The Golden State Warriors had the same flagship station for several years, but in reality that meant several stations in the Bay Area, as KNBR’s relationship with the San Francisco Giants knocked several Warriors game broadcasts to stations such as KTCT (KNBR 1050) and KGO 810 — even during the playoffs.
That will change starting in the 2016-17 season, as the Warriors have reached a multiyear partnership with KGMZ, otherwise known as 95.7 The Game.
It’s a huge get for the Entercom FM property, one that solidifies their standing both as a sports talk station and a hub for play-by-play action. And with all due respect to the A’s and Raiders, a deal with the Warriors (one that should last until the team is ready to move to San Francisco at the very least) immediately puts Golden State at the top of The Game’s programming profile. With Kevin Durant joining a team that made the Finals in consecutive seasons and won a title in 2015, interest is at an all-time high.
However, due to obligations KNBR couldn’t avoid even if its executives wanted to, the Warriors often felt like they weren’t getting the coverage they deserved. This was more understandable when they were a perennial lottery team, but now they’re a huge national/international franchise with local TV ratings so high they seem almost ridiculous at times.
Long time coming?
I heard a rumor back in 2012. Apparently the Warriors were considering a move to 95.7 for the reasons listed earlier in this post, but one thing that convinced them to stay was a fear that KNBR would shut them out entirely. Who knows how serious the Warriors were; 95.7 The Game wasn’t exactly an established entity at the time and the flirtation could’ve been nothing more than a negotiating ploy.
However, they’re undoubtedly confident now that KNBR can’t treat them like the NBA’s version of the A’s, simply because Golden State will be one of the nation’s top sports stories for the next several months/years.
KGMZ is also doing much better than it was in 2012. If you take away play-by-play broadcasts (the Giants are a ratings machine, which is why it makes sense for KNBR to cater to whatever they need, even during Spring Training), the ratings for each station’s talk shows are fairly close among the advertising demos both stations covet.
Entercom certainly seems like they plan on keeping 95.7 an all-sports station for several years to come, and they’re going all-in on Warriors coverage.
- 90-minute pregame shows before every game (up from 30 minutes on KNBR)
- “Warriors Wednesdays” every week
- Warriors “hot stove” offseason shows which focus on the draft and free agency
- Thrice-weekly radio segments with Tim Roye, who will continue doing “Warriors Weekly Roundtable”
- Also remaining: their Warriors postgame show, which was hosted by Matt Steinmetz and Chris Townsend immediately following every game last season
This move brings up some questions about a pair of KNBR hosts.
Bob Fitzgerald’s future with KNBR
Another rumor (which I have been unable to verify, but has been bouncing around the Bay Area for eons) is that the Warriors paid for Fitzgerald to host a show on KNBR. That show, Fitz and Brooks, recently was cut from three hours to two.
Fitzgerald calls games for CSN Bay Area and not KNBR (although he did fill in for Roye during Game 1 of the NBA Finals while Roye attended the graduation of his daughter). However, Fitzgerald’s future with KNBR is something to watch as Golden State moves to a competing station.
Tom Tolbert’s future as a Warriors analyst
Tolbert, who played three seasons with Golden State, has seen his role as the team’s radio color analyst grow. It started with 10 home games in 2013, and over the past two seasons he’s done every home game and the entire playoffs (including away games).
I have been told that the Warriors would love for Tolbert to remain in the same role alongside Roye, but that has yet to be decided … and, based on the politics at play, I’m not sure we’ll hear Tolbert providing commentary during Warriors games on the radio anytime soon. Just to be clear, that’s my assumption based on how these stations have battled in the past. (One could say that 95.7 traded John Lund to KNBR for a team to be named later.)
95.7 sucks! Can't stand anyone on this station, except Papa. DBruce repeats the same stories already talked about on Murph & Mac. He is also such a whiny complainer with Gianna his side kick who speaks like one or two words (what is the purpose of her being there) Also Warriors win one championship & all the sudden they feel they need to be moved up to the head of the class over the Giants. I love the Warriors but Give me a break. Oh well. Enjoy not being broadcast further than the Bay Area.
@Bay Area Sports Guy Im a Sacramento guy. Any word if the Entercom station in Sac ESPN1320 will carry the Warriors?
@Snyd Yeah, according to Lieberman's blog, it looks like this will be the case. I'm actually kind of surprised that Chad Doing was let go/is going to be let go. Out of the whole morning crew, I would've let go Fortenbaugh. He doesn't seem like a fit in this market, and he always talks about gambling lines on games. He has good passion though, which could be why he's sticking around for now. Doing actually wasn't bad, but I wonder if he will be going back to Portland.
