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Andrew Patterson Jumped At Chance To Join Jomboy Media

“I think the idea of taking the communities we have and bringing them to their content [creates] a mutually-beneficial relationship,” Patterson said.

Derek Futterman

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Until June 2022, Jomboy Media operated without a chief executive officer, but as time went on, it was determined that the company needed to add someone to help lead planning, operations, strategy and development across multiple media platforms. Andrew Patterson was selected to help lead Jomboy Media into the future and now three months into the job, he recognizes the power of the company in its ability to innovate within the world of sports media.

Jomboy Media is a digital sports media brand that has experienced exponential growth over the last several years. The company was started by Jimmy O’Brien and his friend Jake Storiale, and it initially became widely known due to video breakdowns O’Brien created of prominent moments in baseball, such as ejections and evidence of sign-stealing following initial reports of the Houston Astros illicitly engaging in the practice during the organization’s 2017 championship season.

First centered around the Talkin’ Yanks podcast started by avid New York Yankees fans O’Brien and Storiale in 2017, Jomboy Media eventually reached a point where it was beginning to grow so quickly that it required a larger time commitment. That growth has hardly slowed with the brand attaining $5 million in a recent funding round led by Connect Ventures featuring athletes such as Dwayne Wade, C.C. Sabathia and Karl-Anthony Towns, along with other renowned celebrities.

Major League Baseball is the oldest professional sports league in the world and while it has been criticized for being behind the curve in various facets of its game ranging from pace of play to the promotion of its athletes, it was at the forefront of the proliferation in social media usage at the start of the last decade. Patterson was hired by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the league’s interactive division, as the senior director of new media.

In fact, he was the first employee hired with a focus on social media altogether. Now working as a manager for the first time in his professional career, Patterson built the new media division with the addition of 85 employees and enlarged the league’s social media following by over 4300%.

“I think it’s better to be lucky than to be smart, but even better to be smart not knowing you’re getting lucky,” Patterson said. “It was just the right timing and the right place there. I found myself at MLBAM and that kind of started my career in sports at this point.”

Following a stint of over eight years with MLBAM, Patterson joined Greenfly, a digital media asset management and distribution platform co-founded by former Major League Baseball all-star outfielder Shawn Green. Patterson initially served as its vice president of partnerships and strategy before being promoted to senior vice president and, eventually, chief strategy officer.

Coinciding with Patterson’s time at Greenfly was the rapid evolution of Jomboy Media from an independent start-up cultivated out of a passion for baseball and love for the Yankees to a brand at the forefront of the growing digital sector in sports media. As a Yankees fan himself, Patterson noticed what O’Brien was building and once it was announced that the company was looking to hire its first CEO, was excited to explore the opportunity.

“There was a tangential kind of familitary there and then being a Yankees fan, you see [the] content,” Patterson said. “It was one of those interesting things where there’s a lot more under the hood when you start to get into it.”

An important value ingrained within the culture of Jomboy Media is its people-first mentality, and it is one of the reasons the brand has attracted fans of baseball and sports as a whole to its various pieces of multiplatform content, such as podcasts, tournaments and YouTube breakdown videos. It is a facet of the company that impressed Patterson during the interview process and has given him further motivation to help the brand soar to new heights as one of its newest members.

“As you kind of start to unpack understanding a little bit more about me [and] quite frankly understanding about the business and them and where they’re going and where they’re headed and how they think – there’s kind of an alignment [in] vision and direction,” Patterson expressed, “and that’s why I was excited to come on…. It’s definitely been eye-opening just kind of the pendulum the business has and all the places that they’re going and the opportunities that fit there.”

The world has undoubtedly been forever changed by the events of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the business world, that means the diminishing practice of reporting to work in an office for five days a week. Jomboy Media recently moved its headquarters from the Bronx to Manhattan, which was announced in the form of a YouTube video, and features various podcasting studios and workspaces to ensure maximum comfort and productivity.

