Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are the author’s alone.
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With Super Bowl 52 sure to be an epic mix of sports, business and media, the timing’s right to check out a podcast at the intersection of all three — the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.
You’ll enjoy this robust podcast if you’re fascinated by sports’ personalities, broadcasting, and financial issues — as much if not more than — what happens between the lines. And if you think that sports journalism and entrepreneurism are mutually exclusive, read on.
The SI Media Podcast delivers the sports landscape through interviews with the industry’s biggest players — a blend of notable broadcasters, writers, network executives and thought leaders.
A few of this podcast’s overarching and recurring themes that entrepreneurs can appreciate:
- There are no overnight successes. Successful long-term broadcasters follow similar paths to entrepreneurs: They start small, catch a break and put in long hours over years. Particularly insightful from the SI Media Podcast are the stories of Verne Lundquist, Kevin Harlan, Mike Francesa and Doris Burke, the first full-time female TV analyst for NBA games.
- Change and disruption are constant. Businessinsider.com reported in September 2017 that ESPN had lost 13 percent of its subscribers from 2011-2017, in part to consumers’ changing viewing habits and to new competitors. To learn how the media giant has responded, listen to round table discussions featuring author James Andrew Miller and writer John Ourand of SportsBusiness Daily. Also highly recommended is a conversation with Erika Nardini, CEO of digital upstart/disrupter Barstool Sports.
- Resilience is everything. Setbacks happen, and unexpected health is an obstacle to overcome. Listen to ESPN’s Holly Rowe discuss her return to broadcasting and support from her peers following a battle with cancer, or, best-selling author Mitch Albom’s will to resume his career after the passing of his adoptive Haitian daughter, Chika.
- Reinvention and innovation are the silver lining of transition. Sports journalists have responded to corporate layoffs by creating their own paid-subscription content services online, allowing them to re-deploy their legacy skills and contacts. These innovators specialize in both local and ad-free content to inform their subscribers both here and abroad. They use bootstrapping and venture capital, just like start-ups in other industries. Learn more about his topic by listening to episodes about The Athletic, Paul Kuharsky and the Boston Sports Journal.
Name: SI Media Podcast
Host: Richard Deitsch (pronounced dye-tch)
Source: Sports Illustrated
Genre: Sports media, personalities, journeys and challenges
Motto: The Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features intriguing conversations with interesting people about sports media
Length: Up to 90 minutes
History/In the Can: 150-plus recordings
Format: One-on-one interviews and roundtable discussions about current industry events, trends, transactions and contracts
What can be learned: Sports media is undergoing tremendous change, much the same as — but later than — many familiar industries. Learn how leading authorities are responding to these changes, and even creating new opportunities.
Where to start: Any of the episodes noted above, or, scan the program’s listings for a favorite sport, topic or personality that intrigues you.
Have a favorite podcast? Let me know by leaving a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Byron Ginsburg provides content writing, media outreach and marketing consulting services to individuals and organizations seeking to raise their visibility, recognition and revenue.