Also, according to Lieberman, it looks like 95.7 might try to bring in JT The Brick and put him on weekdays from 10-Noon, which could explain why Haberman's buddy Middlekauf might be let go.
If all this goes down, it wouldn't surprise me if they move Haberman to mornings, and have him on with Lorenzo Neal and Fortenbaugh, and then have JT The Brick on from 10-Noon.
No one has brought this up yet, but I wonder if this could mean that someone like Fitz and/or possibly Tolbert, would move from KNBR to 95.7 due to the Warriors recent move from KNBR to 95.7 and be on from 10-Noon with Haberman perhaps?.... I guess we'll have to stay tuned.
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To program director Don Kollins: I enjoy the station very much since it came on the air. I was wondering regarding the signal strength just like everyone else, but with additional comments: One is would the station be looking at boosting ERP (Effective radiated Power), which sits currently at 6900 watts to a higher wattage? Secondly, the transmitter sits at San Bruno mountain, in which the station really sits as high as the mountain is in South San francisco, which is at about1280 ft. Is it possible to relocate the transmitter, such as Sutro tower, which has a higher elevation? With boosting the signal strength, and improving the height, the line of sight for the transmission increases, and definitely would cover some of the gaps especially felt in the North Bay. As of right now, just driving around, the station, while driving north, cuts out just past Petaluma, to the East, past Livermore, and to the South, East San Jose. Third, with all the affiliate stations coming together for Warriors games, would the Game be able to keep all the booster stations and work together to cover 957 the game as a whole? It would be really neat to get the game up and down the coast of California, even if I would have to switch dials every 50 miles. Thank you so much for this.
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New drinking game - anytime Tim Ryan says "skill sets" have a drink.
You'll need it.
(Sorry, that's not a Warriors comment....)
BTW, BASG - anything you can do to keep spammers off your site? Such as posts by"xixuh"? It'd be much appreciated.
From a big fan....
The Game could avoid KNBR conflicts, by moving Tolbert and Roye to TV (Barnett on TV Road) and then stay in-house and hire Papa to do the radio - finally giving him get his revenge on Fitz.
@Beaver The broadcasters work for the team, though, so if there is a splash to be made, it would be the team that needs to act, not the station. Roye has already been tweeting that he is staying as the radio voice (which is great - as well as the teams in the area have been doing for the most part in the last, say, 20 years, we as fans are fortunate to have generally top-notch broadcasters as well).
I wouldn't mind seeing Fitz replaced, but the team seems to like him a lot (emcees awards presentations, for instance) so if Papa is to have his revenge, it would be replacing him directly doing PBP on CSN.
If Entercom was smart they would snap up Tom Tolbert to do afternoon drive as well as Warrior color.
@TSL That sounds like a good idea. That way, Tom can do shows from Oracle during basketball season for Warrior home games, and then once his show is over, he can then prepare to call the game at Oracle, and still have time to prepare for the game while the 90-minute pregame show is airing.
The only thing with this is, where would you put Damon Bruce, and how would a move like this affect the rest of 95.7's weekday lineup?.... I thought about this earlier when I looked at your post and if this did happen, I would probably keep the morning show guys where they are, even though not everyone likes Chad, Joe, and Lo. They've been on for almost 2 years now, so they must be doing something right. LOL......I would either keep Chad, Joe, and Lo, or move Haberkauf to the mornings.
The 10-Noon timeslot is where it would get interesting. I would either put Greg Papa there, even though he's been a fixture from Noon-3. I would have Greg Papa host with Dibley or Townsend like he's currently doing from Noon-3. If the morning show guys stay, I would have Greg Papa co-host with Haberkauf from 10-Noon. I'm not sure if Damon would want to be on in the 10-Noon timeslot, even though I'm sure competing up against his rival Gary Radnich would inspire him to get the most out of that 2 hr timeslot. LOL.
I would move Damon Bruce to Noon-3. Yes, he's paid to be the drivetime host, but he had a pretty good thing in the Noon-3 hrs back in his KNBR 1050 days. Plus, his shows wouldn't really be pre-empted that much if at all during basketball season in those hours, and his shows wouldn't be pre-empted as much during baseball season.
Would you have Tom host by himself from 3-7 PM or would you have a co-host for him like Steinmetz, or Guru and Zakariah, or maybe even bring Fitz over to 95.7 and have him co-host with Tom from 3-7 PM?
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Oh dang, this is HUGE for 95.7..... Yeah, I think the Warriors playoff games and meaningful games down the stretch being moved to 1050 and KGO, while 680 had Giants spring training games and early regular season games probably was the last straw for the Warriors. It almost seems like a move like this was going to happen at some point. 95.7 had better Warriors postgame coverage and better Warriors coverage in general over the past couple of years, than KNBR did.
