Gould’s illustrious career in sports journalism began when he was still a teenager. “When my voice broke at 13, it was very deep,” he says. “I had this booming voice that could be heard across the room.”
With pipes like that, radio was a given, so at 19, he started doing the sports news on breakfast radio in Birmingham. “I was their youngest sports editor at 21,” he recalls.
He moved to London that year “to seek my fortune” and climbed up the radio industry ladder, working for the BBC World Service, LBC, Sky and IRN. But he always wanted to run his own business and be his own boss.
“My dad was a businessman,” he says. “The whole family is. I wanted to create a business model to improve and monetise sports output on the radio.”
In 1992 he did just that, launching Sportsmedia.co.uk: “I scaled the business from nothing to 100 sports stations, 64 finance news stations and a £750,000 turnover.”
But trouble hit the industry in 2000, a “radio recession” if you will. The cause? “Google Adwords,” states Gould. “It was a new phenomenon. Now, people realise that you can’t sell everything using the internet and that radio is great for targeting mature audiences. The industry started bouncing back in December.”
In January, Gould signed his biggest contract to date. A two-year deal with IG Index worth six figures. After several years of single digit growth, Sports Media will see a 15 per cent increase in turnover this year. A figure that’s likely to jump further in 2009 off the back of a larger, more experienced sales team.
For Gould, it’s a great time to be in business.
“I hate talking about the credit crunch,” says Gould. “Everybody else seems to be affected. Our sponsors budgets haven’t been squeezed, and the new business is out there to be got.
“In fact,” he goes on. “If I realise my vision for Sports Media, my business could be bigger than the radio industry itself.”
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