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Sports Radio Chatter

Twitter - Good and EvilLast night, I curled up in my leather chair with my iPad and an icy, cold beverage and participated in my first ever twitter chat.

And I liked it.

Every Wednesday night (10p ET/7p PT), sports radio hosts, producers, board ops, reporters, programmers and fans across the country are turning to twitter to chat about industry trends, new media, good guests, and share good practices, observations and tips.

Hmmm. Let’s sit with that for a second.

There’s a thought: use the power of twitter for good, not evil.

I think it is awesome that there is a weekly gathering of sports radio pros who help build each other up instead of tear each other down. And that is Chadd Scott’s intention behind the sports radio chats (#srchat), which started on May 8 with over 50 people participating.20130515104946_Chadd_for_web_ba

“I didn’t want it to be a bitch-fest. I didn’t want it be, ‘I wish I had more air time,’ or, ‘this show sucks,’ or, ‘this show should be national’, or ‘this guy doesn’t deserve a show.’ I wanted it to be positive, productive and respectful.” And it has been.

Scott, Assistant Program Director of 1010 XL in Jacksonville and former producer of The Herd with Colin Cowherd at ESPN Radio, told me on the Radio Stuff podcast, “I hope this connects sports radio professionals, brings them together, and serves as almost a fraternal organization or somewhere we can all go to meet each other and exchange ideas.”

owen-murphyScott hosts and moderates the weekly chats with KIRO Radio producer and “Steal This Idea” blogger Owen Murphy, who lives across the country in Seattle. They use the hash tag #SRCHAT, which you can access for past chats. One of the guys will throw out a question which is labeled “Q1” and anybody can chime in with a response by beginning “A1.”

It’s easy. Here’s a snippet of what went down last night.

Chadd Scott‏@ChaddScott15h Q1: How important is FM distribution to ratings success in sports radio? #srchat

Owen Murphy‏@TalkRadioOwen15h A1: FM distribution is huge, but AM shd not be dismissed. FM has much larger potential audience, but AM can win when combined w pxp #srchat  

Amanda Gifford‏@AmandaLGifford15h A1. Certainly doesnt hurt, but people find good content no matter where it is. Ask Rush Limbaugh. #srchat

Chadd Scott‏@ChaddScott15h A1: FM distribution is CRITICAL to ratings success in sports radio, especially for new stations, especially w/ younger demos #srchat  

Ingram Smith‏@IngramSmith15h @ChaddScott A1: content will always win – but the strength of FM signal, in particular when the sun goes down can not be understated #srchat

Owen Murphy‏@TalkRadioOwen15h A1: There are some markets where nearl 80% of the audience ignores AM. This makes MLB pxp a game-changer if you have AM stick. #srchat

The Gentleman Masher‏@GentlemanMashr15h @ChaddScott depends on the market. Good content will trump & streaming will eventually make it irrelevant. #srchat

Owen Murphy‏@TalkRadioOwen15h Hey @AmandaLGifford A1: A station needs marketing budget and q-rated hosts to win quickly on AM, as many listeners never visit #srchat  

Heath Cline‏@heathradio15h @ChaddScott FM’s huge. Competitor loves to tout their AM signal’s strength. Only people hearing it are 50 – we crush them on 40k FM. #srchat

Larry Gifford‏@Giffordtweet15h #srchat a1 fm distribution is where 80%+ of the audience is but AM listeners listen 4ever. WFAN will feel pinch when CBS takes AM 660

Sports MBA‏@SportsMBA15h As a consumer, Im one of those. RT @TalkRadioOwen: A1:markets where nearl 80% of the audience ignores AM. #srchat

Larry Gifford‏@Giffordtweet15h #srchat a1 content is king, but when majority of audience doesn’t visit AM you’re only the tallest dwarf.  

Owen Murphy‏@TalkRadioOwen15h A1: As w anything, it’s all about execution, budget and having great pxp partnerships, while poorly planned FM can stagnate. #srchat

Colleen Wall‏@ColleenWall14h A1: Since quality can be better on FM, that’s attractive to listeners. I tune to ESPN NY more often now that its switched to FM #srchat

Wells Guthrie‏@WellsESPN105114h A1: In small-mid size markets FM signal is vital. In large markets AM signals are more than enough. #srchat

You can read the entire #srchat transcript here. It’s exciting to me that smart people in radio are joining forces for the power of lifting the industry instead of tearing each other apart. It’s a trend I’m seeing more and more of and liking (see: Hivio. ) And the great thing is that anybody can set up a hashtag and a chat whenever you want. Do it. Invite your peers. Share ideas. Learn from each other. Lift each other up.

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