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Get To Know Everyone On Stage At The BSM Summit

“I hope you enjoy learning new details about these distinctive people in the sports radio business.”

Brian Noe

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The 2020 BSM Summit is here, baby! There is a plethora of on-air and programming talent in attendance at this year’s conference. Many of these people happen to be featured in this piece that you’re about to read, retweet, print out and frame. (Two out of four ain’t bad.) You’re sure to recognize many names and might already know plenty of details about these people. However, there are so many facets to a person that you might not be aware of other noteworthy qualities.

I asked each person to provide a fun fact about themselves — something that isn’t widely known. It could literally be about anything; something funny, a passion they have, or maybe a quirk that many people didn’t know existed. Something like Scott Shapiro once having a mullet and Maggie Gray liking broccoli on her pizza. I mean goodness; that’s worth the price of admission right there. I hope you enjoy learning new details about these distinctive people in the sports radio business.

Gregg Giannotti – WFAN, New York
I was an All-State musician in high school playing the string bass. Went to college as a music education major for three years before I changed to a communication major. I also was robbed at machete point in the Dominican Republic on vacation. Doesn’t sound all that funny but the full story is. All good, didn’t get hurt. Went to the beach right after.

John Mamola – WDAE, Tampa

Once worked as a parking attendant at the Ballpark In Arlington. Once taught Ozzie Smith how to run a radio soundboard. Also introduced Grammy-nominated band Hatebreed when I worked for Rebel Radio out of Chicago!

Peter Rosenberg – 98.7 ESPN, New York

I’m incredibly passionate about my dog, Bear, and take him all over the city with me. I can regularly be seen shopping for sneakers or clothes with an adorable corgi mutt.

Scott Masteller – WBAL, Baltimore
Many people may not know that I spent five years calling minor league baseball at the AA level. I called games for two years in my hometown of Williamsport, PA. I then took a job as the play-by-play announcer with the Wichita Wranglers in the Texas League for the San Diego Padres affiliate. Our team won the Texas League Championship in 1992 and I even got a champagne shower after the final game!

Matt Nahigian – 95.7 The Game, San Francisco

I was on The Newlywed Game and lost because I didn’t want my grandma to know what our secret term was for sex.

Jason Barrett – Barrett Sports Media
Something that isn’t commonly known about me is that I’m a huge memes guy. Every morning before I get out of bed to dive into the day’s news and my responsibilities of running BSM, I try to take 15-20 minutes to browse stupid stuff on social media that makes me laugh. It doesn’t matter if it’s cheesy, mildly offensive, or flat out disturbing; humor is different to everyone and I don’t take many things personally. I enjoy the social distraction before the avalanche of work appears in my inbox. It certainly puts me in a better mood starting off my day.

Bomani Jones – ESPN

I’ve had malaria twice when I was three years old. Michael Cohen once tried to call me in for something I said about Donald Trump in 2014.

Michael Kay – 98.7 ESPN, New York

I am one of the worst eaters of all time. I don’t eat condiments. Never had mustard, mayo or ketchup. And never had fish or an egg. I’m very odd.

Howard Deneroff – Westwood One
I do not go to the movies because I will ALWAYS fall asleep when sitting still in a dark room after a few minutes. The last real movie I saw in the theaters may have been Titanic…seriously.

Despite having produced network radio broadcasts of Super Bowls, NCAA Tournaments, Stanley Cup Finals, Olympics, World Series, and other sporting events for 30 years, if you Google my name, you will more likely find entries for me being a passenger/witness on a JetBlue plane in 2010. That’s when the flight attendant, Steven Slater, jumped off the aircraft while cursing on the intercom to quit his job. In the week that followed the incident, I appeared as a guest on the CBS Evening News, The Today Show, CNN, the BBC, the CBC, and too many other shows to mention.  I prefer being behind the scenes for sure.

Maggie Gray – WFAN, New York

I once ate an entire large NYC pizza in two hours while simultaneously hosting a radio show. I realize how sad that is. It was a plain pizza from Joe’s in the West Village — and it was the size of a wagon wheel! My favorite pizza is mushroom, broccoli, and black olive (an odd combo, I know). 

Phil Mackey – SKOR North, Minneapolis
I was a band geek in high school. I won multiple awards as a jazz trumpet player, including a soloist award at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Although I haven’t picked up a trumpet in years, I now get my music fix through belting out high harmonies at karaoke dive bars around the Twin Cities. 

Tony Bruno – Tony Bruno Show

I consider myself somewhat of a foodie, yet don’t like many common foods. I love eggs prepared every way except hard boiled; they gross me out! Also, despite being Italian, I’m not a big fan of cold meats like charcuterie (i.e. salami or pepperoni) although I like them on pizza. Same thing with tuna; I’ll eat seared filet, but can’t be near canned tuna fish or cold salads with tuna in it. I leave the room when someone is eating it near me and have thought of opening the emergency exit doors if someone brings one with raw onions on an airplane.

