Brock was really a 1-hit wonder. The Fernando Rodney and Andre the (San Francisco) Giant were really great the first 1 or 2 times, and he seemed like a cool addition. But his range is very limited and it shows. I get the feeling that if he had been a real working comic for 20 years instead of the beach bumming, he would be amazing all around. Although he's still not quite as bad as Barry Sobel was...
Shane seems fine in audio, but I've only seen one photo of him and he looked like SUCH a douche. Apparently from your report it carries through in video, too bad.
As to your first point, who knows WHICH part of the show is "forced" on Artie and which is his idea? I certainly think the reduction in sports content and the guest comics are Artie's doing, while the has-been-never-was-band tour is clearly the company's doing, but in between who knows.
By the way, GREAT username.