NBA

Warriors moving from KNBR to 95.7 The Game

radio wars

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.

dubs

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.)

66 Comments

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66 Comments on "Warriors moving from KNBR to 95.7 The Game"

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oatmealboy
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oatmealboy

BASportsGuy Tired of playing second-fiddle to the Giants, I presume?

JAT415
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JAT415

BASportsGuy Does this mean Fitz is gone!? Don’t toy with my emotions like this

SadGiants_Fan
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SadGiants_Fan

BASportsGuy You bring up some solid points. I wonder if Tolbert will actually be allowed to be a part of two stations, under diff roles.

SFGiantsMeag
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SFGiantsMeag

BASportsGuy this sucks because I really really enjoy Tim and Tom calling games together.

theosodopee
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theosodopee

BASportsGuy 95.7 The Town all Oakland teams all the time!!!

hangingsliders
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hangingsliders

BASportsGuy WHOA

SFGiantsMeag
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SFGiantsMeag

BASportsGuy this trade sucks as much as the Duffy trade. Can we give Lund back?

SadGiants_Fan
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SadGiants_Fan

BASportsGuy I guess they will finally get their wish on calling games for a team based out of SF in a couple of years.

KevinScudero
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KevinScudero

BASportsGuy don’t the A’s also simulcast on an AM station because the 95.7 reach is poor? Will the Warriors do the same?

sfgwill25
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sfgwill25

BASportsGuy this officially puts 95.7 on the map. Not a Dubs fan but this stinks for the Dubs fans out in the Central Valley. No reception.

Great_AZCatsby
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Great_AZCatsby

BASportsGuy In 2012, KNBR was airing Sabean show while W’s made first draft pick and mentioned name (Barnes) as an aside. Always G’s first

Northbaysteve
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Northbaysteve

BASportsGuy really looking forward to listening to static when I’d rather be listening to Warriors. 95.7 signal is weak in the north bay.

kevgilday
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kevgilday

BASportsGuy I for one welcome our new FM overlords.

sportsnthebay
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sportsnthebay

BASportsGuy radio wars article coming soon?

bblackrice
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bblackrice

BASportsGuy A sad sad day for KNBR.

FCadmus
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FCadmus

BASG, how does Central Valley listen to games?   What is 95.7’s range?

Snyd
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Snyd

Guess that means the A’s get pushed to another station during Dubs conflicts. KBLX, KRBQ, KOIT, KUFX (sharks)?

Bay Area Sports Guy
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@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.

tennisbum959108
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tennisbum959108

4GenSFFanFam Radio signal is gonna suck lol

SFF49JYP4L
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SFF49JYP4L

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.

VonBossanova
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VonBossanova
Well Lee Hammer- you can have John Lund and The Game will gladly take the Warriors in exchange.95.7 will add the appropriate affiliates around the region to make sure that the broadcast is pure! KNBR with nothing left to say, like a dumped on B**** is spreading the ‘bad signal’ rumors cuz it’s all they have to create animosity!? I will miss Tolbert on with Tim Roy- however Now Tommy can spend all that bland time with his new illustrious co- host and no time with the best broadcaster for the best basketball team in the world! PERFECT exchange right… Read more »
petoejames
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petoejames

BASportsGuy 95.7 The Game just put a dagger in KNBR acquiring the Warriors

Scott no2
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Scott no2

Wait, A’s baseball during spring summer and fall, Warriors fall winter spring.  when is Damon Bruce gonna work?

RMO32
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RMO32

BASportsGuy damn…no more weekly byronjr23 interviews with Kerr and Draymond!!??

TSL
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TSL

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).

truthspeaks_the
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truthspeaks_the

BASportsGuy timkawakami would LOVE to see the tv announcer get shipped out. Bad timing for KNBR given that the Giants run looks over now.

Jay Gee
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Jay Gee

SFF49JYP4L If they can sell ads (which I’m sure they can), they need a 90 minute pregame. It’s not about the commentary.

Jay Gee
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Jay Gee

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.

GregMolumby
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GregMolumby

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.

lime
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lime

I guess the Warriors just graduated from “Fitz and Brooks” University….(cue forced/fake laughter from Brooks)

T
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T

@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.

T
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T

During the overlap of the NBA season & MLB season, Damon Bruce essentially becomes a part time employee….2 shows a week at best?

HollywoodinSJ
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HollywoodinSJ
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… Read more »
ciruelas_rojas
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ciruelas_rojas

SFGiantsMeag seriously. can we? BASportsGuy

Beaver
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Beaver

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.

Tom J
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Tom J

Damon already bitches when the A’s preempt him….wait till basketball season!

Tom J
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Tom J

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
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Tom J

Good thing deal wasn’t done by “cheese pizza” Barrett. Didn’t like that guy.

OaklandAsFan4L
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OaklandAsFan4L

BASportsGuy sportsnthebay Always loved Radio Wars since day one! Old & Busted goin’ down in FLAMES baby!

T
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T

And I think the 95.7
has random college football games too.
Entercom might need
a 2nd sports station like KNBR.

FMSports
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FMSports
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 and is NO match for the GM at Entercom. 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… Read more »
FMSports
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FMSports

GregMolumby NOT gonna happen, I guarantee it, enough said

FMSports
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FMSports

RMO32 BASportsGuy byronjr23 What are talking about, of course they’re going to have weekly shows with Kerr, and the marquee players, and a lot more of them. You’re clueless my friend. They’re going to have SO MUCH more.

coredump
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coredump

SadGiants_Fan BASportsGuy  Guessing, but I suspect it depends at least somewhat on what Tolbert wants to do.  He’s probably got the most say-so of any host at KNBR at this point, and as long as there’s nothing contractual/legal in the way to prevent it, KNBR may let it ride.
Heck, they could probably figure out some way to keep marketing him calling the games anyway.

coredump
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coredump

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!  smile

FMSports
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FMSports
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… Read more »
beandoggerel
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beandoggerel

Beaver Bay Area Sports Guy Also, give the radio gig to Kate Scott, Lieberman strokes out, everybody wins!!!

FMSports
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FMSports
@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… Read more »
WesleyPepper
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WesleyPepper

@FCadmus Just checked KUIC out of vacaville… 95.3. Worked as far East as Natomas.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
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… Read more »
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