There is a reason we don’t associate the city of Houston, Texas with freezing temperatures and winter storm conditions. It typically doesn’t come close to resembling Antarctica in H-Town.
Well, things changed in a dramatic way last week as the city was ravaged by a storm that left millions of people without power or water for days. The focus shifted from the future of quarterback Deshaun Watson to simply finding ways to stay warm and eat.
SportsRadio 610 program director Armen Williams describes the week in specific detail. He tells some remarkable stories about how his staff worked through the storm. They basically double as the SWAT team of sports radio. I think Sean Pendergast might be on the 2022 US Olympic Cross Country Team and my money is on John Lopez continuing to broadcast through the Apocalypse.
Armen also talks about how the community rallied together — even during a pandemic — to help each other out. SportsRadio 610 provided some much-needed support for Kids’ Meals Houston. It isn’t a surprise that Entercom Houston was able to assist considering its Community Impact Report states they helped raise over $18 million dollars for the area in 2020. The tales of one wild week are below. Enjoy.
Brian Noe: Did your station lose power or go off the air at all?
Armen Williams: No, our engineering team at Entercom Houston is incredible. They always rise to the occasion during crisis and this one was no different. All of our stations were on the air the entire time during the storm. We have a backup generator and we never lost power at the radio station.
BN: Was that rare in the area?
AW: You know, I don’t know. I was so focused on my own station. I heard of other stations going off the air for a couple of days, but I haven’t confirmed it. We were just so focused on trying to stay on and take care of our own staff that I’m not really sure honestly what the radio landscape across the board looked like during those few days.
BN: For anybody that doesn’t live in that area, how would you describe what the weather crisis was like for Houston?
AW: They’re calling it the worst winter storm this area has seen since ’89, maybe ‘82. It’s the coldest, iciest winter storm we’ve had in over 30 years. The city and this area just aren’t made for that. Our houses aren’t built for that. We’re just not equipped to withstand that. As a program director, my number one goal during these times is to make sure that we’re on the air and putting together a good product. But in a rare time like this — there was a moment maybe Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning — I flipped the script. I thought to myself for one of the first times in my career, the on-air content today is not my top priority. I’ve got to make sure that all of my employees are staying warm, have a roof over their head, have food to eat, and if they don’t, how do I get somebody to them?
Probably by Tuesday afternoon, we had the majority of our employees without power, most of them without water. Only one person on our SportsRadio 610 staff had electricity throughout. Everyone including myself lost it at some point whether it was for one day or four days. We got to a point where it was just more important to make sure that everyone was in a spot that was safe and sustainable for the week.
One of our guys has three young kids — six and under — and they didn’t have power or water for four days. Our focus is turning to people like that. I’ve got to tell you that the listener behavior reflected that too. Monday was Presidents’ Day and on a national holiday you always have minimal listening. Tuesday, according to streaming numbers, was comparable if not lower than Monday and it kept going down until late in the week. That tells you too that the entire city wasn’t worried about whether or not their local sports station had a signal. The entire city was all in survival mode trying to take care of their families just like we were.
You’re taking your family and you’re all sleeping in your bed together just to help each other stay warm. You’re all going downstairs to the fireplace and everyone is just sitting around the fireplace for hours and hours, for days and days, until the power comes back on. You’re trying to find whatever non-perishable goods you might have in your pantry because at that time we couldn’t go anywhere. We couldn’t even pull out of our driveways, most of us, because they were iced all the way down.
BN: Who were some of the people from your station that were in a bad spot due to the weather?
AW: I am just so proud of the effort that the guys put into wanting to keep the radio station on for the community of Houston for those that were able to listen. Sean Pendergast in the mornings walked over two miles each way in weather below 20 degrees. He busted out his old ski jacket. He was walking in starting around four in the morning. The power is out, so it’s pitch-dark outside. The sidewalks are iced over so he’s literally walking in the middle of the road to get in. Landry Locker in middays did the same thing; walking in and out both ways for two or three days.
