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AM Radio Has Little Appeal to 97.3 The Game’s Steve Czaban

And obviously then being on AM really hurts in the year 2022… I just couldn’t stand being on AM radio for another year in my career. It’s not what’s happening now in terms of radio and media and everything else.

Brian Noe



Steve Czaban

Considering this is the first year that 97.3 The Game in Milwaukee is carrying Green Bay Packers football, it seemed like a good time to catch up with America’s host, Steve Czaban. He’s been at The Game for three years now and signed a contract extension with the station back in April. Czaban has some interesting views about how the season might play out for the Packers and, in turn, what it would mean for The Game.

Czaban also weighed in on local competitor 1250 The Fan’s recent decision to eliminate local programming. It got him thinking about one of the main reasons he chose to leave The Team 980 in Washington, D.C. Czabe also explains what qualifies as a wow moment for him at this stage of his distinguished career, and answered questions without skipping a beat as the skies opened up during a good ol’ Midwest torrential downpour. That’s a pro’s pro. Enjoy!

Brian Noe: This is the first year that your station is carrying the Packers. What do you think it’s going to do for the station as a whole?

Steve Czaban: Well, it’s huge obviously. I’ve always said that sports radio in general rises and falls in most markets with the NFL team, period, full stop. No offense to any other sport or league, it just is the fact of the matter. So when you have the play-by-play, and you’re the home of an iconic team like the Packers, and a team that is, thank God, knock on wood really good right now, and hopefully that continues, that’s a huge, huge boost for the station.

They say it’s going to bring in a whole new wave of audience that otherwise doesn’t listen to our station or doesn’t know our station. I will leave that to the experts in the business offices about that. I don’t disagree with it, but my M.O., Brian, has always been just put the best show you can on every day, get people to come, and get them to come back, and then get them to come back for even more the day after that. But having the Packers is huge and they’ve been great to us so far, which is nice.

BN: With [former Packers wide receiver] Davante Adams being gone, the Week 1 disaster against the Vikings last Sunday just feels different than the Week 1 disaster last year. Could you make the argument that for what you do, the Packers might be more interesting with the unknown of where are they right now?

SC: Yes, they are definitely more interesting. I don’t know if it’s better for us. I’d rather them just be good because good teams get good ratings in various sports radio markets. I had too many years of quote: interesting Redskin teams, full of plotlines and absurdities. They definitely filled up hours and hours and hours of programming. But the casual fan, they just tune out when the team is bad. What’s funny is that our guy, John Kuhn, former Packer fullback, he thinks that last year’s loss in Week 1 was way worse than this year’s loss. He went through all the different reasons why, a lot of those being injuries.

BN: Do you notice any difference with listener interaction?

SC: Well, with our regular listeners, no. But I will say that our postgame guy, Billy Schmid, said that a couple of callers to the postgame show chided him and Drew Olson, his co-host, for being too condescending to callers. And I’m like well, you know, this is what sports radio is. [Laughs] If you don’t like somebody’s take, you’re going to mock it, yell at it, be condescending, or maybe refute it with some facts, or a little bit of all of the above. That’s just how it is.

But I said to Billy, you have to realize there are some listeners now that you’re going to interact with that literally the only sports they watch are the Green Bay Packers. That’s it. They don’t listen to sports radio. They don’t know who Giannis Antetokounmpo is. They are hardworking dairy farmers, upstate, that work dawn to dusk seven days a week, never take a vacation, but they love the Packers and this is their one thing. So they’re not sort of used to the normal, bare-knuckle sports radio brawling that sometimes goes on.

BN: When you covered Washington for so many years, they had some brutal seasons. Do you find yourself thinking or saying that Packer fans have it good and that many other teams would kill to win 13 games?

SC: All the time, would be the answer to that. All the time. But I try to tread lightly because nobody wants to hear an outsider lecture them about their team. Because they’re like, hey pal, you’ve been here for three years, calm down. I get it, but as I will say from time to time, Packer fans have had a 30-year vacation from history basically, from the requisite journey into the woods to try to find a quarterback that just about every team has to go through except for the ones that find that guy.

