CostasNow was much-watch TV last night on HBO. In hindsight, I’m not sure why.

His investigation of the sports media in 2008 was incredibly predictable. Costas put together a Bill O’Reilly-esque discussion on sports radio and the blogosphere. The show was poorly researched, tiny in scope and hackish. Like O’Reilly, Costas’ mind was made up before the whole thing started and he bullied anyone with a dissenting opinion.

The feature on sports radio featured no hosts west of Chicago. And didn’t produce one opinion/soundbite from any highly rated shows.

Jay Mariotti, who’s been fired from every single radio job that he’s had, was annointed as some sort of expert on sports radio content. The Score’s Mike North, who is losing in the ratings to a national radio show in his own town of Chicago, was featured as the outrageous host. Mike and the Mad Dog were also interviewed. They generate lots of money for WFAN but by the ratings, their show isn’t in the top 10 nationwide. Mike and Chris do 1987 sports-talk radio because it still works in New York. Who know if especially Francesa would play well anywhere outside of the northeast. 

How would any of those hosts know what the audiences want in Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco or Denver? 

It would’ve been nice to hear from someone at The Ticket in Dallas, The Sports Animal in Oklahoma City, The Fan in Minneapolis, KJR in Seattle or even a host like Kansas City’s Soren Petro, who is beating Rush Limbaugh in the male 25-54 demo. Those stations all outrate WFAN and The Score.

The genre of “guy talk” was trashed. Is there guy talk that is boorish, crude and rude at times? Absolutely. Of course hosts cross the line. Costas can’t understand  this because he’s never done a 5-day-a-week, radio show. He wouldn’t know what it’s like to re-invent yourself constantly. He’s never had pressure to help a station make money.

Costas and Mitch Albom had no problem throwing out blankets statements about ALL sports radio. Yet it was outrageous for Barry Bonds to generalize saying Costas is a, “little midget man who knows (nothing) about baseball.”

How would Costas, who is a multi-millionaire, understand what the average joe, making 20-50k, likes or dislikes? When was the last time Costas was on a radio show and took hours of phone calls opening himself up to criticism and praise? Or did a meet and greet with the average sports fan, sitting for extensive periods of time with them?

As I watched, hypocrisy was the word most often rattling around my head. Traditional media (better stated — old, stagnant media) says one thing and does another. They hate what sports radio has become, yet they line up to get radio jobs or do TV shows with talk radio formats. 

Albom took up for the print guys, who in general are fighting for their lives. Newspapers are dying because they’re not morphing or adjusting to the audiences needs.  It’s funny how people who struggling feel more comfortable when they cab label everyone else. The impression from Albom and Costas was that radio guys are plucked from the stand and lack education. 

Here is our radio show on Wednesday breaking down the sportsradio segment. Keep in mind, my co-host Dave Cokin is 50+. He doesn’t echo the same sentiments as Mariotti, Costas, Albom, etc.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN C & C DISCUSSION (2nd and 3rd entries on the page)

Explore posts in the same categories: Media musings, Sports Radio, Uncategorized

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