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Monday, March 9, 2015

How To Coach Sports Talk Talent


If you run a sports station you probably know it's a tough task dealing with talent at times. The successful ones can be very opinionated. At the Radio Ink Sports Radio Conference in Dallas, consultant Scott Masteller led a panel about coaching Sports Talk talent. Masteller was joined by Weiss Agency VP Heather Cohen, WEEI Brand Manager Kevin Graham, XTRA-San Diego PD Brian Long, and Ryan Maguire, PD of KDKA-Pittsburgh. Here's what they had to say.

Long told attendees that coaching isn't just a thing, it's everything. Great coaching is what sets talent apart. It isn't only air checking, it's about creating a link to your talent. "Talk to them about their lives. Coaching is about creating great communicators, and opening them up to tell their stories." So what did the others have to say?

Maguire noted that being a great talent coach is about being "part boss, part coach, part shrink and part pal." Maguire said that it's important to find a way to reach out to your talent as individuals. It's the most fun and most difficult part of the job. Building equity and trust (with your talent)." Cohen says mentoring is everything and it's important to manage expectations. "Part of that includes protecting your talent. Good managers protect their talent from dust-ups, and yes, even sales."

WEEI Brand Manager Kevin Graham has worked with some of the most high-profile talent in Sports/Talk. He says being able to relate to your talent, to "your guys," is an absolute necessity. "Your talent needs the support to win. You have to help your talent to understand that you are there to help them with, to help them get ratings."

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