“I think sports radio went through a real ugly, almost pre-teen, period that–thank God–we worked ourselves out of.” – Bruce Gilbert
Bruce Gilbert has heard the best and the worst of sports radio.
And the former ESPN Radio general manager will be there first to tell you, there was a dark time for the format.
But in the ears of the new Senior Vice President of Sports at Cumulus & Westwood One, sports talk is alive and well as a format. That doesn’t mean, though, that the format still isn’t behind the times in a couple of different departments.
Even so, there’s not many more trusted names than Gilbert to break down what is working and what isn’t in the industry. He gets into a lot of that in our discussion.
Check out more of the show notes below to get a feel for what you will hear in this edition of The PASR. I hope you enjoy and, as always, leave a comment to get out anything that this podcast had you thinking along the way.
- How did Bruce get the ‘bug’ for this industry? [1:01]
- Bruce talks about how family holidays were still built around radio discussion. [3:40]
- Sports radio is failing at “selling ourselves.” How do we fix it? [4:53]
- Bruce talks about what social media has done to the sports talk radio format. [6:57]
- How does Bruce feel about phone calls at a sports talk station? [9:04]
- Bruce has a theory as to why phone calls work in the northeast, specifically. [10:28]
- What are the biggest differences in the sports radio industry now compared to when Bruce Gilbert first got started in the biz? [11:56]
- Sports radio’s “Angry White Guy” period. [13:06]
- What will the next “cycle” of sports radio look like? [17:21]
- Why is sports more of a mainstream “social currency” than ever before? [19:41]
- Why is there not enough diversity in sports radio? [21:28]
- What could Bruce do to a station in a week? [23:12]
- What is the biggest mistake programmers are making? [24:47]
- What Bruce finds himself telling hosts over and over again. [26:28]
- How important is self-deprecation? [30:10]
- Bruce’s take on the way ratings are tabulated in radio. [33:20]
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE…
FROM THE GUEST
- Bruce’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Here’s some bonus audio that we left off the podcast just for you junkies. More with Bruce Gilbert.