Friday, July 22, 2005

The Great Sports Radio Faceoff Part 5

Early Evening

Fox Sports Radio: Game Time Live, hosted by Craig Shemon and James Washington
ESPN Radio: Game Night, various hosts

Show Format
Game Time Live: Guests, live updates, Craig and James discuss.
Game Night: Guests, live updates, opinions from the hosts.
Edge: Push

Hosts
Game Time Live: I like James Washington as a person and as a former Cowboy, I think he was robbed of the MVP for Super Bowl 28, and he knows his football stuff, but he's tough to understand at times. Craig Shemon is OK, but not great.
Game Night: Doug Gottlieb is great. His opinions are strong and he's not afraid to take on anyone, including ESPN. Chuck Wilson is a professional who sounds great on radio, the other two hosts are OK.
Edge: Game Night

Crew
Neither crew really participates and they have very few technical issues, so we're just gonna say...
Edge: Push

Sports Update Anchor
Game Time Live: Eddie Garcia sounds good and presents the news clearly
Game Night: Sometimes John Stashower, sometimes Jay Reynolds, either one is excellent
Edge: Game Night

Callers
Game Time Live: They try to involve fans a lot, and the callers don't detract from the show.
Game Night: Not many call segments.
Edge: Game Time Live

Overall
Game Night
Never underestimate the power of the point guard.

Late Evening

Fox Sports Radio: Game Time React, hosted by J.T. "The Brick"
ESPN Radio: Game Night (continued from earlier), various hosts

Show Format
The Brick: Lots and lots of calls, live updates, and "Pop Looney"
Game Night: Same as before
Edge: The Brick

Hosts
The Brick: J.T. comes with very strong opinions, which is what you would expect from a former Jim Rome Smack-Off winner. He's not afraid to rip on anyone, even if it's his favorite team, the Yankees.
Game Night: Doug Gottlieb is really the only one of the four hosts that is remotely in the Brick's league.
Edge: The Brick

Crew
The Brick: Usually they do a good job keeping the show on the air and getting the callers through.
Game Night: No technical issues here either.
Edge: Push

Sports Update Anchor
The Brick: Tomm Looney's unique delivery and flair is what sets him apart from other anchors. Plus he contributes his own strong opinions and diversifies the show with his "Pop Looney" segment.
Game Night: Jon Stashower/Jay Reynolds tag team.
Edge: The Brick

Callers
The Brick: There's lots of opportunities to get on, and the people that do get on have really strong opinions and don't detract from the show. J.T., I think, recognizes more than any other host that callers are the essence of sports talk radio, probably because he started out as a caller.
Game Night: Well, they occasionally let people on, but not often.
Edge: The Brick

Overall
The Brick
There's really two shows that stand out in sports talk today: J.T. The Brick's show and Jim Rome's show.

The Final Tally

Overnight ESPN
Morning Drive: Push
Mid-Morning: ESPN
Afternoon: Fox Sports
Afternoon Drive: Fox Sports
Early Evening: ESPN
Late Evening: Fox Sports

Bonus Points
Fox Sports: Fox recently added the ability to text message their shows, which is key because it gets younger fans involved. Also has more attitude than ESPN, and attitude is a big part of sports talk.
ESPN: ESPN Radio is able to pull from the television network's large stable of experts on just about any topic, but that's their only edge.

The Winner
Fox Sports Radio
Surprisingly, Fox Sports Radio takes the title on the strength of it's interactivity, but the competition is very close. One or more changes in hosts or crew, and it could swing either way next time we check up.

Monday: Play, Trade, Cut, or Drag out?
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