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Cris Collinsworth is Cementing His Legacy on Sunday Night Football

“I try to always look forward, but that night forced me to look backwards and really appreciate how lucky I am to have the kind of people I have in my life.”

Derek Futterman



Cris Collinsworth
Courtesy: NBC Sports

Wearing a uniform prominently displaying the team logo and player number, each player on the team prepares to take the gridiron. Regardless of the weather, the players run down the tunnel and are introduced to the crowd in a packed stadium, quickly becoming acclimated to their environment as they look for a victory. From the moment the coin flips until the end of the game, these athletes possess an intense focus on winning the contest and subsequently react to dynamic circumstances. Although he is no longer playing, Cris Collinsworth still takes center stage on gameday, except from inside a broadcast booth aligned with midfield.

While teams are able to accurately prognosticate parts of the game, real-time adjustments and other factors can engender unpredictable occurrences and outcomes. Collinsworth knows this well, unexpectedly stepping into the Sunday Night Football booth two years after returning to NBC Sports. Fifteen seasons later, he has been on the call for five Super Bowl championships and is the longest-tenured analyst in the history of an NFL prime-time television broadcast package.

As Collinsworth continues his work on Sunday Night Football with play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico, sideline reporter Melissa Stark, director Drew Esocoff and coordinating producer Rob Hyland, he considers himself fortunate to be part of a stellar, cohesive group of teammates.

“There’s not the in-fighting; there’s not the silliness that can go on in the corporate world sometimes,” Collinsworth said. “It’s really [that] everybody is talented and trying to pull their weight and make it easier, not harder on our co-workers.”

Throughout his playing career, Collinsworth was honored with various accolades and merits recognizing his aptitude and excellence on the football field. These characteristics have ostensibly evinced themselves as a sports media professional as a 17-time recipient of a Sports Emmy Award and recent inductee into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Collinsworth was taken aback to see a preponderance of his colleagues, family and friends on hand for the ceremony.

“It’s funny – those Hall of Fame or awards kind of ceremonies forced me to do something I don’t do comfortably, which is look backwards,” Collinsworth said. “I try to always look forward, but that night forced me to look backwards and really appreciate how lucky I am to have the kind of people I have in my life.”

Before beginning his work in sports media, Collinsworth played college football at the University of Florida where he was a standout wide receiver and completed a degree in accounting. Upon being drafted to the National Football League by the Cincinnati Bengals, he earned Pro Bowl honors and finished second in voting for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

After his retirement from the league, Collinsworth began his immersion into media as the host of a sports talk radio show on 700 WLW. Over the next decade, he interacted with an innumerable number of callers and discussed collegiate and professional sports in the Cincinnati area.

Bob Trumpy, a former tight end for the Bengals, preceded him in the role before departing the outlet to take on more assignments calling games for NBC Sports both on television and radio. Even though he was approaching his third of eight seasons in the NFL, Collinsworth filled in for Trumpy for a previous edition of the Sports Talk program alongside Jeff Ruby. By the time he was added to the fill-in rotation in 1988, he knew of the task at hand.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Collinsworth said. “You go in a studio; you’ve got three hours in a microphone and people think that the listeners just call no matter what you do. They don’t. You’ve got to make them call; you’ve got to make them want to call.”

Collinsworth worked with various radio hosts such as Andy Furman and Bill Cunningham and aimed to hone his craft. He made mistakes along the way and discovered different nuances of the medium while also being a good teammate for his colleagues. Moreover, he had to be genuine with his audience in order to get the listeners to engage with the program, offering his opinions on the teams and making sales calls on behalf of the company.

“You had to welcome guests in that you may not otherwise have on the show and interview people [where] you didn’t know anything about them or their sport,” Collinsworth said. “Yeah, it was a better education than I got doing anything else in my life, I’ll say that for sure.”

At the same time, Collinsworth was attending law school at the University of Cincinnati and might have considered a career as a tax attorney had he not worked in sports media. Three weeks after he was cut by the Bengals, Collinsworth was offered and subsequently accepted a position on the HBO program Inside the NFL as a reporter responsible for filing features. Aside from the radio show, legal studies and reporting work, he also filled in as a color commentator on four college football games for NBC Sports. By the next year, Collinsworth was on nine of these live game broadcasts and became a regular member of the studio cast of Inside the NFL – all while continuing to host on the radio.

