Wednesday, June 9, 2010

THE HMW SPORTS TALK RADIO “SPRING BOOK” POWER RANKINGS; TOP 10 "BEST SHOWS"

THE HMW SPORTS TALK RADIO “SPRING BOOK” POWER RANKINGS; TOP 10 "BEST SHOWS"
Written by: Craig Shelton
Date posted: 06- 09- 2010

1. JOHN & LANCE SHOW-(610AM) WEEKDAYS ON KGOW 1560 THE GAME (AM)

There’s something about the continuity that 13 years of working together brings to a situation which makes the John & Lance morning show on KGOW 1560 The Game, a hard act to top.

John & Lance still have the market on lockdown when it comes to consistently delivering an entertaining morning drive sports radio talk show. These guys still deliver daily by mostly just being them selves with their listeners and mixing in enough topical content, (and sometimes not so topical) along with having enough general sports knowledge to appease even the most “snobbish” of sports talk radio listeners. That includes guys like  HMW’s very own Mike In DA.

So how do two guys that have experienced so much long-term success, improve their show? Actually I'm not 100% sure, but here is where I would start: John & Lance may consider the question of rather or not, as their stations flagship production, if their show does enough to attract new listeners to 1560 The Game? J&L maintain a loyal listening base that listens faithfully for extended periods of time as reflected in their TSL numbers consistently.

Is the John & Lance morning show meeting their own expectations in attracting "NEW" listeners to 1560 The game? I just really don't know, but I'm listening....


CATCH JOHN & LANCE WEEKDAYS 6A- 10A 0N 1560 THE GAME



2. DYLAN GWINN - (10- 12NOON) WEEKDAYS ON SPORTS TALK 790 (AM)

For those of you in the sports talk media that I’ve spoken to, or received emails from with your opinions on number two in the power rankings: “The Mighty” Dylan Gwinn. Hey..stick a sock in it!

You “whiners” (no pun intended) have no one to blame for Dylan’s rise in the local sports talk market, but the “man in the mirror”. Dylan stepped in and filled a need for some truly risky and not risque sports talk. Houston has been flooded with “lillyville” white picket fence, sports talk radio, for far to long . Dylan was simply smart enough to recognize that fact and capitalize on that “need” in the market.

Dylan’s show is always energetic and flooded with a constant flow of fired up callers to share what’s often a countering view point to Dylan’s take. Dylan is never condescending or arrogant with callers, but is a huge self promoter, which is something he draws criticism from his competitors for.

Take it from me Dylan, don’t worry about the criticism from the local host. Only worry if too many of these guys begin to like you. It’s likely a signal that you’re no longer threat to them; meaning you have likely lost your edge. Keep your edge Mighty Gwinn and let competition keep hating instead of congradulating my man, and you’ll be ok!


CATCH THE MIGHTY DYLAN GWINN WEEKDAYS 10A- 12 NOON ON SPORTS TALK 790



3. RALPH COOPER - (5- 7PM) WEEKDAYS ON KCOH (AM) 1430 (RALPH AIRS 5- 6PM ON TUES)

The Godfather of  Houston’s sports talk radio community is none other than Ralph Cooper of KCOH 1430 (am). Ralph’s span in media of over three decades stand up against, or above, anything his radio brotherhood can argue. Sports Rap with Ralph Cooper air on Houston’s oldest black owned radio station. Ralph’s unique ability to remain sharp and witty, while maintaining the on air presence and energy necessary to hold he attention of today’s text & go radio listener.

No one outside of Sports Talk 790's Dylan Gwinn and Barry Warner of Sports Radio 610 takes on the tough social issues in sports as Ralph Cooper does. Ralph attacks issues with aggression and vigor, as oppose to painting unrealistic visions of: “can’t we all get alone”? (yea we can get alone if you your ass will just “pay me Rick”!)

Ralph keeps it coming and Ralph keeps it real! Ralph often spark reactions from callers, as well as in studio guest by pouring verbal gasoline on the fire with racial angles on topics to stir up emotions. It works people. In fact, it works time and time again. It works on me when I co-host Wednesdays with Ralph, and it works on the callers and listeners as well. Ralph Cooper is a veteran in the game and is masterful at creating a pace that, no matter how heated the topic, the show still flows.