Nonetheless, the company is operating in a hybrid format, meaning that people are not required to come to the office every day of the work week, but still maintains a tight-knit, congenial atmosphere.

“People are happy,” Patterson said. “They’re excited about it. I think it pervades… the work that they do and the relationship they have…. It’s just a fun place to be, and having worked in a lot of places that I really enjoyed; even when I’ve left places… one of the biggest parts that I missed was the people, and that’s one of the parts I’m most excited about here.”

While emerging technologies have made the effectuation of stellar and engaging content more facile than ever, it can be argued that the synergy and chemistry between people lacks when working in separate locations. A massive adaptation in lifestyle due to changing global conditions evinced feelings of dis-ease experienced through difficult times, nor did the adaptation represent one of permanence to some company leaders. Patterson believes it is ultimately the decision of each individual company to determine the future of working in-person among colleagues – and subsequently establish means of collaboration.

“I think there’s a balance to it,” Patterson said. “….Given the first two years of the pandemic where remote work in some way, shape or form is here to stay, I think that what we’ve also found from the office is that there’s a gravity and a reason people come together. When we are filming and we have talent working from one place or another or just kind of cross-sharing ideas; just the small things. People walking to lunch together, bumping into each other and having conversations. I think that aspect of it – just the community aspect of it – is a real piece of it.”

Consumers value authenticity in today’s media world and it is embedded in the fabric of Jomboy Media, a company with a podcast network consisting of over 20 shows and a YouTube subscriber count of nearly 1.7 million people. The authenticity comes from an amalgamation of perspectives garnering unparalleled ethos including directly from fans, established commentators and professional athletes. The company values people who possess a good work ethic and are driven to find new ways to grow the platform, along with having a presence behind the microphone and/or in front of the camera and being sincere in their opinions.

“I think the business is not about takes; it’s about storytelling [and] I think that’s the difference,” Patterson said regarding Jomboy Media’s approach towards its content. “[Our talent] is not looking for shocking and aweing; they’re having an authentic and probably more than authentic I’d say a genuine experience in how they enjoy the game and how they talk about that.”

Storytelling is the foundation of journalism in all contexts, as its premise is one’s ability to gather information, ensure its accuracy and communicate a message to an audience both clearly and concisely. In evaluating talent both internally and externally, Patterson looks for a sustained level of curiosity, willingness to improve each day and, as O’Brien puts it, people who are able to be “fun, not funny” and assimilate into the culture.

“You can find very talented people, but for a team I think even more special than [it] is the kind of atmosphere and environment that people have here,” Patterson said. “It’s something that’s very special and it’s a hard thing to kind of keep over time. I quite frankly think it comes through in the content that we produce which is why people very much enjoy it.”

Being able to place oneself into a conversation with content creators and fans encompasses consumers within a brand, and Jomboy Media leverages that effect of social media to its advantage. When he worked at MLBAM, Twitter was the primary platform for interaction and while it remains prevalent today, other competitors such as Instagram, Snapchat and BeReal are competing for people’s attention and engagement.

The congested landscape of social media platforms requires employees accruing new knowledge or companies bringing on new people with relevant knowledge and, when applicable, experience, in order to safeguard that it does not fall behind. For example, Lorenzo DeMalia and Jack Doyle – co-hosts of the We Got Ice Show and content creators at Jomboy Media – are trying to help the company expand its reach on TikTok.

“Technology creates a new way to have a new spin on existing conversations, and then it’s just finding new ways to leverage that,” Patterson explained. “We’re constantly looking at what our fans are doing, how we can tell our stories in different ways and how we can push those and in some cases where we can find people who can do an even better job.”

One thing that is not always instantaneous is the cultivation of new ideas since the creative process varies in duration for different people. There is often an incessant need to produce new content – especially in today’s day and age –  but ensuring the quality of that content meets and/or exceeds standards has a considerable impact on long-term growth. Putting out meager content that fails to adequately tell a story can sometimes be counterintuitive to brands akin to Jomboy Media, but being willing to fail and try new things often facilitates improvement and eventual success.

