Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

BSM Writers

Scott Shapiro Wants To Compete On Every Platform

“I just find that fascinating knowing where the media is headed and what different consumption habits are.”

Brian Noe

Published

on

blank

Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen once described a teammate of his in a memorable way. Allen said that although former Los Angeles Raiders tight end Todd Christensen was very well read, he also had the ability to come down to a locker room level. That skill is very useful for a sports radio programmer to possess as well. It’s a skill that Scott Shapiro has.

Scott is one of the brightest minds in sports radio, but he doesn’t sound like he’s constantly giving a dissertation on the migrating habits of the Arctic Tern. Scott has the ability to teach and inform while sounding like one of the guys.

blank

The Minneapolis native eventually landed a gig as Program Director of ESPN Radio in Bristol. Scott worked closely with some of the biggest names in the business including Mike & Mike and Colin Cowherd, and continues to work with Cowherd now as the Vice President of FOX Sports Radio. Other top talent in the industry have also been under Scott’s careful watch at FSR. It isn’t shocking that a man who has presided over some of the sharpest minds in the business sounds like he has one of the sharpest minds himself. The top-shelf insight that Scott offers below is second to none.

One of the best compliments I can give a sports fan is this; the passion they have for their favorite team makes me more passionate about that same team myself. It works the same way in business. The love that Scott displays for sports radio is contagious. His words are inspiring and contain some of the best advice hosts will find anywhere. Scott will be on a panel at the BSM Summit in New York next week. He gets a head start by spreading some knowledge in the interview below. Enjoy.

Brian Noe: Which area did last year’s Summit benefit you the most?

Scott Shapiro: Audio is at such a critical point right now and it’s so fascinating how the industry is changing. To me what was most compelling last year is how the industry is combating all of the new platforms. Not all of the platforms are truly new, but the strategies towards all of the platforms are changing by the day. When you have the smartest minds in radio and audio in one room, the collective brainstorm about how podcasting is changing the game, how streaming is revolutionizing the decisions we make, to me the most useful information is what’s new on the horizon and how we can combat it as an industry.

We’ve all programmed and hosted radio shows for many years so the name of the game hasn’t changed, it’s all about compelling audio, but what’s most fascinating in a conference like that is, there are new technologies and platforms, and new audience members as a result of it. It’s figuring out the right strategies to make sure the audio business continues to grow, which it definitely is.

BN: Which is more challenging; finding the right on-air talent, or combating all of the other competition and platforms?

SS: I’d say the biggest challenge for any media company right now is standing out in the wilderness of so much product. What I mean by that — there’s between 900,000 and a million podcasts for example. So there is way more audio product in the market than ever before. To me the biggest challenge for any content producer, any company, is having your content stand out and be top of mind with the audience. 

What’s great for all of us and what makes it a fantastic challenge is that more people are consuming audio than ever before. Really along those lines more people are listening to sports audio than ever before. By audio I mean terrestrial radio, streaming, podcasting, you name the platform, there are more people listening, so that’s fantastic. There are less people today reading print journalism. That’s a fact. But there are more people listening to sports audio. The biggest challenge is since there are so many people delivering the product, how can you capture the listening, how can your content stand out in a wilderness of so many other takes?

BN: What strategies has FOX Sports Radio used to stand out among so much competition?  

SS: More than anything it’s in the strength of our talent without question. It’s having the most compelling, the most insightful, and the most thought-provoking material. By material I mean takes and opinions. The name of our game is playing hits and giving a very smart opinion on stories to make people smarter, to make people think differently, and to make people react.

Image result for fox sports radio lineup

What allows us to stand out, it’s the creative process of our talent and are producers to make what we’re doing the most compelling talk out in the space. Then you use your resources like social media to disseminate it and get it out to the masses. But really the name of the game more than anything is that content creation process where you’re developing a smart, well-researched take. You’re there for making your audience smarter and allowing them to learn something based on having a unique take compared to something that’s cookie-cutter that anybody out in the marketplace could be doing.

BN: If you were trying to build the perfect sports radio host, or as close to perfect as you could get, what would be the three main traits you would pinpoint?