BN: As a host in the same market, what’s your reaction to 1250 The Fan across town slashing local programming?

SC: Well, you never like to see guys in the business lose their jobs, number one. Even if they’re a quote-unquote competitor. But you have to wonder how many sports stations can a market truly accommodate? Sometimes I’m amazed, Brian, at cities like Atlanta that has like four sports stations. Or Phoenix, and I’m like these are not hardcore sports cities. How do they have four goddamn sports stations? But with, I guess, the right blend of we’re going pay this guy, we’re not going to do this, we’ll take some national programming, we got a sponsor or two, they can make it work I guess. 

And obviously then being on AM really hurts in the year 2022. It’s just hard. That’s kind of why in D.C., the company there Audacy, same company, wanted me to continue on 980, which is the station I’d been on for 20 years. A big part of my decision to say, you know what, no thanks, is that I just couldn’t stand being on AM radio for another year in my career. It’s not what’s happening now in terms of radio and media and everything else.

BN: I know you signed your contract extension [back in April], but is there a radio part of you that when you see a station slashing payroll, you think oh no, what’s the next thing to happen? Or are you just like, you know, man, I’m riding the wave, whatever happens I’ll react to it if that does unfold?

SC: Yeah, I trained myself to not think about that in catastrophic terms. You can’t worry about what’s going to happen next, and layoffs, whatever. I think you have to always just be thoughtful of your trajectory and your career and possible next opportunities. Not that I’m looking for that next opportunity at this time, but just to always be mindful of that. I like to tell young guys I work with, I say look, radio is not a gold watch business. Okay, just realize that. You want gold watches at the end of your 25 years, 40 years, 50 years? Sell insurance.

BN: [Laughs] Absolutely, man. I’m curious, Czabe, for a guy like you that’s had a distinguished career, what is a wow moment for you now? Like, wow, this is cool. What wows you at this point that isn’t mundane anymore?

SC: I think what I’m doing now is a wow thing. It’s really energized me because people get too hung up on market size. Oh, you used to be in D.C., now you’re in Milwaukee, oh my God. But it’s about what you’re doing with the medium and with the people you’re working with. I spent training camp up at Lambeau Field in a house that we rented right next to Lambeau Field that had been the subject of this budget movie called The 60 Yard Line. It was like a week of being in a fraternity.

We did our shows from there. We hung out in Green Bay and it was beautiful weather and it’s the iconic Green Bay Packers. We have such a good group of guys at the station including former Packer players, former Badger players like Brian Butch. It was a lot of fun. I’m like this is great. I love doing this. The other thing is next Sunday, I’m going to be doing an hour pregame show during the Packer run-up from this converted sort of trailer that we retrofitted to make look like a Packer living room den from the 1970s complete with the wood paneling and the vintage TV set. It’s just so cool. It’s like I love it.

It’s not the most important show we have. It’s an hour long, three and a half hours before the game, but it’s going to be fun. And other guys at the station will use that. So that’s cool as well. It’s about doing fun things with good people and having success, which the station is, and doing the kind of sports radio that is not so traditional and narrow and God, you were talking about something other than sports for 10 minutes, how dare you. Get back to box scores.

BN: With the addition of Tim Allen to your station, he broke the news on your show, did he not? 

SC: I was gone and I have not met Tim. All I know about Tim is that as soon as 1250 kind of went under, and there was a chance we could get him, all of our guys were like, oh my God, this would be great, Tim’s great. I really didn’t have any idea what his deal was and then I came to learn that he was kind of a Brewers postgame show host specialist that has a real passion and knowledge for the team, and people really like him. I’m like, all right, cool, that’s great. That’s the kind of guy that we’d love to add to the mix. I’ve not had a chance to meet him yet, but I know I will soon and everybody in the building has great things to say about him.

BN: In Milwaukee, instead of having separate timeslots like I’m the morning guy, you’re the afternoon guy, you’re middays, do you try to weave everything together where hosts are part of each other’s show? 

