Monday, November 22, 2010



Written by: Craig Shelton
Date posted: 11/22/2010

We sports fans often rely on scouting reports from noted regional and national scouting services as well as the likes of ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. We like to believe we can trust these guys primarily due to their accessibility to NFL contacts and collegiate contacts as well. Scouting is certainly an inexact science laced with subjectivity depending on the needs of a particular team and the types of athletes needed for their system.


The primary issues that scouts face when locked in on an athlete are attributes a player possesses that can be measured and annotated in a scout's grading system as opposed to the immeasurables that keep scouts, coaches, and GMs alike scratching their collectives heads. You can easily notarize a WR's or RB's speed in the 40-yard dash on your grading chart, but defining said player's heart and determination is an entirely different, non-scientific task. A prospect's strength and agility can be determined easily via observation of weight lifting and agility drills, but identifying a player's awareness when playing under mental and physical duress is not as easy to accomplish.

Upon my consideration of the aforementioned points of contention for NFL scouts when doing their jobs, it only increased my respect for the difficulty involved in being a successful scout.


HMW is Houston's media watchdogs and as Houston's media watchdogs we receive our share of deserved criticism. As media critics, we tread on water's not many are willing to tread. Media types for the most part live in a self-entitlement war zone where their more comfortable criticizing than being criticized. (Imagine that?) Well, who really cares what the media thinks?

I would argue that the average observer has a higher opinion of the individuals that are attacked by the media than the media member launching the attack. Don't get it confused, there are some quality journalists out there that work at a high level of professionalism. All that said, I decided to take a "stab" at being a "media" scout. I decided to take a look at some key music, political, and sports talk radio format personalities locally.

Below I provided the names and the type of radio they conduct of some local Houston radio personalities. I also provided my personal "scouting report" of each personality. Feel free to express your thoughts of my scouting report on these personalities in the "comments" section below this article.


MADD HATTA (FM 97 9 THE BOX *Music Format*)


• Longevity and the inherent knowledge that goes along with having longevity which promotes trust from the listeners.
• Great speaking voice that's instantly identifiable with solid diction along with a serviceable vocabulary for an urban radio format.
• Good motivational skills often displayed by keeping his crew's energy levels high on a consistent basis on a broadcast that airs at 5 am.


• Aging host for an urban hip hop format.
• Can be surly when he or his morning show crew is criticized by their listeners.
• Often defines all criticism of him or his crew as "hating" regardless of the merit of said criticism; even when criticism is delivered objectively and intellectually.

MICHAEL HARRIS (AM KCOH 1430 *Political Format*)


• Plus oration skill set; smooth delivery.
• Runs a solid prepared show production with clearly defined parameters for his callers to follow and contribute to the show.
• Consistent relevant focus on topical issues in the urban community.


• Not a lot to focus on regarding weaknesses is a huge strength that allows listeners to focus of the topic of the day.
• Has a history of arrogance towards his callers when they passionately express opposing views to his.
• Lacks a co-host or weekly guest to counter his personality and view points, which would improve his show production.

CHARLIE PALLILO (AM Sports Talk 790 *Sports Talk Format*)


• Interaction with his listeners/callers via a high volume of phone calls sets a consistent pace for his broadcast.
• Maybe the best in the business at using google and his vast knowledge of sports to create an environment of an educational, intellectual show production.
• A very strong attraction as a spokesman for sponsors.


• Can appear to be condescending with callers from time to time, but has improved greatly in that area.
• Show lacks innovation and creativity and has a dated feel in regard to production.
• Could use a couple of days a week where he entertains an in-studio guest to spice up the overall production of his show.

TOM JOYNER (FM MAGIC 102. 1 (*Music Format*)


• Has the trust of his listener base after a long tenure and a rich history nationally of involvement in urban-social and political issues.
• High energy broadcast with a strong comedic cast of co-hosts to get you going early on the morning drive.
• The style of old school music delivered consistently that typically mirrors or supports the mood of the topic of the day.


• At times, the show production comes off as "exclusive" as opposed to "inclusive" due to too much unexplained laughter among Joyner and his co-hosts.
• Pushes political views typically of one political party over the others.
• Nationally syndicated broadcast that's not always appreciated locally when topics discussed have no critical local interest in Houston's market.

LANCE ZIERLEIN (AM 1560 THE GAME (*Sport Talk Format*)


• General X&O knowledge and insider contacts are unrivaled in the market.
• Great impressionist with on-the-fly comedic timing who's mastered mixing in sidebar bits in a relevant fashion.
• Has a respect and understanding of the vast makeup of the sports talk listening base in Houston and has enough "swagg" to relate to multiple demographics, while appeasing what's sold publicly as what the sports talk radio's mainstream listener base is.


• Working within a structure that limits itself to a narrow demographic which inherently handicaps Zierlein's usefulness.
• Often is the "smartest guy in the room" relative to sports and it sometimes causes him to cut callers and guests off in mid-sentence.


Well folks, feel free to take a shot at "scouting" my delivery in this blog article of my personal accounts of the targeted local hosts and their individual scouting reports. You may also e-mail me with your scouting reports of local or national media individuals and I will post them here on the HMW blog.

If you would like a shot at being a media critic or sports & entertainment blogger, e-mail me your article @: and we will edit and image your blog article and post it right here on HoustonMediaWatch.Com!

Craig Shelton


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robnemar said...

The scouting report is nice. You chose good people to highlight. For better or for worse that is just about the best we have in the city for the respective radio genres that you highlighted I think. What do you think about the political side of the radio in our city? The things I hear on those shows are down right disturbing. I don't know what a forum like this can do to change anything that you do hear on those programs, but the political radio in our city is head and shoulders more troubling than any sports show or station in the city. I wonder what the Michael Berry scouting report would look like. Keep on doing what you do.

Earlis said...

I too would say that charley has improved on charm
and charisma...the lite must have setoff in his head one enchanted evening and his mind said damn Charley this ain't
NewYork City baby... New Yorker's can rub
a southern fried citizen the wrong way NYC is just a different lifestyle from H-town... To his credit Charley has warmed
up a little...I have often thought he needed have a sidekick..the next
best thing is to have more guest in the studio...(the too cheap option)
if the station wants to grow his audience they may think about
bringing in more guest...I would love to see Charley teamed up
a few dayz a week with a woman of color...
He would be like like puddy in their
shoo I have a dream, I sense though that 790
views my dream as a nightmare...tired old whitemen
in grey that is a nightmare..guyz who think
they know the mind of god... Hmm
guys who supress the good news about Michael Vick the contemporary comeback kid
and supress the bad news about Bret womanizing like all git out! (um just sayin)
Think for a minute what if Bret had killed and maimed
pit bulls and Vick had been certified as a womanizin freaky freak.
Hmmmm would Bret have gone to jail?
Would Michael's playa playa antics done more
than raise a few eyebrows?  Hmmmm

HMW said...

Hey Robenar, you are talking about our Political Department. Man just kidding. I'm a lover of politics/parliamentary procedure but for the most part, I try to stay away from it on the blog since it's sensitive.