Thursday, June 2, 2011



I began traveling by air approximately September   1997.  My airlines of choice were Continental, American, and United.  Don't laugh at me, but I grew up close to Hobby Airport and I knew the main airline there was Southwest, I was afraid of Southwest.  

Continental Airlines gives you the appeal of feeling like a human with little things such as: assigned seating!!!! Passengers typically sit in the terminal and wait for their rows to be called and you board the plane orderly.

Fast forward 20 years, I flew out of Hobby Airport, Southwest Airlines for the first time and MY GOODNESS, I was in for a major surprise.  Let me begin by saying, Southwest Airlines is a nice, but I have major problems with their seating arrangements.  I feel as if I'm cattle on that airline.  Literally, you are sitting in the terminal one minute and in a line with fools the next.  The first come-first served rule is in full effect on Southwest Airlines.

When I talk to Lance Zierlein, Ralph Cooper, Sean Pendergast, David Nuno, Matt Thomas, and Matt Jackson, they all have something in common, DIALOGUE.  These guys sort of give the caller the impression they actually want to converse.  I equate them to Continental whereas Sports Radio 610 is Southwest (Get in Get out).

Below is fictitious caller of the stations. 

  • Host: "What you got?"
  • Caller: I think Schaub sucks, blah blah blah!
  • Host:  What? Why would you say that with Schaub throwing for over 4,000 yards in two consecutive seasons.
  • Caller: He does not have a big arm and too many times Andre Johnson had to come back for the HOG.
  • Host: I will give you that, but Schaub does have more positives than negatives.  Is that all you have?
  • Caller: Yes and keep up the good work.


  • Call Screener: What's your name, race, vitals, address, blood type, identifiable marks, mother's maiden, social security number.
  • Caller: Damn dog, I just want to talk about Schaub, but my name is Lamont, black, 120 over 70, Mo City, A Negative, Tats
  • Call Screener: Make it snappy and don't be asking any sports stuff.  You have 90 seconds to get it out.
  • Caller: Damn Cuz am I on the radio now or something?
  • Host: And we have Lamont, what say you Lamont?
  • Caller: I think Schaub sucks
  • Host: Ok thanks Bud (hang up) Lamont is a great caller but the "Top Three Freeways" in Houston has to be 610, 59, and The Beltway.

All jokes aside, 610 AM is not that bad, but they have definitely implemented the Southwest Airlines model of get-in and get-out. 

I hear multiple personalities at 610 AM constantly  belittle their audience, as they put more stock in their content and guests.  If you don't believe take a listen to the "Whiner Line".  The Whiner Line has become a mockery of the whiners.  The Whiner Line has become a person complaining about something and the personality busting on them. This would sound really ignorant for me to make this assertion two days before Fan Fest, but it's the truth.  I find it almost laughable when callers such as Mike In DA or Howard in Memorial because I know the depth of knowledge these guys are dropping to the given personality is so far over their heads it's unbelievable.  Instead of waiting to the guys get off the phone and making off hand jokes how about actually researching some of the things they are talking about.

There's a methodology at 610 where the fans are not valued.  I do not understand for the life of me why this is the only radio station that don't understand we the listeners think the callers, texters, tweeters, etc., are a piece of the puzzle.  I can boldly make this point because every chance this topic arises between hosts, they always emphasize interactive fans represent a small percentage of fans.  I happen to enjoy input from the audience.  We are in Texas and for me that means everyone that calls about football is a validated source.

Instead of labeling everyone at 610, I will identify the culprits.

Josh Innes.  Shit, if you get dialogue out of this guy, YOU ARE GOOD.  Don't you realize, you are a peasant to him.  Ha Ha, seriously Josh will take your call and kindly say Thanks. Hang up and continue talking about Cher.

Marc Vandermeer.  The "VOICE" doesn't hold conversations.  The Voice is more like a shrink; he's there to listen to your problems.  He is not going to  elaborate much.  If you want to talk about the history of the Texans, Hurricanes, or U Mass you may have a chance but the depth of his sports can't go beyond them in my opinion.

John Lopez aka "GIGGLES".  The funny thing is that he wants to talk, but he realize why he's there and play his part.

