Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

BSM Writers

Damon Amendolara is Supercharging His Show on Mad Dog Sports Radio

“The way that I described it on the air was it’s not sad, it’s just hard. There’s a part of me that is just beaming about all of this, but I’m a loyal guy.”

Brian Noe



A photo of Damon Amendolara and the Mad Dog Sports Radio logo

I might root for the bad guy in a movie. I sometimes root for the heel in pro wrestling. But in sports radio, I’ll only root for the good people. No exceptions. Damon Amendolara is one of the best humans you will find in the industry. He makes it easy to root for him.

D.A. has begun a brand new opportunity at SiriusXM this week. The D.A. Show with Babchik now airs in morning drive on Mad Dog Sports Radio. While D.A. is incredibly happy to begin this new journey, he was deeply torn about leaving his audience and co-workers at CBS Sports Radio.

You can’t fake being a good person. It’s eventually going to show whether you’re legit or not. D.A. has genuine feelings for his listeners and the people he’s worked with. He didn’t just shrug his shoulders and say, “ehh, on to the next one”.

Some hosts are about themselves; D.A. is about other people and the industry itself. Couple that with a great work ethic, obvious talent and a sincere caring for others, how do you not root for a guy like that?

Damon Amendolara made time to talk about the emotional closing of one chapter, and the uncontained excitement of teaming up with Mike Babchik and Sirius. He also talks about getting called out by a big name and hoping he’s not Terry Glenn. Enjoy!

Brian Noe: What went into your decision to move on from CBS to go to SiriusXM?

Damon Amendolara: Well, CBS Sports Radio was an amazing place to work for 11 years because they really trusted me and my vision of the show. I don’t ever take that for granted. They really believed in what my vision was, which was sometimes eccentric, sometimes a little off-the-wall, sometimes absurdist, but they believed in it. I never really wanted to leave necessarily, but SiriusXM came to me and they knew the show.

Eric Spitz had been my old boss at CBS. He had launched CBS Sports Radio, so I had the connection with him. He knew my show, he liked my show, and he kind of came to me and said, “We want what you do there, over here. And we want to take what you do and kind of put a rocket booster on it”.

We talked about some details about what that could mean, what that looks like, but really, I just loved the idea of taking what I’ve done for so long, and kind of jumping into the resources and the assets and the support system that SiriusXM gives you. You’re just talking about a wealth of guests, of branding, of event planning, marketing, social media push, PR. These are all things that I was just dazzled by.

The other thing was they really cared about my listeners. I care deeply about my listeners. They said, “We want all of them to come over, what can we do for them?” I listed off some of the things that I thought we needed to take it to the next level and they said, “Let’s do it”. They’re starting by giving them three months for free, a D.A. Show listener special. And saying let’s plan events, and let’s do this for them, and let’s think about them. That meant a lot because it would take a lot for me to have left CBS.

BN: When the press release came out, Eric Spitz said, “D.A. is one of the brightest stars in sports radio today.” When you read those words, what does something like that mean to you coming from him?

DA: That’s funny that you picked that out. You’ve got a good nose for this stuff because that was really impactful for me. Eric and I have had a lot of honest conversations, but he can be a tough coach. When I worked for him at CBS Sports Radio, I knew that he respected me, but you rarely get that type of gloss. So to come through the battles that we’ve had together, and then he left for Sirius five years ago, and for us to reconnect, and for him to say that publicly was really quite the, wow, he’s talking about me?

When it’s said about you, you rarely think of yourself in those terms, you kind of put your head down every day and you try to do a good show. You try to connect to the listeners and you hope that it’s recognized on the outside. But as you know, it’s rare to feel accolades or to see those things said in print about you or said out loud by decision-makers. I read that and I said, wow, I guess he really does like me. [Laughs]

BN: [Laughs] I’m in the cool club, man. I made it.

