10 Questions with ... Joe Giglio
March 3, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WENJ/Atlantic City, WNST/Baltimore, WOR/New York, WFAN/New York, WIP/Philadelphia. Also writer for RantSports.com, MLB Depth Charts, The Locker Room, Bleacher Report, NJ Advance Media (NJ.com). Winner, WFAN Fantasy Phenom competition.
1. You won WFAN's Fantasy Phenom contest to get a show on that station a few years back- first, what compelled you to enter, and what was that experience like?
I had heard about the contest for the first few years of its existence, but never had the time to enter. Talking about sports has always been my passion and I thought I would have a chance if I entered, so I took a leap and made the time to go to the tryouts.
The experience was nerve-wracking. Each contestant had two minutes to give a "rant" and impress the judges. The hard part was balancing standing out in a crowd of people all talking about the 3-4 big topics of the week. With so many entrants, I didn't know what to expect, but just kept setting a goal of making it to the next round.
2. Following up on that, you hosted before you entered that contest- what got you into radio in the first place? Why radio?
After majoring in sport management in college (I wanted to be one of the GMs that I now critique for a living), I had doubts about the career. With a college radio show as my only experience, I applied for radio jobs after graduation and landed one talking high school sports with a small local station in NJ. Radio was an extension of what I always loved doing: Talking sports with anyone who would listen.
3. You also write about sports, most recently for NJ.com, before that Bleacher Report -- was doing radio, TV, video, and writing part of your overall plan? Is it more important now to be multimedia-friendly as opposed to concentrating on one thing?
It wasn't at first. After two years working in NJ, the company switched owners and consolidated programs, including mine. I was out of work and unsure where to turn for a career. That's when I started blogging, writing and taking any gig (mostly for free) that I could find to get my name out there as a multimedia threat.
It's imperative now. As the years go on, I think there will be fewer and fewer "hosts" on sports stations. You need to have to ability to talk, write, connect and appear on camera.
4. You're from the Jersey Shore and you've been on both WFAN and WIP -- this might be dangerous territory, but what are the chief differences between New York and Philadelphia sports radio callers, if there is any difference?
I was waiting for this one! Really, I think the fan bases are more alike than they are different. Passion is evident. Not many stations in the country can have the listeners and caller base to have live programming 24/7. WIP and WFAN can, and I'm lucky enough to be part of those communities.
5. When it's time for you to do a show, what's your show prep process? What are your go-to sites, Twitter feeds, resources?
WFAN's Steve Somers once told me that this occupation is more of a lifestyle than a job. Prepping for shows isn't just a few hours before airtime, but more of a daily thing. Watching games, reading, connecting on social media to get the pulse of listeners/fans.
Although I don't pick up hard copies, I still devour the local news outlets (NY Post, NY Daily News, SNY, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, CSN) every day. Following the beat writers and columnists in town has become a go-to before shows to get the latest news.
6. Who are your mentors, inspirations, and/or heroes in the business?
I grew up listening to Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN and still think that show won't ever be topped in this business. I really respect anyone that is a hard worker and draw inspiration from hosts that do this job the right way. Harry Kalas, the late Phillies announcer, once told me that preparation is the key to anyone who works on air.
7. Of what are you most proud?
Having the chance to working in multiple markets and bosses that believe in my ability to remain objective, yet passionate, s in each city.
8. What do you do for fun?
Watching sports is my hobby and my job, but I do like to read, cook and run when I'm not watching a game.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without __________.
...talking about sports, even if it means boring my wife with the latest NBA trade rumor!
10. What's the best advice you ever got? The worst?
Best: Be yourself on the air and play to your strengths. I can't be the next Mike Francesa or Howard Eskin. It won't sound right and I'll fail. I have to be the first me. Hopefully, listeners will remain receptive.
Worst: Wait to get married and have a family because it takes time to land a full-time gig and excel in this business. While it's a challenge, that advice doesn't work for everyone!