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Are You Ready To Create Great Father’s Day Radio?

“The opportunity to connect, build and strengthen the bonds between hosts and listeners is significantly heightened with Father’s Day approaching.”

Chrissy Paradis

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In a time that has been marked with concern, fear and uncertainty–the need to focus on humanity, family and positivity is more apparent than ever. As Father’s Day is fast approaching, I believe the holiday encompasses the perfect combination of sports past, present, future for broadcasters as we celebrate the most iconic father/son duos and dynasties in sports history. 

Sports fans can typically identify the catalyst behind why they fell in love with sports, how they became a fan of a certain team and how they learned to play sports, who taught them how to understand sports; for many, the answer will remain consistent across the board–their father.

Labor Leads by Example on Work Flexibility (With images ...

I stand absolutely united with these individuals being that I fell in love with sports, became a Jets fan, learned how to play basketball with my dad’s influence/guidance. And the unconditional love and support of a father is often put to the test when sports are involved; as I learned when I was ejected (and inevitably suspended from the league) from a basketball game at 10-years-old after committing a savage, flagrant, technical foul.

To this day, my dad cites this as one of his proudest moments. 

The opportunity to connect, build and strengthen the bonds between hosts and listeners is significantly heightened with Father’s Day approaching. In honoring the fathers that make up your listening audience, the occasion can also reiterate the values and themes that define the show or station. The style, approach and execution of properly paying homage to the holiday largely depends on the amount of preparation and planning time allotted; however, the best content involves firsthand accounts.

What better way to highlight the intersection between sports and Father’s Day than by recognizing some of the most formidable, famous father/son duos and dynasties in the world of sports/sports broadcasting?

Mychal Thompson, 2x NBA Champion and veteran broadcaster, has three sons, Mychel Jr, Klay and Tryace, who have all been able to forge their own paths to make it to the pros. I reached out to Mychal to ask about the role that sports have played in his father/son relationships with Klay, Mychel Jr and Trayce.

“It’s a lifelong bond and commonality,” Thompson said. “It’s like keeping a family tradition alive, sharing it and it being played out in front of the world.” 

Mychal, Klay & Trayce are incredibly close in age and in their support of their family. Mychel and Klay chose to pursue basketball, and Trayce would play baseball with the Dodgers, A’s & Diamondbacks organizations—it’s clear that the athleticism of Mychal and his wife, Julie is evident in all three of their sons. 

Football players and sports broadcasters Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr. have demonstrated how talented and captivating they are as individuals, and as a father/son team. I spoke with Golic Jr. to learn about the impact sports had on his relationship with his father. 

“Sports have always given me and my dad something to bond over. When I was a kid I knew that I wanted to be my dad when I grew up, and I knew sports were a big part of what made him the man he is,” Golic Jr. said.

“We have spent hours looking at film, running hills, pushing cars and talking ball, and it’s brought us closer than maybe anything else could.”

And just as Golic Jr. hoped, he would indeed play for his father’s alma mater Notre Dame, but he would inevitably work alongside his father following the development of his own successful broadcasting career with ESPN.

Mike Golic Jr. has been a trailblazer in his time with ESPN without straying from the wisdom his father shared with him about his career. 

Golic Jr.’s commitment to be uniquely, unapologetically himself, has been as consistent as his love of Waffle House; keeping the audience covered as the pop culture references are peppered in throughout the shows. Mike Golic has been incredibly candid about the opportunity to work with his son on a daily basis, making it clear that he’s thrilled getting to work with his best friend everyday. 

Golic Jr. shared his favorite father/son memory which speaks volumes about their relationship. 

“My favorite experience with my dad was after my first real bit of playing time on the road against Wake Forest, when I was at Notre Dame. I was a senior who had struggled to get on the field before that. My dad came to every road game that year. After that game I walked over to him, said ‘man, that felt good,’ gave him a hug and cried like a baby,” Golic Jr. shared.

“We had both put so much into the process that led to that moment, so it was cool that we got to share it together.”

