‘Just go for it’: Calgary sports journalists find new opportunity through podcasting

Podcaster: Ryan Pinder sits in the Aldred Centre at SAIT on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. Pinder is a co-host of the Barn Burner podcast. (Photo by Kale Crisp/SAIT)

Journalism is constantly evolving.

One such evolution is the popularity of podcasts. This internet-based method of distributing audio can cater to any topic you can imagine, from cooking to shopping to cars, or whatever it may be. This trend has some journalists leaving traditional media outlets to start podcasts and bet on themselves.

That includes Ryan Pinder, Rhett Warrener and Dean Molberg, who left Sportsnet Radio Calgary in July 2022, and launched a podcast three months later, called Barn Burner.

“I could have either gotten the same amount of money every two weeks until Sportsnet fired me, or I could take a risk and leave now,” said Pinder of the decision.

Their coverage usually revolves around the Calgary Flames.

“People now have cars where your cell phone connects as soon as you sit down,” said Pinder.

Podcasts are typically subscription-based and as of 2023, the most listened-to show in the world is The Joe Rogan Experience, according to Spotify’s podcast charts.

Some podcasts need help generating revenue, with most of that coming from advertising and sponsorships. Viewership and listeners are essential, but if you use Spotify, that doesn’t get you far.

Only some podcasts have the luxury that Barn Burner does. As a result of their earlier success on the radio, the hosts of Barn Burner have been able to generate revenue due to their high listenership and brand recognition.

They are also finding new ways to be creative. 

“On the radio, we were doing only audio, and now we’re doing video, too,” said Pinder. “Because we’re on YouTube, we are developing a connection with the fans we didn’t have before.”

Newspapers and magazines are struggling in today’s society because of the technological advancements the world has made. Nowadays, even television is going in a different direction. Similar to podcasts, you can choose the streaming service based on your interests. Many find cable television to be unnecessary thanks to the availability of streaming services. 

As streaming services are taking over television from cable, podcasts are becoming a preferable creation space to radio.

“I find radio to have a higher barrier for entry,” said SAIT radio, television and broadcast news graduate Lionel Seaward. “Anyone with a microphone and a computer can start a podcast.”

Not many podcasts make it big, but it can be an excellent alternative to radio, for both the hosts and the listeners.

“If you’re passionate about a particular topic, just go for it, and if you work hard enough at it, the results will come, and with that comes success,” said Pinder.

Podcaster: Ryan Pinder sits in the Aldred Centre at SAIT on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. Pinder is a co-host of the Barn Burner podcast. (Photo by Kale Crisp/The Press)


About Kale Crisp 3 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Kale Crisp is working as a writer for The Press in 2024.