Wearing T-shirts and shorts, Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith are sitting in a booth at a brew pub on a Monday afternoon munching on flat-bread pizza and fish tacos. In about 30 minutes, they will add headsets to their ensembles and spend the next three hours talking about sports, pop culture, current events and whatever else pops into their brains. Dozens of devoted fans gathered at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse laugh along. So do thousands listening in their cars, on their computers and on their mobile devices.
Is it any wonder Papadakis and Smith love their jobs?
The smartest guys in sports radio are approaching the end of their ninth year together on “The Petros & Money Show,” or PMS, airing at 3 p.m. daily on KLAC/570. PMS remains as vibrant and entertaining as ever; there’s no other sports-talk radio show quite like it.
How have Papadakis and Smith managed to keep their show so fresh and interesting? I sat down with them before last week’s remote at the BJ’s in Orange to find out. Here’s how part of that conversation went:
Did you know each other before you started working together?
Papadakis: Matt was a sports guy at KROQ. He was friends with the PR guy at Fox, a guy named Dennis Johnson. I knew Matt as a person through D.J. He called me when USC got hot, and they asked me to come on the show, to “Kevin & Bean.”
Smith: They’re always looking for KROQ-style personalities instead of stiff sports guys. I was watching him on Fox, and I’m like, “This guy’s perfect. He’s the perfect KROQ guy to talk USC.”
Papadakis: That’s how we met each other. I would go there and do “Kevin & Bean.” And I had the little show on 1540 (AM). He came and hung out for like an hour (one) day. That’s how we started a friendship. We would text or talk. He was at 570 for a year. Then I came over, and we started working together.
Did you know it was going to work?
Smith: No. We hoped that it would.
Papadakis: We weren’t thrown together. We wanted to do the job. I think that says a lot. There’s a lot of situations in our business where people are like, “Hey, you work with him, make it work.”
Smith: That’s what happened to me there. “You work with Joe Grande, and it’s gonna work.” And that clearly was not happening. So yes, we wanted to work together.
What is it about you guys that makes the show work so well? Is it that you’re on the same intellectual plane? That you have the same sense of humor?
Smith: I just have fun doing the show. That’s really it for me. So many guys go into work, or girls go into work, and they’re just miserable. They watch for the next commercial break; they’re watching the clock to see when the show’s gonna end. I can’t speak for him, but that’s now how the show is. I enjoy doing the show.
Papadakis: When it comes down to it, once the show starts, it’s fun to do for us. It’s work, just like anything is work. (But) there’s a certain way that we put the show together and a certain way that the show works and the way we work off each other and the kind of roles we play, which change all the time.
Did you know you’d be on the same wavelength when it came to pop-culture references, etc.?
Papadakis: No, I don’t think so. But I think the interesting thing about it is, if you go into a show and say, “Well, you’re going to be this guy, and I’m going to be that guy,” I don’t think it necessarily works like that. You might get three years out of that. I think we’ve both changed a lot since the show started. I got married and had a family and moved three times. Matt had another kid right when we started. His kids are growing up. And he lost like 50 pounds. He’s a golfer. Different stuff happens. I think we can continue to relate to each other as that’s changed. We don’t always play the same role. I’m not always the goofiest guy on the show.
Smith: I think we get enough references. I certainly don’t get them all. I think the key is to get enough that you have sort of the same foundation, same sort of reference point, things that we’re interested in. There’s enough there. There’s enough differences too, which is important. That’s the other thing. There’s enough where we’re a lot different from one another.
Papadakis: It wouldn’t be very fun if we were the same.
Can you see doing this together for the foreseeable future?
Papadakis: I don’t want to not do the show.
Smith: I enjoy it. It’s a successful show. We’re compensated fairly. I love coming to work every day. I don’t know what else I’d rather do.
Papadakis: It’s a pretty big part of both of our lives. It’s like another person – the show.
Your show is different than a lot of standard sports-talk fare. You have specific segments geared to “not-sports.” Did you set out to do that, or was it, let’s do the show we want to do?
Papadakis: I think it was natural given both of our backgrounds. It was a natural kind of thing for both of us to do. He had come from KROQ, where the sports were one minute an hour and he had to do that and whatever else they were asking him to do. I came from a sports background, but I’ve always been interested in a lot more than that. It was just a natural thing for us to do. Some sports shows try to force that stuff in, and it doesn’t sound natural.
Smith: There’s a “Not-Sports Report,” but most of that is organic. I’m just thinking about last week when he just lobbed out, “Last time you beer-bonged?” That’s a four-minute conversation that became the highlight of a four-hour show. You get more tweets and more emails and more conversation, because it was just natural; it was in the moment. And when those things happen …
You didn’t know he was going to ask that?
Smith: No. It just came up.
Papadakis: We try not to manufacture (material). We’re pretty comfortable with each other. Like, there’s a bunch of stuff that happened over the weekend that I’m sure he’s going to want to talk about. And vice versa. He doesn’t want to tell me too much about it before the show because we really want an honest reaction.
Smith: In the moment.
I’ve heard that before – that sometimes co-hosts won’t talk to each other much off the air so everything is fresh on the air.
Papadakis: And when you spend four hours a day on the air with somebody, you kind of let your relationship play out on the radio.
Smith: I think the shows that go, “I’ll say this, then you go here and” … we don’t do that.
I’m going to watch the first half-hour just to make sure you actually follow through on that.
Papadakis: Cool. You’ll love it. We promise. Best half-hour ever.
How has Petros changed? As you mentioned, he’s gotten married, had two kids.
Smith: His whole life has changed. When I first met him he was going out to 3-4 shows a week, staying out late, watching concerts. We’d drink after work a little bit, hang out a lot more.
Papadakis: I still eat late at night. But now alone.
Smith: Now, we’re probably a lot more similar. We have similar schedules. We have children to take care of.
Papadakis: I understand a lot more of what Matt was like. He’d have to get all this work done right when he got to work. I’d want to talk about everything and gossip about people. He’d want to type. He couldn’t work at home like I could because he had kids hanging (on him). When you’re a bachelor, it’s hard to realize that. I recognize it now.
Smith: But professionally, I don’t think much has changed.
Papadakis: We’re still excited about what’s happening, the show and what’s going on. He just got skinny. He got so skinny that his wedding ring flew off at the Bicycle Casino. We were (crawling) under poker tables to find it. He got so skinny that it made me feel fat. Fatter.
It’s always good when one guy is …
Papadakis: To have a fat guy and a skinny guy? I’m so happy to be the fat guy.
Read more of this article at the OC Register where this was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM
An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.
WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.
The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.
Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.
Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.
Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.
WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.
Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5
Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.
Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.
Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.
She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”
Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.
“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5. “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable. He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”
Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio? That it’s interactive. Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent. And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”
Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video
“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”
The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.
“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.
“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.
During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.
Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.
“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”
Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.