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[Houston Press] Ranking the Local Sports Radio Shows from Worst to First

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Rockets34Legend, May 1, 2012.

  1. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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    http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2012/05/houston_sports_radio_show_ranking.php?page=2

    I've been listening to sports radio in the city of Houston a very long time. Too long, probably. While I don't remember much about Edmonds and Martini, I do remember when the only sports radio show in Houston was Sports Beat, which ran evenings on KTRH. Amazing to think that we've gone from one four-hour show to four sports radio stations in 20 years.

    My job allows me to listen to shows all hours of the day and I flip around to all the stations. There is a pretty wide range of programming out there, but there is no doubt that the sheer number of slots to fill does tend to stretch the talent pool thin, even in a city as large as Houston. Last week, I started thinking it might be interesting to rank the local shows, particularly now that Jim Rome is gone from our market.

    Before I get too deep into this, I decided to exclude Sean Pendergast and John Granato's show from this list. Sean is a Press writer making it a conflict of interest. And when I got right down to it, I realized that, with the impending sale of 97.5 FM, it made the most sense to stick with 790 KBME and 610 KILT, the two giants in the marketplace, both of which put most of their eggs in the local basket, something 1560 AM just doesn't.

    Here we go.

    Unranked: In the Trenches: Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu (790) -- 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
    Since this show featuring a pair of former NFL players is only a couple weeks old, I won't give them a ranking just yet. Both have performed solid duty alongside other radio guys in the past, but it remains to be seen whether the two can hold down a show without a seasoned radio voice to moderate. It's an intriguing pairing and both are sharp as tacks, so it bears watching.

    8. The Odd Couple: Barry Warner and Shaun Bijani (610) -- 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
    Warner is one of the oldest and most frustrating voices in Houston sports. He is paired with a fairly promising youngster in Bijani, but Warner makes the show difficult to listen to on a regular basis. It's unfortunate that the immeasurable knowledge he's built up over the years as a local sports reporter is mostly wasted on his endless pontificating. The guy really is a legend in Houston sports media. It's a shame he has to keep reminding everyone over and over.


    7. The Mighty Gwinn: Dylan Gwinn (790) -- 11 a.m.-noon
    I'm going to be honest and say I used to hate Gwinn. His takes were (and occasionally still are) often out of left field and his voice is, as a friend of mine in the radio business diplomatically described it, "a tough listen." But Gwinn HAS improved, markedly. He still needs to tone down the "Mighty Voice" and get a little more knowledgeable about a wider range of sports, but he is improving.


    6. Matt Thomas (790) -- noon-3 p.m.
    Thomas is the former in-arena voice of the Rockets and a UH grad, who worked at 950 AM before leaving for Minnesota. He's a solid voice in the afternoons, but sometimes gets sidetracked with topics that don't play to his strengths. It's tough to hold down three hours and Thomas does a solid job, but it wouldn't hurt him to have a regular co-host. As much as I like Thomas (and I enjoy listening to him quite a bit), this show would rank higher on the list with a sturdy number two across from him.


    5. Vandermeer and Lopez: Mark Vandermeer and John Lopez (610) -- 6 a.m.-10 a.m.
    In general, I think the "voice of the Houston Texans" is a solid radio personality. Unfortunately, he's leaving the station in the near future to go full time with the Texans, leaving Lopez and a giant hole. Lopez is one of the more opinionated guys on sports radio, the result, no doubt, of years as a newspaper columnist. The problem is that it feels as though his opinions are simply a means of pissing off listeners. They may be his actual thoughts, but he delivers them so often with such unwavering intensity, that it is grating to listen to him, particularly when he is so off base, it hurts. Vandermeer is a solid voice of reason, but he's attentions are so focused on football, it's tough for him to balance the whole thing out. Whoever they get to replace "the voice" will need to be a strong personality to counterbalance Lopez' abrasive tone.

    4. J&R: Josh Innes and Rich Lord (610) -- 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
    I know a lot of people don't care for Lord. I guess I get that opinion, but it is not one I share. I still believe his show with Charlie Pallilo -- now, long since gone -- is the gold standard for Houston sports talk. Lord is honest and intelligent, something that has kept him working in a tough business for many years. Unfortunately, he's paired with Innes. He may be a radio wunderkind of sorts, but his abrasive, over-the-top personality is very difficult to listen to. I'll admit that I really don't like the "guy talk" format that is popular in many markets. Innes seems to have that down and that will probably serve him well, but the juvenile commentary, inside jokes and audible disdain for those who don't like his schtick gets old. It's unfortunate, because he has real talent. I just wish he would use it for sports a higher percentage of the time.

    3. MaD Radio: Mike Meltser and Brad Davies (610) -- 10 a.m -2 p.m.
    When Jim Rome was booted off 610, the powers that be wisely opted for a local lineup to span the four hours between the morning and afternoon shows. It's such a better option than multiple one-hour shows and, with the local talk, I listen more, not less. Davies has bounced around over the years, but recently found a spot at 610 doing Texans' coverage. He balances nicely with Meltser, who is pitted as the hyper-logical counterpart to Davies' everyman. The pair is surprisingly solid despite only a few months on air. I hope 610 sticks with them. They have quickly become one of my regular listens.


