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Selling The $150 Million Format


Sports radio is a $150 million format. It's grown every year for the past 10 years with no signs of slowing down. FMs and AMs alike are going all-Sports as a profitable format, and new sports networks are springing up because of the revenue opportunity. But numbers aren't everything and, unlike many, this format cannot be sold on numbers alone. There is a "secret sauce" to selling Sports radio and a very specific strategic process in an environment with increasing competition, the impact of PPM, and digital expectations.

At Radio Ink's Sports Radio Conference, set for May 14-15 in Miami, Gow Media CEO David Gow will head up a panel on "Strategies to Grow Sports Revenue: Selling Beyond the Numbers." This panel of experts -- see the lineup below -- will give you the play-by-play on how to win the ratings game and, more important, how to translate those numbers into bigger revenue shares.

David Gow is CEO of Gow Media, which owns and operates Yahoo Sports Radio, a national sports radio network heard on more than 375 radio stations, satellite radio, mobile, and other digital media. Yahoo Sports Radio reaches an estimated 5 million listeners each week. Before entering the sports media business, Gow was CFO and then CEO of Before Ashford, Gow was director of corporate strategy for Compaq Computers, and prior to that he was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co.

Bob Cohen is President of Bob Cohen Strategies, LLC
, working with domestic and foreign media, sports and entertainment businesses, research firms, and packaged consumer goods businesses. Before starting his company, Cohen spent 23 years with Clear Channel Communications, including nine years as president and CEO of the International Radio Division. Before moving to corporate, Cohen spent 11 years as VP/market manager for Clear Channel's San Antonio cluster. Earlier in his career he worked in professional and collegiate sports and sports broadcasting; as director of sports sales at WBAP/Dallas-Fort Worth, his responsibilities included the Texas Rangers Radio Network, Dallas Mavericks radio, and Texas Longhorn football. Cohen also spent four years in the NBA with the Kansas City Kings and Dallas Mavericks in various leadership roles along with radio play-by-play and color responsibilities.

Mark Hannon, Market Manager for CBS Radio/Boston, has been in radio in the Boston market for 24 years, starting in sales at WROR in 1989. In the ensuing years, he worked his way through sales management at American Radio Systems and was eventually promoted to general manager of WBMX in 1998. In 2004, he added general manager duties at WBCN & WZLX, and in 2008, he became market manager for CBS Radio Boston, overseeing its five radio stations in the market. Most recently, Hannon has overseen the launches of WBZ-FM(98.5 The Sports Hub) and WODS (103.3 AMP Radio).    

Gary Schonfeld, co-founder and CEO of AdLarge Media, has worked over the years with the NFL, the NCAA on both football and basketball, NASCAR, Indy Car, and Yahoo Sports Radio. He was president of Westwood One Networks from 2008-2010 and of Jones MediaAmerica from 1999 until 2008. Schonfeld founded MediaAmerica in 1987; the company grew to be the largest and most successful radio syndication firm in the U.S. before it was sold to Jones Radio Networks in 1999.

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