but nobody ever said this was going to be easy. As a matter of fact, it’s a tough competition and a tough field.
There are less than 4,000 people making a living being involved in sports media and sports media branding in America. Probably less than that but I’m being generous even to the many who make a few bucks on the weekends as a stringer or part-timer somewhere.
Percentage wise, think of how many plumbers, autoworkers and factory people and doctors, lawyers and insurance sellers this country has in the workforce. There aren’t a whole lot of industries where the entire scope in a field of a Top 25 American community is about 30. In Baltimore, there are about 30 people who make a living being a sports “journalist” or involved in selling their personal brand in the local media. In an area of roughly 2.5 million, I can’t think of more than 100 who are even tied to sports media locally if you eliminate the employees of the franchises and universities.
This is a VERY specialized business and the further along I get down my 27 years of doing this the more I respect the fact that not any hobo on a barstool with some trivia answers is equipped to do this as a professional and feed their families. I remember when Keith Mills scoffed at it when WJZ-TV did a similar competition in 1988 and I was a contestant.
If you want to laugh at me, here’s a link from my failed 1988 run at being a WJZ TV sportscaster.
Chris Berman scoffed and howled when ESPN would do “tryouts” as a “star search.”
But for WNST.net, it’s the only serious and credible way we can find Baltimore sports experts who want to turn a passion into a career with earning potential.
In the eyes – and ears — of many Baltimore sports radio listeners, we have a hired a lot of people and made them “stars.” And with WNST.net now entering it’s 15th year in existence, we’ve never had a truly “successful host” or personality leave WNST because none of them ever had sponsors who were loyal to that host and financially supported their timeslots.
And make no mistake about it, sponsors make the Baltimore sports media universe go around. They pay the bills via your community’s support of their business.
This is a fundamental core policy for WNST.net and all of our competitors. We all seek to prove audience and then sell that audience reach and awareness to local businesses for promotional consideration. It’s the money that feeds Peter Schmuck and Mike Preston at The Sun, Gerry Sandusky and Pete Gilbert at WBAL and any number of former radio hosts of mine at CBS Radio.
Here’s a fundamental truth if you aspire to be a sports media host in Baltimore (or any other market in America): you MUST positively affect sales and business and commerce or you will not survive. And the first thing you need is a passionate, focused and loyal audience.
WNST.net – as entity – exists and thrives because we have accomplished this over the past 20 years of building our community with facts, unique content, qualified hosts and unrivaled resourcefulness, hustle and passion.
Not to mention loyal sponsors who helped launch WNST.net and also battled through the financial struggles of the last five years with a flailing local and national economy.
At WNST.net, make no mistake about it, our sponsors were greatly injured during the depression of 2008-2011 and we certainly had many bruises from the injuries suffered to many of our partner businesses and their employee base.
But, we’re still here and thriving and growing and have now found you here reading this because our employees outwork and out-information our competitors in Baltimore sports media. And, honestly, if you can work in our group and survive then you are among the elite in Baltimore sports media because our bar is far higher than anywhere else in the marketplace.
And time and the sheer size of our provable audience via the internet has leveled the playing field for what WNST.net will represent moving forward in a new media universe of measurement where we win virtually every battle in the emerging digital world via your mobile device.
Here are the cold hard facts of media and local sports sponsorship in 2012: If you can’t help local businesses make money and garner new customers then you won’t be staying in this business long and you won’t be behind a microphone or feeding your family doing this at WNST.net or anywhere else that plans to expand their business over the next decade in a flailing and ever-changing economy.
If you want to be the best in this Baltimore sports media industry you have to have a sense for business and understand that radio shows and websites need to garner an audience, stimulate business and