An open letter to MetBlog readers about KHMX and Sam Malone…

Dear Houston Metblog readers, and radio listeners:

At my entry on Houston radio, I’ve been seeing the comments literally flood forth with statements about KHMX’s hiring of Sam Malone. Well, I have a few things to say, and I hope that all of you will give me the courtesy of listening.

It’s no secret that I was a huge fan of the old 104 morning show with Sam, Maria, and Robbie. It’s also no secret that I didn’t particularly care for Roula and Ryan. To each his (or her) own. What we like, or don’t like, doesn’t really matter, right now. What matters is doing the right thing.

There’s a lot of talk about protest, hate mail, and “…clog[ging] up the “Vent Line” with calls…” I think you guys might be going just a bit out of bounds, here. The only thing excessive hate mail, excessive calls, and protests will do is make the corporation in question (Clear Channel Communications, Inc.) ignore you. Clear Channel has already proven that with the protests and e-mail/call campaigns that resulted from the programming switch of the former Rock 101 (now Mega Latino, 101).

Additionally, sending Sam Malone, “…as much hate mail as possible,” is not the way to go, either. He can’t control who the company hires and fires, he can only control his own contract. Certainly it may have been a bit underhanded to negotiate a contract that would oust the already existing morning show team, especially if it was done under the table; however, who’s to say that Clear Channel/KHMX were not already planning to get rid of Roula and Ryan before they contracted Sam Malone? If that’s the case, don’t you think you’re over-reacting a bit, or at least reacting to the wrong person? The thing you have to realize, folks, is that this is how business is done, especially in radio. There isn’t much we can do about it, except express our displeasure in a reasonable, and judicious manner.

Expressing your concerns, and feelings, is always encouraged. Flooding a corporation’s e-mail, or even an individual employee’s e-mail, is not. At the least, you will simply be ignored and eventually a mail filter rule will be created to automatically delete your e-mails. At the worst, you could face criminal charges under United States federal law (there are laws against harrasment via e-mail, just as there are via telephone). The difference between the first potentiality, and the second, is all in the words you use, the tone of your messages, and the frequency at which you send them.

Look, if you want to complain, then go ahead, I support your right to have your opinion heard. Here are some options for getting your opinion heard:

1) Write a well-formed, and well thought out e-mail to any of the following:

  • Sam Malone: — Tell Sam that you feel it may have been underhanded to negotiate a contract with the station without Roula&Ryan knowing that they were going to be canned. Do not send hate mail, do not tell him how terrible you think he is, or how wonderful. Just be honest, not hateful, not harrassing, just tell him you don’t agree with the way things were done.
  • Programming Director, Buddy Scott: — Tell Mr. Scott that you feel replacing Roula&Ryan with Sam Malone was a mistake. Explain your preference. Let him know that you will likely cease listening to KHMX in the future (at least in the mornings), if Sam Malone is the morning DJ, etc…
  • Head of Clear Channel Radio, Omar Thompson: — Let Mr. Thompson know your feelings about the way the transition at KHMX was handled. Let him know that you feel that Sam Malone is a poor addition to the family, and that you feel that things were done in a bit of an underhanded manner.

2) Call Clear Channel’s Radio division (contact numbers are availible on their website) and express your displeasure with their corporate offices.

3) Call KHMX (contact numbers are availible on their website) and express your displeasure. (Do not call continually. One call, per person, per issue, folks.)

The most important thing to remember, friends, is to be courteous, professional, and succinct, at all times. How would you feel if someone who was mad about something you did sent you hate-filled and venom-filled e-mail? I guarentee you wouldn’t like it, and you’d very quickly start ignoring them. Now, in the same veign, what would you do if someone sent you a very calm, well thought out, and well spoken e-mail, stating that they did not agree with your decisions, felt that things had been handled poorly, and that they will no longer be partaking of your services as a result? Chances are, you’d give that e-mail a good read, and actually consider what the person was saying.