DA: Yeah, it’s like after you retire, the head coach who coached you hard for all those years finally said, “You know what? You were one of my favorite players”. And you’re like, “Wow, I never heard that before”. That’s nice.

BN: So is this like you’re Phil Simms and he’s Parcells or something like that?

DA: [Laughs] It certainly feels that way. I hope I’m not Terry Glenn. Maybe it was more like Belichick who coached these guys really hard and then brought them over to the Patriots like Pepper Johnson or something like that.

BN: Yeah, there you go. It’s funny, man, I had a flashback just a couple of minutes ago. I was doing radio in Fresno. There was an offensive coordinator at the time at Fresno State, Jim McElwain. He got a new job at Alabama. He was going to be their offensive coordinator over there. So there’s a press conference announcing this, and I go up to him and I said, what was this decision like for you? I expected him to give me this, “Oh yeah, it was difficult, but you’d know that it was a no-brainer”; he’s going to Alabama, right?

He looked at me and he had tears in his eyes, and he goes, “Gut-wrenching”. It was just an eye-opener of like, holy cow, it’s not just about going to a bigger school or a bigger platform. You’ve got relationships, you’ve got history, that’s not easy to walk away from. So as that relates to you and CBS, how would you describe that whole part of this decision?

DA: That right there, what you just said is really good insight into a decision like this. SiriusXM has these beautiful studios. Howard Stern is in the building, or at least his studios are. You’ve got concerts in there, and musicians and actors in there. You’re filled with these creative juices, these celebrities, the popular people. You would think, “Man, of course, it’s a slam dunk”. And yes, those things are so attractive to be around and be part of, but when you’re at a place for 11 years you develop really close bonds with your team and with your listeners.

My team that I had at CBS, unfortunately, couldn’t come with me; they’re too valuable over there. I can’t wait to work with the crew over at Sirius, but you leave those guys behind that you’ve built something so dearly with. So yeah, it’s much like a sports team, where you ask this of your guys, and you’ve got to block for me here, you’ve got to trust me on this, we’ve got to run it this way. Then they do and you have success, and then you have to leave them. That’s a hard thing.

The way that I described it on the air was it’s not sad, it’s just hard. I’m super excited. I’m really excited, really thrilled, and really happy. There’s a part of me that is just beaming about all of this, but I’m a loyal guy. I ask my guys to be loyal to the show and to each other. I ask the listeners to be loyal to the show as well. And then you feel like you’re breaking that bond, your word with them.

You ask everybody to believe in your vision to follow me, this is how it’s going to work, and I believe it’s going to work, and now I’m the one that breaks that bond. That is the hardest part of this to feel like you’re turning your back on people that you asked to follow you. It’s like every day, come follow, the show is good, come listen, this is great, you’re gonna love it. And then you go, oh, and now I’m leaving.

I just hate breaking that bond, but it’s one of those things where in this industry you’re builders and destroyers when you move on to different shows. It’s just part of it and I hope people can come along.

BN: How do you envision working with Babs now?

DA: He is such a wild card. There’s so many stories of Babchik around the industry. They’re all positive, but they all kind of end with, yeah, he’s a lunatic. But he’s a great guy. I didn’t come in with any preconceived notions, I just kind of knew that high-energy, funny dude, people really like him. I sat down with him for lunch a couple of times and then we talked on the phone. What I realized was, he’s so sharp and so fast, his wit and his brain works at like 1.5 speed. And it’s brilliant.

He always has a one-liner, his comedic timing is so good. He’s always at the front of a conversation with the line that he can then leave the conversation with. And it’s like, wow, how did you just do that? I feel like I walk into a room and I can have a conversation with anybody, but he leads, and then he drops the mic and everybody laughs and he walks away. It’s very much like a Costanza thing. It’s amazing to watch.

I get such a kick out of him. I’m so excited to just see what it’s like to work with him every day. I love it because it’s going to keep me engaged every minute. Because he’s so quick, I’ve got to make sure that I stay on his wavelength.