SC: We certainly do cross over with other shows a lot. We cross over and we cross-pollinate probably as much as if not more than any station I’ve been on. I think it’s great. Obviously, people have to hold down their daypart and create their audience that comes to them for when they can listen to their show. Guys that are working in construction and whatnot, maybe in certain hours. Guys that are in the office are more drive time. There’s different segments of the listening population that are going to be caught by the different shows.

The fun thing about going on other guy’s shows is that you’re basically just getting to play pickup hoops with some other guys and have some fun with it. I think there’s nothing wrong with that. I think one of our best segments we do is our so called 5 Wide when we cross over with our next show, our show crosses over with Nine 2 Noon. We’ve got five guys on the mics and we actually make a coherent segment of it, where it’s not just guys yelling over each other.

BN: I think it makes all the sense in the world, man, especially if you have a new hire just to get them in the mix. Are you surprised other stations don’t do the same thing?

SC: It’s not that I’m surprised. I think a lot of other stations become very fortified in their host territories, and very territorial. Especially the more established stations. Egos can run pretty big in our business. A lot times I think guys feel like why should I talk to him? He’s got his own show. He’s middays. I’m the guy here. Like, I don’t want to talk to that guy. I think that’s probably the case in more markets. And it might be the case if guys just are like yeah, I don’t want to do any more radio than I have to.

BN: If you could write the script — within reason — for how the Packers season plays out and in turn what it would mean for your station, what would be the script?

SC: Oh man, I would say team struggles early, gets a foothold, starts playing great. Wins a bunch of games in a row, then, like any good movie, Brian, complication. Rodgers gets hurt. Not season-ending hurt, but like four-to-six games hurt. In comes Jordan Love the heir apparent, who lights it up and is great. But not so great that you’re going to tell Rodgers okay, you lost your job.

Rodgers comes back from injury, resumes being Rodgers. Team goes on to win the Super Bowl. Rodgers in a hallucinogenic mushroom type experience decides, hey man, what a perfect way to go out, and pulls an Elway and retires handing off the team to Jordan Love who proved in Rodgers absence that he’s the real deal. And the beat continues. That would be the perfect script.

BN: Wow, man. That absolutely would be. I don’t know if this damages the great walk-off you just did, but what do you think the script will be in actuality?

SC: Well, you always got to be careful. Because as a host, there’s a feeling that sports radio hosts should always be kind of homers. And shouldn’t entertain thoughts of dark outcomes, even when those dark outcomes are staring you in the face. So with that said as a caveat, I fear a somewhat, not messy, but an awkward and perhaps uninspiring sort of conclusion to this year and maybe the Rodgers era. Something that smells like 11-6 and a Wild Card loss. Then either Rodgers retires or lets it be known, I want to be traded. They do the same thing with him they did with Davante and they trade him for picks. And you push the big reset plunger and hope that things are okay next year.

BN: Man, isn’t it crazy that the gap between those two outcomes is so wide, but both are possible?

SC: Well, I’d say the gap is even wider if you say this team could be 6-11. This team could be 6-11 with Rodgers playing the whole time. That’s not out of the realm of possibility. In McCarthy’s last year, I think they went 6-9-1 and Rodgers played all 16. It’s possible. But yeah, the worst would be if they’re bad, Rodgers gets hurt, Jordan Love comes in and Jordan Love’s bad. [Laughs] Now it’s really bad because you’ll be getting out of the Rodgers business, the bottom will have fallen out, and you’ll have a replacement in Love who definitely does not look like he’s the guy. But that’s why the NFL, Brian, is like crack. It’s the greatest reality show ever invented. And we don’t know until it plays out in front of our eyes on our high definition TVs.

BSM Writers

Amanda Brown Has Embraced The Bright Lights of Hollywood

“My whole goal was that I didn’t need people to like me; I needed people to respect me.”