John Lopez on In The Loop — our midday show — this guy is incredible. He set up a generator at his house. During his show instead of powering his house, he used it to power his comrex so that he could stay on the air from his home. Literally during the show the upstairs pipe in his bathroom exploded. You could hear it in the background and the water busted through the ceiling and was flowing into his living room. He put his comrex on mute, told his wife where to go turn off the main water valve, unmuted himself and stayed on the air until the show was over. He didn’t go fix the pipe until after the show.
AW: If you want to talk about a professional radio savant, I don’t know how he did that. That was absolutely incredible to witness. I’m texting him going, ‘Dude get off the air.’ And he kept telling me, ‘No, I’m doing the rest of the show.’ I’ve just never seen the type of professionalism from these guys that they showed last week. Ron “The Show” Hughley, he didn’t have power for four days. He has three kids under the age of six. He’s been in the state of Texas for about a year now and they had the same story that many people had where they showed up at the hotel they had booked — the only one they could find — and their power went out as soon as they got there.
One of our producers, Tyler, didn’t have power for three or four days. One of our producers, Figgy, lived at the radio station during the week. He brought his wife up and his dog and lived at the radio station just so that he could keep us on the air. He worked through the majority of those days just to keep us on the air, producing multiple shows every single day during the week. There were definitely some unsung heroes, man, that did some pretty powerful things and have some great stories to tell.
When you asked the best way to put it in perspective for you, our country station put a poll up on Twitter and asked which was worse for you, Hurricane Harvey or this winter storm? Sixty-five percent of the people said this winter storm was worse than Hurricane Harvey. That puts it in perspective just how devastating it was during that time to not have power and water for the majority of Houston.
BN: Wow, man. That’s wild. Are things pretty much back to normal now?
AW: Yeah. Friday was the first day that we had the full staff back. The majority of people who didn’t have water were starting to be able to take showers again on Friday. Then today you’re seeing listenership not quite be back to 100 percent, but for the first time in over a week, it’s almost there and it’s dramatically on the up. There’s no more ice on the ground. I would say nearly, if not 100 percent, of Houston has power. Most everyone has water back. There are some people just depending on availability of plumbers and where you’re located that are still working on getting their water back. But as far as our staff, it appears that we’re 100 percent back in working order.
BN: In terms of how the station sounded during that time, what direction did you give the staff as far as what to talk about?
AW: We built a clear mission statement as to who we are and what we want to be every single segment and every single minute and every single second. These guys in moments like this when it’s very fluid, they can still lean back on their mission statement and they know the direction of the content that we should project. But we did have conversations before each show during the week where I just reminded them, listen, your power and your water is out. It was a struggle for you just to find the microphone today, and you should tell that story because the majority of your audience is feeling the same way. Don’t ignore it, lean into it. Lean into the community. Let them know that we’re here for them. Let them know that if we can be an escape just for a little bit today, we want to do that. If there’s any way that we can help, shoot us a text to let us know what’s going on in your area, in your community. We definitely designated a large part of the content to that last week because everyone was going through it and it’s so rare where a phenomenon like this happened, but one of them definitely happened last week.
BN: To go from real life stuff to, “Hey, so JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson.” Was it awkward at all to turn the conversation back to sports during that time?
AW: No, because they’re so good at what they do, right? These guys, they are members of the community and so they have such a great feel of how much sports talk, how much Texans, Rockets, Astros talk Houston could handle, want to handle, or listen to during a time where everyone’s struggling. They did a really fantastic job of transitioning back and forth. It didn’t feel off because it’s just who we are.
We’ve had our ratings successes over the last two years because we have defined ourselves to the listener of what they can expect every time they come in regardless of the situation. They stuck true to that and for that reason I don’t think the listener found it odd at all. Ideally they found it welcoming, warming, and it was an escape in those moments. Again, the guys balanced it really well with talking about their own situations. Also giving some public service announcements of the local facilities that had opened themselves up if people were struggling to find a warm place to stay. They did a great job of balancing those things out.
BN: Do you guys have any charity efforts going on?
