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Freddie Coleman Is Here To Offer Relief & Escape

“I hope my listeners take away from our show that we are here for them to share their hopes, frustrations, fears and emotions about what we are dealing with.”

Chrissy Paradis

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Freddie Coleman and Ian Fitzsimmons have come together to provide a staple of some of the most compelling and well-rounded sports programming across the entire format. Airing nationwide every weeknight on ESPN Radio, in addition to joining shows for interviews, the show has been going strong since its inception in 2004. 

Freddie and Fitzsimmons Show - PodCenter - ESPN Radio

The commitment to providing the best quality content for the audience has been ongoing for over fifteen years and despite the lack of live sports, remains in tact. Freddie Coleman’s & Ian Fitzsimmons’s show has an effortless positivity that transcends demos, day parts and ensures that Coleman’s “let the good times roll” mantra resonates through the airwaves on a nightly basis. From sharing the playlist featured in each hour of the show, to the show’s guest lineup, to leading interactive conversations with listeners, Coleman is authentic, relatable and incredibly approachable—shattering any preconceived notions regarding achieving success and remaining humble being mutually exclusive.

The insightful and thoughtful content he incorporates in each and every show that he hosts is a phenomenal example of why he has been a guiding force of the national ESPN radio lineup for almost two decades. The sports topics and social issues thoughtfully discussed and analyzed by Coleman, consistently inspire spark thoughtful conversations. 

In an interview with Jason & John on 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis last week, Coleman spoke of leadership.

“The best thing of being a leader, and being a great leader, is you have to listen. You can’t just avoid these conversations.” Coleman said of college coaches providing support, guidance and a sounding board as they coach and mentor the players on their teams. This statement is incredibly true of the way in which Freddie Coleman has composed himself during his career.

Mansfield University Spotlight: Freddie Coleman - YouTube

There has never been a time in my career that Freddie Coleman has been anything short of an incredible mentor and example—a sentiment that is undoubtedly shared by many throughout the sports media world. Always taking the responsibilities of helping to guide those within the sports broadcasting community, and also among those that make up his audience, with the utmost pride and respect. These being just a few of the qualities that make him such a strong voice of reason that we can all learn from in this business. 

Among the list of BSM’s 2019 Top 25 National Shows, Freddie Coleman’s & Ian Fitzsimmons’s show Freddie & Fitzsimmons has been able to continue an upward trajectory in the sports media world, by prevailing, conquering and challenging us all. 

The sincerity and expertise of Coleman’s message has resonated with so many during a time in 2020 that has left sports fans with doubts as to whether their favorite teams and players will be dominating or even have a season at all. Yet, Freddie continues to thrive and ensure his listeners are never deprived of inspired content, even in the most uncertain of moments. He’s always able to remind his audience, whether through the mic or on social media, that we’re all in this together; continuing to put a smile on the faces of his listeners without refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of situations that may be happening around us. 

I asked Freddie about what he hopes that the audience is able to take away from the show right now. 

“I hope my listeners take away from our show that we are here for them to share their hopes, frustrations, fears and emotions about what we are dealing with,” Coleman shared. “We are determined to give the people what they expect of us and that is relief/escape even with NO BIG 4 live sports going on.” 

Freddie Coleman Bio-salary, net worth, married, wife, children ...

The show has continued to do exactly that in providing an inspired mix of sports content and enlightening, introspective conversation. Freddie & Fitzsimmons has managed to maintain its commitment to being a masterful sounding board for the audience, while fulfilling the personal and professional responsibilities included in covering the current events that have impacted the return of sports. 

And through it all, there’s an undeniable surge of power infused with the positive energy innately woven into the composition of the show which still welcomes laughter and entertainment. The professionalism exhibited by Freddie’s vision never wavers. His continued commitment coupled with his hopes have become the compass for so many in the sports media industry. He is exemplifying the strength and empowerment that comes from a place of absolute integrity. And in doing so, truly celebrates the beacon of light, positivity and hope that Freddie Coleman’s name has become synonymous with, both amongst those in the sports broadcasting community and his audience, alike.

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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