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Jason McIntyre Always Wants Forward Momentum

“I’m in no rush. I’m having fun. I’m learning practically every day from some of the best in the business.”

Brian Noe

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Some people are scared to say something unpopular. FOX Sports Radio and FS1 host Jason McIntyre is not one of these people. His style doesn’t resemble a conservative play-caller in football. It’s more like the rapper Bone Crusher repeating, “I ain’t never scared,” from his 2003 hit song. Jason doesn’t operate a dink-and-dunk offense on the sports radio airwaves. He slings it, takes chances, and is aggressive. He’s a fearless host that will gladly face the listeners he riles up.

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There is often a misperception that a strongly opinionated and unapologetic host has to be a bit of a wild card — a loose cannon comparable to a rabid dog. This definitely isn’t the case with Jason. He’s a very nice guy who is also incredibly smart. It isn’t a requirement to be a jerk in order to produce strong stances. Jason is like a pitcher delivering some sweet chin music to a hitter only to then tip his cap and wish his competition a nice day.

As the previous owner of The Big Lead, Jason points out some interesting parallels between the sports blog and sports radio. He also talks about his days of owning the site anonymously. As a guy who has already accomplished a lot and loves to challenge himself to reach new heights, it’ll be fun to keep track of what Jason accomplishes next. Enjoy.

Brian Noe: What gives you the most enjoyment as a sports broadcaster?

Jason McIntyre: One of the big things in our industry, you know this, you have to be fearless. You can’t care what people are going to say about your take or your opinion. It does feel good when you’re out on a limb, out on the ledge saying something like, listen, I don’t want to be in the Odell Beckham business. If I were the Giants I would trade him. And all these Giants fans — “You’re an idiot! He’s so good.”

What happens like two months later? They trade him. Now the Browns after one year, “I don’t know we might move on.” Now the recent Odell Beckham mishap. It’s like come on; you couldn’t see these things coming from a mile away? But people are kind of nervous and scared to go out and say something unpopular.

I had the same thing with Baker Mayfield. His rookie year, I’ll never forget they were playing the Jets and they win the game. Baker was tremendous, he comes off the field and what’s he doing? He’s looking at his cell phone. Huge win. That’s the first thing you’re doing before you do any interviews? You’re looking at your cell phone.

I had been saying this guy’s out there. He likes to read social media and favorite comments by people. He’s favorited stuff I’ve said on FOX Sports Radio. He uses that as ammunition. You’ve got to have that inner drive to be better, not I want to get back at Joe in Milwaukee who said this about me. I just think that’s the wrong attitude. He’s so into the social media, it kind of scares me. What happened to Baker Mayfield this year? He was atrocious. I’m not picking on the Cleveland Browns here or anything. I’m just saying the idea of being fearless and going out there on the ledge all alone on an island and turning out to be right, it feels like you’re in a good place, like you’re not afraid of anything.

BN: What’s the biggest challenge for you as a broadcaster?

JM: One of the issues that I’ve found — and again I’m pretty new to this stuff. I’ve only been in radio for I think four years. I did one year at Yahoo! Sports Radio and then my agent parlayed that into FOX. Then I came out to do the TV stuff for FS1. I would say the one thing is just being consistent across the board. If one day I’ve got to do a video for FOX on NFL picks, the next day I’m going on Lock It In, then I’m going on the radio, you kind of change your mind. It’s tough to be like, yes, I think this is going to be the score on Tuesday. Then new information comes out like injuries. Oh, I kind of changed my mind a little bit. Then you see by Saturday morning, hey, all the money is on one side. Whoa, maybe I need to change my mind.

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I guess it’s a good thing because I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong. You’re going to be wrong a lot. I’m on the wrong side of this. There’s new information presented to me. You know that as a host. You might do your Portland show and talk about breaking news and then boom within the next five days a whole new narrative emerges and you go on your radio show on FOX and you say, listen, I got it wrong the first time. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think the biggest challenge is being consistent. A lot of guys, they don’t want to admit when they’re wrong. Me? I have no problem.