    2. Charlie Palillo (790) -- 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
    No one in Houston has a bigger sports brain than Palillo. He's almost a savant. His four-hour drive time show is everything the stats and history geek could want and more. He has gotten to be a much better interviewer as well and ably carries his entire show solo. It's true that he is acerbic. The know-it-all, brainiac persona can rub people the wrong way, particularly when he is raking a caller over the coals for a perceived lack of knowledge, but no one brings the hardcore sports talk like CP. I'm still waiting for that perfect pairing to help balance him out, but he is so good by himself, it makes little sense to rock the boat.


    1. The Big Show: Matt Jackson, Adam Wexler and Lance Zerlein (790) -- 6 a.m.-10 a.m.
    I've been a fan of Matt and Adam for a long time and was happy to see them get their own show at 790. When Zerlein came over from 1560, I was a little perplexed by the three-man show concept. I was secretly hoping Zerlien would man the chair across from Palillo in the afternoons. But, when they aren't struggling to keep from talking over one another, this is the most entertaining and informative show on sports radio. They still need to improve on their interactions and try to stay on point -- it can sometimes feel like a bunch of guys at a bar fighting to get a word in -- but they clearly are at the head of the pack in terms of good sports content balanced with entertainment.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Kam

    Kam Contributing Member

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    Thanks for posting it, saw it earlier, forgot to mention it.

    610 should fire Bijani.



    (so 790 can hire him and do the night shift, and then do the Rockets fan feedback when 790 carries the Rockets, because Rockets need a new radio home seeing as they're free agents now).


    And this article is from some Jeff Balke guy.
     
  3. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    There's a guy on 1560, I think his name is Craig Shemon, who sounded pretty good the couples times I listened to him. Good takes on the Rockets, as I remember it.

    I'm not too thrilled with most of the local guys, frankly. I enjoyed listening to ND Kalu. I think Matt Thomas, Sean Pendergast, and Lance Z also have a good mix of intelligent takes and entertaining delivery.

    Palillo's one man show is dull to me.

    Brad Davies, personally, I find annoying, and Meltser is too robotic, with middle-of-the-road takes on everything.
     
    #3 durvasa, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  4. Relentless

    Relentless Member

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    I only listen to 30 minutes of 610 in the morning. 1 hour of j&r but is one of these assholes from loserana
     
  5. C-Mo

    C-Mo Member

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    Ever since Matt and Adam moved over to 790, I moved with them. I think they do the best job of talking about sports and mixing in other non-sports related content. "The Voice" on 610 is too much of a Texans homer and when the Texans deserved criticism, he didnt provide it. And he has no sports knowledge outside of football. Everyone else on 610 outside of Shaun B. is a hard listen.
     
  6. Coach AI

    Coach AI Contributing Member

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    This is a pretty solid ranking.
     
  7. Major Malcontent

    Major Malcontent Contributing Member

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    "I know a lot of people don't care for Lord. I guess I get that opinion, but it is not one I share. I still believe his show with Charlie Pallilo -- now, long since gone -- is the gold standard for Houston sports talk."

    I agree with this. Maybe I am nostalgic because back then there wasn't any all sports radio in Houston and this combo was the only game in town. A younger Charlie Pallilo covered for Lord's lack of a lot of solid sports knowledge. Rich Lord was already a veteran pro radio guy and his personality softened some of Charlie's caustic tendencies. Together it was better than anything we currently have.
     
  8. rhino17

    rhino17 Member

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    Totally disagree, for me

    3) Dylan Gwinn (has grown on me a ton lately, used to HATE the guy)
    2) The Big Show
    1) Matt Thomas

    Everything on 610 is god awful and I think Charlie P is overrated. I dont think he is particularly knowledgeable about football. He seems to know most about baseball, which is a sport I don't really care for. I also don't like caller driven shows.
     
  9. TheresTheDagger

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    My opinion of the "Gold Standard" of Houston sports radio was when Lance Zerlein was paired with John Grannato. They really clicked as a team, great chemistry and somehow always found just the right balance between serious sports talk and keeping it light and humourous.

    Pallilo and Lord together was good....would be #2 all time to me.
     
  10. wallyj12

    wallyj12 Member

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    2 people like this.
  11. yobod

    yobod Member

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    Is The Drive with Carl Dukes, Dave Tepper and Julie Takahashi that bad?

    I notice they went unranked.
     
  12. Blurr#7

    Blurr#7 Contributing Member

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  13. Kam

    Kam Contributing Member

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  14. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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  15. Relentless

    Relentless Member

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    Show ****ing sucks
     
  16. CourtOfDreams

    CourtOfDreams Member

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  17. body slam

    body slam Member

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    He hit the nail on the head with Lopez being over opinionated.
     
  18. The Real Shady

    The Real Shady Contributing Member

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  19. LAFIRMA22

    LAFIRMA22 Member

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    Josh Innes can not take critiscm at all he wants everyone to like him and if you don't he gets mad and starts talking bad about the person who don't like him.
     
  20. PointForward

    PointForward Member

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