Why Can't Houston Media Actually Employ People from Houston?

Categories: Sports

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You probably don't know who Nick Mathews and Randy Harvey are. But as of next month, they'll be the new sports editor and new sports columnist at the Houston Chronicle. Congratulations to the both of them, but frankly, I'm troubled by their additions to the Houston sports scene.

Neither's a native of Houston. Mathews is from Illinois and before joining the Chron as online sports editor last year, he worked at papers in Fremont, Ohio, and Newport News, Virginia. And frankly, if Mathews is the guy who has ruined the online experience at the Chron, then it's really hard to understand why he's now the overall editor. Unless, that is, you like clicking on a story on your iPhone, but not being able to read the story until you scroll through a few hundred photos. And his use of photos and slideshows instead of actual stories with words has left me longing for the in-depth quality coverage of Bleacher Report.

The real problem, though, is with the hiring of Harvey. The guy's a UT graduate, but he joined the Los Angeles Times in 1981, and then moved to The Baltimore Sun for a while before moving back to the Times. In other words, the Chron got a guy with absolutely no ties to Houston to be a columnist writing about Houston sports. He doesn't know the history.

This bugs me for many reasons. For instance, just look at all of the talented writers the Chron has dumped from the sports department the past several years, most of them with deep ties to the Houston and Texas sports scene. Most were really talented writers, but the Chron chose to dump them in stupid attempts to save money. And for what it's worth, the Chron has some really talented sports writers still in its employ, so it just makes no sense that an outsider with no knowledge is brought into a high-profile position.

But the Chron's not the only offender. One of the problems I have with Houston sports radio is that most of the stations feel the need to bring in outsiders who know only clichés about Houston. For instance, 610 has hired some hack from Kansas City to be a loudmouthed voice for its morning show. He's not from here. What's wrong with hiring people from Houston, or from Texas, to do Houston-based sports shows -- it's really working for 790.

And it's not just with sports. KTRH canned its morning radio team, with a long, long history in Houston, for a loudmouth political talker who has never worked in the Houston market. Sure it bothers me that the guy's another conservative talker, but what bugs me more is that he's not from Houston.

Houston is a large city. It's the home of the University of Houston, which has good journalism, communications and radio and television departments. Rice and Sam Houston State have reputable communications departments. But instead of tapping the local talent pool for reporters, columnists and talk show hosts, there seems to be this unwritten rule that only outsiders are allowed to come to Houston and opine.

Harvey will probably work fine as a columnist. But seriously, for those of you who read the Chron, do you really think that some of those who have been forced out in the past several years, like MK Bower or Michael Murphy, couldn't do better jobs? Or Steve Campbell, who is on the Astros beat, or Joseph Duarte, who has covered just about every pro and college team in the area?

As for 610, I'm sure its new guy can't be any worse than Josh Innes. Then again, I didn't think it was possible for anybody to be worse on the radio than Brad Davies, and Innes came along. And for some reason, 610 employs all three of them, so I'll just continue to not listen.

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27 comments
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WhiskeyR
WhiskeyR

Look around over at Eating Our Words and try to tell me the collective writers there have been in Houston an average of over 10 years and I'll laugh my ass off.

Barcardi1970
Barcardi1970

josh has a phd in trannys, a job skill that is scarce among native houstonians, thank God.  and no we didn't ask for it, however organizations like 610 and the chron feel their carpet baggers are better.  like the cowboy hat guy in casino said, "you all are just visitors".  

that being said, I don't want to hear the second coming of ed fowler anytime soon... but it's better than josh's backwater tranny talk every 5 minutes.

Josh_Innes_Sucks
Josh_Innes_Sucks

Josh Innes is a fat, filthy, worthless POS who rides Rich's coattails and the Texans' success, and then claims (when he's not talking about sex, boners or doing poor impressions) that he's the reason for 610's slight ratings improvement. He is a Pig and the reason I stopped listening, as much as I enjoy Rich.

Craigley
Craigley

Houston stopped growing it's own talent after Ron Stone left this earth.

Gagi
Gagi

Dude, maybe you need to find yourself a new city......you look for the best, and you are not always going to find them available in Houston......It is funny how you try to insult Sportsradio 610 yet they have the best ratings in sports radio in Houston......get a life.....better yet...get a new job, maybe in Dallas.....see ya

RPaul
RPaul

Ronald Reagan had the best ratings for a while. So did W. And Hermann Cain. And John Edwards. And Michelle Bachmann. 