Massive calling and typing up phone lines, hate-filled mass e-mail campaigns, etc… are pointless. You’ll wind up alienating the people you most want to listen to you, and you may wind up causing yourself some trouble in the future. Be courteous, level-headed, and thoughtful. In other words, even though you don’t agree with people, you should still treat them as you would like to be treated in the same situation.

Eric “Fyre” Scalf
Houston MetBlog author.

32 Comments so far

  1. HouDog (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 12:21 am

    Wow, I had no idea that local radio could engender such emotion. It is ALL crap. As George Clinton used to say “Free your mind, and your @ss will follow.”

    All these morning shows are dumb-downed pablum for the masses. Whether you are spoon fed from one station or the other, it is still mind-numbing garbage.

    (hehe – j/k you guys go fight for whatever you want – stand up for your right to justice and fair play in your morning shows)

  2. Robert (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 11:52 am

    No kidding, Houston radio is total crap, has been for years now. While I can’t say that I like any of the mentioned radio personalities (although I’d probably bet that I like Malone less), the fact that companies care so little about the people involved as witnessed in this case is what really disappoints me.

    It should be no surprise that the folks at Clear Channel have once again shown that they are above all else about business, not about radio and certainly not about the listeners.

    Read the Chronicle’s article and see if everything Ken Charles says doesn’t sound like “how we can get better ratings and make more money, and listeners won’t notice the difference”…

  3. David Walls (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 2:57 pm

    Houston Radio is the most monotonous crap I have ever heard, lucky for me I have an extensive music collection so I can dismiss all the drab and dribble of local radio. As for Clear Channel just like any big corporation they are not about the employees when it comes down to it, it is all about he money and success, forget if peoples feelings and livlihood get stomped on in the process as long as their making the money and building a bigger empire, this is what society has taught us. Clear Channel is no longer a company I will represent or even listen to anymore after the Roula, Ryan & Eric fiasco, that was downright lousy and that damn Sam Malone knew he was taking their place, how he can sit behind the mic at KHMX and hold his head high is beyond me, he is as despicable as the rest of the KHMX/Clear Channel bunch. Three people lost their jobs because of an underhanded, sneaky, screw job plan that KHMX/Clear Channel had in the works for months, so despite what the author of this letter on this site said, every Roula & Ryan listener has every right to be displeased with how this was handled, because in the end their the ones that got screwed and without the listeners Clear Channel would be broadcasting out into thin air.

    A Fan No More Of KHMX/Clear Channel
    David Walls

  4. Thomas (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 4:47 pm

    Just when I get into Houston radio, they go and do something like this.

  5. Lynn (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 10:35 pm

    Do you all remember Larry & Bridget right before Roula & Ryan? I never found out why they were replaced (if terminated or resigned). Perhaps this is Clear Channel’s pattern…if so, guess what Sam Malone has to look forward to.

  6. Serena (unregistered) on October 14th, 2005 @ 11:15 pm

    I was shocked when Sam Malone quit KRBE. He said it was so he could go into talk radio, which is what he’s done. I’m amazed that he is joining the Clear Channel mafia after working for an independent station.

    I stopped listening to KRBE when they put Atom Smasher on the morning show. Roula & Ryan weren’t the greatest, but they seemed very real. It sucks they were kicked out without notice, but radio is a business.

  7. Governor (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 12:52 pm

    The only radio stations I listen to are: KUHF, KTRU
    and that India-radio network thing…. whenever it’s on.

    Otherwise, I mainly use my iPod to listen to music.