What a huge blow for KNBR though. I wonder what KNBR is going to do during NBA season during Warrior games? I doubt they will have a Warriors postgame show after Warrior games, like 95.7 did last season. We'll see though.
But yes, what a huge day for 95.7. You really got to like the strides they've made as a station the past couple of years, from where they started. Now look at them and look at KNBR. KNBR is starting to become even more boring, while 95.7 is becoming the hit Bay Area sports station, despite 95.7 not having as big of a reach as KNBR.
It may be heresy to say it around here, but I don't mind Fitz calling games, as long as JB's there too.
OTOH when Fitz & Brooks are paired up it's unbearable. If that show somehow gets diminished further or even (dare we hope) cancelled due to this move, it might be a win.
Heck, maybe Brooks would head over to the Game too and co-host with DBruce. Or even better -- the Bruce-Fitz+Brooks Show!! Awesome! :-)
And I think the 95.7 has random college football games too.
Entercom might need a 2nd sports station like KNBR.
I guess KNBR is "old and busted" like the promos The Game played many years ago. Good get for 95.7 and I think they'll fix the signal problems with an affiliate network. Warriors pretty close now to Giants and 49ers in Bay Area franchise pecking order and this deal gives them a bigger well deserved presence. Draymond "package blasts" in stereo!
@Tom J The moral of the story is one seen time and time again. When you're at the top, you better be looking in the rear view mirror, because there's ALWAYS a lean and hungry competitor that wants to be the leader just as bad as you do, and more often than not, they want it way more than you do. If you're blind, obviously you won't see the competitor and you get lazy, overly confident, and fat. That's exactly what KNBR is, blind, fat, overly confident and lazy. Both Lee Hammer and the GM should be fired. Hammer's had the most comfy cozy, mail it in job of all the PD's in the entire country. He has the Giants, and that brings in the listeners, what else does he need to do.... nothing, same thing he's been doing for a decade. Then the tide changes, another Game in town, but he's still heading in the same direction, Giants, Giants, Giants, we're all good, then another team rises, A meteoric rise and they don't accommodate that team, won't even throw them a bone. I'm SURE they even thought that there was no way that they'd leave "The Sports Leader". Couldn't contractually accommodate them on 680, but had absolutely zero foresight or perhaps no power to make the changes and keep the biggest team in all of pro sports. They could've made a simple change that would've opened up an avenue to dominate, crush the competition and take it all, even add more local teams. Flip one of your dumpster FM's and simulcast 1050 on it. That didn't happen and once again, Cumulus is made a fool of in SF. Morons...
To avoid the KNBR conflict, move Tolbert and Tim Roye to TV (Barnett can do the road games with Tim) and then hire a new radio play by play guy. This will free Fitz to become Trump's White House Spokesman.
Couldn't KNBR have given the Warriors KGO?? This is stupid. I really like The Game, they have some good on air personalities & Papa but KNBR/KGO (Who cares about 1050) is "The Blowtorch" That signal can be heard anywhere on the West Coast. The Game has a very weak signal in the South Bay. I find it hard to believe that The Game will be able to reach the audience that KNBR/KGO does. I sincerely hope that The Game will find a way to get another station w/a stronger signal to add to their arsenal. If The Game had a strong signal I'd have no problem w/this. Still I am happy for the station. It's nice to have competition. I'm curious how this affects the A's.
