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Marissa Rives Just Kept Saying Yes To SiriusXM Opportunities

“It’s really exciting to take more and kind of push yourself outside of [your] comfort zone.”

Derek Futterman

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Football, basketball, baseball. Sports media in the United States is consistently dominated by these major sports, with storylines aplenty and talking points for debate posed to generate new content geared to bring auspicious ratings and steady revenue.

Throughout the month of March, NCAA March Madness has comprised the preponderance of sports media content, especially due to the fact that 15th seeded Saint Peter’s advanced to the Elite 8, and that Duke and North Carolina will meet in tournament play for the first time this weekend.

Sure, football, basketball and baseball are central to much of America’s sports consumption – but not all of it. Combat sports bring in formidable ratings and revenue for the athletes, leagues and media companies. Pay-per-view fights and large-scale events are quite popular among sports fans. Yet they are rarely spoken about on sports radio, meaning that their content needed to find a home, and that their fans needed to be driven there to find the kind of content they have been looking for.

Marissa Rives is the program director of SiriusXM Fight Nation, the satellite service’s home for combat sports, and she never thought she’d be doing this; that is, until she was exposed to what was possible.

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Starting in this industry, according to Rives, often starts with a “frivolous idea,” and growing up as a New York Yankees fan, she became enamored with the idea of covering a professional sports team. Kim Jones, who was the YES Network reporter for Yankees games from 2005 to 2012, interviewed players in the clubhouse after games and followed the team, a job that excited Rives and got her thinking about sports broadcasting as a potential career path.

As a result, Rives attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, a 16-week trade school that she called a “crash course in broadcasting.” Shortly after at 19 years old, she began working as an intern at SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio with The B Team, hosted by Bruce Murray and Bill Pidto.

Working in this role allowed Rives to gain exposure to many parts of radio, including planning shows, interacting directly with on-air talent and editing audio. Up until that point, Rives had not decided whether she wanted to venture into radio or television; however, this experience clarified her stance on the two platforms.

“It just made me see that this is an industry I [could] see myself being in for a very long time, and it solidified that radio was the course I really wanted to go – and not television,” Rives said.

Interning at SiriusXM was not the only thing Rives was doing at the time though. For nearly two years, she worked in a part-time role for DeCheser Media as a legal videographer, driving to courthouses in the northeast to film depositions. The role paid well, but involved a routine point-and-shoot setup that had Rives monitoring video being taken by a camera on a tripod. Shortly after Rives was offered a part-time role at SiriusXM, her boss at DeCheser Media offered her a full-time job doing legal videography in an effort to retain her services, coercing her into making a decision that shaped the future of her career.

“When you’re interning at SiriusXM at the same time and you see what your life could be and the path you could go down in sports radio versus a kind of very sterile, non-creative field like point-and-shoot court depositions,” Rives explained, “I think if anything it taught me a lot and what I didn’t want long-term for my career.”

Once Rives began working part-time at SiriusXM, her goal was to get her foot into the door inside a live studio running a board any way she could. Declining a potential opportunity to expand her skillset and grow was simply not an option for her. In maintaining this attitude, Rives was afforded the chance to work with the show Fight Club on SiriusXM as a board operator, and eventually, as its producer.

“I knew I could get into MMA because I was a big pro wrestling fan growing up, [although] I hadn’t watched in a while,” said Rives. “People fighting and the theatrics of all of it is something I could dig, so I started running the board. [From] the moment I was involved with [a] show that had to do with combat sports, I just knew that if I was going to grow, I needed to absorb myself in it and learn everything I could. I really just fell in love with everything about it and never really looked back from there.”

Since that time, Rives has taken on various endeavors that led her to becoming program director of SiriusXM Fight Nation in 2018, including working as manager of SiriusXM Sports Zone and executive producer of SiriusXM Rush.

