Houston’s Sports Radio 610 continued it’s solid performance in 2020, topping their market competition for the third straight ratings book. While 610 again produced the strongest numbers overall during the summer quarter, Sports Talk 790 enjoyed some gains as well.
In weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p), 610 was tied for 19th with a 2.1 share while SportsTalk 790 placed 23rd with a 1.3, both stations were down slightly from the spring book. 97.5 ESPN Houston finished 25th earning below a 1 share.
610’s morning show featuring Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast saw their ratings dip marginally for the second straight book, finishing 16th with a 2.2 share from 6 – 10a. ESPN Houston and Sports Talk 790 finished 24th and 25th respectively, both earning below a 1 share. ESPN Houston breaks up the 4-hour block by offering a combination of the network’s national morning show and The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein, which begins at 7am. Sports Talk 790’s morning show with Sean Salisbury fills the full 6 – 10a window.
In middays between 10a – 2p, 610’s John Lopez and Landry Locker finished the summer book tied for 15th place with a 2.2 share, down from a 2.6 in the spring, but a jump in ranking by five spots year-over-year. In the same window, ESPN Houston finished tied for 25th, dipping below a 1 share, while offering the last hour of Granato and Zierlein, followed by The Press Box with Charlie Pallilo and Joel Blank with Nick Sharara from 11a – 2p.
From 10a – 3p, Sports Talk 790 placed 23rd, finishing similarly to their spring book with a 1.2 share. During the five-hour midday block, 790 features a combination of In The Trenches with ND Kalu and The Matt Thomas Show.
In afternoons, 610’s Clint Stoerner and Ron ‘Show’ Hughley finished 21st with a 2 share from 2 – 6p. It was the lone daypart not won by 610, as Sports Talk 790 edged them out with a 2.2 share. The afternoon schedule on 790 offers the final hour of Matt Thomas, followed by The A-Team w/ Wexler and Clanton from 3 – 6p.. ESPN Houston was a point and a half behind, finishing tied for 25th in the same block, airing Josh Innes from 2 – 4p, followed by The Blitz with Fred Faour and AJ Hoffman from 4 – 7p.
Jeff Rickard Out At WEEI
“In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.”
Jeff Rickard’s tenure in Boston did not last long. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe tweeted yesterday that the WEEI brand manager has left Audacy and intends to return to Indianapolis.
Rickard was announced as the new brand manager of the legendary Boston sports talker in August. He left his role as morning show host and PD at The Fan in Indianapolis at that time.
In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.
In the meantime, Ken Laird has been promoted to operations manager for the station. Laird announced yesterday that this means he is leaving the Greg Hill Show, which will be on the lookout for a new producer.
David Ortiz On WEEI: Everyone Knows Dan Shaughnessy’s An A-Hole
“He didn’t seem to take the slight personally. He also didn’t seem to think it mattered.”
You don’t have to guess how David Ortíz feels about Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy. He is more than happy to tell you if you ask.
On Wednesday, the Hall of Fame candidate was a guest on WEEI and afternoon host Lou Merloni asked. He wanted to know how Ortíz felt about Shaughnessy saying he would never vote for the Red Sox slugger to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
“You know that Dan Shaughnessy has been an asshole to everybody,” Big Papí responded.
He didn’t seem to take the slight personally. He also didn’t seem to think it mattered.
“What can I do? Dan’s not gonna stop anything. He’s just one guy that didn’t vote for you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But I mean, this is a guy who likes giving a hard time to everyone, so you’ve got to love him that way.”
For the record, according to BBHOFTracker.com, Ortíz has received more votes than anyone else on the ballots of the writers that have made their votes public. Time will tell if that holds up and he meets the 75% threshold for induction.
Dan Shaughnessy released his Hall of Fame ballot last week along with the rest of the Boston Globe staff. He only voted for Jeff Kent. He was the only one not to vote for Big Papí
David Ortíz will find out next week if he is in. He is one of four players with the numbers that make one think it makes sense for him to be in the Hall of Fame, but a cloud of doubt over him because of his past use of performance enhancing drugs.
Tim Kurkjian: There Is No Right Way To Vote For The Hall Of Fame
“If I just said, look I’m not voting for anyone that has a connection to PEDs, that would be easier.”
The results of the Baseball Hall of Fame vote will be revealed next week, and ESPN MLB writer Tim Kurkjian has been on the fence about a lot of the players on the ballot.
Speaking Wednesday with Tim McKernan of 101 ESPN in St. Louis, Kurkjian said having the opportunity to elect some of baseball’s greatest players to the Hall of Fame is not lost on him. But the task of choosing players with ties to performance-enhancing drugs has been hard.
“It’s the greatest privilege I have,” he said of being a voter. “I love it, but it’s really, really difficult. I don’t think there are any right answers anymore.”
Kurkjian himself will be honored at the induction ceremony, and will be enshrined in the media wing as the winner of the Baseball Writers Association of America Career Excellence Award.
In the lead-up to the results of the voting, ESPN’s Outside the Lines is presenting a series on the Hall of Fame cases for five controversial candidates: Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
McKernan asked Tim Kurkjian what his voting process was, and if he considers voting for players on a case-by-case basis. Kurkjian said that was indeed the case given how each player’s ties to banned substances is different, and that in his mind, doing it that way is the most balanced way of voting.
“If I just said, look I’m not voting for anyone that has a connection to PEDs, that would be easier,” he said. “But I do care, and I’m kind of trapped in the middle as I so often am.”
Some of the other voters have a more hard-lined stance. Guys like Bonds, A-Rod, Mark McGwire and others will never get a particular writer’s vote simply because they admitted to using PEDs. But Kurkjian said that’s not how he does it.
He also said others should model how he votes.
“I’m not suggesting it’s the right way, because I’m not sure there is a right way,” he said. “I just don’t think I’m wrong in what I’m doing. I’m doing the best I can, and it is a very difficult assignment these days.”
ESPN’s series will conclude on Wednesday with reaction to the results of the hall of fame vote. Tim Kurkjian will be a part of the series.
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