AW: Yeah, our market manager is Sarah Frazier. She’s one of the most tied in leaders to the community that I’ve ever seen. She already had her finger on the pulse and even by Thursday night when Houston was still mostly without electricity, she had targeted a nonprofit called Kids’ Meals Houston. They lost their entire food pantry with the electricity being out. They feed thousands of kids — six years old and under — every single day of the week. Without having any of their food, losing all of it last week, they’re in desperate need because kids in our Houston community were instantly going hungry.
Starting Friday morning we got together and all of our radio stations were running promos and digital advertisements letting everyone know how they can help make sure that we don’t have young kids in our community go hungry during this time.
BN: Did you, or have you ever, worked with local teams to get a charity event going?
AW: I have before. In this case it was really hard to communicate with people, Noe. When the power went out, cell phone coverage also went out and towers were down the majority of the time. I think there was a feeling of how can we as a team, with our eight to nine stations in the building, impact Houston in the quickest way possible, because it’s all about immediacy. These kids don’t have anything to eat right now. In this case it made the most sense to use our resources in house, not waste any time trying to get ahold of people to coordinate, and we just did our thing.
To your point, so did the local teams as well. They did their own advocacies as well. A lot of them actually mimicked and did things similar to Kids’ Meals and helped out Kids’ Meals as well. I think it’s also pretty neat when everybody does their own movements and then we can impact Houston in a wider and greater way as well.
BN: Coming from Albany and Denver, what’s the closest thing you can compare the storm to in terms of some wild scenario that was on your hands?
AW: I personally have never experienced anything like this. Everyone here compared it to Hurricane Harvey, but they said that this is even more different than a hurricane because more people were out of power and water longer than you normally are during a hurricane. Everyone here just talked about how they knew how to handle hurricanes, but they didn’t know how to handle this. I guess there’s been some winter storms in Albany and Denver that’s impacted the commute. I’ve spent the night at some radio stations when that happened, but the vast amount of houses that lost power and water in the city, I’ve never seen or experienced anything like that anywhere I’ve been. Pretty bizarre.
BN: Maybe the winter storm is a little like COVID where overall the situation sucks, but there’s some good that comes from it. What are some of the good things that came from the storm for your station?
AW: It’s another reminder even during the pandemic of our lifetime that we can come together as a community and we can help others. There are countless stories across Houston, across the state, across the country, of people helping complete strangers. You saw that in my neighborhood. I had neighbors knocking on doors of people they didn’t know and making sure that there weren’t any elderly, kids, or pets that needed warmth or comfort or food for that night.
It just brings us together as a society and maybe even more so during a time where we’ve had a year where we’ve been forced to separate. To see people mask up and operate without fear and go help other people; we feel it in the city of Houston. Today we are mentioning three to four times an hour asking for people to help us with Kids’ Meals Houston and the response has been incredible. We’ve had listeners put together hundreds of sack lunches for these kids at their house.
One of my hosts went to the grocery store and ran into listeners on the same aisle buying food for these kids. They bonded, they hugged, they took a picture together. It’s this moment that brought us all together. You’re right; we have to be better for it, or we’re going to drive ourselves insane. We’ve gotten closer. Also for the dozen people who spent several nights together at the radio station, they’re going to have stories to tell for the rest of their lives and memories of how they kept our radio stations on the air for all of Houston during that time. They should be prideful of that. The stories of individuals who did the same things during Hurricane Harvey, those stories still live today, and the stories that we have from last week will do the same thing.
Colorado Hiring Deion Sanders Will Be Constant Gift for College Football Media
“If Coach Prime achieves the same sort of success that he did with the Tigers, he will be far more than a curiosity. Sanders will be a disruptor.”
Deion Sanders quickly made it clear why the University of Colorado chose him to be its next head football coach.
Coming off a weekend in which the four College Football Playoff teams were announced and all of the other bowl-eligible teams accepted their invitations, Colorado — which went 1-11 this past season — made news for hiring Sanders, the former NFL star who was phenomenally successful at Jackson State.