SS: Good question. I’m going to name some things and we’ll see if it ends up being three. Ultimately a host has to live and breathe sports. You have to be so consumed with the content at which you’re presenting. I mean that because you need to have that curiosity for the topics. You need to have a fire burning inside of you for the topics that you’re discussing. I’ve worked with hosts in the past who ehh, they don’t really care about the topics. When you don’t care, you have such a ceiling on how good your take is going to be and how compelling and how passionate you are going to be. But when you are consumed by it, when you’re a fan yourself, you bring a certain level of curiosity and you care more about the topics — it invigorates opinions. It invigorates thought. Therefore there is depth to the topic which allows the audience to be along with you on the journey. To me more than anything you have to have a passion for the material because if not, the audience is going to see right through that and they’re going to tune out and find somebody else who is passionate. 

Number two; it’s the prep work that goes into a great show and the prep work that goes into developing a great topic. Anybody can take a story and give a cookie-cutter opinion and get by, but that’s no longer good enough. There are so many content producers out there where in the past, yeah, there might have been a couple different hosts on at the same time in each market. That was the audience’s choice. While there was competition there, it’s nothing like the competition of today. Now people can stream hosts from out of town. You can listen to content on demand. You can listen to content live. You can listen to all different genres. At this point now anybody can do mediocre audio, but that’s not good enough to win anymore. What prep does is it allows you to go deeper and make the audience smarter. 

Whether I’m listening in my position or just listening casually, I know when people put prep work in because that prep work allows your material to go from mediocre to excellent. Not even good to great, it can be from mediocre to excellent. Frankly the audience’s time in this day and age with all of the distractions, with all the content, with social media, with all the different technology we have for our ears and at our fingertips, people’s time is honestly in many cases more valuable than even their money. If we’re asking people to spend time consuming our content, there’s got to be prep that goes into it to make it great instead of making it mediocre. Mediocre just doesn’t cut it anymore and frankly good often times doesn’t cut it anymore. There are too many options out there.

Okay number three; hosts must have tremendous storytelling ability. At the end of the day no matter what topic you’re discussing, whether it’s sports or anything else, you’re telling stories on the air. Now it might be very topical to the story of the day. It might be an analogy to your life. It might be an analogy to the real world but ultimately the greatest storytellers make for the greatest radio hosts because really that’s what you’re doing. You’re asking for people’s attention and you’re trying to keep their attention in a very interesting and compelling way.

BN: You landed right on three. You stuck the landing.

SS: Hey, what do you know? Three. Boom. Man, if you would have asked me for 14, I might have struggled there.

BN: (Laughs) What are a couple of other traits in a great host?

SS: Being fearless. Having the ability to not be overly concerned with kickback, and not overly concerned by having a potentially unpopular opinion. A radio host who’s willing to be honest in a constructive way and a well-researched way despite it perhaps being uncomfortable or unpopular, that’s a skill that allows people to stand out because it makes for exceptionally interesting radio.

I’m going to also say unpredictability. It could be unpredictability in terms of the presentation, or in terms of the opinion they may have on a story. The more unpredictable a talent is, it leaves open to the audience a level of suspense where they never quite know exactly what they’re getting. That level of intrigue usually makes for a pretty interesting listener/host relationship.

BN: You’ll be one of the speakers at the Summit. Being on the programming side, do you feel comfortable and enjoy being in front of a crowd? 

SS: Personally I love it. There’s just an adrenaline rush. As a kid I was in plays and I’ve always liked being onstage. I’ve never shied away from those moments. I love the pressure that comes along with it. While some people have a hard time with that, I thrive in those types of atmospheres. But I’ve always wanted to be behind the scenes in radio. I love the strategy that goes into it. I love programming. The whole reason I’m in this game is because I would be consuming this product if I wasn’t working in it.

To be able to work behind the scenes and help craft it and help make talent better; to take shows from mediocre to great, or even good to great, I love the role of this position. I love what I do. At the same time in my position, you’re talking to people all day, every day. Whether it’s presenting to one person or having to get up on the stage and present to multiple hundreds, I’m comfortable with it. I think a leader of an organization needs to be comfortable speaking to others because a big part of what they’re doing is leading and inspiring people.

BN: The Summit will provide a lot of networking opportunities. It obviously benefits people that are seeking jobs, but for someone like yourself who already has the job, how important is networking?

