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Mike Taylor Left Paradise To Help San Antonio Get Through Hell

“It was weird, it’s not like I’m a sociopath, all of a sudden I just got really pissed off. I got a little emotional. My wife and I got to looking at each other and she’s like, dude, you might need to go home.”

Tyler McComas

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A flight from Oahu to San Antonio takes about nine hours. Last Thursday, Mike Taylor of Ticket 760 decided to take that flight, because he felt the urge to help out his fellow Texans. A huge winter storm last week took a decimating toll on the midwest, but few areas were hit harder than the state of Texas. The power grid was out for several days and freezing temperatures meant busted pipes and no water across most of the state. It was a devastating time in the place Taylor considers home. 

The snow is gone, but it won't be long before we could see more winter  weather hit | KABB

Taylor and his family moved from San Antonio to Hawaii in early 2020. The Mike Taylor Show is still on the air every weekday in San Antonio at Ticket 760, but now, he broadcasts from his home studio in Hawaii. As he watched the massive winter storm engulf his family and friends, Taylor started to get mad. That’s when he decided to do something about it. 

“75 percent of my family and friends are in the state and over 50 percent of those live in San Antonio,” said Taylor. “It was weird, it’s not like I’m a sociopath, all of a sudden I just got really pissed off. I got a little emotional. My wife and I got to looking at each other and she’s like, dude, you might need to go home.”

That’s exactly what he did. As many people in San Antonio were stacking snow in their bathtub, just so they could flush their toilet once a day, Taylor started to formulate a plan on how he could best help the city. His first idea was to contact a local plumber that’s a sponsor of his show. Last Call Plumbing was more than happy to use his services and sent him out with one of their plumbers on Monday morning. 

“I spent all day today running around with a plumber, because he’s got 80 jobs throughout the next two weeks,” Taylor said. “All these people that have their water back, that’s great, but half the city has busted pipes, so there’s still not any water. I’m sitting and talking to you at a Whataburger and I had a sandwich with nothing to drink, because they don’t have any damn water. At Whataburger!”

Even when Taylor landed in San Antonio last weekend, the airport had no water inside to drink. It was an immediate reminder of the severity of the situation, as soon as he got into town. It made him even more upset than he already was. But he knew he wanted to help and do it right away. So on Sunday night, Taylor went to the Ticket 760 studio to do a two-hour show. If anything, he just wanted to show support and provide an escape for his listeners, even if it was only for a short time. 

The phone lines lit up as Taylor told a few jokes to lighten the mood. There wasn’t much talk on the damage of the city, more so just two guys hanging out and shooting the bull. But the response was incredible.

“It was amazing,” Taylor said. “I’ve heard from a lot of listeners who’ve said it was a cool outlet and they appreciate me going on Sunday night. I winged it and didn’t really plan it.”

Taylor’s week will consist of helping out his local community in the morning and afternoon, before doing his three-hour show from 4-7 p.m. The hours he’s on the air, it will be a mix of comedic relief to serve as a distraction, but also as a tool to show how listeners can help alongside with him throughout the week. 

On Tuesday, Taylor’s role was to have barbecue at a local restaurant, where they raised money for the San Antonio food bank. On Wednesday, Taylor will be at another restaurant, raising money for the Red Cross. Thursday, Taylor will work an actual shift at the food bank. He’s even going to invite listeners to come work with him that day. On Friday, Taylor will be with the Salvation Army to pass out food and water to a low income housing apartment in San Antonio. 

“I just really felt like I should do this,” Taylor said. “I’m hoping many others will help.”

Though Taylor is constantly posting on his social media pages the work he’s doing, this isn’t some stunt to gain notoriety. He genuinely cares about the well-being of San Antonio and the people in it. But for show purposes it has been a useful tool. While he was helping out a local plumber on Monday by soldering plumbing iron and working with PVC pipe, it gave him a new perspective into what one of his clients does during the day. That could be invaluable when it comes time to re-up with a business.

Until then, Taylor will be all over San Antonio helping out as many people as possible. After fixing pipes on Monday, which allowed a man who hadn’t had water in two weeks to finally have it, it sent a charge through Taylor. He feels good being on the air and making people laugh, but helping the same people out in their time of need is even more rewarding. 

“It’s only Monday and I’ve already gotten emotional once,” Taylor said. “I talk football for a living. It’s not like I have a real job. It’s funny, because guys that have done this a long time, you sometimes wonder if what you’re doing matters at all. Am I really making an impact? I put myself out there this week and we’ve had this ridiculously overwhelming response. It’s weird to say but it does have an impact. It really does.”

Taylor is happy to be home, even if it’s under bad circumstances. He’ll leave for Hawaii on Saturday morning, but his listeners will never forget the time he left paradise and hopped on a 9-hour flight to help out all his friends in need. 

“It’s a long ass flight,” Taylor said. “But I didn’t want that to be an excuse to not come and help.”

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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