From the time he was young, Mark Willard of 95.7 The Game associated sports with magic – encapsulated and astonished by the environment and game action. As an avid fan of the San Francisco Giants, he would watch the contests with a tape recorder in hand, polishing his play-by-play skills through calling the games.
Like many other residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, he attended live baseball games at Candlestick Park, but he did not take a tape recorder there. Instead, he announced the starting lineups along with the stadium’s public address announcer and then cheered for the Giants among thousands of other fans in the crowd.
Nonetheless, being the play-by-play announcer for the Giants, or any professional team for that matter, was never cemented in his initial plans – solely because the only thing he focused on was working hard enough to achieve success.
In what aspect of sports media that success would manifest itself was a mystery to him – a primary reason why he prioritized versatility and sustained development. In short, he just knew his future had to involve some form of communication to the masses.
“I’ve always loved to communicate,” Willard said. “That ability to confidently look someone else in the eye and speak and share things and what not has always just felt natural to me.”
As a student at San Mateo High School, Willard was a member of both the basketball and baseball teams, playing on the former for all four years he matriculated. At the same time, he worked his way up to become the sports editor of the award-winning school newspaper The San Mateo Hi, and sought to build his journalism skills as a student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Unlike some of his other friends who attended schools with track records of success in communications and established paths into the industry, Willard had to make things happen for himself. By his sophomore year, he felt he was falling behind his competition, causing him to intensify his efforts by making a call to the university athletics department with hopes of finding a way to become involved at sporting events.
The athletics department encouraged Willard to try out for its public address announcing job. Yet after following what he felt was a good audition, he was told that they did not want to hire a student; therefore, he was offered the backup role. Frustrated, he told a friend of his, who was also a former basketball player, about what had happened. That connection ultimately helped him land the public address announcer role at nearby Cuesta College for Cougars basketball games.
Through meeting people as a public address announcer, he was invited to call part of a Cougars baseball game on the radio. After the primary play-by-play announcer fell ill and had to leave the ballpark, Willard ended up finishing the game alone with inadequate preparation and knowledge of the teams. It was an unexpected opportunity for him to get significant air time and demonstrate his ability to adapt in the moment.
“He just left me on the air to call play-by-play by myself,” Willard recalled. “I was outside; it was raining; I had no notes; I had no background on the teams that I was calling at all. I just tried to wing it and did the best that I could. Little did I know he went and called his boss and said, ‘Listen to this student I just put on the air,’ and they called me the next day and offered me a job doing high school football play-by-play just up the road from school.”
After his graduation, Willard spent the next year as a play-by-play announcer for basketball, baseball and football games at his alma mater. In the late 1990s, he joined the Single-A Boise Hawks, then-affiliate of the Anaheim Angels, in the same role, relocating to Boise, Idaho and learning about Minor League Baseball.
A short time later, he moved to San Diego, Calif. to work as an anchor at XTRA 690 where he continued to hone his craft and develop his on-air sound.
Willard then took a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and began working in the second-largest media market in the United States at 1540 The Ticket in Los Angeles, Calif., a station run by Rose City Radio Corporation, a national network.
Before becoming part of The Roger Lodge Ticket Morning Show, he continued delivering sports updates and reporting at the station. As a member of a media outlet with a lower cume rating, there was a reduced amount of direct pressure on him to immediately perform at a high level, giving him a chance to develop in a major market.
“I got to learn the lay of the land about covering big market teams, and I got to do it at a place where I could really make some mistakes and not have it blow up in my face,” Willard said. “That’s what was great about that because I can remember doing a lot of work there that, today, I probably wouldn’t really be proud of at all, and it didn’t really cost me anything.”
During his time at the station, Willard had the chance to host alongside Tony Bruno on The Tony Bruno Show beginning in 2005. One year later, the program became nationally-syndicated and moved to Sporting News Radio, giving it the ability to reach a broader audience and more people within its target demographics.
Following a three-year stint with the program, Willard made the move to ESPN Los Angeles 710 hosting morning drive with Mychal Thompson. Having been in the marketplace for several years before moving to a media outlet with more reach, Willard had an understanding of how to attract listeners to sports radio, a difficult task because of the geography and lifestyle in the area
The Los Angeles Lakers, according to Willard, are the locale’s most popular team, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers; in fact, both teams won world championships in 2020. University of Southern California Trojans athletics also enthralls sports fans, even more so than some of the other professional teams. As a result, it was essential to discuss topics listeners had interest in – even if it resulted in some repetition.
“I learned how to take different angles on the same subject because you couldn’t really take off and go talk about the NFL; there was no team,” Willard said. “You couldn’t go off and go talk about hockey even when [the Kings] were good because there just isn’t enough interest; you’ll lose in the ratings. That was when I kind of learned how to do a better job of drafting entry points into conversations and what not because you had to keep the same teams, in some cases, relevant for an entire year.”
In August 2016, Willard’s hosting duties moved to working middays with Rich Ohrnberger on XTRA 1360, which has since rebranded as San Diego Sports 760. Even so, Willard did not move – instead hosting the shows remotely from his home in Los Angeles, Calif. since he was also hosting national weekend coverage on Fox Sports Radio.