Thompson & Golic families aside.. There are plenty of powerful, talented and celebrated duos/dynasties to invite to join your show as Father’s Day approaches and with sports on hold, you could book several of the legends included on the list below:

  • Archie, Peyton & Eli Manning 
  • Papi & Dan Le Batard
  • Dell, Seth & Steph Curry
  • Ken Griffey Sr. & Ken Griffey Jr.
  • Cecil & Prince Fielder
  • Doc & Austin Rivers
  • Howie, Chris & Kyle Long
  • Marv & Kenny Albert
  • Brett & Bobby Hull

Other tips and suggestions for Father’s Day coverage:

• Allow a segment where show hosts each share a story about their father (not necessarily limited to sports) and encourage listeners to share their funniest/favorite memories on social media.

• Take the time to create custom imaging—whether the voice of the station, the show itself, a relevant cut from an interview that aired in the previous hour—there are many ways to thank and celebrate fathers without disrupting the show for more than 25-45 seconds. 

• Try to surprise the others on the show by arranging and including personalized Father’s Day messages in a few rejoins / arrange a live call-in by one of your host’s kids—this truly creates compelling, powerful and honest reactions that resonate with listeners, across all demos.  

The added effort will be appreciated by the audience and the opportunity to foster a genuine bond with listeners from across the spectrum. Embrace the power of nostalgia and sentimentality that is omnipresent in the sports world and commit to booking a weeklong series of father/son themed interviews that’ll make your listeners feel appreciated.

BSM Writers

Being Wrong On-Air Isn’t A Bad Thing

…if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign.

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WRONG BAD

In the press conference after the Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years, Steph Curry referenced a very specific gesture from a very specific episode of Get Up that aired in August 2021.

“Clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero,” Curry said, then holding up a hollowed fist to one eye, looking through it as if it were a telescope.

“How many championships we would have going forward because of everything we went through.”

Yep, Kendrick Perkins and Domonique Foxworth each predicted the Warriors wouldn’t win a single title over the course of the four-year extension Curry had just signed. The Warriors won the NBA title and guess what? Curry gets to gloat.

The funny part to me was the people who felt Perkins or Foxworth should be mad or embarrassed. Why? Because they were wrong?

That’s part of the game. If you’re a host or analyst who is never wrong in a prediction, it’s more likely that you’re excruciatingly boring than exceedingly smart. Being wrong is not necessarily fun, but it’s not a bad thing in this business.

You shouldn’t try to be wrong, but you shouldn’t be afraid of it, either. And if you are wrong, own it. Hold your L as I’ve heard the kids say. Don’t try to minimize it or explain it or try to point out how many other people are wrong, too. Do what Kendrick Perkins did on Get Up the day after the Warriors won the title.

“When they go on to win it, guess what?” He said, sitting next to Mike Greenberg. “You have to eat that.”

Do not do what Perkins did later that morning on First Take.

Perkins: “I come on here and it’s cool, right? Y’all can pull up Perk receipts and things to that nature. And then you give other people a pass like J-Will.”

Jason Williams: “I don’t get passes on this show.”

Perkins: “You had to, you had a receipt, too, because me and you both picked the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Golden State Warriors, but I’m OK with that. I’m OK with that. Go ahead Stephen A. I know you’re about to have fun and do your thing. Go ahead.”

Stephen A. Smith: “First of all, I’m going to get serious for a second with the both of you, especially you, Perk, and I want to tell you something right now. Let me throw myself on Front Street, we can sit up there and make fun of me. You know how many damn Finals predictions I got wrong? I don’t give a damn. I mean, I got a whole bunch of them wrong. Ain’t no reason to come on the air and defend yourself. Perk, listen man. You were wrong. And we making fun, and Steph Curry making fun of you. You laugh at that my brother. He got you today. That’s all. He got you today.”

It’s absolutely great advice, and if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign. It means they’re not just listening, but holding on to what you say. You matter. Don’t ruin that by getting defensive and testy.

WORTH EVERY PENNY

I did a double-take when I saw Chris Russo’s list of the greatest QB-TE combinations ever on Wednesday and this was before I ever got to Tom Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski listed at No. 5. It was actually No. 4 that stopped me cold: Starr-Kramer.

My first thought: Jerry Kramer didn’t play tight end.

My second thought: I must be unaware of this really good tight end from the Lombardi-era Packers.

After further review, I don’t think that’s necessarily true, either. Ron Kramer did play for the Lombardi-era Packers, and he was a good player. He caught 14 scoring passes in a three-year stretch where he really mattered, but he failed to catch a single touchdown pass in six of the 10 NFL seasons he played. He was named first-team All-Pro once and finished his career with 229 receptions.