BN: Which is better — to come right out with honesty and say, I really don’t know how this game is going to play out, or just pick a side and almost make yourself believe that’s the way it’s going to go? 

JM: Yeah, that’s a tough one because you can’t do a segment on TV where you just come on and say I have no idea. You can’t. They’ll just be like, all right, well we’ll find someone who can. That’s the reality. You have to have an opinion. That’s why you’re here. You got to this place because you are fearless. You’re not worried about being wrong and you have interesting opinions that are going to make people think.

BN: What’s something that you’ve carried over to sports radio from your days of owning The Big Lead?

JM: The best part of owning a website was you could see every 10 minutes, every 30 minutes, every hour what posts work and what doesn’t. You pretty quickly realize that, hey man, the NFL is super popular. It’s number one. The NBA is number two and then there is a huge drop off. There’s just not as much interest in terms of debatability or topics in baseball. There just isn’t. Now obviously the Houston Astros are a phenomenal story right now. I think that has potential, but I’m curious to see whether or not it drives traffic or if it’s a social media story.

I’m sure you’ve seen, Brian, there’s a colossal difference between what works on TV, what works on radio, what works on the internet, and then there’s social media. Because you know social media skews very left. People are easily outraged at anything. All these people would get worked up on social media, but then when it came to clicking on these stories, they didn’t. We saw a disconnect between stories that you have to read and social media where you can be flippant and have comments. I thought that was fascinating.

BN: How did you get your start in the beginning of your career? 

JM: So I got out of college — this was of course before social media had popped — I get out of college and I wanted to work at a newspaper. My dream all along had been I want to cover the Lakers for a newspaper. I would have season tickets also, which made no sense, but that’s when you’re a little kid and you think, oh, Magic Johnson’s awesome and you want to be there. I got into newspapers and then about three years in I was on the staff with Adrian Wojnarowski and a couple other guys at the Bergen Record. It was just like wait a sec; this newspaper thing is starting to hit some walls here. The internet is starting to pop.

I’ll never forget I had a moment where I decided — let me buy my URL JasonMcIntyre.com. I’ll put my resume on there and my clips so I can get noticed around the country. I put that out there and one of my colleagues on staff sees it and reports me to the top guy. I get called into a glass office at the Bergen Record, “Jason, I don’t know if this is legal. You’re republishing our stories.”

I said how different is this than clipping out my stories from the newspaper and sending it to somebody? I’m not making any money off of this. What are you talking about? I realized at that point these are some old folks in the newspaper industry. They don’t get the internet. I need to get out of here. 

I had left for a better job at Us Weekly magazine and lived in New York City. Within two years I started The Big Lead. It’s hard work. It’s luck. It’s a combination of a lot of factors. Everything lined up perfectly. My girlfriend at the time, who’s now my wife, had a good job so I was able to not make any money off the website for a good year after quitting my job. It was just like “This is where I want to be. This is perfect.” Then the next thing you know the website leads to TV and FS1 and the radio. It was a springboard to me being in sports and all this fun stuff.

BN: What were your big breaks while you were still running The Big Lead

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JM: The big one was when Colin Cowherd was at ESPN. I don’t necessarily remember what was written, but it was something on The Big Lead. This was when it was anonymous by the way. Nobody knew I was running it. He read something and he’s like, wouldn’t it be great if we could just blow this website up? It just so happens that it was his first day replacing Tony Kornheiser and he had a lot of new listeners. All of these listeners went to the website and it was like a mom-and-pop shop back then. Our server was like in Romania for $27 a month. Super cheap, because I’m not spending tons of money. I didn’t really spend anything out of pocket to start the website. The website basically blew up. It was knocked offline. 

NPR reached out to me and was like, hey, we want to interview you. “I’m like can I do it anonymously?” They’re like “No, you have to put your name on it.” I was like, “All right, I can’t talk to you guys.” But they still wrote about it. Then the ESPN ombudsman wrote about it and Cowherd got reprimanded. That was the one big one that kind of put me on the map.

