Tuesday, April 10, 2012



Written by: Craig Shelton
Date posted: 4/10/2012

It's not an uncommon sight to see SportsRadio610 (610) program director (PD), Gavin Spittle, meandering throughout the CBS studios weekdays as late as 9 pm typically. Grabbing the bull by the horns has served Spittle well to date, and he'll need to draw from that momentum in tackling his latest set of tasks.

The sudden departure of two former NFL veterans from Spittle's 610 talent tree (ND Kalu & Greg Koch) unveils an issue I'm certain Spittle could do without.

With Marc Vandermeer prepared to "exit stage left" soon from the 610 morning show, and Kalu and Koch bolting for a weekday morning slot at SportsTalk790 (790), 610's football savvy talent pool is dried out. Barry Warner is the only credible football mind remaining on air at 610.

There's not a lot of basis to argue against my saying that John Lopez and Brad Davies aren't valued as football minds by Houston Texan fans. An ironic fact being both Lopez and Davies are part of the Texans pre- and post-game radio broadcasts Sundays during the NFL season.

SportsRadio610 drive-time host, Rich Lord, doubles as the sideline correspondent on the Texans game-day broadcasts. Rich Lord and his drive-time co-host, Josh Innes, are quick to remind listeners that neither he or Innes considers themselves "football minds".

SportsRadio610's MaD Radio host, Mike Meltser, is a solid sports mind that brings relevant analysis to any sports conversation, but falls short of being considered a relative "x&o" football mind.


A source recently indicated to me that former Texan, Chester Pitts, may have been offered an opportunity with SportsRadio610. The comment was made to me after Pitts made an appearance on MaD Radio in Kalu's absence.

It's my view that Pitts would make an excellent addition to the 610 cast. Pitts is well spoken, intelligent, and has on-the-field knowledge, as well as an understanding of NFL administrative culture.

HMW has not been able to confirm if Chester Pitts was actually offered a position by CBS Radio.

Current ESPN 97.5 drive-time lead host, Carl Dukes, may be an option for Spittle and CBS. Dukes would offer professionalism and like Pitts, Dukes would immediately add a level of credibility to the overall football acumen of the station.

I've spoken with two individuals that I trust who are close to the situation and both say Carl Dukes has not been approached about an opportunity to replace Marc Vandermeer as the 610 lead morning host.

One of the strongest football minds I'd recruit is John Harris of YahooRadio. Harris is likeable on-air, and is a football library always open for business. I'm not certain Harris is ideal experience-wise for a lead morning show role on 610, but in terms of an upgrade of relevant football acumen on 610, if I were Spittle, Harris would have my eye. Harris would be excellent in the MaD Radio format and on Texans  broadcasts.


A former online radio host, "BoatieInPearland", tweeted last week asking me if there was any truth to the rumor that 1560TheGame/YahooRadio host and ABC 13 sports anchor, David Nuno, was going to join SportsRadio610?

The only response I could offer to the tweeter is I believe if true, it would be a great opportunity for Nuno. Personally, I have no knowledge of the Nuno/610 rumor and it was the first I had heard of it when "BoatieInPearland" tweeted me the question.


One has to consider "what if", in reflecting on Lance Zierlein's decision to join SportsTalk790 over SportsRadio610?   Perhaps SportsTalk790 morning drive host, Lance Zierlein, may find his decision not to strike a deal with 610 regrettable?

Before joining SportsTalk790, Zierlein had conversations with SportsRadio610 regarding a possible return to the place where it all began for him.

It's believed 610 PD, Gavin Spittle, suggested pairing Zierlein up with Rich Lord or perhaps Brad Davies. I'm told Zierlein wasn't a fan of either pairing and eventually joined SportsTalk790. Looking back on that decision, it may have been the wrong move for Zierlein.

I believe the money grab would have been greater at CBS/610, as a source has indicated Zierlein took a significant salary bump down to get away from YahooRadio. Considering that Marc Vandermeer is scheduled to evacuate his morning show role, the opportunity to now move Zierlein back into the 610 morning show role would be an obvious fit.

After all, we are talking about upgrading the football acumen on the Texans' home broadcast station.

Just a thought.

Craig Shelton 

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Mannifresh25 said...

I can see Chester Pitts filling the "football" void at 610. With a chance a patience from 610 Pitts could gain experience and learn the ways of radio. He's a smart guy with a wealth of knowledge about the NFL. But the question is, I'd Pitts done with football as a player? What happens if he comes aboard, then down the line gets an offer from a team to come in and help on the field?

610 had a huge advantage over other stations being try are the station that holds rights to broadcast games. I can see 610 using this to their advantage. Was there a deal worked out to have their pick of what Texan players they can have on air? Who takes over the Winston spot that airs on Tuesdays? I've heard Arian Foster starting a weekly appearance. Then you have the Kubiak show on Mondays to help the "football" side of things. So using the Texans could get 610 through times that suffer from ND and Greg bolting.

610 can survive on the simple fact so many Texans fans prefer 610 over other stations for the simple fact it's the station that carries the Texans. I see Gavin leaning heavily on this fact. Is there a chance Andre Ware returns? And the John McClain factor can't be underestimated. Although recently he's come across condescending at times during his live chats, it seems the older portion of Texan fans continue to follow McClains words as if he wrote the football bible.

I think during the offseason period 610 will struggle to keep consistent with its coverage of the NFL. I can't see draft and free agent analysis being a strong point. But once camps start, preseason an into the season 610 will be able to hold their own. One can only think that during that time period, with the current hosts assembled at 610, player involvement will be extremely heavy. In turn, keeping ratings at the top here in the H. Just my opinion. I could be wrong and miss the boat all together. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

this next move for 610 is one that i will watch out for. the only one i would like to see is John Harris. im not sure any other guy that is already established at another station wants to move into that slot because of the high expectations. that being said with high expectations 610 always leads in ratings anyway.
Barry Warner would be good plus he has is very opionated something different from people in the morning are used to listening to especially a guy like Barry on a monday morning after a Texan loss that would be good radio.

reese/ sdrhuxtable

SirRon said...

Lance Z and John Harris. That would be can't miss radio during football season.

Chris White said...

Craig - great post. I had not thought of the LZ610 angle to replace Vandy. PS. dude can you unblock me so I can @ you.... @chwwhi31

WhiteGreg said...

Great post Craig! I think Pitts is great on radio as a guest and I have no doubt he could handle the transition to host. Your description of him is spot on. As far as John McClain goes, I have been following John since the early 1980's, but I think he is coasting now, getting lazy. He is condescending and his analysis is mediocre at best. If 790 plays this right with Kalu and Koch, they will do very well in the ratings. Dukes to 610? I haven't listened to Dukes in years so I really don't have an opinion. The new guys Spittle has hired are football lightweights. Could Lance Z even switch stations this soon? I mean legally? Thanks for keeping us up to date.

Anonymous said...

Do you guys see the stuff deathbysexy, sportsmonkey, raheel and sportsmonkey is saying on twitter about HMW?

Anonymous said...

I just went back and read his feed...didn't see anything.


Earlis said...

That is interesting point about Barry...they could move him over even if it was like a temp situation and shop longer for a replacement..wow Lance would be good in the morning..he is probably locked down...i remember when Lance left CBS it was about the legal document so i am assuming it would be hard for him to get out his contract at 790 at this point...that was a smooth move by 790 to lock him down..
he is starting to wander here that like Josey Wales.
...some though Lance in a dark hat reaping havoc seems out of character..lol..yeah I never thought they would give Dukes a shot..it is interesting though the thing with kulu and company is a biggie now....