TSL for 11 straight months, dating back to September 2018.
The station’s weekday programming saw Mac and TBone produce a top 10 finish in mornings with a little above a mid 3 share. Wilson and Parcell produced an 8th place finish with just under a mid 4 share, and The Clubhouse with Kyle Bailey reeled in a 7th place finish with a mid 4 share performance.
The spring book saw 105.7 The Fan deliver big, placing 3rd overall with a high 8 share among Men 25-54. Leading the way for the station was the Big Bad Morning Show with Ed Norris, Rob Long and Jerry Coleman. The BBMS finished 3rd in Persons 25-54 and 2nd with Men 25-54 with a low 10 share.
Moving to middays, Vinny and Haynie came in 4th with Persons 25-54 and 2nd with Men 25-54 with just under a mid 9 share. Finishing up in PM drive, Scott Garceau and Jeremy Conn finished 3rd in their daypart with Men 25-54.
For the first time in a while, 107.5/1070 The Fan saw all of their daily local shows deliver Top 10 performances. Leading the way was The Dan Dakich Show which finished 4th overall with a mid 6 share among Men 25-54 during the hours of Noon to 3pm.
In afternoons, The Ride with JMV cracked the top 10 with a high 4 share. The brand new Fan Morning Show featuring Jeff Rickard and Big Joe Staysniak shifted timeslots midway thru the book and helped lift the station to a Top 10 finish with just under a 4 share.
The spring book saw another impressive performance turned in by market leader 92.9 ESPN. The Memphis sports station finished 2nd overall with a low 8 share with Men 25-54 in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p). Year to year they’re up over 2 points and if you look at a 2 year period it’s even better at 3.5 points.
Looking at the station’s local shows, the best rated performance was turned in by the midday show Jason and John. The popular program hosted by Jason Smith and John Martin produced a mid 9 share to finish 2nd in their time slot.
Next up was The Gary Parrish Show which ranked 2nd in afternoons with just under a mid 8 share. Geoff Calkins maintained his consistent success by finishing 2nd with just under an 8 share. Wrapping things up, the brand new Giannotto and Jeffrey Show popped a low 8 share en route to finishing 3rd in their timeslot. The duo were on the air for half of the spring book and contributed to the station’s best performance from 2p-4p in 4 years.
The three station race between Entercom, iHeart and Good Karma Brands heated up during the spring book. This quarter the top spot was held by GKB’s ESPN 94.5 which narrowly edged 105.7 The Fan and 97.3 The Game. A half of a point was all that separated the three sports talkers.
In weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with Men 25-54, ESPN 94.5 finished two tenths ahead of The Fan and five tenths ahead of The Game. For the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) 94.5 bested both The Fan and The Game by three tenths of a point.
Going forward this is going to be a market to keep your eye on. All three brands feature good talent, the local sports scene is on fire with the Bucks, Brewers and Packers providing a lot of optimism for local fans, and all three brands continue making tweaks to stay ahead of the competition.
2022 BSM Summit Adds Pablo Torre, Joe Fortenbaugh, Kazeem Famuyide & John Jastremski
“By the time March’s conference rolls around, we’ll have somewhere between 50-60 people announced to participate at the two day Summit.”
The announcements continue for the 2022 BSM Summit. After recently sharing the news that former ESPN Radio executive Traug Keller would join us in the big apple to accept the Jeff Smulyan Award, and previously revealing the first fourteen participants scheduled to appear, it’s time to inform you of a few key talent who will participate in sessions at March’s show.
I’m thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Pablo Torre to the 2022 BSM Summit. Pablo’s been with the worldwide leader since 2012. During that time he’s served as a senior writer for ESPN.com, the host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and has appeared on shows such as Around The Horn, Highly Questionable, and The Dan Le Batard Show. He also previously co-hosted High Noon with Bomani Jones. Prior to joining ESPN he spent five years writing for Sports Illustrated. Having worked with a mixture of talent from various backgrounds, I’m looking forward to having him share his insight and opinions on the value of it at the show.
Pablo isn’t the only ESPN personality joining us in New York for the conference. I’m excited to welcome back a great friend and one of the smartest sports betting analysts on television, Joe Fortenbaugh. Joe is regularly featured on ESPN’s sports betting program Daily Wager. He also appears on other ESPN programs and segments on television, radio and digital platforms. Prior to joining the network he hosted 95.7 The Game’s morning show in San Francisco, and hosted “The Sharp 600″ sports betting podcast. He’ll moderate a conversation with sports betting executives at the show.
