Friday, October 22, 2010



Written by: Craig Shelton
Date posted: 10/22/2010

When Matt Jackson bolted from Sports Radio 610 (S/R 610) to Sports Talk 790 (S/T 790) earlier this year along with his former "Night Shift" co-host, Adam Wexler, most assumed CBS Radio & S/R 610 would be making a power move to replace Matt Jackson.

Well, that scenario never took form in the hiring of an elite personality to pair up with Rich Lord. Instead S/R 610's sports director, Robert Henslee, was given the opportunity to pair up with Rich Lord, giving birth to the most generic brand of lily white drive time sports talk radio imaginable. I mean what's next folks - is Gavin Spittle now going to add Marc Vandermeer to the show as the traffic and flash guy?

Gavin Spittle is the Program Director (PD) at S/R 610 and though I'm embellishing a bit at his behest for entertainment purposes, Spittle has actually performed well since joining S/R 610. Key names in reference to talent Spittle has added to the S/R 610 roster since coming to Houston include:

1. John Lopez
2. Josh Innes
3. ND Kalu
4. Barry Warner

The aforementioned names for the most part have performed well overall, but how do those four names stack up against the following four names that were either let go by Spittle or just moved on after Spittle's arrival in 2009:

1. Matt Jackson
2. Adam Wexler
3. Adam Clanton
4. Craig Shelton

Just some food for thought the next time you tune into S/R 610 and you find you're self wondering "who the hell am I listening to"?


When Rich Lord and Matt Jackson were paired up as drive time hosts, S/R 610 enjoyed good ratings while putting on an entertaining show as well. The Lord & Henslee version of the S/R 610 drive time show has serviceable ratings, but is far from an entertaining brand. Matt Jackson's arrogance and punkish disdain for the bush league antics of Rich Lord, made for a decent listen on their worst days.

Robert Henslee paired up with Rich Lord simply makes for bland radio the majority of the times I've listened. Henslee is just too nice of a gentleman and just doesn't have the desired "love him or hate him" personna that makes for compelling radio personality. Guys like John Lopez and Josh Innes, have no gray area in regards to their public personna. You either love Lopez and Innes, or you can't stand them, there's not much gray area. Therefore, when you listen to either, you're entertained, maybe for the wrong reasons, but entertained nevertheless.


Outside of having a classically-clean, made for radio speaking voice and diction, Rich Lord's minimal sports knowledge and out of touch approach falls short in today's sports talk environment. Robert Henslee's attributes mirror those of Rich Lord, but Henslee actually has a real sports mind and will give you a solid opinion. Lord typically comes off as disingenuous, appearing to manufacture opinions just to play devil's advocate and get a reaction.

Gavin Spittle has dressed up Lord and Henslee's show production with all the bell & whistles, contests, featured bits, etc. Personally, I'm a guy that flips the dial whenever I hear a contest or featured bits. It's not that I believe there's anything wrong with contests and featured bits, its just personally that I have no time to dedicate to what amounts to silly childish and buffoon-like behavior.



I spoke to Josh Innes recently at a S/R 610 event and I complimented Innes on his raw abilities and growth as a host since he arrived in Houston. I also suggested to Innes that in my opinion that he's an obvious fit to replace Lord in the drive time slot. My thought is that if Innes were to replace Lord, S/R 610 can remain "lily white" which is clearly a critical criteria for CBS & Spittle, while saving dollars at the same time.

Innes is a witty and brash enough talent that he would pull Henslee's performance up several notches. Henslee is very competitive (signed: throwing three INT's in the media football game) and would respond well alongside Innes. Henslee would challenge Innes on his takes that are often directed at the listeners (that's smart, well, NOT REALLY JOSH!).

Innes loves to hear himself talk and Henslee would have no issue cutting Innes off when he starts to take over the show. Innes doesn't like to go toe-to-toe with the callers (Hmmm..wonder why that is?) Instead he let's a caller make a comment, then he hangs up on him/her and counters the caller's comment, not allowing the caller a rebuttal. I believe Henslee would clean Josh's clock on those types of antics making for some natural combative scenarios.

I truly believe that Josh Innes & Robert Henslee would provide S/R 610 a quality "Rich Lord you're out" card to play. Henslee & Innes are the proper favor (white males) to allow Spittle & CBS to exhale and maintain their desired imaging (white males) for their sponsors, whom apparently sell their products to "white males"?


Craig Shelton
Facebook Search: Hmw Shelton


1 comment:

Rick said...

Hmmm coming from the "Lily white" side of the fence, I really disagree with your take on Rich Lord. Of course this comes as no surprise to you I am sure. I personally think Rich's sports knowledge is fine. Let's face it there are very few Charlie Palillo's out there. I also take issue with the Josh Innes and Robert Henslee pairing. If they did that I would never listen to the 610 drivetime again.

I was not sorry to see the Matt Jackson/Rich Lord pairing end. I do think Matt is a lot better than Innes though. 610 needed to keep Adam Clanton and Adam Wexler. That much is certain. I like both of them a lot. I think they could have been paired up and had a great show.

I also certainly never had a problem with your show. I always liked the takes, although I didn't always agree with them. I enjoyed the humor too.

What I do agree with about 610's drivetime show is that there are a few too many bits. I kind of like the celebrity birthday break in the show although I wouldn't miss it if it left. The whiner line can stay. I am glad they have dropped H-Town and beyond. Or have they? I am not sure I have been listening at the right time. Anybody who wants Sexy Traffic dropped is nuts!

To sum up, I think Rich is fine. I think the pairing of him with Robert is okay. I think there could be a better pairing, but I wouldn't want a Innes type (in your face) personality in there. I would much rather have the Palillo/Lord pairing again. Not sure how they would feel about it, but I thought they had a great chemisty back in the day.