Derek Futterman




The tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and eight others aboard a helicopter, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, sent shockwaves around the world of sports, entertainment, and culture. People traveled to Los Angeles following the devastating news and left flowers outside the then-named STAPLES Center, the arena which Bryant called home for much of his career, demonstrating the magnitude of the loss. Just across the street from the arena, Amanda Brown and the staff at ESPN Los Angeles 710 had embarked in ongoing breaking news coverage, lamentation, and reflection.

It included coverage of a sellout celebration of life for Kobe and his daughter and teams around the NBA opting to take 8-second and 24-second violations to honor Bryant, who wore both numbers throughout his 20-year NBA career. They currently hang in the rafters at Arena, making Bryant the only player in franchise history to have two numbers retired.

During this tumultuous time, Bryant’s philosophy served as a viable guiding force, something that Brown quickly ascertained in her first month as the station’s new program director.

“I had people that were in Northern California hopping on planes to get here,” Brown said. “You didn’t even have to ask people [to] go to the station; people were like, ‘I’m on my way.’ It was the way that everybody really came together to do really great radio, and we did it that day and we did it the next day and we did it for several days.”

The 2023 BSM Summit is quickly approaching, and Brown will be attending the event for the first time since 2020. During her first experience at the BSM Summit in New York, Brown had just become a program director and was trying to assimilate into her role. Because of this, she prioritized networking, building contacts, and expressing her ideas to others in the space. This year, she looks forward to connecting with other program directors and media professionals around the country while also seeking to learn more about the nuances of the industry.

“The Summit is kind of like a meeting of the minds,” Brown said. “It’s people throughout the country and the business…. More than anything, [the first time] wasn’t so much about the panels as it was about the people.”

Growing up in Orange County, Brown had an interest in the Los Angeles Lakers from a young age, being drawn to play-by-play broadcaster Chick Hearn. Brown refers to Hearn as inspiration to explore a career in broadcasting. After studying communications at California State University in Fullerton, she was afforded an opportunity to work as a producer at ESPN Radio Dallas 103.3 FM by program director Scott Masteller, who she still speaks to on a regular basis. It was through Masteller’s confidence in her, in addition to support from operations manager Dave Schorr, that helped make Brown feel more comfortable working in sports media.

“I never felt like I was a woman in a male-dominated industry,” Brown said. “I always just felt like I was a part of the industry. For me, I’ve kind of always made it my goal to be like, ‘I deserve to be here; I deserve a seat at the table.’”

Brown quickly rose up the ranks when she began working on ESPN Radio in Bristol, Conn., working as a producer for a national radio show hosted by Mike Tirico and Scott Van Pelt, along with The Sports Bash with Erik Kuselias. Following five-and-a-half years in Bristol, Brown requested a move back to California and has worked at ESPN Los Angeles 710 ever since. She began her tenure at the station serving as a producer for shows such as Max and Marcellus and Mason and Ireland.

Through her persistence, work ethic and congeniality, Brown was promoted to assistant program director in July 2016. In this role, she helped oversee the station’s content while helping the entity maintain live game broadcast rights and explore new opportunities to augment its foothold, including becoming the flagship radio home of the Los Angeles Rams.

“Don’t sit back and wait for your managers or your bosses to come to you and ask what you want to do,” Brown advised. “Go after what you want, and that’s what I’ve always done. I always went to my managers and was like, ‘Hey, I want to do this. Give me a chance; let me do that.’ For the most part, my managers have been receptive and given me those opportunities.”

When executive producer Dan Zampillo left the station to join Spotify to work as a sports producer, Brown was subsequently promoted to program director where she has helped shape the future direction of the entity. From helping lead the brand amid its sale to Good Karma Brands in the first quarter of 2022; to revamping the daily lineup with compelling local programs, Brown has gained invaluable experience and remains keenly aware of the challenges the industry faces down the road. For sports media outlets in Los Angeles, some of the challenge is merely by virtue of its geography.

“We’re in sunny Southern California where there’s a lot of things happening,” Brown said. “We’re in the middle of Hollywood. People have a lot of opportunities – you can go to the mountains; you can go to the beach. I think [our market] is more about entertainment than it is about actual hard-core sports. Yes, obviously you have hard-core Lakers fans; you have hard-core Dodgers fans, but a majority of the fans are pretty average sports fans.”

