Per a memo from 95.7 The Game program director Don Kollins, callers who get on the air shouldn’t expect an open platform. Nor will hosts be allowed to channel their inner Draymond Green, who recently said, “If I was the fans, I wouldn’t attend a game for the next three years.”
— Nick Sharara (@TheProducerNick) March 29, 2017
Here is the memo from Kollins:
If you are on air or answering callers, DO NOT…..
- Take any personal or cheap shots at ownership.
- Let any listeners take cheap shots or personal attack at ownership.
- Same for mayor of city.
- Do not state that you will not listen or you will boycott the team. This team is OURS for the foreseeable future.
- Call screeners: Understand FANS need to vent. Show Producers are responsible for the quality of calls – you need to have your “A” game on.
If you have any questions, please see me.
95.7 The Game is in a delicate spot. As a sports talk station, the Entercom property is expected to fill the airwaves with unfiltered commentary on all relevant sports topics. As the flagship station for a team that intends to move to Las Vegas in three years, they are in a partnership with an organization that recently made good on plans to alienate a sizable percentage of its customers — a group of fans the organization shares with 95.7.
As I recently wrote, it’s not a given that the Raiders will want to stay in the Bay Area all three years, especially if Oakland fans react to the team’s upcoming exodus the same way Houston Oilers fans did in 1996.
Yes, winning could smooth things over to a certain extent. But the NFL regular season is five months away and Oakland Raiders fans are mad NOW.
Callers probably weren’t allowed to “take any personal or cheap shots at ownership” before the Vegas plan was approved by NFL owners by a 31-1 vote. However, one has to wonder whether the memo will encourage call screeners and hosts to prevent angry fans from questioning or criticizing Mark Davis in any way, just to make sure they stay out of trouble.
And what about the hosts? I’ve never been one, but as a resident of the area who has seen the Raiders move multiple times, my reaction has been similar to Green’s. If I was a diehard Raiders fan, I wouldn’t attend games. I wouldn’t spend any money on the product. I would want to make it as uncomfortable as possible for them to effectively crash on our couch for a few years while their new home is under construction 550 miles away.
Some 95.7 The Game hosts surely have no problem following Kollins’ instructions, but others — ones who don’t have a relationship with the team other than being employed by its flagship station — might have reservations if they’re expected to act as if everything is fine and promote the team as per usual.