ESPN’s (DIS) new morning radio show Golic & Wingo, starring Mike Golic and Trey Wingo, will debut on Monday morning. The show will air weekdays from 6-10a EST, with simulcast on ESPN2 (moving to ESPNU in January). In part 3 of a 3-part interview, JWS talks with the guys about the history of ESPN radio, the rise of Mike & Mike and the sponsors that have decided to stay on, despite the show’s changing dynamic.
JWS: Mike & Mike was so successful for so long, it’s difficult to remember that prior to the show’s start; nationally syndicated sports radio really didn’t exist.
Wingo: There was no real national radio. It was all betting shows out of Vegas, at the time; guys like Papa Joe Chevalier.
JWS: Did you guys have doubts that the show could be a success?
Golic: Oh yeah, ESPN radio started in ‘92, but they never had a national drive time morning show until I did it with Tony Bruno in 98. So yeah, there was skepticism of “is this going to work”.
JWS: Did you and Mike know each other before the start of the show?
Golic: Greeny and I didn’t know each other, but we had instant chemistry.
JWS: Did that chemistry lead to immediate success?
Golic: We started in one market, Chicago. We got to work out our kinks before our bosses even heard us, because we weren’t cleared in Hartford. So, no. We went through a lot of years where we worked through things; then suddenly, our bosses were like ‘wait a minute your ratings are continuing go up.’
JWS: Once you guys began building an audience, were you selective with the sponsors you were willing to work with?
Golic: No. We were like if you want to advertise with us, we love you. We are going to try and make it work for you.
JWS: The companies that sponsored Mike & Mike (Progressive, Pennzoil, 1-800-Flowers, AutoZone, TracFoneWireless), are staying on as sponsors for Golic and Wingo. Do you guys have any concerns that those companies won’t see the ROI they are require from the new show?
Wingo: From a content perspective, that’s a rabbit hole that you can go down that can drive you crazy. You have to be aware of it, but I don’t think you can be consumed with it; because if you become consumed with it, then the show becomes almost secondary. The show has to be, what the show is going to be; and then if people are happy, awesome. You can’t focus on that and lose what the show is.
Part 2: Wingo Opines on NFL Headlines
Howie Long-Short: Pennzoil is a subsidiary of the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A). RDS.A reported Q3 net profits grew nearly 47% YOY (to $4.1 billion), amidst an environment that is seeing supply and demand begin to balance in favor of Big Oil. CEO Ben van Beurden said the results confirm his “strong belief” the company is headed in the right direction. It’s hard to argue with him if you consider the company’s downstream (i.e. refining), upstream (i.e. exploration) and integrated gas units “all made resilient contributions to this strong set of results.”
Fan Marino: Barstool’s Big Cat and PFT Commenter did a “farewell to Mike & Mike”, that is hysterical. It’s 2.5 minutes long, but the first 60 seconds are a parody of the show; and a must watch. They nailed it!
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