Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, broadcasters have had to change the way in which they work. Whether by doing shows remotely and accepting the shortcomings that come with it, wearing a mask at all times in the facility, or taking frequent COVID-19 tests, the pandemic has required the industry to rethink the way it does business concurrent with stark changes in consumption trends.
Keeping oneself healthy, along with the spaces in which they work and interact with other people, has been a central focus throughout the pandemic, and radio is no exception. However, the physical space of a radio studio is not always deep-cleaned on a daily basis and can sometimes be filled with clutter and other materials that serve as an impediment to the comfort of producers and on-air talent.
Seldom is any radio broadcast space spotless – even the ones that are visible via a radio show’s simulcast on television or a streaming platform. That is something Clinton Yates of 710 ESPN Los Angeles would like to change.
With the first day of spring approximately one month away, Yates, who has been filling in this week for Allen Sliwa on Travis and Sliwa, voiced his concerns to co-host Travis Rodgers and the show producers about the cleanliness of the 710 ESPN Los Angeles studios after deep-cleaning them akin to a “spring cleaning” prior to Wednesday’s show.
“There are piles and piles of crap – headphones, pieces of paper, books, boxes, cords – and I was just like, ‘I’m sorry. This environment – I have to clean up a little – I have to tidy this bad-boy up,’” said Yates. “So yes – I deployed a little Lysol. I definitely wiped down a couple of things because I was moving stuff around.”
Rodgers then came up with the idea for a deep-cleaning and labeling session at the studios so people would know how to keep the space neat and organized. This got Yates thinking about ways he could maximize the opportunity in realizing his aspirations of maintaining a clean studio space while creating engaging content for social media.
“We should have a [session] where we come in, we organize everything and then we label it and then we have an instructional thing where we teach people, ‘This is where this stuff goes. This is all you have to do – just follow the checklist so the studio stays tidy,’” said Yates. “I would genuinely do this for a bit on social [media] if someone would join me. The full time lapse; we could detail the studio and organize things.”
After discussing trying to keep the studios clean, Yates arrived back at work Thursday morning, and with Rodgers working remotely, was immediately questioned whether he had engaged in another deep-cleaning of the space.
“I’m not in-studio, and that brings me right to kind of where I wanted to start this entire thing,” Rodgers said to open Thursday’s show. “Did you get out the power washer, the mop, what did you do because I was not in your way this morning to deep-clean the studio?”
“Since yesterday [when] I cleaned it, apparently the memo was gotten [and] nothing was added,” replied Yates. “This was a relatively clean space when I got here which is a good thing, so I’m happy about that.”
Rodgers proceeded to tell Yates that Mason and Ireland co-host Steve Mason was concerned about Yates, specifically because of the fastidious nature in which the studio was cleaned and the meticulous manner of the towel he folded. Mason called out Yates between shows for cleaning the studios, something Yates was taken aback by.
“I was like ‘Oh no. He was listening,’” said Yates. “It was embarrassing, but we’re good.”
“We are here to embarrass each other; [that’s] basically the role of these programs,” responded Rodgers.
Derek Futterman is a contributing editor and sports media reporter for Barrett Sports Media. Additionally, he has worked in a broad array of roles in multimedia production – including on live game broadcasts and audiovisual platforms – and in digital content development and management. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks, wrote for the Long Island Herald and served as lead sports producer at NY2C. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
NASCAR President ‘Can’t Overstate’ Importance of New TV Deal
“Everyone talks about getting younger and we’re no different…We have, but we have to keep going…”
Yesterday, NASCAR announced a new television deal with 10 races split between new partners Amazon Prime Video and TNT. NASCAR President Steve Phelps says you can’t overstate the importance of new partnerships.
In an interview with Sports Business Journal, Phelps admitted the agreements with TNT — and it’s Max streaming service — and Amazon Prime Video are focused on reaching a younger audience.
“I don’t think you can overstate how important it is,” Phelps said. “Everyone talks about getting younger and we’re no different. Have we had success over the last three years getting younger and more diverse? We have, but we have to keep going and we have to meet those potential fans where they are, whether that’s our Netflix show that’s going to come out early next year or what’s going to happen with here.