The one after that was Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, who I’m sure you know him, does a lot in the media. He did the unmasking of me when I was ready to put my name on it. Once I started making money I was like, okay, I’ll put my name on it. I revealed that I was the guy behind it. Sports Illustrated wrote about it, which was very cool. Then I guess the third one would be when it sold. It was written about in The New York Times. My parents clipped it and framed it and all that fun stuff. That I think got the eyeballs of TV. I met with FOX, which turned into FS1 and then it went from there.

BN: Why were you so careful about not revealing that you were the guy running it?

JM: A couple things. Number one was I had the magazine job at Us Weekly. I didn’t think it would be a good look if posts were going up on the site as I’m sitting there in the office at Us Weekly or wherever I was reporting. I wasn’t really doing stuff while on the job. I would just wake up at 6am, listen to Howard Stern, and then set up like two or three posts. I would set them to post throughout the day. I was able to do both at the same time, which was nice.

The other aspect was I didn’t know where this was going. I think the fact that it was anonymous — there was like an air of mystery. Who the hell is this guy? Where is this guy getting his information? Of course you know how the media works, once you start writing about the media, they definitely want to be on your side because they’re afraid of you. I had all of these media guys reaching out to me trying to become friendly. I got to be friendly with some of them obviously. They would give tips and they would be like, oh, I heard this is happening at ESPN or at Sports Illustrated. Then that would become a story. Next thing you know it wasn’t just sports fans reading, it was the important people, the decision makers at magazines and TV and radio. I guess once you get the media and the fans it’s a big win.

BN: How did you become friends with Cowherd? 

JM: Well it’s funny. After he did that whole blow-up thing, I guess maybe six months later was the Sports Illustrated reveal. Then six months later I had started doing interviews with media people, but more in-depth. I spent the day at the Big East Tournament with Jay Bilas and hung out with him. I was showing that I’m not just a guy who would do hot takes and media gossip, so I would do these longer form pieces.

I emailed ESPN for one of them. I was like, hey, can I come up and interview Cowherd? They reached out to Cowherd and Cowherd was like, “Oh yeah, that’s great.” Next thing you know I went up to Bristol for a night and hung out with Cowherd for the day. It was pretty incredible. I guess in a way he kind of liked or respected what I had built and that I was a normal guy.

Listen man, Brian you’re in radio, you meet some of these guys, and there are some strange individuals to say the least. I like to think of myself as a normal dude. I have a wife, kids, regular guy, and I guess he liked that and we just kind of got to be friendly.

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BN: That’s cool, man. What would you consider to be your biggest strength and your biggest weakness as a sports radio host? 

JM: I would say the strength we kind of covered a little bit, just a fearless mentality. I’m not afraid of anybody. If somebody’s going to come after me, whatever. Hey, you want to talk sports? That’s fine. Discuss other stuff? There’s no reason to be afraid of anyone. I’ve always had that mentality.

I play a lot of pickup basketball. I always want to guard the best guard on the other team. I want to challenge myself. I don’t want to guard some scrub. I’m not going to get better. Being fearless I think would be my biggest strength.

My weakness I guess I get too into sports sometimes if that’s possible. I know that’s kind of nerdy to say. I don’t like to focus on weaknesses. There are a lot of guys in the TV industry who basically are like, hey, this person can’t do this. My thought is who cares what they’re not good at? Focus on what they’re good at. It applies to sports. All these teams were like “I don’t want Lamar Jackson. He can’t do this.” The Baltimore Ravens said “No, no he can do this.” Then they basically built their franchise, their offense, around him and he’s the MVP of the league putting up historic stuff. I know they had a playoff stinker there, but he had like 500 yards of offense. I think that’s a mentality — don’t focus on the negatives, focus on what you do best and really hammer that and build off of it.

BN: What are some of your goals that you would really like to accomplish?  

