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Those Craig Carton Rumors Come With A Human Cost

“How much do programmers owe their talent transparency? How up front should they be with their intentions that changes are coming?”

John Michaels

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Change is inevitable in the media and entertainment industry as every company tries to get a leg up in ratings and advertising dollars. Unfortunately COVID-19 has put a lot of talented talent out of work, which has left program directors scrambling to add new talent and improve their lineups.

How much do programmers owe their talent transparency? How up front should they be with their intentions that changes are coming? It is a very delicate balance to keep shows rolling along, yet continue to court additional people to potentially strengthen a lineup.

Craig Carton is one of the most accomplished broadcasters in the history of sports radio, and now that he is out of jail, he is one of the most sought after free agents in the game. Carton was co-host of the wildly popular Boomer and Carton on WFAN in New York until his arrest and conviction on federal fraud charges back in 2017. Now that he has been released, WFAN and Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic are both courting Craig to join them.

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There are multiple articles written about his possible destination, with mentions of who he could be replacing. How fair is that for the people that have the jobs now? 

Here’s what NJ.com wrote earlier this week:

“Carton’s anticipated return is expected to lead to more musical chairs among WFAN’s daily lineup. While Carton’s former partner, Boomer Esiason, is expected to remain with Gregg Gianotti on the morning show, Carton’s return is expected to lead to Joe Benigno’s retirement while Evan Roberts shifts back to middays, likely teaming with Maggie Gray at the expense of Marc Malusis.”

James Kratch, NJ.com

If you are Joe Benigno or Marc Malusis and you’re reading that, how would you feel right now? Were the two of them told their jobs are in jeopardy or they could potentially be replaced by Carton? How do they continue to put on quality shows knowing that their days might be numbered? This applies as well to Marc Farzetta, The Fanatic’s morning show host who left WIP just two years ago to join the station that is now publicly courting Carton.

If I am either of them and I read this article, I would immediately be in my Program Director’s office trying to get an honest assessment of what is actually going on. The PD owes it to his employee to give them a heads up to potential changes. If there’s nothing to the noise, that should be made clear so the talent can focus on their job.

The other choice for these talents would be to say nothing and try to block out the distractions. That’s not the way I would operate but it is a potential option. Either way the rumors must have some legs to them, and it is truly unfair to the people on air and under contract.

Recently I was given a second chance to have a full-time position in Atlanta at 680 The Fan. Dickey Broadcasting had to make some tough choices to move on from established talent, but no stories leaked about their intentions. I can’t imagine being in the building if those rumors would’ve been prevalent. The way that the business was handled was professional and courteous, and while feelings inevitably were hurt, it had nothing to do with the media getting a hold of rumors and running with them before they were fact.

In 2010 as an up and coming broadcaster 790 The Zone moved on from the midday show, and as a weekend talent I was convinced that we (Sam Radin and I) were next in line for a promotion. Matt Edgar, our PD at the time pulled us in the office and was open and honest about the direction of the station. We were told we weren’t quite ready for a full time gig, and they were going to hire Tony Barnhart & Wes Durham to be the new show. While we were hurt by the news, finding out that way was much better than reading it online or getting an email announcing a new show.

You're fired. | Celeste Johnson

There is a right way and wrong way to handle things. Allowing media leaks and rumors to happen inevitably leads to hurt feelings and burnt bridges. PD’s owe their talent honesty, even if the honesty causes a rift. Silence or hiding behind emails is absolutely not the way to handle business.

Hopefully as the business recovers from a global pandemic, more programmers find the wherewithal to show some transparency with their programming intentions. Radio would be much better for it. 

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 Writers

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.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

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

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

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

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