“I was talking about everybody, everything, everywhere,” Collinsworth said. “…There was no internet; [it] wasn’t like you could look up something on the internet, so whatever you knew was something you saw or read about, and it was just wild. The decade of the ‘90s clearly was the craziest time of my life.”

Utilizing the versatility he strived to develop, Collinsworth seamlessly made the move into the studio as a member of The NFL on NBC Pregame Show beginning in the 1996 season. Every week, he provided his insights and intellect surrounding the slate of games taking place around the league. Collinsworth was on a panel with host Greg Gumbel and analysts Joe Gibbs and Ahmad Rashad before a seminal moment in the broadcast history of the NFL occurred.

NBC lost broadcasting rights to the NFL when CBS agreed to an eight-year contract with the league to serve as the television home of all AFC games, a deal that was worth an estimated $500 million per year. At the suggestion of NBC Sports company chairman Dick Ebersol, Collinsworth left the outlet and joined FOX Sports as part of its FOX NFL Sunday studio program, retaining his presence within the fabric of football coverage. Over the ensuing four seasons, he had the chance to work alongside host James Brown and analysts Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long, augmenting his ability to seamlessly implement entertainment and moments of levity into nuanced football esoterica.

“I’m glad I did,” Collinsworth said of leaving NBC Sports. “I learned a lot from them and then skipped over to do the games.”

FOX Sports shuffled its announcing lineup in 2002, assigning Collinsworth to a new three-person booth including play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and color commentator Troy Aikman. The alteration resulted from John Madden’s decision to sign a contract to call Monday Night Football games on ABC with play-by-play announcer Al Michaels after his contract expired, timing with Pat Summerall’s initial retirement.

Rather than having one analyst replace the distinguished broadcaster and former Super Bowl champion with the Oakland Raiders, the network opted to instantiate a new lead booth. The endeavor marked a new challenge for Collinsworth since he had never been part of a broadcast triumvirate before. Additionally, he continued to host his Sports Talk radio program while having a family and traveling the country to call these weekly matchups.

“Ordinarily you hit a button and you talk to the producer and you tell them what you want to talk about,” Collinsworth explained. “Well Troy and I were seeing different things all the time, and Richie Zyontz, our poor producer; it was like a gameshow. Did Troy or I hit the button first to get into Richie to try and say something?”

NBC agreed to a six-year contract that granted it rights to a new league prime-time television broadcast package, Sunday Night Football, and two Super Bowl championship games, ahead of the 2006 season.

“When NBC got football back, Dick Ebersol called me right away and I ended up coming back to NBC,” Collinsworth said. “I did the studio again for about three years there and then John retired – surprised all of us – and that’s when I went back in to replace him again.”

Prior to that time though, Collinsworth’s presence was expanding as a member of three different broadcast networks covering the NFL. Whether it was working on Football Night of America on NBC, co-hosting Inside the NFL on HBO or contributing to NFL Network programming, his shrewd expertise and attention to detail was conspicuous.

When he started working with Al Michaels regularly on Sunday Night Football in 2009, he had been known as someone who tried to be authentic with the audience. After all, he had balanced objectivity and subjectivity for several years in a variety of different roles where he gradually earned the trust of consumers.

“I think I learned that you don’t have to be mean-spirited, but you’ve got to be honest and you’ve got to be willing to say what others may not feel comfortable saying because your relationship isn’t really with the players and coaches anymore; it’s with the audience,” Collinsworth articulated. “It’s with the people that are watching on television, and you have to earn their trust that whether it’s something positive or negative that you’re saying, it’s what you honestly believe.”

Collinsworth has always tried to take the approach that he is supplying commentaries for the benefit of the viewers. Throughout the week while fans take part in activities unrelated to the game, he is watching film, having conversations with personnel and determining what he believes will be salient and apropos before kickoff.