JM: Well we always want forward momentum in anything we do. I’ve been doing weekend radio for three or four years on FOX. I would love to have a five day a week show. I’ve been doing TV now at FS1 for three years. I’d love to have a daily show, but I’ve become a lot more patient. It could be living out here in L.A. I grew up in the Northeast. You may or may not know this, but in the Northeast you better be 15 minutes early if you want to be on time. Out here in L.A. it’s like you’re 30 minutes late, oh well, glad you showed up. You’re on time. It’s just totally different and a different speed.

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I’ve gotten a lot better I think with just being patient and letting things come to you. You never want to force anything whether it’s a radio show you’re not ready for, or a TV show you’re not ready for because you’ve seen a lot of people really want things badly. They get it and what happens? It doesn’t end well for them quickly. I’m in no rush. I’m having fun. I’m learning practically every day from some of the best in the business. I’ll see Skip Bayless in the building and chat him up and learn something. I’ll see Cowherd. FOX has great executives. I love talking to Scott [Shapiro]. I had breakfast with Scott and Don [Martin] last year and learned a lot of stuff. I like those guys a lot. I’m just a sponge out here in the industry trying to get better every day as cheesy as that sounds.

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Mike Silver Has An NFL Backstage Pass

“When you go through a career transition like that, let alone during a pandemic, you find out a referendum on all your relationships.”

Derek Futterman

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It was the 2010 NFL Draft and standout wide receiver Dez Bryant was eligible to be selected by a professional football team. As a journalist, Mike Silver has always looked to enterprise stories and wanted to be with Bryant when the moment he had been waiting for finally arrived.

Through a preexisting relationship with Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, he got in touch with Bryant and received permission to attend his draft celebration. Before being selected in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys, Bryant revealed to him that then-Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland had asked him during the pre-draft process if his mother was a prostitute.

Once that information was published in Silver’s column, Ireland had to publicly apologize and was subsequently put under investigation by the team’s majority owner Stephen Ross.

“People were like, ‘How did you get that?,’ but I was very proud because really the way I got it was because Deion Sanders respected me enough based on things that had happened decades earlier and the way that I conducted myself that I was able to ultimately get to Dez,” Silver expressed. “That to me is a validation. I’ve nurtured relationships for years and years that have led to zero reporting and thought, ‘It’s okay; it’s just part of the process. It is what it is.’”

From the start, Silver was a believer in journalism and the power the profession had in divulging stories in pursuit of the truth. Born in San Francisco, Calif. and raised in Los Angeles, he would read The Los Angeles Times sports section for a half hour per day, observing the proclivities and vernacular of other writers. As a high school student, he co-authored a sports column in the Palisades Charter High School Tideline with current Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, gaining practical experience in journalism and cultivating professional relationships.

“I was the only Warriors fan in our school because I was born in San Francisco so he used to clown me for being a Warriors and 49ers fan like everyone else in our school – so I ended up having the last laugh,” Silver said. “By old standards, you’d say, ‘You can’t cover Steve Kerr. That’s your friend.’ I think in 2022 if I have to cover Steve Kerr, I’ll just be like, ‘You know what? Everyone knows we’re friends. I’m just going to be up front about it.’”

Silver attended the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communication and media studies. The school was not known for profound levels of success within its football and basketball programs, according to Silver; however, the student newspaper was a place to gain repetitions in covering sports and having finished work published, printed and distributed.

Towards the end of his time in college, Silver wrote stories that were published in The Los Angeles Times, the newspaper he grew up reading and from which he drew inspiration to become a journalist.

“We would tell the players we covered, ‘Hey, we’re trying to go to the pros too, and we’re not going to get jobs in this industry if we don’t write the truth,’” Silver said. “We were trying to break in as legitimate journalists and we definitely ruffled some feathers along the way.”

