(Dino Costa, right, tells Jane Lynch, “y’know, from a certain angle you sort of look like Cameron Diaz”)
Up until very recently, I’d thought Dino Costa’s publicity duties were being handled by an Islamophobe coupon-shopper columnist from the Inland Empire, but it seems the Yonkers Cowboy has found someone else willing to work very cheap.
Enter Forbes’ Tom Van Riper who optimistically hails Dino Costa’s “anti-PC bluntness”. Yes, that’s one way to describe a guy who thinks the Boston Marathon bombings didn’t happen, calls the President of the United States “that thing” and has on multiple occasions, suggested straights concerned with the civil rights of gays are either closet cases or total phonies. That all of the above had less to do with Dino being canned at Sirius/XM than his constant on-air baiting of management and colleagues (with the former ultimately deciding dead air was a more attractive proposition than Costa’s program) isn’t the greatest testament to the satellite broadcaster’s quality control, but it’s equally hard to fathom how the Forbes contributor can be impressed with Dino’s dubious new business model (a $72 a year, subscriber-only podcast/web portal). Van Riper, who conveniently neglects to mention a) this isn’t Costa’s first attempt at a web radio venture, b) recent published claims that Costa hired a fan/acolyte to develop the web scheme, then stiffed him on a $1000 kill fee after a full time job failed to materialize, or c) the fates of two individuals who recently uprooted their families for gainful employment under Costa in Las Vegas, only to learn upon arrival the gigs had gone up in smoke, does reveals 2 New Jersey fans have invested a quarter million in the mooted Costa podcast. You ought to consider that a staggering sum given Van Riper is not even able to provide a link for potential subscribers (unless that site was shut down, too)
Costa’s bet: that he’ll grab listeners who agree with his thoughts on hot subjects like gay athletes coming out (he doesn’t celebrate it), and the Washington Redskins (he doesn’t want a name change). Those positions put him at odds with the mainstream sporting press, which, he figures, is precisely his advantage. Costa wants to be seen as the guy who has the guts to say what others are thinking but afraid to articulate for fear of being shouted down by the sensitivity police.
“Sports media is done left-of-center, almost exclusively,” he says. As for advertisers, Costa already assumes he won’t be doing business with Procter & Gamble He’s seeking out smaller businesses that would fit his demographic – coffee, craft beer and cigars, among others. He’s also looking into potential deals to link his content into like-minded websites like the Drudge Report and the Daily Caller.
With social issues making their way into sports coverage more and more, it’s conceivable that a hybrid of sports talk and conservative talk – both independently popular – could work. Costa knows he may not get an audience of millions. But as a low-cost niche player, he doesn’t have to. For what it’s worth, his 10,400 twitter followers are only 1,800 less than the Mad Dog Sports Radio total.
(The twitter follower figure cited by Van Riper, by the way, is nearly a quarter the size of Costa’s prior total while employed at Sirius, though in fairness to Dino, an audit of the current number reveals only about 20% of the current number of followers are phony, which is a far smaller percentage than he’s used to. But it’s a curious thing to bring up under any circumstances — who in their right mind invests $250K in a web venture that’s only form of promotion is a protected twitter account?)
Van Riper likens Dino to “Rush Limbaugh meets Dan Patrick”. Certainly, this is a huge bummer for Dan Patrick, but I will grant it’s a less compelling sales pitch for Costa’s target demo (Archie Flunkers who think disconnection notices are part of a government plot to hold down White America) than say, “Alex Jones meets Fonzie”.