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Laurence Holmes Still Gets Something Out Of Performing

“What I’ve always thought about radio and sports radio is look, we know that the marquis is the teams that we cover. That’s the star of what it is we do. But the connection that people have with the hosts of their station is significant.”

Brian Noe

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I typically leave myself out of these Q&A interviews for Barrett Sports Media. It’s not about me; it’s about the people I’m interviewing. Well, I need to violate my own rule to make a point. I grew up in South Bend, Indiana. Because the signal was strong enough to reach my hometown, it allowed me to hear a lot of Chicago sports radio over the years.

One of the hosts I always enjoyed (and still enjoy) listening to is Laurence Holmes. I appreciate his approach and conversational style. He doesn’t sound like your parent giving you “the talk.” He sounds like your cool uncle telling you about sex in a way that never makes you uncomfortable.

Laurence Holmes reminisces about the time he almost (kind of) became a pro  baseball player in this week's Chat Room - Chicago Sun-Times

Laurence has been at The Score for 23 years now. That’s right; the year he started in Chicago began with a 19, not a 20. When a smart dude — which Laurence certainly is — has that much experience, best believe he’s acquired plenty of knowledge along the way. Come to think of it, one of the smartest things Laurence does is avoid sounding like he believes he’s the smartest person in the room. In our interview below, Laurence explains how his strategic approach to podcasting can differ from sports radio. He talks about teaching young broadcasters while learning from them as well. Laurence also touches on a lesson he teaches students at DePaul that he had to learn on his own. Enjoy.

Brian Noe: I’ll start a little broad; what do you enjoy most about being a sports talk host?

Laurence Holmes: It’s funny, I was having a conversation with someone last week where I was talking about how I still, as much as I love podcasting, and I do, there’s still something to the live aspect of it. There’s nothing like a Monday after a Bears game, or going on the air after Giolito’s no-hitter. Being there for the listener in that moment, there’s a real juice to it. It’s so much fun. The interaction and the connectivity of it is pretty terrific.

BN: On the flip side, what annoys you or is the biggest drawback of being a sports radio host?

LH: I still think that the amount of time that we have to break — and I get it, I understand it because I worked in sales, it’s important to make sure that we have advertisers — but sometimes it breaks up conversation. That’s why I think you’re seeing a lot of hosts being drawn to the world of podcasting because it’s uninterrupted. You could have the best intentions sometimes of trying to carve out a topic for your listener, and then it gets interrupted. You’re like I’m going to do this great tease, and people are going to listen to it, and then you come back and you’ve lost your place. I still think that’s one of the challenges is the balance between making sure that the station is paid for, which is super important, and the content not being interrupted as frequently.

BN: The approach to podcasting and sports radio is interesting to me. For example, sometimes I’ll record a game that I mean to watch later, and normally I’m like, ehh it’s old, and I won’t feel like watching it. Some podcasts can burn quickly. Do you approach podcasting strategically where your pod is still going to appeal to people even though it might be old?

LH: Yeah, I’ve been debating how much of the daily stuff that I do on the radio, would I, or should I do as a podcaster? I tend to lean towards trying to do more evergreen topics on the podcast because you lose something as you get farther away from it. The listening is different. I’ll tell you right now, I’m three weeks behind on Le Batard’s show. If they were doing well let’s react to the biggest games of the week, if they were doing that type of content, I would just delete that episode and move on to the next one. Luckily for me they don’t really do that. It’s their own type of thing that they’re doing, so I’m cognizant of it when I’m doing podcasting.

That’s why I prefer to do a longer-form interview with someone when I’m doing podcasts because it can live longer and people can come back to it. I have episodes of the podcast from almost three years ago that people are still downloading because that type of content is evergreen. I also know there’s going to be a difference in the amount of downloads that happen and when they happen.

If I break down the Bears-Saints playoff game, yeah 4,000 people are going to listen to that in 72 hours, but then they’re never going to listen to it again. But if I sit down and do an interview with Mina Kimes — I had Mina Kimes on my podcast — people will go back and listen to that episode to hear us interact, to hear us not talking about a breakdown of a particular game.

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Yeah, I think you have to be very cognizant of how you’re programming your podcast and what your listeners respond to. I don’t regret doing a podcast after the Bears-Saints playoff game, that’s great and people want that content, but you have to know that you can’t do that unless that’s your goal.

BN: Do you think that’s the main reason podcasts lend themselves to interviews so much? 

LH: Yeah, I do. I went back, I love [Marc] Maron’s podcast because of some of the people that he’s able to get on and interview. He interviewed Rhea Seehorn from Better Call Saul. I’m a huge fan of that show and it just was like one of those things where it got by me.

