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Meet The Market Managers: Vinny DiMarco, Good Karma Brands New York
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“How do you even begin to pick a single best syndicated show for NFL talk when it is the lifeblood of all of them?”
Well folks, we survived! We made it through a long, football-less summer. College football gave us everything we wanted in week 1 and now it is time to turn our attention to the NFL.
Arky, Demetri and Garrett are back again to highlight everything and everyone that is great when it comes to the coverage of America’s national obsession. So here is the full schedule for the NFL edition of Countdown to Coverage:
TUESDAY (9/6): Best Local Radio Show
WEDNESDAY (9/7): Best National Radio Show
THURSDAY (9/8): Best Pregame Show
FRIDAY (9/9): Best Insider
MONDAY (9/12): Best TV Broadcast Team
How do you even begin to pick a single best syndicated show for NFL talk when it is the lifeblood of all of them? What are you looking for? What separates any one of them from the field?
Knowledge helps. Entertainment value is pretty important. Being a nationally syndicated talk radio host is like having a stand at Reading Terminal in Philadelphia and trying to stand out for having a great deli selection. If everyone is trying to do the same, you have to really know what you are doing and who you are talking to if you want to make an impression.
Today, Garrett, Arky and Demetri look at the people that do just that. Who takes the same topics everyone else is talking about and creates truly can’t miss content?
THE DAN PATRICK SHOW by Garrett Searight
There aren’t many things The Dan Patrick Show takes seriously. The NFL is one of them. Todd Fritz, better known as Fritzy, is the best booker in the business, and shines during the NFL season. The Dan Patrick Show doesn’t shy away from having on a local beat reporter if a situation or story warrants it.
Also, Dan’s ability to get the best out of each and every guest is spotlighted from September through January. The stories, honesty, and candor he gets guests to speak with is virtually unrivaled. Their weekly guests, in the past, have been top notch as Mike Florio, Chris Simms, Ross Tucker, Albert Breer, and Carson Palmer all bring something different to each show that makes The Dan Patrick Show must-listen to radio during the NFL season.
A lot is made about which programming accesses fun more readily. Honestly, you can’t make this list without it being some part of your lineup. They all do, it’s just your taste. However, when it comes to the seriousness and validity that a show has when it comes the big brand of football, it’s an easy choice for me. Rich Eisen is essentially the midwife of the NFL Network. I don’t really need to say much more about how important this league and sport is to him but I will send you this link of him talking about it recently. Before the mega-boom of the NFL, there was Eisen seeing the future.
I don’t know of a more thorough, thoughtful, driven program that is reminding you daily how king the league has become. Not because of grandstanding, but because he, Rich Eisen, is talking about the topics with you and not at you. He invites conversation and although he won’t get as shrill or even as boastful as some, I really appreciate that about a show. Eisen never had to do that and never will and can still capture your attention. The NFL is primary, but there isn’t a better national show that talks about the league on the dial or the stream.
THE PAT MCAFEE SHOW by Demetri Ravanos
All due respect to Garrett and Arky and DP and Rich, but I mean, come on. How is there any other choice? Pat and the boys balance access with fun. The show gives listeners both the players’ point of view on the stories we’re all talking about and pure joy for the sport the show covers best.
The Pat McAfee Show is the sound of controlled chaos. It is highly structured in terms of what they are going to talk about, but you never know where the conversation is going to go. Do I wish Pat and AJ Hawk asked better questions of their guests at times? Sure, but the interviews, like the rest of the show, sound nothing like anyone else in this format is providing, so who am I to demand they change?

Everyone’s Getting In On Sports Betting, Including The Washington Post
Pat McAfee Joins ESPN’s College GameDay
Everyone’s Getting In On Sports Betting, Including The Washington Post
Producers Podcast: Zac Blobner, 95.3 WDAE
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Forget dipping in a toe, the Post jumped in from the high-dive as they launched Odds Against.
“You wanna bet on that?”
Simple words. A question to some, a challenge to others. But for me, it was a phrase uttered to me out of frustration when I was 13 years old. Little did I know that it would start my love of sports betting. 
My passion began with a simple bet between myself and my gym teacher while I was living in central Indiana. My beloved Kentucky Wildcats were playing that weekend against his alma mater, the Indiana Hoosiers. I loved my ‘Cats, and I talked smack to everyone about them. This was in the aftermath of Rick Pitino leading the Wildcats to the national title the season before. 
Well, my gym teacher was about tired of me telling him how badly Indiana was gonna lose, and how Kentucky was gonna ask him “Hoosier daddy?” on Saturday afternoon. So, down came the gauntlet. If the Wildcats lost, I had to run extra laps the following Monday while my classmates played basketball. If they won, then I’d get an extra slice of pizza for lunch that day. (Yeah, our middle school had Pizza Hut, it was awesome). 
