Sports Radio question of the day?????

Posted by Andy Durham on May 6, 2008 at 11:10 am under Professional | 9 Comments to Read

NotJimMelvin said,
Andy, give me the scoop. Is it normal for someone to own two stations in the same market with similar formats??

NJM, it is becoming more and more common for AM stations to hook-up like this with two outlets in the same market(790/980AM Triad) in an attempt to cover the entire market with a similar format. The owners don’t have the power to cover the area with one station so they link up two of their properties and try to blanket the market with at least daytime coverage.

WFNZ/610AM and WFNA/1660AM are both owned by CBS Radio in Charlotte and they are linked up trying to cover Charlotte with both frequencies working together somewhat on partial programming duplication. They both have the Sports format and they both carry The Morning Sports Page and Primetime with the Packman and this is Packman’s flagship station/stations…

WRBZ/850 the Buzz and WDNC/620 the Bull are both owned by the same people. Don Curtis of Curtis Media owns WDNC and he bought 850 for his son-in-law and that company is called NC SportsNet(aka: McClatchey Broadcasting), but both are owned by the same people in an attempt to control the Triangle Sports Radio market.

850 the Buzz has been around for 10 years and they merged the 620 with the 850 so they could form a bond and stop any takeover attempts by other AM combos, and there was one that lasted about a year, with Taylor Zazour heading up a two-station combo that his dad owned in the Triangle but they went belly-up. There is now an FM sports station in the Triangle at 99.9 and it’s called The Fan and it is owned by Jim Goodman and Capitol Broadcasting who also own the Durham Bulls. 99.9 has not been very much competition for 850/620.

The most recent ratings for the Charlotte 610/1660 were 1.5 and the Triangle ratings were 1.0 for 850 the Buzz and 0.6 for 620 the Bull…..The top-rated stations in each market draw somewhere around 8.4 to 7.8 and the ratings for the Sports stations will not get you many Ad agency buys but they do get you all the fringe buys that come with the ball games(college, pro, etc.). The sports stations also tend to do well with Sports bars/restaurants, car dealers, pizza, fitness centers, and real estate brokers.

850 the Buzz carries FOX Sports programming plus Adam Gold in the mornings, then Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome, Dave Glenn, and Morgan Patrick. Gold, Glenn, and Patrick are all local. 620 the Bull carries ESPN programming with Mike and Mike in the Mornings, Chris Clark(a local mid-day show), Mike Tirico and Scott Van Pelt, and then Primetime with the Packman(3-7pm).

You can hear both 850 and 620 in your cars, no problem, but you can’t pick up 610 until you are in the Lexington area headed down highway 85 South.

Here’s the combo programming lineup for 1660 and 610 out of Charlotte:

1660 Lineup
Monday – Friday
12:00AM-6:00AM
ESPN Radio

6:00AM-10:00AM
Morning Sports Page

10:00AM-1:00PM
The Herd with Colin Cowherd

1:00PM-3:00PM
ESPN Radio

3:00PM-7:00PM
Primetime with the Packman

610 AM Schedule
Monday – Friday
12:00AM-6:00AM
ESPN Radio

6:00AM-10:00AM
Morning Sports Page

10:00AM-11:00AM
The Power Hour with Chuck Howard

11:00AM-3:00PM
The Mac Attack

3:00PM-7:00PM
Primetime with the Packman

*****Here’s hoping this blog answered a few questions and maybe created a few new ones as well.*****


  • Mike said,

    Not that you’d ever hear them near Greensboro, but 1450 WCIE in Spring Lake has been carrying ESPN for a couple years now.
    1230 WFAY carried ESPN for a few years, then they got sold and went Spanish for a couple years.
    In April, they started simulcasting 1230 and 1450 to make the “Fayetteville ESPN Radio Sports Network” or something like that.
    So even in the small towns, it’s starting to happen.

    Same simulcating/owned by the same company thing with Pirate Radio 930/1250 in the Greenville area, who you hear about at the end of the second hour of Packman’s show when they get off his network and go to local programming.

    And even 1340/1400 in Winston-Salem/Greensboro, but that’s not sports. šŸ˜‰

  • Todd said,

    Black , Spanish, Gospel, Sports, its all the same man. What we need around here is a good FM JAZZ radio station. Nobody is playing all day seven days JAZZ. It would be KOOL if we could get it on the air here in the Triad like they have it down in Miami.

  • Paul said,

    Actually 90.5 WSSU plays jazz essentially all day, there might be some gospel early in the day but jazz is the focal point of the programming. Plus there is always the alternative of Sunset Jazz on WNAA 90.1 and even 101.1 has their smooth jazz weekends so there is quite a bit of it available for those who want it, actually what this station needs is an authentic AAA or even better (C)Rock 92 needs to get their playlist freshened up significantly. And I do not mean a bunch of 90’s alternative artists what I mean is truly digging deep, there have been signs this can happen, for instance I heard Elton John’s All the girls love Alice in the middle of the afternoon a few months back, but there needs to be more of that ilk.

    As for Fayettenam and Spring Lake having a ‘super’ ESPN combo I am a little surprised, but then again that is the only way to ensure that whole area gets covered. How well GHB does in competing against themselves will be interesting.

  • Bruce Mitchell said,

    Whatever happened to that Jock Lobatomata show back in the seventies? If John Renshaw still has a fan surely someone can dig this guy up.

  • Andy said,

    I think that guy ended up with New Dimentia Wrestling out in Oregon.

  • Mike said,

    I remember Jock Lobatomata from the 90s.
    He always had his mic turned on “Stun.”

  • NotJimMelvin said,

    I remember Kock. I always thought he was a Jim Pritchett wannabe.

  • Andy said,

    That Jock fellow was known as Kook in some circles and he ended up with all of Jim’s old radio equipment.

  • Mike said,

    Wasn’t Kock Lobatomata Jock’s Germanic cousin who did that heavy industrial music show on QFS and UAG back in the day?
    I heard he had visa problems, before it was cool.