SS: It’s important to everyone. Regardless if you’re a college student or you’re a top executive at a big company, it’s always important because you never know when opportunities are created with the people you meet. Frankly every job I’ve had throughout my career has been thanks to networking. Now, it’s also luck. Luck comes into everything. But luck doesn’t just happen; you have to create your luck through the relationships you have and through hard work.

Networking is very important because again no one should ever be content with where they are in life. You never know what doors can open through networking. Whether you’re a college student looking for an internship or you’re 60 years old and you think you’ve made it, there’s no point to shy away from networking because it could close doors that you never knew may open.

BN: What is either the most impactful thing you’ve recently learned about the radio industry or something that you found the most interesting?

SS: Now that’s a good question. Listen, to be an audio homer, it’s something I find fascinating; just in terms of leading and learning, one thing that I find fascinating is listening and viewing habits. What seems pretty remarkable to me is linear television. When you look at millennials, television consumption over the last five years has gone down 40 percent. Amongst millennials, linear television viewing has gone down 50 percent. Now of course that’s because there are so many streaming and on-demand options. But that’s a fact for linear TV.

Then when you look at terrestrial audio, there hasn’t been that drop off. It has not decreased at all over the last five years; to the point that well over 90 percent of people still to this day listen to terrestrial radio on a weekly basis. When you are able to track listening, viewing, and consumer habits, it allows you to better strategize what it is you’re doing and set up your organization to succeed. That’s not a profound life lesson, but it’s something I’ve learned just diving through numbers. I just find that fascinating knowing where the media is headed and what different consumption habits are.

BN: Being born and raised in Minneapolis, I know you bleed for your Minnesota teams. What’s the pecking order of your personal teams of interest?

SS: There are three that are at the top of the list; Vikings, Twins, and Timberwolves. I live and die with all of them. Boy, in terms of the order — mmm mmm mmm.

A Vikings Super Bowl championship would be the most impactful just because of the power of football. For a revolutionary moment, for that fan base, and for the state of Minnesota, the Vikings winning would be monumental. As a personal fan I live and die through these three teams. There’s not even a pecking order because my emotions that go into all of them are peak to begin with. I swear it’s like picking between children. I love them all and I hate them all at the same time.

BN: If a sports host talks about one of your favorite teams, you’re going to be locked in. What are the ingredients of a host that grab your attention the same way even when one of your favorite teams isn’t being discussed?

SS: It’s all about the storytelling and it’s all about the presentation. I’m a pretty broad sports fan in addition to having my favorite teams. If it’s a big story in sports I’m likely going to be interested in that story. But that’s what makes the ability of a host so fascinating; they can take a story that an audience perhaps wouldn’t choose on their own and they can make it compelling. That’s when you know you have a great host. It’s capturing the audience’s attention. It’s building an argument by demonstrating it and by telling a story. Ultimately we’re still playing the hits. We believe that the topics that we’re discussing are what the audience wants to hear. But if you’re able to hold people on a topic they didn’t wake up thinking they needed, it’s a great skill.

BN: You’ve worked with Jason Barrett before. Do you either have a funny story about JB from your working days together or something that stands out in your mind in terms of his work ethic?  

blank

SS: Other than the wrestling figurines that I see on his Twitter timeline. (Laughs) No here’s what I would say. It’s not a specific story. What I respect about Jason is that he’s relentless. I talk about hosts needing to have a passion on the air to be able to cut through and Jason certainly brings a next-level passion to his business and the business of sports audio. To have the vision to create a Summit like this, to have a vision to create a portal for news and a whole infrastructure around it, it takes guts and it takes a huge heart and a lot of work. I give him credit for having a very attuned sports media audience at the ready whenever he has news or content to share. I do really respect his passion for the industry and his relentless approach to making BSM work.

BSM Writers

Twitter Blue Debacle Showcases Company’s Ongoing Concerns

“If you start giving away blue badges to everyone, then it has no value. It’s the equivalent of a currency. if you start printing more, it gets devalued. Same for verified badges.”

Avatar photo

Published

on

blank

For years, a blue “verified” check mark on Twitter has long been considered a symbol of status. Anyone — entrepreneurs, journalists, business executives — could potentially end up in the same exclusive space as celebrities like Taylor Swift and Tom Brady. 