I was all over that bet; until he explained that they had to “cover the number.” I had no clue what that meant. That’s the day I found out how point spreads work. That said, I was still cocky as hell and I took the bet with glee.
I don’t remember the spread, but Kentucky won by 34. I enjoyed the hell out of that pizza. 
More importantly, I enjoyed how it felt to bet on a team and win. I also enjoyed how it felt different to watch a game with something on the line. Not just pride or bragging rights, but to actually have something tangible that I’d either win or lose depending on how a sporting event played out. It was a fun rush, one I’d later come to enjoy even more after college as I began to understand some of the complex math and data that you have to parse through if you want to at least break even in the long run. 
I never got addicted to it, but I can see how that rush could lead to others getting fully sucked in with no way to get out. It’s one of the reasons I’m a big proponent of responsible gaming laws and making sure that minors aren’t targeted. That said, I know that just like with any other vice, the moment it becomes legalized, all bets are off (no pun intended). And with sports betting, the target audience is getting younger every day. 
The Washington Post — the journalistic entity that covers politics and such — decided it was time to chase that demographic last week. Forget dipping in a toe, the Post jumped in from the high-dive as they launched Odds Against. The press release stated that it would be a sports betting series that would provide “predictive analytics, accessible advice and nuanced reporting on the sports betting industry at large” as legalized betting becomes more ingrained in the sports landscape. More importantly, sports editor Matthew Vita went on to say, “Readers, especially younger readers, are looking for coverage that will help them better understand sports betting, and help them bet smarter.”
With newspaper subscriptions lagging and being canceled, I get why The Post would launch such a vertical. Given there are no ties to a sports book sponsor, I don’t even really see any ethical dilemmas with it. That doesn’t make it feel any less weird, however. Give them credit for thinking outside the box on appealing to a younger generation, something many in the media industry are struggling with at the moment.
It’s a big reason why I think Jake Paul’s Betr has a great chance to be successful. Paul and co-founder Joey Levy understand that the average sports bettor is getting younger every day, and Paul’s social media reach will be key to breaking through to that demographic in ways that FanDuel, DraftKings, and other books might not organically be able to replicate. 
In their press release, Paul said, “Micro-betting is the TikTok-ficiation of sports betting and I am excited to bring it to the masses through Betr.” He’s going to do that, with more than 50 million followers across all social media platforms. The app launched last week as a free-to-play service to start, and they’re giving away a branded Jeep Wrangler to someone who accurately predicts whether Thursday night’s opening NFL game will see a run or pass on the first play. 
This is the future of sports betting and sports betting media: a world where older people try to figure out how to appeal to the younger audience–without going too far. The ethical line will be walked right up to, as it is with cigarettes and alcohol, with the hopes of bringing in customers and establishing brand loyalty from the jump. It’s why you see companies moving content off radio and television and onto Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter. It’s the reason what used to be hour-long shows are now two-minute clips. Anything longer than that, and you’ve lost the interest of the audience.
If your goal is to bring in listeners or viewers for your content, it’s proven that sports betting is a great way to do it. One of five American adults enjoys wagering on sports right now, and that number will only grow as states like California and Florida come on-board. It cannot be denied that there will be some ethical questions raised, and it’s up to every person to determine what they’re comfortable with.
All that said, there’s no ignoring the fact that companies and stations need to decide quickly. While one company is deciding if they want to promote sports-betting content to their younger customers, their competitor is already deciding how they want to implement the strategy they’ve laid out. The Washington Post isn’t going to be the first journalistic entity to enter the conversation, and if they’ve indicated there’s no longer a gray area regarding the topic, it’s hard to see why it should stop anybody else. 
Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta run. Dunno why, but suddenly I’m craving some pizza.

Jason Ence resides in Louisville, KY and is fully invested in the sports betting space. Additionally, he covers Premier League and Serie A soccer, college football, and college basketball for ESPN Louisville 680 including serving as the station’s University of Kentucky correspondent, and co-host of the UK football and basketball post-game shows. He can be found on Twitter @JasonUK17 and reached by email at jason.ence17@gmail.com.