“We see people who have ideas coming to the table consistently just bringing new things and pushing it,” Patterson said. “[Try] one idea and if that doesn’t work, let’s try another remix or let’s try a derivative of that and keep on going there. I think when we find something that works, we’re patient enough to kind of keep on trying until we find a way to [make it] work and then we can build on what we’ve done.”

There are a myriad of similarities between traditional radio and podcasts, primarily their bases in aural communication; however, the growing prevalence of podcasts in the marketplace is depictive of shortcomings traditional radio as a medium has yet to significantly overcome. For one thing, podcasts are designed to be consumed from wherever and at whenever consumers see best fit rather than scheduled radio shows, some of which are posted in full or in smaller segments in an on-demand format soon after their initial debuts over the airwaves.

“The accessibility of podcasting as a format and just kind of how it’s ubiquitous and no matter where you’re listening you probably have an opportunity there,” Patterson said. “That’s the biggest difference, I think, between podcasts and radio – where you can do appointment viewing, but in addition to appointment viewing, on the platform of your choosing.”

Jomboy Media, while it is a digital company at its core, also works with traditional sports media outlets including regional sports networks. The company struck a deal with YES Network prior to the start of the baseball season to produce exclusive content for the television home of the Yankees, including podcasts and digital series.

A few months later, the company partnered with NESN, which serves as the television home of the rival Boston Red Sox, similarly producing original content for the NESN 360 direct-to-consumer subscription-based streaming service.

“I think the idea of taking the communities we have and bringing them to their content [creates] a mutually-beneficial relationship,” Patterson said. “To be able to work with YES and NESN and learn from all that’s worked well with traditional media but also being able to bring our spin, our distribution [and] our approach to content is something different. I think that those two things are where you get one plus one equals five, which I think has been really different.”

Another aspect of the YES Network deal specifically is the production of an alternate broadcast available exclusively on the network’s app. Tilted the Watchin’ Yanks Jomboy-Cast, the broadcast follows a similar model to ESPN’s production of Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod, except it is built on a partnership between a regional sports network and digital sports media brand. The alternate show features longtime hosts O’Brien and Storiale and gives fans a new way to watch the game and exposure to perspectives rooted in zealous fandom.

“As we find new partnerships and new ways to innovate, I think that’s just part of the nature of the business,” Patterson said. “You can’t sit still; you have to be always looking at what the next frontier is and how we can push forward.”

In fact, the alternate broadcast was featured for several nights during the final games of Aaron Judge’s quest to break the American League single-season home run record (61) set in 1961 by former Yankees outfielder Roger Maris.

Judge blasted his 62nd home run earlier this week, 61 years later in Arlington against the Texas Rangers, prompting jubilation from baseball fans around the world including those at Jomboy Media. The next day, O’Brien put out a video breakdown of the historic moment on the company’s YouTube channel, and it has already received over 500,000 views.

“He has a very unique perspective and interesting way of approaching content because at his core and [in] his heart, he’s a storyteller,” Patterson said of O’Brien. “He finds stories in ways of thinking and seeing things in ways that I think are extremely unique…. There’s an ingenuity in what he does that is extremely interesting, and I’m excited to learn from him.”

The average age of a baseball fan in a recent survey by Sports Business Journal was found to be 57, the oldest among all professional sports. As a result, Major League Baseball has prioritized growing its game among younger demographics – and content coming from digital brands such as Jomboy Media certainly help further its mission.

Patterson does not believe Jomboy Media as a company facilitates the growth of baseball though; instead, he attributes the somewhat-contrived role of a catalyst for the expansion of the game to an understanding of the audience and what kind of content people are interested in consuming.

