Experts on Sports Radio Demo Tapes

A client asked me recently what a sports-talk-radio audio demo package should look like. Certainly I have my preferences, but that doesn’t mean that other programmers don’t have different preferences. So I asked some of the best and brightest (and Justin Craig) in the industry and here’s what they had to say.

Pete Gianesini, Director, Radio Programming at ESPN says “send an authentic representation of your show/approach. That’s it,” while Jason Barrett, program director at 95.7 The Game in San Francisco prefers an unfiltered look at talent.  “Send unedited demos, no best-of stuff.”

Jason Wolfe, Chief Content Officer agrees. “I don’t look for highlight reels” the former WEEI star writes, “too easy to make the person look good. Unedited demos are best.”  Larry Gifford, a longtime programmer and consultant adds “tell stories. Develop topics. Be personally vulnerable/aware. Be unique.”

For me, I like a one page web stop for everything: sound, resume, etc. I like a 3-minute demo reel with multiple types of radio content along w examples of full shows. If you like, you can use SoundCloud (as Matt Perrault did) to create an online demo for free! With that said, I want to hear examples of fun, insight, big opinions, smart interviews, and more fun. I also want to see a resume that spotlights achievements, and what you can do for us, not a laundry list of stars interviewed. Oh, and also, write a cover letter that shows that you actually read the ad. Believe it or not, the listing probably was written in a way to find the right type of talent for the particular project.

NOTE: A recruiter friend had a great piece of advice for cover letters; “use their ad to re-write your cover letter.” This means that if they put something in their ad, you should hone your letter to reflect it.

Oh, and last but least, my “friend” Justin Craig, PD, ESPN NY 98.7 is insightful and mean-spirited. Hurtful, even.

  1. Unedited, straight forward content that best previews what the candidate is all about. Focus should be on personality.
  2. No more than 3 minutes per sample.
  3. An interview with a timeliness aspect. (Meaning being newsworthy now, not from more than 6 months ago).
  4. Ideally something that doesn’t include Owen Murphy on it.
Why I oughta…