NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- From time to time, I like to pull back the curtain.For almost as long as I have been alive, I have worked in some form of media, primarily radio, print and now online. With a few exceptions, I have been part of operations with audiences comprised largely of affluent, 25-to-54-year-old men, but also a significant number of fellows in the 55-to-64-year-old "demo" and a growing number of 18-to-34-year-olds, as well as women. Working primarily in sports and finance over the years, I have discovered the best way to serve these audiences is to deliver on the promise to bring them the most compelling core content. In other words, if you do sports and you're in New York, your audience needs to know that, come Monday morning, you'll be talking Jets and Giants during football season. And doing it well, which, of course, means different things to different people. From a business and finance standpoint, I believe TheStreet ( TST) delivers on this promise as well now as it ever has. And, most important, we continue to evolve and improve. While I can't speak for TheStreet as a company, it has always been my personal philosophy to find out what other areas move your audience. Because sports and finance audiences overlap they tend to share some common interests outside of sports and finance. Often, folks who love finance also love sports and vice versa. We tend to care about our kids, tech, food, sex, cars, music, some pop culture and, for many, beer. I worked in sports radio during a time when the format was transitioning from all-sports to something programmers called "Guy Talk." WIP in Philadelphia was one of the first to commit to this philosophy and generate meaningful ratings with it. Now, it's commonplace. The idea is that your core audience comes to you for sports, but they also care about other things -- such as those listed above -- so, in order to build a bond between your organization and that audience, you need to cover those areas. But not only cover them, live and breathe them as much as you live and breathe sports or, in TheStreet's case, finance. In the best cases, it just sort of happens.
Example number 1, of how the street has degraded RT @TheStreet: How to Handle the Fashion Offender in the Workplace http://t.co/Va99fanShb— Nick Berardi (@nberardi) August 28, 2013I never have been able to comprehend the notion that you somehow hurt your credibility as a "news and information" outlet focused on business and finance if you branch out into other areas your audience cares about. I mean, who hasn't discussed the girl "showing too much cleavage" or the guy dressed like Rico Suave around the office. We're humans, not high-frequency trading machines. We also live in a time where a fair bit of public discourse obsesses over exactly what is journalism and, pursuant to that, the perceived death of journalism. It's at the meaty intersection of those debates where I believe TheStreet's beer stories matter. I could have picked many other areas, but beer is on my mind. Part of this discussion laments the use of lists and slideshows as "click bait." More than once BuzzFeed, Huffington Post or Business Insider has likely disappointed you with a must-click headline followed, sadly, by a story that doesn't deliver on the hype. There's little content of value beyond the overstated title of the article. That's a problem. And I'm not merely pointing fingers because, there's no doubt, we have, at one time or another, been guilty of the same thing.