“The constant is that we’re fans and we enjoy the game,” he said, “and when you’re having fun, people are often having fun with you. If what we do is highlighting the fun parts that we love about the game and that lets other folks that are baseball fans or new fans or otherwise also see what we see and they love the game, then that’s the purpose that we serve. I don’t think that it’s an intentional one on our part. It really is just to enjoy and to show people what we love and what we’re passionate about.”

There is a positive growth trajectory for the company as it looks to continue to produce multiplatform content about baseball and professional sports as a whole, and Patterson looks to ensure its sustained success. As long as everyone involved looks to keep creating and discovering new ideas for content, the future of the business is bright.

“There’s a lot of directions that we can go; how we decide where our core strengths are and where the business’ core strengths are and how we leverage and double-down on those; that’s the challenge,” Patterson said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity out there and remaining kind of focused on what we do special and what works for us particularly I think is the important part and that’s challenging and fun.”

It is essential to innovate and remain at the forefront of changes in the industry, and being adaptable and versatile are commodities many employers look for in today’s job market. For Andrew Patterson and Jomboy Media, staying tenacious in content creation and continuing to push boundaries is what they hope will allow for the company to soar to new heights.

“A lot of this is just working and doubling down on it; being dedicated to kind of pushing it,” Patterson said. “I don’t really know if I have a secret per se. It really is just kind of finding something you’re passionate about and then just being curious about expanding that, learning and growing.”

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NBA Basketball Media Continues to Pile On The Boston Celtics

These Celtics have yet to win a ring and that is on them, but the media criticism levied against them has been inane.

John Molori

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Logo for the Boston Celtics and screengrabs from ESPN
Screengrabs from ESPN's First Take and Get Up

They are the most unfairly criticized team in the NBA, a team that cruised to 64 victories and earned the number one seed in a very tough Eastern Conference. They have taken two NBA playoff series in five games respectively and lead the Eastern Conference Finals 2-0 versus Indiana.

I speak of the Boston Celtics, and despite these sterling facts, their two superstars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and the team as a whole, continue to garner criticism from the roundball media.

These “experts” say that the Celtics cannot be trusted and that they have not played to their potential. The Celtics have been to the Eastern Conference Finals six times since 2017 and made it to the NBA Finals in 2022, losing to the Golden State Warriors, but to listen to the basketball cognoscenti, you would think they are a bunch of green-clad slugs.

I get it, the Tatum-Brown Celtics have yet to win an NBA Championship, and I agree that if they don’t win it all this year, it will be a failed season for sure. After Boston defeated Cleveland in the Eastern semifinals, TNT analyst Draymond Green stated that no one cares that the Celtics once again made it to the conference finals. He is 100% correct, but that does not mean that the Celtics are utter garbage.

It’s really hard to win an NBA playoff series in five games. The Celtics have already done that twice in these playoffs, but instead of giving the Celtics credit for taking care of business, many commentators have denigrated them for how they are winning and the teams they have faced or did not have to face.

Joel Embiid was hurt. Giannis Antetokounmpo was hurt. The Knicks were banged up and the Cavs lost Donovan Mitchell. Well, too bad. Injuries are a part of the game. Are we forgetting the Celtics have been crushing playoff series without Kristaps Porzingis? When the Celtics get attention from the national media spotlight, it is usually with an air of disappointment and disgust. I’m wondering why.

ESPN and FS1 give endless attention, hope, positivity, and forward-thinking to the Los Angeles Lakers. Simply put, the Lakers are a mediocre to decent basketball team at best. They were dumped in the first round of the playoffs and if not for their history, LeBron James, and the city in which they play, they wouldn’t even be in the discussion. They are the New Orleans Pelicans with Snoop Dogg at courtside.

Still, the Lakers remain in the A block on many network hoops shows. Do you want to talk about a lack of trust, disappointment, and not reaching potential? How about the defending champion Denver Nuggets?

