Two years after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was repealed, the sports media landscape has shifted heavily towards gambling. If you are driving, there is a good chance you will hear an advertisement on the radio or see a billboard paid for by a sportsbook. Same thing goes for watching television, especially sports.
Along with that, there has been an influx of new gambling content and media members focusing on that space. And, thanks to the internet, media members don’t need to rely on traditional TV to create and post content anymore. Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have changed the game.
Whether you are a fan of picks or just the gambling industry as a whole, here are six up and coming media members to follow on Twitter. I define up and coming, as someone who is not on a major television show talking about gambling. Full disclosure, I do not know any of the individuals listed in this piece. I just appreciate their grind.
I anticipate responses on Twitter saying that I’ve omitted someone interesting. Feel free to hit me up @docksquad33 for feedback.
Erin Kate Dolan
Dolan is currently the face of PointsBet for all digital sports betting content. At PointsBet, Erin creates and executes content plans. She previews & recaps national and international sporting events, discussing odds, futures markets, player props, promotions, bad beats, and more. She hosts digital segments with professional bettors and media personalities. She’s also featured weekly on VSiN.
Segment to watch: “Fade Rovell”, a promotion between PointsBet and The Action Network’s Darren Rovell. Erin runs point and PointsBet gives bettors crazy odds to do what the title of the show says, fade Rovell’s weekly picks. Anytime Rovell loses a pick, he has to do something over-the-top terrible. I think I’ve laughed and cringed while watching this segment, but it is entertaining nonetheless.
Follow Erin Dolan on Twitter @ErinKateDolan
Sam is currently a betting analyst for NBC Sports, Rotoworld and WGN Radio. He also hosts “Chicken Dinner”, a daily sports betting podcast, five times a week.
Segment to Watch: “Chicken Dinner”, a daily gambling show which was first started back in 2016 with Radio.com and 670 am host Joe Ostrowski. The podcast brings flair to the space and features various guests from the gambling landscape. Follow for the Bartender segment, you won’t be disappointed.
Follow Sam Panayotovich on Twitter @spshoot
Minty is a Vegas born sports betting analyst, and her work can be found at Yahoo Sports, Gaming Today and Wager Talk. Minty is featured on Yahoo’s Mad Bets, posts her daily gambling picks on Twitter via fun videos, breaks down the NFL weekly at Wager Talk and talks ponies over at Gaming Today.
Segment to Watch: “The Mint”, a segment where Minty talks about a relevant gambling topic of the week. She gives you strong, knowledgeable takes on hot button gambling topics in a quick amount of time.
Follow Minty Bets on Twitter @MintyBets
Kostos is one of the most entertaining voices in sports betting media. In fact, he has coined the term wagertainment. He used to work for Sports Illustrated and now is the main host of “You Better, You Bet” on Radio.com (owned by Entercom). You can also hear him on the flagship New York-based sports radio station WFAN.
Segment to Watch: “You Better, You Bet” airs nationally 9am-1pm on Sundays and features various guests from all over the gambling industry. If you listen to this show, you will pick up some great betting knowledge, but more importantly, understand what wagertainment means. It’s a good thing, trust me.
Follow Nick Kostos on Twitter @TheKostos
Walker, who previously worked at SEC Country and MyBookie, has had a quick rise at Barstool Sports. Walker co-hosts Barstool’s daily gambling show “Walk The Line” with Matt Cahill aka Marty Mush. He also hosts “Picks Central” on Barstool Radio’s daily SiriusXM lineup. Walker also co-hosts “Unnecessary Roughness” with Kayce Smith.
Segment to Watch: “Walk The Line”, Walker and Cahill are an entertaining pairing. You can tell both love football and gambling, and play off of each other well in their own funny ways. There is a good chance you laugh at some point while listening to this show.
Follow Brandon Walker on Twitter @BWalkerSEC
Megan is currently doing multiple shows for FanDuel including her weekly “Makin Money with Megan” and “The Hurry up”. She is also on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge with T-Bob Herbert and makes regular appearances on Fridays on Inside Access with Jason La Conforna and Ken Weinman on 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore. Megan also frequently guests on Sports Grid with Jared Smith and Ariel Epstien.
