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Mark Tauscher Doesn’t Blink Anymore

“I don’t think I would’ve been confident enough in my radio career to do that when I first got into it, and now I didn’t even blink.”

Brian Noe




Mark Tauscher has a really cool story. He went from a walk-on at Wisconsin and a Green Bay Packers seventh-round draft pick, to an 11-year NFL career and earning his way into the Packers Hall of Fame.

But wait, there’s more. Tauscher continues his successful run as a sports radio host at 94.5 ESPN Milwaukee. He has teamed up with co-host, Jason Wilde, for six and a half years. In addition to his 9:00 AM-Noon show, Tauscher broadcasts home Wisconsin football games and does a daily morning hit on WTMJ.

Farming was a big part of Tauscher’s childhood. He talks about how doing chores and having a strong work ethic has helped him in life and broadcasting. Tauscher also talks about his funniest Packers teammate, and the former teammate he used to crush on the tennis court. As a former offensive lineman, Tauscher describes his surprising love for all racket sports.

Speaking of surprising, Tauscher explains his rendition of an Eminem rap song. Spoiler alert: he might not be mistaken for Slim Shady 2.0, but it’s the effort that counts. Enjoy!

Brian Noe: How did you initially get into broadcasting?

Mark Tauscher: It’s interesting because growing up in Wisconsin and playing at Wisconsin, I was always a backup. I didn’t do a bunch of media. Even when it was my fifth year at Wisconsin, I played, I still didn’t do a bunch of media. But then when Green Bay drafted me in the seventh round, I started doing more and more.

My dad, after he retired from being a farmer, he got into more media stuff. One of the moments that kind of got me into that, I didn’t think a ton about how it mattered what I sound like, but I got done doing one of my first interviews as a draft pick. I went home a couple of weeks later and my dad had kind of went through and said ‘Hey, some of this stuff, you need to work at this’. I was saying umm a lot, and just a lot of those filler things that you shouldn’t say when you’re doing media stuff.

Then I started getting better. I started doing more stuff. I would do a weekly hit on the Packers season in Wausau, Wisconsin. Then I started doing more stuff like Murphy in the Morning, which is a popular morning show up in Green Bay. Then I started doing some TV stuff. I just kind of naturally got a lot of opportunities I think because obviously I was a Green Bay Packer, but also that I lived in the state. I got more and more comfortable.

Then as my career was winding down, I got some opportunities from some different radio stations to see if this was something that I enjoyed doing, and fortunately I did.

BN: Were you both a Wisconsin and a Packers fan growing up?

MT: Yeah, I was really a Packers fan. When we were on the farm, it was listening on WTMJ to Jim Irwin and Max McGee. When we’d be doing chores, we’d have the Packer game on. We’d go out and get the neighbors, we played football and we’d kind of recreate stuff. The Packers weren’t very good when we were on the farm, but that was always a staple. It was noon, you get back from church, and we were going to listen or watch the Packers game and then go about our day. We’d center stuff around that. I was a huge Packer fan.

As far as the Badgers, not really. But as Barry Alvarez got in, and obviously once they got to the Rose Bowl and played in the game over in Tokyo, that was really when my interest piqued in understanding that this was someplace that people would want to go. That’s when I started following Wisconsin. I think it would’ve been the ‘92 season, ‘93 Rose Bowl. That’s the year that I really started getting into it.

BN: You hear about a lot of Wisconsin football players, how they’ve got that farm strength. Listening to you talk about farming and chores, is there anything related to your childhood and working on a farm that has helped your broadcasting career?

MT: You know, I think for me, getting that foundation and having to work was, as my dad used to always say, cows don’t care about vacations and days off, you have to work every day. One of the things I noticed when I went out to the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp right after I got done playing was, you had a lot on your schedule, but it was easy and it was fun. I think that’s where it was just get me more. I would be willing to take on more and more opportunities.

One of the things that I left with from that boot camp from all of the guys, whether it was Kurt Menefee, or James Brown, or whoever was out there, they always said if you really want to do this, get reps. I don’t care if it’s high school football. I think that was the thing that really set with me; if this is something I want to do, you have to go work just like you’re doing chores on a farm or training to play an NFL season.

It’s obviously a lot easier physically, but I think that mindset from farming allowed me to take that on as a football player, and now as a broadcaster because I think I have that foundation of let’s get to work.

BN: How are you feeling physically after all the wear and tear from 11 years in the NFL?

