If you follow me on social media, chances are you’re aware of the upcoming BSM Summit in Los Angeles. The conference takes place February 21-22, 2019 at the Grammy Museum, and I’m excited to be hosting it. Be advised that this event isn’t open to the public. It’s strictly for individuals involved in the media business. Tickets are on sale at a reduced price until November 30th.
What makes this event beneficial for those in attendance, is that it covers issues that are relevant to each programmer, market manager, salesperson, host, production staff, agent, and affiliate rep. Some who aren’t familiar with the summit, make the mistake of assuming that it’s solely focused on programming matters. Although that side of the business receives its fair share of attention, the goal of the event is to arm industry people with information to help them further increase their ratings AND revenue, and to further elevate the performance of the sports media industry.
The two-day event tackles everything from brand building to monetizing digital, the subscription business, media measurement, social media, creative imaging, the rise of sports betting and esports, podcasting and smart speakers, changing advertiser perceptions, and uniting the sports radio industry. In the process, attendees gain an opportunity to learn, form new relationships, and shut down a bar or two if they’re unable to afford a ticket to watch LeBron James and the Lakers take on James Harden and the Rockets.
Another focus of this event is to recognize important people who’ve made significant contributions to the sports media business. We’ve previously announced plans to honor and introduce awards in the name of Emmis CEO and sports radio’s founding father Jeff Smulyan, and veteran national/local sports radio personality Tony Bruno. Two others will be announced in the near future, as will the inaugural recipients of those awards.
What we haven’t done yet though is officially announce some of the people who will be participating on stage at the 2019 BSM Summit. Some industry friends and acquaintances may be aware of some of the details due to learning about them in private Facebook groups or thru email, but since we’re less than four months away from the actual event, I figured it’d make sense to disclose who we’ve lined up to speak.
On that note, I am pleased to announce that in addition to Smulyan and Bruno, Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, Jorge Sedano, and Joe Fortenbaugh have agreed to join us on stage at the event. We’ve also lined up outstanding executives Norm Pattiz of Podcast One, Brian Musburger of VSiN, Bruce Gilbert of Cumulus/Westwood One, and Don Martin of iHeart/Premiere Radio Networks. Also in the room will be talented programmers Mike Thomas of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Mitch Rosen of 670 The Score, Scott Shapiro of FOX Sports Radio, Justin Craig of ESPN Radio, Ryan Maguire and Mike Salk of Bonneville Seattle, Jason Dixon of SiriusXM, Tony DiGiacomo of WFNZ, Chris Johnson of Team 980, Ryan Hatch and Rodney Lakin of Bonneville Phoenix, plus Perry Simon of All Access, Rick Cummings of Emmis, Jacob Ullman of FOX Sports, and a number of market managers, sports media agents, and broadcasting professionals from other areas of the industry.
In addition, I want to share another exciting announcement for this year’s BSM Summit. Thanks to my friends at Westwood One, I’m thrilled to reveal that Eric Bischoff has agreed to join us on stage to provide his views on brand building, content and character development, the podcasting business, and more. During his career, Eric has served as an on-air personality, and behind the scenes wrestling executive. He’s run his own production company with Jason Hervey, creating television shows for VH1 and CMT, and now teams with Conrad Thompson on WW1’s 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff podcast. Under his leadership, Bischoff’s WCW defeated Vince McMahon’s WWE in the ratings for an unprecedented 83 straight weeks. We’ll learn what went into it, and how it applies to competing in today’s sports media environment. I’m looking forward to everyone in the room having a chance to learn from him.
There are other exciting plans in the works which will make the event even better for attendees. When the time is appropriate we’ll share that information on the website. Putting a conference of this magnitude together isn’t easy, and I’ve had a few folks assume this is a big moneymaker for BSM. It’s actually quite the opposite. If we can escape Los Angeles covering expenses, that’s a win.
The reason we created this event in the first place was to bring sports media people together, and help them expand their knowledge of the business. Too often members of our industry don’t leave the friendly confines of their studios. To be in a position where we can give them a reason to do so is rewarding. I’m a firm believer that increasing relationships and doing the right thing eventually pays off. That might be naive thinking on my part, but it’s served me well so far.
If you work in the media business and wish to purchase a ticket, email JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com. To have all of these fantastic people already committed to attending and contributing is greatly appreciated, and it goes a long ways towards making our business better. I wouldn’t be able to deliver a successful show without their support.
In the meantime, stay tuned for further details, and I hope to see you in Los Angeles!