I think this interview was in November. I listened to it last weekend. I found out all sorts of great stuff about her and about the show and about Bob Odenkirk. If I’m behind, and I’m really behind on Maron, I will scroll through. But what happened was I ended up listening to two more episodes because they were evergreen. Maron reacts to what’s going on in his life and the world, but the interviews themselves will hold up no matter how long they’re available.

BN: How about as a listener, not so much as a performer, but listening to either sports radio or podcasts, what do you find yourself doing more?

LH: I don’t sample live shows around the country as much as I used to. I do if they are people that I like. I will check out what they’re doing from a podcast standpoint. What I’m looking for as a consumer, for the teams that I talk about and I cover, I’m looking for people who know something that I don’t know. I’m a big fan in Chicago of the Bulls Talk Podcast. I’ve never really covered the Bulls even though I’m around it. They have a really smart crew.

Jason Goff, I think is one of the most talented people in America. He’s my favorite host. Having him along with K.C. Johnson, who’s been covering the NBA for 30 years, and hearing who they’re talking to, and what they think about what happens, that’s more valuable to me. Big picture stuff that can then be broken down granularly is more important to me than, alright guys let’s talk about what happened with the Bulls in the third quarter. Like that’s my job as a host to do some of that from day to day.

Haberstroh’s podcast is dope. He goes in all sorts of different directions. He did an episode that got me to get him on the radio show. He was breaking down the GameStop thing. He did this incredibly layered, nuanced breakdown that could not have been done on radio. He ended up doing it for me on radio, but that was after he had done 50 minutes on the subject and I knew what kind of questions to ask him to get a 10-minute version of that conversation.

To have the space to spread out and really dissect something sports wise, those are the type of sports podcasts that I find myself drawn to. Tell me something that I don’t know. Take me inside of it. Those are the things that’ll get me more so than just react pods.

BN: I saw some of your comments following George Floyd’s death. I’m just curious what your thoughts and feelings are as that police officer is preparing to go to trial.

LH: I don’t want to talk about it as far as my own personal feelings on the subject. I’ll talk about it from an industry standpoint. I was happy that we saw a loosening of some of the restrictive nature of sports radio over that stretch of time last summer. Whether we’re talking about ESPN on a national stage or locally what we were doing, I was happy to see that program directors around the country — and there were a couple who pushed back. I know there were some people in Cleveland, actually I think it’s one of my old associate program directors Matt Fishman, it was one of his places where they had gotten to a point where they said okay we’re only going to focus in on sports.

What I’ve always thought about radio and sports radio is look, we know that the marquis is the teams that we cover. That’s the star of what it is we do. But the connection that people have with the hosts of their station is significant. Strangely enough, they do care about what you think on some of these subjects.

What’s bothered me is that a lot of programmers across the country have reacted to a vocal minority that have decided that they’re going to determine whether or not I can talk about subjects that matter to me, that are sometimes a bit uncomfortable. In situations where it might not make someone uncomfortable, like if I’m talking about Avengers: Endgame, it’s totally fine for me to go off script and do some of that stuff, or to talk about donuts because I love talking about donuts. I can do some of that stuff.

Laurence Holmes: The Score radio host speaks out - Chicago Tribune

I’m glad that we were in a space for the summer that allowed us — and I think that a big part of it was there wasn’t a lot of sports that was going on — I thought that as an industry I was very proud of what we were accomplishing, that we were doing that as well as any talk show hosts in any other genre. We were talking about it from the perspective of athletes in the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, we were talking about it in those ways. But we were also given some license to talk about how we were affected. I don’t know how anyone — and I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing, leave your own problems at the door when the light comes on — I don’t know how anyone during that time, how you weren’t affected. It’s disingenuous to act like you’re not. It’s disingenuous to treat the audience like they’re stupid and that they don’t know all of the stuff is going on.

That’s where I go back to the idea of programmers are always trying to sell the personality of the people that are doing their shows. Like hey you should listen to this guy or this woman because they do this, this, this, and this, and they’re your friend in the afternoon. Well, now your friend needs to talk to you about some real shit. Now your friend needs to tell you why they’re bothered.

I thought that we, as an industry, did a good job of really allowing people to be themselves on the air. I know I’m grateful to my PD. There was never once, not once, that he told me to pull back, that he told me that what I wasn’t doing was compelling. He went out of his way to say we support you talking about these things. We know that you know how to program your show and it’s okay for you to open a vein for your listener.