Bruce Gilbert – Cumulus/Westwood One
I’m not even close to being the most talented person in my own marriage. I’m married to the former Amy Williams who many of you knew as one of the ESPN Radio Affiliate sales reps from 1999-2006. Prior to that, Amy was very successful as a promoter in the music industry. She is currently co-hosting the First and Tens podcast with long-time Dallas radio personality Jasmine Sadry. In addition to being an amazing mom to our son, Hudson, Amy has become an established artist. She is a self-taught glass mosaic artist, specializing in customized, one-of-a-kind art pieces, using acoustic guitars as her canvas. You can see her amazing work at glassaxes.com.

Chris Canty – 98.7 ESPN, New York

I went to four different high schools in two different cities. I started out as a freshman in the marching band (playing the clarinet) to an All-State tight end on a state championship football team.

Don LaGreca – 98.7 ESPN, New York

I love movies. Have no problem watching a movie 100 times if I love it. Drives my wife crazy.

Justin Craig – ESPN Radio
When I was in high school, I once spent six weeks working for the town highway department where I grew up. I was part of one of the road crews that would go around picking up sticks, leaves or whatever junk was put out on the curb by residents. I only lasted six weeks because I couldn’t take the ridiculous amount of breaks that they took. It felt like we spent more time at McDonald’s on coffee breaks than actually doing anything. Not to mention it was cutting in to my time of listening to the great Brother Wease on WCMF.

Erika Nardini – Barstool Sports

Realizing that Starbucks lets you put heavy cream in your coffee has been a personal game changer. A venti red eye is my favorite.

Dave Tepper – Altitude Sports 92.5, Denver
I got into talk radio from being a professional stand up comic at the Laugh Factory in LA. Some coworkers are surprised because they don’t find me funny. My most memorable boos and heckles came when the club manager had me MC Latino night. They started on me right away. After plowing through my act and battling hecklers the best I could, my time was mercifully up. First act I introduced was Carlos Mencia who took the stage and destroyed the crowd for not giving me a chance. That meant a lot. Best memory — Green Day was at a show and pulled me aside to say I was their favorite comic of the night.

Chris Carlin – 98.7 ESPN, New York
I found my love of broadcasting because a drunk guy punched out an off-duty cop in a bar. He did color for football on the student station. He was asked to not return to the broadcast. They needed someone quickly and a friend at the radio station knew I loved sports and football, so I gave it a shot. Fell in love.

Gavin Spittle – 105.3 The Fan, Dallas
I have a huge passion for sports logos. So much so that I created a t-shirt line of fake, funny sports logos and made a business out of it — awesomesportslogos.com. My favorite logo is The Macon Whoopee. My favorite logo that I’ve created is The Cocksville Blockers.

Ryan Porth – 102.5 The Game, Nashville

Outside of sports, my #1 passion is music, which makes living in Music City that much better! My favorite genre is country and my favorite performers are Luke Combs, Eric Church and Foo Fighters. I’m not afraid to admit that a close second is The Bachelor / The Bachelorette. Go ahead, take away my man card.

Carl Dukes – 92.9 The Game, Atlanta

I love Frank Sinatra. I still practice in the mirror. I’m a good golfer. I love being on the water — fishing and boating. I also collect and love unique bourbons.

Fred Jacobs – Jacobs Media

I had a bagel route at the age of 12 in Northwest Detroit. I also danced with Little Steven Van Zandt and a group of go-go girls at a Jacobs Summit in Cleveland.

Julie Talbott – Premiere Networks

My brothers, sisters, and our families have had the same Christmas tradition since we were born. No matter where we are all living, we meet for Christmas Eve at our parent’s home and our grandparent’s farm for Christmas — all in Kentucky. We are up to 62 people!

Jason Fitz – ESPN Radio

I’m presuming most people know about the music stuff. Non-music: I don’t know how to swim OR ride a bike. I also have a crazy love of toys. Funko pops to vintage. Always out of the box. Not collected! Played with!

Spike Eskin – 94WIP, Philadelphia

I was in a band in my mid-20s called Project Mayhem (Fight Club reference). My roommate and I had never been in a band before, and we somehow found a bass player and a drummer who had never been in a band either. We did mostly covers of nu-metal songs from bands like Godsmack and Papa Roach. We played a total of four gigs, one in a WYSP listener’s backyard (called Backyard Fest). We wrote one original song, called “Tony Blair,” named after the British Prime Minister.

Demetri Ravanos – Barrett Sports Media

My dad is a chef. He made me start going to work with him when I was nine. The first thing I ever got paid to do was wrap baked potatoes and peel onions. I don’t even think he gave me minimum wage.

Amanda Gifford – ESPN

I played on the boy’s golf team in high school. To be fair, anybody was able to play, but I was the only girl. In the four years I played, I think I only played against another girl one time. I was usually the #4 or #5 golfer (top six played in the matches) and there are no “ladies tees” when you play in high school — everybody hits from the same tees no matter male/female. I never felt weird playing against male competition; it was part of the fun, but always funny to see their expressions when I showed up on the tee.

