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SportsTalk 790 To Undergo Drive Time Changes

Jason Barrett

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The mood is about to change on the airwaves of SportsTalk 790. And the expected changes will have an impact on morning and afternoon drive on the Houston sports radio station.

BSM reported earlier that morning host Lance Zierlein informed 790 executives of his intentions to let his contract expire this summer and become a free agent. He has since confirmed the news on social media. blank

790 and Zierlein are both open to continuing a part-time relationship. Whether or not that will come to fruition remains to be seen. Sports Radio 610 and Gow Media have previously served as employer’s of Zierlein’s and depending on their local needs, could also be interested.

In recent years, the popular Houston radio personality has begun contributing as an NFL Draft Analyst for the NFL Network and NFL.com. He’s seen as an emerging talent by network officials and is expected to remain involved on multiple platforms with the network. Zierlein has hosted the morning show on 790 since 2011, working with different partners including Adam Clanton and his current partner Matt Thomas.

With Zierlein leaving, BSM has learned that 790 plans to move Josh Innes into morning drive. The change isn’t expected to occur until the summer, just in time for football season. Innes’ move earlier in the day will create an opening in afternoons. Sources I spoke with said former host Charlie Pallilo is not expected to be part of the new afternoon mix.

Since returning to Houston, Innes has been a magnet for local media attention. His ratings haven’t yet sent a jolt into the marketplace but his talent is undeniable. 790 is hoping that a move earlier in the day will allow Innes to further move the ratings needle and lift the station back to a stronger overall position.

Given the stylistic differences in the way Innes hosts his show compared to 610’s MaD Radio, Houston sports radio listeners will soon have different options to consider when listening each morning. Add to the equation 97.5 ESPN, who are losing Mike and Mike as a result of ESPN splitting up the long time duo, and the fall should produce an interesting report card for mornings in Houston.

The one situation which will be clarified soon is Matt Thomas’ role with 790. Thomas is currently paired with Zierlein on the morning show and contributes as a public address and radio play by play announcer for the Houston Rockets. It’s possible the station could shift him to afternoons or return him to a midday position. Sources close to the situation were unsure of the station’s plans for him but said he would not be paired with Innes.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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