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Will 2007 Be the Dodgers' Last Year on KFWB?
2006-10-25 12:25
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers have been a poor fit on KFWB since they began airing their game broadcasts there. It never made sense to shoehorn the broadcasts into an all-news station, both for Dodger fans who want extensive pregame and postgame sports talk, not to mention live Spring Training broadvasts, and more importantly for news audiences who could never count on there being news at KFWB when they wanted it.

At his Farther Off the Wall blog, Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth writes of a big sign that 2007 might be the final year for the Dodgers at KFWB. (Thanks to Dodger Thoughts commenter Bhsportsguy for the quick alert).

KFWB-AM (980), which has been losing millions each year on its radio rights deal to carry the Dodgers games as it enters the fifth and final season of its contract with the team, has sent the first nasty indication that the end is approaching after it informed executive producer and key department head Tom Boman that his job has been eliminated for budgetary reasons. ...

Boman said station boss David Hall told him at their meeting Tuesday that it had nothing to do with his performance, it was simply money. And if money's the issue, the Dodgers have to be looking elsewhere now to line up a radio home for beyond 2007.

Comments
2006-10-25 12:52:13
1.   Uncle Miltie
KFWB is terrible. Not only is the signal weak, but they aren't even a sports station. I'd love to see the Dodgers move to 710; I think their contract with the Angels is up this year. I'm able to pick up 710 here in Northern California at night.
2006-10-25 12:58:31
2.   bhsportsguy
I believe that the Angels deal with 710 KSPN ends next year too. With only three sports stations in L.A. and one of them dropping all local broadcasts soon (1540), the other two have programming that could counter Dodger games during the beginning of the season (570 (Lakers), 710 (Clippers) and in September UCLA football and USC football.

Also, with local radio rights being effected by MLB deals with XM and MLB.com, I wonder how much stations are willing to pay for the rights.

Personally, I would like to have radio coverage that would have more programming during the off-season and spring training as well as better reception in LA.

But with more and more sports programming going to alternative media outlets, I wonder how long "free" radio will continue to buy rights to broadcast sports.

2006-10-25 13:35:38
3.   ToyCannon
I live in Woodland Hills and I can't get KFWB without static until I get to Ventura/Shoup.

I wish for the days of KFI and their powerfull transmitter.

2006-10-25 17:50:46
4.   stopthebeachballs
I hope this is true. KSPN would be my first choice; not only because they have shown that they are willing to have huge pre and post game shows (11 hours of USC coverage?!), but because the hosts will be homers for whoever is on their station.
2006-10-26 05:47:24
5.   Steve in Rochester
4 beachballs, you hit the nail on the head. out here in Rochester, I often tuned into espn-710 over webcast for the last hour of work (4-5 et) in hopes that Gary & DeMarco would have some Dodger coverage because I had no chance of finding it anywhere else.

as far as homer broadcasters, I'm all for it. I love having Vin, the uber-professional actually doing the game, but an all-Dodger pre- & post- with broadcasts from the parking lot and call-in hours with ridiculously overzealous and uninformed callers is always great entertainment.

2006-10-26 16:09:36
6.   scareduck
2 - Also, with local radio rights being effected by MLB deals with XM and MLB.com, I wonder how much stations are willing to pay for the rights.

The deal between the Cards and their new broadcast network has led to a phalanx of affiliates instead of the mighty voice of KMOX, for many, many years the 50,000-watt, clear-channel station that was audible into Ohio and sometimes New York, and as far south as Alabama.

http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/stl/schedule/tv_radio_affiliates.jsp

They've gone ultra-local, and I expect we can assume the same for the Dodgers. This, as with smaller stadia, will prove a huge long-term marketing mistake.

2006-10-26 16:11:16
7.   scareduck
And, yes, KSPN would be a huge improvement over KFWB. If Arte moves English-language broadcasts over to his wholly-owned 830 AM station (whose call letters have been changed to KLAA -- is that a hint or what?), it would indeed open up the Dodgers to a far better situation on the radio airwaves.
2006-10-27 08:34:17
8.   gruffydd
First time, long time....I've never liked the Dodgers broadcast on KFWB. It doesn't seem like a logical fit. KFWB keeps promoting things like breaking news and "traffic on the one's". Well, if I am using KFWB to check for traffic, I won't hear it during a Dodgers game. The post game show was always difficult to listen to with all of the KFWB updates.

Look at TV for example. I wouldn't tune into CNN for a baseball game, highlights yes, but not a game. Likewise, I would not tune into ESPN for the latest in the middle east.

I have an idea. Let's put a sports program on a sports radio channel.

That's just my thoughts, I'll return to lurking...

-gruffydd,

ps - I really enjoy "Dodger Thoughts"!

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