  8. Adriane (unregistered) on October 17th, 2005 @ 7:47 am

    Sorry, but I think good riddance to Roula and Ryab. Ryan is too shallow for my tastes and Roula is either incredibly stupid or playing up at being an incredibly stupid utterly naive person. I really hate their show and have listened to it since I could find nothing else to get me up in the morning. Here’s some instances of how shallow Ryan is – he had a go at a guy in New Orleans who was shorter than him because the guy had looked after himself and done some body building. Erm… well as for Ryan that sounds like he has an inferiority complex that makes him have to look for other people’s differences. Other instances of this man doing what High School students do to anyone different is to pick out differences, such as accusing woman of going out with less attractive women in order to get dates. That is incredibly shallow and wake up Houston the majority of Houstons women are not 10’s or supermodels so at the end of the day you are the ugly friend. In short I consider him a complete jerk. Roula has the naivety of a High School student. Otherwise can anyone really be that stupid? I won’t even bother mentioning Eric, that guy is a complete waste of time, he opens his mouth and one of two things happens, out comes an meaningless unfunny attempt at humor, usually at the expense of the last caller, or he says something as shallow as Ryan. Recently he joked about one of the callers parents had died. Erm… Come on, get these people off the radio for good, or at least until they learn some manners.

  9. Joy (unregistered) on October 17th, 2005 @ 10:04 am

    I was NOT happy about hearing Sam Malone on the radio this morning, and just now found out the “scoop”. I am very disappointed, and while it took me awhile to like Roula and Ryan, their show was considerably better than all but one other Houston morning show. I have no interest in Sam Malone’s show, and will refuse to listen to it, just as I do Walton and Johnson’s insulting show. Are Dean and Rog next??

    By the way, Eric Scalf’s post was very sensible. Thanks for putting it out there!

  10. JennSTX (unregistered) on October 17th, 2005 @ 6:54 pm

    Well I have to toss my pro-R & R opinion in:

    As a loyal R & R listener, I was shocked to have no warning or notice that the show was to be cancelled and immediately replaced with a DJ that appeals to such an older demographic like Mr. Malone. I can honestly say that the R & R show was hip, funny, and extremely knowledgeable when it came to the most up-to-the-minute entertainment gossip, news, Houston events, clubs, concerts, and general

  11. Martha (unregistered) on October 18th, 2005 @ 2:54 pm

    Well, I am EXTREMELY upset over the Roula & Ryan fiasco. I will no longer listen to 96.5 Mix.
    They were the bomb and Sam Malone and Natalie are so boring. All they do is draaaaaagggg…..
    I felt so connected to Roula & Ryan & Eric as much of Houston did. This is a DISGRACE to Houstonians. What ever happened to value of employees? They were doing a DAMN good job. I did talk to Buddy Scott, he wasn’t very supportive of them. He said, “business is business” I agree, yes it is, but honestly, I guess they are better off, nobody should work for a company who doesn’t value their employees.
    visit their website, they will be doing updates to still talk to our fellow houstonians, lets support them and do what is right!!!!!!

  12. Rose (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 4:03 pm

    Note: I have posted this in about three places, so if you think you’ve seen my comment on another page, you probably have.

    I don’t wish harm to Sam Malone, and I agree with taking a sane and rational approach to expressing one’s upset over this event.

    The fact is, I simply don’t enjoy listening to him anymore.

    I used to listen to Sam, Maria & Robbie on 104 when I first moved here, over 10 years ago. I actually liked that the show was a little more wholesome than most (and so could listen w/kids in the car) but still played cool music. Then, one time Sam made fun of the janitor that they had doing to weather, like he was a yokel and ignorant because he spoke slowly and with a strong Texas accent. That started my disenchantment – I was taught that when you had more of something (vocabulary, brains, talent) than others around you, you were supposed to be gracious about it. Then, he was going on one day about how they all knew that some of their colleagues were going to get the boot and he said something to the effect of “I won’t say who, but watch out Mix morning show.” I found that to be so rude and cocky that I switched TO R&R at that point. Also, I’m not sure he didn’t have something to do with Rosie Chance leaving – he was giving her crap on air once and she came back with an awesome zinger about his “fat ass” – then she was gone. I boycotted 104 before Sam left, and I won’t be listening to Mix anymore. I too emailed the program director and got the bull-hooey response that everyone else got. No, Mr. Program Director, I WON’T be “giving him a chance” because I didn’t like him at the other station he worked at.