Ratings are mass appeal measurements. Readers of this blog, sorry to say, are like Wobegon children: all above average.

Evan
Evan

Rice University does not have a communications major, let alone a reputable one. Any media folks who graduate from there are probably coming by way of the Thresher or summer internships. 

Evan
Evan

Or perhaps I'm confusing communications students with communications workers, who do PR for the university itself. In that case, I still disagree with the 'reputable' point. 

Scott Innes
Scott Innes

Dear John  What's amazing is if you go to Most markets Most of the Successful Radio shows & Sports talk Stations Hosts are NOT from that City much less that state? Just like the Astros or Texans Don't have a Ton of people on the teams from Texas! It would be Boring !!! Josh Innes Not only is my Son but the KID is Good! I'm his biggest critic! And i'm also proud of him! I don't always agree with everything he says and does But The Kid is Good! So stop your bitching and write about something worth talking about like  Real Sports?  610 is kicking Ass & yes Josh Innes plays a Big Part in that!!! More people Listen to Josh Innes than the 10 people who Read this Article ?!!!!  les Miles once told me the reason he Loved Josh so much is he was Real & didn't sugar coat anything while alot of the other press were ASS Kissers!!!  It's a damn good thing Not all Radio Sports talk guys are from Houston cause you would have nothing BUTT a whole lot of ASS Kissers. & NOTHING BUT BORING RADIO........:)

Dleifer
Dleifer

Scott, you raised a spectacular radio host!  He is quick witted, funny, intelligent and is great to listen to.  One day he will have a national show and there will be a lot of us who will tune in to listen to him.

Too bad this writer turned this into an attack, he just seems jealous. I sell new homes for a living and most of the people I sell to are not from Houston, I am not originally from Houston however Houston has been my home since 1983.

Josh should feel extremely proud of how he has become one of the most talked about people in Houston media and especially proud that his dad cares about him and his career.

Josh_Innes_Sucks
Josh_Innes_Sucks

Josh is horrible and as I've said often before...if the fat POS was fired today at 610, NOT ONE OTHER LOCAL STATION WOULD HIRE HIM BECAUSE HE'S WORTHLESS.

So piss off, Scotty. Enjoy the divorce and the unemployment.

blackjackdavid
blackjackdavid

Did you really have to use the word really five times in this post? Get real, man. 

Cdrranch2008
Cdrranch2008

This article is only good enough to wipe my butt. #610 is winning. Dumb ass.

Jbrumley777
Jbrumley777

Ratings show 610 is leading the pack, I guess you've done your homework right? Josh Innes may not be from Houston but he keeps it real. In the famous words of Marc Vandermeer , you suck, bye.

sports713
sports713

Check the ratings 610 #winning

Cha
Cha

just cause u of h has a great communications and journalism school....do a poll of how many who actually work in radio with a degree in COM..

Really
Really

You must of somehow tapped in to my inner dialogue. And then used it for this article.

Tim
Tim

According to the ratings, the shows on 610 dominate the other stations in all time slots, so I guess the hack who wrote this article doesn't have a clue. I'll keep listening to 610.

Jeff
Jeff

Actually, the latest ratings book is likely going to say otherwise.

Jeff
Jeff

Tried to write more, got cut off. The point is 790 is gaining. It still doesn't have nearly the numbers 610 does, but 610 gets a LOT of help from the Texans and from lead ins to the Rockets as they always have. Still, they are in the lead spot for the most part and remain there regardless of what people think of them.

Oh, and when did this become a post about 610? There are literally three sentences dedicated to it.

big red
big red

The Chron's sports section is disgraceful for a city this size. Too small. Too many AP stories. Hell, you might as well go to the AP website every day instead of paying for a subscription to that rag. Too see what we in Houston are missing, just compare a Sunday Chronicle sports section to a Sunday Dallas Morning News sports section. While the DMN has some issues, it is vastly superior to what we in Houston have to live with.

Craigley
Craigley

The DMN's pedantic coverage of the Cowboys makes me ill.

And when I lived in Dallas they didn't even provide scores for UH or Rice, and this as DURING the SWC.

Dallas is dreck.

Grinch
Grinch

Right, big deal.  Most people who live in H-town are from somewhere else, hello?  Quit whining.

TOLDYA
TOLDYA

Jeez this article is about as boring as Houstons' teams are to start with yawn, who cares ...

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