Rives has served as an architect for SiriusXM Fight Nation since its launch in 2015, inking former wrestling and MMA stars to contracts to host shows on the satellite radio channel. Whether it is Throwing Down with Renee and Miesha, featuring former UFC champion Miesha Tate and former WWE commentator Renee Paquette; At the Fights with the former commissioner of the New York State Athletic Commission and boxing journalist Randy Gordon and former professional boxer Gerry Cooney; or Busted Open with WWE Hall of Fame members Mark Henry and Bully Ray, along with former ECW wrestler Tommy Dreamer and wrestling commentator Dave LaGreca, Rives has overseen the channel to ensure it is putting out engaging content that appeals to fans of combat sports.

“For me, it’s exciting because I really have an opportunity to bring in high-class athletes that might not have the [same] opportunities as maybe a football player who can kind of go to all these different markets and potentially get a gig talking football,” said Rives. “You’re not going to find many pro wrestling shows like Busted Open…. You don’t get much of that, so it definitely helps you pave your way within a space as well and stand out, and I think that’s a little bit harder with some of the more mainstream sports to be able to do that.”

One aspect of SiriusXM Fight Nation that has been absent for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic is live remote broadcasts. Prior to the pandemic, Rives helped organize the Busted Open 10-year anniversary party. They filled all three floors of a New York City bar to capacity and welcomed various special guests to the broadcast.

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NEW YORK NY 8211 APRIL 06 SiriusXM8217s Dave LaGreca and Marissa Rives host SiriusXM8217s 8220Busted Open8221 celebrating 10th Anniversary In New York City on the eve of WrestleMania 35 on April 6 2019 in New York City Photo by Slaven VlasicGetty Images for SiriusXM

Live remotes are slowly starting to return to many sectors of the media industry, and on this upcoming Saturday, April 2, Rives seeks to raise the bar with the two-hour Busted Open live special prior to WrestleMania 38 at Arlington Backyard at Texas Live! adjacent to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Additionally, full-scale audiovisual production of a comedic roast of show creator and host Dave LaGreca is set to take place and will be available to watch afterward on the SiriusXM mobile app.

“I hired comedy writers, and all of a sudden I went from a sports program director to a comedy production person,” said Rives. “I live to be able to merge what we do in a studio every day with the fans…. We’re really excited; a lot of work has gone into this one.”

Rives enjoys taking on new challenges and recently has moved into the podcasting space by becoming the active director of sports podcasts at SiriusXM. In this role, Rives is leading the effort to grow the selection of sports podcasts across SiriusXM’s programming portfolio.

The broadcasting company recently released Hope Solo Speaks, a podcast featuring two-time Olympian and World Cup-winning goaltender Hope Solo discussing issues important to her, including women’s rights, family and the fight for gender equality. Additionally, she is now working directly with podcasts such as Inside the Green Room with Danny Green, and Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray, and is working on developing and releasing more projects in the future.

“I’m really lucky [to have had] an opportunity to develop Fight Nation over the last six-and-a-half years, and now I’m getting a chance to really be on the ground floor of the next effort at SiriusXM to continue to develop our podcast content and programming,” said Rives. “It’s really exciting to take more and kind of push yourself outside of [your] comfort zone. I’ve been a combat sports girl for a long time, so it’s nice to be able to work with some different types of talent beyond just what I’ve been doing.”

With such ferocious growth in the podcasting sector of media, some traditionalists have feared the cessation of terrestrial radio as more consumers opt for on-demand content available whenever, wherever and however they want. Working in both spaces, Rives knows that the two means of aural consumption can indeed coexist, utilizing the strengths of each to improve upon their current products to satisfy the “appetite for audio content.”

“Instead of looking at it as, ‘Okay, this is some other thing that younger people are into,’ it’s just saying, ‘Look at the great content we’re already creating in radio. How do we tap into this, maybe rework it a bit and attract a different audience potentially with this same talent?” said Rives. “I think radio is probably better off now that podcasts were hot than it was a decade ago.”

