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The Rams Impact On STL Media

Jason Barrett

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101 ESPN has been the St. Louis Rams flagship radio station since the station adopted the sports format in 2009. The Rams are its anchor property and drive conversation on many of its talk shows. The Rams’ presence also leads to a considerable amount of ancillary content, including pregame and postgame programs plus coach Jeff Fisher’s weekly show.

“It’s important to have a big NFL local team,” said John Kijowski, who has run the station since its inception.“There’s an expectation the Rams are on 101 ESPN. That would hurt” if they move.”

“We are truly having a terrific financial year. That will be three in a row. However, we are more financially successful with Rams than without Rams.

“As far as revenue this year, we actually are at par with last year and in fact will end up with more Rams revenue due to the additions of new advertisers.”

BUSINESS ANGLE

Kijowski remains hopeful that the Rams stay in St. Louis. But is realistic, too, and has a plan for next season if the team is gone.

“We will go to a Plan B for Sunday entertainment and content,” Kijowski said. “Which is, we would take on two NFL games on Sunday. We are poised for coverage of the NFL now actually” he said, noting that the station carries Monday and Thursday night games and will carry postseason contests, including the Super Bowl.

If the Rams leave, history says they won’t be gone on the St. Louis airwaves.The football Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Arizona following the 1987 season but their broadcasts remained on locally for years.

KMOX (1120 AM) was on their radio network for the team’s first four seasons in the desert. And their first 42 regular-season games after leaving were televised in St. Louis, primarily on KMOV (Channel 4). KSDK (Channel 5) finally cut the cord late in the 1990 season, when it carried a Chiefs-Raiders game with playoff implications instead of a contest between last-place teams Arizona and New England.

But the “better” game performed poorly in the ratings compared to what the Cards had done, and they were back on St. Louis TV the next week. It wasn’t until late in 1992 — nearly five full seasons after they had fled — that the Cardinals finally were off local television on a regular basis.

Then there was the Warner Factor, when KTVI (Channel 2) showed New York Giants games whenever possible in 2004 because popular former Ram Kurt Warner was their quarterback in his first season since leaving St. Louis. Channel 2 was rewarded with strong ratings.

So would KTVI and WXOS follow suit with the Rams?

“We carried Kurt Warner when he went to the New York Giants, I don’t see why we wouldn’t carry the Los Angeles Rams in St. Louis,” KTVI’s Spencer Koch said. “But a lot of that is taking the temperature of the viewership.”

Kijowski, meanwhile, was playful about the situation but did not rule out becoming a Los Angeles Rams radio affiliate.

“Don’t say that!” he said, laughing at that possibility. “I’m not hearing that. Goodbye.”

To read the full article visit the STL Post Dispatch where this story was originally published

 

Sports Radio News

Kentucky and Missouri Stations Switch Formats, Add FOX Sports Radio

Withers switched the two stations to sports talk from oldies and classic country.

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports radio listeners in western Kentucky and southeast Missouri can rejoice, thanks to a recent decision by Withers Broadcasting to switch formats.

Folks in the Paducah area of Kentucky can now find FOX Sports Radio on 95.9 FM, while listeners in Cape Girardeau, Missouri can find FSR on 97.3.

Withers switched the two stations to sports talk from oldies and classic country.

Among the lineup of hosts that can be heard on the stations include Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, Jason Smith, Ben Maller and Outkick 360 hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky.

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Sports Radio News

Kevin McNamara to Host Two-Hour Show on 790 The Score in Rhode Island

“I think, because it’s new, I’d encourage people to give it a shot,” McNamara said. “It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio that we’ve become used to.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Kevin McNamara

Two months after announcing its triumphant return to the Rhode Island airwaves, Sports Radio 790 The Score is set to go live next week.

And in addition to the station’s lineup of national hosts and sports betting shows, former Providence Journal writer Kevin McNamara will be hosting the station’s only local show.

McNamara will host his show from 5-7 pm, sandwiched between You Better You Bet and Bet MGM Tonight.

McNamara, who hosted a one-hour show on WPRO, saw his time extended an hour. He said this is a great opportunity to get listeners involved early.

“In one hour I tried to be as newsy as I could,” McNamara told Bill Koch of The Providence Journal. “It’s basically a three-segment show — we’d try to have three different subjects. Now we’ll try to hit those three different subjects, but we’ll have a real avenue for calls.” 

The second hour of McNamara’s show will be simulcasted on WPRO.

The Score, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, will carry Providence men’s basketball, Brown men’s basketball and football, the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics and the New York Yankees.

The station hopes to eat at some of the market share in Rhode Island currently held by both Boston sports stations, WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“I think, because it’s new, I’d encourage people to give it a shot,” McNamara said. “It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio that we’ve become used to.”

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Sports Radio News

Joel Utley, College Basketball’s Record Holder for Most Games Called, Retires

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record.

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Joel Utley

Joel Utley has announced he is retiring from broadcasting and as the voice of the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers.

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record. He broadcast 1,933 Kentucky Wesleyan games during that span, also a record for total games called. He began his career on December 2, 1961 when KWC defeated California State University – Northridge, 100-64. 

Utley also is the only broadcaster in the nation to call 12 NCAA Basketball Championship games (all levels) including eight Division II titles.

Joel Utley interviewing Rupp

“It was a tough decision to make, but the timing is right to step down,” Utley said. “What I have done as a broadcaster reflects my love for KWC. My career has been beyond any dreams I ever had.”

He is a member of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame and in September, Utley will be inducted into the Kentucky Broadcaster Association Hall of Fame.

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