Once he graduated from school, Silver began his professional career writing for The Sacramento Union where he covered the San Francisco 49ers. Silver grew up as a football fan and was familiar with the team but always tried to find original, untold angles to differentiate his stories from others. Shortly thereafter, he transitioned to join The Santa Clara Press Democrat as a beat writer and used the time to further develop his writing and reporting skills. Five years later, he was in talks to land his dream job as a writer in Sports Illustrated, a prolific sports magazine focused on producing original content.

Sports Illustrated was released on Wednesdays and operated under the belief of trying to omit any stories that may have been reported in the days prior. The goal was to tell stories that were under the radar and would be impactful and memorable for its readers.

During a typical week, Silver would visit both the home and road teams in their own cities with the hopes of connecting with players and team personnel. After a game, he would go to the locker room, yet he would try to avoid doing one-on-one interviews since the content would likely be published elsewhere before the magazine was released.

Then, his writing process commenced and often went through the night, as Sports Illustrated had a 9 a.m. EST deadline the following morning. By taking the approach of enterprising stories, Silver quickly became one of the most venerated and trusted sportswriters in the country, composing over 70 cover stories for the publication.

With the advent of the internet though, journalism and communication was forever changed allowing for the free flow of information and ideas in a timely manner.

“Now I can arrogantly write to whatever length I want and every precious word of mine could be broadcast to the masses, but [back then] you better have it the exact length because it’s going on a page,” Silver said. “You’re maybe reading over a story 15 times or more to get it just right before the seven layers of editing kick in. You’re also leaving theoretically half of your great stuff on the cutting room table never to surface again or seldom.”

Nurturing a relationship built on trust and professionalism is hardly facile in nature, and it required enduring persistence and resolute determination to achieve for Silver. Through these relationships, he has been able to create both distinctive and original types of content. As innovations in technology engendered shifts in consumption patterns though, he decided to do what he originally perceived as being unthinkable and left Sports Illustrated after nearly 13 years.

“When I went there, I felt like we had 30 of the 35 best sportswriters in America and it was murderer’s row,” Silver said of Sports Illustrated. “I had a great, great experience there the whole time so I never thought I’d leave.”

After meeting with Yahoo Sports Executive Editor Dave Morgan and being given an offer with flexibility in the job and a promise of a lucrative salary, Silver knew it was simply too good to pass up. He opted to still write a column on Sundays to counterprogram Peter King at Sports Illustrated, who authored his own weekly “Monday Morning Quarterback” column.

Additionally, Silver agreed to write two additional branded columns per week in a quest to adapt to the digital age of media.

“I was trying to stay current and connect to an internet generation and keep up with the way that people were consuming their content at that time,” Silver said. “….We just had a spirit at Yahoo that we weren’t owned by anyone, we didn’t have a deal with the league and we were going to report the news in a very unfiltered way.”

An advent of the digital age in media has been the practice of writers appearing on television to present their information en masse, requiring changes in their delivery. Unlike in a written piece, reporting on television requires efficiently making key points and speaking in shorter phrases to allow the viewer to easily follow the discussion. Moreover, writers are sometimes presented with questions that may provoke deeper thought or analysis, and occasionally challenge their lines of reporting.

Silver never thought he would work in television, but as a part of his contract with NFL Media, he was writing columns and serving as an analyst on select NFL Network programming. In working on television on a league-owned entity, it forced him to step out of his comfort zone and pursue mastery of a new skill set.

“I never wanted to do TV voice and be cheesy and look like someone who was trained for the medium so my strategy was more to try to be myself on camera and see how that translated,” Silver articulated. “It seemed to work to some degree – and then obviously I picked up a lot of tricks of the trade and techniques and got better reps. Essentially, I think reporting is reporting [and] information is information.”

Moving into television, a medium with sports coverage that is, at its core, nonlinear due to the potential for breaking news and unexpected occurrences, changed the manner in which the information was presented and/or prioritized on the air. In a column, Silver’s goal was to find original angles and obtain anecdotes and quotes to implement into the storytelling. Now on television, sources were still used largely on the condition of deep background, meaning no individual or group could be attributed to the information in any way.