Maybe sometimes I’ll follow it. Maybe sometimes I won’t because it’ll be like, wow, dude, you just got to do that on your own right now. [Laughs] But I’m super excited just to combine the two energies. I think it’s going to be wild.

BN: It’s almost like music in a way. Van Halen had their sound with David Lee Roth and now you come in and you’re the new singer. How do you approach a show when Babs worked with Evan Cohen for so long? Do you keep that in mind at all, or do you just start fresh?

DA: I need to be very respectful of the team that they have and the dynamic that they’ve created because they’ve been very successful themselves, whether it’s Babchik, Louie Gold is the producer, Britt is the board op, they have done it together. And I’m coming in.

The last thing I want to do is be like, trash everything you’ve done before, this is the way we’re going to do it. I have to respect the fact that they’ve done it and they’ve done it together and they have something there as well.

I want to be respectful of what they’ve already done, but then also say this is what my strength is and this is what I can provide to add to this and, hopefully, build it up. What I’ve found is that they’re really open to that. The meetings that we’ve had, the lunches that we’ve had, they’ve been like, yeah, bring it, let’s combine the forces.

That’s an exciting proposition when everybody in the room is like, “Yeah, we want everybody to collaborate on this”. But you’re right, it is like creating music. Everybody’s got to understand the rhythm, and once you get the rhythm down, if you have good people and talented people around you, it’ll be great, and I know that they’re super talented.

BN: What do you make of the irony that one minute you’re getting blasted by Mike Francesa for using your initials on the air…

DA: [Laughs]

BN: …and now you’re on his former partner’s channel, you’re on Mad Dog now?

DA: It’s amazing how this industry tends to just go full circle all of the time. You’re kind of like jammed into this one little room of the party with the same people and you just keep bumping into them all the time. It’s why I’ve tried to never leave on a bad note, blast somebody, make enemies. That thing with Francesa was so innocuous. I had no intent to create a battle or a war and it led to that.

I appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog 30 for 30 as one of the talking heads that grew up listening to them. There’s a video that circulates on YouTube of me interviewing those guys back in high school for my high school project, my communications class 25 years ago. And now to work with Russo, to be the morning show to his afternoon show is so freaking wild.

I don’t know if Francesa still hates that I use my initials, but I would just tell him, it’s not even been my choice. Program directors just said your last name is hard to pronounce, you just gotta go by your initials. I said, all right, fine. [Laughs] And for the rest of my career, it’s just going to be how it’s branded.

So it’s actually worked well and I hope Mike understands that it’s worked well. I just hope he’s not sitting at home, gritting his teeth that the kid in his mid-40s with the initials is still doing it, and is now doing it with Russo. [Laughs]

BN: What are your short-term and long-term goals for your new show?

DA: Short term, I want to bring my audience as much as I can to Sirius and show them that we can supercharge the show with all of the resources we get at Sirius. And for the SiriusXM Mad Dog listeners, I want them to be introduced to a brand of sports radio that I think is really unique.

I like to pride us on being the place where you can come for really thoughtful sports analysis, that has to be our foundation, but willing to be self-deferential, self-deprecating, and a place where you’re going to get an element of zany, an element of ridiculous, an element of let’s push the envelope for an eccentric sense of humor.

It has to sound different or else nobody’s going to really care. I think it’s going to sound different in a really cool way because that’s how my mind works and because Babs is such a unique personality. I just want to tap into that.

Then the long-term goal is I want to push every button and pull every lever at Sirius XM to see what we can supercharge. I look at it almost like you’re in the Death Star, and you’ve got this massive panel of buttons and computers going.

And you’re just like, “If I press this, what happens? If I pull this lever, what happens? What does this computer do?” I’ve never worked at a place that had this many assets and this many people looking to help shows, to help channels. That’s the job, to help the channel supercharge.