The media that covers college football and sports as a whole should be thrilled that the Buffaloes program decided to take a big leap for attention and notoriety. Sanders is a bold, risky hire. But he’s also been successful in virtually every venture he’s taken. “Primetime” had a Hall of Fame NFL career and also played Major League Baseball. And he’s a master at drawing attention to himself.
During his first meeting with his new team, Sanders made sure to mention that he has Louis Vuitton luggage to make the point that some of his Jackson State players are coming with him to Boulder — including his son, quarterback Shadeur Sanders. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart probably don’t cite luxury fashion when explaining to their players that they’ll have to compete for starting positions.
Coach Prime will not be boring to cover. (That self-appointed “Coach Prime” title, which was on his name plate at his introductory press conference, is a big clue there.) He never has been. This is a man who said during the 1989 NFL Draft, after being selected No. 5 overall by the Atlanta Falcons, that if the Detroit Lions had selected him at No. 3, he “would’ve asked for so much money, they’d have had to put me on layaway.”
Even if he doesn’t win as much as Colorado hopes, Sanders will pursue top talent — players who want to perform on a larger stage than the FCS-level Jackson State allows — and impact athletes will be attracted to him. He got the No. 1 recruit in the nation, cornerback and wide receiver Travis Hunter, to play for him. (Hunter is following his coach to Boulder.) Now that Sanders is at an FBS school in a Power 5 conference, more stars will surely come.
But if Coach Prime achieves the same sort of success that he did with the Tigers — going 27-5 in three seasons, including a 12-0 campaign in 2022 — he will be far more than a curiosity. Sanders will be a disruptor. And he’ll get the attention that such figures typically draw from media and fans. According to the Denver Post‘s Sean Keeler, at least 400 people attended what felt more like a celebration than a press conference.
Coach Prime wasn’t going to just win the press conference, which is what any school and fanbase want when a new coach is introduced.
If Colorado wanted someone to sit at a podium, and give platitudes like “We want to win the Pac-12 and get to the College Football Playoff,” “We’re going to build a program with young men you’ll be proud of,” or “It’s time to restore Colorado to the football glory we remember,” Sanders isn’t the guy for that.
“Do I look like a man that worries about anything? Did you see the way I walked in here? Did you see the swagger that was with me?” Sanders said during his introductory presser. “Worry? Baby, I am too blessed to be stressed. I have never been one for peer pressure. I put pressure on peers. I never wanted to worry, I make people worry. I don’t get down like that. I am too darn confident. That is my natural odor.”
To no surprise, Sanders announced his presence in Boulder with authority. He had cameras following him as he met with Colorado players for the first time. How many other coaches would have recorded what many would see as a private moment for posterity and post it online?
Sanders caused a stir by putting his players on notice. He warned them he was coming, telling them they’ll be pushed so hard they might quit. He told them to enter the transfer portal and go someplace else if they don’t like what he and his staff are going to do.
That candor, that brutal honesty surprised many fans and media when they saw it Monday morning. For some, that message might have felt too familiar. How many in media — or many other industries — have worried about their job status when a new boss takes over? What may have seemed secure days earlier is now uncertain.
But how do we know other coaches haven’t said something similar when taking over at a new job and addressing their team? We just hadn’t seen it before. But Sanders has been in the media. He knows social media. He understands controlling his own message and telling his story.
Sanders also knows what kind of value he brings to any venture he takes on. How many people would have left an NFL Network gig for Barstool Sports? But Sanders went to where his star would shine, where he was the main show, where he could be Deion Sanders. Maybe he’ll have to turn that down just a bit at Colorado. But athletic director Rick George knows who he hired.
Colorado could have made a safer choice, including previous head coaches Tom Herman, Bronco Mendenhall, or Gary Patterson. A top assistant from one of this year’s Playoff contenders — such as Georgia’s Todd Monken, USC’s Alex Grinch, Alabama’s Bill O’Brien, or Michigan’s Sherrone Moore — could also have been an option.
But what fun would that have been? What kind of tremor would Colorado have created in the college football news cycle? How much attention would a more conventional hire have received? Yes, Sanders has to recruit and win. However, if the objective was to make Colorado football a talking point again, that’s been accomplished.