“With TV, there was an element of, ‘Hey man, I’m just trying to sound smart when I talk about you guys,’ which is code for, ‘I don’t have to use your name when I say this stuff, but when I’m weighing on why you just traded for Trent Richardson, help me understand what’s really going on with the Indianapolis Colts at this moment,’” Silver explained. “That’s just a random example. I liked [television] more than I thought I would.”

Silver’s contract was not renewed at NFL Network in 2021, providing a stark change in his lifestyle and leaving him looking for a job in the midst of trying economic times. Through a relationship he had with sports radio host Colin Cowherd, he was given the opportunity to join his upstart podcast platform The Volume as a host. Cowherd eagerly recruited Silver to the platform following a lunch in which the topic came up naturally in conversation about future endeavors.

“When you go through a career transition like that, let alone during a pandemic, you find out a referendum on all your relationships and I have a lot of them from players, coaches, owners and GMs to media people and friends in other industries, etc.,” he explained. “Colin Cowherd is someone I’ll never, ever, ever forget or stop being grateful to…. We were kind of talking some stuff out and he was like, ‘Why don’t we do a show on my network?,’ and we started talking about what that would be. We left lunch… and about 10 minutes later he called me and said, ‘Okay, here’s what I think,’ and kind of continued it.”

Today, Silver is hosting an interview-based program called Open Mike featuring guests from the world of professional football. Recent guests on the program have included Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh and Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones. Prior to joining The Volume, Silver had hosted a podcast with his daughter called Pass It Down, which ultimately ran for over 50 episodes and gave him experience working within the medium.

“I’m sitting there spending an hour with [Las Vegas] Raiders GM Dave Ziegler or [Buffalo Bills] linebacker Von Miller or whoever we have on,” Silver said. “You’re not only getting to know that person; you’re watching the way I connect with that person and usually have a body of work with that person, and there’s a comfort level there too.”

John Marvel was Silver’s direct boss at NFL Media and a friend he kept in touch with for many years. Through various correspondences and the dynamic media landscape, they decided to start their own media venture called Backstage Media. The company has a first-look deal with Meadowlark Media – a company co-founded by John Skipper, who also serves as its chief executive officer. Skipper was formerly the president of ESPN and someone Silver wished he had worked for earlier in his career.

“I did not know John Skipper before I left NFL Network,” he said. “I didn’t particularly have a dream to [ever] work at ESPN. We’ve had conversations over the years – ESPN and I – and it never seemed like the perfect fit for me. Now that I know John Skipper, it’s like ‘I would have worked for that guy any time.’ He’s fantastic, [and] I’m just so pumped to be in business with him.”

The company, which focuses on producing documentaries and other unscripted programming through the intersection of sports, music and entertainment, has various projects in development. The idea was derived out of both of their penchants for storytelling and an attempt to utilize new platforms built for engagement within the modern-day media marketplace.

“We’re hoping that documentaries, docuseries [and] episodic podcasts – mostly unscripted – …will be kind of our wheelhouse,” Silver said. “….There’s about four big things that are [hopefully] close to being announced. One’s football; one’s boxing; one is basketball; and one is kind of a blend of some things. I feel like we have a pretty diverse set of interests.”

Joining The San Francisco Chronicle as a football reporter has been indicative of a full-circle moment for Silver, as he is once again around the San Francisco 49ers and writing columns about the team and other sports around the Bay Area at large. Today, he is working with Scott Ostler and Ann Kllion, and directly with Eric Branch on the outlet’s 49ers coverage. Through it all, he seeks to continue gaining access to places that the ordinary person would only be able to dream about in order to tell compelling and informative stories, no matter how they may be delivered or on what platform(s) to which it may be distributed.

“I’m old school in a lot of my mentality in terms of journalism and storytelling and all of that,” Silver said. “I think those things don’t go away. I think it’s journalism first; relationship first; access first; storytelling first; and you figure out the rest.”

