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UPCOMING EVENTS

Maggie Gray Moved to Mornings at CBS Sports Radio at the Perfect Time

This was a radio shakeup that truly came out of nowhere. After his CBS Sports Radio show on Wednesday, September 28th, it was announced that host Damon Amendolara was moving his DA Show morning program to Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio the following Monday. CBS Sports Radio promptly announced that it was moving Maggie Gray and Andrew Perloff from afternoons to replace Amendolara in the mornings.

In the radio industry, there are generally rumors and buildup to a shakeup like this, especially when two networks are involved, but in this case, everything came together in a short amount of time.

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“We were thrilled, we were shocked, we had no idea that these changes were happening and so we were totally stunned,” Maggie Gray said. “It was such an incredible thing that they even considered us and thought we could be the morning show.”

Maggie and Perloff debuted in the afternoons on CBS Sports Radio on January 3rd, 2022 airing from 3-6 PM ET. And now, 22 months later, the program has shifted to mornings from 6-10 AM ET. The show was successful in the afternoons and now there’s the opportunity to bring that show to a new audience mixing some old and some new in terms of content and listeners.

“We found a lot of things that we liked and we found some things that we haven’t liked,” said Gray. “We have a moment now to really gather ourselves and how we want to think about taking the show to the next level. It came at the perfect time.”

Morning shows, especially for an all-sports radio station or network, tend to be different than other dayparts in that there is generally a mix of sports, pop culture, and comedy.  The move from afternoons to mornings is certainly an adjustment, but Gray and Perloff were already doing some morning show type of things during their afternoon show.

That certainly made the transition a little easier.

“We always kind of took the approach like ‘Hey, people are tuning into us, yes to hear sports opinions and takes, but also just to be entertained’,” said Gray.  “So, we were always kind of willing to engage those off-ramps, if you will, like when the human-interest stuff comes up and when the silly stuff comes up. We were really always willing to lean into that and I think it’s just an even more natural fit in the morning.”

A week into the morning show era of Maggie and Perloff, there’s a sense of excitement but there’s also some work to do. Before DA’s departure, CBS Sports Radio was searching for a new morning producer to replace Shaun Morash who left the network to move down the hall of Audacy’s New York City studios to WFAN’s new Evan and Tiki afternoon show. That search is still ongoing, but Gray and Perloff are already hitting the ground running in endearing themselves to the new time slot.  

So, Maggie Gray and Perloff decided to finish some of their afternoon business after moving to the mornings.

“We paid off one of our big show bets (this past Friday) where Perloff had to eat a bowl of Skyline Chili with no hands,” said Gray. “I’m glad we did that (on Friday) because it’s giving the new audience a sense of who we are, which is two people who do not take themselves very seriously and are just looking to build something fun and entertaining with sports as the backbone. Sports will always be the foundation but where we can go from here is really exciting.”

As Maggie Gray adjusts to hosting a talk show in the mornings, the move from afternoons has also had a big impact on her family life in a very positive way. Working in the afternoons, Gray was able to see her four-year-old son Lucas off to school in the mornings but was already at work when he came home from school in the afternoons. Now, Gray is home in the afternoons and that means quality family time with Lucas and her husband Andrew.

“I’m here when he gets off the bus,” said Gray. “We’re all able to eat dinner and that part of it, while it’s only been a week, has been extremely rewarding and it’s something that I almost didn’t realize how much I was missing. For this moment of my life and where I am in my life, I think it’s almost like a perfect match.”

Working mornings is not for everyone. You really have to be a morning person to get up a 2 or 3 AM and prepare to get in your car or take the train to work. There is certainly a difference in how men and women approach getting ready to go to work and that was hysterically captured in the tease video that Maggie and Perloff posted on social media when the move to mornings was announced.

With Dolly Parton’s song “9 to 5” as the soundtrack, we see the alarm clock going off while Gray wakes up, turns on the shower, gets into her car, and goes to work.  Meanwhile, throughout the video, we see Perloff in bed sleeping while Gray is busy getting her day started. The video ends with Gray at the studio by herself saying “Where the F is Perloff?”

The truth is that Perloff was not late to work at all during the first week, but the video certainly told a story.

“For women, there’s always a little bit more of a consideration for how you look because we’re held to a different standard,” said Gray. “That was Perloff’s idea and he actually is a morning person. It was more of a fun sort of spoof on how it’s different for women than men. He doesn’t have to wake up as early as I do but we’re both waking up really early.”

While Amendolara certainly took some of his listeners with him to Sirius XM, many have stayed with CBS Sports Radio to give Maggie and Perloff a chance. There will also be listeners from the afternoon show who will adjust their schedules to listen in the mornings. If the first week of chats on the show’s YouTube page is any indication, it seems like Maggie and Perloff’s “Weedos” are meshing well with Amendolara’s “DA’liens”.

“We’ve noticed that the DA’liens and the Weedos have mixed very nicely,” said Gray. “They’re all playing very nice together which is encouraging and we’ve gotten some very nice phone calls from DA’s listeners welcoming us to the morning. DA did a great job of creating a community in a nationally syndicated radio show which is not easy to do and we’re just hoping to build on that.”

Life is good for Maggie Gray, both at work and at home. She’s in prime radio real estate as part of CBS Sports Radio’s new morning show and there’s now that important time with family at home in the afternoons and evenings. All she really needs now is for her beloved Buffalo Bills to win a Super Bowl. If that happens, I wonder if Perloff is at the studio alone the next day saying “where the F is Maggie Gray?”

Peter Schwartz
Peter Schwartzhttps://barrettmedia.com
Peter Schwartz writes weekly sports radio features for Barrett Media. He has been involved in New York sports media for over three decades, and has worked for notable brands such as WFAN, CBS Sports Radio, WCBS 880, ESPN New York, and FOX News Radio. Peter has also served as play by play announcer for the New Yok Riptide, New York Dragons, New York Hitmen, Varsity Media and the Long Island Sports Network. You can find him on Twitter @SchwartzSports or email him at [email protected].

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