    I sure hope R&R & Eric land somewhere that appreciates them as much as their fans on this page do. Maybe I’ll give Maria & Atom a shot in the meantime…or figure out how to use the music player on my PDA.

    Just remember the next time that Arbitron calls you to survey you on your music tastes – this survey is how radio stations figure out who is popular – it is how stations decide how much to charge for their advertising – it decides who stays on the air and who gets the boot. Next time you get a call from an Arbitron surveyer, TALK to them – don’t hang up. It’s one phone survey worth participating in. And remember also that Arbitron ratings are six weeks or so behind – so don’t give up! Keep the emails going out to the radio station – but don’t be rude or use bad/hostile language. I usually tune out shrill people and I’m sure that KHMX and Sam Malone do, too.

    I’d love to see R&R & Eric doing a AAA (like KBCO in Denver) or Jack radio format SOON! Houston needs VARIETY.

  13. Janet (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 4:50 pm

    I wanted to express my extreme displeasure in Clear Channel’s decision to yank Roula and Ryan off the airways last week and replace them with Sam Malone. I feel certain that I am not the only listener who was shocked and saddened to learn of the abrupt departure of this popular morning show team. What is management at Clear Channel thinking? Roula and Ryan were very recently awarded the most popular morning radio hosts in a survey conducted by the Houston Chronicle. I have listened to Sam Malone over the past few days and I find his show to be extremely boring and the listeners who are allowed to get through the lines come across as intellectually challenged. Further, the dialogue between Sam and Natalie is frequently peppered with ackward pauses and seems very forced and fake. What exactly is Clear Channel hoping to accomplish by this change in its programming? If Clear Channel means to attract a less desirable and base listening audience, then I guess it will realize its goal. I am currently seeking another morning show to replace the one Clear Channel discarded because I refuse to tune into a show that bores me to a comatose, near death state. Any suggestions?

  14. Sarah (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 7:47 am

    Roula was completly out of order and probably violated her conditions of employment many many times. How so you ask? Well it seemed that every single morning she gave a free advert to her parents restaurant in Houston. Not only did she drone on and on and about the restaurant and where it was located but even had her father on the show talking about it. It was becoming like the Chrities restaurant show. Well excuse me but if her employer had any sense they’d total up what is owing in advertising and bill her for that wasted airtime. Ryan is just such a shallow guy, so I won’t waste any time on him. The poster who compared them to High School kids picking out other peoples differences was along the right lines. Their show was garbage though, it seemed to revolve around discussing magazine polls with Ryan taking one view and her taking the other and in the middle Eric talking a fat load of nonsense. Dead Air would have been preferable at times. Their coverage of Hurricane Katrina was a joke, they ignored it the day when it was about to hit and the day it hit (excuse me but some of us wanted some news of it) and then the next day jumped on the band wagon and started a ludicrous auction on ebay. Seriously good riddance to the Roula & Ryan show.

  15. Carol (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 12:59 pm

    We are not sending hate email to Sam Malone.

    I could not stand him on 104 and that is why I switched to 96.5.

    I think Sam Malone is boring, annoying and he sucks. That is not hate mail that is the truth.

    If you want to hurt and give Justice to R & R and Eric please don’t listen to 96.5 anymore.

    Send emails to their advertisers to boycott the show. If their are no adverisers than they have no show.

    GO Ryan and Roula.

    We love you and miss you!

    Sam Malone SUCKS!

    SEE YA! 96.5 we won’t be listening to you ever again.

    Advertisers don’t do anymore business with clear channel.

  16. Isabel (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 1:03 pm

    Don’t listen to 96.5.

    Sam Malone sucks! He is boring and annoying.

