Lance Zierlein and John Granato enjoyed a lot of radio success together before going in separate directions. But in the crazy world of sports talk radio, things have a way of coming full circle. Now after years apart and working at different companies, the two men are joining forces once again to try and reclaim their position as one of Houston’s best sports talk shows.
The talented duo will take over morning drive on ESPN 97.5 FM from 7a-9a starting Monday November 27th. The two men will remain on the air together from 9a-9:30a with midday host Raheel Ramzanali. Granato stays on with Ramzanali each day until 11am.
In taking over the morning slot, Zierlein and Granato gain the majority of hours which were previously occupied by ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike. Houston had been a market where ESPN Radio had performed well in mornings. The change leaves ESPN Radio’s new show with Trey Wingo and Mike Golic with two less hours of air time each day in one of its top rated markets.
“Reuniting John and Lance is a homerun”, said David Gow, CEO of Gow Media. “For years, people have asked me when those two could do a show again, and now the stars have aligned.”
Recognized by the Houston Press for Best Radio Show and as Best Radio Host, and a longtime analyst for NFL.com, Zierlein began his career at Sports Radio 610 before joining Granato for the launch of Gow Media’s 1560 AM in 2007. Zierlein had been a mainstay in mornings on SportsTalk 790 but elected to exit the radio station this past June, paving the way for Josh Innes to takeover the timeslot.
“I’m really excited about getting back together with John Granato and being part of what David Gow is building with 97.5, Sports Map and Culture Map,” says Zierlein. “John and I had the most talked-about show in Houston because of our chemistry and the fun we had on the air. That’s missing from a lot of the radio shows out there today. It’s time to bring that back in the mornings.”
Granato, who also enjoyed a successful ten-year run at 610, is equally excited about the benefits the new show will provide to his personal and professional relationship with Zierlein.
“It’s huge for me to have Lance back” added Granato. “Not only is he a great friend but I owe a lot to him in my career. And he’s one of the funniest guys I know. A lot of people woke up to us over the years. Hopefully they’ll be back and we’ll get a bunch of new people as well. I’m really excited about being in morning drive again (Except that whole waking up early thing).”
The addition of Zierlein is another big local move by Gow Media. The company previously convinced SportsTalk 790 afternoon host Charlie Pallilo to jump on board, and struck a deal to acquire CultureMap, an online social scene website that started in Houston and expanded to Austin and Dallas.
Reflecting on a busy 2017, David Gow believes bigger things are in store for his Houston-based multi-platform media company. “Lance caps off a great year for us”, observes Gow. “With Ken Hoffman, Charlie Pallilo and now Lance Zierlein joining our already-strong roster of talent, we believe we’ve built the ‘dream team’ that Houston’s sports fans are looking for”.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
1140 The Bet Cancels ‘The Playmakers’
The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
In another cut from Audacy, 1140 The Bet has cancelled The Playmakers on their Las Vegas station.
The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Brown tweeted the news, saying “Sadly I have been informed that yesterday was our final show. I am thankful for the people it brought into my life & the experiences we created I am incredibly proud of our work & the boundaries we are eager to push in sportz radio. Today is a tough day. Tomorrow is on the way.”
Hernandez followed up by tweeting “I can’t put into words right now how I feel right now but in my radio journey from College in Tampa to Phoenix and now Las Vegas you were the best teammate I’ve ever had in radio and more importantly a great person. I appreciate and will miss you Badass Brown.”
According to the station’s website, it will replace The Playmakers with You Better You Bet from the BetQL Network.
1250-AM The Fan in Milwaukee Reportedly Cancels Local Programming
The station is streaming CBS Sports and has removed the local daily lineup from the 1250 AM The Fan website.
Stunning sports radio news out of Milwaukee. 1250-AM The Fan has suddenly removed all of its local programming and switched over to CBS Sports Radio.
The news came as a shock to local listeners but even more surprising to the station’s staff. Here’s a tweet from Evan Heffelfinger noting that today was “everyone’s” last day at the station.
The station’s stream is currently airing CBS Sports Radio. The local daily lineup has also been removed from the 1250 The Fan website although show podcasts still remain.
In regards to the station’s talent, most have been quiet since the news began to trickle out. The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that recent NFL Hall of Famer and former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler was part of the cuts. Bart Winkler, Tim Allen, and Gary Ellerson are expected to be out as well.
One host who may remain involved is Steve ‘Sparky’ Fifer. Fifer was part of the midday show, and also helped behind the scenes. According to sources, he’s likely to contribute off-air and with additional brand projects. The rest will have an opportunity to explore opportunities should any become available at 97.3 The Game, ESPN 94.1, WTMJ or any other local outlets.
Upon learning of the news, a few former 1250 hosts, Mike Wickett and Cliff Saunders, took to social media to share their sadness.
Ryan Maguire, who served as the PD of 1250 The Fan from 2006-2009, and is currently the PD of crosstown rivals ESPN Milwaukee and WTMJ, provided his perspective.
One host who left before the station was dismantled was former afternoon man Ramie Makhlouf. The longtime Milwaukee voice exited in June to join Sactown Sports 1140.
This is a developing story and as more information becomes available we’ll pass it along. 1250-AM The Fan is owned by Audacy, which just announced plans to reduce 5% of its programming staff.
Fred Toucher: Fred Roggin Rant ‘Is Why Everyone Thinks Radio Sucks’
“I understand defending yourself, but then there’s like desperation,” he said.
A recent piece in the L.A. Times painting the picture of why the sports radio audience in Los Angeles is smaller than that of Boston struck a nerve locally.
And when AM 570 LA Sports host Fred Roggin tried to explain why Boston does so much better with listeners, Fred Toucher couldn’t contain himself.
“Let me give it to you in a nutshell real, real quickly,” Roggin said in a clip that played during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Tuesday. “The implication here is that you don’t care. Do they have as many Latinos living in Boston? I don’t think so, and if you look at the ratings, they don’t. We’re a melting pot, we’re very different here. Sports is a niche audience.“
Toucher and company laughed at the sound byte before Toucher laid into Roggin.
“Does that mean that Latinos don’t like sports?” he asked. “To do well in Los Angeles, you have to adapt to the market, you jackass! Latinos have to listen to ya.”
Roggin and co-host Rodney Peete sounded even more out of touch in the clip by saying that part of the reason more people listen to sports talk in Boston is because of weather and an affinity for baked beans. Additionally, there’s just more to do in LA versus Boston.
“He is under the impression that the east coast is really something else,” Toucher said. “But he’s painting the east coast as if like no one lives out here. Like New York City and Philadelphia are these minor flyover states. It’s really funny.”
Toucher understood Roggin taking the time to go on the defensive, but he just couldn’t get over the way in which the defense was presented.
“I understand defending yourself, but then there’s like desperation,” he said. “What do you care if the station in Boston does better than you? What does it matter to you?! Clean up your own business! Jesus Christ!”
“This is the first time I think I’ve ever heard the northeast described as like toothless hicks that like got nothing better to do,” Toucher added.
Toucher finished his point by piling on the hosts further, saying that if their show aired anywhere else, it would fail.
“This is why everyone thinks radio sucks,” Toucher said before the rest of the Roggin clip was played.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett News Media. He also works for ABC8 News and Newsradio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond, Virginia. His prior experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and iHeartradio Richmond. He can be reached by email at Jordan.E.Bondurant@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.