As the late great Yogi Berra reminded us, nothing’s over until it’s over. And with 92 KQRS’ legendary personality Tom Barnard showing no signs of hitting the terminal cough button, the fight for morning drive supremacy in Twin Cities radio isn’t over yet, no matter how pleased KFAN is with itself.
Only the most culturally isolated don’t know who Barnard is by now — and that his dominance of the metro radio audience over the past 25 years is one of the most remarkable runs in the entire country.
Last year, he signed a new five-year contract with KQ owner Cumulus Media. So it is of more than a little interest that this past summer, KFAN-FM, the sports-talk station owned by iHeartRadio (formerly Clear Channel) beat Barnard as No. 1 in the demographic the two stations care about most — and not just for a month, but the entire summer … before football season (sports talk radio’s raison d’être) really kicked in.
The gulf between Barnard and KFAN’s morning show is not large. But “The Power Trip,” currently hosted by Chis Hawkey, Cory Cove and Paul “Meatsauce” Lambert, with a supporting cast that includes Mark Rosen from WCCO-TV — a key figure in Barnard’s ascension to dominance three decades ago — has now demonstrated enough staying power to settle any question that there’s any fluke at play here.
The basic numbers for 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. weekdays, men 25-54:
Repeated calls to KQRS operations manager Scott Jameson never resulted in a connection. But KFAN’s program director, Chad Abbott, was more than happy to chat, emphasizing that, yes, he expects the tide to continue running high and suggesting that Cove, Lambert, Hawkey et al.’s “high energy” delivery probably best explained the show’s growing appeal.
While KQRS’ format is officially defined as “classic rock,” Barnard’s show has almost nothing to do with 30-year-old Heart and Boston cuts and everything to do with Barnard’s persona: a combination of a world-weary natural intelligence, eclectic interests, hair-trigger disdain, unapologetic biases and the unfailing appeal of an implicit message that real men can’t get a break in this world anymore. By contrast, the “Power Trip” crowd’s act is pretty much pure escapism. Sports, goofy stuff in the news, guy-jiving and plenty of pop culture.
By coincidence, I had a quick conversation with Mick Anselmo, the former GM at the local Clear Channel group who is now GM for CBS Radio’s local stations, including WCCO-AM. He expressed little surprise at KFAN’s good fortune, complimenting the station’s management team, many of whom he hired, and arguing as he often does that the key to successful radio in an age where people can carry 3,000-song playlists on their phones and listen to podcasts free of 25 minutes an hour of commercials is “the sense a station offers listeners that they are part of a community. You can’t get that from an MP3 player or streaming or a podcast. People like the feeling of being connected and the good operators learn how to give it to them.”
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Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road
“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”
When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.
“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.
No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.
Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.
“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”
If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.
This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”
McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.
“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”
DeAngelo Hall Explains His Exit From Commanders Radio Booth
“I’m a fan first and it made it hard sometimes to go to work because my vision of what I thought it should be wasn’t ultimately what the decision-makers wanted to do.”
In a case of “you never know who’s listening”, 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C. got a surprise on Wednesday. Former NFL pro-bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall texted Brian Mitchell of BMitch & Finlay that he was listening and wanted to join the program.
After discussing some opinions of the Commanders and other rivals on the field, Hall made a point to address leaving the team’s radio booth as a color analyst. In April it was announced that Hall would exit the broadcast booth. At the time it was reported that the decision was Hall’s. On BMitch & Finlay he added more context by explaining that, “it just felt like it wasn’t the right situation for myself.”
Hall went further by adding that a deciding factor for his decision seemed to be the team’s vision for the broadcast.
“I need to see it. I’m a fan first and it made it hard sometimes to go to work because my vision of what I thought it should be wasn’t ultimately what the decision-makers wanted to do. And you know how I am guys, I speak my mind and I just asked to go my separate way. I still love the organization, I’m still rooting for them.”
The former Washington player joined Bram Weinstein and analyst Julie Donaldson when the Washington Commanders overhauled their entire broadcast crew after an organization-wide sexual harassment scandal mentioned former play-by-play voice Larry Michael.
Hall was sure to praise his former teammate taking his role. “But so hyped for London Fletcher. I told Julie and Fletch at separate times man, that Fletch was such a great teammate and an inspirational person in my life and my process of growing as a pro and as a man, that taught me so much about the game. I couldn’t be happier that she gets a hell of a replacement in London Fletcher.
“I’m hyped for those guys but I’m too pretty to be on the radio, guys, I need more face time,” Hall quipped. “I’m fighting to get in one of them booths. When you see Tom Brady making 10-for-375 I said ‘I’m in the wrong business.’ When you’re watching Tony and them guys I’m in the wrong business. I got to get off this radio and get my face in front of the tizzube.”