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.
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.