Much like suiting up on the field though, the game is unpredictable and it is imperative to be nimble enough to adjust in real time. Maintaining a keen awareness of his audience filled with consumers possessing varied levels of fandom, he does not want to “sell anyone anything;” rather, he aspires to convey his knowledge without overwhelming viewers.

“They want to take three hours and watch a football game and not have the announcer wear them out [or] feel like the announcer’s a shill for players and coaches in the league,” Collinsworth said, “but know that I’ve done my homework and hopefully it’s a little bit fun [and] a little bit relaxing…. I want to tell you I’ve researched it for a whole week [and that] I know what’s going on with these teams, and by the end of it, I hope you know a little bit more about it as well.”

Aside from his pedagogical abilities wherein he translates recondite concepts into comprehensive parlance with aplomb, Collinsworth has become synonymous with entertaining aspects of the game. When NBC previously opened Sunday Night Football games, Al Michaels would appear solo on camera to deliver a monologue about the game before the shot panned to include Collinsworth in the frame. That tradition ended when Mike Tirico assumed play-by-play responsibilities on the broadcast, but Collinsworth was worried that Michaels’ departure would cause more than just a change in the open format.

“Mike is really talented – I mean really talented – and really works hard,” Collinsworth said. “He does all the special teams stuff for us, he talks to the general managers most weeks [and] he is a research machine. He just absolutely is and I have great respect for that, but we’ve also kind of struck a personal relationship that I was afraid I was going to really miss because Al and I were really good friends.”

NBC Sports recently underwent a change in leadership with the appointment of new division president Rick Cordella. Collinsworth has great respect for the broadcast network, claiming that Dick Ebersol is probably the person who has had the greatest influence on him outside of family members. Ebersol resigned from the company in 2011 and was succeeded by Mark Lazarus, who currently serves as the chairman of NBCUniversal Media Group.

“[He was] a guy who believed in me when I gave him no reason to believe in me or when I was making big mistakes or whatever,” Collinsworth said. “He just kept giving me new opportunities and [I will] be forever grateful to him. And maybe it’s part of Dick’s legacy – he hired most of the people that work at NBC now – but they’re just good people and everybody wants to make it better.”

Before Cordella’s promotion, Pete Bevacqua had been leading the business unit, which also broadcasts games in the Big Ten Conference, NASCAR and the Olympic Games. Bevacqua left the network to become the new athletic director of the University of Notre Dame, with whom NBC recently inked a new contract to extend their partnership of broadcasting the football team’s home games. Collinsworth’s son, Jac, is the play-by-play announcer on those games and co-hosts Football Night in America, oftentimes from the site of the game itself.

“Mark Lazarus really set the tone when he came in, and he ultimately had to do the impossible – which is sort of like when I had to replace John Madden – he had to replace Dick Ebersol, and then he just set up a structure that continued that way,” Collinsworth said. “It’s just been – as long as I’ve been there, it’s just been an easy place to go to work and a place you want to go to work.”

Collinsworth currently has two more years under contract with NBC Sports to deliver analysis in the Sunday Night Football booth. The network is slated to broadcast Super Bowl LX in two seasons from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., which would mark his sixth time calling the championship contest. Although there is ambiguity surrounding what lies beyond that, Collinsworth will always have a tie to the game of football both on and off the gridiron and looks forward to the broadcasts to come.

“We’ll see how I’m doing after that [and] what they want to do,” Collinsworth said pertaining to his future in the broadcast booth. “I really don’t know; I really haven’t thought about that too much, so we’ll figure it out when we get there.”

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Eavesdropping: The Fan Morning Show, 93.7 The Fan

“Thats right the Phillies are like the best team in baseball…and they gotta ask about Nick Sirianni acting a fool on the sideline? On June 21st?”



Graphic for an Eavesdropping feature on The Fan Morning Show

A couple of years ago, 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh started making moves with its morning show that led them to where they are today. In May of 2022, Adam Crowley was named the producer of the show and in August of 2022, former NFL player Dorin Dickerson, who had worked for the station since 2017, was named a show co-host. About a year later in June 2023, the station announced show hosts Colin Dunlap and Chris Mack were out and Crowley and Dickerson would take over the show. With that version of the show about a year old, I thought it would be a good time to eavesdrop in on The Fan Morning Show.