Ralph understands how to keep the fire lit and continue to eat in an industry that typically doesn’t feed you long term. Ralph has remained relevant and in the top half of the local food chain in Houston’s sports talk market.

CATCH RALPH COOPER ON SPORTS RAP WEEKDAYS 5P- 7P ON KCOH 1430




4. MATT THOMAS - (12- 3PM) WEEKDAYS ON SPORTS TALK 790 (AM)Matt Thomas aka ”The Judge” of Sports Talk 790 is the number four show in our rankings and marks the second appearance in the Top 5 of our rankings of a Sports Talk 790 show.
Matt Thomas is a master of being fair without compromising his credibility as a responsible member of the sports media. Matt is a smooth orator that speaks “to” his listeners and not “at” his listeners. Matt is veteran savvy enough to understand the value of the teamwork aspect of “good” sports talk radio. Matt often begins his show by debating the comments of Dylan Gwinn; Matt’s show follows the Mighty Gwinn in the Sports Talk 790 morning/mid-day lineup. Matt Thomas has made a smooth transition back into the Houston sports talk arena and has been impressive from the start. The addition of Matt Thomas gave Sports Talk 790 a solid veteran presence that can be used in a vast utility roll in any pinch hitting situation. Ok, enough of all the baseball metaphor’s, Matt Thomas is also is 790’s Astros guy and did a notable job during the spring and has covered the Astros with professional humility to this point in the season. Matt takes a relevant amount of callers and is very fair in allowing them to make their points. Matt will keep callers on the line after their comments and dialogue with the people on the phones. Correction, what I should say is that Matt Thomas at least attempts to dialogue with the callers. The issue is, for some reason (and to Matt’s displeasure I might add) callers often make questionable comment and hang up before Matt can go back and forth with them.

Well Matt my man, allow me to explain why that happens. It’s because the callers have pre-conditioned expectations of how they will be received when they have “strong” opposing views from a host. They have been conditioned to expect such treatment by many of the guys you work with in this town in radio. That includes some at your station as well.

Matt Thomas is our biggest mover & shaker in these latest rankings. Keep it up “Judge”!


CATCH MATT THOMAS WEEKDAYS 12NOON- 3P ON SPORTS TALK 790


5. MATT & ADAM - (6- 10AM) WEEKDAYS ON SPORTS TALK 790 (AM)

Matt Jackson and Adam Wexler of Sports Talk 790 have become a fixture in the Houston sports talk landscape. Dating back to their “Night Shift” days at Sports Radio 610, they have been blessed with seemingy-seamless chemistry.

Their morning show format is informational and the tandem does a excellent job at maintaining topical integrity. Jackson & Wexler typically keep their show bits within the relevant parameters of their sports topics. Now that’s a lesson some others should pay attention to. Jackson & Wexler’s show has recently added some minor production value to the show, but still could use a production boost of creativity and energy.

This is not the ideal pairing of talent for a morning show format. There are some clear energy issues, which is risky business with the "hustle & flow" of morning traffic; the kids; her; ect. To their credit, some that I have spoke with believe that, due to the present collective climate of morning radio in Houston. Is it true? Is Matt Jackson & Adam Wexler in the right place at the right time to capitalize on what most view as an open market?

You see folks, listeners are less likely in these days and times to share loyalties exclusive to any one station. Anyone wonder why?

CATCH MATT JACKSON & ADAM WEXLER WEEKDAYS 6A- 10A ON SPORTS TALK 790



6. KEN HOFFMAN & DAVID NUNO - (1- 3PM) WEEKDAYS ON KGOW 1560 THE GAME (AM)

Ken Hoffman and David Nuno of 1560 The Game are quite possibly the most unique pairing ranked here. Hoffie & Nuno (as their known to most) are two of the nicest couple of guys in the business. The pair are generations apart in years which is obvious, but not obvious in an annoying type of manner. Their differences in views are in fact, subtly comedic to observe and their chemistry has certainly matured over time.

Nuno recently credited Hoffie as one of the markets best interviewers in a recent Q&A with HMW, and I agree with David. David Nuno shouldn’t sell him self short as an interviewer as well. Nuno is a hard worker and is constantly growing in vital areas.