“Amazon is going to do some different content-related things going into 2025 and … our expectation is Warner Bros. Discovery is going to plug us into Bleacher Report, House of Highlights, and other channels that will start to promote NASCAR. Because, honestly, we haven’t had a lot of that. Now they’re a partner and see us as a partner and there’s going to be a mandate to promoting NASCAR, and that to me is really important and it speaks to the changing landscape of where media consumption is going specifically.”
Phelps continued by saying it was “one of the most important, if not the most important” contracts of his career, noting that the new deal was about more than just money.
“It was critical – even past dollars. Are they important? Of course, but it’s really about having these distribution outlets that are just incredible. The reach these five companies have is incredible.”
SiriusXM and MLB Sign Extension Through 2028
“We’re very proud to continue Baseball’s rich history of reaching fans through their radios.”
SiriusXM and Major League Baseball have announced an extension of their partnership that goes through the 2028 MLB season.
Every MLB game will remain available to SiriusXM subscribers on their car radios and in the SiriusXM app. The new deal also ensures that MLB Network Radio will continue through the 2028 season.
“We’re very proud to continue Baseball’s rich history of reaching fans through their radios. Today, we’re delivering those fans the sounds of the game through SiriusXM’s state-of-the-art platforms in the car and on the SiriusXM app,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“Being able to hear their team’s announcers is important to fans, and no matter where you are listening from across North America, you’ll get access to every team’s broadcast for every game on SiriusXM. Couple this with the best daily talk and analysis of the game on the MLB Network Radio channel and SiriusXM is a must-have for baseball fans, and will be for years to come.”
The new agreement continues the relationship between SiriusXM and MLB that dates back to the 2005 season.
“The collection of MLB game presentations and content that has developed through our extended relationship with SiriusXM has been a powerful asset in making our game more accessible to fans wherever they are,” said MLB Executive Vice President of Media & Business Development Kenny Gersh.
“The sounds of Baseball are an important part of our story and we’re proud to continue to work with SiriusXM as they advance and grow the MLB streaming experience for fans on their platforms.”
Jonathan ‘T-Bone’ Smith: I Want to Be the First Radio Show on OnlyFans
The conversation occurred two days after co-host Mike Ricordati wanted to skip commercial breaks following Ohio State’s loss to Michigan.
Earlier in the week, Mike Ricordati of 97.1 The Fan wanted the afternoon program to skip all of its commercial breaks for the remainder of the show to discuss the Ohio State Buckeyes’ third consecutive loss to the Michigan Wolverines. After addressing the incident at the start of the program on Tuesday, the show took the air and outlined how fans can interact with the hosts during the midst of the show. That then led to a suggestion from Jonathan “T-Bone” Smith about a new distribution medium for the afternoon program.
“I’m hopeful that we become the first radio show to cross over to OnlyFans, but not because we’re like, ‘Check out what’s going on. Click on my OnlyFans,’” Smith said on Wednesday’s edition of Common Man & T-Bone. “It’s not that; it’s more of we’re on there doing an uncensored show, but we’re not visually. We can have a picture of us.”
Upon being told by Ricordati that he was essentially describing a podcast, Smith described how it would be a delivery device where subscribers would have to pay to consume the content. Ricordati expounded on the idea and divulged his vision about what such a program would entail and how it would differ from the current iteration of the show.
“We do a straight show just like this, except people tune in to the webcam and we’re just sitting there in S&M outfits,” Ricordati said. “We make no mention of it; we do nothing with it, but we’re sitting there in studded leather clothing with a dog collar and whips and chains and a meathook hanging from the ceiling, and we just do a regular show just like that.”
“I am 100% in on this,” replied Jonathan “T-Bone” Smith.
Ricordati continued by stating that the money for the program would be donated to charity, specifically citing the United Sex Workers of America, and continued the segment for several more minutes. The debauched conversation continued by pondering if any of the coaches at Ohio State had ever heard of the OnlyFans platform, something Smith surmised they had because of their proximity towards upperclassman football players.
“We have a show login for pretty much every single website that exists in the sports world – like ESPN+ and [The] Athletic and whatever,” Ricordati said. “….Corporate’s paying for it. We have a show login. I wonder if over at the Woody [Hayes Athletic Center], they have a generic login for OnlyFans just to see what’s going on.”