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How Sports Podcasting is evolving during uncertain times with Locked On Podcast Network

by John Durham

26 October 2020 18:22pm

With the podcast industry continuing to adapt to the ongoing pandemic, Catalyst SF’s CEO, John Durham, sits down with Locked On Podcast Network’s Founder and CEO David Locke to share his passion for sports while giving insight to how Locked On and the Podcast industry have been able to adapt and evolve during COVID-19.

JD: What is your current day job like?

DL: Usually my day consists of waking up at around 6:30am then I do some meditation and yoga. Then from 7:30-8:30am I focus on gathering information for my podcast by scanning the sports world and thinking about what I will record for that day's podcast. Once the podcast is recorded, I proceed to switch into my CEO role for the company for the remainder of the day. During basketball season, my role as play by play announcer of the Utah Jazz takes my most significant amount of time.

JD: What gets you excited about the podcast movement/ business today?

DL: What is most exciting to see is the ability to give our fans the news and information on their favorite sports team on demand. We know people are fans of a specific team more often than being a fan of a sport. So for us as a company, we are able to deliver podcasts that allow fans to listen in on their favorite teams everyday for only about 30 minutes.

JD: What keeps you up at night?

DL: Back in March when COVID caused businesses to shut down, we were affected by the shutdown of sports. That certainly kept me up at night. It was challenging because we are running a company and that is a lot of responsibility. We have 150 podcasts and I want to make sure we are putting the hosts in a position to be successful every day. To me that means make sure revenue is coming in and making sure their great work is being highlighted and promoted. I want our hosts to be really proud of what they have built with Locked On.

JD: What are some of your personal favorite podcasts?

DL: From a news standpoint I usually listen to NPRs Up First and Axios Today. In the sports world, I really enjoy Zach Lowe and anytime Kevin Pelton is on a NBA podcast.

JD: What has changed in your new world of work? Any big lessons/ observations from COVID 19?

DL: Dealing with COVID seemed to affect the relationship between the company and their employees and that relationship got strained quickly and in some cases damaged that relationship permanently. I am not speaking to Locked On, we were virtual already, but to businesses in general. Now these companies have a damaged culture and the office places are still closed which makes re establishing the company culture very difficult. For Locked On, we are a virtual company which is helpful, but having sports suspended due to COVID was hard on everyone. Learning to adapt has shown in our record setting numbers which represents our hard work and pride in what we produce for our audience. Our hosts need to be very proud with what they have done and how well they have been able to adapt.

JD: How has Megaphone played a role with the Locked On Podcast Network?

DL: Meeting Matt Turk was one of the best connections for Locked On. In terms of Megaphone, what they are doing in the marketplace and the support they offer us is incredible. They are delivering in sales as well as customer service.


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