Yes, they have a two-time MVP in Nikola Jokic, but what about his team this year? They fell to a bunch of playoff neophytes called the Minnesota Timberwolves, losing Game 7 at home. Meanwhile, the Celtics took out an always tough Miami Heat team and a highly competitive Cavaliers team, 5 games each. All these Celtics do is win. Does it matter if the wins are pretty? Since when is that the media litmus test?

In a recap of Game 1 of the Eastern finals, a thrilling 133-128 overtime win for Boston, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps said that the Celtics almost “coughed up” another game at home. He went on to say that all the Pacers had to do was inbound the ball and hit a free-throw, and they would have won. Fine Tim, but guess what? They didn’t get it done and the Celtics did. Mistakes and capitalizing on mistakes are a big part of basketball.

Bontemps went on to say that if the Celtics don’t win Game 2 vs. Indiana, the Game 1 win will not matter. This is quite possibly the most foolhardy statement uttered in this year’s NBA playoffs. When four games win a series, every win matters. I understand that the Celtics lost Game 2 at home in their first two series, but so what? They righted the ship and swept both series the rest of the way.

During Game 1 against the Pacers, the Celtics jumped out to an early double-digit lead, but Indy came back to tie the game as good NBA playoff teams are known to do. ESPN’s Lisa Salters asked Boston guard Jrue Holiday how the Celtics lost the early lead. Holiday calmly replied that the Pacers are an NBA team as well. Exactly.

At the end of Game 1, after Boston stormed back in regulation and dominated the OT, ESPN play by play announcer Mike Breen said that the Celtics “survived” Game 1. It was an interesting choice of words that underlined the unfair criticism of Boston.

Coming back in a game, hitting big shots, and winning when it matters is not surviving. It is stepping up, closing the door, and being clutch. Breen is probably unfamiliar with these words because he’s been hanging around the Knicks too long.

On the May 21 edition of ESPN’s First Take, the talented and eloquent Andraya Carter questioned whether the Celtics can be trusted pinpointing Jayson Tatum in the conversation. Austin Rivers vehemently disagreed and the two engaged in a lively debate. The morning after the Celtics won Game 1 vs. the Pacers, ESPN’s Get Up crew still dogged them.

The eminent host Mike Greenberg asked the panel how Jaylen Brown could get open for the “easiest” three-point shot of the game to tie the game with just seconds left in regulation.

If you watch video of the shot, however, it was hardly easy. Brown was in the far corner with the 6-10 Pascal Siakam in his face and the Indiana bench just a couple of feet away most likely yelling Dicemanesque obscenities his way. These are the types of unmerited insults tossed at the Celtics. Brown hits an amazing shot with everything on the line and it is somehow considered the easiest shot of the game. Really?

Much of the rancor toward the Celtics is based on their stacked roster and the perceived lack of talent in their opponents, but let me get all historical on you for a minute. The nearly unanimously coronated greatest player in the history of the game, Michael Jordan, did not play all-time great teams in winning his six NBA Championship series.

In 1991, it was an old Lakers team. In 1992, it was the utterly forgettable Portland Trailblazers. In 1993, it was an aging Phoenix Suns team with Charles Barkley trying to get a

ring. In 1996, it was a good, but not great Seattle Sonics club, and in 1997 and 1998, it was the Utah Jazz. I’ll give the Jazz Karl Malone and John Stockton, but the rest of the team did double duty in a men’s weeknight league at the Northern Utah YMCA.

In fact, a team’s competition is trivial. If you win, you win. It doesn’t matter who is on the opposite side of the court. The Celtics have yet to win a ring and that is on them, but the media criticism levied against them has been inane.

Even the legendary Michael Wilbon piled on saying that if the Knicks were completely healthy, he would have picked them to beat the Celtics. All due respect to Mr. Wilbon, but a fully healthy Knicks team still may not have beaten the Pacers, sharpshooting like Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon.

