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Maybe There’s No Such Thing As A Good Job

“The answer to “is this a great job” is a math problem. Everything has to be right in order for you to come to the correct answer.”



As I type this, there is a debate amongst college football fans. What is the best open job? Is it LSU or USC? Very dumb people will insist that Virginia Tech and Miami should be a part of that discussion too.

While the coaching carousel is a fun part of the college football season for us talking heads, I think trying to settle this debate is largely a fool’s endeavor every year.

College football is very similar to radio. There are no inherently good jobs. Every job’s quality and value is based largely on the situation. Some openings pay more, some have more support in place for you to succeed, but there is no job in either industry that is equally great for whoever gets it.

I tell everyone that reaches out to me about openings in our industry the same thing: don’t evaluate the job, evaluate your situation. Are you in need of real change or just some validation from your current job? Does your personality fit the market? Is the market somewhere you really want to be?

Look at how long Billy Napier has been at Louisiana. This will be the third consecutive coaching carousel where he is courted by multiple schools. So far, he has looked at what he has been offered and decided that none of it has been a significant upgrade over what he has going in Lafayette. That may change this year, but so far, his current situation hasn’t necessitated a change.

The answer to “is this a great job” is an algebra problem. The overall correct answer comes from finding the correct answers to smaller problems along the way. So here are some things to think about as you approach the job market.

First, the value of the job is going to change based on your performance. Right now, everyone that follows college football thinks that Alabama is a great job. It is easy to succeed there and the school has a booster base that is going to give a coach anything he says he needs to win.

I was in school there for not just one, but two coaching searches that saw the Crimson Tide be turned down by at least five coaches before it finally heard “yes!”. In the early 2000s, the job was seen as something of a garbage fire. Boosters were out of control. Expectations didn’t match the reality of the moment. The NCAA had just hit the school with a two year bowl ban and major scholarship reductions. I remember being a junior when Dennis Franchione bolted for Texas A&M and thinking “we are so screwed”.

So what changed from then to now? Oh nothing, the school just happened to hire the greatest coach in the history of the sport at any level. Nick Saban told the boosters that he would ask when their opinion or help was necessary, otherwise they needed to stay away. He built a machine of a program that churns out first round picks like Land O’ Lakes does butter. It is easy to change the perception of your job when the guy currently in it makes everything look so easy.

Now, look at Florida. It was supposed to be a turnkey operation. You’re in a state full of talent. You’re in the easier of the two divisions in the SEC. There’s a recent history of success. The job should be idiot proof, yet the last three hires have proven that just isn’t true. The reality is that Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer were so good that they made the job look easy.

The same is true in radio. Is afternoon drive on WFAN the best gig in all of radio? I am sure Mike Francesa would say it is. Chris Carlin may have a different answer. Same goes for stations and time slots all over the country. Ask Mike Salk and Paul Gallant what they each think of the morning drive slot at ESPN 710 in Seattle. I’ll bet they offer two very different opinions.

Management in radio is like a bank. They will usually offer leniency and advantages to the people that have demonstrated they need them less. For some, that is great. For others, it is no help at all.

Along those lines, what does it mean when your boss is willing to give you a long leash? In the best cases, it means management understands they are asking for the moon and they recognize that takes a lot of time and support. In most cases though, it is a subtle message that your performance doesn’t really matter and that your station/team/department is an afterthought.

Look at Stanford University. David Shaw inherited a program from Jim Harbaugh in 2011 that was as good as it had ever been, and he came out of the gate strong. Now, ten years later, Stanford is back to being another also ran in the PAC-12 and there seems to be little to no urgency about the state of the football program. That is fine for Stanford. They are one of the country’s three or four most prestigious universities. What message do you think it sends to the people the school may be interested in hiring when they decide it is time to replace Shaw though?

This happens in radio all the time. I have worked with stations where a 60-something talent has let the game pass him by and he is still given a new contract. Across the country, there are countless examples of stations that have shuffled lineups when no one is having ratings success instead of making any meaningful changes.