I walked into the building the other day and you’re just like, there’s so many creative people in here and so many verticals. If you can just tap into some of the talent and knowledge, if you can tap into some of the branding, the resources, the event planning, what more could I ask for?

It’s kind of overwhelming. It’s a little bit like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You go in there and you’re like, there’s all of these flavors? And I can taste any of them? So long-term, I want to know everybody in that building in every department and go, what’s the strength here? And how can we utilize this to put the rocket boosters on?

BN: Yeah, man. I hear you. Well, I’m excited for you. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it’s a great opportunity for you.

DA: Thanks, bro. Thank you, I appreciate that.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

BSM Writers

Barrett Media Hires Jeff Lynn to Spearhead Music Radio Coverage

“Adding Jeff to our editorial team to spearhead our music radio coverage is important for building brand identity and trust across the industry.”

Jason Barrett



Barrett Media is expanding its content focus starting on Monday July 15, 2024. I announced these plans on May 6, 2024. Since then, I’ve had many conversations to identify the right person to bring our vision to life. Music radio will be our first addition. Coverage of tech and podcasting will come next.

Making sure we’ve got our finger on the pulse of the music radio business is the first step. With over 11,000 stations nationwide playing music, and entertaining listeners, there’s no shortage of stories to tell. I maintain that coverage of the music radio industry isn’t sufficient. We’re not going to solve every problem and nail every story but we’re going to work our tails off to try and make things better.

So, how can you help us? Email [email protected] so we’re aware of your success, career related news, and how to reach you for future feature stories. Sharing our content on social media and telling folks about the website once it’s live is another easy way to offer support.

To avoid any confusion, we will not be writing daily news on artists and record label activity. It’s why I’ve continued to mention ‘music radio’ each time I promote this expansion. We’re looking to focus our coverage on broadcasters, brands, companies, ratings, content, etc.. Artists and music labels may become part of our coverage down the road, but that’s not our immediate focus.

Which leads me to today’s announcement regarding our Editor. I spoke with a lot of smart, talented people for this role. Adding someone with management experience, who has a passion to write, a can-do attitude, a love for the industry, and relationships across formats is very important. I’ve found that person, and hope you’ll join me in welcoming Jeff Lynn as Barrett Media’s first ever Music Radio Editor.

Jeff’s experience in the music radio business spans nearly 25 years. He’s been a program director for iHeart, Townsquare Media, NRG Media, and Rubber City Radio Group. Those opportunities led him to Milwaukee/Madison, WI, Cleveland/Akron, OH, Des Moines/Quad Cities, IA and Omaha, NE. All Access then hired him in 2022 to leave the programing world and serve as a Country Format Editor, and manager of the outlet’s Nashville Record promotions. He remained in that role until August 2023 when the outlet shut down.

“I am honored to join the team at Barrett Media to guide the brand’s Music Radio coverage”, said Jeff Lynn. “Radio has been a lifelong passion and pursuit of mine. To be able to tell stories of the great work being done by radio pros and broadcast groups is very exciting. They are stories that need to be told. I can’t wait to get started.”

Jeff Lynn with Jelly Roll

I added Ron Harrell, Robby Bridges, and Kevin Robinson as columnists two weeks ago. Bob Lawrence and Keith Berman then joined us this past Monday. We’re quickly assembling a talented stable of writers, and with Jeff on board as our Editor, we’re almost ready for prime time. The only thing left to do is hire a few features reporters. I’m planning to finalize those decisions next week.

Building this brand and making it a daily destination for music radio professionals will take time. It starts with adding talented people, covering the news, and creating interesting content consistently. If we do things right, I’m confident the industry’s support will follow. Time will tell if my instincts are right or wrong.

Jeff begins his new role with Barrett Media on July 1st. Adding him to our editorial team to spearhead our music radio coverage is important for both building brand identity and trust across the industry. I’m eager to work with him, and hope you’ll take a moment to say hello and offer your congratulations. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Greg Hill is Turning the Tables in Morning Drive on WEEI

“I think this business is slowly moving farther and farther away from dollars being dependent on being the #1 station or where you’re ranked when it comes to Nielsen.”