On Get Up this past week, ESPN’s Alan Hahn said that Jayson Tatum is not in the same league as LeBron James. No kidding, Alan. LeBron James is the leading scorer in NBA history, a man who has defined the sport for two decades. Hahn doubled down however, stating that Tatum is not in the same league as Luka Doncic.

Doncic is an immensely skillful player, but that’s about it. His Mavericks are in the conference finals for only the second time in his career. He has taken his team absolutely nowhere. Doncic is the is the Josh Allen of the NBA. Super stats, but not a sniff of a conference championship to his credit. His name is Luca, and he lives on the second bill to Tatum.

On the May 22 edition of First Take, Stephen A. Smith noted that Jayson Tatum scored 12 points in the Game 1 overtime period, but also added that Tatum shot 2-10 in the fourth quarter and early in overtime.

Fair enough, but he then stated, “You’re looking for him, and he was nowhere to be found when it really counted.” Huh? So, it didn’t really count in overtime? Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Celtics and the Pacers was a tremendous NBA playoff game, one that should go down in history as a classic.

Instead, it became a springboard for continued unfounded Celtics trashing. Not every competitive NBA game is perfect. Teams make mistakes and miss shots. That’s basketball.

Game 2 saw the Celtics drub the Pacers 126-110 making them 10-2 in the playoffs with multiple trustworthy players delivering in the clutch. This series might end in 4 or 5 games, or could go 7, but to once again paraphrase Draymond Green, nobody cares as long as you win. Despite the baseless media negativity, that is exactly what the Celtics have been doing.

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Ken LaVicka Looks Ahead Following ESPN West Palm Exit

“The last thing I wanted to do was bus throw.”

Derek Futterman

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Ken LaVicka
Courtesy: ESPN West Palm

Although April Fool’s Day had recently taken place, the message Ken LaVicka was delivering on the air early in the month was hardly a joking matter. In an announcement that came as a shock to listeners and LaVicka himself, he revealed that he was leaving ESPN West Palm after 17 years with the outlet. For the last three years, he was the co-host of the popular LaVicka, Theo and Stone midday program, which provided local listeners with discussion and revelry surrounding sports in South Florida and in the United States as a whole.

While it was insinuated to LaVicka that there were financial reasons for the exit, the entire move left him uneasy and uncomfortable, suddenly finding himself out of regular hosting work and looking for a new job. After all, he had been appearing on the air for the Good Karma Brands-owned radio station since 2007, one year after he completed college at Valparaiso University. Over the years at the outlet, he augmented his standing through shifts as an update anchor and fill-in host to eventually being granted his own full-time hosting slot.

The audience within the West Palm Beach and Treasure Coast marketplace had become accustomed to his voice and opinions for more than a decade, making the move difficult for both parties involved. In fact, as LaVicka was divulging the news in the last 20 minutes of what was his final show on the station, he articulated that it was not only he and his partners losing the midday show, but those listeners that encompass the audience as well.

“It was ultimately a corporate decision,” LaVicka said. “It was definitely not mutual. I would prefer to still be at ESPN West Palm. I am unhappy that I’m not at ESPN West Palm, but hey, we’ve been in the business a long time. I’ve seen a lot of friends end up losing jobs over decisions that come from a much higher paygrade, and so I think that ultimately that’s what happened to me.”

When reflecting back on the circumstances that led to his departure from the station, LaVicka believes that he was seen as expendable. Outside of his hosting work, LaVicka is a play-by-play announcer for Florida Atlantic University and calls NWSL soccer matches on various digital platforms. Although LaVicka is appreciative of the company’s belief for him to find his footing again, he is crestfallen to be off the air but conducted himself with professionalism throughout his egress.

“The last thing I wanted to do was bus throw,” LaVicka said. “Was I disappointed? Absolutely. Was I bitter? For sure, and I still feel bitterness towards the situation that unfolded. But I also think that the positives of the opportunities afforded to me by Good Karma Brands for almost 20 years, and also at the end them trying to, while making a tough decision that was going to have an adverse effect on me, try and do it in the most professional and classy way possible that you could in that spot, it kind of allowed me this freedom.”