@HollywoodinSJ They did with more to come. Better coverage in the South Bay by adding 95.3 KRTY, better coverage in the farther away areas in the East Bay with 95.3 KUIC, reaching Vacaville, deeper Antioch, etc.. and all in FM. More to be announced too. They know what they're doing. The GM at Entercom SF knows exactly what he's doing. Cumulus GM is absolutely NO match for the man at the helm of Entercom SF. TRUST me, I know. One's a child and one's a Professor. Bottom line is Cumulus BLEW it. They shut down KFOG (which has two FM frequencies) back in May for a month. They could've spun off one of the two frequencies and simulcast 1050 with an FM at either 104.5 or 97.7, but they didn't. KFOG came back on 20 days later with the same thing they were supposedly "transforming" to "the evolution", just to come back with pretty much the same format they had prior. It obviously didn't work and the ratings on KFOG are just as pitiful now as they were then. If they would've done the simulcast, they would've been able to keep the Warriors and possibly even add on the Raiders, which they were in negotiations with at that very same moment in time. I could've done a better job then the current GM at Cumulus SF. Like I said they have a child with a big ego running the ship, while Entercom has a radio pioneer at the helm, Steve Dinardo, the creator of the once famous Alice. Trust me, he's making big moves and taking over, like his spin off of the KFOX frequency 102.1 into the new Q102, which is the fastest growing station in the Bay Area, with a rise unseen since the rise of Alice, the station he created many years ago. Alice is not what it was, but he was long since gone from there. So much more, so little time :)
@HollywoodinSJ They did give the Warriors KGO, but that doesn't cut it. So basically it's back to 15 years ago with that move, where you're listening to play by play on a station station that's not all sports or sports talk. Furthermore, do you realize that 80% of all millennials never even go to the AM dial, EVER. Some luxury brands cars are eliminating the AM frequency all together from their newer models. The Warriors are not stupid, in fact, quite the opposite. What 95.7 just pulled off is nothing less than masterful. Who's the Sports Leader now??? Across the country, sports talk stations have been converting to FM everywhere. The smart company's like CBS, Entercom and even I-heart to a lesser degree are all doing it. Even in Talk or News it's happening. Look at what KCBS did to the once mighty KGO, another Cumulus blunder. KCBS added 106.9FM to 740AM and they took off and left KGO in the dust. It's almost funny if it wasn't so damn sad. Cumulus still doesn't know what to do with KGO, it's an experiment now in hopes of seeing better days again. The current GM has taken an already old and week cluster and did the impossible... HE MADE IT WORSE!! Unbelievable!!
During the overlap of the NBA season & MLB season, Damon Bruce essentially becomes a part time employee....2 shows a week at best?
I guess the Warriors just graduated from "Fitz and Brooks" University....(cue forced/fake laughter from Brooks)
I was just wondering, would the Sharks try to get on KNBR now? The Sharks have always been second fiddle but going to KNBR (KGO) they would have a much better reach than KFOX. If I was the Sharks organization I might want to make that jump.
@GregMolumby NOT gonna happen, I guarantee it, enough said
Tommy doesn't need to leave KNBR to do Warriors games. 2 different employers (KNBR and the Dubs), he won't be working for 95.7. It may come to that but it's not a given. Hard to imagine him leaving KNBR - I'm sure the pay is sweet.
And we say it is about time. What took you so long Joe Lacob?
For so many years KNBR treated you like second class citizens. Relegating you to obscure radio stations.
The tides and winds are beginning to shift (not an original quote mind you).
Wait, A's baseball during spring summer and fall, Warriors fall winter spring. when is Damon Bruce gonna work?
@BASportsGuy 95.7 The Game just put a dagger in KNBR acquiring the Warriors
Well Lee Hammer- you can have John Lund and The Game will gladly take the Warriors in exchange! Thank you buddy.
As well -95.7 WILL ADD the appropriate affiliates around the region to make sure that the broadcast signal is clean and pure! KNBR apparently ....acting like a dumped on B**** is spreading the 'bad signal' rumors cuz it's all they have to create animosity!?
But.....I will miss Tolbert on with Tim Roy- they were great together! However now Tommy can spend ALL that extra bland time with his new illustrious co- host and no time with the best play by play broadcaster( Tim Roy) for the best basketball team in the world! (WARRIORS!)
PERFECT exchange right Tommy, John, and Lee?
Do they actually need a 90 minute pre-game? In the playoffs sure, but that seems like overkill for 82 games. One more thing for Damon Bruce to bitch about getting bumped for. At least until they kick him to the curb for how bad Tolbert recks his ass in the ratings.
@SFF49JYP4L If they can sell ads (which I'm sure they can), they need a 90 minute pregame. It's not about the commentary.
@4GenSFFanFam Radio signal is gonna suck lol
Guess that means the A's get pushed to another station during Dubs conflicts. KBLX, KRBQ, KOIT, KUFX (sharks)?
That was my biggest concern too. The A's finally had a consistent flagship that was also a sports station. Buuut 957 needs ratings to stay on the Air and everyone knows the A's won't get you ratings. My guess the A's will be on KBLX 102.9 when the Warriors are on. the Good News is the Sacramento Affiliate of the A's KHTK 1140am has a booming signal that is also as strong as KNBR so as long as the Kings and Raiders aren't on they'll have the A's
@FCadmus 95.7 hosts are talking now about how they're boosting signal strength and acquired two stations in San Jose. No word on affiliates in areas outside the Bay.
@FCadmus great news on the signal strength. Given how money is in SJ, having a weak radio signal for this long made little sense to me.
I live in Modesto and the local sports station here carries Warriors games 970am. Plus 957 is spotty here in the Central Valley if your in the right spot you might pick it up. 957 is my favorite sports station because they carry and talk about Oakland teams.