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Sports Radio 610 Climbs In Houston Winter Ratings

“Sports Radio 610 doubled its year-over-year performance to win the quarter in the Houston sports radio battle.”

Brandon Contes

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With three sports radio stations vying for listeners in one market, the Houston ratings book is always interesting to look at. 

Traditionally, Houston’s numbers are lower than most of the Top 10 sports radio markets, but that doesn’t make the local competition any less pressure packed. For the winter book, according to Nielsen Audio, there was a clear picture of who shined during 2020’s first quarter, and it was Sports Radio 610. Program director Armen Williams made lineup changes last year, and the latest results have to give him and his team confidence that they’re on the right track. Though SportsTalk 790 and 97.5 ESPN Houston had quarterly declines, they remain formidable competition and could turn things around quickly, so nobody in the market should feel comfortable. 

Beginning with the weekday shows, 610’s morning show with Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast cracked the top-10 with a 3.1 share between 6a-10a. The station’s morning show was ranked 22nd at the same time last year, a big jump for Payne and Pendergast. ESPN Houston produced a 1 share, while 790 did a 0.7. It’s important to note that ESPN Houston breaks up the 4-hour window by offering a combination of Golic & WingoThe Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein (7 – 9a), followed by John & Raheel with Del (9 – 11a). SportsTalk 790’s morning show with Sean Salisbury fills the full 6 – 10a window.

In middays between 10a-2p, John Lopez and Landry Locker produced a 3 share, good enough to lead 610’s In the Loop to an 11th place tie. Similar to the morning show, the middday crew enjoyed a massive jump year-over-year rising up from 23rd place. SportsTalk 790 finished the 10a-3p daypart in 24th place. 790 features a combination of In The Trenches with ND Kalu and The Matt Thomas Show during that 5-hour block. 97.5 finished in 27th in the 10a-3p daypart. Their on-air programming during that time includes John & Raheel with Del, Charlie Pallilo and The Usual Suspects with Joel Blank and Barry Laminack.

In afternoons, Clint Stoerner won the quarter by generating a 2.9 share to earn a tie for 15th place. ESPN Houston’s performance in the traditional PM drive daypart (M-F 3p-7p) was a 1.2 share. The station aired 1-hour of The Usual Suspects and The Blitz with Fred Faour and AJ Hoffman during the full daypart. SportsTalk 790 was third among the sports stations in afternoons. The A-Team w/ Wexler and Clanton (M-F 3p-6p) and The Nightcap (M-F 6p-7p) delivered a 0.7 which placed 790 in 25th place.

In weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p), 610 was 14th with a 2.9 share, doubling their year-over-year performance. ESPN Houston and SportsTalk 790 finished 24th and 25th respectively, both earning below a 1 share.

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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