The battle between Houston’s top two sports talk radio stations went beyond the ratings and got personal this week.
Hosts from Houston’s SportsRadio 610 KILT and SportsTalk 790 KBME got into an on-air altercation at Super Bowl LII Radio Row at the Mall of America in Minneapolis.
While 610 hosts Seth Payne and Mike Meltser were conducting an interview with long-time Houston Chronicle NFL writer John McClain, 790 host Josh Innes sent producer Jim Mudd to their table to disrupt them on the air. Listeners to both stations could hear the dispute in an unprecedented (and unplanned) simulcast.
Payne, a former defensive tackle with the Houston Texans, noticed Mudd’s presence and began throwing profanities at him and Innes on the air.
“Jim Mudd! Get over here,” Payne said. “Listen, you tell Josh Innes that when I see him that I want that little (expletive) to make eye contact instead of hiding behind his microphone and acting like he’s a big man, make eye contact with me, instead of cowering behind a table like a little (expletive). You hear that Josh?”
Payne went on to call Innes “the worst human being on Earth” and said Mudd was “corrupted” by working with him. The on-air tantrum prompted Innes to go to the rival station’s table and address Payne’s remarks. When Innes came to the table, Payne leapt to his feet. Several other radio stations caught the argument on video and posted it on social media.
McClain, a frequent guest of both stations, became so frustrated with the argument that he left before the interview finished. He later tweeted the incident was “the most unprofessional thing I’ve ever experienced on the radio in 43 years.”
Innes and Mudd reportedly had their Radio Row credentials revoked due to the incident. As of this writing, no reports have surfaced on whether Payne will be reprimanded for his part in the altercation.
Innes had also reportedly instigated altercations with rival stations when he was working in Philadelphia. In August 2016, he was fired from WIP for claiming a rival station had a fake African-American caller.