1560 The Game Goes Local With Clanton, Wessling in the Afternoons
Since 1560 The Game's parent company Gow Communications purchased Sporting News Radio and eventually partnered with Yahoo to form Yahoo Sporting News Radio, which was, incidentally, not long after our cover story on the rebel independent, a lot of changes were made at the station and we will fully admit not all of them had us cheering.
The station that prided itself on its outsider sensibility and brash, upstart on-air environment lost its creative team in former program director Chance McClain and former creative director Frank Bullington -- the duo known affectionately as "Chank" and the creative heart behind the station -- as well as, arguably, their most popular on-air personality, Lance Zierlein. They spent quite a few months juggling lineups trying to find what would work with their new mix of local and national programming.
Clanton should be familiar to sports radio listeners. He has filled in alongside numerous hosts at pretty much every sports station on the dial and he's well known for his impersonation of national sports talk radio host Jim Rome.
Wessling might be a bit less known to local sports enthusiasts. Wessling has hosted weekend shows on 97.5, the ESPN affiliate in Houston, and is a working stand-up artist who won honors for Best Comedian in the 2011 Best of Houston® awards.
He and Clanton should form an interesting duo, in an attempt to compete with some of the most popular radio programs in Houston including the Josh Innes and Rich Lord show on KILT and Charlie Pallilo's solo show on KBME.
Gow also announced a move that had been a long time coming in its purchase of 97.5 KNFC. Since its acquisition of Sporting News Radio, it has been no secret that the group at Gow have wanted to expand from the little upstart that could. They still suffer a huge disadvantage in that they have no local team programming and 1560's signal strength -- or lack thereof -- will continue to be an issue, but netting 97.5 could eventually signal a move to the FM dial for The Game.
With Clanton and Wessling on afternoons, John Granato and our own Sean Pendergast handling mornings and Travis Rogers's national show now going head to head with his old boss Jim Rome's time slot during lunch, the folks at Gow seem to be following a path taken by many a successful sports station before them. We'll see if it works.