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This is What Howie Rose Lives For

“It was a very, very joyful experience for me just to get back behind the mic with a baseball field in front of me and the game going on.”

Derek Futterman

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Howie Rose has been a voice synonymous with New York Mets baseball for nearly a quarter-century, and for the first time in his career last season, he had to cut his season short to undergo a medical procedure. A fan of the team from their inception in 1962, Rose watched Tom Seaver and the 1969 “Miracle Mets” win a World Series championship, lived through the 1977 “Midnight Massacre” trade and watched the franchise rebuild and win another championship in 1986.

The Mets’ yearly campaigns, aside from the shortened 2020 season, have always begun at spring training, first in Tampa, Fla., and, since 1988, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. For Rose, being back at spring training among the players, coaches and management evinced feelings of nostalgia with the prescience that baseball would indeed be played in 2022, and he would once again be in the booth bringing fans the action.

“It was a very, very joyful experience for me just to get back behind the mic with a baseball field in front of me and the game going on,” said Rose. “You don’t get the same flow of adrenaline in a spring training game as you do for a regular season game, but I will say I had that adrenaline flowing a little bit more strongly.”

Howie Rose became infatuated by the possibility of becoming a broadcaster from the time he was 7 years old listening to Mel Allen call New York Yankee games. As a native New Yorker, he grew up following professional sports in the area and took note of the styles of various announcers, something that eventually helped him craft his own distinct sound. At the age of 13, Rose created and served as president of “The Marv Albert Fan Club,” dedicated to play-by-play announcer Marv Albert, a person who became a mentor to Rose and helped him as he made his way into the industry.

During his time as an undergraduate student at Queens College, Howie Rose was a credentialed media member for the NHL’s New York Islanders in their inaugural season. It was an experience that set him on a path to becoming a professional, positioning him for his first job working at Sports Phone as its weekend night announcer. By dialing 976-1313, sports fans had the ability to hear the latest game scores and news about their favorite teams. Shortly after in 1977, Rose worked at WHN, a country music station in New York City, as a morning sports anchor, and eventually served as its sports director before leaving in 1983. He continued working in radio when he became an update anchor for WCBS, and, on the side, served as a freelance broadcaster for the NBC Radio Network.

July 1, 1987 is one of the days that transformed sports media. It marked the official launch of WFAN, the first radio station dedicated to the sports talk format. Rose’s former station, WHN, officially flipped formats and became the first-ever 24/7 sports talk radio station, and he became one of its inaugural hosts.

Rose was behind the microphone as WFAN’s first-ever nighttime host on weekdays, while also hosting the Mets Extra show and working alongside his childhood idol Marv Albert as a backup radio play-by-play announcer for the NHL’s New York Rangers. Through countless hours of listening to Albert and other broadcasters combined with his vast experience up to that point in time, Rose had evolved as an announcer – all while remaining in his hometown.

“There comes a time for every young broadcaster when… you just begin to realize that you’ve got complete command of what you’re supposed to do between the language and your ability to condense what you’re seeing on the field; or on the ice; or on the court, to a point that makes it understandable to the listener,” said Rose. “When you get to that point, you’re, for lack of a better word, polished, but I don’t know if that’s a philosophical thing. It evolves over a period of time.”

Like Howie Rose, Albert grew up in New York City and was a fan of the local teams. Rose gravitated towards him was because of his ability to show fandom on the broadcast without it becoming subjective. It is a lesson he took with him throughout his career and one he continues to carry with him today.

“He seemed to be an unabashed rooter for those teams – the Knicks and Rangers – and then as his career grew, he, I think, tried to stress the importance, and properly so, of objectivity and being able to tell the story as it unfolded in front of you,” said Rose. “That doesn’t mean that you can’t have that emotional bond with whichever team you happen to be broadcasting – if it’s real.”

May 27, 1994. Eastern Conference Finals Game 7. The New York Rangers hosted the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line, and held a one goal advantage into the game’s final minute. Vying for their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 1979, Rangers fans were on their feet in hopeful anticipation. As the clock ticked down below 20 seconds, the Devils pulled their goaltender and managed to sneak a shot past Rangers goaltender Mike Richter to tie the game at one, and keep their championship aspirations alive.

After a scoreless first overtime that kept the game tied, Rangers forward Stéphane Matteau intercepted the puck in the second frame for a scoring opportunity against the hall-of-fame goaltender Martin Brodeur. In what was shaping up to be an all-time dramatic conclusion, Rose told the listening audience of the thrilling finish in one of the most iconic calls in NHL history.

“Matteau behind the net, swings it in front, he scores! Matteau! Matteau! Matteau! Stéphane Matteau! And the Rangers have one more hill to climb, baby, but it’s Mount Vancouver! The Rangers are headed to the Finals!,” exclaimed Rose in a jubilant moment for Blueshirts fans within a city of 16 million.

In that moment, Rose’s passion for both the Rangers and New York sports as a whole shined through. All of his years of practicing with a tape recorder in the blue seats as a fan watching the Rangers had led to that quintessential moment he could, for so many years, only refer to as a verisimilitude. Yet he always remained ready for the opportunity to arrive, and when it did, he delivered a call that represented what had happened appropriately. Twenty-eight years later, the magnitude of that once-in-a-lifetime moment is still evident to Rose each time he steps behind a microphone.

“It’s what we work for – it’s what we live for,” said Rose when asked about the significance of calling memorable moments. “It was stuff that I dreamed about as a fan…. Just thinking about it still gives me goosebumps.”