Crowley and Dickerson are joined on the show by producer and update anchor Nicholas ‘Harry’ Callas and on this particular episode the show was celebrating Callas recently getting a promotion to being a full-time member of the staff. The show was planning a lunch together later in the day and one of the early topics that came up was about who would pay for the meal. The early interaction between the guys about this along with the technical difficulties they were having with Dickerson’s headsets gave you a pretty good indication of what you were in for over the course of the show.

As is the case sometimes with morning shows, sometimes the best stuff has nothing to do with the sports topics of the day, it is just whatever comes out of the hosts mouths when the first crack that microphone.

In this case, while the tech issues were being worked out, the guys hit on whether or not Callas would sweat through his shirt with no undershirt on, Callas’ plans to buy a $4,000 bus, Crowley asking for advice because his five-month-old baby was not sleeping well and whether or not Crowley used the word ‘solstice’ the day before.

For the record, he did use the word, despite being certain that he did not. Callas found the audio from the day before and played it and that is when the audience learned there was a $1,000 wager made on the issue. Turns out Callas was good with just having his lunch paid for that day, so that settled that discussion. Now, the headsets were working and with all of those quick topics out of the way it was time to talk some Pittsburgh sports.

The two hosts have no problems going back and forth on just about any sports topic or the inevitable life topics that come up. Both hosts are in their 30’s and have families while Callas is in his 20’s.

Dickerson’s football career began in western PA. He was a High School All American and Pennsylvania Player of the Year in 2005 at West Allegheny. He then moved on to play for the University of Pittsburgh and was a First-team All American tight end in 2009. Next came an opportunity to perform at the highest level, entering the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick of the Houston Texans in 2010. He also has worked on the Pitt radio team as an analyst and sideline reporter.

Crowley said the day before, Dickerson had posted his offer letters from high school on social media. “You tweeted out all of your offer letters yesterday, and I spent an embarrassing amount of time zooming in on all of these schools that offered you.”

This led to a discussion about Dickerson being recruited by Pete Carroll at USC and by Urban Meyer at Florida. “I will never forget Pete Carroll walking down the hallway…When he walked in, I was like wow,” Dickerson said. Crowley compared Carroll then to Nick Saban coming prior to his retirement. “Pete Carroll at that time transcended college football, he was a giant,” Crowley said.

This is why you want an athlete who has made it to the highest levels on your station. It was fun and insightful to hear Dickerson talk about his recruitment and about his reasoning behind why he chose to go to Pitt. “Best football decision I ever made in my life,” he said. He talked about making the decision that staying local would open doors for him in the future, something that has obviously paid off.

Crowley is passion personified. No matter the subject, it is clear he loves doing his job and trying to entertain and inform his audience. Half the batter sometimes to keeping an audience engaged is the passion with which you speak about the subject. Crowley has that on lock down. It is easy to get caught up in his passionate and aggressive takes at a lot of the topics of the day.

Even as they talk about the Pirates, who have lost about 60% of their games since 2000, Crowley does so with an energy that is infectious. This season, with the team hovering around .500 which puts them in the running for a Wild Card position, and the tremendous starting pitching they have had, there is actual hope, and you can tell the guys are happy they can talk about something different other than which star players the team will trade away next.

Crowley had mentioned a few times that, “It’s just the three of us today. No guests on the show, it is a Friday, and we are just having fun.”

The segments flowed well, and Crowley keeps it moving along. When they finish a segment, they go to a quick headlines report versus a full sports update and that generally led them to a live endorsement ad from one of the hosts.

On this day, the group spent an entire hour doing Pittsburgh Pirates report cards. Four different segments worth of throwing out player names, assigning them a letter grade and debating the merits of whatever grade they were given. If you were tuning in for heavy Pirates talk you got exactly what you were looking for. If you were not, you were out of luck.

