95.7 FM The Game

KNBR counters 95.7’s ‘insiders’ with two of their own

The term “insider” is now being used by yet another local media entity, as KNBR has announced that Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee will serve as their 49ers insider and the Chronicle’s Henry Schulman will be their new Giants insider, according to a commercial caught on KNBR heard by Tommy Wright (and later by yours truly after I turned on Fitz and Brooks, who had Barrows on at 2 pm today).

This move was fairly predictable, after 95.7 “The Game” added several insiders of their own at the end of July, including Mychael Urban (Giants), Matt Maiocco (Niners), Matt Steinmetz (Warriors), Brodie Brazil (Sharks) and John Dickinson (A’s and Raiders).

With 95.7 airing attack ads against KNBR all day long on radio (and even on TV, as I saw one during the 49ers’ preseason game against the Saints), this is just the latest example of what has become one of the more interesting rivalries in the Bay Area. Both stations are choosing sides like a pickup basketball game, with each “insider” linking up with one station or the other. And although KNBR has only announced Barrows and Schulman so far, it stands to reason that more insiders will be added in the near future. After all, they’ll want to squash 95.7’s ability to put out a commercial trumpeting how they have five insiders to KNBR’s two.

So who’ll be KNBR’s next target(s)? Ray Ratto, CSN Bay Area’s “Senior Insider,” a guy who’s filled in as a host on KNBR and Jim Rome several times? Will Marcus Thompson II or Rusty Simmons be the next KNBR Warriors insider? Maybe Paul Gutierrez on the Raiders, or Susan Slusser if for some reason KNBR wanted an A’s insider? There are a lot of columnists one can see on Chronicle Live fairly often who’d probably jump at the chance to link up with either station for the right price (that’s the other question — how much each station is shelling out to keep each “insider” from yakking on the competition).

Another question many will have is whether Schulman was truly KNBR’s first choice. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News is widely known as the dominant Giants beat writer these days, with a more active blog, more popular Twitter account (almost 7,500 more followers than Schulman) and a book about the Giants’ 2010 World Championship season that Baggarly’s promoted on “The Sports Leader” several times. Maybe Baggs has Scott Boras as his agent and is hoping to get full market value as a free agent.

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