I think my favorite thing that happened this summer outside of us talking about some of these really big picture issues, is more of my listeners learning what Juneteenth was. I had a bunch of them that said to me, why do I have this day off? They had never had this day off and I did a whole segment on the history of Juneteenth, on The Score, in Chicago. I got text messages from listeners saying thank you, I didn’t know that that’s what this was. I was explaining how I think it should be an American holiday. The support that I got behind it was really awesome. It was cool that in a moment where you don’t think you can go outside of the regular sports radio discussions, it was cool to have that moment and then have the validation of people saying, oh cool, Laurence taught me something today, and it wasn’t about playing Cover 2 defense.

BN: In terms of teaching, why is it important to you to teach young broadcasters about the business?

LH: I’ve been teaching media at DePaul since 2012. I love it. I love it because one, I’m probably a better talk show host in the quarters when I teach because I’m going over some of the fundamental stuff with my students. The other part that’s great for me is I’m seeing how younger people approach media. What is their consumption like? How does it differ from what I watch? How are they looking at baseball? They think it’s boring but they’re still consuming at least from a digital standpoint and I’m seeing that. I’m seeing what they think is important in reporting, and where their ears and eyes gravitate towards. I think that there’s value in that, in trying to understand younger people and their habits. It’s something that our industry is desperate to figure out; how to grab those listeners and never let them go. That’s a big part of this. Being able to sit in a room with them — when you could sit in a room — and discuss some of these things with them, I find it fascinating.

BN: Is there anything that you teach the young broadcasters that you had to learn on your own?

LH: Wow, that’s a really wonderful question. I guess I had to learn this on my own, but it’s more of an observational thing. With social media being what it is now and the emphasis on social media, teaching them about the First Amendment is really important. To me the part that I enjoy teaching them is that it’s not a catch-all. It doesn’t protect you from consequences; it protects you from the government. It’s interesting to see the light come on for students when you explain that to them; that the First Amendment doesn’t necessarily protect your right to keep a job.

Rob Curley: The First Amendment doesn't necessarily mean what you think, so  here's how it really works | The Spokesman-Review

If you say something that’s out of pocket, your employer has the right to pull your contract, to take you off the air, to fire you. That is an important moment for them, because I think there are so many people that take the First Amendment and misuse it horribly as a way to, “Well I can say what I want, I have First Amendment rights.”

You’re damn right. You can say whatever you want, but as far as the private sector goes, you are not protected from the consequences. I try to explain to them — I’ve allowed them to see portions of my contract. Make sure that you read your contract thoroughly so that you understand where your employer, what rights they have to terminate your employment.

It can definitely be a difficult thing to understand. It’s a target that keeps moving on some of these subjects, but students need to understand that they can’t hold the First Amendment up as a shield against their employer. They can try to do it against the government, but they can’t do it against a private employer. I think that’s probably the most important thing where you have to learn about that from watching the way that your entity where you work, how they handle some of these things, and knowing your rights. I think that that’s a really important aspect of the job.

BN: As far as goals go; you’ve got the Chicago gig, the podcast, you’re now doing Sunday mornings on CBS. Is there anything you want to accomplish down the road that you haven’t yet?”

LH: Yeah, getting a chance to do a national show is a big deal for me because I always wanted to be able to talk about a bunch of different topics. I still love doing the local show, but doing it nationally has been a real blast. It’s been so much fun and I’ve gotten to interact with listeners from around the country, which is cool. I find that I’m really starting to love content creation podcast wise, building my podcast, House of L, and working with people.

I actually am digging the consulting aspect of my job now where people will come to me and say, hey I’m thinking about doing the podcast, what do you think I should do? Sitting down and helping — I’ve helped launch four or five podcasts this year. To know that I have peers that respect me in that way is really gratifying. I guess it’s an offshoot of teaching, where I’m taking my experience and I’m lending it to someone else, and they’re adding their unique abilities to the advice and coming up with something incredible.

BN: Do you see a future in the teaching/consulting area?

WSCR-AM's Laurence Holmes moving to middays: 'I can't wait, I'm so happy' -  Chicago Tribune

LH: I think there’s a chance that could happen. I still love performing. I still get something out of performing, but as I age out of the demo — I’m 45 now, so I’ve got some time — I do think that that’s probably where I end up. Kind of creating a business on content creation where I’m helping people do their thing instead of me doing mine. I’ve been working at The Score since 1998. I’m 23 years into the game at this point. I still have a lot that I want to do on air, but I’m fascinated with people who are coming up now and how they can creatively tell stories. I want to be able to help them do it.

BSM Writers

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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.   

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