Because of favorable weather conditions and an endless supply of distractions, Brown knows that the way to attract people to sports talk radio is through its entertainment value. With this principle in mind, she has advised her hosts not to worry so much about the specific topics they are discussing, but rather to ensure they are entertaining listeners throughout the process.

“People know the four letters E-S-P-N mean sports, but really our focus is more on entertainment more than anything,” Brown said. “I think the [talent] that stick out the most are the ones that are the most entertaining.”

Entertaining listeners, however, comes through determining what they are discussing and thinking about and providing relevant coverage about those topics. Even though it has not yet been legalized in the state of California, sports gambling content has been steadily on the rise since the Supreme Court made a decision that overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act established in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (2018). Nonetheless, Brown and ESPN Los Angeles 710 have remained proactive, launching a sports gambling show on Thursday nights to try to adjust to the growing niche of the industry.

Even though she has worked in producing and programming for most of her career, Brown is eager to learn about the effect sports gambling has on audio sales departments. At the same time, she hopes to be able to more clearly determine how the station can effectuate its coverage if and when it becomes legal in their locale.

“I know that a lot of other markets have that,” Brown said regarding the legalization of sports gambling. “For me, I’m interested to hear from people who have that in their markets and how they’ve monetized that and the opportunity.”

No matter the content, though, dedicated sports radio listeners are genuinely consuming shows largely to hear certain talent. Brown recalls receiving a compliment on Twitter earlier this quarter where a listener commented that he listens to ESPN Los Angeles 710 specifically for Sedano and Kap. Evidently, it acted as a tangible sign that her philosophy centered around keeping people engrossed in the content is working, and that providing the audience what it wants to hear is conducive to success.

At this year’s BSM Summit, Brown will be participating on The Wheel of Content panel, presented by Core Image Studio, featuring ESPN analyst Mina Kimes and FOX Sports host Joy Taylor. Through their discussion, she intends to showcase a different perspective of what goes into content creation and the interaction that takes place between involved parties.

“A lot of times in the past, all the talent were on one panel; all the programmers were on one panel,” Brown said. “To put talent and a programmer together, I think it’s an opportunity for people to hear both sides on certain issues.”

According to the most recent Nielsen Total Audience Report, AM/FM (terrestrial) radio among persons 18-34 has a greater average audience than television. The statistical anomaly, which was forecast several years earlier, came to fruition most likely due to emerging technologies and concomitant shifts in usage patterns.

Simultaneously, good content is required to captivate consumers, and radio, through quantifiable and qualifiable metrics, has been able to tailor its content to the listening audience and integrate it across multiple platforms of dissemination. The panel will give Brown a chance to speak in front of her peers and other industry professionals about changes in audio consumption, effectuated by emerging technologies and concomitant shifts in usage patterns.

Yet when it comes to radio as a whole, the patterns clearly point towards the proliferation of digital content – whether those be traditional radio programs or modernized podcasts. Moreover, utilizing various elements of presentation provides consumers a greater opportunity of finding and potentially engaging with the content.

“We do YouTube streaming; obviously, we stream on our app,” Brown said. “We’ve even created, at times, stream-only shows whether it’s stream-only video or stream-only on our app. We all know that people want content on-demand when they want it. I think it’s about giving them what they want.”

As a woman in sports media, Brown is cognizant about having to combat misogyny from those inside and outside of the industry, and is grateful to have had the support of many colleagues. In holding a management position in the second-largest media market in the United States, she strives to set a positive example to aspiring broadcasters. Additionally, she aims to be a trusted and accessible voice to help empower and give other women chances to work in the industry – even if she is not universally lauded.

“I’ve kind of always made it my goal to be like, ‘I’m no different than anyone else – yes, I’m a female – but I’m no different than anyone else,’” Brown expressed. “My whole goal was that I didn’t need people to like me; I needed people to respect me.”

Through attending events such as the BSM Summit and remaining immersed in sports media and the conversation at large about the future of sports media, Brown can roughly delineate how she can perform her job at a high level.