Co-hosting a show from afar required him to foster a strong relationship with the broadcast team and follow San Diego teams more closely than ever before. Unknowingly, it also prepared him for the COVID-19 pandemic, during which many professionals worked remotely or in a hybrid format, practices that are, to a degree, continuing today.
“Imagine doing a show on a daily basis but not really having the background of ever having been at the game the night before, or in some cases, not being able to watch the game the night before because it’s not being broadcast where I lived,” Willard said. “I had to work very hard at finding ways to sort of inject that local culture into my discussion without organically getting it.”
A few years later, Willard moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin working in his dream job as a host on KNBR. His first show on the station was an emotional moment, indicative of his journey in sports media and how he ultimately achieved his goal to return home and star at the station he grew up listening to.
Thinking about making the move to host a show surrounding broadcasts of San Francisco Giants baseball with the ability to reinvent himself as a broadcaster was appealing for Willard – yet it took comprehensive and focused thinking in order to come to terms with leaving “The City of Angels.” Sage advice from an experienced sports media host influenced his decision making and allowed him to become comfortable in a market with which he was extremely familiar and passionate about.
“Colin Cowherd and I sat and talked for a little while when I was thinking about making this move and one thing he said to me really stuck out which was: ‘You’ll never be a better broadcaster than when you’re broadcasting about the teams you care about,’” Willard remembered. “That may not have been the case when I was young because I think I would have let the fandom kind of be a little bit too much, but he was right. Immediately upon return – within weeks – I felt like I hit a stride that I had never hit before in my career.”
When Willard sought a move into a midday time slot, he quickly realized that it would not be possible at KNBR. Throughout his professional career, Willard kept in touch with Matt Nahigan, one of his former bosses while at The Tony Bruno Show.
It turned out Nahigan was the program director for 95.7 The Game. After Nahigan had previously expressed interest in working with Willard, they formed a partnership and created Willard and Dibs featuring Willard and co-host Dan Dibley. The show launched last October and has had success in the ratings, informing and entertaining sports fans in the Bay Area.
“I think Matt and I come from a similar place in terms of how we approach a daily radio show,” Willard said. “He’s not a micromanager, but is a full-effort, very focused, ‘Don’t take any segments off’-type of person – and I am too so that’s been a great blend.”
Although it is not the case in all markets, fans in the Bay Area consume more sports content when the teams are stable and winning. Additionally, they will show up during tough times when teams are not making playoff runs and are perhaps unstable; it is when teams are average that the interest ostensibly wanes. Aside from the teams though, individual personalities also attract listeners – such as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and aforementioned Warriors forward Green.
“I think the Bay Area cares about the people who are playing in addition to the standings,” Willard said. “When you can get something where individual people are interesting, that’s where it really thrives.”
Both Willard and Dibley are familiar with the teams in the area and knew each other for an extended period of time before launching their new midday program. Over the years, they had always looked to work together and have fostered a professional relationship that comes across to listeners each show.
Broadcasting on 95.7 The Game as opposed to its competitor KNBR – a station where both co-hosts formerly worked – presents stark differences in terms of the innate characteristics of the brand.
“KNBR is a station that, through the years, is just kind of always there; they’re a legacy station,” Willard described. “The Game has had to take a different tone and be a little bit more aggressive with its approach. What we sort of provide is what I think is the middle ground, which is where I think a lot of success can lie…. The Game is having probably its best run of ratings success head-to-head over a period of time. There’s definitely a battle.”
As a trusted voice in the market, he tries to differentiate himself and his program by sharing his opinions and making them memorable, compelling listeners to continue coming back for more sports talk.
“I think great sports radio comes when you hear a personality speak and then you can head on to your day and remember what they said,” Willard explained. “That makes it shareable; that makes it opinionated; it makes it something that brings out a reaction in you.”
In addition to his role on the radio, Willard is a television host on the Pac-12 Network and Fox Sports, a communication medium that divulges different parts of his personality. Working simultaneously in two mediums oftentimes requires on-air talent to adopt some divergence in their approach; however, the end goal is ultimately to be a source of information and entertainment for consumers in the convergence of the media landscape.
“It got described to me one time as: ‘Radio people can do TV as long as they don’t freak out when the red light comes on, but TV people can have a hard time in radio because you’ll do your two minutes and look up and it’s like, ‘Oh, you got 14 more minutes,’’” Willard said. “….I do get a little bit more sort of, I guess, creative satisfaction from the radio but the adrenaline side of TV is unmatched.”
Through his nascent passion for sports and communication, he now works in his home market and looks to inspire future professionals in the industry. It is why he has served as a college professor at both his alma mater and at the Academy of Art University, and has also held broadcasting workshops for young students.
“I think it’s important for everyone to look around at what your competition is doing; look at yourself as a business, and consider all the other people trying to get into the business as your competitive businesses,” Willard advised. “Look at what they’re doing and then do more.”
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, he serves as the production manager for the New York Islanders Radio Network and lead sports producer at NY2C. He has also worked on live game broadcasts for the Long Island Nets and New York Riptide. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks and wrote for The Long Island Herald. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
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 email@example.com.
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.