Perhaps the one quality that the blue check mark represented that had been overlooked was its authenticity stamp. The badge has been used all across social media platforms to signal an account’s authenticity — a verification that recently has proven to be of significant importance to not only people, but brands as well. 

Shortly after Elon Musk’s $44-billion takeover of Twitter, the billionaire swiftly made his mark which, among many things, included a democratization of the app’s verification system. With a $7.99 monthly subscription to Twitter Blue, which launched last year as the company’s first subscription service, users could now possess what had long evaded them: a blue check mark.

“Theoretically, this would have made it easier for some brands or influencers to get verified than it has been in the past,” Galen Clavio, director of undergraduate studies for the Media School at Indiana University Bloomington, wrote in an email about the possible benefits of Twitter Blue’s verification accessibility. 

“From an algorithmic perspective, that would have made sense to pursue under the Twitter setup that everyone had come to know,” he added. 

While perhaps not a surprise to Musk or Twitter executives, everyday people were paying for the newly revamped Twitter Blue to boast their social media clout. Whether Twitter leadership knew it or not, though, those same subscribers took the opportunity to verify themselves using the alias of actual people. 

Very quickly, Twitter Blue created an abundance of impersonators masquerading as verified celebrities and companies. Misinformation was hard to identify, making it tougher to find information in an era already plagued by discrepancies between fact and fiction.

“If you start giving away blue badges to everyone, then it has no value,” Alessandro Bogliari, CEO of the Influencer Marketing Factory, an influencer marketing agency, wrote in an email. “It’s the equivalent of a currency. if you start printing more, it gets devalued. Same for verified badges.”

blank
A screenshot of a fake account created to appear as pharmaceutical company Eli Lily shows the dangers of allowing anyone to be verified on Twitter.

Shortly after the Twitter Blue re-launch, a tweet was sent from an account using the same logo and name of Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company. It read, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.” The tweet seemed legit — the branding seemed real, as did the company name. It also boasted a blue-check mark, so it had to be true. 

As just one of many misrepresentations that succeeded it, the Eli Lilly tweet was a fake. Even when Twitter finally removed the tweet, more than six hours later, the fraudulent account had more than 1,500 retweets and 10,000 likes. The pharma company’s stock also plummeted $368 a share to $346 a share, reportedly erasing billions in market cap, according to several economic reports. Eli Lilly’s stock price currently sits at roughly $352 as of Nov. 16th.

“I can only imagine the damage a tweet like that made for the company, its employees, stakeholders, shareholders and anyone really related to their offering,” Bogliari said. “Some were able to tweet from their official accounts and restore it a bit. Others, I imagine, used PR and reputation firms to get to a solution fast. But it’s not that easy for all of them… for others it could be potentially a damage so big they won’t be able to survive, not just in terms of market cap/stock value, but also in terms of reputation and customers love.”

The verification mishap affected not only Eli Lilly’s reputability and profitability, but could also spell trouble for Twitter’s revenue stream.

“It’s making it really easy for advertisers to say: ‘You know what, I don’t need to be here anymore,’ and walk away,” Jenna Golden, who previously ran Twitter’s political and advocacy ad sales team, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “People are not just providing inaccurate information but damaging information, with the ability to look legitimate. That is just not a stable place for a brand to invest.”

Sports personalities were also hurt by the preponderance of fake users across Twitter. Basketball star LeBron James trended on the platform after a tweet from someone with the user handle, @KINGJamez, claimed that the 37-year-old was leaving the Los Angeles Lakers to join his former club, the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Adam Schefter, a notable football analyst at ESPN, also trended after someone with the user handle, @AdamSchefterNOT, revealed that Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels lost his job. While the user handle clearly indicates that it didn’t come from the actual Adam Schefter, the fact that it was quote tweeted could have led many people to assume it was really Schefter, since many were unlikely to take the time to click and confirm the tweet — and tweeter’s — validity.

These are just a few specific instances where, while a more open verification system could have helped Twitter users, the idea did not lead to a successful implementation.

“Being verified would have given those brands more credibility and be marked as the official brand — impersonation happens also for smaller brands and not just for Fortune 100 companies,” Bogliari said. “So the idea was theoretically good — I would say only for brands and certain individuals and not just for everyone… documents and proof (are still) required but the execution showed us all the flaws.”

