AM or FM? Sports are going to the FM side and dumping on the AM band

Posted by Andy Durham on April 27, 2007 at 11:23 am under College, Uncategorized | 6 Comments to Read

N.C. State athletics have parted ways with WPTF 680 AM out of Raleigh and now will make their home at 101.5 FM WRAL.  The Wolfpack has been with WPTF as their flagship station forever.

WPTF is a talk station that can be heard in the daylight hours from Greenville to Greensboro and back.  WRAL is, “God- forbid”, a music station that I have trouble picking up in my car.  WPTF comes through in my car just fine.

The big-shots at N.C. State have said “NO MORE” to loyalty and will have their football and basketball games broadcast on a Music station.  Sports carry better on a Talk or All-Sports station.  WZTK 101.1 out of Burlington carries sports with the moniker “Static Free” in the ACC. I can see sports being broadcast more over a station that carries Talk than I can a music station, but 101.1 goes ALL JAZZ on the weekends and who wants to hear that mess.(101.1 carries the Carolina Panthers but so does 850 the Buzz(they’re owned by the same people Curtis Media) and I will listen to the Buzz over 101.1 because the Buzz is All-Sports)

WSJS 600/1200 carries the Wolfpack locally here in the Triad and I hope they continue with the arrangement but 600/1200 is owned by Curtis Media and they also own 680 out of Raleigh and they may feel like they have had the rug pulled out from underneath them.

With sports on the FM there is no loyalty or continuity.  Listeners tune in just for the games and then tune back out.  That does not give you a consistant audience.  Today’s, yeterday’s, and tomorrow’s hits and then a big hit on the quarterback by red-shirt freshman tackle Dan Tucker.

Country, Jazz, the 80’s, and Dr. John Hook’s Medicine Show.  Who wants to hear that Garbage?  The sports audience will tell you on the FM it’s not about the station it’s just give me my games and I’m out of here.

I will stick with the AM dial as long as I can because I still feel like I’m a part of what’s going on there and been for over 20 years.  If a man came in and said I’ll give you a 100,00 Watt FM station and you can do what you want with it then I would put All-Sports on it and carry the games and most preferably Virginia Tech football since they aren’t on the air around here.

That man’s not going to walk up and give me that FM blowtorch because the going price on a good FM frequency these days is about 20 million dollars.  I’ll stick to the AM until they burn me out and I’ll be loyal to Yahoo over Goggle any day of the week.  Yahoo has been there for me so why jump ship when I had Yahoo first and they have served me well.

It’s all about Loyalty.  Who’s with me here.  Are you going AM or FM? 


  • Rob said,

    AM vs. FM? Shouldn’t we have had this argument like 30 years ago? Well, since we’re on the subject, how bout…..

    VHS or Betamax?
    Atari vs. Intellivision?
    Fans vs. Air Conditioning?
    Apple vs. PC?
    NFL vs. USFL?
    Pinto vs. Vega?
    Toyota vs. Datsun?
    ABA vs. NBA?

    About half of those items aren’t even available anymore. I have a feeling AM radio is on the fast track to joining that list. This loyalty is no better an argument than a flat broke, morbidly obese person choosing Yum-Yums over the Beef Burger for health concerns. They would just go somewhere else if they had the funds available as would AM radioers.

    But I’ll humor you anyway. I choose satellite radio and of course greensborosports.com. Then again, I’m the consumer and can choose all three radio options without feeling one ounce of guilt.

    For those of us that do like to listen to Andy, and I”m one of them, we can all breath a huge sigh of relief that he didn’t make his start on Ham Radio.

    .-.. — .-..

  • Marshall Brown said,

    I enjoy good radio, i really couldn’t care less what band it is on. My station goes from 92.3 in the morning to 101.1 in the afternoon and thats pretty much it. I really enjoy the variety of shows 101.1 has throughout the day. Of course I listen to Grasshopper games on 950, but it really is annoying that you lose signal after daylight! What is this, 1907? I get to listen to the first 3 innings of each game… Lets get it together and move grasshopper games to fm so people can actually hear listen to them!

  • Bill F. said,

    I really enjoy the beautiful music that FM has to offer. I am partial to the early morning hours when a new day is almost ready to begin and like Magic my radio wakes me to my Soft Rock favorites. I wish Sports would stay on the AM dial or go to Satellite. FM is a world unto it’s own creation. I have been a huge Soft Rock fan for over 20 years and I am not about to change. I’ll take FM and you sports people leave us alone. Bill F. in HP

  • Doug said,

    The other day, I stopped by the official website of NC State Athletics, gopack.com, to find that WPFT AM-680 would no longer be the flagship station for Wolfpack Sports. Mix 101.5, WRAL-FM will take over the flagship duties when the Pack takes the field against Central Florida on September 1st to open the 2007 football campaign.
    Its a big change to say the least and it got me to thinking. Is the heyday of AM radio behind us? The obvisious answer to that question is yes. Don’t get me wrong, I love AM radio and as a kid it was the only thing I listened to. But, as the old saying goes, “the times, they are a changing”. I can’t blame the Wolfpack Sports Network for making this move. It just makes sense. The Mix 101.5 signal is far reaching, both to the east and the west, and more than makes up for the “dead spots” that their network of weaker AM stations have from Greensboro to Greenville. It goes without saying that the FM sound quality is much better than that offered on the AM dial.
    So, what will be the role of AM radio in sports broadcasting in the future? Will AM radio even have a role in the future of sports broadcasting? I think the answer is yes but I think the content will change. Remember, FM is not AM’s only competition in the market place. In fact, it is far from it. Most big league pro sports now have a home on satellite radio and league website’s offer audio content on a pay to listen basis. Many sports talkshows now come in the form of a podcast which allows listeners to download the show to their listening device then listen on their own schedule.
    For AM radio to survive and compete in the sports marketplace, AM stations must take a much narrower, local approach. Minor league sports and high school athletics can and should be the life blood of AM radio sports broadcasting. While AM can not compete with other forms of media in terms of sound quality, it can compete in terms of offering content that people can’t find anywhere else. Just ask GreensboroSports.com’s own Andy Durham. Andy has been broadcasting minor league baseball and high school football and basketball for years. You would not believe the number of times that Andy is thanked, both in person and through email, by the parents of the players whose games he broadcasts. AM must focus on the local angle to survive in the future.

  • Sam said,

    I look for AM radio to start covering more community events and local activities. FM radio won’t go places that AM delves into. City Council meetings, Auctions, Flea Markets, and Swap Shops and Auto Repair, Lawn Care, and even call Q&A with the Local doctor or Pharmacist that’s where I see AM headed.

    AM started out serving the community and that’s where they will be at the end. Pro Sports, College Sports, and even to some degree High School Sports are all headed to the FM dial.

    In closing there is nothing like a good Church Sevice to move the soul on Sunday mornings and that’s AM at it’s finest.

  • Andy said,

    If the signal gets weak at night then try the computer and listen LIVE over the Internet. People are doing it all over the world and they seem to like the Hoppers baseball games that way. No matter what Sam and Bill are putting out there AM radio is good for at least another 100,000 miles as long as you change the oil in the back every 3,000 miles.