MEDIA MAVERICKS: Space Coast Daily’s Tom Palermo and Giles Malone Make Big Impact on Florida’s Space Coast
By Maria Sonnenberg // November 3, 2023
Media Visionaries: SCD features the best Journalists and Multimedia Producers Anywhere
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Sports teach us to think on our feet, to work together for the common good and to seize opportunities when they appear.
A solid background and excelling in sports, together with fearless entrepreneurship and intense commitment to community, provided business partners – and friends – Tom Palermo and Giles Malone with a winning formula for Maverick Multimedia and Brevard Productions.
“It has taken a lot of hard work, a lot of resources and good timing,” Malone said. “Tom and I have a tremendous working relationship, and we have been blessed to have been able to enlist a team of talented, inspired professionals who have helped make our vision become reality.”
The two men come from very different backgrounds. Palermo grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where he excelled in football and bodybuilding, and owned a chain of gyms, staged national bodybuilding events and published a regional bodybuilding magazine.
When a buyer made an unexpected offer on Palermo’s Missouri gyms in 1985, the entrepreneur saw a chance to move to Brevard, where his parents and his brother, Dr. Jim Palermo, then a surgeon at Cape Canaveral Hospital, already resided.
In addition to operating a gym in Titusville and a 24-hour personal training studio on Merritt island, Palermo found time to publish the popular Florida Muscle News and subsequently Space Coast Sport and Fitness and then Space Coast Press, which Florida Today purchased from Palermo in July 2000, renaming it the Cocoa Press-Tribune.
Malone also grew up amidst sports, albeit a different variety. In his youth he lived and breathed soccer, cricket, rugby and tennis, thanks to his father, a top sportswriter for London’s famed “Daily Telegraph” for 22 years and a well-known television sports commentator who called the games at the World Cup, Wimbledon and the best soccer contests, Europe had to offer.
While in high school, Malone hopped across The Pond to America in 1981 as an exchange student recruited to improve the soccer program at Cocoa Beach High School. It was a fortuitous move, for at Cocoa Beach High Malone was to meet his future wife, Alison.
A soccer scholarship at the University of Louisiana helped him earn his business degree, which he enhanced with an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology, where he volunteered to coach soccer and helped lead the team to two national championships in the late 1980s.
Big Impact in Brevard
The two meeting seemed to be in the cards. The two men would invariably chat when picking up their children from Merritt Island Christian School and Malone, then President of the Cocoa Expo Center and the Cocoa Beach Pier, used Palermo’s media venues to raise awareness of the two robust businesses he oversaw.
The friendship eventually led to a business partnership and in 1996, Malone and Palermo launched Maverick Multimedia and Brevard Productions with a vision to serve the Space Coast with hyper-local, unbiased and free information – and affordable, quality family-friendly events.
Fast forward two decades later to the realization of their original vision: Space Coast Daily and Space Coast Daily Park.
The always free to the public, Space Coast Daily has evolved into the county’s most popular and trusted media source, a network of information channels that include the Space Coast Daily Newspaper, Space Coast Daily Magazine, SpaceCoastDaily.com, Space Coast Daily’s Facebook page which includes more than 407,000 fans, a YouTube channel, X and Instagram, as well as Space Coast Daily TV and the Friday Night Locker Room, a popular platform that covers compelling stories on the Space Coast –and promotes local youth, prep and college sports as well as charitable news.
The free Space Coast Daily newspaper publishes 24 times a year, where residents welcome it in their mailbox, while sister publication the free Space Coast Daily magazine is published every other month and covers features on medicine, business, wellness, lifestyle, crime, and, of course, sports and Space.
No paywall ever inhibits the community from accessing the latest news through Space Coast Daily.
“The print products are all free, as is SpaceCoastDaily.com and our other social media products,” Palermo said. “We are able to do so because our advertisers share our vision.”
While the emphasis will always remain hyper-local, the publications now have a reach that extends far beyond the Space Coast.
“Because of our extensive space coverage, we have created a worldwide following as we have covered every single launch and every single recapture here in Brevard since 2011,” Malone said.
Media Visionaries: Best Journalists and Multimedia Producers in the Community
The newly remastered Space Coast Daily-Friday Night Locker Room Studios are centrally located at the Mike Erdman Automotive complex, located at the intersection of State Road 520 and U.S. Hwy. 1, directly under the corner’s signature huge American flag. The expanded facility provides high-tech capabilities for an array of programming that sweeps across all print, audio, video and social media platforms.
The expanded facilities include improvements and updates to allow for even more programming on all the Space Coast Daily platforms and venues, including high-tech podcast capabilities and an array of studio sets.
“Featuring some of the best and long-standing journalists and multimedia producers in our community, Brevardians can count on us to deliver unbiased news and information that is important to them, with emphasis on public safety, health and wellness, education, government, food and entertainment, local sports – and, of course, Space, delivered 24/7 online and print, directly into your mailbox,” said Malone.