Verification issues aside, Twitter faces an uncertain future under Musk’s leadership. As much as 50% of the company’s 7,500 employees predating Musk’s ownership have been laid off under his tenure. The billionaire also revealed that Twitter’s cost-cutting methods are a result of the company losing upwards of $4 million daily. He’s even announced potential bankruptcy if Twitter doesn’t correct its financial woes. 

“I see the Twitter Blue controversy as one of several items that are likely to just make brands and creators look elsewhere in the social media landscape,” Clavio said. “Twitter offers minimal exposure for creators and brands to the public when compared to other networks, and a much higher risk of doing or saying something that can cause a crisis.”

As more people grow skeptical about Twitter, alternatives have started to emerge. More people are visiting platforms like Discord, Reddit, even Tumblr. Others are joining Mastodon, a free and open-source microblogging site that has drawn comparisons to Twitter for its timeline of short updates arranged chronologically rather than algorithmically. 

As recently as Nov. 12th, Mastodon boasted approximately 6.63 million accounts, a 17% increase from the 5.65 million users it had on October 28th. 

From internal struggles to increased competition, Musk inherited a Twitter that, for better or worse, might be on a continual spiral to irrelevancy. 

“It’s clear that the Twitter platform is pretty fractured right now,” Clavio said. “At the end of it all, I think a lot of brands will just opt out of having a presence on Twitter, paid or otherwise. It’s just not big enough of a platform to justify the potential negative exposure.”

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Christian Arcand Returns To Where It All Started At WEEI

“Going to WEEI was a no-brainer for me. I started there. That’s my radio home.”

Derek Futterman

Published

on

blank

Since the turn of the century alone, Boston has hosted 12 ticker tape parades to celebrate championships. Christian Arcand has had the opportunity to experience that success firsthand, initially as a diehard Boston sports fan and then as a voice of the fan. Now as he begins his second stint at the WEEI — this time as a producer and weekend host — he aims to ensure a seamless transition for both the Merloni, Fauria, & Mego afternoon drive show and his career in sports media.

Returning to a station where his Boston radio career began, Arcand enters the same building where he started his last sports media job with 98.5 The Sports Hub. Once the station moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts, WEEI moved its studios to the location – and it is where its shows are broadcast from today. Arcand’s time at 98.5 The Sports Hub ended in being laid off last month; despite that though, going to work evokes feelings of nostalgia and déjà vu.

“Walking back in there for the first time was pretty wild,” Arcand said, who returned to WEEI earlier this week. “I was laid off from The Sports Hub and it was a big surprise to me and to, I think, everybody that [it] happened.”

After graduating from the University of Colorado, Arcand moved back east to work for WDIS AM 1170 in Norfolk, Massachusetts, which he says isn’t really an option for those entering the business today.

“These little stations are all gone,” Arcand expressed. “Those were pipelines to places like WEEI and WFAN and other places in the area. You’d work in Connecticut or you’d work in Rhode Island or whatever and these places all just disappeared.”

Just over a year later, Arcand made the move to ESPN New Hampshire, initially co-hosting Christian and King with Tom King, a sportswriter for the Nashua Telegraph covering the New England Patriots, Boston Bruins and other college and high school sports. The show was broadcast during the midday time slot from noon to 3 p.m. and sought to entertain the audience while informing them about the day’s action.

After nearly four years on the air, Arcand transitioned to work with Pete Sheppard, a former member of the heralded WEEI program The Big Show hosted by Glenn Ordway, on Arcand and Sheppard. Additionally, Arcand was named as the show’s executive producer, meaning that while the show was going on, he was often focused on many different tasks. Once Christian and King was brought back, he continued working in this dual role before the show ended in January 2017, six months before the format flipped from ESPN-branded sports to oldies.

“It was a lot – cutting up all the audio you want to play, then playing it during the show, then cutting the commercial [and] trying to answer the phone,” Arcand said. “It was this whole thing, but I really loved it; we had a lot of fun up there.”

While Arcand currently works at WEEI, it is his second stint with the station – and this time, he is working in a brand new role. He initially joined the station in 2013 as a sports anchor and co-host of the evening program Planet Mikey featuring Mike Adams. Shortly thereafter, he helped launch WEEI Late Night, airing from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. where he became known in the Boston marketplace going on the air after the conclusion of Boston Red Sox live game broadcasts.

