Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Broadcast Booth - June 23rd update

The May ratings were also good for many sports radio stations. In Detroit, WXYT-FM The Ticket finished on top in the market with an overall audience increase. The most recent ratings period coincided with the Red Wings having been in the NHL Playoffs and the Tigers getting off to a winning start. WFAN New York finished first in its key demographic, 25-54 males.

In Cincinnati, the unexpected great start by the Reds undoubtedly played a part in a nearly 1 share increase from the prior month for WLW 700. The longtime Reds flagship station (even though not all sports) has now finished first during every ratings period going back more than 10 years.

PHILADELPHIA: Congrats to "Big Al" who has been named to receive the Board of Governors Award from the NATAS Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Al Meltzer will receive the honor on September 25th in celebration of his 50 years on television. His Philadelphia legend began on WPHL-TV back in 1964 and later included a 20-year stint on WCAU-TV 10. In addition, Meltzer handled play-by-play for the Buffalo Bills from 1971-77.

HOUSTON: The Westwood One NFL package comes to KILT 610 for the coming season. And it is "coming". We are now about one month away from the pre-season Hall of Fame Game opener.

Southland Conference Football comes to some TV sets, as KHOU-TV's digital channel 11.2 will carry games, including Sept. 25, Oct. 16, and Oct. 23, with two of those telecasts involving Sam Houston State.

CHICAGO: Dave Otto is filling in as radio commentator on WGN Radio's broadcasts of the Cubs at Seattle series through Thursday (June 24). Otto fills in for Ron Santo, who stayed back in Chicago, rather than visit his hometown for a very rare Cubs appearance there, due to health concerns. The 70-year old Santo may be reducing his travel no later than next season. Santo is handling a pre-game radio segment live by phone.

It was extra innings radio style for WSCR The Score's Les Grobstein last Thursday (June 17). The station usually fills time overnight by running the Dan Patrick Show from the previous morning from roughly 1 to 3:45 AM. However, the show did not air that night. Plus, the station's White Sox broadcast and post-game show ended about 9:45, giving Les an early start. Without the Dan Patrick airing, Grobstein was on doing his live call-in show, plus his own scoreboard updates, straight until 5 AM. Makes you wonder when you hear some of these sports stations with two hosts handling a mere two-hour shift.

LOS ANGELES: The Oakland Raiders broadcasts into the L.A. market are moving back to the AM dial, but not always at the same place. While it is fine that KLAA 830 and KSPN 710 work together, now the Raiders broadcasts enter the confusion. First, you need a scorecard to find the Angels broadcasts as the two stations share those. Now, it seems that the Raiders will air on KLAA unless KLAA has an Angels game. In that event, the Radiers move to KSPN.

CINCINNATI: WQRT 1160 wants to increase its sports presence beyond the afternoon Andy Furman Show. However, none of the major local teams are available at the moment. Seems like a reach, but the station actually issued a press release because it is adding Northern Kentucky University basketball starting with the coming season.

BOSTON: With all of the recent attention to the Boston sports market and the relative success of its "big four" sports teams (Celtics, Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox), it's nice to see a niche sports show dedicated to the local high school scene draw some attention.

Dominic Damiano and Del Lane now host the "Four Deep Sports Talk" show on Saturdays. The show, which features a review of the local high school top 20 and interviews one of the area coaches each week, airs each Saturday from 11 AM to Noon on WVBF 1570. The two also stream the show on

TORONTO: No more free lunch for Leafs fans. Sort of. Even with some degree of success with its "Leafs Lunch" from Noon to 1 PM on weekdays, AM 640 decided to stick with syndicated talk during the day and canceled the show - at least until September. At that time, however, it would compete directly with The Fan 590's "Hockey Central" show which airs in hockey season from Noon to 2 PM.

On the hoops side, Rogers SportsNet is reportedly close to a new deal to bring back some NBA Raptors telecasts as quickly as the coming season. While TSN will carry up to 47 games, as many as 35 games could come to Rogers instead of CBC, which will no longer carry any Raptors games.

INDIANAPOLIS: Still another pro team's broadcasts are moving from the AM dial to FM. Few of those moves are odder than this one. The Fan 1070, the highest rated all sports station in the market, will no longer carry the broadcasts. Instead, they move to WIBC-FM 93.1, which is news-talk. The long-time broadcast team stays in place, with Mark Boyle and Bob Leonard on the call for their 23rd season working together.

Other than the Indy Colts, the Pacers are the only other 'major league' team in the Indy area. I can't believe that losing those broadcasts at night will result in any audience increase for the all-sports station. But I also have another gripe about pro teams moving from strong-signal AM stations to FM. At night, many people listen to the game because they don't have access to TV, and much of that listening is done in cars or at work. Fans can pick up the game further out of town on the AM side, but the coverage map of most FM's is more limited. Over the past couple of years, I have found too many instances while on driving trips where supposed "radio affiliates" of pro teams do not carry all of the games, leaving more fans without easy access than most teams realize.

Then again, I'm not sure that fans would make a big effort just to hear the Pacers these days.

FRESNO: KFIG 1430 AM and its Paul Swearengin Morning Show is now simulcast on TV as of this week. KJEO-TV (channel 32.1 digital and available on most area cable systems) now picks up a TV simulcast from the radio studio starting at 7 AM. The surrounding cable coverage already extends the coverage area beyond the radio signal for the show.

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