“There is no publisher nationwide that does what Tom does day in and day out.”
The company’s mantra has been to embrace cutting-edge technology to better deliver information to the community.
“I was the president and publisher of Space Coast Press in the late 1990s, and after Florida Today acquired the Press in July 2000, I was the managing editor of Florida Today’s non-daily products for five years,” said Palermo.
“During that time in the early 2000s I could see clearly that day-to-day news, due to the huge cost savings online distribution offers over print, was inevitably going to go digital, it was just a matter of when. I’ll never forget the moment in 2007 a friend showed me his ‘i-Phone,’ it was truly an aha moment.”
The first iPhone was a breakthrough Internet communications device and featured desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps—into one small and lightweight handheld device.
“When I saw that first iPhone in 2007, we began creating the Space Coast Daily digital news business plan,” Palermo said.
Global Talent Search
Palermo and Malone searched around the world for the technical expertise they needed to transition into the burgeoning digital universe. Ironically, they found it just around the corner in Cocoa, in the person of fledgling techie/entrepreneur, and then 19-year-old Josh Adams, who has gone on to create one of the county’s most respected digital marketing firms, Rock Paper Simple.
“It was a perfect match,” Palermo said. “On an average month, we now reach more than two million loyal and unique visitors to our publications and our digital and social media sites.”
Powerful Grassroots Reach
Like Space Coast Daily, Brevard Productions has evolved into a powerhouse. The newly relocated Space Coast Daily Park almost doubled in size from its original 24-acre lot when it relocated to a 40-acre site across from the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera.
The expanded special events park provides ample space to host Brevard Productions’ robust year-round schedule of fairs and festivals.
“We’re in the heart of the county, thanks to The Viera Company,” said Malone. “Viera is the perfect location, because it is easily reachable from almost anywhere in Central Florida.”
Brevard Productions has earned a well-deserved reputation for orchestrating high quality entertainment at affordable ticket prices. With hundreds of concerts, fairs, festivals and special events to its name, the company has attracted to Brevard a “Who’s Who” of A-list performers such as Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Joe Walsh of The Eagles and The Beach Boys.
Plans for 2024 continue that tradition, with a concert by country icon Lee Greenwood slated during the Space Coast Key Lime Pie Festival January 19-21. In appreciation of the sacrifices made by the large number of active and retired military in the area, tickets for the Greenwood concert, which also include admission to the Key Lime Pie Festival, will be an extremely modest $15.
The highly experienced management team at Brevard Productions has produced a wide range of events for more than three decades, including signature events like the Space Coast Seafood & Music Festival, Space Coast Strawberry Festival, Space Coast Home Shows, Space Coast State Fair, the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, the Space Coast Public Service Awards and the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards, just to name a few.
“Because of the diversity of the residents of the Space Coast, we believe it is important for us to produce events that attract all segments of the population,” Malone said. “It is very satisfying to be able to produce outstanding special events that attract thousands of families and to keep families informed about these events with and through Space Coast Daily.”
Long-Time Sports Management Experts
Brevard Productions also annually hosts Space Coast Spring Training, targeted at high school and college baseball and softball athletes.
More than 100 teams from across the country visit Brevard each spring to train at county and high school playing fields that would otherwise go unused. The company hosts and organizes all the teams’ lodging and meals, schedules all the team’s activities – thus significantly impacting local hospitality services and raising sales and local-option tourist tax.
Like the space program Space Coast Daily so comprehensively covers, Maverick Multimedia continues on an upwards trajectory, piloted by two business partners who have very successfully translated lessons learned in sports into the field of business.
“We believe you get back what you put in,” Malone said. “We feel so blessed.”
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High Value, Quantifiable Results for Readers and Advertisers
As pioneers using the web and social media, Space Coast Daily reaches millions of people each month via video content produced and distributed on those venues.
Space Coast Daily has developed the unique processes and multimedia venues to generate high-value exposure for Brevard businesses in a quantifiable way by producing and presenting highly engaging and interactive multimedia content – including live video – via our very robust multimedia channels.
“Our successful and trackable strategy is based on high-quality content marketing that is then distributed to the area’s largest and most engaged audience,” said Malone.
“We have been working very successfully with all types of businesses and organizations for four decades, and can effectively increase your qualified prospects, and boost your ranking online with our unique content-rich multimedia approach.”
For almost 40 years, the principals of Space Coast Daily have been successfully assisting businesses to grow and prosper.
“Now, more than ever, we are very aware that our marketing and advertising clients are looking for high value and quantifiable results from their marketing investment,” said Palermo.
“We want to thank each and every one of our readers, viewers, advertisers and supporters for making it possible for us to continue to bring you the best, most sophisticated, unbiased, non-agenda driven news and information to the more than 630,000 residents on the Space Coast.”
For more information, email Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.