The long leash is nice to a point. There’s no pressure. It means there is some job security there. It also means there are severe limitations to your ability to grow and earn more.

Finally, there are always outside factors that you will never have control over. Butch Davis is on his way out at Florida International and he absolutely obliterated the school administration on his way out the door. He told Brett McMurphy that it is “sabotaging” the football program.

Davis is a respected coach that brought immediate success to FIU. Behind the scenes though, he was dealing with a budget he could not effect. His players were forced to use hand-me-down pads from other schools. His coaches couldn’t go on the road to meet recruits in person. No uniform redesigns or upgrades were even considered in a sport where that tends to be used as a selling point.

Budgets can be similar in radio, but do you know what the real factor that is out of your control is? Meters.

Neilsen’s distribution of portable people meters has very little to do with stations’ needs and everything to do with their success. Sure, Nielsen will listen to complaints when GMs or PDs call, but they aren’t obligated to do anything to make the situation better.

Programmers, hosts, and producers can absolutely bust their asses. They can bend over backwards to deliver the most entertaining product the market has ever heard. If the bulk of the meters go to people that aren’t sports fans, it is irrelevant. If the ones that do go to sports fans go almost entirely to older members of the demo, it will be very hard for a newer station to make a dent against a heritage brand.

My column isn’t an indictment of radio or of college football. Outside of my family, those are literally my two favorite things in the world.

Nobody tell Star Wars I said that.

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Let’s just call this what it is. Like your relationship status on Facebook, determining whether or not a job is good in either field is complicated. We can boil college football jobs down to a simple yes or no because to us it is just content. To those coaches though, this is their real life. The same is true with you and radio gigs. It’s misguided to try and simplify these evaluations.

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BSM Writers

Sam Mayes Got A Raw Deal But Tyler Media Made The Right Call

“You are being naive if you think a company should stand behind an employee that has put themselves in this situation.”



I do not envy whoever at Tyler Media had to make a decision about Sam Mayes’s future with the company after audio of a private conversation in 2016 was leaked to the media. Mayes and now-former co-worker Cara Rice made a few racist jokes at the expense of Native Americans.

The recording, according to Mayes, was made without his knowledge and leaked illegally. He says in a recorded statement that he should have been given the opportunity to address the recording on air and make amends.

OKC Radio Host Sam Mayes Fired After Racist Audio is Leaked

Maybe that is true, maybe it isn’t. I hate for Sam to lose his job as the result of an illegal recording of a private conversation, but the fact is, that conversation isn’t private anymore. Tyler Media didn’t really have an option here. Sam Mayes had to go.

Someone had an illegal recording of the conversation and created an anonymous email account to send it to people in the Oklahoma City media. I was shown a copy of the email. The author states clearly that their goal is to see Mayes and Rice out of a job. There is nothing fair or just about that person getting exactly what they want. It feels slimy. I can’t say that it feels like it wasn’t the right call though.

We have debated whether or not someone should lose their job over comments made in a private conversation many times before. It happens in every field. It wasn’t long ago at all that we were having this same debate about Jon Gruden. His emails to Bruce Allen and others were sent in private. Is it fair he had to go when they were made public? No matter what horrible things were in there, they were said with the understanding that it would stay between friends.

I am going to say the same thing about Sam Mayes that I did about Gruden when that story first broke. You are being naive if you think a company should stand behind an employee that has put themselves in this situation.

You read that right. The circumstances of how the conversations in these examples came to light are absolutely unfair, but the conversations came to light. How it happened is irrelevant. Any sponsor or boss that stands behind Sam Mayes or Jon Gruden would be endorsing the language they used, either inadvertently or very much on purpose. Try explaining that to a sponsor.

People at Tyler Media may know Sam Mayes’s heart. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy. The fact of the matter is, once the audio became public, their hands were tied. There is no mistaking what was said or who said it.

How can any seller or manager take Mayes to advertisers now? How can they put him in front of the Lucky Star Casino, one of the station’s biggest advertisers? They can ask for an audience to let Sam explain himself and try to make amends. The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribes, who own the casino, are under no obligation to forgive or even listen.