MT: As you get older, especially when you live in the cold like Wisconsin, there’s stuff that flares up. You knew when you’re playing, you’re going to pay a price. You just hope that that price is more oh, my knee is stiff and arthritic, which mine is, or my shoulder doesn’t feel quite as good as maybe I wished it did.

But as long as I can stay of sound, mind and body, for the most part I feel pretty good. There’s limitations to some things that I can do, but as far as physically for what I went through with a couple of ACLs and a shoulder and everything else, I feel pretty fortunate at 45 to be where I’m at.

BN: What areas do you think you’ve grown the most as a sports radio host?

MT: I think being able to just speak freely. I think when you first get into it — for me at least it was — it’s hard to criticize guys I’ve played a ton of football with. I’m never going to criticize the person, unless you know who that person is, it’s more about just criticizing the player.

I think I’ve gotten a lot better and more comfortable with speaking openly, not being a jerk about it, but just saying exactly what I think, and understanding that that sometimes isn’t going to be viewed upon in a positive way with some certain people. You just hope everybody understands. I feel a lot more comfortable doing that.

I feel more comfortable just being — this sound crazy — just being silly and trying to get outside of the comfort zone. Whether it’s singing or doing a jingle or trying different things and not being afraid to say, you know what, that sucked. I’d rather have something that was completely terrible than something that’s not interesting, or is just blah. I’d rather go on the far end of it and say, you know what, I tried to do an Eminem rap, and maybe some people thought it was god-awful. I felt great after I got done doing it.

BN: [Laughs] Was there a certain Eminem song that you did a rendition of?

MT: Yeah, we did it when the Packers were playing the Lions. The Packers were really struggling. “Lose Yourself” was the song that I went to. I don’t think I would’ve been confident enough in my radio career to do that when I first got into it, and now I didn’t even blink. I was like let’s knock it out, let’s do it.

BN: How would you describe the way listeners and Packer fans react when you are critical?

MT: Well, this is really the first year — other than playoff games, obviously — that you had to really be critical. Especially in the Matt LeFleur era, things have been so good that you didn’t need to really do that. I think Packer fans are very realistic as far as where their team is. There’s almost a little bit of looking around the corner because we haven’t gotten to the ultimate prize over this last decade.

Packer fans are loyal. They’re the best fans out there because they are loyal. But I don’t think there’s any preconceived notions that we’re always going to win every game and everything else. They’re very critical, but then you kind of move on, just like you did when you’re a player, you move on quickly to what’s next.

It really emphasized to me that week-to-week business that the NFL is. Doing this job, you really see the ebbs and flows of emotions from fans. One week, we’re Super Bowl champs, we’re the best team out there. Then you have a bad performance and everybody kind of is like, well, we stink. I actually thoroughly enjoy being that calming voice of saying, this is how the NFL works, it’s not easy to win.

That’s kind of where I feel like I fit into that landscape of being realistic, understanding where the team’s at, and still having that optimism that I have because I always believe in Aaron Rodgers, that he’s going to find a way. It’s finally coming around. It’s taken a lot longer this season than normal, but it is finally starting to come back around.

BN: Especially as a former player of that organization, how surprising is it to you that the Packers are just scratching for a playoff spot right now?

MT: Very surprising, because I think losing Davante [Adams], we all kind of thought that there was going to be a little bit of a drop off. I don’t think anybody anticipated the amount of struggles that the offense was going to have until Christian Watson emerged as that guy. But really it’s the other side of it, and that’s the defensive side of the football.

I was really surprised with how inconsistent that side of the football has been. That’s a big reason. You can look at both sides of it, but I did not think that you’d have a team struggle to score as much as we did early in the season and then struggle as much defensively. But it does feel like things are turning around and hopefully it’s not too late.

BN: There was an episode of the Pardon My Take podcast where Big Cat told Aaron Rodgers that the highlight of the NFL year for him was listening to your show after the Packers lost in the playoffs. What do you remember most about that show?

MT: Well, I think for me, I was shocked because we’re a home team, got the one seed, had a bye, everything was in place for Green Bay to get back to a Super Bowl. Then when that didn’t happen, fans were distraught. I was texting with Big Cat a little bit after that. I think where he really enjoyed it was the amount of just outrageous ideas that Packer fans had. The thing that I think really got him, and what I remember most about taking calls that night, was put a dome over Lambeau, they can’t win in the cold anymore with Aaron Rodgers.

