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The Rams Impact On STL Media

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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

Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte

“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”

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Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.

Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin. 

“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”

Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.

“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.

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Sports Radio News

Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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