There could be some friction too. Sanders has already been criticized for being a champion of HBCUs, only to bolt for a mainstream Power 5 program when the opportunity opened. (To be fair, other columnists have defended the move.)
At Jackson State, Sanders tried to control local media when he didn’t like how reporters were addressing him or covering a story. Last year during Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Day, he balked at a Clarion-Ledger reporter addressing him as “Deion,” not “Coach,” insisting that Nick Saban would’ve been shown that respect. Earlier this season, Sanders admonished a school broadcaster (and assistant athletic director) for speaking to him more formally on camera than he did off-camera.
Will that fly among Boulder and Denver media, or the national college football press? It’s difficult to imagine. Maybe Sanders will ease back on his efforts to control reporters within a larger university environment, metropolitan area, and media market. But we’re also talking about Deion Sanders here. He doesn’t bend to outside forces. He makes them bend to him.
Sanders’ stint in Boulder — whether it lasts the five years of his contract and beyond, or less than that — will not be dull. There could be no better gift for the media covering Colorado football. Or college football, a sport already full of bold personalities, eccentric to unhinged fanbases, and outsized expectations. Coach Prime will fit right in.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Media Is Finally Strong Enough To Take On The Rose Bowl
“The whole Rose Bowl organization is stuck in a black and white TV world. The future playoff is Marty McFly stepping out of a Delorean and the Rose Bowl is the Enchantment Under the Seas Dance.”
I am a sucker for packaging. Take me to a grocery store and show me a uniquely packaged sauce or condiment or waffle syrup and I’ll give it a try just based on bottle size or design. The one packaging ploy that has vexed me is the “biggie size” at the local drive through. I’m always interested in the largest drink possible but don’t necessarily want a grain silo full of fries passed through my window. The College Football Playoff is going “biggie sized” in 2024 and I’ll take all of that I can get.
The College Football Playoff Committee made official last week what had long been speculated, that the four-team playoff field would increase to 12 teams starting with the 2024 season. This was an inevitable move for money and access reasons. The power conferences and Notre Dame stand to gain significantly in TV revenue and the “non-power” conferences finally get the consistent access they have long craved.
What may have finally pushed the new playoff over the finish line was the end of an ultimate game of chicken between college football powers and the Rose Bowl.
There is a scene from the movie The Hunt for Red October when the rogue Russian nuclear submarine is trying to avoid a torpedo from another Russian submarine. The American captain, aptly played by Scott Glenn, tells Jack Ryan; “The hard part about playing chicken is knowing when to flinch.”
The Rose Bowl finally flinched.
The only thing that delayed an earlier move to this new world was the insistence of the Rose Bowl Game to cling to the bygone era of the antiquated bowl system. Only in college football could an organization that runs a parade hold such outsized influence but, until recently, the Big Ten and PAC 12 gladly enabled their addiction to a specific television time slot.
Dan Wetzel is a Yahoo! Sports National Columnist, he also wrote the book Death to the BCS which laid out a very early argument for dumping the bowl system for a Playoff.
“The single hardest thing to explain to people is that the Rose Bowl and its obsession of having the sunset in the third quarter of its game was a serious impediment to a billion dollar playoff,” Wetzel wrote.
Wetzel makes the point that simply moving the game up one hour would’ve helped the playoff TV schedule immensely, “They were adamant that they get to have an exclusive window on New Year’s Day, the best time of all, not only would they not give that up but they wouldn’t even move it an hour earlier (to help Playoff television scheduling) because then the sun would set at halftime. It was so absurd but for a lot of years they got so much protection.”
We may never know what it was that finally forced the Rose Bowl to play ball with the rest of the college football world. There are many possibilities, not the least of which was the presence of SoFi Stadium just down the road. The College Football Playoff committee could have always taken the bold step of scheduling games at SoFi, in the Los Angeles market, opposite the Rose Bowl TV window to try to squeeze them out.