Although the genuine future of this business is always subject to change, she and her team at ESPN Los Angeles 710 are trying to come up with new ideas to keep the content timely, accurate, informative, and entertaining. She is content in her role as program director with no aspirations to become a general manager; however, remaining in her current role requires consistent effort and a penchant for learning.

“Relationships are very important overall in this business whether you’re a programmer or not,” Brown said. “Relationships with your talent; relationships with your staff. If you invest in your people, then they’re going to be willing to work hard for you and do what you ask them to do.”

The 2023 BSM Summit is mere days away, and those from Los Angeles and numerous other marketplaces will make the trip to The Founder’s Club at the Galen Center at the University of Southern California (USC).

Aside from Brown, Kimes and Taylor, there will be other voices from across the industry sharing their thoughts on aspects of the industry and how to best shape it going forward, including Colin Cowherd, Rachel Nichols, Al Michaels and Eric Shanks. More details about the industry’s premiere media conference can be found at

“I’m excited to be a female program director amongst male program directors for the first time and get a seat at the table and represent that there can be diversity in this position,” Brown said. “We don’t see a lot of it, but… there is an opportunity, and I hope I can be an example for other people out there [to show] that it’s possible.”

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BSM Writers

Pat McAfee Has Thrown Our Business Into a Tailspin

Yet even with all the accomplishments he’s been able to achieve, McAfee is still anxious and unsatisfied with the state of his show and his career.

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When you have one of the hottest talk shows in America, you’re always up to something. That’s the case for the most popular sports talk show host in America – Pat McAfee. 

The former Pro Bowl punter was on top of the world on Wednesday. With over 496,000 concurrent viewers watching at one point, McAfee was able to garner an exclusive interview with frequent guest Aaron Rodgers who announced his intention to play for the Jets.

Yet even with all the accomplishments he’s been able to achieve — a new studio, consistent high viewership, a syndication deal with SportsGrid TV, a four-year, $120 million deal with FanDuel — McAfee is still anxious and unsatisfied with the state of his show and his career.

At the end of the day, he is human and he’s admitted that balancing his show, his ESPN gig with “College Gameday,” and his WWE obligations has taken a toll on him.

McAfee and his wife are expecting their first child soon and he recently told The New York Post he might step away from his deal with FanDuel. Operating his own company has come with the responsibility of making sure his studio is up and running, finding people to operate the technology that puts his show on the air, negotiating with huge behemoths like the NFL for game footage rights, booking guests, booking hotels, implementing marketing plans and other tasks that most on-air personalities rarely have to worry about.

McAfee says he’s looking for a network that would be able to take control of those duties while getting more rest and space to spend time with family while focusing strictly on hosting duties. FanDuel has its own network and has the money to fund such endeavors but is just getting started in the content game. McAfee needs a well-known entity to work with who can take his show to the next level while also honoring his wishes of keeping the show free on YouTube.

The question of how he’s going to be able to do it is something everyone in sports media will be watching. As The Post pointed out in their story, McAfee hasn’t frequently stayed with networks he’s been associated with in the past for too long. He’s worked with Westwood One, DAZN, and Barstool but hasn’t stayed for more than a year or two.

There’s an argument to be made that the latter two companies weren’t as experienced as a network when McAfee signed on with them compared to where they are today which could’ve pushed the host to leave. But at the end of the day, networks want to put money into long-term investments and it’s easy to see a network passing on working with McAfee for fear that he’ll leave them astray when he’s bored. 

It’ll also be difficult for McAfee to find a network that doesn’t put him behind a paywall. Amazon and Google are rumored to be potential new homes. But both are trying to increase subscribers for their respective streaming services.

It will be difficult to sell Amazon on investing money to build a channel on YouTube – a rival platform. For Google, they may have the tech infrastructure to create television-like programming but they aren’t an experienced producer, they’ve never produced its own live, daily talk show, and investing in McAfee’s show doesn’t necessarily help increase the number of subscribers watching YouTube TV.

