All in all, it didn't end up so bad after all. Nearly two weeks ago, Adam Clanton was fired from his position at 1560 AM as the station shuffled its lineup yet again. Clanton had only been on the air with broadcast partner John Wessling for a few months when the hammer fell. Wessling has been fairly public on social media since the dismissal and even started a podcast called Ripped Foul, no doubt to fill the void while he looks for a new gig. But Clanton had remained silent until Monday, when he announced via Twitter he would be joining the team at 790 AM.
Clanton's new show, The Adam Clanton Experience, began airing Monday night and will occupy a regular spot from 8 to 10 p.m. weeknights when not pre-empted by Rockets or Astros games. Former 790 nighttime semi-regular Dylan Gwynn has switched places with Clanton, moving to 1560. No offense to Gwynn, but 790 clearly got the better of that deal.
Back on March 6, I wrote about the Clanton and Wessling firings and put together a fantasy list of sports radio personalities. In it, I said I believed Clanton and Wessling would make a perfect nighttime pairing. I guess 790 at least agreed with half of my suggestion.
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Clanton, a former weekend sports anchor for Channel 2, left television to dive into radio after numerous guest stints, primarily on 1560. His mix of sports knowledge and levity, particularly centered around his impersonations of guys like syndicated sports host Jim Rome, makes him a natural fit for nights, and he is thrilled. "Joining this team at this station is really a dream come true," he told Hair Balls. "It's something that was flirted with in the past, but the timing was never right."
The move continues to solidify an already sturdy lineup for 790. In addition to Clanton, the station features Charlie Pallilo and Lance Zierlein in the afternoons (both former Houston Press Best Of winners), Matt Thomas midday, Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu mid-mornings and Matt Jackson and Adam Wexler during morning drive. There is still some question, given the amount of programming, where Clanton will fit in and how much air time he will get, but he's not too concerned. "I'm hoping this is a long, long stay...and I think we're all hoping my role will continue to increase as time goes on," he said. "For now, I'm extremely happy to be a part of the SportsTalk 790 family."
While 610 still wins most of the ratings battles thanks to its partnership with the Texans and its popular afternoon show featuring Josh Innes and Rich Lord, 790 (also home to the Rockets and Astros) is clearly trying to amass enough talent to win the war. Both seem to be pulling away rapidly from 1560, which has never been a serious threat to either 610 or 790 and now features all syndicated morning shows. They still have the very talented John Harris middays along with the entertaining duo of John Granato and Press contributing writer Sean Pendergast afternoons making for a really interesting three-way battle between those stations.
Still, given the recent 1560 moves and Clanton's new position, it seems clear that the overall fight for sports listeners in Houston is a two-horse race.