As for the future of the profession which has ostensibly become less defined because of the evolution of social media and communication, relationships and storytelling have truly become the differentiators. Silver aims to continue practicing what has allowed him to gain exclusive scoops in the industry and tell stories that would otherwise, perhaps, fly under the radar, but do so in a way that does not jeopardize his sources.

“I’m going to try to develop relationships and cultivate relationships where people trust me and give me a sense of what’s going on,” he said. “I’m going to try to get into places that you, as the consumer, couldn’t otherwise go and take you there, and I’m going to err on the side of the relationship as opposed to finding out one thing that could cause a splash that day on Twitter.”

Some athletes are hosting podcasts or writing columns to directly communicate with their fans, including Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green on The Volume, intensifying the quest for engagement and attraction. Yet Silver advises journalists looking to break into the industry not to get distracted in meeting certain metrics, instead adhering to best practices and reporting truthful information without ambiguity.

“Just don’t get undone by the noise,” Silver said. “Put your head down; hyperfocus; grind; tell good stories; do journalism and hopefully over the course of time, that will stand out. I’d still like to believe that.”

Covering professional sports, specifically football, generates a large amount of potential storylines on which journalists can report – and today, digital platforms give them the ability to cover them in different ways. While some scoops may requit a large article, others may be able to be told in 280 characters or less, such as a trade rumor or injury. The amount of information Silver and his colleagues uncovered working for a print publication and then had to omit because of space limitations underscores a key journalistic principle of efficient and truthful storytelling. In today’s media landscape, he hopes to be able to do that regardless of its means of dissemination.

“If you went back and just looked at our normal… feature or story off a game [and] the level we reported on a Wednesday and translated that to a Twitter generation, people would lose their minds about how much we found out and how much we reported with on-the-record quotes usually, and they’d be like, ‘He said what!?,” Silver said. “That’s all we knew and that’s [how] we did it…. I don’t think people understand how much the threshold has changed. It’s all good. The most important things hopefully haven’t changed.”

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Video Simulcasts Are Now A Must Have For Sports Radio

All of these shows have done an amazing job of constantly communicating with their audiences to make sure they’re aware of changes coming their way. 

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Video simulcasts of sports talk radio and podcasts have gone up extraordinarily in quality as of late. The craft started as a novelty that very few participated in. ESPN and YES Network dominated the genre with their simulcasts of Mike and Mike in the Morning and Mike and the Mad Dog respectively. Slowly but surely other sports networks and RSN’s picked up the genre over time and it has now become a major component within sports coverage in the streaming world.

The most popular and prominent shows in the medium right now include The Dan Patrick Show, The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz, The Pat McAfee Show, and The Rich Eisen Show. These four shows in particular have done an excellent job of independently producing and building out their video content to look visually appealing while also engage with the audience through graphics, pictures, stats on screen. In McAfee’s case, his company even entered into a rights agreement with the NFL for highlights.

Finding their shows can be difficult at times. Eisen’s show has moved from television to Peacock and to Roku Channel all within the span of a couple years. When LeBatard’s shipping container first began their live video voyage they didn’t have a consistent schedule. Patrick’s show has also leapt between RSNs, national networks, YouTube and its current home on Peacock. But all of these shows have done an amazing job of constantly communicating with their audiences to make sure they’re aware of changes coming their way. 

The video simulcasts have become so lucrative for these shows that they’ve found sponsors to advertise against what they’re offering and they ensure that they pay attention to the look of the show. Commercials that feel like television play during Patrick and Eisen’s shows. Logos are displayed during LeBatard’s broadcast and NFL Films vignettes that you would find on NFL Network air in the middle of McAfee’s broadcast.

McAfee’s show recently moved into a new studio in Indianapolis specifically built for them by FanDuel and just yesterday LeBatard announced they would be moving into their own state of the art studio in Miami that will help expand their creativity. Patrick’s show doesn’t even have guests call into their show anymore – most join via Zoom. Eisen’s guests are more often than not in studio. All of these shows also upload highlights relatively quickly to YouTube. They’re still audio-first but video is no longer secondary. It is 1A in terms of importance.

