For the past 3 years, the BSM Summit has served as our company’s Super Bowl. The 6 months leading up to it are the most intense days and weeks of my year, but once the show is over, it’s back to normal day to day business until the fall.
But not this year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put immense pressure on the media industry and it’s had an impact on BSM too. I’ve had to postpone market visits to help clients, suspend a relationship or two, and take on a heavier role publishing, podcasting, and executing our social media in order to keep industry readers informed. Maintaining brand relevance during a chaotic time is critically important, so although it’s increased my workload and made writing a little harder, it’s what you have to do to survive when operating an independent business.
When a crisis like the one we’ve lived thru occurs, you can either absorb the punches and keep moving forward or give in to the pain and wave the white flag. I’m not going to tell you it’s been easy because it hasn’t been, but no way was I going to let almost 5 years of hard work go up in smoke.
As soon as I saw what was starting to transpire, I got busy launching the ‘Managing The Crisis’ podcast which is now 15 episodes in. We started doing more features on advertisers and brands to help format folks understand what’s happening in the business world and to share ideas to help folks protect their bottom line. Demetri and I even got active in the video space, producing a weekly Zoom chat on topics of interest to industry people. Last but not least, we launched and began promoting the BSM Member Directory which has grown to 11 subscribers and will become a helpful resource going forward for aspiring and established hosts and producers, as well as program directors and executives.
Watching our industry endure pain throughout March, April and May convinced me that we had to pivot and make a stronger commitment to content. I’ve kept our team between 6-8 people over the past few years and it’s worked quite well. But, I knew that we needed to produce more eyeballs on the site, increase word of mouth, and cement our position as a resource for media companies and industry professionals.
Which brings me to today.
I am pleased to announce that we have added Jay Mariotti, John Michaels, Rob ‘Stats’ Guerrera, Chrissy Paradis, Ricky Keeler and Jacob Conley to our writing team. Jay, John, Rob and Chrissy are industry veterans who will contribute weekly columns, Ricky and Jacob are young professionals who will be producing news stories on national brands and talent.
Starting with Jay, his profile is well known. He was a dominant columnist in Chicago for over a decade for the Sun-Times. He also became a regular panelist on ESPN’s ‘Around The Horn’. The response to his columns have been excellent, and his writing abilities are second to none. I’m well aware that Jay has fans and critics. Most highly opinionated people do. I’m not here to play judge and jury on people’s past situations. Everyone in this business deserves second chances, and I’m happy to provide one to a guy who’s been nothing but professional and consistent since reaching out. Roughly 20 shows have had him appear on their airwaves in the past month to talk about things he’s written for BSM. It shows that people value the content and they should because he makes you think and react.
In Rob and Chrissy’s cases, they’re both accomplished producers who have worked with notable personalities in the industry. ‘Stats’ as he’s referred to has spent time working with Mike Florio, Mike & Mike, Erik Kuselias, and a slew of other national talents. Chrissy has done the same but on the local level, helping hosts such as Tim Brando, Rob Dibble and Steve Cofield. At some point in the future they’ll be positive additions to a sports radio behind the scenes, but until then, I’m happy to have them sharing their knowledge and opinions on this website.
Adding another local host’s perspective was important too. Brian Noe has done a great job for us telling stories from the west coast, but I wanted to add an east coast slant as well. John Michaels has hosted for over a decade in Atlanta with 92.9 The Game and the now defunct 790 The Zone. He’s originally from south Florida, and contributes currently to SB Nation Radio. Having worked in a Top 10 market with a number of accomplished talents will serve John well in producing future pieces on the site.
These 6 additions will make our brand stronger, and I’m excited about it, but our work is not done. I’d still love to find someone to write about the business who has a background in sales and/or management. I’m also digging thru resumes and writing samples to find one general assignment reporter to work on feature stories. If you or someone you know is interested, email JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
The focus now is on creating compelling content to grow our traffic and influence, serving our partners, growing the member directory, and adding a few advertisers to the website. We’ve proven that we can help those who do business with us, whether it be in a consulting role or as an online advertiser or paid partner at the BSM Summit. I’ll be sending out decks to companies this week and next to gauge interest in partnering with us.
I couldn’t be prouder of the work this team has done to make the website a daily destination for the sports media industry. These 6 new additions will help us continue growing, and there are a few other things we’re working on which I’m looking forward to sharing at the appropriate time. It’s going to take more than a global pandemic to slow us down, and I want to thank my clients for sticking with us during difficult times. Equally as important, I want to express my gratitude to all who continue to read our content, and share it on social media or via word of mouth. It’s a privilege to create content for you, and we appreciate the support.