Now this is not the only reason that this is an absolutely terrible list. It is the most egregious, however. Bart Starr and Kramer are not among the 25 top QB-TE combinations in NFL history let alone the top five. And if you’re to believe Russo’s list, eighty percent of the top tandems played in the NFL in the 30-year window from 1958 to 1987 with only one tandem from the past 30 years meriting inclusion when this is the era in which tight end production has steadily climbed.

Then I found out that Russo is making $10,000 per appearance on “First Take.”

My first thought: You don’t have to pay that much to get a 60-something white guy to grossly exaggerate how great stuff used to be.

My second thought: That might be the best $10,000 ESPN has ever spent.

Once a week, Russo comes on and draws a reaction out of a younger demographic by playing a good-natured version of Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man. Russo groans to JJ Redick about the lack of fundamental basketball skills in today’s game or he proclaims the majesty of a tight end-quarterback pairing that was among the top five in its decade, but doesn’t sniff the top five of all-time.

And guess what? It works. Redick rolls his eyes, asks Russo which game he’s watching, and on Wednesday he got me to spend a good 25 minutes looking up statistics for some Packers tight end I’d never heard of. Not satisfied with that, I then moved on to determine Russo’s biggest omission from the list, which I’ve concluded is Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, who connected for 89 touchdowns over 15 seasons, which is only 73 more touchdowns than Kramer scored in his career. John Elway and Shannon Sharpe should be on there, too.

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BSM Writers

Money Isn’t The Key Reason Why Sellers Sell Sports Radio

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions.

Jeff Caves

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Radio Sales

A radio salesperson’s value being purely tied to money is overrated to me. Our managers all believe that our main motivation for selling radio is to make more money. They see no problem in asking us to sell more in various ways because it increases our paycheck. We are offered more money to sell digital, NTR, to sell another station in the cluster, weekend remotes, new direct business, or via the phone in 8 hours. 

But is that why you sell sports radio?

In 2022, the Top 10 highest paying sales jobs are all in technology. Not a media company among them. You could argue that if it were all about making money, we should quit and work in tech. Famous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed twenty banks over twenty years. He reportedly said,” that’s where the money is”. Sutton is the classic example of a person who wanted what money could provide and was willing to do whatever it took to get it, BUT he also admitted he liked robbing banks and felt alive. So, Sutton didn’t do it just for the money.

A salesperson’s relationship with money and prestige is also at the center of the play Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman is an aging and failing salesman who decides he is worth more dead than alive and kills himself in an auto accident giving his family the death benefit from his life insurance policy. Loman wasn’t working for the money. He wanted the prestige of what money could buy for himself and his family. 

Recently, I met a woman who spent twelve years selling radio from 1999-2011. I asked her why she left her senior sales job. She said she didn’t like the changes in the industry. Consolidation was at its peak, and most salespeople were asked to do more with less help. She described her radio sales job as one with “golden handcuffs”. The station paid her too much money to quit even though she hated the job. She finally quit. The job wasn’t worth the money to her.

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions. I never wanted to sell anything else and specifically enjoyed selling programming centered around reaching fans of Boise State University football. That’s it. Very similar to what Mark Glynn and his KJR staff experience when selling Kraken hockey and Huskies football.  

I never thought selling sports radio was the best way to make money. I just enjoyed the way I could make money. I focused on the process and what I enjoyed about the position—the freedom to come and go and set my schedule for the most part. I concentrated on annual contracts and clients who wanted to run radio commercials over the air to get more traffic and build their brand.

Most of my clients were local direct and listened to the station. Some other sales initiatives had steep learning curves, were one-day events or contracted out shaky support staff. In other words, the money didn’t motivate me enough. How I spent my time was more important. 

So, if you are in management, maybe consider why your sales staff is working at the station. Because to me, they’d be robbing banks if it were all about making lots of money.  

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: BSM Podcast Network Round Table

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Demetri Ravanos welcomes the two newest members of the BSM Podcast Network to the show. Brady Farkas and Stephen Strom join for a roundtable discussion that includes the new media, Sage Steele and Roger Goodell telling Congress that Dave Portnoy isn’t banned from NFL events.

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