95.7 FM The Game

Cumulus forms partnership with CBS Sports – changes coming to KNBR 680 and 1050

On Monday, Ralph Barbieri went on 95.7 FM “The Game,” the competing station of his former employer, and ripped the powers that be at Cumulus and KNBR. Meanwhile, Cumulus was working on a big picture move that could shape how sports radio sounds in the Bay Area forever.

From AllAccess.com:

CBS CORPORATION is launching a 24-hour, seven-day a week sports radio network, CBS SPORTS RADIO, to be aired on several of its Sports format stations and in syndication through CUMULUS MEDIA NETWORKS, with 67 CUMULUS-owned stations adding the programming as well.

The network will offer a full lineup debuting on JANUARY 2, 2013.  Affiliates will also have the opportunity to pick from some programs offered on a regional basis from CBS or CUMULUS Sports stations.  Hourly CBS SPORTS update reports will launch on SEPTEMBER 4, 2012.

Among the CUMULUS stations adding CBS SPORTS RADIO programming will be KNBR-A and KTCT-A/SAN FRANCISCO, KTCK-A (THE TICKET)/DALLAS, WCNN-A (680 THE FAN)/ATLANTA, WGFX (104.5 THE ZONE)/NASHVILLE, and several more.

What does it all mean? Probably not much for the KNBR stations until 2013, when the “full lineup” debuts. But changes are coming.

— Currently KNBR fills up a lot of time with content from ESPN Radio (which can currently be heard on 700 affiliate stations, including 350 fulltime affiliates) and Fox Sports Radio, especially on 1050. That will come to a swift halt in 2013, meaning no more Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, Nick and Artie, or JT The Brick. Or Marty Lurie signing off with, “Thanks for listening to me for the last eight hours, stay tuned as ESPN Radio takes us to the midnight replay.”

— Some of the updates that are currently handled by ESPN Radio (during non-peak hours) will be done by CBS Sports starting in September.

— Cumulus already shed one of their biggest (if not the biggest) contracts when they fired Barbieri. While Cumulus probably won’t ditch locally produced sports talk content altogether, they’re going to stick with the “Bob Barker” mentality, to paraphrase Gary Radnich: the price better be right.

61 Comments
61 comments
techvbjoe
techvbjoe

Sorry for the typing errors, I was in a rush and wanted to say something when I couldn't get my fix of KNBR.

techvbjoe
techvbjoe

KNBR was a joy to me everyday, everywhere. They are blowing it. They HAD Personality, controversy, information, and home team bias (okay with me, lifer in Bay Area). They missed the boat for hopefully something: more money, uneducated or unopinionated listeners. They stood above the sports talk world with some personality. Now they are white bread.... It breaks my heart. I am on the road all the time and I enjoyed the lively debate on selfish owners, prima donnas, overpayed athletes and then the best was the discussions of the unheralded "community superstars": there presence in their market supporting local causes outshined their spectacular exploits on the field. Life goes on but it is a big hit to my daily joy. Where ever you go Ralph, I will follow for the real sports news, life perspectives, and joy you see for us lambs being slaughtered by big business, selfish sports owners and "the bland, gullible masses" who participate in their offerings. Always a fan! Ralph and Tom, what a loss! I have a heavy heart and will find something positive to grab onto before gas prices rise again or my cable bill doubles or another form of entertainment goes "pay per view". It is getting harder and harder to find entertainment while you are working that takes your mind off the problems around you. Oprah, Ralph, Hooda, Regis, .... media empires are sucking the joy out of life. All I have left is "the VIEW" to make fun of the world and its craziness (e.g., They royals, lately). And Dr Oz, who cares about everybody, I believe. Where is the gov't when you need them. Definitely anti-trust violations, buying up all media outlets to eliminate competition (and variety). Get them OBAMA! Ralph, I know you will survive better than me. You have a child, money in the bank, talent and loyal fans, like me. GOOD LUCK RALPH and goodbye KNBR, that is it. Eat your profits. The GIANTS will pay too, as I won't even listen to the simulcast anymore. Thank goodness the 49ers are on a different station. You suck KNBR. What a mistake. I FORMER fulltime lister and former loyal fan. Goodbye GIANTS, my childhood team. If you support the practices of this media trend, you too have lost the home town feel. Guess I am just an A's/Raiders fan now.