There was some strong hockey talk in another segment as the Edmonton Oilers had evened the Stanley Cup Final series with the Florida Panthers at three games apiece after being down three games to none. “Let’s say they come back, and they win this series from down 3-0 to winning this thing, it is gonna be maybe the greatest postseason in the history of sports,” Crowley said. “And it would be the most legendary comeback in that sport’s history because of the guy who spearheaded it.” The hosts also kicked around the idea of Edmonton’s Connor McDavid winning the Conn Smythe trophies as the series MVP even if Edmonton doesn’t win.

A lot of Crowley’s takes are strong, he doesn’t waver on a lot of things while Dickerson seems to weigh both sides of a subject when he speaks. The two have developed really good chemistry and with Callas, sound like the proverbial buddies having a chat about sports.

They just as easily have a great conversation about the possibility of the NFL expanding its schedule to jumping over to which celebrities don’t seem to age and marveling at the likes of Selma Hayek and Marisa Tomei.

Dickerson again adds great perspective with the NFL schedule discussion. He said as a player he would not have been in favor of extending the regular season schedule. However, he did add, “I am ok with it now, I want more football. After the Super Bowl is kind of depressing. It gets more depressing now, because you are itching for it. If you extend it a little bit longer that takes away a little of the wait.”

Crowley added, “From our standpoint, from a talk radio standpoint our hot time of the year gets extended, so I like it. I used to be in the camp of less is more, not I am in the camp of more is more.”

The schedule talk was followed by another good discussion on the lengths of the seasons in other sports. About hockey’s season, Crowley said, “The Oilers and the Panthers will have played, literally, literally, their season is ten months long. From October all the way through June, are you kidding me? It’s absurd, that’s absurd.”

As they wrap up the week, a fun segment they do is called ‘Social Media’s Biggest Loser.’ While Matt Stafford’s wife, who admitted to dating the backup quarterback in college to get back at Stafford, was the winner, the hosts had more to say about another station in another market and what they were talking about.

Referring to a poll question he saw on social media from WIP in Philadelphia, Crowley said, “…We’re entertaining, we are having fun, we are enjoying a Friday. They are getting hot and heavy on Nick Sirianni’s sideline demeanor.”

“They’re just still irked that they got kicked out of the playoffs, they’re still mad about it,” Dickerson added. “Talk about the Phillies or something.”

“Thats right the Phillies are like the best team in baseball…and they gotta ask about Nick Sirianni acting a fool on the sideline? On June 21st? Who cares?”

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Jen Lada Has Built a Multiplatform Presence at ESPN

“I always say my job is to make the viewer care about somebody and root for somebody that they might ordinarily not root for or care about.”

Derek Futterman



Jen Lada
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

When Jen Lada appeared on Around the Horn earlier in the month, she became the 58th panelist to be part of the program since its launch in 2002. Facing off against three other panelists from around the country, she garnered a victory in her on-air debut and elicited plaudits from her colleagues. Throughout the program, Lada demonstrated her deft sports knowledge and nuanced opinions that have crafted her into a venerated, skilled reporter at the network.

Although she had appeared on many ESPN programs previously, Around the Horn represented a show to which she wanted to contribute for many years. In fact, she has memories of watching the show just out of Marquette University and remarking about its brilliance and ingenuity.

Utilizing reporters with comprehensive knowledge of various sports who have chronicled several events, the show provides them an opportunity to give their opinions on issues and engage in debate with their contemporaries. Lada earned a spot on the show by being persistent, continuing to express her proficiency in commentary and sports discussion. The journey to arrive at this stage of her career, through which she has realized high-level assignments and a presence both at the local and national level, required adaptability and fortitude, and she continues to never take opportunities for granted.

“It’s great that I won, but it just sets the bar really high for the next time I go out there, which is not something I’m afraid of,” Lada said. “I love a challenge, and I love proving to myself that I can keep trying new things and doing new things well, and I hope that if people see me as some sort of example in the industry, that that’s what they walk away with.”

The approach adopted by Lada within her multifarious career ventures is to develop and maintain versatility, always innovating within her approach to content. As she looks to build off her initial victory on Around the Horn, she aims to be more compendious in her discourse and applying a more succinct approach. Making the adjustment in order to deliver compelling, distinctive points quickly differs from her other work, but it is all ultimately centered on sports.