It was the idea that we needed monster changes because we lost this game. He loved the fact listening to Packer fans talk like we had not won anything in quite a while. I think he enjoyed that piece of it. For me, I’m just gonna sit back and let fans vent how they feel because it was a painful night for Packer Nation.

BN: I like that it says racket sport enthusiast on your Twitter bio. I have to know the background of that, what’s that about?

MT: I love playing tennis and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve moved on to pickleball. I love badminton; I really do love all racket sports. A lot of times you kind of enhance your bio a little bit, put more stuff in, that is 100% legit. I play pickleball three or four days a week. Tennis, I just played. I used to whoop up on Ahmad Green. I would say when I was playing, I was probably the best tennis player on the team.

As a lineman, I know a lot of people don’t play tennis, but I’ve whooped Ahmad Green. Whoever I would play, I would beat. Now, I just was down to visit an old teammate. I’m not going to say his name, but he beat me, so I may have to tinker with my bio a little bit. But I still love playing tennis. I still love trying to play pickleball. Any racket sport, if it’s available, I’ll pick it up and go play.

BN: Of your ex-teammates, who was really, really good at a non-football sport?

MT: Ooo, that’s a really good question. Chad Clifton is a really good horseshoe pitcher. He was good at pitching horseshoes, and I don’t know if that’s just because he was from the South or whatever the case may be, but that was something that I always was amazed by. Korey Hall, one of our old fullbacks, was a fantastic billiards player. He was convinced that he could have been a professional billiards player back when he played. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but those are two that kind of pop out in my head.

BN: I like what you were saying about bringing the fun, bringing the goofy and the zany to a sports radio show. Is there any room for that when you’re doing a Wisconsin game? Can you find a little bit of fun while you’re being mostly serious?

MT: Oh, absolutely. I know our fans come to us to hear about the Badgers and what news is going on. I respect that, but I thoroughly enjoy the other side of it as much if not more. From a broadcasting standpoint, doing a game you obviously have to get the formations and all that stuff, but one of the things I love about working with Matt Lepay is he loves having fun.

Whether it’s making fun of how old Mike Lucas is, or Matt Lepay gets this big lifetime contract, we’ll get after him a little bit, anytime you can just try and infuse something personal and something fun while you’re not taking away from what your job actually is, I always try to do it. It’s funny, people will say I want you to talk about this, this and this.

Well, a lot of times you see from an engagement standpoint, it’s that other stuff that people almost always remember more, and the stuff that I think they enjoy participating in because it’s almost more relative to their life.

BN: While you’re talking about finding the fun in broadcasting, who was the funniest teammate that you had with the Packers?

MT: Oh, man, I’d say it’s always a lineman. I don’t know if anybody will tell you differently. I would say Marco Rivera was really funny. Korey Hall is another guy that I think is incredibly funny, but I’m gonna go with Chad Clifton, man. I don’t know if there’s anybody that makes me laugh more than what Chad does.

BN: Would Chad Clifton make you laugh while he was crushing people in horseshoes?

MT: Chad Clifton makes me laugh at pretty much anything he does. He doesn’t even try to be funny, and he’s funny.

BN: When you look back at your football career and also your broadcasting career, with as many opportunities and achievements that you’ve had, what’s at the top of the list where you say, man, that was the number one moment of my career?

MT: I think from a football standpoint, just getting that first start at Lambeau Field is probably something because I didn’t ever think that was going to be possible. And when that was able to happen, I had my family and friends there. Then getting inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame was a huge deal for me and for my family.

From a broadcasting standpoint, man, we’ve been so fortunate whether it’s to have our quarterbacks that I played with jump on air with us. We’ve had Cindy Crawford jump on. It’s been really fun to be able to sit down and do stuff that’s more outside of football with some of those cats that I’ve really enjoyed from a broadcasting standpoint.

BN: When you look at the future of your broadcasting career, what are some things that you would like to accomplish as you look forward over the next five years?

MT: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think about that a lot, and especially with the new year here. Yeah, I think when I got into it, I was always hoping to just make sure I was having fun. But I think you always want to look at what is out there from a national perspective and you’re always kind of looking at that. I’ve done some stuff with ESPN on a national standpoint, whether it’s filling in for Ian Fitzsimmons or Freddie Coleman. I don’t know where that would take me other than do I want to do more game day stuff. I think the answer to that is yes.

I want to do more stuff that involves being at the stadium, doing it and feeling that energy. You’re never going to replace playing, but being at the stadium and being there doing it on site, that’s the closest thing you can get in this industry.

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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