Radio switcheroo

Adding to the intrigue regarding last week’s reshuffling of 95.7 The Game, several radio announcements have been made in the last week or so. First, KNBR’s Tom Tolbert will contribute a minute-long segment at the top of every hour on CBS Sports Radio. (The segment is much like ESPN Radio’s Sports Minute with Mike Tirico, which is heard in other markets with ESPN Radio stations.) The new network was announced in June and will launch on September 4, anchored by numerous CBS and Cumulus stations, including the two KNBRs.

This CBS Sports Radio is different from the previous one, which was syndicator Dial Global’s (Westwood One) mostly game broadcasts with the CBS brand. The new CBS Sports Radio is a 24/7 sports talk network with no carriage of the four major pro sports at the outset. That’s no big deal for the KNBR twins since they have the Giants and 49ers. They’ll be fine, although I’m curious to see how much ESPN Radio remains in the lineup.

You may also remember that, back in March, Dial Global cut a deal with Entercom to switch its game broadcasts from KNBR to 95.7 The Game, coinciding with the NCAA tournament. Dial Global has the NFL, It’s additional sports programming to help bring in new listeners, though it’s not the same as landing a team like the Warriors or Raiders.

Turns out that Dial Global and NBC Sports are also launching their own network. They’ve announced a flurry of new hosts to fill their talk lineup, including the oft-traveled Erik Kuselias (meh) and former NY Giants (and De La Salle Spartan) Amani Toomer. Toomer’s show will be in the late night Eastern (10 PM – 1 AM ET) slot. Current NFL TV analyst Rodney Harrison will get his own weekend show. The interesting thing about NBC Sports Radio is its launch date: also September 4.

That lines up with The Game’s scheduled programming changes, which have a few details remaining to hash out. For now, Dial Global hasn’t said whether it’ll go whole hog with the NBC branding, but it stands to reason that it will. The name Dial Global has no recognition outside of the radio industry, and NBC has been thorough in having the NBC Sports moniker permeate all of its TV sports properties, from the former Versus network (now NBC Sports Network) to the Comcast SportsNets, which have NBC Sports as part of their tagline with every broadcast.

I’m merely connecting the dots, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? Come Tuesday, fifth tier Yahoo! Sports Radio will be ditched for NBC Sports Radio, which has much stronger recognition despite its startup status. Funny thing is that for decades, KNBR-680 was the NBC affiliate for Northern California, a stint that only ended as the station switched to the sports format full time. Throughout the 2000’s the A’s shuffled between CBS-owned affiliates before signing with The Game. Remember how I remarked how cozy the relationship was between The Game and CSN Bay Area/California? That may well have been a prelude to something much bigger. And there’s still the Warriors situation to shake out. September could be a banner month for 95.7, as The Game literally changes.

19 thoughts on “Radio switcheroo

  1. Very interesting. I wonder when 95.7 will start pushing “a new programming announcement.” Friday maybe?

  2. I am a little confused, as of right now do the Warriors have no radio contract for the coming year?

  3. Jeff-

    Yes. it expired in June. Lacob is PO

  4. so will copy my comment from the last thread since now it’s really on topic….
    “Anyone know what will happen to the A’s with 95.7 and their changes?
    They are carrying Sunday, Thursday and Monday night football games this year. Luckily the A’s only have day games left on Thursdays once the season starts and Sunday’s are day games also. But A’s have two Monday night games? So do the A’s get bumped to a small station no one can get?
    95.7 is also making a strong push for the Warriors. The Warriors main complaint with KNBR is being second status and being pushed to 1050. So if 95.7 does get them like they want (This is why the 7-10 slot has not been filled) What happens in April when A’s and Warriors are playing at the same time. Seems like A’s get bumped since Warriors are using that as the reason to leave KNBR.
    This A’s falling short of buying the station themselves could be a big problem again.”

  5. So my guess is they hope to land the Warriors then on off day’s they will go with Toomer’s national show but play up the fact he is from the bay area to make it sound like a local show even though it won’t be. since 10-1et fills a certain 7-10 void they have right now.

  6. You forget with Entercom there is 95.7, 98.5 and 102.1.

  7. still hope they go local at night but sounds as they’ll go national.

    if 95.7 gets the w’s, wonder who does the post game? townsend, tittle? steinmetz i doubt even is a cohost as he’s one of the two main csn w’s cohost along with st jean.

  8. The problem with those other stations is that their coverage in the bay area is bad. A’s will be stuck in the same position Warriors were with 1050.

  9. Brandon Tierney’s new cohost is going to be Ric Bucher. @RicBucher

  10. Tierney new co host on the drive is Ric Bucher

  11. 95.7 now have 3 guys w/ BB knowledge : MS , Papa and Bucher.

  12. There doing it to lure the Warriors

  13. Lure the Warriors? I would think that a decision like this would only be done if they had already landed the Warriors.

  14. I think is based on hoping they do. But if an agreement was struck, think we would have heard of it. Probably getting close but its not done.

  15. They might be able to keep it secret. I think we’ll probably hear it whispered before they announce it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was part of next week’s NBC Sports Radio announcement (assuming ML has connected the correct dots) or a little later than that. They’d need enough lead time before the Warriors start preseason at the beginning of October, but they probably don’t want to keep pushing “major programming announcements” or they lose their effect.

  16. if you listen to 95.7 they love to push the “major programming announcements” every other day then leave you hanging for awhile just to announce the giants grounds keeper will call in next week.

  17. the w’s are very good at marketing and sales. they can always sell tix

    Lacob is doing rolling announcements now… this week, they hired an architect. last week the stadium project manager.etc….after labor day or so they will announce the radio deal then the players will start rolling into Oakland by mid-Sep then the big dude from down under will land in 2 or 3 weeks….

  18. yeah i think this is a good sign that 95.7 is either going hard to land the w’s or maybe already have. too bad it looks as 95.7 is looking to build the station around the w’s rather than the a’s as even when the a’s were 4 months into the sports format in 2011, the “official reboot” in aug of 2011 we had hosts from the very start making fun of the a’s org and fanbase.

    do wonder if this could have a ripple effect with knbr programming. is there a reason to keep fitz on 680 from noon-3 if the w’s aren’t onboard? he’s already dispised by most of the bay area w’s fans.

    still wouldn’t be shocked if the game moves to 102.1 because of the better signal. don’t know how much better the signal is but def could see that happening soon too.

  19. Has anyone ever noticed how they raise the pitch of the voices on the pre-game shows? KNBR/Giants telecasts do the same thing. I’ve never figured out why. I know. Fascinating.

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