As much as these simulcasts feel close to real TV, there are still some hijinks that fans have to get used to that aren’t the same as a regular TV broadcast. During LeBatard’s broadcast, a rolling loop of their own self produced album plays during breaks. While the songs are hilarious in nature, if you’re a weekly viewer of their simulcast it might get tiresome to hear every time there is a break.

A loop of some of the show’s greatest moments and some of the side projects Meadowlark Media produces might be more engaging and help reduce drop off rate. McAfee’s show also struggles with white balancing their cameras almost every telecast. At times in the middle of a conversation during the show, discoloration occurs before changing back to normal skin tones.

Patrick’s show has used the same set of graphics since it began simulcasting on NBC’s linear sports network years ago which could be a turnoff for younger viewers of the internet era who always want change in order to grab their attention. Eisen’s show has awkward interruptions happen in the middle of conversations because commercial breaks are different in length on terrestrial radio vs. streaming.

At the end of the day though, these shows are the epitome of what it means to have grit and guts to achieve your American dream. Although their productions are subsidized and/or licensed by big media platforms and sports books, their social media presence and the actual production of these shows was built on their own. During the first couple of weeks after LeBatard’s show left ESPN, the former columnist could often be heard teasing listeners that they were working on building a video enterprise and how difficult it was.

It’s hard to stand on your own in sports talk media without the backing of superpowers like ESPN, Fox, NBC, CBS and Turner who have been producing live broadcasts for decades. But these shows have found a way to do so in a new world that is tailored towards doing everything on your own. 

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BSM Writers

5 Ideas For December Sales Success

How much better will you enjoy Christmas and New Year knowing you have some presentations to make to prospects who want to roll into 2023 with a new idea?

Jeff Caves

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Now is the time to put your foot on the gas for a great start to 2023-not waiting til January. With Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day all falling on weekends, you can’t count on who will be at work the Friday or Monday around those holidays in December.

So, looking forward from here, you only have 15 or so days that you can count on your clients and prospects to be at work before the end of 2022. And, if they are at work, consider their motivation or lack of it before approaching them. But here are five ways to attack December.

Cutting a year-end deal

Make sure you go back from the potential start date of the schedule and allow for production, proposal, and acceptance. That usually means you need a week from when you present a year-end idea to when the schedule starts. So, aim to have all appointments booked by 12/9, so you can sell 2-week packages that begin Monday, 12/19. That will give you a sense of urgency and gives you five solid business days to sell your ass off starting Monday.

5-day sale

Make all your pricing and payment terms expire by Friday, 12/9. You can always extend if need be once they give a partial commitment. You want anybody involved in the decision to sign off and let you cut this deal! The idea here is to create urgency and work ahead.

Beat the bushes

Do you want to wake up on 1/2/23 with an empty pipeline? How much better will you enjoy Christmas and New Year knowing you have some presentations to make to prospects who want to roll into 2023 with a new idea? Don’t try to qualify these prospects over the phone. Do it in January when both of you are fresh but get that commitment NOW. Look for your new client avatar.

Be gracious

From now til the end of the year is also an excellent time to meet with your sales assistant, traffic manager, production person, or anybody who helps you at the station. Sit down with them face to face and see what you can do better to make their job easier. Give them some ideas on how they can help you as well. Mend some fences or make new friends; the reason tis the season. Surprise them with a Cheetos popcorn tin for less than $10. Please do it. You will be surprised by what you hear because this is a popular time of year for layoffs, transfers, and people taking new jobs.

Practice a new pitch

December is also a great time to record yourself doing a webinar and start planning to let your content do the talking. Wouldn’t it be nice if your 10-minute talk on how to make live reads work, how to buy radio, or why your audience buys the most widgets produced some warm leads? Practice and get going!

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Barrett Media Writers

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