Aside from the growth of podcasts, Rives is also encouraged by more women seeking careers in sports media and having the ability to genuinely contribute their ideas and opinions to conversations shaping the next stage of media growth. She believes that hearing voices from both of these genders will only benefit media companies by allowing them to consider multiple perspectives and make cognizant decisions that will serve the public interest.

“I think companies are taking it seriously that having the diversity of thought of both men and women involved in an organization just makes it better,” said Rives. “I think it’s less about ticking a box and saying, ‘Hey, we filled a quota, and now we have a woman on staff.’ I feel [like] it’s more about finally appreciating the fact that women really add to the coverage, and that there are women sports fans out there [that] do appreciate seeing other women.”

Rives was recently named as one of Cynopsis Media’s 2021 Top Women in Media, an honor that she hopes will inspire other women to seek careers in sports media, just as she was inspired to do in her youth. She knows that the future is bright for women in sports media and looks to lead by example through the work that she has already done and that she will do as her career progresses.

“It meant a lot, and it continues to mean a lot to me and I think I wear it with a point of pride as I look to continue to inspire other young women to come forth in sports media or any sort of media for that matter, and to be behind the scenes as producers and directors,” Rives said. “It just helps me continue with the goals I’ve always had for myself.”

Rives would not have made it to where she is today without persistence, hard work and the willingness to try new things. From going to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting; to interning at SiriusXM at 19 years old; to turning down a full-time legal videography job; to learning about combat sports on the job; to working in radio and podcasting simultaneously, Rives versatility and poise to succeed and elevate SiriusXM is undeniable. Making the most of your opportunities helps everyone from novices to seasoned professionals adapt and find their place in the media industry – and all of it is possible by saying just one word: “Yes.”

By saying “Yes” to opportunities, you allow yourself to augment your versatility by being open to learning, and you show your superiors that you are ready and willing to adapt, Rives says. If making the most of these opportunities requires working longer hours and expending more effort, so be it; after all, if one wishes to succeed, they will do whatever it takes to attain success.

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“If you have big aspirations, you have to put in the time and the effort,” Rives expressed. “This isn’t an easy industry, and there’s perks that come with it [but] there’s also hurdles that you have to overcome. If this is what you want to do, put the time in and it can really work out. I’m kind of proof of that.” 

BSM Writers

Twitter Blue Debacle Showcases Company’s Ongoing Concerns

“If you start giving away blue badges to everyone, then it has no value. It’s the equivalent of a currency. if you start printing more, it gets devalued. Same for verified badges.”

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For years, a blue “verified” check mark on Twitter has long been considered a symbol of status. Anyone — entrepreneurs, journalists, business executives — could potentially end up in the same exclusive space as celebrities like Taylor Swift and Tom Brady. 

Perhaps the one quality that the blue check mark represented that had been overlooked was its authenticity stamp. The badge has been used all across social media platforms to signal an account’s authenticity — a verification that recently has proven to be of significant importance to not only people, but brands as well. 

Shortly after Elon Musk’s $44-billion takeover of Twitter, the billionaire swiftly made his mark which, among many things, included a democratization of the app’s verification system. With a $7.99 monthly subscription to Twitter Blue, which launched last year as the company’s first subscription service, users could now possess what had long evaded them: a blue check mark.

“Theoretically, this would have made it easier for some brands or influencers to get verified than it has been in the past,” Galen Clavio, director of undergraduate studies for the Media School at Indiana University Bloomington, wrote in an email about the possible benefits of Twitter Blue’s verification accessibility. 

“From an algorithmic perspective, that would have made sense to pursue under the Twitter setup that everyone had come to know,” he added. 

While perhaps not a surprise to Musk or Twitter executives, everyday people were paying for the newly revamped Twitter Blue to boast their social media clout. Whether Twitter leadership knew it or not, though, those same subscribers took the opportunity to verify themselves using the alias of actual people. 

Very quickly, Twitter Blue created an abundance of impersonators masquerading as verified celebrities and companies. Misinformation was hard to identify, making it tougher to find information in an era already plagued by discrepancies between fact and fiction.

