Less than a year after two of the sharpest minds in the Houston sports radio world joined forces, they were split up. The Lance Zierlein-Charlie Pallilo experiment is over as 790 KMBE will shake up their lineup in dramatic fashion beginning Monday.
In the shuffle, veterans Matt Jackson and Adam Wexler lost their jobs. The Big Show page of the KBME Web site, along with the individual profiles for Wexler and Jackson, was removed and it was confirmed later in the day that they were out. Since Zierlein left the Big Show to join Pallilo, the ratings have not been great, and word is that their latest numbers put them below even the 97.5 KNFC morning show.
It's a shame for the pair, who have been co-hosting shows together for many years.
Zierlein will go back to morning duty and be paired with Adam Clanton, who has been doing sporadic duty at various times of the day. Clanton worked on KPRC Channel 2 as a weekend sports anchor before moving to 1560 KBME to host a show. He was fired along with his co-host at the time, John Wessling, and jumped over to 790.
The station will also add three hours of nationally syndicated radio in the Jay Mohr show from 11 to 2. Mohr, a comedian and actor, was a regular fill-in for Jim Rome on his national program. That will push Matt Thomas to a 2-4 slot, with Pallilo flying solo again from 4 to 7. Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu will stay from 9 to 11.
That puts Zierlein and Clanton on from 6 to 9, a pretty short and early show, but fitting with Zierlein's contract time and probably better suited for his personality and advertisers.
I am most disappointed in the loss of Wexler and Jackson. Both, in my opinion, are solid sports radio contributors and deserve a spot on the air. Additionally, dropping three hours of non-local programming in the middle of what was already a pretty solid lineup -- particularly the guy-talk-centric Mohr -- is frustrating.
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To be honest, the whole mess of a schedule now feels like an attempt to shoehorn Mohr into the lineup, but it probably saves the station money. With only three hours for Zierlein and Clanton in the EARLY morning, a solo show for Pallilo that will almost certainly be frequently pre-empted by the Rockets and Astros, and shoving Thomas, a guy I thought was really starting to do well at midday, into two hours in the dead of the day, it's pretty disappointing.
We'll see if it works for Clear Channel in the ratings. I'm sure Zierlein will be great in the mornings, but whether Clanton will be the ultimate answer to pair with him is uncertain. They have similar schticks outside of the sports talk, so it will be interesting to see if they can figure out a rhythm together.
Then there's Pallilo going solo yet again. He's a fantastic sports mind, but he can be tremendously dry when on his own, which is why I had hoped the Zierlein pairing would work.
And I just can't see the Mohr experiment lasting. If Jim Rome couldn't hold a midday spot on one of the big three stations in Houston -- 650 doesn't count -- it's hard to imagine Mohr doing it.