Saturday, July 14, 2012


Written by: Craig Shelton
Date posted: 7/14/2012

Though he's not quite a candidate for a trivia question asking "where are they now?", it is fair to question whether or not Lance Zierlein of "The Big Show" on SportsTalk790, has lost some of the cache he once held with listeners? These days Zierlein has been sighted falling back on his resume in tenure of doing sports talk in Houston, in a sympathetic ploy aimed at his listeners when he's criticized publicly.

Over time as Zierlein transitioned into his new role on the SportsTalk790 morning drive show, holes in Zierlein's game began to surface. It's not an arguable point that Zierlein struggled early on in adapting to "The Big Show" concept working alongside Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson. In those days, I was in frequent contact with Zierlein and he indicated to me some of the areas he was working through in attempting to find continuity within "The Big Show" format.

Ironically, one of the areas Lance Zierlein admitted needing improvement in was the comedic timing between he and Matt Jackson. Zierlein told me that Jackson needed to allow him to "do his thing" in learning when to push back when Zierlein goes into his comedic bits. At the time, hearing those comments from Zierlein, I felt the fact comedic timing was an issue indicated a possibility of some long-term issues we have all witnessed come to pass on "The Big Show".

It's my view that concerns over comedic timing early in the development of the show indicated a lack of a team atmosphere and more of a selfish approach by Zierlein and Jackson. My view on this matter is supported in theory by the signature component that the "The Big Show" cast has allowed to benchmark their show: Arguing!!!
The constant bickering between Matt Jackson and Lance Zierlein has become the most talked about element of "The Big Show". For Zierlein, this has been a reputation-damaging circumstance for his brand. For Jackson, the bickering between him and Zierlein has only fueled the case against Jackson's viability as a relevant sports talk personality. 

Zierlein's reputation has taken a hit primarily because initially most felt he was above such behavior up against a personality like Jackson's. Zierlein and Jackson have succeeded in one thing collectively via their bickering. For many they've succeeded in making Adam Wexler more appealing as Wexler finds himself cast in the reluctant arbitrator role on the show.

At this point in the game, it's become fair to ask the question whether or not the Lance Zierlein-led "Big Show", has been a success or failure in the eyes of the listeners. In regard to ratings you can say it's been a failure.

That point can't be argued unless the plan all along was to be third behind the SportsRadio610 morning drive show and ESPN 97. 5's, "Mike & Mike in the Morning" show? Unless SportsTalk790's plan all along was to have third-place bragging rights over 1560TheGame's morning drive show of John Granato and Sean Pendergast, which had a .7 share in the last ratings book?

Unless you subscribe to either of those ridiculous concepts which intels believing SportsTalk790 hired Zierlein to maintain third-place status in morning drive, "The Big Show" has failed to this point. 

There are misconceptions among the sports talk listening community whereas many believe Zierlein's "Big Show" and SportsTalk790 in general are second in the market behind SportsRadio610. The actual truth of the matter is ESPN 97.5 on the FM dial trails 610 for second and 790 falls in third, with 1560 embedded in fourth place among the market's four sports talk stations. 

Here's a break down of the numbers:





Going forward, the more relevant question to ask is whether or not SportsTalk790 is honestly attempting to win the ratings battle, or just making sure they stay relevant, entertaining, and "in the black"?

Craig Shelton

Twitter: @LesbianCraig


Steven said...

I don't think it has to do with Lance I think it has to do with Matt. That dude is a show killer. I heard Lance filling in for Charlie and it sounded good and even better when Maleek was with him. To me this proves that Matt doesn't belong in the morning.

HMW said...

@Steven,,Thx for the feedback but several folks have mentioned to me they listened to Lance filling for Charlie and had the opposite view of yours. They thought Lance was nothing special filling in for Charlie. Opinions vary on a subjective subject matter. Thx again for the read and the feedback.


HMW said...

Let me inject a new theory. After some long hard thinking, I have come to realize, the other stations need football and it's because for years we all just casually said "Texans and 610". Without football, other sports talk stations take a bigger hit than 610. Just my trivial assessment.

Good read man.


WhiteGreg said...

I don't think the big show is very good because of the personality mix. Matt is just not good, Adam gets on my nerves too. I do like Lance though. I really don't know what 790 should do now. I wish they had the Texans instead of the mediocre 610, maybe in 10 years when the contract is up.

Ghost Man said...

Next to Charlie, I think that Lance is one of the most Sports knowledgeable guys out there, when he is out from the Big Show it's hard for me to listen, and the comedy Lance brings the the show is some of the best. The problem I have with the Big Show is Adam disagreeing with damn near everything from Matt or Lance!!

Stephen said...

I have said this from day 1. A three man booth does not work in radio, especially when that third voice is coming from Lance Zierlein's mouth. He loves to hear himself too often to have him teamed up with 2 other people. Did you notice how much easier it was to listen to The Big Show this past week? Coincidence?? I think not. I say team him up with "The Not So Mighty Gwinn" put em on at night...apparently nobody is listening in the morning/afternoon/evening so you won't much have to worry about your night time ratings if you're Chris Gordy. Let those 2 idiots go at it for a few hrs..Unlike Mr. Zierlein's so-called "comedy", a show involving those 2 fools would actually be pretty funny.

Stephen said...

Do the ratings capture internet streams?

HMW said...


I do not believe Arbitron counts Streaming Listeners

LM aka Sir Blog alot

Michael said...

The second Lance starts with one of his voices my radio gets dial gets turned.

Jeff said...

I think Lance is great. Ive followed you on twitter for over two years now and it is obvious you have a "thing" for him.

I don't watch American Idol because I think it is crap. I don't care about the ratings. Maybe you watch American Idol, I don't know. I think for myself and don't care about any ratings because I know what is good and what is bad in my own opinion.

Me and my buddies consider 610 to be like American Idol - trash for the masses. Therefore, I don't care what the masses think. 610 is bad dude. In shocked you been rising them as hard as you have man. I thought you had more discerning taste than Lopez, Ennis and now this goof Nick Wright. Losing Vandermeer hurt them.


DJ THE DJ said...

You've been very honest in your feelings about Lance. Lance has an audience. Jackson is just not a good fit for the morning show. I had a nightmare that I was forced to listen to the Innis Jackson show and it was pure torture. Who ever is talking about the Texans more will have a better rating. If the Rockets become relevant I think you will see those ratings change a big too. 790 need to make some moved with there personalities LZ is NOT one of vthem. Derwin023