  17. Robbie (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 1:05 pm

    Don’t listen to the writer.

    You have every right to express your feelings.

    Call and email all you want.

    But the best thing, don’t listen to 96.5

  18. Sandy (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 1:17 pm

    Just because we can’t stand Sam Malone and think he is annoying and boring doesn’t make it hate email.

    what he can’t handle the truth.

    I just have one thing to say, don’t listen to 96.5.

  19. David Walls (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 10:26 pm

    It has been over a week now since we last heard Roula, Ryan & Eric on the airwaves, and I have to tell you the mornings haven’t been the same. It is like I lost a good friend, and seeing all the posts on the internet I can see they have a great fan base. Please don’t let up showing your displeasure with KHMX’s choice. They let three really great people (And I mean extra great people) go without any warning, in fact the executives at KHMX sit right there and lied to their faces and then shook their hand. If that isn’t a sorry bunch of people I don’t know what is. Yes I know that “its the business” and “it’s life”, but it still isn’t right and I believe in karma so as for the idiots at KHMX it will all cycle around. I know Roula, Ryan & Eric will be back very soon with all this support I am seeing on the web and through the media. Lets keep the pressure on KHMX, not only should we not listen to them, but we should spread the word to as many R,R & E fans as we can and email them like crazy. Lets fill their mail boxes full of Roula, Ryan & Eric support. Take Care.

  20. David Walls (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 11:28 pm

    If KHMX isn’t going to listen to its listeners let your voice be heard higher up. I will list all the corporate email addresses from the Clear Channel Website. In addition to showing your displeasure with KHMX, let Corporate know that you feel the way Roula, Ryan And Eric were treated is shameless. Everyone send your comments to all parties listed (Drag, Copy And Paste into your To: box). If you were unhappy about a civic problem you would let your Senator or Governor know, Right. Well this is no different, Roula, Ryan And Eric have become family to alot of Houstonians and the injustice done to them and in the manner it was is just terrible. I am calling on all that read this to boycott KHMX, Sam Malone And Natalie and emil Clear Channel like crazy. If enough buzz hits the right people maybe they will see the error in their ways and that Roula, Ryan And Eric mean alot to the Houston community. Don’t be rude though, voice your opinion in a diplomatic way.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

  21. ext237 (unregistered) on October 21st, 2005 @ 10:15 am

    Big radio media has ruined broadcast entertainment. All the stations sound the same, all the DJs sound like kids (Sam being an exception), good musical tallent isn’t as important as a hot body, etc, etc. I gave up on radio and listen to podcasts. Went back to radio during Rita when my batteries went dry — same music 9 months later!

  22. David Walls (unregistered) on October 21st, 2005 @ 12:23 pm

    EXT 237,

    I agree with you 100%, there are alot more talented people out there than what we are hearing in the music industry. I am a country fan (don’t tease me about it), and that is all it is now, everyone of the country people look like models and some can’t even sing, it all sounds the same, and is just boring. The eighties was the best as far as variety I think. When you heard someone on the radio you knew who it was, it was distinguished. I hope the record execs will wake up and realize that the music of today sounds too much the same.

  23. shannon (unregistered) on October 21st, 2005 @ 12:57 pm

    i just want to make sure that everyone checks out another site where there is blogging going on about this subject:

    also please check out roula & ryan show website for daily updates

    they will soon have a chat room & they are planning a night out

  24. Terry Harmon (unregistered) on October 24th, 2005 @ 4:07 pm

    Very sorry to “hear” the Roula & Ryan Show go away.. I have seen Sam Malone do some spots on Channel 2 morning news show and he comes up as kind of obnoxious?? I got to listening to R&R after “The Buzz” started to catering to the “younger set”.. R&R & Eric were real people.. not too terribly pretentious or trying too hard to “be cool”.. Sooo I’ve gone (so far) from KLOL.. to The Buzz (“the Rocket” at first..), then KHMX (Roula & Ryan). Heck, I don’t fit into the supposed “age bracket” of the R&R listeners.. I’m 50. I think R&R would fit in with “The Point” as Ryan and Eric of “that age”.. very lost re: morning radio shows.. am listening to the oldies station right now.. but they tend to play the same song list every day it seems like. Houston definitely doesn’t have enough radio stations!