All About the Lucky Star Casino in El Reno, Concho
Courtesy: TripAdvisor/Adam Knapp

Maybe the day will come where Sam Mayes bounces back. I hope it does. I hope he gets the chance to address his comments with members of Oklahoma’s Native American community and listen to what they have to say in response. I do think it sucks that this is how his time at The Franchise comes to an end, but I get it.

If I have to explain to you why not to say dumb, racist shit, then I don’t think we have much to talk about. But, it is worth noting that the recording of Mayes and Rice’s conversation is proof that privacy is always an assumption, not always a fact.

In his audio statement, Mayes admits it is his voice on the recording. He also says that he was uncomfortable with Rice’s comments and he tried to end their conversation. I’ll take him at his word, but I will also point out that before he tried to end the conversation, he joined in on the jokes. Maybe when someone says that Native Americans are “too drunk to organize” it isn’t a great idea to respond. All it leads to is proof of you saying something dumb and racist.

Again, I’ll reiterate that how these comments came to light is unfair, but they did come to light. That is Sam Mayes’s voice on the recording. He is joining in on the jokes about Native Americans being drunks and addicts. At the end of the day, the only thing that was done to him was the audio being released. He fully and willingly committed the firable offense.

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What is the response to a client or potential client when they bring that up? All Tyler Media can do is try to recover and move forward. The company cannot do that with Mayes on the payroll.

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BSM Writers

Stop Prospecting, Start Strategizing!

“You cannot put a price tag on authenticity. It’s very rare and hard to find these days.”



Struggling to get new business appointments? Dreading making prospecting calls? Having trouble writing creative emails that seemingly never get a response?

Generating responses to new business outreach is easier than you think. Just make sure you do your homework first and keep it “Simple Stupid”.

To do that, start with asking yourself these (3) simple questions:

#1: Did I do my home work on the business itself, their competition and those I plan on reaching out to?

#2: If I were on the other end of the phone and/or email with myself would I want to engage in conversation and/or reply to that email?

#3: Am I prepared to make a one call close given the opportunity to?

If the answer to any of these is “No”… do NOT pick up the phone and by all means do NOT hit the send button on that initial outreach email! Doing so will all but ensure you fall flat on your face. On the off chance you do happen to get the decision maker on the phone you won’t make that great first impression that sometimes can be so crucial. First impressions are always important… ALWAYS!

Skipping over these critical steps is a sure-fire way to ensure your email is completely ignored and will not generate the engagement from the prospect you’d hope for. Successful prospecting is all about the front end digging and research. Do your homework first then strategize a plan of attack for your call and/or email. Taking these extra measures on the front end is absolutely “Mission Critical” and will set you up for much more success with your prospecting endeavors.

Now once you’ve answered “Yes” to all of the above, you’re ready to attack with the knowledge and confidence that should set you a part from your competition. It’s all about the Game Plan, and if you don’t have one, you’re destined for failure time and time again. Incorporate these (5) things into your prospecting Game Plan for your next call/email and watch your results dramatically improve:

#1: MAKE IT PERSONAL & CASUAL – Be informal, find out something interesting about them.

#2: MAKE IT SHORT & CONCISE – Be straight forward and to the point, people are busy.

#3: MAKE IT TIMELY & RELEVANT TO THEM AND/OR THEIR BUSINESS – Give them a good Valid Business Reason.

#4: MAKE IT INTERESTING, COMPELLING & INFORMATIVE – Be the expert they’re missing.

#5: MAKE IT FUN – Fun people are easy to do business with and make it less like “work”.

Lastly, and most importantly, Be Yourself! You cannot put a price tag on authenticity. It’s very rare and hard to find these days. When clients do find it trust me, they value it and appreciate it way more than you’ll ever know!

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BSM Writers

Good Producers Can Teach The World A Lot About Christmas

“A lot has to be accomplished in the lead-up to Christmas. So much of it happens in the background without much recognition.”



