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Dan Barreiro: I Have To Change Show Open To Preserve Voice, Sound Modern

Over the last decade, teams around the National Basketball Association have adopted the practice of “load management,” which essentially means they intentionally hold a player out of game action to preserve their health, often for a playoff run. The term has become synonymous with all-stars such as L.A. Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden.

Well, the same applies in sports media, which is why the sound of afternoon drive has been a bit unusual as of late on KFAN FM 100.3 in Minneapolis, Minn. On-air host Dan Barreiro has been experiencing vocal fatigue, and did not host Wednesday’s edition of Bumper-to-Bumper with Dan Barreiro to make sure his voice is adequate to host in the long run. After show producer Justin Gaard filled in for Barreiro Wednesday, Barreiro returned to host the show on Thursday, and spoke about his plan going forward to protect his voice.

“I am, I think, improved, but I vowed Gaardie that I’m not going to do the leader open until I’m convinced that I’m about 98% back,” Barreiro said to open Thursday’s show. “I probably have to get more assertive and louder at the open than at any other time in the show except for when I’m yelling, and then it has a deleterious impact [on] the rest of the show.”

As a result, Dan Barreiro announced that his traditional show open, in which he shouts, “Leader FAN Radio Network and” to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s 1971 hit “What’s Going On,” will be altered to conserve his voice in order to be able to host for four hours a day.

“On days where I’m still not sure the voice is all back… we’re just going to do a cold open,” Barreiro said. “It’s okay to do that; it probably isn’t a bad idea to mix it up once in a while.”

While it may have seemed like a disappointment that the show’s open would be altered, Gaard expressed his enthusiasm for the unpredictability and spontaneity it will bring to listeners each day.

“Now we’ve got anticipation for the open every single day,” expressed Gaard. “People are going to have to tune in every day.”

Dan Barreiro, 67, knows that as he grows older, his show needs to become more modern to appeal to newer audience members in today’s crowded media marketplace. He is willing to come up with new, entertaining bits and get “more with it” to make sure that he not only preserves his voice, but also his entertainment value while on-air.

“I like to think that our listeners could not possibly be hoodwinked [into pretending] to be 25 years old…. But maybe that’s what the kids want – I don’t know,” said Barreiro. “That’s what a couple of people have suggested because we’re all aging on the FAN.”

Derek Futterman
Derek Futterman
Derek Futterman is a contributing editor and sports media reporter for Barrett Media. Additionally, he has worked in a broad array of roles in multimedia production – including on live game broadcasts and audiovisual platforms – and in digital content development and management. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks, wrote for the Long Island Herald and served as lead sports producer at NY2C. To get in touch, find him on X @derekfutterman.

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