Unlike his time in New Hampshire though, he was solely hosting and not producing – requiring him to adjust to not having as much oversight regarding the inner workings of each program.

“I’m not a control freak, but I remember [thinking], ‘Wow, this is different. I’m not running the board anymore. I’m not playing my own stuff,’” Arcand said. “….That was kind of jarring at first [but] I ended up working with a lot of great producers and I still am today.”

Mike Thomas, who currently serves as the senior vice president and market manager for Audacy Boston, was integral in building 98.5 The Sports Hub from its launch in August 2009. He was responsible for signing Arcand away from WEEI to join the brand as co-host of The Adam Jones Show airing weeknights.

Working alongside show producer Jeremy Conley, he gained an in-depth understanding of what it entails to produce a sports talk radio show in a major market, helping broaden his knowledge of the craft and position him for his current job with WEEI.

“I really had a good opportunity to learn from some of, I think, the best [producers] in the business,” Arcand said. “….It’s cool being a fan of these guys and then getting to work with them and learn from them and all that other stuff…. It’s really a job that requires a lot, and the guys who are really good at it, I think, are just top-notch.”

Over the last several years, 98.5 The Sports Hub has earned massive wins across the Nielsen ratings, recently finishing number one in the summer book across all dayparts in the men 25-54 demographic. Days later though, the station’s parent company Beasley Media Group made budget cuts, resulting in Arcand and Toucher and Rich producer Mike Lockhart’s employment being terminated.

While Lockhart has since been re-hired after Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb lobbied for the decision to be reversed, Arcand was in the job market quickly mulling over his future in the industry. In fact, it was reported that Arcand was on the verge of signing a three-year contract that would have kept him at the station before the termination of his employment.

“I was so shocked that it had happened and it was sort of hard to deal with it,” Arcand expressed. “Then I was angry about it and then I sort of channeled that into, ‘Okay, what am I going to do next here?’ You start thinking, ‘Is this it? Is this the end of the career? Are you going to even continue doing this?,’ and that was a thought I had a couple of times.”

Arcand’s abrupt departure from 98.5 The Sports Hub and Boston sports radio was short-lived though, as there was a substantial market for his services. In the end, he communicated with Thomas and WEEI operations manager Ken Laird, utilizing industry connections and his own versatility to return to the place where he began working professionally in Boston.

“Seeing that WEEI was in the market for someone on-air and to produce [the afternoon] show, I was right there and willing to try out something I hadn’t done in a while,” Arcand said. “It was a no-brainer, really. Going to WEEI was a no-brainer for me. I started there. That’s my radio home.”

As someone once again “new” to the station, Arcand is looking to foster a working chemistry with afternoon hosts Lou Merloni, Christian Fauria and Meghan Ottolini, along with radio producer Ryan Garvin. Arcand enters the role replacing show executive producer Tyler Devitte who left the station to pursue other opportunities and feels that the composition of the show is unique in the sports radio landscape. In short, it gives them an opportunity to further differentiate themselves from other afternoon programs across multiple platforms of dissemination.

“It’s an interesting show because Lou and Christian are both ex-jocks,” Arcand explained. “It’s rare that you sort of see shows where it’s just two guys like that and it was just them for a while but then with [Glenn] Ordway and then they brought in Meghan [Ottolini].”

Arcand had been listening to the afternoon drive program long before the offer to return to WEEI was made to him and now looks to offer his insight and expertise when necessary. He does not want to enter his new role with insolence or by coming off as dogmatic when expressing his opinions about the show.

“I’m sort of taking the approach of observing more than maybe I would in a couple of weeks from now or something,” he said. “I want to sort of make sure I get the rhythm of the show and the clock and everything like that. Those are all things that you have to be more aware of when you’re behind the glass as opposed to on the air.”

Arcand will be hosting a solo radio program on WEEI every Saturday afternoon, reminiscent of Sunday Service, a weekend show he used to host on 98.5 The Sports Hub. He is excited to be able to return to the Boston airwaves and connect with his audience once a week to bring them the latest sports news and entertaining talk – all while bringing his trademarks of sarcasm and congeniality.