Derek Futterman



Greg Hill
Courtesy: Audacy

Earlier in the week, the Boston Celtics secured their 18th NBA championship. Across a variety of sports radio stations, especially those in the Boston-Manchester designated market area, the triumph was a subject of discussion on Tuesday morning. Within morning drive on WEEI, host Greg Hill provided his thoughts on the team and its achievement.

Akin to the Celtics, Hill aims to position his weekday program to thrive and sustain success. After working in the industry for many years, some professionals can exhibit a sense of apathy, but for Hill, it is quite the opposite, exhibiting congeniality and authenticity to the audience as a whole amid this quest.

Although Hill broadcasts on a sports talk station, the morning show spans beyond comprehensive sports discussion while implementing a variety of other topics into its daily discussion. In fact, Hill defines the breadth of topics into two distinctive categories, one of which is sports while the other covers an assortment of miscellaneous subjects mentioned on the show.

“I think it’s more beneficial if you are a radio person and you know what you think works when it comes to doing radio,” Hill said. “If you can find a way to keep the audience entertained and engaged and try, if you can, to present content that’s different than [what] they might find somewhere else, then that’s more important than necessarily a vast X’s and O’s knowledge when it comes to sports from my perspective.”

Sports teams in the city of Boston have established a tradition of grandeur and excellence, making a habit of remaining in contention for championships every year. In fact, the Celtics championship ended the city’s title drought that spanned just over five years. During that time, the media ecosystem has changed with a prioritization on digital distribution in addition to more niche content offerings. As a long-tenured radio host, Hill has been able to successfully adapt by optimizing the idiosyncrasies of the medium while also being open to innovation.

“The old adage about, and I think it still remains a unique advantage when it comes to this medium, is that when you wake up in the morning, you want to know, ‘What happened? What happened last night?,’ and you want to hear people give you their slant on it,” Hill said. “My function, I think, is to give everybody the opportunity to share their opinions on stuff.”

While Hill has become a respected sports radio host, he initially started working in another sector of the industry. During his time as a middle school student, he worked a paper route and saved his money to buy two turntables and several 45-rpm records. Hill would then go to the garage of his parents’ house and host a radio show with no audience, working to master the craft in his nascence. As he grew older, he started to bring his records to his high school radio station and take the air.

The passion and verve he possessed for the medium, along with his talent in the craft, helped him land a job at WAAF as a promotion coordinator. As he began to showcase his abilities, he earned chances to go on the air over the weekends and overnight. Morning show host Drew Lane later asked Hill if he wanted to do sports on the program, and he continued to grow from there.

When Hill was named the host of the new Hill-Man Morning Show on WAAF a few years later, he needed to find a way to stand out in the marketplace. After all, he was facing competition from Charles Laquidara on WBCN and a variety of other media outlets, and it took time for the program to eventually break through. Hill took the opposite approach of other stations in the area to render the show distinct from those on other media outlets.

“WBCN at the time was an older-targeted station, so we targeted the station towards Men 18-34 and figured that we could grow as they grew,” Hill said. “So we were just going out attending every single possible event where somebody might be, going out before concerts and shaking hands, and doing all that stuff that I think you have to do in order to try to get people to try your show and try your station.”

Hill’s program catapulted to the top of the marketplace, and he signed a lifetime contract after 26 years on the air to stay at WAAF. In signing the deal, he never thought he would work anywhere else, but things changed three years later when Gerry Callahan hosted his last show in morning drive on WEEI. Then-Entercom announced that it was adding Hill to the daypart to host a new morning drive program and retained co-host Danielle Murr in the process, commencing a new era for the outlet. Shortly thereafter, WAAF was sold to the Educational Media Foundation and re-formatted with contemporary Christian programming.