Dodger Kings fan
Dodger Kings fan

Anyone who thinks Gary is a "shill" just doesn't get it. I am a Dodgers and Sac kings fan and Gary is by far my favorite broadcaster to listen to. His sense of humor and balanced approach to sports is refreshing. Damon's approach might have worked for me when I was a teenager who thought the world revolved around sports but now...not so much. There is a place for him though....1050 and NOT on my radio. Glad I still have a choice and I wish both of them well.

snarkk
snarkk

I see this as a net negative. Anything Cumulus does is to pad the bottom line, make the content worse and pablum-like, and screw the listeners...

Snoop
Snoop

Heard that Eric Davis is leaving 9.57 for a new gig. How does the Razor and Brandon T sound?

Brooklyn Logic
Brooklyn Logic

Why do people give Damon Bruce such a break? He's even more obnoxious, humorless, self-serving & hard to listen to as Brandon Tierney, yet many San Fran mediaphiles are quick to give Bruce the benefit of the doubt. I don't get it.

AndrewIfallalot
AndrewIfallalot

This is bad news in general, it may signal the death of local SF sports radio to give way to more East Coast-centric and watered down crap that will work nationwide. The Bay Area is somewhat safe because it is market #4 but I am scared that instead of KNBR being the voice of the Bay Area for the rest of the country on the syndicated network it would instead start to be dominated by east coast bias

Jeff
Jeff

Hope this is the end of Radnich.

formerKNBRemployee
formerKNBRemployee

it will be interesting because in order to carry ESPN sporting events (MNF,SNBB and basketball games)- KNBR needs to air a certain amount of hours of ESPN radio programming (I'm unsure of the EXACT number of hours). If KNBR broadcasts CBS sports radio instead- they would ultimately lose the rights to carry those events- meaning "the game" could step up and take those if they dropped Yahoo! Sports radio. If Cumulus didnt buy out CBS radio- they could simply broadcast ESPN radio on KNBR 1050 all day (except 3 hours of damon) and be able to carry ESPN live events. But it seems like a partnership between Cumulus and CBS Sports radio would make the move to maintain ESPN radio highly unlikely. If this is ultimately a money move (which most are) then it's a poor one- because those broadcast rights would be up for grabs- and scoring MNF and exclusive rights to baseball would be a HUGE gain for "the game"- seeing as though- most of their main programming and secondary programming, for lack of a better word- suck. Sure KNBR would still have the Giants, Niners and Warriors- but there are a lot of people in the Bay Area who have interest in other teams. I'd like to think KNBR knows what they are doing by making this move- and ultimately KNBR really has no say in what decisions Cumulus makes- but I think in the long run, this could be a really, really, really bad move. Not even mentioning that ESPN radio (however corny it is)- has ESTABLISHED programming: Mike and Mike, The Herd, SVP- CBS Sports TV plays "BloodSport" when they don't have programming- other than Rome, who do they really have?

Stan
Stan

Wow,Tim McCarver lost a lot of weight..and his voice sounds different. Has he announced he has an illness?

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Speaking of Gary, is anyone already kind of tired of him taking shots at Vern Glenn, now that Vern moved to KPIX? It's like Gary, c'mon, congratulate him. I mean, yeah, KPIX is a local competitor to KRON, but Gary and Vern are friends, and yeah, Gary makes fun of everyone, but at least congratulate, or acknowledge that your long-time friend and colleague, is moving to another local station, which is a better opportunity for him.

3rdKing
3rdKing

Radnich has nothing to worry about, he'll land higher then he is now

3rdKing
3rdKing

i know hes a huge Dodger honk, but he is funny BIG BEN MALLER.....PUT HIM ON

dubs49ersgiants
dubs49ersgiants

Does this mean that "The Game" will have a chance to program espn radio during off peak hours? I think they currently have yahoo sports radio but having espn radio would be boost for them.