“If you start giving away blue badges to everyone, then it has no value,” Alessandro Bogliari, CEO of the Influencer Marketing Factory, an influencer marketing agency, wrote in an email. “It’s the equivalent of a currency. if you start printing more, it gets devalued. Same for verified badges.”

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A screenshot of a fake account created to appear as pharmaceutical company Eli Lily shows the dangers of allowing anyone to be verified on Twitter.

Shortly after the Twitter Blue re-launch, a tweet was sent from an account using the same logo and name of Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company. It read, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.” The tweet seemed legit — the branding seemed real, as did the company name. It also boasted a blue-check mark, so it had to be true. 

As just one of many misrepresentations that succeeded it, the Eli Lilly tweet was a fake. Even when Twitter finally removed the tweet, more than six hours later, the fraudulent account had more than 1,500 retweets and 10,000 likes. The pharma company’s stock also plummeted $368 a share to $346 a share, reportedly erasing billions in market cap, according to several economic reports. Eli Lilly’s stock price currently sits at roughly $352 as of Nov. 16th.

“I can only imagine the damage a tweet like that made for the company, its employees, stakeholders, shareholders and anyone really related to their offering,” Bogliari said. “Some were able to tweet from their official accounts and restore it a bit. Others, I imagine, used PR and reputation firms to get to a solution fast. But it’s not that easy for all of them… for others it could be potentially a damage so big they won’t be able to survive, not just in terms of market cap/stock value, but also in terms of reputation and customers love.”

The verification mishap affected not only Eli Lilly’s reputability and profitability, but could also spell trouble for Twitter’s revenue stream.

“It’s making it really easy for advertisers to say: ‘You know what, I don’t need to be here anymore,’ and walk away,” Jenna Golden, who previously ran Twitter’s political and advocacy ad sales team, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “People are not just providing inaccurate information but damaging information, with the ability to look legitimate. That is just not a stable place for a brand to invest.”

Sports personalities were also hurt by the preponderance of fake users across Twitter. Basketball star LeBron James trended on the platform after a tweet from someone with the user handle, @KINGJamez, claimed that the 37-year-old was leaving the Los Angeles Lakers to join his former club, the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Adam Schefter, a notable football analyst at ESPN, also trended after someone with the user handle, @AdamSchefterNOT, revealed that Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels lost his job. While the user handle clearly indicates that it didn’t come from the actual Adam Schefter, the fact that it was quote tweeted could have led many people to assume it was really Schefter, since many were unlikely to take the time to click and confirm the tweet — and tweeter’s — validity.

These are just a few specific instances where, while a more open verification system could have helped Twitter users, the idea did not lead to a successful implementation.

“Being verified would have given those brands more credibility and be marked as the official brand — impersonation happens also for smaller brands and not just for Fortune 100 companies,” Bogliari said. “So the idea was theoretically good — I would say only for brands and certain individuals and not just for everyone… documents and proof (are still) required but the execution showed us all the flaws.”

Verification issues aside, Twitter faces an uncertain future under Musk’s leadership. As much as 50% of the company’s 7,500 employees predating Musk’s ownership have been laid off under his tenure. The billionaire also revealed that Twitter’s cost-cutting methods are a result of the company losing upwards of $4 million daily. He’s even announced potential bankruptcy if Twitter doesn’t correct its financial woes. 

“I see the Twitter Blue controversy as one of several items that are likely to just make brands and creators look elsewhere in the social media landscape,” Clavio said. “Twitter offers minimal exposure for creators and brands to the public when compared to other networks, and a much higher risk of doing or saying something that can cause a crisis.”

As more people grow skeptical about Twitter, alternatives have started to emerge. More people are visiting platforms like Discord, Reddit, even Tumblr. Others are joining Mastodon, a free and open-source microblogging site that has drawn comparisons to Twitter for its timeline of short updates arranged chronologically rather than algorithmically. 

