Over my 23 years in the Sports Talk radio business I have learned so many things about how to make my on-air presentation better and better each year. I work my butt off at it and have had some of the greatest people in our business working with me. And believe me, it is an ever-changing format.
Guys like Gabe Hobbs and Randy Michaels and Bob Agnew, and of course now my new place with guys Norm Feuer and Mike Shepard, along with Joe Tutino have all made a massive impact on why we will always get great ratings. I tell myself: "I have to listen!" That, at times, is a challenge for me but I respect these men and know the great impact they have made in this business.
It?s funny: Radio is a lot like when I played in the NFL. I would ?listen? to coaches like Tom Landry or Jimmy Johnson. They would always say, "Sileo! Shut the f*** up and listen!" ? which I actually may have heard a week ago from Gabe.
But there is another part of our business that I have been able to develop pretty much by myself. It is the ability to connect not only with my audience, who I speak to every morning, but also to my advertisers. My clients are the most important people in my life outside of my family, and most hosts don?t seem to ?get it.? When they say, "That's the sales department?s side," it leaves me bewildered, and I would never want any host who would make a comment like that on any of my shifts.
I tell my clients they have invested in me and my family ? and I mean it. Why would I not treat my stop sets just as seriously as I do my segments? I was disappointed one morning when my ops guy, Mike Shephard, said to me, ?Gee, do you care about the clients?? I told him of course I was, and he responded: ?You sure don't have the same passion you had when you first got here.? Man, was I disappointed to hear that. I fixed it the next day.
And I get it. I'm in a new market with a new show and so many different things to think about. It slipped through the cracks. That can?t happen! Over the years I have seen that most of the great sports-talk guys also have great relationships with their clients. Hell, many hires today are sometimes even predicated on what type of client book a show can bring to a station.
Revenue is key today. People can have the highest numbers in a market but if the revenue is not where it needs to be, the numbers don?t really matter. That's why the host always has to be there for the sales department. Look at the massive turnover in a sales department on a yearly basis. Most clients invest in a good AE and a show. Why not be more part of the sales presentation so if there is turnover in a sales department you are there to pick up the team to help save the client? The host who, in this day and age, says, ?That's not my job,? most likely won?t have a job pretty soon!
My 3 R's: Revenue, Ratings, Results. These equal, as Charlie Sheen would say, winning!
Dan Sileo is a former professional football player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He can be heard during morning drive on San Diego?s The Mighty 1090.
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