The Cowhead Show
|Running time||4 hours|
|Starring||Mike Calta, Galvin, Rob Garguilo, Spanish, Carmin|
|Exec. producer(s)||Rob Garguilo|
|Air dates||since 2001|
|Opening theme||"The King of Rock'n Roll" by Mikko Lindström|
|Ending theme||"Corona" by the Minutemen|
The Mike Calta Show is an American radio program hosted by Mike Calta, formerly known as "Cowhead". The show broadcasts live Monday through Friday on 102.5 the Bone WHPT in the Tampa Bay area, Florida from 6:00 am to 10:00 am The show consistently ranks in the top of Tampa Bay morning-drive radio ratings.
Mike "Cowhead" Calta is originally from Staten Island, New York (he currently resides in Land O' Lakes, Florida). He began his radio career in 1992 in Tampa, Florida, working as an intern for Top-40 channel 93.3 WFLZ. It was at WFLZ that Cowhead joined the Bubba the Love Sponge Show, which aired in the evenings. In 1996 the show was moved from syndicated nights to local mornings at WXTB (98 Rock) in Tampa. However, in April 2000 Cowhead and Bubba had a falling out and Cowhead was fired.
In August 2000, Cowhead was hired by Infinity Broadcasting. He began producing The Sport Chix show, which consisted of Original Hooter's Girl and Playboy Playmate Lynn Austin, BL, and "Sports Arena" Tina. It aired mid-days on Sports Radio 1010 The Team (WQYK am).
Cowhead was moved to mornings at Infinity-owned WRBQ and teamed up with new morning host A.W. Pantoja. The show was the idea of Eric Logan (EVP of Programming at XM Satellite Radio). The AW and Cowhead Show aired for one year.
In 2001 Sports Radio 1010 lost its early mid-day show when the syndicated Fabulous Sports Babe was cancelled by ESPN. (The show originated from the Infinity Tampa Studios.) One week prior to the Super Bowl, The Babe's firing by her syndication company left a void in the sports talk station's lineup.
Cowhead was thrown into the slot. He formed a show with co-host Brent Pearson, who had been recently fired from Clear Channel Sarasota's WYNF. Board op Kevin "Mr. Excitement" Wurster; Calta's friend, Pete "the Sports Geek" Larios; and intern Amy Beckman rounded out the show, which became known as The Replacement Show. The show's name came from the crew suspecting "the show would be replaced any day." However, it became popular, and was moved from early mid-days to afternoons, and eventually to mornings. Due to 1010's weak signal, The Replacement Show became The Cowhead and Brent Show and was moved to Outlaw 92.5 Kick Ass Country, a station created around the new morning show. However, the Tampa Bay radio market became saturated with country stations, and Outlaw 92.5 Kick Ass Country became La Nueva 92.5, Tampa's first Hispanic F.M. radio station.
Anticipating the format change, Cowhead began mocking Infinity management by refusing to speak English during his show for two hours, holding a contest where listeners brought in farm animals, and calling XM Radio's Opie and Anthony Show (who had been fired by Infinity) and carrying on a 45-minute interview which aired in Tampa and on XM. The next day Calta was fired by Infinity, and he closed the show with O and A's final phrase "your mom's box".
Calta's next radio show in 2006 was the The Cowhead Show with co-host Phatty (aka Spice Boy from the Bubba The Love Sponge Show), weekdays from 6 am to 10 am EST. In March 2006, the duo was suspended pending an internal investigation over alleged indecent comments made on the show. Cowhead, Phatty, and Brian Medlin, the radio station's program director, were fired following the investigation. Cowhead released a press release via his official website, stating that the reason he was fired was due to a competitor in the Tampa Bay radio market who edited his bits to make them contain expletives and sent them to WXTB advertisers. In actuality, Cowhead was fired over questionable content in accordance to Clear Channel's "zero tolerance" policy. Cowhead's firings have made radio critics consider him a "shock jock."
On March 31, 2006, Cowhead was a guest on the Kidd Chris Show in WYSP, Philadelphia, explaining the circumstances surrounding his suspension and ultimately his firing. He also appeared on the Bubba the Love Sponge Show on Friday, May 5, 2006 to explain his firing.
On July 2, 2006, All Access reported that Cowhead would be the new morning show host on WHPT-FM (102.5 The Bone) in Tampa, Florida. On July 10, the new Cowhead show launched, with Brent returning as a co-host. Long-time friend of Cowhead, Moose, was hired as producer. On Oct. 10, 2006, Brent was fired from The Cowhead Show on the air shortly after 6 pm, for falling asleep on the air. He was replaced by current co-host Galvin in February 2007.
The last morning show aired January 4, 2008. The Cowhead Show began afternoon broadcasts on Monday, January 7, 2008. The move came to make room for the return of Bubba the Love Sponge to terrestrial radio. This move was significant not only because of Bubba's return after the largest fine in the history of the FCC, but because of the history between the two.
On January 17, 2010, Calta launched a weekly half-hour television program, Cowhead TV, on local CW affiliate WTOG, Sunday nights at 11:00 pm. The program's time slot will be purchased by Calta from WTOG (along the lines of an infomercial or brokered program), and Calta will sell all ad time during the program.
In June 2010, Calta introduced CowheadTV.com, a free 24-hour television broadcast website where viewers can watch the entire broadcast live on the internet. The show is shot with ten HD cameras and directed by Joseph DiSanto.
On May 18, 2011, Calta received national media coverage when he told his listeners to call the Boston Bruins' marketing department, due to the Bruins putting up a billboard in Boston claiming that Tampa Bay Lightning fans do not exist.
On August 29, 2014, the Mike Calta Show was moved back to its original morning time slot on 102.5 The Bone. Due to restructuring of the station, this replaced the Bubba The Love Sponge Show at the 6–10:00 am morning drive slot.
In 2012, show member Dinah departed, creating more on-air time for producers "Spanish" and "Carmin." In late 2014, Rob Garguilo replaced John Brennan (who replaced Moose) as the executive producer when Brennan took on the full-time position as program director of WHPT, completing the show's current on-air staff.
As of April 14, 2014, Calta officially retired the nickname "Cowhead", as well as changing the show's name from The Cowhead Show to The Mike Calta Show. After more than 20 years of using the Cowhead nickname, his decision to retire it was based on his preference of a more mature name for the evolution of his radio career, stating "I think times change... As times change and you age, it just gets silly."
On April 10, 2014, Calta hosted a roast for his former name to officially "kill it off" and to begin his new radio name, his real name: Mike Calta. The name of the show was changed to The Mike Calta Show. His roast included several notable comics, including Jim Norton, Bert Kreischer, Robert Kelly, Jim Florentine, Greg Fitzsimmons, Maurice Jovan, and Johnny B.
- "Radio's 'Cowhead Show' to make TV debut Sunday". St. Petersburg Times. January 12, 2010.
- "Tampa's Cowhead to get his own TV show". Radio-Info.com. January 12, 2010.
- "And Here's The Boston Bruins' Billboard That Caused Tampa Bay Lightning Fans To Resort To Death Threats". ngngsports.com. May 20, 2011.
- "Cox's Cowhead Show Facing Lawsuit Over Doctored Picture". Radio Ink Magazine. April 30, 2013.