As recently as Nov. 12th, Mastodon boasted approximately 6.63 million accounts, a 17% increase from the 5.65 million users it had on October 28th. 

From internal struggles to increased competition, Musk inherited a Twitter that, for better or worse, might be on a continual spiral to irrelevancy. 

“It’s clear that the Twitter platform is pretty fractured right now,” Clavio said. “At the end of it all, I think a lot of brands will just opt out of having a presence on Twitter, paid or otherwise. It’s just not big enough of a platform to justify the potential negative exposure.”

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BSM Writers

Christian Arcand Returns To Where It All Started At WEEI

“Going to WEEI was a no-brainer for me. I started there. That’s my radio home.”

Derek Futterman

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Since the turn of the century alone, Boston has hosted 12 ticker tape parades to celebrate championships. Christian Arcand has had the opportunity to experience that success firsthand, initially as a diehard Boston sports fan and then as a voice of the fan. Now as he begins his second stint at the WEEI — this time as a producer and weekend host — he aims to ensure a seamless transition for both the Merloni, Fauria, & Mego afternoon drive show and his career in sports media.

Returning to a station where his Boston radio career began, Arcand enters the same building where he started his last sports media job with 98.5 The Sports Hub. Once the station moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts, WEEI moved its studios to the location – and it is where its shows are broadcast from today. Arcand’s time at 98.5 The Sports Hub ended in being laid off last month; despite that though, going to work evokes feelings of nostalgia and déjà vu.

“Walking back in there for the first time was pretty wild,” Arcand said, who returned to WEEI earlier this week. “I was laid off from The Sports Hub and it was a big surprise to me and to, I think, everybody that [it] happened.”

After graduating from the University of Colorado, Arcand moved back east to work for WDIS AM 1170 in Norfolk, Massachusetts, which he says isn’t really an option for those entering the business today.

“These little stations are all gone,” Arcand expressed. “Those were pipelines to places like WEEI and WFAN and other places in the area. You’d work in Connecticut or you’d work in Rhode Island or whatever and these places all just disappeared.”

Just over a year later, Arcand made the move to ESPN New Hampshire, initially co-hosting Christian and King with Tom King, a sportswriter for the Nashua Telegraph covering the New England Patriots, Boston Bruins and other college and high school sports. The show was broadcast during the midday time slot from noon to 3 p.m. and sought to entertain the audience while informing them about the day’s action.

After nearly four years on the air, Arcand transitioned to work with Pete Sheppard, a former member of the heralded WEEI program The Big Show hosted by Glenn Ordway, on Arcand and Sheppard. Additionally, Arcand was named as the show’s executive producer, meaning that while the show was going on, he was often focused on many different tasks. Once Christian and King was brought back, he continued working in this dual role before the show ended in January 2017, six months before the format flipped from ESPN-branded sports to oldies.

“It was a lot – cutting up all the audio you want to play, then playing it during the show, then cutting the commercial [and] trying to answer the phone,” Arcand said. “It was this whole thing, but I really loved it; we had a lot of fun up there.”

While Arcand currently works at WEEI, it is his second stint with the station – and this time, he is working in a brand new role. He initially joined the station in 2013 as a sports anchor and co-host of the evening program Planet Mikey featuring Mike Adams. Shortly thereafter, he helped launch WEEI Late Night, airing from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. where he became known in the Boston marketplace going on the air after the conclusion of Boston Red Sox live game broadcasts.

Unlike his time in New Hampshire though, he was solely hosting and not producing – requiring him to adjust to not having as much oversight regarding the inner workings of each program.

“I’m not a control freak, but I remember [thinking], ‘Wow, this is different. I’m not running the board anymore. I’m not playing my own stuff,’” Arcand said. “….That was kind of jarring at first [but] I ended up working with a lot of great producers and I still am today.”

Mike Thomas, who currently serves as the senior vice president and market manager for Audacy Boston, was integral in building 98.5 The Sports Hub from its launch in August 2009. He was responsible for signing Arcand away from WEEI to join the brand as co-host of The Adam Jones Show airing weeknights.

