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Who Else Do You Listen To?

“I’m 10 years into my radio career but only 3 years into hosting my own show, I’ve got plenty to learn, and who better to learn from than the best in our industry today?”

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I recently found myself in a rut creatively. As a performer of any trade, it can be a frustrating feeling. As a radio host, it can really make your job drag. All the sudden, 3 hours feels like 5 and nothing you put out for public consumption seems to make an impact.

Our job is so driven by feelings. We don’t get real-time stats that tell us if something is clicking with the audience. We don’t have a live crowd (most of the time) to react to the things we say or the segments we attempt to pull off. Our jobs require a lot of trial and error where. Ourselves and our co-hosts/producers are holding the ones holding the gavel.

I have found that because of these dynamics, it’s really easy to sometimes just run out of creative ways to deliver content, even if it’s just the smallest alteration. I don’t like the idea of doing the same exact radio show day in and day out. While there’s something to be said for consistency, I try and provide that while pushing away from monotony. 

The good news is that I’ve been able to climb out of this recent rut. I feel like I’m thriving creatively. I’m enjoying the show I host as I should be, and I’m confident in the content being delivered to my audience daily. I’m sure you are all on the edge of your seat wondering how I’ve achieved this. Well, the answer is actually pretty simple. It’s you. 

Recently, I’ve really made it a point to sample as many sports talk radio stations as I can. I’ve built it into my daily routine. I fly around the country each morning listening to the best and brightest from WEEI in Boston, The Ticket in Dallas, WQAM in Miami, 670 The Score in Chicago, WFAN in New York, 94WIP in Philly, 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, KNBR in San Francisco, WDAE in Tampa, and KJR in Seattle.

Sampling these individual stations has provided me with more ideas and confidence in what I’m doing than I could’ve ever hoped for. I’m 10 years into my radio career but only 3 years into hosting my own show, I’ve got plenty to learn, and who better to learn from than the best in our industry today? I think this strategy can be implemented no matter the length of your run in radio.

In fact, the longer you’ve been in the business, the more you might need it. I think many of us tend to get stuck doing the same shows over and over again. If you’ve been doing things the same way for 30 years and no one’s told you to do it any different, why would you? It’s healthy to keep things fresh. That’s something I value as a host and I like to think the audience appreciates it as well. I have taken the time to listen to each of these stations throughout the past few weeks in morning drive, and it has done wonders. Not only has it reinvigorated my creative side, it’s also a refreshing reminder of just how many sports talk stations there are around the country that are doing things at an optimal level, or something close to it. 

I think it’s worth noting that I’m not listening for the content when sampling these other stations, anything but that. I’m listening for style, delivery, how hosts come in and out of the break, imaging, the use of drops/audio, and how different voices play their roles on each show. I want to know how these shows involve their audience and the balance between local and national stories. 

There’s no shame in taking something you hear that originated hundreds of miles away and making it your own for your local audience. Every great artist draws inspiration from others. There’s a famous saying from Picasso: “Bad artists copy, good artists steal.”

If you’re in a rut or if you just need some inspiration, use those who are doing the same thing as you every day as that source. Use apps like Audacy, iHeart, and TuneIn. Pinpoint radio stations you respect and markets you figure do things right. Then, pluck things from around the country that you think would work for you. Take your own nationwide radio tour, I think you’ll be surprised at how much it can assist you in being a better host, producer, or program director. 

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

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

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

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

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

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

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

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

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

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

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

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

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