There exists a dichotomy between LaVicka’s time at ESPN West Palm ending and that of the midday program itself. Upon discovering that he would not be retained, he made this distinction and felt despondency towards having to leave his co-hosts Theo Dorsey and Stone Labanowitz. The broad age cohort on the program and varying perspectives on sports was an aspect that LaVicka believes engendered a unique offering on the air. LaVica has been at the station the longest among the trio, and his partners understood the importance of having the ability to say goodbye to the listeners through the platform.

LaVicka remembers starting at the outlet and describes the first office he worked out of as an “absolute closet,” but it proved to be a place where the business continued to flourish. Originally being from Chicago, Ill., he adjusted to living in southern Florida while also having an ability to focus on growing his career.

The perception that he had of sports talk radio when he was studying in college and participating in the student-run radio station differed from what he ultimately experienced working at ESPN West Palm. It was preceded by a year working at then-FOX Sports 100.5 FM in Madison, Wisc., also owned by Good Karma Brands. LaVicka accepted the role three days before he was supposed to move to Dickinson, N.D. to work as a sportswriter for The Dickinson Press, deciding to pursue his passion in radio.

Nearly two decades later, he evinces an ongoing, axiomatic shift pertaining to multimedia consumption and content creation. LaVicka believes it has become more difficult for terrestrial radio outlets to find businesses who want to associate with their work and delivery methods, although it is dependent on the marketplace. The apprehension he possesses in this regard, however, is in whether talented young people will be able to secure and subsequently capitalize off opportunities.

“Local radio will not die,” LaVicka prognosticated. “It’s still too much of a bonding entity for it to go away completely, but the expectations of how much money a local station can bring in just using traditional means as its way of bringing in income – there’s going to have to be some forward thinkers in that local radio space because you can’t just go, ‘The person goes on air – sell sponsorships’ It doesn’t work like that anymore.”

LaVicka himself is currently looking for a new role in the industry and is not opposed to moving out of south Florida if the opportunity is right for him and his family. Since losing his job at ESPN West Palm, he has endured many sleepless nights and pondered over the amount of fortitude and patience he has within the process.

Even though he is not ruling out an eventual return to ESPN West Palm, he views the outcome as unlikely. The value working there, however, comes in being able to relate and appeal to a diverse, transient audience residing within the locale. Good Karma Brands is assisting him with the process by promoting his work and providing him with financial assistance as he prepares for his next career move.

“I don’t want to come off as cocky, but I’m very confident in myself that given an opportunity; given a role – a sizable role that is something that’s going to be consumed by a lot of people – I get that opportunity, I’m going to excel in it,” LaVicka said. “There hasn’t been any point in my career on air where I haven’t been given an opportunity and then it didn’t completely expand past I think what the initial expectation was, and this includes my time at Florida Atlantic.”

While LaVicka is open to opportunities in terrestrial radio, he is also exploring working in the digital realm and recently started a YouTube show with WQAM digital content producer Zach Krantz titled By All Accounts. LaVicka first met Krantz at Miami Dolphins practices and training camps when he was working on The Joe Rose Show, and they shared several laughs and memorable moments.

When LaVicka and his wife welcomed their second child into the world, it required a stint in the neonatal intensive care unit at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. Their newborn daughter ended up spending 72 hours there where her health improved. Krantz discovered the circumstance shortly after it began and reached out to LaVicka to offer his support, understanding the stress with the situation after his son was in the NICU for several months.

“[He] made sure to come find me at the hospital and put me at ease [and] talked me through the process,” LaVicka said, “and that was massively important to me, had a major effect on me and also gave me an idea of the type of person Zach Krantz is.”