Working alongside show producer Jeremy Conley, he gained an in-depth understanding of what it entails to produce a sports talk radio show in a major market, helping broaden his knowledge of the craft and position him for his current job with WEEI.

“I really had a good opportunity to learn from some of, I think, the best [producers] in the business,” Arcand said. “….It’s cool being a fan of these guys and then getting to work with them and learn from them and all that other stuff…. It’s really a job that requires a lot, and the guys who are really good at it, I think, are just top-notch.”

Over the last several years, 98.5 The Sports Hub has earned massive wins across the Nielsen ratings, recently finishing number one in the summer book across all dayparts in the men 25-54 demographic. Days later though, the station’s parent company Beasley Media Group made budget cuts, resulting in Arcand and Toucher and Rich producer Mike Lockhart’s employment being terminated.

While Lockhart has since been re-hired after Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb lobbied for the decision to be reversed, Arcand was in the job market quickly mulling over his future in the industry. In fact, it was reported that Arcand was on the verge of signing a three-year contract that would have kept him at the station before the termination of his employment.

“I was so shocked that it had happened and it was sort of hard to deal with it,” Arcand expressed. “Then I was angry about it and then I sort of channeled that into, ‘Okay, what am I going to do next here?’ You start thinking, ‘Is this it? Is this the end of the career? Are you going to even continue doing this?,’ and that was a thought I had a couple of times.”

Arcand’s abrupt departure from 98.5 The Sports Hub and Boston sports radio was short-lived though, as there was a substantial market for his services. In the end, he communicated with Thomas and WEEI operations manager Ken Laird, utilizing industry connections and his own versatility to return to the place where he began working professionally in Boston.

“Seeing that WEEI was in the market for someone on-air and to produce [the afternoon] show, I was right there and willing to try out something I hadn’t done in a while,” Arcand said. “It was a no-brainer, really. Going to WEEI was a no-brainer for me. I started there. That’s my radio home.”

As someone once again “new” to the station, Arcand is looking to foster a working chemistry with afternoon hosts Lou Merloni, Christian Fauria and Meghan Ottolini, along with radio producer Ryan Garvin. Arcand enters the role replacing show executive producer Tyler Devitte who left the station to pursue other opportunities and feels that the composition of the show is unique in the sports radio landscape. In short, it gives them an opportunity to further differentiate themselves from other afternoon programs across multiple platforms of dissemination.

“It’s an interesting show because Lou and Christian are both ex-jocks,” Arcand explained. “It’s rare that you sort of see shows where it’s just two guys like that and it was just them for a while but then with [Glenn] Ordway and then they brought in Meghan [Ottolini].”

Arcand had been listening to the afternoon drive program long before the offer to return to WEEI was made to him and now looks to offer his insight and expertise when necessary. He does not want to enter his new role with insolence or by coming off as dogmatic when expressing his opinions about the show.

“I’m sort of taking the approach of observing more than maybe I would in a couple of weeks from now or something,” he said. “I want to sort of make sure I get the rhythm of the show and the clock and everything like that. Those are all things that you have to be more aware of when you’re behind the glass as opposed to on the air.”

Arcand will be hosting a solo radio program on WEEI every Saturday afternoon, reminiscent of Sunday Service, a weekend show he used to host on 98.5 The Sports Hub. He is excited to be able to return to the Boston airwaves and connect with his audience once a week to bring them the latest sports news and entertaining talk – all while bringing his trademarks of sarcasm and congeniality.

“I’m really comfortable just sitting in the room, cracking the mic and talking with the callers or putting out my points and getting to certain things that I want to touch on,” Arcand said. “….I think my style is one that you just sort of tune in and you’re hanging out with me for a couple of hours.”