“I never thought [W]AAF would go away,” Hill said. “It was a legendary rock station, and I still to this day will flip by that station and hear Christian rock music and sit there in silence for a couple of minutes for that great radio station, but being the same company and the same market manager at the time [in] Mark Hannon, when that opportunity came up [to] try something different and to make a change, I was really excited about it.”

In moving formats, Hill and his colleagues evaluated the program and determined how they could grow their audience on WEEI while staying true to the essence of the show. The program, however, was going up against Toucher & Rich, the hit morning show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and others.

“I think this business is slowly moving farther and farther away from dollars being dependent on being the #1 station or where you’re ranked when it comes to Nielsen,” Hill said. “To me, the most important thing is that we’re doing what we should do to get partners for the radio station on the business side of things and delivering results for them.”

Hill is cognizant of the success of 98.5 The Sports Hub but articulated that the ranking does not matter to those spending money on radio. Instead, he claims that it is about the level of engagement and patronization of the product that facilitates interest in the brand.

“From a differentiator point of view, we’re up against, on the sports side of things, an incredible radio station that has done an amazing job of being #1 in this market for a long time with really compelling personalities,” Hill said. “I think it’s incumbent upon us to try to find ways to be different when it comes to our choice on content and the way in which we present it, and then outwork them when it comes to going out and meeting people who might listen to the show.”

Whereas Hill was originally a solo host during his early days on WAAF, he is now joined by Jermaine Wiggins and Courtney Cox, both of whom bring unique aspects that enhance the program. Wiggins, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, provides his knowledge of football and the perspective of a professional athlete. Cox is the youngest person on the program and has a unique approach from her time covering sports at NESN while embracing the humor and repartee on the show. Show producer Chris Curtis, who worked with Hill at WAAF, also contributes to the conversation as well and has helped maintain synergy.

“Whether it’s the co-hosts on the show or callers, I love when they are having fun at my expense, and I think that self-deprecating humor to me is the best,” shared Hill. “If we have a show in which I end up being the punchline or end up, whether it’s my age or lack of technological skill or my frugality – whatever it is – that to me is my favorite part of what we do and that personality coming through, I guess.”

Hill uses his platform to benefit the community through The Greg Hill Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded to provide families affected by tragedy with immediate needs. He created the foundation in 2010 to celebrate two decades on the air at WAAF before the advent of crowdfunding in a quest to give back. The foundation has donated over $20 million to more than 9,000 beneficiaries during its 14 years.

“We’re lucky in radio because we have this incredible tradition of public service, and I think everybody in radio feels this obligation – this great obligation to use the airwaves to help others,” Hill said. “We’re granted the incredible platform in which we can actually get people to respond when help is needed, and so I wanted to be able to use that microphone and the radio station on those days to be able to help the beneficiaries in our area who needed it.”

Hill recently signed a multiyear contract extension with Audacy-owned WEEI to continue hosting The Greg Hill Show. Part of what compelled him to remain at the station was working with Ken Laird, the brand manager of the outlet who used to be his producer at WAAF. Moreover, he has known Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas for over two decades as he leads the cluster of stations in an environment with many entities looking to garner shares of attention.

“To be able to have the opportunity to work with those guys, know what they are, what I need them to do to keep them happy and to have the opportunity for us to, from a team perspective, that we have one clear mission in mind, and that is to be No. 1,” Hill said. “No. 1 in revenue and No. 1 when it comes to ratings, so to be able to sit there and go, ‘Alright, since I came here five years ago, we definitely have some wins, but there’s still a lot that we have to do,’ and to be able to do it with them together was way more interesting to me than any other opportunity.”

Even though Hill has worked in the sports media business for many years, he remains energized by the prospect of achieving goals and having the privilege to host his radio program. In the past, he has stated that he would like to slow down in his career, yet he is unsure what he would do without working in radio.

