Sandi Bergman, whom Michael Harrison describes as being “a dynamic rising star among today’s crop of media brokers,” is president/CEO of RadioTVDeals.com – an innovative website dedicated to bringing media outlet buyers and sellers together – and MyMediaBroker.com, a leading edge New Mexico-based national media brokerage firm. An experienced radio station owner/operator in her own right, Bergman served as president/CEO of Bergman Broadcasting Company, Inc, licensee of KSEL-AM and KSEL-FM, Portales, NM and RICKochet Communications, Inc., licensee of KSMX FM, Clovis, NM, from 1994-2002. In 1997, Bergman was recognized by the Small Business Administration as a finalist for “Small Business Person of the Year.” She is actively involved in the National Association of Media Brokers (NAMB). The following Talkers Interview was conducted by Michael Harrison.
SANDI BERGMAN: “You can sell a sports package for $200 with 40 spots ROS or a $300 package with 60, and give them two spots in all the games.” That was the sum total of education I received on the topic of “how to sell radio advertising” when I was handed the keys to KSEL AM & FM in Portales, NM. Fortunately, I am a quick learner!
Barring a small panic attack the night before we closed (I realized I didn’t even know how to operate the Marti unit), I was able to make it to the closing table, all for the love of radio.
However, getting into the business to begin with was “tricky”, to say the least.
There was no “sugar daddy” involved to help us get started. With seller financing, my dad did agree to allow us to mortgage his home in order to come up with the down payment. No capital was available to pay the first month’s expenses so I approached many of the existing advertisers to ask them to pre-pay the first month. Surprisingly, no one turned me down. That meant we had to practically double up on sales the following month to stay ahead in the game. Not an easy feat. We did it, and we lived to tell the story! Within a year we were able to secure an SBA loan to purchase a dark 100kW stick and put it on the air (KSMX-FM). It turned into a winner for us.