Segment to Watch: “Makin Money with Megan”, an entertaining picks show starring, you guessed it, Megan herself. It’s fun and quirky content built around her gambling picks.
Follow Megan Nunez on Twitter @MeganMakinMoney
Media Noise – Episode 44
This week’s episode is all about the NFL. Demetri explains why the league embracing kids is long overdue, Andy Masur stops by to breakdown the first Manningcast, and Ryan Maguire explains why some sports radio stations are missing a golden opportunity to shine on Sundays.
Interviews Thrive On Podcasts In A Way They Can’t On Radio
“Opportunities that a podcast creates open doors to audio that is simply superior to live radio.”
Live radio vs. podcasts seems to be a heavyweight fight that isn’t ending anytime soon. Podcasts are growing so much that companies that do radio are also now offering podcasts. This column is hardly about that fight.
Instead, this is about how a podcast interview is a better way to get the best out of the guest than anything live on a radio station. This is not about downloads or clicks or sponsors. Solely about the content that is being produced.
A podcast makes the guest more comfortable and is more intimate than a live radio show. Especially in sports.
Since 2015, I have hosted and produced 656 podcasts (yes it was fun to count them) and hosted many radio shows. My current shows are called Sports with Friends, Hall of Justice, and Techstream. That last one I host with tech expert Shelly Palmer.
On radio, there is a myriad of things the host has to do besides focus on the guest.
First, there are the IDs. Program directors have always told me ID the guest every chance I get. “We are talking with Eli Manning on WFAN,” is heard 7 times during an eight-minute segment.
On a podcast, the name of the guest is on the player or app that is playing the podcast. “Episode 1. Eli Manning, New York Giants” scrolls across smartphones, car radios, or other devices constantly. Never interrupt the guest with an ID.
Then, there’s the fact that it is recorded and not live. I have a standard preamble that I say to any guest before any record light turns on.
“I will push,” I explain. “I will see where the conversation takes us, but I do tend to push. However, I’m on your side. This isn’t some expose’. If something comes up that you don’t like your answer, tell me. I’ll take it out. If there’s something that I say that is bad or wrong, tell me, I’ll take it out. This is a conversation, not an interview.”
In 656 podcasts, only one player, Bryce Harper (then of the Washington Nationals) asked me to take something out of a podcast.
We were doing Episode 54 of Sports with Friends when the subject of Dusty Baker came up. He had just been hired to manage the Nationals. I mentioned in passing that Dusty had given the eulogy at my best friend Darryl Hamilton’s funeral.
Bryce was so intrigued that he recalled the comments I had made and asked if we could pause. We then spoke for a good 10 minutes about the kind of person Dusty was. Why Darryl held him in such regard. It was a really inciteful chat. Never was on the podcast.
Still, guests do relax when told that the editing option exists. They let their guard down. The host of a podcast can ask deeper questions.
“Who was the first person you called when you found out you were traded?”
“Have you seen a life for you after football?”
“How much do you hate a certain player?”
All questions, that if asked live, could seriously backfire. So not only does the guest have a guard up, but the interviewer also has to play it relatively safe, when they are not IDing the guest for the umpteenth time.
Time constraints also don’t exist in a podcast where they are beholden on live radio. The guest is just about to tell you they did cocaine during the World Series, and you are up against the clock.
I have hosted shows over the years where the guest was phenomenal, but I screwed up the PPM clock. That was the takeaway. The clock is important on a live medium that needs to get that quarter-hour.
I try to keep my podcasts short. You wouldn’t see it from looking at the lengths of my episodes. Still, I feel that if someone wants to talk and dive into a topic and it goes a little long, I will never cut the guy off.
Ken Griffey Jr. spoke for 45 minutes with a cigar and his feet up on the phone by his pool. He was telling jokes and stories. I wouldn’t have stopped that if a train was coming. When I hosted Mariner content at KJR in Seattle, our interviews usually last 5 minutes.
Jon Morosi broke down the future of clubhouse access and how he traveled during Covid. Then he told an amazing story of his wife working in the medical field and how that impacted all of his family. Shannon Drayer of 710 KIRO got so in-depth in her arduous journey from being a coffee barista to the Mariners on-field reporter. It was split into two episodes.