Given that this two-day sports media conference is taking place in the heart of New York City, it’d be silly to not include someone who’s passion, energy, sound, and content embody what New York is all about. The Ringer’s John Jastremski will make his BSM Summit debut in 2022. The ‘New York, New York’ host is known to many for his years of contributions on WFAN. It’ll be fun picking JJ’s brain on the differences between performing on a traditional platform and the digital stage.
Jastremski isn’t the only one with a connection to The Ringer who will participate at our 2022 event. My next guest is someone who I’ve followed on YouTube and Twitter for years, has infectious energy and likeability, and has taken his life experiences and sports passions and turned them into opportunities with MSG Network, SNY, The Ringer, Bleacher Report, WWE, The Source and various other outlets. Kazeem Famuyide will join us to shed light on his journey and offer his perspective on the value of traditional vs. non-traditional paths.
By the time March’s conference rolls around, we’ll have somewhere between 50-60 people announced to participate at the two day event. I’ll be announcing the addition of a very special executive in mid-October, as well as a few high profile speakers and awards recipients in the weeks and months ahead. I’m appreciative of so many expressing interest in speaking at the conference, and as much as I’d like to include everyone on stage, I can’t. Keeping the Summit informative, fresh and focused on the right issues is important, and to do that, I’ve got to introduce different people, perspectives and subjects so our attendees gain value to further improve the industry.
A reminder, the 2022 BSM Summit is strictly for members of the sports media industry and college students aspiring to work in the business. It brings together people from more than thirty different media companies and focuses on issues of relevance and importance to media industry professionals. The show takes place March 2-3, 2022 in New York at the Anne Bernstein Theater on West 50th Street. Tickets and hotel rooms can be secured by visiting BSMSummit.com. For those unable to attend in person, the Summit will also be available to view online. Virtual tickets can be purchased by clicking here. Hope you’ll join us!
Traug Keller Named 2022 Recipient of the Jeff Smulyan Award
“Former SVP of ESPN Audio and President of ABC Networks Traug Keller has been chosen as our 2022 recipient of the Jeff Smulyan Award.”
Sometimes decisions are difficult. Other times they’re not. This was one of the easiest ones I’ve made since launching the BSM Summit in 2018.
If you haven’t attended the Summit before, one of the cool parts of the conference each year is that we take time to honor people who have left a permanent mark on the industry we love. Awards ceremonies are held both days to recognize difference makers who have made positive contributions to the sports radio business. At our 2022 BSM Summit, I am pleased to share that a great man will be celebrated for his life’s work.
It is my honor to announce that former SVP of ESPN Audio and President of ABC Networks Traug Keller has been chosen as our 2022 recipient of the Jeff Smulyan Award. Keller becomes the third industry executive to earn the honor. Kraig Kitchin and Dan Mason were the first two to be recognized at the 2019 and 2020 BSM Summit’s.
Upon learning that Traug had been selected as the next Jeff Smulyan Award winner, Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan said, “Traug Keller has left an indelible imprint on not only sports radio, but on all of broadcasting through his remarkable career. I’m proud to call him my friend, but I’m just one of the legions of people who have loved every minute of their time with him. He’s a broadcaster’s broadcaster, but more than that he’s one of the best people I’ve ever known.”
“I am humbled for sure but thrilled to be receiving an award with the name of my good friend on it, Jeff Smulyan,” added Traug Keller, now the EVP and COO of American Media. “Jeff did what all too few leaders in business do, he took risk and action against all kinds of headwinds and the rest of us in the great business of Sports Audio were the beneficiaries of it. Thanks to BSM for this great honor and I look forward to seeing a bunch of old friends in March!”
Anyone who has crossed paths with Traug over the past three decades knows how important he was to the success of ESPN Radio. He’s been a friend to many, a great partner to hundreds of radio affiliates, and a champion for talent. His support for BSM has also meant a lot.
Perhaps even more impressive was Traug’s ability to connect with his affiliates, clients and colleagues, offering steady leadership and on-air stability for ESPN Radio. No executive leaves with a perfect record, but Keller had a knack for landing on the right side of many decisions. None as impressive though as retiring from sports radio in February 2020, one month before the sports world came to a screeching halt and a global pandemic rocked the entire advertising industry. Talk about timing Traug, haha.
In all seriousness, having Traug and Jeff together on the same stage in front of the industry to give folks an opportunity to show their appreciation for their accomplishments is a real treat. So many enjoy professional success today due to bold and smart decisions made by each of these men, and I couldn’t be happier to spend time with both in New York City this March.
For tickets, hotel and additional details regarding the 2022 BSM Summit visit BSMSummit.com.
14 Participants Announced For The 2022 BSM Summit
“The industry is rapidly evolving, so as a professional, it’s vital to learn new skills, build relationships, discover what clients want in order to generate more revenue, understand audience behavior, and pick the brains of your peers to create new ideas.”
