Written by: Craig Shelton
Date posted: 7/22/2012
Drafting this annotation of the ten "worst" sports talk hosts in Houston, turned out to be a more perplexing task than I originally thought it would be. The personality ranked tenth, could have easily been ranked first. It's a matter of how you approach the evaluation process.
To define my approach in evaluation of the individuals listed below, I'll begin with the number one criteria I considered. I took into consideration what role they're cast in and how they performed in said role. Guys in larger roles, were scrutinized accordingly, whereas guys in lesser roles were given the appropriate level of scrutiny, per their role.
Morning drive; mid-days; drive-time; and evening or night shifts, were classified as "prime time roles".
Weekends and individuals in part time roles, were classified as secondary roles. Therefore an individual in a part time role, may man-to-man be worse than a guy in a prime time role, but the guy in a prime time role is scrutinized more harshly due to the importance of the role he was cast in.
#10. Dan Mathews - SportsRadio610 (Flash/Weekends/Spot Fill-ins)
• Dan Mathews is a hard worker who's used in a utility role. Unfortunately, Mathews is just a very hard listen when asked to fill in on-air. Mathews has zero "it factor" and lacks the personality to draw interest. Considering Mathews' youthfulness, he is "Rich Lord-like" out of touch. Mathews appears to have a negative impact on at least one co-host he has worked with on air and has been publicly criticized for his ineptitude as a host by Josh Innes numerous times.
Zero "it factor".
#9. Joe O'Donnell - SportsRadio610 (Weekends/Spot Fill-ins)
• This guy could have easily been number one in these rankings, but he has a smaller part time role on S/R 610.
Like many, I'm clueless why Joe O'Donnell is allowed in the 19th floor suite at 1900 Greenway Plaza. O'Donnell's football and general sports acumen outside of hockey is flat out below par and borderline embarrassing. O'Donnell's voice is nasally and annoying and he lacks confidence on-air, and is impatient with callers who many times bring more knowledge to the conversation than he does.
Zero "it factor".
#8. Paul Gallant - SportsRadio610 (Flash/Weekends/Spot Fill-ins)
• Paul Gallant is a prime example of a guy that tries really hard, but just doesn't have it. Gallant is "Rudy" without the happy ending. The voice is there, but not much after that. Gallant interrupts conversations at a Nick Wright or Lance Zierlein pace, but lacks Wright's or Zierlein's strength in the relevance of his takes.
Gallant's voice is a project, but his voice versatility, if harnessed properly, could work towards giving Gallant a slight "it factor", but not enough to overcome his many weaknesses.
#7. A.J. Hoffman - ESPN 97 5 (Mid-days Mon-Fri)
• A.J. Hoffman is a "show killer". Hoffman's co-host Fred Faour is one of the market's most respected hosts among his peers. That said, even Faour can't save Hoffman from himself. Hoffman's biggest weakness is that he has no easily identifiable strength on air.
Hoffman's second biggest short coming is that his arrogance won't allow him to realize how bad he really is, which stunts any chance of Hoffman improving.
Zero "it factor".
#6. Dave Tepper - ESPN 97.5 (Evening Drive/Mon-Fri)
• I've consulted with sports talk hosts from all four stations in Houston and members of the print media regarding Dave Tepper. The most common feedback comes down to "money". Almost to a man, local hosts I've spoken to over the past few years about Tepper agree that he's on the air at ESPN 97.5 because of budget restraints.
No one feels there's any other excuse for Tepper to be sharing air time with Carl Dukes.
Tepper's willingness to be argumentative, and sustain his view opposite Dukes, gives him a below average, but at least slightly noticeable "it factor".
#5. Dylan Gwinn - SportsTalk790 (Mid-days/Mon-Fri)
• Dylan Gwinn is very consistent. It's what he's consistent at that has Gwinn embedded in the Top 10 Worst listings consistently. Just listen in long enough to Gwinn and he's guaranteed to offer up a take that's so far beyond the realm of intelligent or factual, you can't dignify it with a response.
One of the most common questions thrown around on Twitter is, "Why is Gwinn still on air?" There's always the secondary question that follows asking. "When will 790 give Gwinn's 11am -noon time slot to "In The Trenches" hosts, ND Kalu and Greg Koch?
Gwinn's "it factor" rating represents a non-intellectual listening base with a level of intelligence, relative to the Brad Pitt character, Early Grace, in the movie, "Kalifornia". #Duh
#4. Brad Davies - SportsRadio610 (Middays/Mon-Fri)
• Loud, disingenuous, and phony, are all adjectives that correctly define Brad Davies' on-air personality. When Davies and Mike Meltser were paired as co-hosts, a victim was subsequently hatched from that decision, in Mike Meltser. Who knows if Meltser will ever recover from the ills associated with sharing a studio with Davies?
Davies is "BaD Radio" and he knows it, as evident in his display of a lack of confidence in that he hides behind his unwarranted and loud outbursts on air.
Davies is rude to callers and takes an arrogant approach in ignoring followers on Twitter as Davies has a clear fear of facing his critics publicly.
Davies scores poor in the area of football and basketball acumen, but likes to portray that he's a baseball guy. (Whatever that means?)
#3. John Lopez - SportsRadio610 (Mornings/Mon-Fri)
• Where do I start with John Lopez. The guy is just not a good radio personality. Lopez is completely useless in regard to any relevant football or baseball knowledge. Lopez sells himself as a basketball guy falling back on his AAU coaching resume. The problem is, when I've listened to Lopez over the past few years, he's yet to make a basketball "take" where I came away saying, "I didn't know that" after I heard his "take".
John seems to be a really cool guy, but John's "takes" just aren't as cool as he is. John has thick skin which I love, but the substance in his "takes" is often very thin information-wise.
Lopez has an overvalued view of his abilities and is the ultimate "I told you so" or "me, me, me" guy.
Lopez appears to work with some nervous energy that causes uncontrolled giggling way too often for a show built for 25-54 men.
Zero "it factor".
#2. Matt Jackson - SportsTalk790 (Mornings/Mon-Tue)
• Matt Jackson is bad radio for a Men's 25-54 morning drive format.
Jackson's most glaring negative attribute is his feminine vocal tones in speaking, particularly when he's involved in a heated debate with his co-host(s).
Jackson always takes the view to the contrary of his counterpoints leading many to consider if Jackson's reactions are genuine.
Jackson is egotistical and has accrued an arrogant reputation over time by listeners on air and from some I've spoken to who have personally met Jackson.
Jackson isn't comfortable facing his critics in public forum and avoids doing so shedding light on his overall weak mental makeup.
#1. Craig Shemon - 1560TheGame - (Mid-days/Mon-Fri)
• Unexplainable! Horrid! An inexcusable casting in a major market!
Craig Shemon is a living, breathing, example why 1560TheGame is the worst sports talk station in Houston in the ratings.
Unfortunately, 1560 just doesn't have the administrative leadership to compete with the pace of the front runners in the Houston sports talk market.
Its time to blow it up and shoot for a new and improved "remix" version, Mr. Gow!
Zero "it factor" for Craig Shemon. (Shemon, how dare you share my first name!)