The Volume Expands Gambling, Video, And Partnerships Verticals With Five Executive Hires
“Five executives are joining The Volume from ESPN, FS1, Overtime, Activision Blizzard, and the XFL.”
In February 2021, The Volume entered the sports media space, destined to forge an identity as a sports podcast network. Created by FOX Sports Radio and FS1 host Colin Cowherd, the brand quickly began generating attention, thanks in large part to the national profile of its founder and the arrival of four additional shows hosted by former WWE announcer Renee Paquette, comedian and sports gambling fanatic Alex Monaco, former NFL defensive back Aqib Talib, and longtime friends and basketball junkies LaJethro Jenkins and Dragonfly Jonez.
Soon thereafter, Cowherd would add Logan Swaim from DAZN to serve as the network’s Head of Content. Additional shows were launched featuring former NFL scout and football analyst John Middlekauff, Action Network’s Chief Content Officer Chad Millman, and Notre Dame teammates Kyle Hamilton, Cam Hart, KJ Wallace, and Conor Ratigan. Then just nine months after launching, the company would make another big splash when Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green signed on to host a weekly podcast and serve as an advisor to the emerging network.
By investing in unique talent and creating interesting shows, the brand has enjoyed quicker than expected growth. In addition to the fourteen podcasts featured on its website, the company has started a new show with Richard Sherman, and a college football show with T-Bob Hebert and Aaron Murray. Well known NFL reporter Mike Silver also joined the company over the summer.
Despite launching five years after Bill Simmons introduced The Ringer, the network has already surpassed them on YouTube with an impressive 800,000 subscribers across all of its YT channels. Millions more receive the company’s content on social media whether that’s through the brand’s main accounts or popular hosts such as Cowherd, Green, Paquette and others.
In order to further capitalize on the momentum created over the past eighteen months, the company is set to expand its leadership team. In an exclusive story reported first by Barrett Sports Media, Cowherd has confirmed the addition of five new executive hires. All will report directly to The Volume’s Head of Content, Logan Swaim.
Charged with helping the company strengthen its position across the sports media landscape are Andrew Samson, Alisa Harrison, Sean Herlihy, Allyson Porter, and Matt Kline. Each will have different responsibilities for the network, which we’ve laid out below.
In a statement provided to BSM, Volume Founder Colin Cowherd said, “We are always looking for people with unique perspectives and an innovative approach to their work. The leadership team we’ve assembled is going to use those qualities to strengthen our existing business and find new opportunities for The Volume as we head into our second year.”
Cowherd will be a guest next week on The Jason Barrett Podcast. The episode will be released on Tuesday September 6th. He is expected to share additional insight on the company’s new executive hires, The Volume’s growth and future goals, and much more.
THE VOLUME’S NEW EXECUTIVE HIRES
Andrew Samson, Executive Producer – Andrew will oversee The Volume’s flagship program “The Colin Cowherd Podcast.” Samson is an Emmy Award-winning writer who previously served as Director of Content for The XFL.
Alisa Harrison, Head of Production – Alisa will manage the creative and technical execution of the network’s entire slate of shows both in audio and video. She previously oversaw branded and documentary programming at Overtime.
Sean Herlihy, Head of Gambling – Sean will oversee the expansion of The Volume’s growing gambling content vertical, liaising with its partners at FanDuel and The Action Network with a goal of delivering them new audiences and customers. Herlihy previously worked at FS1 where he developed and executive produced Fox Bet Live.
Allyson Porter, Head of Programming – Allyson will oversee partnerships, distribution deals, and new show development. Porter previously worked for Activision Blizzard where she built a robust Esports roster and spearheaded the company’s gaming content.
Matt Kline, Head of Digital – Matthew will oversee The Volume’s growing social channels and build new revenue streams through digital. Kline previously worked for ESPN where he managed the network’s Snapchat shows and oversaw the development, launch, and production of digital shows for emerging platforms.
Dan Le Batard: ‘Does Sports Media Care if Interviews Are Done Well?’
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is.”
Mike Greenberg had praise for Jalen Rose this week. He said that no one but his ESPN colleague could have handled the interview with Ja Morant that has been airing on the network. Dan Le Batard has the exact opposite opinion of what he saw.
“What I saw was soft and didn’t seem to serve anybody except ESPN,” Le Batard said on his Thursday show. “This seems to be a lot of people around the economy of basketball and Ja Morant orchestrating an interview so Ja Morant can move onto the next stage of his branding.”
Whereas Greenberg thought the shared experience of an NBA career made Rose more likely to get answers from Morant, Le Batard said it created a problem. He accused Rose of letting Morant get away with using “talking points” in lieu of answering any actual questions about the string of erratic behavior and disturbing incidents the Memphis Grizzlies star has been involved with.
It wasn’t the only interview that Dan Le Batard pointed to. He noted that Pat McAfee’s interview with Aaron Rodgers may have drawn an audience of nearly half a million, but very little substance was offered.
“Does anybody in the audience, in sports fandom, or even, at this point, in sports media companies, care in a real and legitimate way whether the interview is done well or not?”
He added that the standard has changed for these interviews because the goal has changed. They are no longer about journalism as much as they are about branding, particularly in the case of ESPN’s exclusive interview with Ja Morant.
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is,” Le Batard concluded. “All you need, if you’re the media partner, is please get me the famous guy to sit down.”
Jomboy, Aaron Boone Partner For Weekly Podcast Appearance
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity, and a cool idea. These guys have been innovators in this business and they’ve built a massive, young following.”
It isn’t unusual for a professional sports team to partner with a local radio station for weekly interviews with team personnel. Even though Jomboy Media is a digital outlet, it didn’t stop the company from inking a deal to have Yankees manager Aaron Boone on one of its signature podcasts.
In a move announced Thursday, Jomboy Media has signed a deal for Boone to appear on its popular Talkin’ Yanks podcast — hosted by founder Jimmy O’Brien and Jake Storiale — once a week throughout the baseball season.
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity, and a cool idea. These guys have been innovators in this business and they’ve built a massive, young following,” Boone told The New York Post. “I think Jimmy and Jake are both really good guys. And they’re passionate about what they do, and they love the Yankees. And, sometimes they’re a little misguided and it’s my chance to set the record straight every now and then.”
Previously, Boone had a weekly spot on 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show, which reportedly paid him six figures.
“It’s going to be really fun and it kind of goes with the changing landscape of media,” O’Brien said. “The fact that two fans can create a show and in five years get to the point where they get to ask questions to the manager of the Yankees and bring whatever insight we can get out of that to our audience — it is pretty wild, a little surreal.”
Sports Media Reacts to Aaron Rodgers Telling Adam Schefter ‘Lose My Number’
“Here are some of the best responses from Schefter’s sports media colleagues to the tweet.”
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday and revealed that if he gets his way, his time with the Green Bay Packers is done. He intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023.
Rodgers told McAfee that the hang-up lies with Green Bay, which is trying to determine the appropriate compensation for trading for a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Rodgers also revealed that he had an interaction with ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. Schefter, who was obviously digging as much as he could to get the scoop on what was going on with Rodgers’ future, texted Rodgers trying to confirm the information he had.
“I didn’t respond to Dianna Russini I think her name is,” Rodgers said. “But I would say the same thing that I told Schefty. Lose my number. Nice try.”
Upon hearing Rodgers’ account, Schefter followed up with a screenshot of Rodgers responding exactly how he said, and that sent social media into a whirlwind.
Here are some of the best responses from Schefter’s sports media colleagues to the tweet:
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
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