Who is Carl Christmas in your house? Who is the one that makes sure everyone that needs to get a card does? Who comes up with the plan for the lights? Who takes the reins on the shopping?

Chevy Chase, aka Clark Griswold, to light up stage in Berks | Berks  Regional News |
Courtesy: Warner Bros./National Lampoon

Every home needs one and in my house, that’s me. December (including the last week of November) is my time to shine, baby!

One thing I have tried to impress upon my mom and wife this year is that shipping and supply chain delays are real. So, if you are planning on procrastinating on your online shopping this year (you know, like usual) someone (me) is going to have no presents under the tree.

Veteran producers are used to operate this way. Young producers, listen up. Your job involves the most delicate balance of any in sports radio. You have to help bring your host’s and PD’s visions to life. That means you have to be able to take their direction. But you also have to keep the host on target. That means you cannot be afraid to be forceful and lead when the moment demands it.

There’s no value to being an unrepentant asshole to people, but you do have to hold them accountable. Look at that Christmas shopping example again. If you want to get what you want, you need to keep on task the people you know aren’t paying attention to the potential roadblocks. It isn’t selfish. It is making sure everyone gets the holiday W they are expecting. Sure, you would be disappointed if your gift doesn’t arrive on time, but so will the gift giver.

Being a stickler for the clock or moving a host off of a topic that has no value is the same thing. Of course there is something in it for you, but you are also helping the host do his or her job better. They may get annoyed with you now, but if you save them from an ass-chewing from the bosses or slipping ratings, then they have reaped the benefits.

I guess the unfortunate difference here is that there may be no acknowledgment of what you did or helped them to avoid. Oh well. Every producer has to expect a certain level of thanklessness.

Producers have to take on that Carl Christmas role in dealing with sales too. Remember, just because the producer’s name isn’t on the show doesn’t mean that isn’t every bit his or her show that it is the hosts’.

It’s like decorating your house for the holidays. You may have a certain design in mind. Maybe you have a traditional look you stick to every year. If your spouse or your kid comes home with a giant, inflatable Santa Claus in a military helicopter that they want on the lawn, you have a decision to make. Are you going to say no and suggest an alternative that aligns more with your goal or are you going to let your plan get run over?

25 Best Christmas Inflatables - Top Inflatable Christmas Decorations

Sales has a job to do. It is to make sure their clients’ messages are heard and to make money for the station. Both can be accomplished without sacrificing your show’s quality.

If a seller comes to you and says he wants his client to come in for five minutes and talk about now being the time to book an appointment to have your garage floors redone, you have to speak up. You have an obligation to make sure that the seller knows that even five minutes of that will hurt the show and have listeners diving for the preset buttons on their car stereo. That isn’t good for the station or his client.

Instead, offer to work with the seller and the client to come up with a piece of content that the client can put his name on and a 20-second ad read behind. Will the audience stick around to listen to some dude named Jerry talk about garage floors or will more people listen to you talk about the NFL playoff picture in a creative way and then still be there to hear Jerry’s message about garage floors? The answer seems obvious.

A lot has to be accomplished in the lead-up to Christmas. So much of it happens in the background without much recognition. If the background work wasn’t done though, the problems would be right out on the front lawn for everyone to see.

“Gatekeeper” is a term I really hate. It implies that someone is telling others what they are and are not allowed to enjoy. It is a necessary term though to properly describe what it is that a great producer and a great Carl Christmas do.

We don’t shut people out from being able to enjoy or be a part of what it is we are creating. We set or are handed down expectations and we block anything that can get in the way of achieving them. Sometimes, that is more thankless work than it should be. It is necessary though.

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As my home’s self-appointed Carl Christmas and a former producer, let me give my countrymen the thanks others forget. We are the ones that make it possible for everyone else to be mindless. Wear it as a badge of honor. We may not get the kind of recognition we deserve everyday, but when plans go off without a hitch, we are usually the first to be recognized for making it happen.

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