“I’m really comfortable just sitting in the room, cracking the mic and talking with the callers or putting out my points and getting to certain things that I want to touch on,” Arcand said. “….I think my style is one that you just sort of tune in and you’re hanging out with me for a couple of hours.”

Ultimately, Christian Arcand has made the move back to what he refers to as his radio home. As he concludes his first week back at WEEI, he is focused on producing the afternoon drive program and complimenting that with his solo show on Saturdays, the first of which will take place tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. Through all of his endeavors, he will talk about Boston sports with his listeners no matter the season, giving them a platform to engage with the hyperlocal coverage.

“Being back at WEEI is something that I’m really happy about,” Arcand expressed. “I was excited to get started, [and] now that I’m there, I’m excited to see where we can take this show.”

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

What Twitter Alternatives Exist For Sports Media?

Sports Twitter is a major vehicle that has helped establish the platform’s reputation for accurate and authentic up to the minute information.

Avatar photo

Published

on

blank

The reality of Twitter dying as a platform was looked at as a bit hyperbolic when Elon Musk first took over the social media network. Now though, it is slowly coming closer and closer to potential reality.

Musk has been on a quest to salvage Twitter’s economic stability but has done so in an irrational and unplanned fashion. The actions he has taken include publicly criticizing his employees and firing them after pushback and firing essential engineers who literally keep the platform from crashing. Developers have even warned Twitter users with two factor authentication to either remove the feature or to remain logged in because the function that handles that process no longer works.

Sports Twitter is a major vehicle that has helped establish the platform’s reputation for accurate and authentic up to the minute information. It has helped establish the careers of insiders such as Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania and Adam Schefter. In case Twitter does actually come to an end, what should reporters who rely so much on the platform do?

Establish an email list through Substack

With permission from their employers, I would suggest starting a newsletter list that they would be able to carry with them in case they decided to leave their employer at some point (all three of the mentioned journos recently signed extensions). Posting on Substack through a mobile device is just as easy as posting on Twitter and it gives users an almost similar experience to what they had with using Twitter in the sense that they could have their email notifications turned on and they could interact with other basketball lovers through Substack’s comments section.

Create a live blog that always exists on your employer’s page

A running page of information that was sponsored and existed on ESPN or Stadium’s page would make digestible, quick hit commentary monetizable for the networks that employ Shams, Woj and Schefter. It brings people back to their employer’s page and establishes even more of a bond between consumers and apps/websites – a connection that has been taken away from many due to the existence of social media.

Establish a Mastodon server

With over a million users, Mastodon has become the closest thing to a Twitter alternative that’s available. Even though signing up for an account is a little confusing and the ability to search for unique users and takes isn’t fully established in comparison to Twitter – Mastodon has a similar look and feel to Elon’s platform and it gives employers more control over who is and isn’t interacting with their employees and what they are able to see. It would make it easier on ESPN or Stadium’s part to constantly promote links to their pages for viewers and readers to consume.

It’s the closest thing that is available to establishing your own social media network without the startup costs, hiring of engineers and figuring out tech issues. An advertising mechanism hasn’t been established yet but ESPN or Stadium could be in the forefront (because of the credibility they bring to the table) of establishing the revenue side of things alongside Mastodon.

Stick it out with Elon

NBC Universal’s advertising head recently told AdAge that NBC is sticking it out with Twitter. Twitter’s ad program has faced setback since Elon’s takeover but it is still much more established and streamlined that anything else available out there that is similar to Twitter. She also said that Twitter is the biggest host of NBC content on the internet (besides NBC owned platforms of course).

If a major company like NBC is standing with Twitter and if most major advertisers haven’t left yet, maybe sports reporters should also stay put for now. Twitter is not a startup. Despite the disarray we read about everyday, it’s still an established company that is up and running. We are all using Twitter itself to talk smack about its mismanagement but the reality is we are all still using Twitter. Even those who have gone away from the platform still come back more often than not to check in on what is happening directly on Twitter.

Maybe the grass will eventually be greener on the other side and Elon will have Twitter on more established ground. Maybe Elon files for bankruptcy and sells it to bankers who create an environment of stability for the company.

The reality is there is no other platform as good at real time reaction than Twitter so maybe sticking it out and keeping status quo is the best thing for everyone to do. See you later on Twitter (follow me @JMKTVShow).

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.