Brad Davies. "Fake Voice" guy.  This guy is a joke.  I heard how rude he was to caller Dale's wife on the "Saturday After Hours Show".  All I can say is, if I was Dale, I would have whooped Brad that night.  If you don't know, Brad reluctantly took a call to prove a point, make a long story short, Dale idolizes N.D. Kalu.  Dale asked the hosts to say something to his wife for some significant event in their life and Brad asked Dale's wife, "Are you and Dale swingers"?  I mean REALLY, what part of that was funny.  Dale called back the next day and let off some steam with ND Kalu.  ND promptly told Dale to address the issue with Brad himself.

As I talk about a sports radio model, I think to myself "who am I to complain if it's working?"  As a fan of 610, I wish they didn't act like arrogant pricks.  Sure, they will give the fans a day out of the year and that's appreciated, but it does not give you the right to treat them like cattle the other 364 days.

I think alot of the personalities need to look no further than Matt Thomas on dialogue.  With a three-hour show he manages to get in an adequate amount of guests, calls and off-hand bits.  I have never listened nor called Matt Thomas and felt like I had to  start up my time watch to get my take out.   The only adjective fitting for Matt Thomas is Professional. What makes Matt special is that he can disagree with you and still make the call a hit.  He is not going to pout like a little girl and be quite for the rest of the show because Titan Rick hurt his feelings.

All in all, when you are the ratings leader, treating your audience like crap (on a day-to-day basis) who purchase from your sponsors is COMPLETELY justified (that's sarcasm).  This is part of the reason I had to broaden my horizons   because Sports Radio 610 don't value the audience.  

Below is an example of Marc Vandermeer and John Lopez ejecting from a call while John McClain was in studio.  This is a clear case of Lesbian Craig asking a question that made Marc uncomfy and he not realizing where this might go.

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Earlis said...

Marc is really good on the broadcast tip....he is a house guy and he knows where his bread it buttered...i admit sometimes i think he is over doin it on being the homer mr mcnair paying my bills tip...and had something to do with his my opinion he does not realize how much levarage he has or what hand he has to play he seems to play it too safe as to not leave in doubt in mr mcnair's mind of teh moguls at cbs that he is a team player guy....but i like the guy it is what it total no i do not like the way 610 do what they do... they are arrogant...because they are number one...but if any body in this town had any balls aned had the backin of the front office they could blow 610 out of the water to some extent and that is what it takes...610 has broadcast of professional sports they have..the University of Friggin if u wan to get out of the shadow of 610 your really need to bring it!!!!!
u have to be a viable option..or as Craig would say in essence... have some "real talk"....instead of separating from what 610 does...and ok john from KGOW had a lot to do wit that sportstralk people duplicate and imitate rather than create...Ralph Cooper does not...guess what...on a station without a sportstalk format Ralp Cooper is kickin azz and takin names, duh....
Pay attention Old grey suit white boy sportstalk mogul guy...the clue ain't that far from your pointed nose sir..

Jeff in College Station said...

You had over 500 characters in this article when it could have been wrapped up in two words. 610 SUCKS.

Everyone in this town know that's not real radio and they have a built in advantage because of their affiliations. HMW try to be nice by notating some of the people there are cool but REAL TALK, that station is horrible. Women and blacks need not apply over there unless they are going to totally sell their sold. The hell is ND Kalu? A rich ass african that was more than likely rich before even playing a lick of football. I am not knocking him but ND and that goofy morning Hispanic seems to be the go to card. As far as that ditsy traffic lady, I would be fired if I treated a woman the way shes treated.

I listen to all of the stations and yes I do listen to 610 because I love sports and 610 although bad still get the sports in.

No one in the world is going to convince me that this is good programming. This is a bunch silly ass grown men that act like gossiping women.

robnemar said...

The clip of Craig's call is brilliant. In my opinion, this clip should be the foundation of this blog. That call nipped it in the bud. I think sometimes we get caught up with what the hosts say or don't say and lose sight of actually trying to say something different about the subject. We focus on the messenger and sacrifice the message. We need to defend the subjects of the topics more than try to change the perspective of the media. They are what they are. But the message is where the difference can be made. What Craig did was brilliant because he brought a different perspective to the argument. I would say utilize the blog for subjects just like the one that Craig had to respond to in addition to scrutinizing the media. Well done!