Networks like ESPN, CBS, NBC, and Fox might make sense to partner with. But McAfee faces the possibility of being censored due to corporate interests. Each of these networks also operates its networks or streaming channels that air talk programming of their own. Investing in McAfee could cannibalize the programming they already own.

And if McAfee works with a traditional network that isn’t ESPN, it could jeopardize his ability to host game casts for Omaha or analyze games on Gameday. It’s not impossible but would definitely be awkward on days that McAfee does his show remotely from locations of ESPN games with ESPN banners and signage that is visible in the background.

If SportsGrid has the money to invest in McAfee, they might be his best bet. They have all the attributes McAfee needs and they already have a relationship with him. It is probably unlikely that he’ll be censored and he would even be able to maintain a relationship with FanDuel – a company SportsGrid also works alongside.  

Roku is another option — they already work with Rich Eisen — but they would move his show away from YouTube, something McAfee should resist since the majority of smart TV users use YT more than any other app.

If the NFL gave McAfee editorial independence, they would make the perfect partner but the likelihood of that happening is slim to none. NFL Media has independence but it was clear during the night of the Damar Hamlin incident that they will do whatever is necessary to stay away from serious topics that make the league look bad until it’s totally unavoidable. 

It’s hard to think of a partner that matches up perfectly with McAfee’s aspirations. But once again, at the moment, he’s on top of the world so anything is possible. The talk show host’s next move will be even more interesting to watch than the other fascinating moves he’s already made that have put the sports media industry in a swivel.

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BSM Writers

5 Tips For Networking At the BSM Summit

“Have a plan and don’t leave home without it.”

Jeff Caves




Bring your game plan if you attend the BSM Summit in LA next Tuesday and Wednesday. No matter your purpose for attending: to learn, get a job, speak, or sell an idea, you must be able to read the room. To do that, it helps to know who will be there and how you can cure their pain. 

Have a plan and don’t leave home without it. If you have time, buy How to Work a Room by Susan Roane. If you don’t, just follow these five tips:

  1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF: Before you arrive at The Summit, figure out what you want, who you want to meet, and what you will say. Once you get there, scout out the room and see if anyone of those people are available. Talk to speakers after they have spoken- don’t worry if you miss what the next speaker says. You are there to meet new people! Most speakers do not stick around for the entire schedule, and you don’t know if they will attend any after-parties, so don’t risk it. Refine your elevator pitch and break the ice with something you have in common. Make sure you introduce yourself to Stephanie, Demetri and Jason from BSM. They know everybody and will help you if they can.  
  2. GET A NAME TAG: Don’t assume that name tags will be provided. Bring your own if you and make your name clear to read. If you are looking to move to LA or want to sell a system to book better guests, put it briefly under your name. Study this to get better at remembering names.
  3. LOSE THE NOTEBOOK: When you meet folks, ensure your hands are free. Have a business card handy and ask for one of theirs. Remember to look people in the eye and notice what they are doing. If they are scanning the room, pause until they realize they are blowing you off. Do whatever it takes to sound upbeat and open. Don’t let their clothes, hair, or piercings distract from your message. You don’t need to wear a suit and tie but do bring your best business casual wear. A blazer isn’t a bad idea either. 
  4. SHUT UP FIRST! The art of knowing when to end the convo is something you will have to practice. You can tell when the other person’s eye starts darting or they are not using body language that tells you the convo will continue. You end it by telling them you appreciate meeting them and want to connect via email. Ask for a business card. Email is more challenging to ignore than a LinkedIn request, and you can be more detailed in what you want via email. 
  5. WORK THE SCHEDULE: Know who speaks when. That is when you will find the speakers hanging around. Plan your lunch outing to include a few fellow attendees. Be open and conversational with those around you. I am a huge USC fan, so I would walk to McKays– a good spot with plenty of USC football memorabilia on the walls. Sometimes you can find the next day’s speakers at the Day 1 after party. Need a bar? Hit the 901 Club for cheap beer, drinks, and food. 

You’re welcome. 

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Barrett Media Writers

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