WFNZ in Charlotte has agreed to a four-year partnership with the Virginia Tech Athletics Department and the Virginia Tech/IMG Sports Network, granting the radio station the opportunity to broadcast Virginia Tech football games in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The station will air both regular season and postseason Virginia Tech football games and “Tech Talk LIVE!”, the Monday night radio show that originates out of Blacksburg. All programming will be carried on 610 AM and 102.5 FM in the Charlotte area.
The partnership gives the Hokies an affiliate in Charlotte for the first time in school history. Charlotte becomes the second-largest broadcast area for the Virginia Tech/IMG Sports Network, surpassed only by Washington, D.C..
“It is extremely important that the Virginia Tech/IMG Sports Network reflects the growth and momentum of Virginia Tech,” Virginia Tech IMG Director of Broadcast Operations Jon Laaser said. “Virginia Tech’s presence continues to expand rapidly in Charlotte, as does Charlotte as a whole. We are thrilled to not only bring Tech football to this key area for the first time, but to do it with the perfect partner in WFNZ.”
WFNZ, which is owned by Entercom Communications, occupies the dominant position among sports radio brands in the Charlotte market. In addition to a strong local weekday lineup, the station serves as the radio partner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, and its sister station, WBT, is the radio home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
“Virginia Tech is a world-class football program and WFNZ is proud to have it as a part of our portfolio of marquee sports listenership options for the WFNZ legendary audience,” Entercom Charlotte General Manager and Vice President Matt Hanlon said. “This is a perfect match for us, and we’re thrilled to be partners with Virginia Tech.”
“I am ecstatic that one of the premier college football programs in the world has chosen WFNZ as its first radio partner in Charlotte,” WFNZ Program Director Tony DiGiacomo said. “We look forward to bringing so many of our Virginia Tech fans here in Charlotte the best coverage of Hokies football.”
Virginia Tech opens up its 2017 football season on September 3rd against West Virginia at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Paul Finebaum: ESPN, FOX Have Power To Tank EA Sports College Football Video Game
“Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football.”
The power brokers in college football now are the media. In particular, it is ESPN, who is set to take over the SEC’s media rights and FOX, who controls the Big Ten’s media rights. Paul Finebaum said recently on the Dynasty Mode podcast that those relationships give the two networks major control over college football.
Dynasty Mode is a podcast about EA Sports’ popular college football video game series hosted by BSM writers Arky Shea and Demetri Ravanos. Finebaum told the pair that if either ESPN and FOX or the Big Ten and the SEC don’t want to work together, the video game, which will return to store shelves in 2023 after a ten-year absence from the market, could be doomed.
“We’re a year removed from an absolute certainty, that was a 12 school playoff for the CFP, getting shot down for the very same reason,” he said. “So if they can shoot down the most important entity in college sports, I think they can shoot down this.”
Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football. He told Shea and Ravanos that he hopes power brokers at schools and networks realize that.
“I think it’s been very important and I don’t know how many people that are in those power five seats think about stuff like that.”
In the early 2000s, Tony Bruno brought a fictionalized version of his radio show to EA Sports’ Madden NFL series. Finebaum said he had not been approached yet by EA to do something similar for the new college football video game.
“I’m really surprised they haven’t because it would be a big money-making operation, at least for me. I don’t know about for them, but I am happy to participate,” Finebaum joked.
He added that the real value to EA Sports would be his audience. They could give the game a level of authenticity that many fans have missed as college football becomes a more corporate entity.
“You can replace me, but you can’t replace the callers. They are the most unique, and I think it takes a lot of work to nurture callers like that. I’m not campaigning for EA because I have people to do that for me,” he said. “Point being, what makes college sports what it is? It’s the fans. It’s not the fat cats that buy the one million or two million dollar suites. It’s not the people sitting with the president. It’s the rank and file that probably never get to campus.”
Matt Chernoff: WFAN’s Sal Licata ‘Doesn’t Have The Guts’ to Appear On 680 The Fan Again
“He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that?”
Would WFAN’s Sal Licata join Chuck and Chernoff on 680 The Fan in Atlanta again? According to Matt Chernoff, no.
During a May appearance on SNY, Licata declared the National League East race over, saying the New York Mets had wrapped up the division. The Atlanta Braves then proceeded to win 14 consecutive games. The Mets currently hold a seven game lead over the Braves in the division.
After the 14 game winning streak, Chuck and Chernoff had Licata on their show to confront him about the opinion, and things got slightly heated, with Chernoff and Licata eventually yelling at each other, before cooler heads prevailed.
The two hosts rekindled their disdain for one another after the Mets won four of five games against the Braves over the weekend, with the two trading barbs on Twitter. Licata joked Chernoff should hope the New York host doesn’t move to Atlanta to win a ratings battle, and called Chernoff a clown before deleting the tweet. He later tweeted “Funny. No invites from Atlanta sports talk radio today,” accompanied by a should shrug emoji. That caught the attention of Chernoff, who addressed it to open his show Monday.
“He (Licata) won’t come on,” Chernoff said. “He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that? He made a fool of himself and then lied about it to his own fans. There’s a reason he didn’t play the audio on his dumb little show. And next time when he’s an hour late, they have that to play instead. I mean, honestly, if he wants to come on, come on. He has no interest. He does not want this smoke.”
790 The Score Debuts In Providence
In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.
The station, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, has been revived and will serve as the market’s first sports and sports betting station.
“The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage,” said Holly Paras, VP and market manager of Cumulus Providence. “We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love 790 THE SCORE!”
In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch some of the top national talent on the airwaves throughout the day and night. This includes hosts like Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.
McNamara will host his show Kevin Mac Sports Hour daily from 5-7 p.m.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett News Media. He also works for ABC8 News and Newsradio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond, Virginia. His prior experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and iHeartradio Richmond. He can be reached by email at Jordan.E.Bondurant@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.