In addition to being a talk show host for 94.1 WIP, Joe Giglio is a sportswriter for NJ Advance Media and a podcaster. Giglio discusses his sports media influences, the changing media landscape. and thoughts on the current state of sports in Philadelphia.
The Flat Circle: When did you first know you wanted to work in sports media?
Joe Giglio: Right before my senior year of college…after spending three years working toward a sport management degree. I went to school hoping to be the next Brian Cashman or Howie Roseman. Now I criticize them for a living.
TFC: Is there a writer or personality who inspired you to pursue work in sports media?
Giglio: Jayson Stark and Peter Gammons on the writing side. Mike and the Mad Dog on the radio side. Bill Simmons’ travel the road less taken career path. I took something from each, even if I didn’t realize it when I was growing up.
TFC: In this era of entertainment media you have to balance multiple responsibilities. Radio, podcasts, television work, and writing. What do you think is the most important skill to develop in order to meet such diverse demands?
Giglio: Flexibility. If you’re rigid or married to one idea of doing things or one way of producing content today, you’re cooked. I don’t really consider myself a radio host or sports writer or podcaster. I’m a sports guy who produces content.
TFC: You write for NJ.com, are a talk show host for 94.1 WIP, and have two podcasts that cover Philadelphia sports teams. The New York and Philadelphia fans are passionately involved with their teams. Does that pose a challenge for media members?
Giglio: Passion from fans is the reason why this job is fun. My situation is unique. Covering/writing about many teams in multiple markets (that typically don’t like each other) can be challenging, but I just write/talk/podcast for the audience I am trying to connect with for each situation.
TFC: In addition to your duties for NJ.com and WIP you are involved with the podcasts Talkin’ Philliesand The No-Huddle Show. Are podcasts different from creating a radio show and, if so, how are they different?
Giglio: Much different. Podcasts can be more relaxed. Radio is about timing, pacing and juggling 100 things per segment. From phones to teases to watching the clock to trying to connect with someone who’s flipping around the radio, it’s a balancing act for four hours. Podcasts can be more off the wall because you know the audience purposely came to listen.
TFC: ESPN has experienced a vast amount of change within the last month. What do you think of the changes and do they have long-term ramifications for the industry?
Giglio: It’s a shame, but not surprising. They spread themselves too thin while losing too much money. It’s like any other business. Plus, for as many people that complained and sulked at good journalists losing their jobs, it’s our fault. If more people clicked on the stories from (insert reporter that lost their job), ESPN probably would have kept them. If you can’t make money or generate revenue, media companies will adapt to feature the people that can. Like it or not, Stephen A. Smith makes a ton of money for ESPN.
As for ramifications? Of course. The whole industry is competitive and it just got even more uncertain moving forward.
TFC: A few Philadelphia sports questions: all four teams are immersed in some phase of rebuilding. Which teams have the best shot at a title and who is most likely to get there first?
Giglio: Best shot: Sixers. They can build a special team with the Simmons-Embiid pairing. Gets there first: Eagles. The NFL is wacky, postseason success can come fast when a run starts and they have the right QB. Plus, there’s more risk with the Sixers.
TFC: What do you think of the Phillies giving Pete Mackanin a two-year contract extension last week?
Giglio: I have a different Mackanin take than most. It’s not a huge deal, and I don’t buy that he’s “the guy” for them. In reality, they picked up an option year and added another option for the following year. If they loved him and knew he was the manager for when the team was ready, we’d be talking about a deal with three or four guaranteed seasons.
TFC: The NBA holds its draft lottery on Tuesday. This is likely the very last draft of the rebuilding phase of The Process era for the Sixers. What position do you think they need to address in the draft and who do you want to see play with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid next year?
Giglio: They need to look more at fit than in recent years. Many want a point guard, but it has to be the right fit with Ben Simmons gearing up to be the primary point guard. I think they need a forward more than most people. The depth chart outside of Covington and Saric isn’t deep—assuming Simmons is the point.
TFC: If Lonzo Ball is available when the Sixers pick would you take him and deal with the drama of Lamar Ball?
Giglio: I want no part of Lonzo Ball on the Sixers, but it has nothing to do with his dad. Lonzo is a ball dominant, pass first point guard. Ben Simmons is likely going to be a ball dominant, pass first, run the floor and go coast-to-coast type of point-forward. It doesn’t mesh. I think they’d stunt each other’s games by playing together.