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Friday, January 5, 2007

The New King of Sports Talk

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2007 at 6:15 PM

Craig Karmazin came to Cleveland radio in November, launching the ESPN affiliate 1540-AM WWGK. Within a month, he bought his only competition in town: Sports Talk 850 WKNR. At this rate, he'll own the Browns by June. Karmazin, the 31-year-old son of Sirius satellite radio boss Mel Karmazin, says both stations will continue their sports-talk formats, with no more than minimal changes. Which prompts the question: Why throw two bones at the same dog? Even the most rabid sports fan tends to listen to only one station at a time. "There are so many segments within the sports fan," says Karmazin, who seems certain that listeners litter the ranks of Mensa. "They're complex individuals." This apparently is a reference to the philosophical lines drawn over draft vs. canned beer and which Cavalier Girl has the best hooters. Karmazin insists no shakeups are planned with WKNR's on-air talent, which is kinda like invading North Korea to go for beers with Kim Jong-Il. C'mon, even Greg Brinda? The Radio Version of Sam Fulwood hasn't uttered a compelling phrase since 1982. "We love all our on-air guys, and all the on-air guys that were here when we got here still have jobs," he says. "We're extremely excited about what they're doing." -- Erich Burnett

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