1-Local sports radio should be local.
While there will always be times where national stories and stories from other markets will be interesting to listeners in the Baltimore area, local sports will remain a priority. I will almost always find anything that happens at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 1 Winning Drive, M&T Bank Stadium, Comcast Center, Byrd Stadium or one of the local college venues absolutely as significant if not more significant than anything happening anywhere else.
It’s not a perfect science. On Wednesday, I found the Miami scandal uncovered by Yahoo! Sports to be as interesting as some of the storylines that came out of the Steve Bisciotti Fan Forum Tuesday night.
That being said, I have always been bothered by sports talk hosts that like to tell you about their favorite teams or the teams they grew up watching despite the fact that they work in another market.
I don’t care. I want local sports. I think you do too.
If you want something else, I get the feeling I won’t be where you turn.
2-Local sports radio should be sports-related.
You might think to yourself, “Didn’t I hear Bill Cosby on your show Wednesday?” How can you be serious?
I believe it is important for sports talk radio in every form to be based in sports talk. If you didn’t like sports, you probably wouldn’t be listening.
That being said, we’re all human. There are other things we enjoy. While chatting with Bill Cosby Wednesday, we shared stories about the Baltimore Colts, the Philadelphia Eagles and more. There will rarely be times when an entire segment/interview is dedicated to something outside of sports. I just don’t think it’s appropriate for our format.
Often sports-related topics reach outside the world of sports. During the offseason, Baltimore Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo publicly showed support for gay marriage rights in an appearance on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines.”
While the news story warranted discussion, the discussion of whether or not gay marriage is okay is not appropriate for local sports radio. The discussable topic was Ayanbadejo’s decision to voice support and what it means for him as a NFL player.
It’s an important distinction that regularly plays out in sports-related conversation. We listen because we love sports, so our interest should be reflected.
3-Local sports radio should be good radio.
As Program Director at WNST, I’ve often asked the hosts and producers I’ve worked with to ask themselves something along the lines of “is this worth listening to?”
When I was chatting with Bill Cosby Wednesday, I definitely felt like the answer was “yes.”
While it is key to discuss local topics that are sports-related, it is imperative that the product delivered is desirable for the audience.
It will always be my goal as I move forward in my new role.
I will remain a fan of Drew and will look forward to listening to him and Luke Jones every morning. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Luke work with the morning show and serve as our full-time Ravens reporter moving forward. He will do an outstanding job in both roles.
I am also looking forward to continuing my relationships with members of the WNST community. I have always said I believed I was no different than anyone in the WNST community (with maybe the exception of Rick in Reisterstown), but instead I was just one of the members in the community with a microphone in front of me.
You guys know who you are. You listen to AM1570 WNST. You interact with us at WNST.net, in “Purple Haze”, “Orange Crush” & “Turtle Power” chats. You comment on Facebook and reply on Twitter.
You’re Baltimore sports fans who care passionately about this area and these teams. You enjoy chatting with other authentic fans and not phonies whose interest is based merely in a paycheck.
I’m grateful for each and every one of you and I’m looking forward to chatting with you every afternoon.