To most people, six months is far enough away to not think much about it. But when you’re building a conference, it feels way too close to get everything done in time that’s required to execute a high caliber event.
By now you’ve likely heard that the 2022 BSM Summit is returning to New York City on March 2-3, 2022. I shared that news on July 19th, but didn’t provide many details other than the date and venue (Anne Bernstein Theater). Tickets weren’t even put on sale because I wanted to make sure a few other items were nailed down first before we started accepting payments.
Before I discuss some of those details, I want to remind folks that for the first time ever, the Summit will be available to attend both in-person and virtually. A big thanks to Nuvoodoo for partnering with us to make the Summit available online. If you’ve been to this event before, then you know the live experience is extremely valuable. That said, due to the ongoing issues in our country with Covid-19, some may prefer not to travel and watch it online instead. We’ve gone to great lengths to make this valuable for industry professionals, including pricing tickets differently on BSMSummit.com to account for the live vs. online advantages. If you’re planning to attend, you can now purchase tickets on the website.
As far as other key items are concerned, finding the right hotel partner was important. I’m pleased to share that Hotel Edison will serve as the official hotel of the 2022 BSM Summit. I know that keeping travel costs low is vital yet industry professionals also want to stay in a nice location close to the event. I think we’ve pulled that off again. Hotel Edison is only a 3-block walk to the Anne Bernstein Theater and they’ve provided an excellent rate for attendees. Rooms will go fast though, so click here to reserve your room asap to avoid missing out.
The next part of this process involved gathering sponsors. As an independent operator who focuses more on content and consulting than sales, this part isn’t always easy. I don’t have a sales team working for me nor do I have 40-hours a week to focus solely on Summit sponsors. Fortunately, I’ve built a few great partnerships over the years, so I’d like to thank ESPN Radio, Compass Media Networks, and Stone Voiceovers for offering their support once again. I know other clients will return too, but there are many other broadcasting companies and businesses with products targeted to industry professionals who haven’t been part of this event before. So here’s an opportunity to change that. Check out our Advertising page, and if you see something that appeals to your group, get in touch so we can discuss how we might be able to work together. Your support allows us to continue doing this event for the industry.
Now that we’ve taken care of the business, let’s talk about the thing that everyone cares about most, the speakers. I usually start off by announcing some of the high profile personalities who will be part of the show. This year though, I’m going to start by focusing on some of the top programming minds in the industry. It’s an honor once again to welcome Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan, Premiere Radio Networks SVP of Sports Don Martin, Westwood One and Cumulus Media SVP of Sports Bruce Gilbert, SiriusXM SVP of Sports Steve Cohen, Audacy New York Market Manager Chris Oliviero, former WFAN Program Director Mark Chernoff, current WFAN Program Director Spike Eskin, 670 The Score and 1250 The Fan Program Director Mitch Rosen, and Hubbard’s Director of Digital Content Phil Mackey to the BSM Summit.
As great as it is to have those nine gentlemen part of the event, I’m equally excited to welcome a few new faces. Joining us for the first time will be Blue Wire Podcasts CEO Kevin Jones, The Volume’s Head of Content Logan Swaim, Nuvoodoo Media’s CEO Carolyn Gilbert and EVP of Research Analysis Leigh Jacobs, and WFNZ Program Director and the creator of 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Terry Foxx.
If you’ve followed how we promote this event over the years, you know that I don’t share all the details at once. The credentials of these fourteen individuals are well documented, and having them involved is important to me. By the time March rolls around though, we’ll add 30-40 others with similar qualifications. I won’t tell you who else has committed to join us for the show, but there’s some serious firepower to be announced in the coming weeks and months. I’m especially excited to spend time on stage with one well respected executive during one of the Summit’s featured sessions.
What I value most about the Summit is that it brings the industry together and allows us to examine many different layers of the industry over a sixteen hour period with a lot of smart and successful people. In doing so, folks are able to return home with valuable knowledge and action steps to help themselves and their brands. This conference started with a focus on radio but has since expanded to cover podcasting, social media, sports betting, marketing, video, print, etc.. The industry is rapidly evolving, so as a professional, it’s vital to learn new skills, build relationships, discover what clients want in order to generate more revenue, understand audience behavior, and pick the brains of your peers to create new ideas. The more informed you are, the better your chances of being successful, and the education provided at the BSM Summit will absolutely help you grow as a professional.
Look for our next announcement early next week. There’s a lot to dive into in New York and I’m eager to spend time with the industry’s best and brightest, as we work on making 2022 a huge bounce back year for the sports media business.
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