  25. linda A (unregistered) on October 24th, 2005 @ 6:54 pm

    I am very disappointed. Roula and Ryan made my day and gave us things to talk about. I can’t stand Sam and whats her name. I listened 1 and 1/2 mornings and that was all I could stand. I haven’t been back to that station again. Don’t plan to return. But mornings are really boreing. I bet the owners of the station are a lot older that the radio station audience. They like Sam because he is like them, same age and values. and I bet they are equally boring. Roula and Ryan we really, really miss you. LA

  26. Erica de Leon (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

    Roula, Ryan and Eric can now be found at

    There is even a forum there where listens can chat.

    We hope you will all join us and tell everyone you know where to find them!

  27. shannon (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 1:26 pm

    guys please go here and sign the petition!!

  28. David Walls (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 1:33 pm


    If your a Roula, Ryan & Eric fan and disapprove of the way KHMX handled their show, go to this site:

    If we get enougth signatures who knows maybe someone will take notice. Lets bring back the best morning show team ever Roula,Ryan & Eric.

    David Walls

  29. David Walls (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 1:35 pm


    If your a Roula, Ryan & Eric fan and disapprove of the way KHMX handled their show, go to this site:

    If we get enougth signatures who knows maybe someone will take notice. Lets bring back the best morning show team ever Roula,Ryan & Eric.

    David Walls

  30. Crockettman (unregistered) on October 31st, 2005 @ 10:22 pm

    Sam malone is a self congratulatory, condescending, ego – maniac that giggle babbles into his microphone about how big of a star he is.

    Bring Paul Christy back – At least the females that called in and talked to him were hedrosexual.

    ThasallIMsayin’ II

  31. Paula Lopez (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 8:07 pm

    I am so upset that we have lost Roula and Ryan.
    I laughed so hard (on the way to work). They were crazy. Producer Eric was great too.
    I would love to see them back. However, I don’t think that 96.5 deserves to ever have them back.

  32. Boo Radley (unregistered) on November 20th, 2005 @ 8:57 am

    Sam Malone is boring. He is a tired old hack, spouting hackneyed phrases and hours of nonsensical drivel. My dog leaves more entertaining things in tightly coiled piles on my neighbor’s lawn.

    I cannot and do not listen to Mix 96.5 anymore. The moment I hear even a microsecond of that overgrown lawn-gnome’s voice I suffer a bout of paroxysmal dyskinesia so ferocious it’s like scraping thousands of safety-pins across a mile-long chalkboard.

    The formula of the Roula & Ryan show was perfect… the decision to take them off the air was just wrong. That kind of decision making is the very basis as to why we suffered the loss of another beloved icon: Astroworld. Because the “land” that Astroworld sat on could yield a higher profit if it was covered by oil-stained Metro-lots and bullet-ridden pawn-shops, the “powers that be” decided to take something precious away from us. As a result, we lost a park that was loved by generations. Do you think the “big-wigs” care that they took something good away from us? From our children? You cannot graph everything in an Excel formula… how do you chart “cultural value”? “Historical value”? Tell me, how do you chart a child’s smile?

    Why do we have to keep losing things that are good? Because clueless overpaid executives follow some trite article that BusinessWeek says is the money-making flavor of the month? We are being overrun by these Enron-types. It’s the same win at all costs gang; the macho, aggressive types who want to build monuments to themselves and end up destroying everything. And we are the ones who pay for it in the end.

    Bringing Roula and Ryan back – now THAT would be “a cool feeling”.

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