Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rumor: CBS Radio Changing 92.3 FM to Sports Talk (Updated)

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 11:00 AM

News that makes Aaron Goldhammer sad.
  • News that makes Aaron Goldhammer sad.

Update III: It's all official now. The press release from CBS Radio this morning confirms 92.3 The Fan will launch on August 29 with a lineup like we already told you about: NFL games from Westwood One (in addition to Big 10 football), Kiley and Booms in the morning, and more.

In the release, new program director Andy Roth says, "What we are launching is literally a radio station for 'The Fan.' For Clevelanders who live and breathe sports 24/7 this will be the place to get the best insight, most in-depth coverage and a well-rounded balance of listener participation all presented in an entertaining forum."

What he didn't say but wanted to: "Good luck, WKNR, filling time on Sundays when everyone else is listening to the Browns or us. Maybe 11 straight hours of Chris Fedor's fantasy tips or Michael Reghi reading from his thesaurus will work. Ha."

***

Update II: We've heard, and it's been all but confirmed, that Kevin Kiley and Chuck Booms will pair up for the morning show on 92.3 The Fan. They had a show on Fox Sports, and have both worked in a variety of markets over the years. A name has been rumored for the afternoon, but we haven't confirmed anything yet. One hint: Bull.

***

Update: While everyone is pretty damn sure at this point that 92.3 will in fact be CBS Radio's sports talk station in Cleveland, there's very little known about personnel or programming prospects. However, an Ohio Media Watch contributor tweeted this out yesterday: "If what I'm hearing is correct, #cbsfmsportstalk has already yanked WW1's [Westwood One's] entire NFL & NCAA play-by-play package from KNR. That's seismic."

That would leave WKNR with no football on Sundays. Not a good thing.

***

ESPN 850 WKNR has long enjoyed its monopoly on sports talk in town, just as listeners have not so long enjoyed the middle-school pep-rally talent that gobbles up most of the AM station’s airtime.

But 850’s command of the radio dial may not hold up much longer: The rumor mill is churning out news that CBS Radio is on the brink of launching an all-sports talk station on what is currently 92.3 FM. Such a move would mean jettisoning that station’s robot-programmed alternative format.

The Ohio Media Watch blog was first to report on the possibility. Radio Insight added that a 923TheFan.com domain name was anonymously purchased back in March. Radio-Info.com chimed in with news of a program director’s recent, curious departure from a sports station elsewhere and insinuated that Cleveland was in his sights.

And late last week, local sports talker Joe Lull tweeted that insiders confirm CBS Radio is on its way, and soon.

“At this time, we decline to comment,” says Allison Mandara, a spokeswoman from CBS Radio’s corporate office. WKNR execs were slathering mustard on a hot dog for Greg Brinda and could not be reached for comment.

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