Mark Chernoff – WFAN, New York

My son, Mike, and I (he’s the general manager of the Cleveland Indians) make sure we have a baseball catch at least once a month. (Remember he lives in the Cleveland area and I live in the NY metro), but we make sure we do and have been doing it since he was a kid.

Armen Williams – Sports Radio 610, Houston

I played tuba for 12 years. In college, I marched in the Goin’ Band from Raiderland at Texas Tech University. My first game was inside the Horseshoe at Ohio State. During the halftime show, I was so nervous — pretty sure I played a total of six notes — I had to look straight up just to see the sky. The atmosphere was incredible. 

This was also the first game for Ohio State freshman running back Maurice Clarett. He had a record-breaking day with 175 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 8.3 yards per carry. Guess we know which true freshman had the better debut. 

Scott Shapiro – FOX Sports Radio

I was that 3rd grade kid who played basketball with a headband, wristbands, and goggles. Yes indeed! Oh, and a mullet to top it all off. When you have no shame even at a young age, you just let it all go. Now that I think about it, I was Kurt Rambis just without the mustache (nor was I ever clotheslined by Kevin McHale)!

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Chris Kinard – 106.7 The Fan, Washington, DC

My first big sports memory was the 1988 Redskins Super Bowl victory. When I started in the business 10 years later I certainly never expected it would be 20 years in sports radio before I worked a championship parade. Or that two would come in consecutive years!

Freddie Coleman – ESPN Radio

I was at Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985 THE WHOLE DAY!!! Saw so many of my favorite bands and had a chance to shake hands with Billy Ocean, Phil Collins, Ron Wood and Tina Turner.

Rodney Lakin – Arizona Sports 98.7, Phoenix

The BSM Summit will be my first trip to NYC. Never been before, which would probably make me the only person in America excited to leave sunny 70-degree weather for the cold and rain in New York. Happy to be here, though.

Mitch Rosen – 670 The Score, Chicago

Guilty pleasure; I read People magazine every Friday as it’s delivered to my house. I also reflect on one of my fondest memories in radio — producing Game 7 of the World Series when the Cubs won live on the Score. The first World Series Championship since 1908 and it happened on the Score — the first season the station had the broadcast rights. Sitting next to Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer on the call. It was radio and sports history. That was special and I was able to watch and hear it live along with over half of the listening audience in Chicago per Nielson.

Don Martin – FOX Sports Radio
I grew up an Army brat. Born in Nuremburg Germany to an American GI and a German mom. Thus I was raised speaking English and German.

I was the TV play-by-play voice of the now defunct “CAC” (Colorado Athletic Conference), which was absorbed into the RMAC in 1996. My analyst was legendary high school coach Sam Pagano. Both of his sons are NFL coaches (Chuck now with the Bears, and John is with Denver).

Jeff Rickard – 93.5/107.5 The Fan, Indianapolis

Like many before me, I have become a full-time limo driver with daily stops to the Orchard School, basketball practice, piano lessons, Math Bowl and Mathnasium with twice weekly appearances at the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. I have also been a board member at Fishers Montessori School.

Heather Cohen – The Weiss Agency

I sometimes respond to the name ROB because years before I became a programmer, and then broadcast talent agent, I started as a board operator. I found myself running the board for the legendary syndicated talk host, Bob Grant, on WOR in NY. He refused to call me Heather and would refer to me on-air as ROB. So, I became known as ROB during that period of my career.

Mike Thomas – ESPN 1000, Chicago

Long before my sports radio days I did afternoon drive on a country station in Southwest Michigan. I was known as Mike “Bubba” Thomas. Garth Brooks was HUGE and I would answer to someone shouting “BUBBA” at me!

Brandon Tierney – CBS Sports Radio

I attended an all-boys semi-military high school in Manhattan and played the glockenspiel in the military band as a freshman. I’m an avid fisherman — hooked an 800-plus-pound shark last summer in South Carolina and a 23-inch brown trout in Utah a month later on my second ever fly-fish cast. I’ve visited 45/50 states so far. My musical tastes are pretty eclectic, but I have a few go-to artists since college when it’s time to dig in/write/tap into creativity: Billy Joel, Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens and Pink Floyd.

Justin Dove – Core Image Studio

I’m a born and raised Newfoundlander (east coast of Canada) in a small fishing town called Too Good Arm — population 80 people. Currently residing in Calgary, my wife Karla and I give a lot of time to the local rescue called Pawsitive Match. In 2019 alone, they have fostered and helped find homes for over 30 cats.

Brian Noe – FOX Sports Radio / NBCSNW, 620 Rip City Radio – Portland

I never set my alarm clock at the top of the hour. Instead of something like 8:00am — it’s 8:01. I have no idea why this feels right.

I also don’t drink. My dad struggled with alcoholism when I was growing up. I could see myself likely fighting the same battle, so I just stayed away from it. I’m very proud of my dad; he’s been sober for over 13 years now. It doesn’t bother me when friends and other people drink around me. I’d actually be rich if I received a nickel each time a friend jokingly asked before a liquor store run, “B, Jack and Coke? Jack and Coke, right?”

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Podcast

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

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The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

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