While studying at Marquette University, she observed her classmates having a conversation about the men’s basketball team and what had happened in a recent game. Lada, who at the time was dating a player on the team and cheerleading at games, began to give her thoughts and was subsequently asked if she had ever considered sportscasting.

“I didn’t know that women could be sportscasters,” Lada said. “It wasn’t on my radar as a real career that women held because there were so few of them at the time doing it, and so once I realized that that was something I could do, then I kind of turned all my attention to, ‘Well, how do I make this happen?’”

As Lada began to complete internships and navigate through the media industry, she learned to develop a thick skin and refined her conduct. Out of school, she had completed a year of a non-paid sports internship and was waitressing on the side to pay the bills. The first interview she took for a job at a television station in a top-10 market ended with her being sexually harassed. It was a jarring experience that disappointed Lada because of her propensity to give people the benefit of the doubt, and it also forced her to evaluate her own disposition.

“I think it’s only natural that you wonder how you contributed to the circumstance or what you could have done differently to maybe not put yourself in that space,” Lada said, “but I was very lucky that when I told my family about what had occurred, they very quickly knocked any notion of that out of my head.”

In navigating the industry with good intentions, Lada recognized that it is not her fault if other people fail at treating others professionally and create a misogynistic work environment. Receiving the lesson early in her career has made her more aware of the people to avoid, and she remains wary of advice given to women in the industry that they should just be nice. Lada was recently on a panel where someone advised a broadcast class that being nice would result in things working out for them in the future.

“I felt myself cringing internally because I don’t think that that is a luxury women are afforded,” Lada said. “I don’t think – maybe now is different, but when I was coming up, and I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, there were people who preyed on niceness. And so the way that I would tweak that is to be professional; to carry yourself in a professional manner and recognize that sometimes being ‘traditionally nice’ puts a target on your back to be mistreated, and the best thing you can do is alert those people who would see you as a target that you’re not going to fall victim to that or you refuse to be victim to that.”

Lada joined ESPN in 2015 where she was hired to contribute to Colin Cowherd’s radio program. When Cowherd left the network and joined FOX Sports on a full-time basis, she started co-hosting a new, national program alongside Jorge Sedano. The show, however, had an evanescent run and left her feeling as if she had failed.

It took her a full year to recognize that she had been involved in a series of circumstances and decided to enact the necessary change, asking producers for advice and attending seminars. One of these was an interviewing course hosted by journalist John Sawatsky where he synthesized the art of the craft. Akin to when she was in college, she overheard in passing that the network needed more women in the features space.

“I was fortunate enough to have done a lot of features during my time in Milwaukee because we had a 9 p.m. newscast that required a local sports feature every night of the week, so between our three-person department, we had to fill that timeslot,” Lada said. “I had done a lot of lengthy sports features in Milwaukee [and] had a good foundation of what that job required.”

The meeting led to Lada doing features on an interim basis at the network and later granted her a spot on College GameDay, where she works as its features reporter. Lada presents stories every week to the audience that go beyond the gameplay and divulge a bigger picture.

“I always say my job is to make the viewer care about somebody and root for somebody that they might ordinarily not root for or care about,” Lada said. “One of the things that has occurred to me over the last few years is just what a skill is required to do that job well because not only are you preparing questions to ensure that you have all of the details and information, you’re also gathering perspective on what they’ve been through – the adversity and the situation that has led them to where they are now.”

Lada recently found herself in a high school classroom at 8 a.m. sitting with other students taking the ACT standardized test. She had to complete the exam as punishment for finishing last in fantasy football at ESPN Milwaukee this past season. After four hours, Lada emerged from the school and revealed her score this past week on the Jen, Gabe, and Chewy morning show. Hosting the local program alongside Gabe Neitzel and Mark Chmura, she has established chemistry over almost four years in the three-person format discussing hyperlocal topics.

“I try to be conversational,” Lada said. “We don’t lean on stats – obviously, we want to be accurate, and we want to be, again, fair to the subjects we’re talking about, but we try to also just be friends who are talking about what’s going on on any given day on the Milwaukee [and] Wisconsin sports scene.”

