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KFNS Returns To The St. Louis Airwaves

Jason Barrett

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We’re only a week or so removed from Halloween and a made-for-TV exorcism attempt at a home in St. Louis County, so it seems appropriate that the ghost of St. Louis sports-talk radio’s onetime stalwart has reappeared.

KFNS (590 AM) returned to the local airwaves late Thursday after a nearly yearlong absence following its collapse under a maze of unpaid bills, employee unrest and even fisticuffs at the studio.

KFNS as well as KXFN (1380 AM) has been owned by Grand Slam Sports, which has been the target of several lawsuits — including one in which Triad Bank claims the company defaulted on loans totaling $1.1 million. “I always do the show that I do, and that’s what they want,’’ he said of management.

A St. Louis County Circuit Court recently appointed a receiver, Detalus Consulting, to oversee Grand Slam’s assets and the action gave Detalus the authority to do as it sees fit, including sell the stations.

Triad told the court that Grand Slam’s federal broadcast licenses, which it called the company’s “most valuable asset,” were in danger of being forfeited on Nov. 12 — next Thursday, a year and two days after the station stopped broadcasting. That deadline thus made action a priority.

So an agreement was reached this week for the receiver to lease KFNS to Markel Radio Group, an enterprise of Randy Markel and Scott Gertken. Markel owns the two local Chuck’s Boots stores and Gertken owns talkstl.com, which has been broadcasting mostly sports talk on 1380 under a previous lease arrangement with Grand Slam. The 1380 content now will be simulcast on 590.

The weekday lineup includes longtime St. Louis broadcasters J.C. Corcoran, Howard Balzer, Kevin Slaten and Charlie “Tuna” Edwards, and the addition of 590 is important to Markel Radio because it has a much stronger signal than 1380 — which does not have a license to broadcast after dark and thus is signing off before 5 p.m. now, which cuts off Slaten’s program in midstream.

KFNS is to be on around the clock.

“We’re very excited,” Gertken said.

Current hosts are energized.

“We’re on our way,” Corcoran said. “I think there are going to be defections from a couple of other stations in town as this thing rolls out in several phases.”

And contrary to what some might think, 590 isn’t actually the combined number of times that Balzer, Slaten and Edwards now have been on KFNS. It’s six for Balzer, five for Slaten. And Edwards said it will be “three or four” for him.

“Fifth time’s a charm,” joked Slaten, who is on from 3-6 p.m.

“This is as good a resolution as could be,” said Balzer, who appears from 11 a.m-1 p.m. “They are really committed to this.”

Corcoran, who is on from 7-9 a.m., is excited even though he doesn’t do a strictly sports show. It does cover athletics, but also focuses on entertainment and topical news — a format he has owned for three decades.

“When I signed on with these guys, I’ve always done a show that is top-heavy with sports,” he said. “But I’m not really interested in doing a sports show per se, nor am I the kind of guy … who can tell you what day of the week Rocky Bleier was drafted in 1970 or whatever. That is not what I do. And they don’t want that from me … so that’s going to work out.”

Edwards, who will be on from 6-8 weeknights (though he is off this Friday), is ecstatic.

“For the first time in years I’m really looking forward to being on the air,” he said. “This is management you can trust, which is hard to find in radio now.”

The move is the latest chapter in the wild saga of KFNS, the once-strong station that broadcast in the sports format for 20 years — until it began wilting under Grand Slam and was shifted to “guy talk” in 2013 (with 1380 moving from jock talk to female-oriented shows).

But guy-talk was a disaster in the ratings, with advertisers fleeing. Last year 590 and 1380 went back to sports, but 590 was too far gone to be salvaged and finally went to static. But now the static there will be coming from the hosts, not the crackling of dead air.

To read more visit STL Today where this article was originally published

Sports Radio News

670 The Score Hosts Congratulate Mike Mulligan on Award From Loyola Chicago

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

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670 The Score morning host Mike Mulligan is being awarded the Father Finnegan Memorial Award from Loyola University Chicago this weekend, and some of his colleagues congratulated him on the air Friday morning.

The award is given “in recognition of outstanding humanitarianism and service to youth through athletics”. Mulligan — a 1984 graduate of Loyola University Chicago — will receive the award Saturday during the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony during a game against George Mason.

“Tremendous award,” co-host David Haugh said. “Proud moment for the show. Proud moment for you family.”

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

“That is fantastic,” Laurence Holmes said, while his co-host, Dan Bernstein, continued to say “wow”. “Congratulations. You shouldn’t be embarrassed. You should be proud.”

“I’m being celebrated for being old,” Mully joked.

“That’s not what that award says,” countered Holmes. “It says something completely different.”

The Mully & Haugh host eventually admitted he was appreciative of the award bestowed upon him by his alma mater.

“It’s a good thing. I’m very moved by it. Sister Jean will be there,” Mully said. “She has a book coming out with — I think — Seth Davis.”

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd: Tony Romo Regressing Because He Loves Golf

“I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

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The performance of CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo has been a hot-button topic in sports media circles, especially after a widely-regarded lackluster performance during the AFC Championship Game. Colin Cowherd believes he knows why Romo has regressed.

During an episode of The Colin Cowherd Podcast, the sports radio host claimed golf is the reason behind Romo’s regression.

“Romo wants to be on the Tour. He literally wants to be on the Tour,” Cowherd said. “And what’s the first thing Aaron Rodgers does in the off-season? He goes and golfs, he loves it. Both, by the way, great golfers, especially Romo. But I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

“Tony wants to be on the PGA Tour — but he likes the paycheck from CBS.”

Cowherd also added he hasn’t hired potential employees in the past if they told him they loved golf during the interview process, saying he has a theory that as men age they “get addicted to golf”.

“They’re on PGATour.com, they’re putting in the backyard, they’re thinking about it at work, they’re scheduling a trip to Scotland and they lose sight of their other job,” Cowherd said.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio Adds Lakers Games As LeBron James Nears Scoring Record

“As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.”

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The NBA’s all-time scoring record has stood for a long time. Kareem Abdul-Jabar, the current record holder, retired in 1989. LeBron James is on the verge of overtaking him though, and ESPN Radio wants to make sure it is part of history when it happens.

ESPN Radio has added two upcoming Lakers games to its schedule. The network will carry the national feeds of games on February 7 and 9. The first game is against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The second is against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Both games will be played in Los Angeles with a 9:30 PM Eastern tip. Marc Kestecher and Vince Carter will be on the call for both games.

As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.

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