Ultimately, Christian Arcand has made the move back to what he refers to as his radio home. As he concludes his first week back at WEEI, he is focused on producing the afternoon drive program and complimenting that with his solo show on Saturdays, the first of which will take place tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. Through all of his endeavors, he will talk about Boston sports with his listeners no matter the season, giving them a platform to engage with the hyperlocal coverage.

“Being back at WEEI is something that I’m really happy about,” Arcand expressed. “I was excited to get started, [and] now that I’m there, I’m excited to see where we can take this show.”

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BSM Writers

What Twitter Alternatives Exist For Sports Media?

Sports Twitter is a major vehicle that has helped establish the platform’s reputation for accurate and authentic up to the minute information.

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The reality of Twitter dying as a platform was looked at as a bit hyperbolic when Elon Musk first took over the social media network. Now though, it is slowly coming closer and closer to potential reality.

Musk has been on a quest to salvage Twitter’s economic stability but has done so in an irrational and unplanned fashion. The actions he has taken include publicly criticizing his employees and firing them after pushback and firing essential engineers who literally keep the platform from crashing. Developers have even warned Twitter users with two factor authentication to either remove the feature or to remain logged in because the function that handles that process no longer works.

Sports Twitter is a major vehicle that has helped establish the platform’s reputation for accurate and authentic up to the minute information. It has helped establish the careers of insiders such as Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania and Adam Schefter. In case Twitter does actually come to an end, what should reporters who rely so much on the platform do?

Establish an email list through Substack

With permission from their employers, I would suggest starting a newsletter list that they would be able to carry with them in case they decided to leave their employer at some point (all three of the mentioned journos recently signed extensions). Posting on Substack through a mobile device is just as easy as posting on Twitter and it gives users an almost similar experience to what they had with using Twitter in the sense that they could have their email notifications turned on and they could interact with other basketball lovers through Substack’s comments section.

Create a live blog that always exists on your employer’s page

A running page of information that was sponsored and existed on ESPN or Stadium’s page would make digestible, quick hit commentary monetizable for the networks that employ Shams, Woj and Schefter. It brings people back to their employer’s page and establishes even more of a bond between consumers and apps/websites – a connection that has been taken away from many due to the existence of social media.

Establish a Mastodon server

With over a million users, Mastodon has become the closest thing to a Twitter alternative that’s available. Even though signing up for an account is a little confusing and the ability to search for unique users and takes isn’t fully established in comparison to Twitter – Mastodon has a similar look and feel to Elon’s platform and it gives employers more control over who is and isn’t interacting with their employees and what they are able to see. It would make it easier on ESPN or Stadium’s part to constantly promote links to their pages for viewers and readers to consume.

It’s the closest thing that is available to establishing your own social media network without the startup costs, hiring of engineers and figuring out tech issues. An advertising mechanism hasn’t been established yet but ESPN or Stadium could be in the forefront (because of the credibility they bring to the table) of establishing the revenue side of things alongside Mastodon.

Stick it out with Elon

NBC Universal’s advertising head recently told AdAge that NBC is sticking it out with Twitter. Twitter’s ad program has faced setback since Elon’s takeover but it is still much more established and streamlined that anything else available out there that is similar to Twitter. She also said that Twitter is the biggest host of NBC content on the internet (besides NBC owned platforms of course).

If a major company like NBC is standing with Twitter and if most major advertisers haven’t left yet, maybe sports reporters should also stay put for now. Twitter is not a startup. Despite the disarray we read about everyday, it’s still an established company that is up and running. We are all using Twitter itself to talk smack about its mismanagement but the reality is we are all still using Twitter. Even those who have gone away from the platform still come back more often than not to check in on what is happening directly on Twitter.

Maybe the grass will eventually be greener on the other side and Elon will have Twitter on more established ground. Maybe Elon files for bankruptcy and sells it to bankers who create an environment of stability for the company.

The reality is there is no other platform as good at real time reaction than Twitter so maybe sticking it out and keeping status quo is the best thing for everyone to do. See you later on Twitter (follow me @JMKTVShow).

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