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Our blog series on our radio show hosts has returned. This time, we’re bringing the story to you from the football field—broadcasting from the box at the Raymond James Stadium. Not really, but sports are on the agenda this week. We got on the phone with Bert Mort, host of Sports Matters, to hear his story of podcasting as well as the stories you don’t hear on the air. Tune in!
Sports from up North to Sports down South
Bert Mort grew up in New York and was eventually a transplant to Florida like so many of us over time. Sports was always a passion of his from his childhood and stayed strong through school and college. The radio also grabbed his attention. When Bert was listening to the radio, he found it more interesting to conjure an image of the person speaking than to know that person’s face. Eventually, the idea of speaking into the microphone rose to the top of his mind.
Bert Mort, Pseudo Student
Bert came to work in radio and landed a job at Niagara University. The way the job came to fruition was quite interesting. Bert lied and told the faculty he was a student there. The lie was necessary so Bert could broadcast on the air from the college’s in-house radio station. In the beginning, Bert and the rest of the “student staff” attended meetings where the professor in charge of the radio station realized he was not a student. Professor bent and let him stay, luckily. It was such a slick move in order to do something he enjoyed. Bravo Bert! Niagara University gave Bert the confidence and skills to speak on the air.
Now, fast forward 24 years. Then a lot of things happened in that time including a move to Florida. He met his wife, and they went on a lot of dates. Eventually, they married and settled down. The two of them raised two daughters named Bri and Lindsey. They all became much more tan and nicer while living in Florida—something about the South does that.
Hey, Go Peeve Yourself!
Bert first learned about Life Improvement Radio and the studio from his eldest daughter, Bri. Bri had her own show with a friend of hers named “Go Peeve Yourself.” The show was a comedic rant-style show about things that got under your skin. The hosts loved it, then some rocky things happened and the show was no longer aired. As it turned out, one day Bri came home and asked her dad, “So you want a sports show on the radio?” The answer was pretty simple for Bert, “Uh, yeah!”
He went into the old Life Improvement Radio studios and met with Erik, our producer, and founder. As Bert started out, it became a learning curve wherein the airtime was not filled with one topic. He prepared and got through 60 minutes of content in 27 minutes. Between the two of them, they realized a half hour show was best.
You’re Live With Sports Matters
Erik then pushed him to do a live show. Bert expressed strongly by his tone that the thought of live radio was terrifying. Dead air, long pauses, and lack of consistency were his main concerns. Thinking and speaking coherently on live radio while hundreds and thousands of people are listening can be nerve-wracking. Bert compared it to calling into terrestrial radio and giving your quick two cents to the local AM/FM station. “You can hear people listening and you don’t want to stammer, stutter or mix up your thoughts,” Bert said. Through trial and error, Bert learned its better and easier to not fully prepare. Rambling on a starter topic will lead the conversation thoroughly. More often than not, Sports Matters has to be cut short to fit in the now hour-long time slot.
Speaking of time slots, one struggle Bert faced over the years was finding the perfect time slot. At first, Sports Matters aired at Fridays at 1 pm. More people listened live at that time before the weekend. The second airtime he and Erik moved it to Mondays was 6 pm for a 90-minute show. Often times, that slot ran long and, in some extremes, hit the two-hour mark. Now that Bert has recently crossed the 200th episode and 5-year mark, Sports Matters airs Wednesday at 12 pm.
Down the road, Bert wishes to duct tape Erik in the closet and reinvent the Life Improvement Radio studio. With the right equipment, Bert said he could easily mix in video clips and sound clips from sports history. He could also be free to call local sports agents. Being virtual now makes that quite difficult, unfortunately. Nonetheless, Bert is not giving up. Speaking of not giving up…
To any of our readers, if you hear of Taylor Swift coming to town or know of her whereabouts, please contact us! Bert desperately wants to meet her. He says he’s her biggest fan, LOL!
Lastly, this blog on Sports Matters is brought to you in no way, shape or form, by our friend Mary Trombitas of Targeting Leadership … absolutely no way whatsoever.
Thank you for your attention!
Written by: #HeliumRadio