Saturday, November 17, 2012

Boston sports radio is up for more changes as D.A. Show is going national
Damon Amendolara

Boston's sports talk radio scene will get another shakeup the first week of the new year as WBZ FM/ 98.5 The Sports Hub will become CBS Sports Radio affiliate, following a decision by corporate owner CBS Radio to drop its Fox Sports Radio  for company's brand new national sports talk network debuting on January 3rd.

On Friday(11/16), CBS Radio announced that it has signed SportsHub's evening host Damon Amendolara(known as D.A.) to take his "The D.A. Show" national and it will air on the new network's overnight slot(2am-6am) come January 3rd. Amendolara has been with the SportsHub since the station's launch in August 2009.  The addition of the new CBS Sports Radio network also means that Fox Sports Radio will be dropped by the Sports Hub after a 3-year affiliation(BRW 10/30/09) and as it stands now(...and things are always subject to change, especially in radio), FSR's popular overnight host JT The Brick will not have a local Boston affiliate for the first time since 1996. Come new year, The Sports Hub is also expected to fill other latenight weekday and weekend time slots where Fox Sports Radio is currently heard in its schedule with syndicated national/regional shows from CBS Sports Radio network or CBS Sports Radio stations in other markets.

The upcoming changes at the SportsHub cap a turbulent 4-month stretch for local and national sports talk, which saw WEEI splitting its AM and FM simulcast to create "ESPN on 850" in early October(BRW 9/18). AM 850 is now a full time home of ESPN Radio in the Boston area. In addition, the AM station also serves as a backup for any game conflicts between Celtics, Red Sox, Boston College sports or national NFL broadcasts on WEEI 93.7. 

In addition, WUFC AM 1510 became an affiliate of the new NBC Sports Radio network in early September and dropped the old familiar call letters WWZN(BRW 8/31) as part of the change. While WUFC clears three weekday NBC Sports Radio shows, it  also picks up parts of the Houston-based Yahoo Sports Radio network to fill out rest of its day as a sports talker.

Amendolora's move into the national syndication means that the Sports Hub will now have to fill his evening shift and there will be no shortage of internal and external candidates. WEEI is also auditioning candidates to fill the morning sports flasher role on "Dennis and Callahan" show after Jon Meteparel departed last month. (The Globe's sports media writer Chad Finn has a list of contenders eyeing WEEI's vacant morning role)

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