Every-Thing Sports

Jermaine Every: Heavy is the head that wears the media crown

Gow Media is on a bit of a roll. Gow Media

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...

 

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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