Jermaine Every: Heavy is the head that wears the media crown
Sports media is tough business. It is a fun gig to have. Most of us get to do something we truly enjoy doing. Some of us get to do something we’ve long dreamed of doing. Very few of us get to do something with the level of success in which we’re pleased with. To maintain said success for an extended period of time is no easy task. It takes a special blend of chemistry, appealing to your audience, wit, smarts, and knowledge to keep an audience engaged. After all, we are in the information age and entertainment can be had at the click of an app on any number of devices.
Gow Media has enjoyed that type of prolonged success so far this year. The Blitz has been the No. 1 rated sports show in the city for five consecutive months. This website has had a record number of page views again last month and continues to grow. The new simulcast of The Bench, The Charlie Pallilo Show, and The Blitz on ESPN 97.5 and Sports Map 94.1 will only strengthen their stronghold over the sports radio market by extending their coverage to reach a larger audience. The Raheel and Del Show had to be sacrificed so Pallilo could be simulcast on 97.5, but they went out on top by claiming the No. 1 spot in their time slot last month. Did I mention Gow Media Publishing? Yes Virginia, they publish books and audio books as well.
So what’s the key to success? How has this group been able to maintain such a high level output of good material over such a long period of time? Truth is there are several different factors. One of them is chemistry. Every single one of these shows has crazy chemistry. With the exception of Pallilo, they are all two-man teams who have worked with one another for years and have years in the business.
Charlie is a different breed with his one-man band show. He tends to captivate his audience with his profound knowledge and the level of preparation which is clearly visible with how he can change topics depending upon what his audience participation dictates.
The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein are the long-standing torch bearers for Houston sports talk radio. They’ve been a duo on-air for close to 20 years. Despite a brief time at opposing stations, they have managed to pick back up where they left off as if they hadn’t missed a beat. There are a ton of people who attribute their involvement in the business to these two.
Raheel Ramzanali and Del Olaleye are the millennial duo that helps bring a change of pace to the lineup. Their brand of humor and entertainment may not be for some, but it’s a much-needed breath of fresh air. These guys appeal to the 18-34 male demographic more than most hosts in this city.
Joel Blank and Barry Laminack have quickly established the Usual Suspects as a consistent winner in the 1-4 time slot and a top three show in the city.
Fred Faour and AJ Hoffman are the reigning ratings kings. Their approach is more like two friends talking over everything under the sun. Fred even said it on a recent show that The Blitz is “more like a podcast because that’s what’s hot right now.” To back that up, you can check out AJ’s thoughts right here in the latest of Ken Hoffman’s 10 Questions series.
If you don’t believe me, Google the ratings yourselves. Ask Fred for the Sports Map numbers. This isn’t an in-house fluff piece. OK, to a certain extent, it might be. But it’s not bragging when it’s the truth. The AM stations, 610 and 790, both have made changes to their lineups in order to stay afloat and attempt to catch up to what Gow Media has been doing. Guys that I’ve known for quite a while and am friendly with lost jobs because of the shakeups. Those stations have the luxury of being home to the Rockets, Astros, and Texans. That, and the success of SportsMap, are what separates Gow Media from the rest of the pack. They have two successful sports radio stations, a sports website, and a culture/lifestyle website as well, all of which function in conjunction and simultaneously independent of one another while maintaining success. Here’s to the success of Gow Media. May we live long and prosper! And if you don’t like it…we've got two words for you...