This is not a show that entertains a high volume of callers. My personal feeling is that I could make an argument either way regarding rather more callers would benefit this type of show. I don’t believe callers are an issue as much is the time slot their slotted in. That along with their lack of consistent energy, are the two element we have observed at HMW. Lamont Mann made the point of the time slot in a HMW article several weeks ago, and the energy issue should be something that can be addressed in production. 1560 The Games is the most creative station of the “BIG 4” and energy can be addressed.

Hoffie & Nuno are solid when its all said and done and some of the coolest bumper tracks in the game, help to make it their show really cool in the mid-day to enjoy! Good job overall fellas!!

CATCH HOFFIE & NUNO WEEKDAYS 1P- 3P 0N 1560 THE GAME












7. VANDERMEER & LOPEZ (6A-10A) WEEKDAYS ON KILT SPORTS RADIO 610 


Marc Vandermeer and John Lopez of Sports Radio 610 slid significantly in this set of rankings mainly do to presentation of content. To put it into simple terms, their show has too many bells and whistles.

 Marc and J-Lo have more than enough talent to entertain on a high level while remaining within the parameters of appropriate content. J-Lo is brash and fearless obviously, so I believe it would serve their show well to focus more on hot button topics that J-Lo can give his often controversial takes on and allow Marc to steer the ship into port from there.

Controversy sells and John Lopez knows how to stir the pot. Marc is the master navigator that can navigate any ship through any storm no matter how severe the forecast. While the show’s production remains strong and the energy level remains an example of what morning radio atmosphere should be.Topically the show appears to be indecisive in regards to direction to often.

Not to be misunderstood this is far a broken ship but more like the Boston Celtics coasting through the regular season while all along conserving them selves for the big game. The big game for Marc and J-Lo would be the start of NFL season.

CATCH MARC AND J-LO WEEKDAYS 6A-10A ON SPORT RADIO 610.













8. CHARLIE PALILLO - (3- 7PM) WEEKDAYS ON SPORTS TALK 790 (AM)
Charlie Palillo of Sports Talk 790 is as steady as they come in the local sports talk radio community. Charlie’s evening drive time show is a quite, smooth, almost classroom like ride home in the evenings.

Charlie fields a notable amount of calls on his show and is much more gracious with his callers on a consistent basis than in the past. This is a production that is information heavy and always topical, but in my opinion, remains to be an under produced evening drive show. The general atmosphere of the show is serious and no nonsense and almost takes on an q&a tone to the show. No real emotions on display or unpopular stances that’s mock the statuesque. None of the weirdo contest or degradation of the traffic girl; only strait talk about “sports”. What an interesting concept…hmmmmm?

To borrow a football metaphor: Charlie is the guy in the lockroom that doesn’t say much. Charlie just goes about his business in a business like manner and lends numerous lessons by example.  There are many “players” in all lockerooms can take a lesson or two from C.P. 

CATHCH CHARLIE PALLILO WEEKDAYS 6A- 10A ON SPORTS TALK 790



9. JOSH INNES (10- 11AM) WEEKDAYS ON SPORTS RADIO 610

The time has come for the “Wolf Man” report aka Josh Innes; aka The Natural; aka The White Big Baby; aka The Kid of Sports Radio 610.

"Big Baby" Josh Innes is the most energetic personality to join the Houston sports talk community and recent memory. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this kid has unlimited talent and potential.
Josh Innes' detractors will be quick to point out Josh’s questionable knowledge of the X’s and O’s of sports in general. That said, I’ll be the first to make the same argument in regards to the vast majority of Josh’s constituency, as having the same glaring deficiencies. Josh’s show presentation is scripted, polished and usually laced with a comedic under tone and high energy to boot. 

Regarding callers: Josh does a decent enough job with the callers, but normally does not go back and forth with callers, instead choosing to keep the focus on himself. Josh will typically listen to a caller's take, and then he will mute the caller and give his response, but not allowing the caller to vioce a rebutle. That's ok, but more interaction between Josh and callers with opposing wiews will allow Josh's wittiness to be on display in a different element. 

Don’t make the mistake of undervaluing a talent like Josh Innes. If not for the fact that Josh’s show airs only one hour a day weekdays, he surely would be ranked higher in these rankings.

CATCH JOSH INNES WEEKDAYS 10A-11A ON SPORTS RADIO 610






10. SEAN & BARRY - (7- 11PM) WEEKDAYS ON SPORTS RADIO 610 (AM)

Sean Bajani and Barry Warner of Sports Radio 610 didn’t take a step back in the level of their performance of their show, but are victimized by a case of most of their competition and teammates improving around them.