In balancing a variety of different roles, Lada has tried to master everything that she is doing, refraining from being content with her abilities. Although working in local radio regularly has been a newer role for her, she has grown into the job and has co-hosts who understand the subject matter and allow her to utilize her strengths.

“I just want to keep learning,” Lada said. “I’m not satisfied with what I’ve done, [and] I’m not complacent about the skills I have. I’m always interested in adding more jobs to the résumé, and I think that in this industry, you’re rewarded for versatility.”

Once College GameDay commences, Lada adds the responsibility of feature reporting on that program to her schedule and continues making appearances across additional ESPN programming. Lada hosted the Friday edition of College Football Live last season and has also filled in as a host on shows such as First Take and SportsCenter. Moreover, she continues to complete projects for SC Featured and is working on a documentary for E:60 scheduled to premiere later in the summer. 

Lada aims to keep showcasing her indefatigable work ethic and passion for the craft without slowing down. Whether it is hosting a podcast, taking part in more panels or writing essays, she is open to exploring new forms of disseminating stories.

“I have a lot of knowledge and experience rattling around my brain, [and] I think the next iteration is figuring out a way to continue passing those experiences on to the next generation.” Lada said. “I don’t ever want to gatekeep the secrets of success – I think that’s selfish – so as I continue to do the media work, I think the next phase for me is figuring out how to pass a lot of these lessons on to future broadcasting generations.”

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Local Radio Advertisers Can Become Experts with Hosted Shows and Interviews

Overall, local radio interviews and talk shows can be a strategic and effective way for a local expert to enhance their business, build their reputation, and connect with the community.

Jeff Caves



Photo of people talking on the radio

When looking for that extra edge for local radio advertisers, packaging radio commercials with an “expert” client-hosted talk show or interviews on your local shows or newscasts can be a game-changer. This strategy can build long-term business relationships with suitable clients, such as lawyers, business accountants, agents, psychologists, or sports handicappers. These professionals can provide valuable editorial contributions to sports and news stations. Of course, the expert must have good communication skills, be comfortable speaking their mind, and be ready to be the face of the business.

The radio commercials can tout the expertise the person has and give a call to action for listeners to move on. You can often find these experts on social media writing blogs or doing a series of vignettes about their business. For these types of clients, engaging in local radio news interviews or hosting a 1-2 hour talk show can enjoy several advantages:

Visibility and Brand Recognition

Visibility and Brand Recognition: Regular appearances on local radio help the expert become a well-known figure in the community. This visibility can lead to increased recognition and brand awareness and is a much faster track than just blogging on social media. Attorney Bill Handel and his ” Handel on the Law” show have created a directory business for Handel.

Public Trust and Credibility

By sharing their expertise and providing timely insights, the expert can build trust and establish credibility with the audience. Being perceived as an expert can enhance any client’s reputation and create top-of-mind awareness needed to lead business categories.

Client Acquisition

Listeners impressed by the expert’s knowledge and demeanor may seek their services. This exposure can lead to new clients who might not have been reached through other forms of advertising and give credibility to the expert who uses social media.

Community Engagement

Engaging with the local community through radio shows helps experts connect with potential clients more personally. This can foster a sense of community and loyalty. Question and answer segments can lead to deeper connections.

Educational Outreach

The expert can educate the audience on various issues, which can empower the audience. An informed audience is more likely to recognize when they need the expert’s assistance and whom to contact.

Stand Out in a Crowd

Stand out in a crowd: Being active on local radio can set the expert apart from competitors who may not use local radio. Often, the local shows or interview segments are exclusive to the expert.

Immediate Audience Feedback

Interacting with the audience through call-ins or live questions provides immediate feedback and allows the expert to address common concerns directly in real-time. The expert can be of service NOW.

Professional Development

Regularly discussing current topics can keep the expert sharp on trends and issues, contributing to their ongoing professional development.


Local radio stations often have a vast network of listeners and other professionals. This can open doors to new professional relationships and opportunities for collaboration. The station also provides a loyal audience who typically don’t follow the expert on social media. But they may start to after hearing the expert.

Overall, local radio interviews and talk shows can be a strategic and effective way for a local expert to enhance their business, build their reputation, and connect with the community.

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