Sports Talk 790 “The Ball”, WBLO AM: The Triad’s Sports Leader; could be GONE!

Posted by Andy Durham on December 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm under College, Professional | 21 Comments to Read

Sports Talk 790 “The Ball”, WBLO AM: The Triad’s Sports Leader……That is how they have billed themselves in the past and now their web site is in the past-present tense, since it is GONE!!!!!

I have received numerous phone calls and E-mails over the past week from many loyal 790 The Ball listeners/followers and to follow-up on their messages, I went to visit “The Ball”, 790’s web site and it is GONE…..

Will the station be gone at the end of the year and is this the “end of the road”, for 790 The Ball, as we have known it in the past??? Web site gone and is the station format change just around the corner, maybe hitting us upside the head on January 1?????

No more Stephen A. Smith, Dan Patrick and the Danettes, Jim Rome in The Jungle, The Loose Cannons with Steve Hartman, Pat O’Brien and Vic “The Brick” Jacobs, plus all the other FOX Sports offerings?

We will know in time, so for now, STAY TUNED……….


  • 790 gone ?? said,

    I once heard the “pacman” say to a caller that 790 would soon change from sports programming to “spanish programming”. He said this back in the October time frame. So, I guess just like the “pacman” – 790 the ball will go away within any fanfare.

  • Mike said,

    Mark Packer’s still around. Just not on The Ball. 🙂

  • Bob Lowe said,

    Bummer, I really was enjoying the Loose Cannons and will miss DP, too.

  • Andy said,

    I think Mark Packer is trying to get a studio set up and he hopes to be back on his affiliate stations in NC and SC sometime in early January….He can’t return to the Charlotte airwaves until July, because of the six-month non-compete clause in his contract….

    There is a station at 730AM in Charlotte that is doing sports talk and they are hoping he can get on there and some talk has been made about trying to get WBT FM to go sports talk, but they say that it is doubtful that an FM would make the switch to Sports Talk in that big of a market at least not yet, unless they could package Packer, the Panthers, and ESPN on a WBT property, whether it be AM or FM…..

    Lots of Packer theories swirling around Charlotte and the QCB, plus the Hit Man are right in the middle of the scuttlebutt….

  • where is parker said,

    what local station if any can packer be heard? the only sports stations that i am aware of in the triad are “790” and “1320” (and the other 2 stations that carry the same programming ast 1320). it would be great if this area had a FM sports station. 1320 and 1230 fade out on the west side of winston salem.

  • Andy said,

    There’s a good chance that we will be able to hear him on 1320/1230/1200AM sometime in January if they can get all the details worked out….Until then it will be the tryout sessions with John Kilgo, Brent Jensen, Taylor Zarsour, Arnie Spanier, Mark James, Michael Dean Perry and Wilson from WFNZ 610AM out of Charlotte….

    Arnie Spanier has been my favorite so far and Wilson sounded pretty good the other day….Stan Olson does a very good as a reporter for the show, as sort of an analyst working with Kilgo or others as the host….Olson, I’ll take and the rest of you can have Kilgo…..They need to go ahead and Kilgo, Kilgo…..(Get rid of him!)

  • Mike said,

    1320/1230/1200 have had Spanier as a host lately? Local? I remember when he was on 1on1 Sports on The Ticket back in the day. Good times.

  • Andy said,

    Arnie was in studio in Charlotte for a couple of days about two weeks ago….He sounded great and he goes back a long ways to when One-on-One Sports/Sporting News Radio Network were in original form, SEN….The Sports Entertainment Network…

    To my knowledge they(SEN) were the original Sports Talk Network….The had Arnie’s Army with Arnie Spanier, Poppa Joe Chevalier, a guy named Johnny Miller that did the mornings with “Miller Time” and so on….On the weekends, Saturday night say 9-Midnight to be near exact, they did the “Wrestling Insiders” with Rod William Stoll and Mike Tenay and that was a very good program for it’s time…

    Packer in that day or just after that time frame was doing the Prime Time afternoon drive on 610AM WFNZ with Sandy Penner and they called it Packer and Penner….

    Right before Packer got hot on 610 they had Jerry Vallincourt doing a show with Michelle Tafoya, now with ESPN and she was with CBS….Tafoya went by the name Mickie Connelly and Valllincourt was also working with the Charlotte Hornets at that time as well. as some sort of pre-game/post-game host….WFNZ also had a guy named Sam Smith doing talk shows for a while and he also did quite a bit of radio/TV football and basketball play-by-play….

    Steve Czban was the local morning man on 610 for a while a few years back and he was LIVE doing a local morning drive show right there in Charlotte, on WFNZ….

    There is a lot more history behind the Sports Talk format in and around our state than people realize…..This gives you some of it for a rare holiday treat…

  • Mike said,

    That is a treat.

  • Rick said,

    Yup, 790 is now spanish language station. Stephen Smith left Fox Sportsradio anyway. Strange thing is this AM 1230/1320 were ESPN until about 10 AM, now they are carrying Fox Sportsradio. I don’t really know what is going on…….

  • Todd said,

    What is is with this market? Seems like every New Year’s you can count on losing a sports talk station. I hope someone picks up Rome and Packer. ESPN would be nice too.

    My $0.02.

  • Doug said,

    What a pile of crap. You mean to tell me that there are MORE spanish speaking listeners than english listeners?? I will TRULY miss the ball. What a damn shame. Oh well. Screw local radio. XM all the way baby!!!

  • Andy said,

    I’m still waiting to hear Parker…….His show slipped right by me…..

  • tom said,

    I cant believe that this station is gone; I found it by accident about 4 months ago and listened all the time
    If the stationed stay around long enough they would only grow in popularity.
    I find hard to believe Spanish radio is going to do better.

  • damnit said,

    Damn this sucks. This was the only local station I listen too. My work truck doesn’t have xm, cd, or even cassette. I guess now I’ll listen to silence, can’t pick up 1320. Local radio blows, same songs over and over and bad programming. I’m going to miss the Ball.

  • kevin in brooklyn said,

    I can’t believe how the triad drops the ball when it comes to sports talk! This station was the best and now all we have is Spanish radio! What the hell can us English speaking people do??

  • jab0441 said,

    what happened to Mark Packard?

  • Andy said,

    Pakcer has been gone from 790 and local radio since late October/early November….His Primetime show is now call “The Drive” and it is hosted by Taylor Zarsour and Marc James from WFNZ 610 in Charlotte and is being carried locally in the Triad by 1320/1230/1200AM….

    Packer should be back on the air in Charlotte in July and we may hear him again in the Triad before that time…..He’ll have to get a syndication deal worked out and he has that non-compete clause that will keep him off the air in Charlotte until this summer….

    We try to keep you up to date here at our site, and for now, 790 The Ball GONE and Mark Packer GONE…..But again, look for Packer to make a return to the local airwaves sometime in the future…….

  • S David said,

    WTF! Spanish radio? I loved the Ball for Dan Patrick and afternoon drive back home.

  • Bob said,

    Had to admit that the station wasted a LOT of time playing promos for programs over and over and over – some content was good WHEN they got around to having an actual show rather than a promo for the show BUT some of the talk was a real waste of time – too much personal chatter about announcer’s weekend, personal life, etc for me. Not sure whether or not I miss them – prefer what’s on 1230 but wish they’d boost their power!

  • Paul said,

    790 died the day they replaced The Czabe with Stephen A Smith.