Barry and Sean bring a consistent level of energetic entertainment with plenty of opinions and cutting edge commentary, compliments of “The Legend Barry Warner” mostly. Barry and Sean are some of the best when it comes to interacting with callers, emailers, texting etc. Barry will not hesitate to take on any issue with anyone including the guys in the studio with him. Sean is by nature relatively safe as a host, but possesses improving lead host attributes. Sean will give heart felt commentary particularly when speaking of the local Houston sports teams.

I see no glaring areas of needed improvement with this show. This show is what it is; no need to over think it.

Sean & Barry simply have a fun entertaining show!

GO FOR IT BARRY!!


CATCH SEAN AND BARRY WEEKNIGHTS 7P-11P ON SPORTS RADIO 610


Craig Shelton
HMW
HMW Blog: http://www.sheltonmedia.blogspot.com

6 comments:

Carlitos Way said...

Lesbo, I don't know if you're friends with these guys or what. I like your takes on most things. I used to listen to your show on 610am. You had a nice fresh approach to sports talk. I could not disagree with you more on your top ten list. First off John and Lance's show was tired before they left 610 and hasn't changed or grown into anything better since they left.

The only local shows that I can stand to listen to for more than 10 minutes is Dylan Gynns and Sean and Barry. 1560 as a whole to me sucks. Since they started you can't ever get a good reception and their whole presentation from their commercials and bumper music is just weak. I like to listen to the 610 shows only when they have John McClain on from time to time. I was sick when 97.5 ESPN took Calvin Murphy off of the air. This is just my opinion, but for the most part to me Houston sports talks sucks.

HMW said...

thnx carlito 4 tha comment!

hell man where do i start? lol ur right & ur wrong @ the same time. i agree with some of ur comments, but clearly i'm in disagreement with some based on the placement of the guys n tha rankings. ur correct i know 99% on these guys personally speaking, i was never treated as one of them or did i want 2 be grouped toghter with most of these guys. were not the same type of men & i'll leave that @ that. i do have a understanding & appreciation 4 what they do because i love the biz & i understand the dymamics. all that said, houston's sports talk talent & stations need vast overall improvements & there all fully arware of that. problem is, when its all said & done, their all comin f/tha same place, so they ignorantly limit their station's progress ..thnx man 4 commenting & supporting the blog!!!!

Jeffrey said...

Sean & Barry #10
Nuno & Hoffmann #6
Josh Innes #9


Is this a joke? The writings of HMW would lead me to think you guys really listen to shows but after this list. Why is Nuno & Hoffman on this list? Is HMW cool with 1560 and you guys are showing favoritism for the little guy. I never even heard of Ralph Cooper until I started following HMW. I am still trying to understand Sean&Barry @ 10. You have the other two controversial guys at the top in Dylan/Cooper and y'all have Barry and Sean ranked last. I will continue to follow and enjoy HMW but don't mess up what you guys are doing because you have personal friendships with some of the hosts. If you ask 20 people in Houston which show is better, 20 will tell you Barry and Sean. Can I be added to the email list?

Lamont Mann said...

Jefferey,

I know these guys from radio and radio only. I don't have any type of personal relationship with any hosts. Keep in mind this ranking is for a specific period of time but keep in mind, just as you commented in this page people are contacting us with other names. All in all, I am saying we all have different flavors. Thanks for the support and send an email houstonmediawatch@yahoo.com and you will be added

HMW said...

naw that's what i'm talkn bout jeffery man! go crazy man!!!! i love the emotion playa, but last i checked i'm not n tha ass kissn buz my man. i can understand ur passion, ,but it's costing u any skrill 2 respect the next mans view w/out pulling the "ass kiss" card lol! c'mon man ...u go hit yo boyz up like that my man? ok ...we respect that, but ur dead wrong man. we monitor these shows night & day man & were not alway happy w/what we hear either my man. we plan 2 expand our voting community & maybe we can talk with u about becoming an official voter! thnx 4 tha heat my man & get back @ us asap!! email: houstonmediawatch@yahoo.com

Brian Zygo said...

We all know that The Orange Slice on 1560 The Game should be number 2 on the list. Ain't nobody in this country taking on the World's Game like The Orange Slice does.