FireFitz
FireFitz

Finally, changes! Hope this means they get rid of Mac and his soundboard, the egotistical Radnich "look at me and look at me good," the condescending and know-it-all Fitz, the still-in-middle school Brooks, and the part-time (I'm doing this and not playing because I want to talk Giants.....year right!!) Byrnes. Somehow find a way to keep Tolbert and Damon...but not together. Then, KNBR would have a chance to be somewhat OK.

Stan
Stan

And Radnich better watch out. Larry loves the idea for that new show on KNBR..The 9-12 Larry Kreuger show.

Stan
Stan

Krueger is making a complete ass of himself on KNBR..he wont admit James is a great player..so Kreuger's argument? That Lebron wasn't loyal to Cav's owner Gilbert!! THAT is THE most asinine argument I've heard in sports radio since 2005. Is Gilbert Lebron's daddy?..lol James stayed in that dump Cleveland for 7 years!..7 more then anybody else would have,with any choice, Kreuger digging that hole deeper and looking like a baffoon. Hank Schulman had it right. Larry is a tool..can't get anything right but to suck up to Bunghole.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

As you guys already know, I'm a fan of Damon Bruce as well. It will be interesting to see what happens to his show after this decision. We'll see. As far as where to move him if he moves, I wouldn't mind him on the 3-7 PM timeslot on 680. Even though he has a good thing going on 1050 from Noon to 3, he would probably get an even bigger audience and following in the 3-7 timeslot, where a lot of people are coming home from work during those hours. The only thing is, will Damon be ok with his shows being pre-empted by Giants games, and by Warrior games that are earlier start times that 680 decides to broadcast? Apparently according to Damon, that's one of the reasons he came to 1050, so that his show wouldn't be pre-empted. I also agree that him co-hosting with Tom might not work. They're both different guys, where Tom is more laid back, and Damon is more passionate and a little high strong. I also don't know if this would be a good pairing. Tom should either have the show by himself, of give him a co-host like Rod or possibly Ray Woodson. Him co-hosting with Byrnes is ok, but eh. He's better without Byrnes. If Damon does get effected by this decision, then move him to 680 in his current timeslot. He's been great from Noon to 3. Might as well keep him there for now. Then maybe move Rod to co-host with Tom? I think that would be an interesting pairing, and I think they would get along, unless KNBR wanted to do a 3 man show from 3-7 where they would have Fitz and Brooks and Tom. I don't know. That probably wouldn't work. As far as Fitz goes, eh, I don't know. Even though Fitz is a good play-by-play man (he's going to be calling the Team USA basketball games for the Summer Olympics this year), he's really unpopular here in the Bay Area. I don't know if KNBR would let Fitz go after the whole Ralph debacle, and because of the rumor that the Warriors are paying his KNBR salary but, you might have to wonder what happens to Fitz too with this decision. This decision might be a change for everyone at KNBR. We'll see. I wonder if anyone on KNBR will talk about this tomorrow or in the next few weeks. This is huge news.

The Sports Leader
The Sports Leader

I will give my two cents. Better yet. Move Damon Bruce to the 3:00pm - 7:00pm time slot at KNBR 680. Far superior to the ex-basketball player who does not know the english language. Love him or hate him Damon Bruce knows his stuff. And is not beholden to any special interest. (well maybe a certain school in Bloomington Indiana) And no, this is not Damon's agent. Just a listener.

tommyj
tommyj

Getting rid 0f ESPN weekend program with Freddie Coleman, "The Coach", Johnathan Coachman and Amy Lawrence won't be missed. My guess is 1050 is all-CBS, Tolbert gets less of a salary since he's only on 680 in this scenario and Damon moves back to nights or KGO (Ronn Owens replacement). Hopefully the fire Paulie's soundboard!

Just Me
Just Me

I highly doubt we will see any changes on 680, but I think 1050 is more likely to see changes. I would wonder though if KNBR is willing to lose the ESPN programing of NBA and MLB games. The one point that was brought up on a nat'l board was would CBS Radio go after it's former Westwood One properties of the NFL and NCAA. The one other interesting thing out there is the Dan Patrick show, his show is owned by DirecTV, distributed via FOX Sports Radio, but he is also an emoplyee of Comcast/NBC. NBC has also signed on to form their own sports radio network.

Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer

The way I interpret the release is this: BIG markets like SF/KNBR will continue to function as they are , BUT wil be syndicated to smaller stations and markets in the CBS family. So you are in Truckee out of KNBR range, you get Gary and Larry out of CBS Reno. Your in Yosemite, you hear Murph and Mac in Fresno. A big event , post game pennant clinching game , a perfect game will bring national exposure: "We are going out live to our San Francisco affiliate to our stations across the CBS Sports network to bring you Ginats post game talk with Marty Lurie and Kate Scott to discuss Lincecum's no hit pennant clinching win over the Dodgers" We hear cut ins from teams in other cities on similar events, or breaking events: Network alert :"CBS Sports network is going live to New York and Roger Clemens' press conference announcing his 2012 return to the Yankees." Change? The network updates, weekend games and broadcasts. Stuff others mentioned, yes. Damon, want to work KNBR 9 pm to midnight? great your on 12-3 AM on the East Coast." Biggest change? The weak links will go or be buttressed with more talent to bring up to par. (I'm looking at you KNBR noon, onward) On the whole, I think it's a good change, rather than dilute home coverage , I believe it will brand Bay Area Sports as a force within the whole country.

Stan
Stan

What do you know? You also like the Dodgers. Figures Radnich you enjoy.

tommyj
tommyj

If McCarver had an illness, It would take him an hour and a half to tell you what it is! That being said I hope he's not sick, just going for the cheap laugh.

B.A. Rich
B.A. Rich

Him and Vern actually had a pretty good 10 min. farewell segment on KRON. He congratulated Vern and all that stuff your saying he should do then. He even openly mentioned which station Vern is leaving to, which I was pretty surprised about, being that its a competing station and all.

Stan
Stan

He's not taking shots at him Otis. He's joking. Instead of the standard "Vern is a credit to his race" crap..he's doing a bit about Vern.

Stan
Stan

Yahoo has some of the poorest quality sports hosts...too many sound like they were raised on Howard Stern pablum.

B.A. Rich
B.A. Rich

"Apparently according to Damon, that’s one of the reasons he came to 1050, so that his show wouldn’t be pre-empted." Wrong. The reason why he was FORCED to 1050 was because he's not good enough to unseat anyone that's on 680. Except for The Fitz & Brooks show. But with the Warriors taking care of that show, KNBR is not going to get rid of a show that they don't have to pay for.

Gooselosgatos
Gooselosgatos

He knows so little about the intracies of sports its pathetic but people equate sounding confident with being knowledgable. He rarely ever backs up his criticisms with detailed information and instead uses generalities ("Alex Smith is a lousy quarterback") for instance. Does he break down the aspects of the game to make his argument - never because he doesn't know enough and would sound like a tool if he did so. And this goes for his opinions on baseball, basketball and football. I bet you if you asked him why you would switch in an NBA game from a zone defense to single coverage he wouldn't have the foggiest or what defensive rotations the other team was using. Watch the Cuban/Bayless exchange on YouTube and notice the parallels next time you listen to his show. He's a frickin great marketer with a pathetic understanding of the nuances of sports. He's a peeerrrrssssooonnnaalllliiittty not a journalist or credible analyst.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

I actually don't think Freddie Coleman and Jonathan Coachman are that bad. They are probably one of the better hosts on ESPN radio, and they both have good insights. That's a good pairing. Amy Lawrence can get a little annoying at times, even though she is a good analyst.

The Sports Leader
The Sports Leader

A better result tommyj. Let's fire Paulie Mac and send him packing to Hoboken NJ.

Gooselosgatos
Gooselosgatos

Very much doubt it. Bruce works beat solo and there would be little to no chemsitry between those too. But hopefully they would get rid of Fitzgerald which we are in total agreement on.