It is also possible the Rose Bowl scanned the landscape and realized that, if a 12-team playoff already existed, their 2023 game would’ve been Washington (10-2) versus Purdue (8-5). That shock of reality came with the understanding Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Utah and USC would enthusiastically choose a 12 team playoff bid over a Rose Bowl invite. That was the future the Rose Bowl faced with the departure of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten and the 12 team playoff gobbling up the top remaining PAC 12 teams.
I have proposed that theory to many people in the college football world and have received some version of this response from many of them: “They really wouldn’t care who is playing as long as they can still have their parade.”
That is one of the issues at play here; in many ways, the whole Rose Bowl organization is stuck in a black and white TV world. The future playoff is Marty McFly stepping out of a Delorean and the Rose Bowl is the Enchantment Under the Seas Dance.
One other possibility is that the television executives of the major networks, primarily FOX, may have put the pressure on the Big Ten and Pac 12 to have a little less interest in keeping college football stuck in the late 1970’s. It makes sense, FOX has nothing to gain by the Rose Bowl keeping influence. Fox may have everything to gain by getting a media rights cut of the future playoff. Many believe FOX was a driving force behind USC and UCLA bolting to the Big Ten. If that much is true, pressing for less Rose Bowl influence is child’s play.
No matter what was the catalyst to the expanded playoff, it worked and the fans benefited. College football is moving into a brave new world all because the college football powers finally stood up to the old man yelling at the clouds.
Turns out, it was all a game of chicken. And the Rose Bowl flinched.
Ryan Brown is a columnist for Barrett Sports Media, and a co-host of the popular sports audio/video show ‘The Next Round’ formerly known as JOX Roundtable, which previously aired on WJOX in Birmingham. You can find him on Twitter @RyanBrownLive and follow his show @NextRoundLive.
Andrew Perloff Learned From The Master of Sports Radio on Television
“I think I’m really lucky because I went from a really fun and supportive place in the Dan Patrick Show and have now transitioned into what I would also call a very fun and supportive place at CBS Sports Radio/Audacy.”
It’s a fact of life that not everybody loves their job. To have a job that you love and have fun at is pretty special. For Andrew Perloff, life is good.
“I’m just watching so much sports during the week,” said Perloff. “I don’t come up for air watching sports and I love that. And the fact that we get paid to sit on the couch for 72 hours…oh my God…it really is the best job in the world.”
That job is being the co-host of Maggie & Perloff weekdays from 3pm to 6pm eastern time on CBS Sports Radio and simulcast on CBS Sports Network. Perloff was an on-air personality on The Dan Patrick Show beginning in 2009 before making the switch to CBS Sports Radio for the new show with Maggie Gray that launched this past January.
And so far, the move has worked out.
“I’m really happy,” said Perloff. “I think I’m really lucky because I went from a really fun and supportive place in the Dan Patrick Show and have now transitioned into what I would also call a very fun and supportive place at CBS Sports Radio/Audacy. I miss the DP Show but I love my new co-workers. (Vice President of Programming) Spike Eskin and (New York Market President) Chris Oliviero have been great. We get a lot of support and a lot of help from those guys and they’ve made the transition so much easier.”
When a new radio program begins, chemistry between the hosts is vital to the success of the growth and success of the show. In the case of Maggie & Perloff, they had an existing friendship from their time working together at Sports Illustrated.
And that relationship is certainly evident to the listeners.
“I’m having a great time with Maggie,” said Perloff who was an editor and contributing writer at Sports Illustrated and SI.com. “We knew each other pretty well at Sports Illustrated. We’ve been friends for a while now. I have gotten to know her a lot better through the show. It took a couple of months to really find our rhythm and get the show to where we wanted to get it.”
There has been a fun and evolving dynamic to the on and off-air chemistry between the hosts. Perloff is from Philadelphia and a die-hard Eagles fan while Gray is a fan of the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles have the best record in the NFC at 11-1 while the Bills are among the best teams in the AFC at 9-3.
Perloff has come to understand just how much Gray loves the Bills and there is a chance that their two teams could meet come February 12th in Arizona for Super Bowl LVII.
“She’s a very passionate Buffalo Bills fan,” said Perloff. “I always knew that, but to actually sit there on a daily basis and see her sweat out every detail about the Buffalo Bills has been a lot of fun. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’re on a collision course for the Super Bowl and we’re already trying to figure out a Super Bowl bet.”