Krantz came up with the idea to start a program with LaVicka, reaching out to him shortly after his exit from ESPN West Palm. Within his proposition, he explained that they already possessed strong chemistry and rapport and would work together to begin a show from phase one. Despite the program still being in its early stages, LaVicka can sense palpable growth potential that could perhaps turn into its own sustainable entity if it continues to grow. The venture is not evanescent, but rather something he is committed to growing in the long run as he discovers the media landscape and searches for the most optimal long-term solution.

“I want this thing to be broad,” LaVicka said. “I want it to be fun, but I think that I also want to make sure that it at least plays to our strengths, which is being petty sports fans; which is showing favor to South Florida sports, making sure that we’re being extremely relatable in the grand scheme of things.”

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How Advertisers Can Protect Their Digital Ad Spend

Invalid website traffic from automated scripts and “bad bots” will waste $71 billion this year.

Jeff Caves

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Graphic for digital advertising

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) partnering with digital marketing companies for their ad spend can enjoy significant advantages. Digital companies, such as many radio stations’ digital departments, often have more expertise than SMBs in spending money wisely to generate website traffic and, crucially, in avoiding the waste of ad dollars on fake traffic. Fake website traffic has increased by 33% in just two years. Invalid website traffic (IVT) from automated scripts and “bad bots” will waste $71 billion this year. Here are some questions advertisers can ask their digital partner to help eliminate fake ad engagement:

Make Data and Machines Work

Ask your digital partner if they use advanced data analytics and machine learning to optimize your ad spend. By employing predictive analytics—predicting future outcomes—savvy digital marketers can identify audiences most likely to engage genuinely with your ads. Inquire if they use Google Analytics and how it can help flag potential fraud and protect your investment.

Blockchain Technology for Ad Verification

To ensure transparency and security in your ad campaigns, some digital marketers leverage blockchain technology. This technology records every click and impression, guaranteeing that each interaction is genuine and that payments are made only for verified interactions. Blockchain makes it more difficult to change, hack, or manipulate data.

Advanced Attribution Models

Check if your partner uses multi-touch attribution models, which consider all touchpoints in the customer’s journey to your website. This approach provides a comprehensive view of how each ad contributes to conversions. Algorithmic attribution models apply sophisticated algorithms to improve ROI measurement.

Partnerships with Anti-Fraud Organizations

Ask if they collaborate with anti-fraud organizations to reduce fraud in digital advertising. Some digital companies ensure that campaigns and partners are certified by organizations like TAG, guaranteeing that ad placements are genuine and not plagued with fake engagements.

Private Marketplaces

Ensure that ad placements are with trusted publishers, reducing the risk of fraud. Some digital companies use private marketplaces, where a limited number of advertisers can buy and access premium inventory that is less susceptible to fraud, ensuring higher-quality ad placements for your business.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and Enhanced Filters

Your digital partner should set criteria for real-time bidding to ensure only high-quality, vetted traffic is considered. Real-Time Bidding is an auction setting where ad impressions are sold and bought. And transactions occur within seconds. Once an advertiser’s bid wins the auction, their digital ad is instantaneously shown on the website or property of the publisher.

Dynamic bidding strategies can adjust in real time based on the quality and performance of the inventory, maximizing the efficiency of your ad spend. Attempting this on your own can be challenging and less effective.

Focus on User Engagement Metrics

Ensure that deeper engagement metrics are employed, such as time spent on a page, scroll depth, and interaction rates, to provide a clearer picture of ad effectiveness. Analyzing post-click behavior helps determine the quality of engagements, ensuring that clicks result in meaningful interactions.

By partnering with well-established digital marketing companies, SMBs can access advanced technologies and strategies to ensure that digital marketing efforts are practical and efficient. Make sure your website conversions are as high as possible. YouTube and Google Search are leading the way in combating bot traffic, while LinkedIn, Google Video Partners, and X are less effective at blocking “bad bots.” Finding a reliable digital partner is crucial to protecting your ad spend and maximizing your returns. Beware of the bad bot and ensure your advertising efforts drive genuine value.

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