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:
• OVERALL RATINGS
• MORNING DRIVE
• EVENING DRIVE TIME
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"?