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Lance Zierlein to leave KBME (790 AM)

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  • Lance Zierlein to leave KBME (790 AM)

    Lance Zierlein to leave KBME's morning sports talk show

    By David Barron
    Lance Zierlein said Tuesday he has elected not to sign a new contract with KBME (790 AM) and will leave the station later this year to focus on duties with NFL.com and other future projects.

    Lance Zierlein, one of the stalwarts of Houston sports radio for 20 years, said Tuesday he has elected not to sign a new contract with KBME (790 AM) and will leave the station later this year to focus on duties with NFL.com and other future projects.

    Zierlein, who has had top-ranked sports talk shows since 1997 on KILT (610 AM), KGOW (1560 AM) and KBME, the latter with co-host Matt Thomas, said he is ready for a break from the grind of morning radio and will leave the iHeartRadio station on good terms with station management .

    "They offered me a contract, and as time progressed I realized I was a little tired of doing morning radio and getting the early wakeup calls," he said. "Since I'm doing the NFL gig, I decided to step away from radio. "

    Zierlien, who initially posted word of his career plans on Instagram, did not rule out future radio projects but said he plans to use the summer to recharge and concentrate on the draft ratings he provides for NFL Media and, if the opportunity arises, to expand his relationship with the NFL.

    He said his radio contract expires in August but did not know how much longer he would be on the air with his decision to leave the station.

    Eddie Martiny, president and market manager of iHeartMedia Houston, did not immediately return an email message regarding changes at KBME.

    Zierlein, the son of longtime college and NFL coach Larry Zierlein, had a longstanding on-air partnership at KILT and KGOW with John Granato. The two hosted together on KILT from 1997 through 2007 and at KGOW from 2007 through 2011 before moving in 2012 in KBME. He hosted shows with Charlie Pallilo and Adam Clanton at the station before being paired last year with Matt Thomas in morning drive.

    His impending departure creates the possibility for a daylong shuffle among KBME's lineup, which currently includes Zierlein and Thomas in morning drive, N.D. Kalu and Greg Koch in middays, Clanton and Sean Jones in early afternoon and Josh Innes in afternoon drive.

    If you're not following the Astros, you are doing Houston sports wrong.

  • #2

    Departing KBME morning host Lance Zierlein was part of top-ranked shows at three different Houston sports talk stations.
    Photo: Michael Paulsen, Staff



    On TV/Radio: Lance Zierlein's impending exit leads to more changes in Houston sports talk

    By David Barron
    Departing KBME morning host Lance Zierlein was part of top-ranked shows at three different Houston sports talk stations.

    Some people trace the origins of man or the dawning of the cosmos. I keep lists of Texans game broadcasters and Houston sports radio talk show host combinations.

    The latter requires periodic updates, as with this week's announcement that Lance Zierlein will be leaving KBME (790 AM) later this year to focus on his side job as an NFL Draft prospects analyst.

    Station officials have yet to comment on Zierlein's impending departure as of midweek but apparently are poised to move Josh Innes to morning drive, retaining Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu in late morning, returning Matt Thomas to his solo early afternoon show and pairing Adam Clanton and Sean Jones with Jayson Braddock in afternoon drive.

    So it's time to update the list. When I compiled it in 2007 on the eve of KGOW's (1560 AM) debut with an all-sports format, I came up with 28 combinations dating back to 1997, when I began writing about radio and television topics for the Chronicle.

    Ten years later, not including the new combinations that have yet to be announced, I'm up to 88 weekday shows involving 78 individuals. Granted, this takes into account minor tweaks, such as Dante Hall's short-lived stint on KILT (610 AM), but it's still a lot of movement.

    Of the dozen local shows now airing during weekdays, the show with the most tenure is Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman, who have been on KFNC (97.5 FM) since 2010. Also on the medals stand are Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu on KBME (2012) and Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT (2013).

    Other start dates for current shows in their current configurations:

    John Granato and Sean Salisbury on KGOW/KFNC (2014); Rich Lord, Sean Pendergast and Ted Johnson on KILT (2014); Granato-Raheel Ramzanali on KFNC (2015); Adam Clanton-Sean Jones on KBME (2016) and Lance Zierlein-Matt Thomas on KBME (2016).

    Also, Paul Gallant on KILT (2016), Nate Griffin-Patrick Creighton on KGOW (2016), John Lopez-Cody Stoots on KILT (2016), Barry Warner on KGOW (2017) and Joel Blank-Barry Laminack on KFNC (2017).

    Zierlein looks to future

    Lance Zierlein says he will leave KBME on good terms but admits that sports talk radio isn't what it used to be - nor, for that matter, is any sports media platform.

    "When the (portable people meters) came in for ratings, they started watering down the product to focus on the most basic topics," he said. "A lot of the nuances have been lost. It's not what it was even 10 years ago. You tend to play to the low-hanging fruit on whatever topic."

    Zierlein said he will spend the summer learning about football through visits with the likes of Tom Herman at Texas and Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M and with Colts executive and family friend Chris Ballard.

    His proudest accomplishment of 20 years in Houston radio, he said, is being a part of top-ranked shows among sports radio stations on KILT, KGOW and KBME.

    "It's hard to start at a new place and get people to find you, so I'm proud of that," he said.
    If you're not following the Astros, you are doing Houston sports wrong.

    Comment


    • #3
      Lance dropping truth bombs on his way out...
      There are plenty of sports talk hosts here [in Houston] who are not fans of the local teams.

      We have had Houston sports talk hosts who have openly hated the local teams. That absolutely happens.

      I would say most of the sports talk hosts here don't really care for the Houston teams.

      I'm not going to throw people under the bus because I have knowledge/personal relationships with them, but I'm just telling you there's a lot sports talk hosts here who really couldn't care less about the local teams. I'm not going to name names.

      There are people who want the local teams to lose more than win... because they think if they lose it's better for sports talk.

      There was a host who made the comment, this person and another host said it that they'd much rather the Texans lose because it's much better for radio. And I'm just like man, I can't believe I'm hearing this.

      I'm telling you there's a lot of sports talk hosts like that. And there have been for years. People who aren't here anymore on the air in Houston... for years this has been an issue.
      Last edited by H2O4me; 06-20-2017, 04:49 PM.
      If you're not following the Astros, you are doing Houston sports wrong.

      Comment

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