Sunday, July 13, 2008

Local ESPN Radio affiliate hopes to stay in the game

ESPN 890, you're on the clock.

In the latest episode of Boston’s own sports-talk radio version of `Survivor', WAMG AM 890, the local ESPN Radio affiliate, promises to launch a new(and improved) and more local line-up shortly.

According to an internal staff memo sent out by ESPN 890’s general manager/co-owner Jessamy Tang, which was obtained and published, by Boston SportsMedia’s David Scott, the station is looking to replace departed afternoon host Michael Felge and add a new midday program. Felger ended his nearly 3-year stint at WAMG/ESPN 890 this past week. Felger who already has a fulltime job as co-host of Comcast SportsNet’s roundtable format “SportsTonight” show, is returning to the all-mighty WEEI AM 850. He’ll be writing original content for the station’s sports portal at which is expected to receive a major facelift in upcoming weeks. Felger was hosting his afternoon drive show on ESPN 890 from a specially-built radio studio at CSN in Burlington.

Another loss for ESPN 890 was the news that the “Patriots Friday” package is moving to all-mighty WEEI AM 850 which reached a new multi-year deal with the Krafts which also includes “Patriots Monday” and New England Revolution soccer games.

Among a long list of reasons(iffy signal, lack of ratings, WEEI's dominance,etc), one could also see why the Krafts would choose to cut ties with ESPN 890 after this last season's Tickgate story. Earlier this year, the Krafts weren’t too thrilled with their now-former "Patriots Friday" radio partner when they learned that some of the playoff tickets donated to station’s charity event were used for on-air promotion.

BRW Notebook :

Mike's Twoffer :
The Globe talks to WZLX 100.7FM PD Mike Thomas who recently added another program director hat at WBCN 104.1FM when Dave Wellington was let go after four years.(BRW 6/23). As for Wellington, he wasn't out of a job for long. His next stop is Washington DC/Baltimore market. He starts as program director for Clear Channel's Alternative WWDC-FM (DC 101)/Washington and the newly-launched Alternative WCHH-FM (Channel 104.3)/Baltimore on July 28.

All-Star’s tribute to the Yankee Stadium : …will be heard locally on ESPN 890. The radio broadcast of the 79th MLB All-Star game will air Tuesday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ESPN Radio’s Dan Shulman will call the game with analyst Dave Campbell, with Peter Pascarelli and John Rooney – the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals – providing reports and interviews from each league’s respective dugout. Joe D’Ambrosio will host pre- and post-game shows. Shulman and Campbell have worked the All-Star Game and Derby for eight consecutive seasons.(Ed. Note : the Game's tribute to the Yankee Stadium should be an amazing TV/radio spectacle on Tuesday night, but having classical pop weenie Josh Groban singing "God Bless America" instead of Ronan Tynan is an absolutely travesty). ESPN 890 will also air the Home Run Derby at 8pm on Monday, July 14.

I-listening to the future : Mobile devices and on-line content is the future of terrestrial radio. And, at least one local radio operator is actively starting to look beyond towers and transmitters for non-traditional sources of revenue. WEEI AM/WRKO AM/WAAF FM/WMKK-FM corporate owner, Entercom recently announced that will add all of its stations programming to the FlyTunes content network. Under the agreement, Entercom stations in Boston and other markets will be available on the IPhones in the next three months. Entercom's stream hosting provider Liquid Compass will facilitate the launch by incorporating FlyTunes' FlyCast server software throughout their Content Delivery Network.

Remembering Roger Allan Bump : Longtime WRKO AM 680 news and public affairs director passed away on July 1st at the age of 79. The Globe's story is here.

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