The A’s press release is available now.
For some part of the next four years, A’s games will be broadcast on 95.7, KBWF-FM, a.k.a. “The Wolf.” It’s a country station, broadcasting with a Class B license atop San Bruno Mountain at 6,900 watts. The coverage map from radio-locator looks like this:
While 6,900 watts is not the most powerful of signals, KBWF is augmented by a 186 W (that’s right) repeater near Mt. Diablo, which is meant to help the station’s coverage in Contra Costa County. The FCC’s service contour map can be found here, though it should be pointed out that the single line in that map reflects the same coverage as the red line in the map above.
Perhaps the biggest and most unknown takeaway of all of this is the fact that the deal was with Entercom, the radio giant that owns Sharks broadcaster KUFX. Entercom isn’t looking to sell individual stations, so the chance that it might unload one of its properties to a non-radio entity like the A’s is slim. It’s unclear what this means for KTRB. The A’s press release makes no mention of Comerica Bank-owned station. If this was yet another hardball tactic in ongoing negotiations, it may push the bank to take a less hard line stance. As for KTRB, the A’s pursuit of the station is over according to Susan Slusser. Via SuSlu’s Twitter feed:
The #Athletics pursuit of 860 AM is at an end. They offered more than double what it was worth and had signed letter of intent to buy.
#Athletics VP Ken Pries on the receiver’s motives for terminating team broadcasts: “You can speculate. Leverage? Up the offer? Hardball?”
If the receiver for 860 AM was trying to play hardball, she lost big-time. Only the #Athletics had incentive to overpay for troubled station
Pries says the team will now try to find affiliate in Monterey area with demise of 860 AM. #athletics
That last tweet is for Bleacher Dave. If the A’s simply thought the price was too high, it’s possible that KTRB’s existence as the other sports radio station in the Bay Area will be short-lived, as whomever buys the station will surely go with a different format.
We can’t end this without a joke, this one from Ken Arneson:
So I’m assuming that the A’s new radio station “95.7 The Wolf” will soon change its name to “The Wolff”?
It’s a sad day for the many of us who wanted an alternative to the KNBR hegemony. At least the A’s have a broadcast deal going forward. How long this one lasts… well, we wouldn’t be A’s fans if we knew.
P.S. – Wherever you are in the Bay Area, please turn on KBWF and let us know how the coverage sounds. The signal is constant day and night, so it should not be affected by the transmission power rules that plagued previous stations.
P.P.S. – Pre and postgame coverage will remain as is with Chris Townsend doing the honors (he is employed by the A’s). Over the last couple of months, KBWF has garnered a 1.1 rating, good for 26th in the San Francisco market (#4 nationwide) and just above rival country station KRTY, which pulled in a 1.0. In the San Jose market (#34), KRTY gets a 3.1 while KBWF (13th) pulls in 0.7 (30th).