Former porn star Lisa Ann talked about her decision to quit the business. Even Jason Barrett himself was Episode 173 of Sports with Friends.
(When in the past has Jason Barrett been in the same paragraph as a porn star? Note to Demetri: please leave it in.)
The radio industry is seen to be cutting costs wherever it can. Mid-market stations are not doing night shows anymore, instead offering nationally syndicated programming.
Weekends are another avenue that perplexes me. Talent that is not deemed good enough to be on during the week is often given weekend shifts. Also, some Monday-Friday hosts add a weekend shift to their duties. Here’s a theory: play podcasts. Format them to hit your PPM time marks.
They don’t have to be my podcasts, but in the crowded podcast space, surely there are sports talk podcasts that are intimate, deep, and fun. Since we live in a data-driven age, let’s see how a radio station fares playing high-quality podcasts or portions of them, vs. weekend hosts.
Program directors often worry about the outdated nature of a podcast. That sells the podcaster short. As someone who has been in the podcast space since 2003, I know how to make them timeless, and companies make shows often enough, that rarely would they be outdated.
Quality shines through the speakers. The spoken-word audio format is continually evolving. Opportunities that a podcast creates open doors to audio that is simply superior to live radio.
The podcast industry is continually evolving. Radio needs to evolve as well. Then, it can be a fair fight.
National Voices Can Work For Local Clients
“Distance, like absence, can make the heart grow fonder.”
Selling personalities is one of the hottest trends in media today. Sure, most of the buzz is around social media influencers, but radio has long had a relationship with its audience based on personal connections between host and listener. And nobody has a better relationship with their audience than a sports radio host.
I am sure you are leveraging your local hosts by now. Live spots, testimonials, remotes, and promotions are all great tricks of the trade, as well as sponsored social media posts. But does your station carry syndicated shows? I am sure you do either from 7 pm-12 am Monday-Friday or on weekends.
In 2018, The Ticket in Boise, Idaho brought CBS Sports Radio host Damon Amendolara and his co-host, Shaun Morash, to town for a Boise State football game. Damon had just switched to mornings from evenings, and his show aired in Boise from 4 am-8 am Monday – Friday. His ratings were decent, but nothing that stood out considering the daypart. It was thought to be risky to sell him into sandwich shops, pizza places, appearances at local legend hangouts, and so forth.
Boise State head football coach and QB Bryan Harsin and Brett Rypien did a live shot on the show from the on-campus bookstore. At dark thirty. It all worked. DA and Morash were hits! Everywhere they went, lines and crowds awaited them and they hit spots in a two-county area. The few days of appearances worked so well that DA is back in Boise three years later, this time for a week. Now, DA is doing his show from resort hotels 2.5 hours away, taking riverboat adventure fishing trips in Hell’s Canyon, craft beer tours for his sidekick Andrew Bogusch and hosting college football viewing parties at brewpubs. Every station that carries syndicated shows probably has a DA success story waiting to happen.
Start by listening to the shows, know the benchmarks and quirks of the national personalities or call the affiliate rep and ask. Does the talent discuss their love of beer, BBQ, pizza, whatever? If they do, then go ahead and sell them to a local client. The national talent can do the spot and endorse your client. If it’s a product, send one to them. Figure out how to get them a pizza. If it’s a service, do a zoom call with the client and let them start a relationship. Include some social media elements with video. The video can be used in social media and can sit on the client’s website. Yours too!
If you want to bring the talent to town, do it for a big game, local event, or 4th of July parade, and the sponsors will follow. Run a promo during the talent’s daypart asking local sponsors to text in to reserve their promotional spot. Have the talent cut liners asking the same thing. Take the NFL Sunday morning host and sell a promo to a sports bar where the host zooms in to a table or room full of listeners, and they watch a portion of a game together. Or sell the same idea to a national chain and do an on-air contest for a listener to have a home watch party with the zoomed-in host complete with food and beverages from your sponsors sent to both locations. How about sending your #1 BBQ joint that handles mail orders and sends some food for the talent? They can videotape themselves reheating the BBQ and make some great Facebook and Instagram videos.
Distance, like absence, can make the heart grow fonder. Try selling a nationally syndicated host inside your market. I promise you’ll like it.
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