Zac Blobner is a big reason behind the success of Ronnie & TKras on WDAE. In today’s episode, he talks about the sports hierarchy in Tampa and how shows deal with teams being great in sports the market doesn’t have a die-hard passion for.
iTunes: https://buff.ly/3A7FJ4a
Spotify: https://buff.ly/3bZ7NgG
iHeart: https://buff.ly/3dB4FrO
Google: https://buff.ly/3JVC5NG
Amazon: https://buff.ly/3STupzF

Brady Farkas is a sports radio professional with 5+ years of experience as a Program Director, On-Air Personality, Assistant Program Director and Producer in Burlington, VT and Albany, NY. He’s well versed in content creation, developing ideas to generate ratings and revenue, working in a team environment, and improving and growing digital content thru the use of social media, audio/video, and station websites. His primary goal is to host a daily sports talk program for a company/station that is dedicated to serving sports fans. You can find him on Twitter @WDEVRadioBrady and reach him by email at bradyfarkas@gmail.com.
For those of us who live outside the northeast, it feels like those that do the hiring of ESPN and FOX talk show talent are still waiting to hear back from Lewis and Clark if anything exists outside their world.
My mom loved watching NBC’s Today when I was a kid. It was almost always on in our house when I was getting ready for school. In fact, it was my primary childhood news source. This is why I remember one day when their lead news story was the New York City sanitation workers strike. Oddly, that had very little impact on a family living in Alabama.
Even as a high schooler, I vividly remember thinking this was probably a major story for the NBC staff that had to dodge trash bags on their way to work like they were in a real life game of Frogger. But for the rest of their audience, the other 330 million Americans, who really cares? There has always been a blind spot with the big heritage media: there is a world outside of New York City. 
Sports television is not exempt from this. FOX Sports was in search of a new morning show to replace First Things First and that search never left Manhattan. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton has launched his 7AM ET show The Carton Show which will feature Carton and a rotating panel of guest hosts. Carton is the second WFAN host to appear on FS1, they launched their network with Mike Francesca’s WFAN show in the afternoons.
Carton’s show will go head-to-head with another show on CBS Sports Network. That show is Boomer and Gio on, you guessed it, WFAN. The show will also compete with ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill and Max, hosted by New Jersey native Jay Williams, former New York Jet Keyshawn Johnson and lifelong New York media personality Max Kellerman. At this point I think we should all at least be entitled to free Mets tickets.
Do not get me wrong, Craig Carton is very talented. If you haven’t observed his career, a few simple facts should convince you of his talent. First, Carton was excelling in mornings on WFAN with Boomer Esiason as his co-host. That run in mornings was brought to an abrupt end by an arrest and conviction of Carton on a securities and fraud charge. After serving 12 months of a three year sentence, Carton walked out of prison and right back to WFAN’s daily lineup.
That, alone, should indicate the regard in the industry for Carton’s talent. If that is not enough, consider the fact that Carton, along with his co-host Evan Roberts, have returned WFAN afternoons to the the once dominant levels of Mike Francesca. Michael Kay’s show on ESPN New York had taken the afternoon ratings lead after Francesca’s multiple retirements.
My question is not about the talents of any of the aforementioned New York media personalities. My question is: if these exact same people had their exact same talent in Denver or Kansas City or Minneapolis, would they be given these opportunities?
Take, for instance, ESPN Radio’s daily lineup. After the trio of New York connections in the mornings, you can continue your day with New York native Mike Greenberg. Greeny is followed by former New York Jet and WFAN host Bart Scott and New York broadcaster Alan Hahn. Following that, catch former New York Giant and ESPN New York host Chris Canty teaming up with former ESPN New York and WFAN host Chris Carlin. I kid you not.
I don’t spend much time listening to ESPN Radio’s daily line-up, as I don’t take the Lincoln Tunnel to get to work. That said, I’m certain I can get my “New York City Weather and Traffic on the Eights” all day long on ESPN Radio. By the way, if New York centric sports talk isn’t your thing, only half of CBS Sports Radio’s hosts are from New York or once worked at WFAN.
For those of us who live outside the northeast, it feels like those that do the hiring of ESPN and FOX talk show talent are still waiting to hear back from Lewis and Clark if anything exists outside their world. New York City is the nation’s top media market, there’s no doubt you have to be immensely talented to thrive there. That doesn’t mean everyone is interested in the New York perspective.
A cynic might suggest these networks have stacked their talk shows with faces familiar to New Yorkers in an effort to shamelessly grab ratings in the nation’s top TV market. I’ve seen crazier things done in an effort to grab ratings but that one would seem rather short-sighted. I think it is more about network executives hiring people they already have comfort with, people they have seen and heard for years already.
Either way, there’s a big world out there. I just wish the New Yorkers would let us hear from it every now and then.

Ryan Brown is a columnist for Barrett Sports Media, and a co-host of the popular sports audio/video show ‘The Next Round’ formerly known as JOX Roundtable, which previously aired on WJOX in Birmingham. You can find him on Twitter @RyanBrownLive and follow his show @NextRoundLive.
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