The easy wager to set up would involve food.
If the Bills win, Perloff would have to give Gray some Philly cheesesteaks.
If the Eagles win, Gray would have to furnish Perloff with some Buffalo Wings.
But it appears as if management wants there to be more at stake for the potential bet.
“Our boss wants us to do something more severe,” said Perloff. “The truth is I’m an Eagles fan so I’ve already won my Super Bowl. Maggie, on the other hand, has no idea what that feels like. I almost feel sorry for her because it’s tough being a Bills fan.
“We have a pretty big rivalry with our team because she’s a Mets fan and I’m a Phillies fan. We get along great expect for those areas.”
The Maggie & Perloff chemistry extends throughout the show and that includes producer Michael Samtur who has his own rooting interests.
Samtur is a fan of the New York Jets who are having a better-than-expected season.
“When the Jets win, I don’t want to see Mike on Monday mornings because he’s smiling so much,” said Perloff. “He’s an unbelievably cynical Jets fan…it’s hysterically funny.
“Mike is doing a great job. It’s really an all-hands-on deck show. I think we all sort of kind of wear each other’s hats at certain times.”
An added element to the show is that it is also simulcast on CBS Sports Network. If there’s one thing that Perloff learned from working with Dan Patrick — who also has a simulcast on television — is that the program is a radio show that just happens to have cameras in the studio. At the end of the day, it’s a radio show on television and not a television show on the radio.
“That’s also my philosophy,” said Perloff. “From a logistical standpoint, to do a good radio show you can’t really focus on the TV side of it. For us, the foundation of the base is to really focus on the radio show and the TV and video comes naturally after that.”
Perloff’s resume also includes writing and co-writing an assortment of magazine stories, books, and television shows while also hosting his own weekend show on NBC Sports Radio from 2016 to 2019. But it was working on The Dan Patrick Show where he learned an important aspect of being a talk show host that he continues to live by at CBS Sports Radio.
What he learned was that you just have to be yourself.
“Dan always wanted us to be authentic in the sense that don’t try to be someone you’re not,” said Perloff. “Don’t try to come up with hot takes just for the sake of hot takes. When you listen to Dan Patrick on the radio, you’re really hearing Dan. He’s not a radically different person off air.”
This is a huge time of the year for sports radio.
The NFL’s regular season is winding down and college football is heading towards bowl season and the College Football Playoff. Throw in the NBA, college basketball, NHL, and the World Cup and there’s so much going on in the sports world to talk about.
Perloff can’t get enough of it.
“I love it so much,” said Perloff. “College football is just huge right now. When we bring up a college football story, the phone lines just light up which I think is a reflection of the growing interest in that sport. This is the best time of the year. It’s incredible.”
As Maggie & Perloff head towards their first anniversary on the air, there are goals and expectations heading into 2023. The show has grown tremendously over the course of the first year and while that may have occurred faster than expected, the hope is that the trend continues.
“I’ve been a little surprised by how fast the audience has grown and our connection with the audience,” said Perloff. “One of the great things about The Dan Patrick Show was the community feel with the show and all of the listeners. That’s definitely growing with us and I’d like to see that really take off next year. It makes it so much more fun when you’re doing the show and everybody is along for the ride.”
It’s been a great ride so far and it should be interesting to see what happens if that ride includes an Andrew Perloff vs Maggie Gray Super Bowl matchup in February. It’s not even because the breakdown of Eagles vs Bills would be fascinating but the audience wants more.
That Super Bowl bet would certainly be intriguing.
Peter Schwartz has been involved in New York sports media for over three decades. Along the way he has worked for notable brands such as WFAN, CBS Sports Radio, WCBS 880, ESPN New York, and FOX News Radio. He has also worked as a play by play announcer for the New Yok Riptide, New York Dragons, New York Hitmen, Varsity Media and the Long Island Sports Network. You can find him on Twitter @SchwartzSports or email him at DragonsRadio@aol.com.