“That being said, I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn for 30-something years, and I’m definitely feeling it more than I used to,” Hill said. “But sometimes I think it would be fun to go and do one more radio show where I play seven great songs an hour, as long as I get to pick whatever I play and there’s no research and there’s no computer programming the music. I sometimes think about that, but I just love doing this.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

BSM Writers

If Jim Rome is Willing to Innovate, So Can You

Jim Rome is 59 years old and has been at this for 35 years. And if he finds value in embracing new platforms, you, your hosts, and your stations should be able to do it, too.

Avatar photo



Photo of Jim Rome and a logo for the X platform

Jim Rome is 59 years old. He’s been in the sports talk radio game since before I was born. And earlier this year, his show left CBS Sports Network to begin a live simulcast on the Elon Musk-owned X platform.

And it has exposed him and his show to a much wider, and frankly much younger, audience in the short time since the simulcast began.

If you search X, you’ll see either “I didn’t know Jim Rome was still around” or “I’ve never heard of Jim Rome, but I saw his show on here,” posts.

Now, that doesn’t mean he’s abandoning terrestrial radio. In fact, he recently chastised a caller for talking poorly about “scratchy AM radio”, which elicited a strong defense of the medium from the sports talk legend.

But I can’t help but think that if — at this stage in both his life and his career — Jim Rome is willing to try new things, so can you, your show, or your station.

To be frank, Rome has every reason to coast. Rest on his laurels. Simply collect a paycheck and call it a day until his contract is up. But that’s not what he’s doing. He’s innovating. He’s taking chances. I’m sure it’s a much safer feeling — especially for someone about to reach 60 (you look great by the way, Jim) — to stick to a familiar simulcast on cable TV. For damn near 40 years, that’s been the dominant player in the space. But it isn’t 1992 anymore.

Listening to Rome describe the new simulcast makes either one of two things true: Either he doesn’t truly understand what he’s doing, or he believes that his audience is potentially too old to understand streaming. Because he talks about the new venture like he’s trying to explain it to a five-year-old, but at least he’s out here attempting it.

Listening to many shows or stations around the country has at times led me to have a cynical view of the industry. Lipservice is often paid when you hear leaders say “We’re in the content business, not the radio business,” but then only put their content on the radio. Or in podcast form, in three-hour blocks with the live traffic reports still included in the audio to really cement home the fact that the producer couldn’t be bothered to even attempt to edit it before publishing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some stations that have fantastic radio, podcast, digital video, and social media strategies. Others excel at live events.

But many — you could argue too many — are resting on their laurels, taking a “this is good enough,” approach to the format and its content, and hoping that nothing ever changes.

The problem is the world changes every single day. And if you don’t keep up, you’ll be left behind. If the biggest and best stations in the industry fall behind, the entire format falls behind. And I don’t want to see that happen.

If you don’t have a digital video strategy in 2024, I have one quick question: Why not? I was a Program Director in market #228, and we had a digital video strategy.

If you don’t have a podcast strategy in 2024 that’s better than “just put up the entire show from today”, I have one quick question: Why not?

“Why not?” is likely the question Jim Rome asked when he was presented with the opportunity to move his show from the safe haven that was CBS Sports Network and bring it to a wider, younger, and more accessible audience on social media. Now, was it a risk? Absolutely.

But that’s the point. Be willing to take the chance. Be willing to try something different. Experiment. Learn. I can empathize with those who are frozen by the fear of failing. It’s a completely valid worry. But not growing, not chasing every revenue and content avenue possible, and not learning something new is a bigger risk, in my book.

I’m not here to suggest you take an ax to everything you’ve done on your show, your station, or your cluster, but I will strongly advocate for expanding your horizons and attempting to meet your audience wherever they may be. And even if that audience might be in places you’re unfamiliar with, familiarize yourself. Do I get the impression Jim Rome was super familiar with live video streams on X before taking his show there? No. But he was willing to take a chance, knowing that it might benefit in the long run.

I hope you operate in the same spirit.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading


Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.