GALLANT SAYS

Houston sports talk host unleashes anything-goes podcast

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

When I landed in Houston, I was John Lander's helper on the Q-Morning Zoo show on KKBQ FM radio. The show was extremely successful, but we always thought, "If the listeners could hear what we talk about while the songs and commercials are playing, that would be the best show."

I moonlight in radio for ice cream and college tuition money. Over the years, I've been on a few shows, once a week with Michael Berry, same with Pat Gray and Lanny Griffith. Same thing: The conversations off-air were always more entertaining than what went out on-air. In "real life" (away from radio), Berry is wildly funny, Gray even more opinionated, and there's no helping Lanny.

That was before podcasts. Now anybody, even people who have on-air shows, can have off-air "shows," too, where there are no rules. The Federal Communications Commission has no control, no authority over podcasts, which stream over the Internet. Podcasters can say whatever they want with no worry. I used to listen to all-night talk radio when I went to bed, now I'm tossin' and turnin' (great song by Bobby Lewis) to podcasts. The Jim Cornette Experience and Jim Cornette's Drive-Thru top my list.

Two weeks ago, Sports Talk 610 (KILT-AM) morning host Paul Gallant left the station after eight years on the air. Now he's off the air, but on the Internet with a podcast called Gallant Says. He unleashes a new episode each Monday and Friday. I've listened to the first two: let's just say this is Gallant as listeners have never heard him before. You thought he had a big mouth and big opinions on the radio? His Gallant Says podcasts are streamed on iTunes, Sticher, Spotify, and other platforms.

I asked Gallant how he was enjoying life in the anything-goes, shackle-free world of podcasts.

CultureMap: How does it feel to have no restrictions on what you can say and how you can say it? Do you have a sense of complete artistic freedom? Is it a weight off your brain?

Paul Gallant: It's hard to not feel a weight on your brain when you're trying to find ways to entertain people. We all tend to get stale after a while, and you never want to be it. I've set some limits as to how far I'd go with things. But it is fun to be restriction-free.

CM: Not only are you free of FCC rules, you are free of 610 rules. What rules did 610 impose on you? For example, were you allowed to talk negatively about broadcast properties, specifically the Texans, or sponsors?

PG: [610] never really set many rules for us. Or at least for me. There wasn't some 'Texans directive' coming from bosses or anything like some people have suggested. They left us alone. The Rockets (when we were their flagship station in 2011-12), meanwhile...

CM: You can use profanity now, and you certainly take advantage of that. Which is the real PG, the buttoned-up guy on 610 or the colorful language guy on your podcast?

PG: I think what's great about this is that I get to be 100-percent honest about myself. I love opening up. So this has been a lot closer to who I am in real life. A lot of people think swearing makes you sound uneducated. They're probably right, but I find they add a lot of oomph to anything you're saying. That said, I think may have dropped a few too many expletives in the first two episodes. My mom sent me a text about it. So I'll probably dial those back a little this week.

Continue on CultureMap to find out where and when Gallant does his podcast.

Photo via:JoshInnes/Facebook

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

I can't wait for former radio sports talk host Josh Innes to unleash, and I do mean release the hounds, his new daily podcast on Monday, September 16. It happens to be the exact day that his contract with his old station officially expires.

It's not my nature to stick my nose in other stations' business, but Innes got nailed so hard that they should name an aisle at Home Depot after him. I expect Innes to unload enough dirty laundry to open a laundromat. No paywall, so it'll be a free-for-all on most podcast streaming outlets. You'll find it, just listen for the gnashing of teeth coming from station general managers' offices.

Here's the thing. Several years ago, a local TV station needed a new weather forecaster. They hired a super-slick weatherman from Los Angeles. He didn't look, dress, or talk like Houston. Eventually, actually in short order, the station bid him goodbye. The real problem wasn't the weatherman. The station should have dismissed the person who hired Mr. Cool from L.A.

Continue on CultureMap to hear about McDonald's joining the chicken sandwich game.

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