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Seek Clarity, Not Clout

“This is a small business and people talk to one another all the time!”

Demetri Ravanos

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Tuesday morning I was sitting in an airport waiting on a flight to Nashville. I was sitting in a restaurant scrolling through Twitter as I waited on my breakfast to arrive at the table. That is when I stumbled upon a story from Yahoo!.

According to the UN, Covid-19 has exacerbated a hunger crisis around the globe. David Beasley, the director of the UN’s World Food Programme, has called on billionaires around the globe to donate. His belief is that $6 billion is what is needed to feed 42 million people on the brink of starvation. He says the crisis is so dire that it is likely most or all of those people will die without relief.

Elon Musk, never one to miss an opportunity to tell you he is a billionaire, took to Twitter to issue a challenge to the UN.

Musk’s company, Tesla, is valued at $1 trillion. According to Dr. Eli David, $6 billion is 2% of Elon Musk’s personal net worth. It isn’t absurd for Musk to want to know where his money would be going or how it would be spent. It is just a really bad look for a guy worth 12-figures to demand someone dance in order for him to care about poor people.

This reminded me of contract negotiations in radio. Granted, the figures involved are much smaller and the stakes do not even begin to matter when compared to combating global hunger, but the tactics Musk is leaning into feel really familiar.

I have talked to talents before that make last-second contract demands during negotiations to see just how far a company will go to show it wants the talent. That isn’t attempting to meet a need or gain any knowledge before making a decision. That is chasing clout.

Elon Musk is a smart guy. Even if you’re Stugotz and Billy Gil and think the guy is a fraud when it comes to business and science, you still have to admit that he knows how to market and make people pay attention to him. And that’s the point.

Again, there is nothing unreasonable about wanting to know how the money will be spent before you donate to a cause. Making that demand in public on social media though is only about attention and power. It isn’t about trying to hold anyone accountable.

How much a station or company values you should be pretty clear by the time you get to the negotiating table. If you have second thoughts or the money that is offered is nowhere near what you were expecting, walk away. This world is so full of ego that plenty of people don’t even value themselves enough not to waste their own time. They would rather get some meaningless win that no one else will even know about by making another person waste their time too.

There are plenty of Elon Musk sycophants out there, which is a really sad commentary on our society that businessmen have fans. They will always think the guy is right. That’s good for Musk, but the reality is that those people represent a fraction of a fraction of society. There are way more people that will have their view of him shaped by the dumb shit he does like calling someone that said his invention wouldn’t work a “pedo guy,” making demands of people that ask him to help feed the poor, or his “look at me fellow kids, I am smoking the weeds” face.

Elon Musk smokes marijuana live on web show - BBC News
Courtesy: The Joe Rogan Experience

There is no shortage of billionaires in this country or around the world. In fact, the growth that billionaires’ personal wealth expreienced during the pandemic was the inspiration for the UN’s request. Elon Musk won’t make or break this effort to raise money to feed 42 million people.

Both facts are worth remembering for talent in a negotiation. The number people that will bend over backwards to meet your requests and demands is always going to be dwarfed by the number of people you are making an impression on for the first time and they will always have other options. Maybe your name is at the top of the list, but there is always a list.

It is always a delicate dance for the one being courted or pitched. You have more power than you ever will. At the same time, you cannot be openly disrespectful. That is how negotiations end and offers disappear.

Never make a decision before you have all of the information that you need or want. Never lose site of the messages you send throughout the process though. This is a small business and people talk to one another all the time!

Study busts myths about gossip - Tech Explorist
Courtesy: Shutterstock

Showing your ass to one decision-maker is no different than showing it on Twitter. That might be something Elon Musk can afford to do. You probably can’t though. Ask for what you want and what you need. If you lose interest, be respectful and move on. Chasing clout will always cost more than it earns.

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 Podcast

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.

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

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

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

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

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

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The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

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