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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.

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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