Rose departed WFAN shortly thereafter as both a host and announcer, joining SportsChannel to replace Jiggs McDonald as the television play-by-play voice of the NHL’s New York Islanders. While he grew up a Rangers fan by virtue of their being in existence while he was young, Rose lived close to Nassau Coliseum and watched the team win four straight Stanley Cup championships from 1980 to 1984. Up until that point though, Rose’s career had been largely concentrated in radio, and while he wound up calling hockey games on television for 20 years, radio always was and remains as his preferred medium of choice.

“There’s much more description on radio,” explained Rose, “and the thrill of taking a blank canvas and painting something verbally to create an image that’s sharp enough and clear enough for a listener to interpret so that he or she can see what’s going on even though they’re not actually watching it – That’s the greatest challenge in broadcasting to me. Because of that, I’ve got a huge preference, artistically, for radio.”

Calling Islanders games was not Rose’s only gig in 1995 though, as he also began broadcasting games for the Mets on the radio and, one year later, in the television booth along with Ralph Kiner on MSG Network. For fans of National League baseball in New York, Rose has served as the soundtrack of summer from that time on, and in just his second season in the medium, was nominated for a New York Emmy Award. Calling games on the radio, Rose affirms, prepared him extremely well in transitioning to television, but he did have an eye-opening moment on day one of his new job.

“I thought to myself at the end of the [first] game, ‘Man, that was easy,’” recollected Rose. “You’ve got so many different variables on television that conspire to make your job easier. You’ve got a producer who tells you what… to say in the open; you’ve got a director who’s showing you the pictures that you have to respond to, and you’ve got the game that you describe only in snippets as opposed to vividly [like] the way you have to on radio…. I think I could roll out of bed and stumble into a television booth and do a game and not embarrass myself. I couldn’t imagine myself doing that on radio.”

Indeed, Rose did return to radio – and WFAN for that matter – when legendary Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy retired in 2003. He worked with Gary Cohen for three years before Cohen joined the newly-launched SNY as the team’s television play-by-play announcer, along with analysts and 1986 World Series champions Keith Hernadez and Ron Darling. Since then, Rose has been the primary voice of the Mets Radio Network, and has continued to work in that role with various different partners over the years.

While some radio announcers have called games solo, such as former Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, Rose prefers having a partner to accompany him throughout the broadcast. For the last three seasons, that partner has been Wayne Randazzo, a radio broadcaster from Chicago, Ill. who had been hosting the Mets pregame and postgame shows on WCBS NewsRadio 880, the flagship radio home of New York Mets baseball. 

“You need someone to bounce things off with, and you need someone to provide a counterpoint to whatever it is that I might be saying or we might be opining about,” said Rose. “I’m also at a point in my career where I absolutely love mentoring younger broadcasters, and… I just love watching younger broadcasters evolve into real good, solid major leaguers.”

Rose acknowledges that he has been fortunate to work in his hometown for the entirety of his broadcasting career, working games for the teams with which he grew up. While his situation is not completely unique, he knows it is extremely rare, a primary reason as to why he tells prospective broadcasters pursuing a job an incommodious truth of the industry.

“As you go to college and start to think about doing this beyond school as a full-fledged professional, you need to be willing to relocate; you need to be willing to be lonely even as you perhaps marry and raise a family,” said Rose. “You have to be prepared to deal with the sometimes very deep depression of being away from them for days or weeks at a time. That’s not easy, and you have to know that that’s all part of the equation, and you have to, if not necessarily embrace it, accept it and be willing to deal with it.”

As Howie Rose continues to recover from his medical procedure, he is making lifestyle changes to ensure he can remain behind the microphone for many seasons to come as the Mets pursue their first World Series championship since 1986. Rose will still be calling 130 of the team’s 162 games; however, he will not be traveling with the team past the Mississippi River on trips to the West Coast to cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver among others. Jake Eisenberg, the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the Omaha Storm Chasers, has been hired by the Mets and WCBS to fill in for Rose during the games he misses, serving as the booth’s third voice.

“The baseball schedule is unforgiving and as you get older – it’s like a player – if you want to stay sharp, you need a blow here and there,” stated Rose. I don’t know if I would have done it right now, but certainly in a year or two.”

Rose has called a no-hitter, various cycles and a pennant-clinching game. He has watched the careers of all-time great players unfold, including Mike Piazza, David Wright and Jacob deGrom. He has and continues to serve as the Mets Opening Day master of ceremonies, possesses a near-encyclopedic knowledge about the franchise and is a fixture around the ballpark. But the one thing he has yet to do is call a World Series championship, and it is something he and every other Mets fan has and continues to patiently wait for. That is why, if the Mets qualify for postseason play, but happen to be in one of the locations Rose is refraining from traveling to during the regular season, all bets will be off.

“Once they get to the postseason, assuming they do, I don’t care where they’re playing,” exclaimed Rose. “I don’t care if they’re playing on Guam; I’m making that trip.”

Come this Friday, April 15, Howie Rose will be calling a game from the Bob Murphy Radio Booth at Citi Field for the first time since August 31 of last year, and you can unequivocally “put it in the books” that he is ready to be back in the fold.

“We’ve got the Tom Seaver statue unveiling and the Jackie Robinson [Day] ceremonies, and obviously our pregame introductions and all that,” said Rose. “To be back in that saddle is going to be very, very exciting for me.”

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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