Dan
Dan

That doesn't sound like a winning combo

Dan
Dan

Sounds good Paperback except if we use the current talent (Damon excluded) to "brand the bay area"...we'll continue to be the laughing stock of sports. The current host on KNBR are clowns. I know I'm jocking Damon pretty hard here but who else affliated with KNBR gives you a more true and honest assessment of the local sports landscape? It seems everyone on 680 is a Shill. I agree with what you anticipate could happen. It makes sense but I was looking forward to a housecleaning. I think we deserve and can get a better product than what KNBR 680 runs out everyday from 6AM - 7PM.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Oh my bad, I didn't know he did that for Vern on KRON. I was saying that he should do this on his show on KNBR, but I didn't know he did that for Vern on KRON. My bad man. Sorry about that. Well ok, I take back what I said.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Yeah, that's true too, but it's kind of making him look bad. He should've at least said congratulations to Vern or that he will miss Vern on KRON or something like that, before he starts joking about Vern. Yeah, everyone understands and somewhat gets Gary's schtick, but I guess I just thought he would do something different for Vern, since he worked with Vern for a long time, and they are both friends.

Sunset Boy
Sunset Boy

Steve Czaban on Yahoo stands out as a really, really good host, IMO. The right mix of cynicism, wit, and gravitas. I'll take his show over any other syndicated sports talk, with the exception of Jim Rome. As far as ESPN radio is concerned, its just one pile of generic garbage after another. The sooner that crap is gone, the better. Mike and Mike are unlistenable, just awful. Coach and Coleman, neither of those guys have even a weak grasp on the English language. Amy Lawrence sounds like she's trying way too hard, and is always about to break out into laughter. What she finds so amusing, however, no one knows. Colin Cowherd is so transparently and obviously trying to shock you with something controversial, that ultimaely, its boring and predictable. Their takes are all the same.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Some of the Yahoo Sports radio hosts are ok. Chris Russell on Sunday mornings isn't too bad, even though he has crazy takes on some sports issues. LOL. But yes, having ESPN radio would be a boost for 95.7, even though ESPN radio sadly doesn't talk Bay Area sports that often.

tommyj
tommyj

Good analogy TSL; PM is to sports talk what Jersey Shore is to TV: they're both on and a lot of us don't know why! Pretty funny Ralph brough Glenn Gary Glenn Ross soundbite to 95.7 interview; the noise in sports talk has permeated so much that people are bringing it on "road trips". Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have some coffee, because I'm a closer !!!

Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer

If boosting and saturating the local airways with Giants in a year they win the World Series or 49ers all the time in a year they are a game from the Super Bowl is "shilling" - I say fuc$ yeah! If local radio is not giving them to us , you will never hear a peep about them anywhere, only a brief whisper if they win it all. Dan , your boy, d Bruce, said he could be a better GM than Sabean - then then Giants win it all. He said 49ers would never win with young York , then they almost won it all. He is all hubris and dumb to boot. So, no he' s not very good, he just tells you he is. "B-shooting does not build character, it reveals who the B-shooter is - because it stinks!"

tommyj
tommyj

Love Czaban; wished the game would boot that loser Lund, move "Rise Guys" to later morning and moved Czaban for AM commute; much better than any of those ESPN AM turds!

Gooselosgatos
Gooselosgatos

Paperback, One day when Bruce is out of radio and we see him fdoing SummerStock theater at the local county theater people might wake up and realize what everyone in the industry knows. He's a frickin aaaaaccccctttttoooorrrr!

Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer

Thanks, Dan , we seem to agree on time and "age" but differ on perspective , that 's cool, we're all good here , regarding the real world Enjoy the week-end!

Dan
Dan

I obviously disagree. I wish I had more time or was a little bit younger because I would definitely waste a lot of time thrashing you on this topic lol. But I don't and I'm not so I can't. And for the record, the 49ers have only been relevant in the sports world for about 11 months. 13 months ago, they deserved all the disrespect they were receiving. The Giants? Take a way the WS (I know you can't...) and they've been pedestrian. Warriors? A's? Raiders? Get it? Finally, when i say Shill, I mean that they are practically delegates of the team. In some cases, they are! That's what I mean. But I again, we'll have to disagree and i have to get on with the day.

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