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The Rams Impact On STL Media

Jason Barrett

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101 ESPN has been the St. Louis Rams flagship radio station since the station adopted the sports format in 2009. The Rams are its anchor property and drive conversation on many of its talk shows. The Rams’ presence also leads to a considerable amount of ancillary content, including pregame and postgame programs plus coach Jeff Fisher’s weekly show.

“It’s important to have a big NFL local team,” said John Kijowski, who has run the station since its inception.“There’s an expectation the Rams are on 101 ESPN. That would hurt” if they move.”

“We are truly having a terrific financial year. That will be three in a row. However, we are more financially successful with Rams than without Rams.

“As far as revenue this year, we actually are at par with last year and in fact will end up with more Rams revenue due to the additions of new advertisers.”

BUSINESS ANGLE

Kijowski remains hopeful that the Rams stay in St. Louis. But is realistic, too, and has a plan for next season if the team is gone.

“We will go to a Plan B for Sunday entertainment and content,” Kijowski said. “Which is, we would take on two NFL games on Sunday. We are poised for coverage of the NFL now actually” he said, noting that the station carries Monday and Thursday night games and will carry postseason contests, including the Super Bowl.

If the Rams leave, history says they won’t be gone on the St. Louis airwaves.The football Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Arizona following the 1987 season but their broadcasts remained on locally for years.

KMOX (1120 AM) was on their radio network for the team’s first four seasons in the desert. And their first 42 regular-season games after leaving were televised in St. Louis, primarily on KMOV (Channel 4). KSDK (Channel 5) finally cut the cord late in the 1990 season, when it carried a Chiefs-Raiders game with playoff implications instead of a contest between last-place teams Arizona and New England.

But the “better” game performed poorly in the ratings compared to what the Cards had done, and they were back on St. Louis TV the next week. It wasn’t until late in 1992 — nearly five full seasons after they had fled — that the Cardinals finally were off local television on a regular basis.

Then there was the Warner Factor, when KTVI (Channel 2) showed New York Giants games whenever possible in 2004 because popular former Ram Kurt Warner was their quarterback in his first season since leaving St. Louis. Channel 2 was rewarded with strong ratings.

So would KTVI and WXOS follow suit with the Rams?

“We carried Kurt Warner when he went to the New York Giants, I don’t see why we wouldn’t carry the Los Angeles Rams in St. Louis,” KTVI’s Spencer Koch said. “But a lot of that is taking the temperature of the viewership.”

Kijowski, meanwhile, was playful about the situation but did not rule out becoming a Los Angeles Rams radio affiliate.

“Don’t say that!” he said, laughing at that possibility. “I’m not hearing that. Goodbye.”

To read the full article visit the STL Post Dispatch where this story was originally published

 

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iHeartMedia Extends with Pittsburgh Steelers Through 2028 Season

“We teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

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Logos for iHeartMedia and the Pittsburgh Steelers

iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announced an extension of their audio partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will now include the newly established “Steelers Audio Network” through 2028.

The “Steelers Audio Network” will offer a wide range of content, including game day broadcasts, additional shows, digital audio, podcasts, and social media posts. Fans can access the “Steelers Audio Network” and its programming throughout the year on various platforms such as 102.5 WDVE, Fox Sports Pittsburgh (970AM), the Steelers mobile app, the iHeartRadio mobile app, as well as on the team and station’s websites.

Additionally, 102.5 WDVE will continue to be the home of the Steelers game broadcasts, as they have done since 1999.

“We are excited to announce the continuation of our long-standing partnership with iHeart Media and our flagship station, 102.5 WDVE,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers Vice President of Sales and Marketing in a release. “We’ve teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartSports. “Our renewed agreement, now known as ‘Steelers Audio Network’ encompasses a comprehensive range of audio offerings, delivering an exceptional listening experience for Steelers fans. Additionally, we’re excited to provide promotional support and further brand awareness across all six iHeartMedia Pittsburgh stations and digital sites. Our longstanding partnership continues to thrive, and we look forward to celebrating many more victories together!”

“iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and the Steelers have had a longstanding partnership,” said Tim McAleer, Market President, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. “We are thrilled to continue to give Steelers fans access to Steelers audio broadcasts and unique Steelers programing content for years to come.”

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Nick Cattles To Fill In on 98.5 The Sports Hub

“No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

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Photo of Nick Cattles and a logo for 98.5 The Sports Hub

Nick Cattles, who was last heard on the air at the end of June 2023 at Sactown Sports 1140 in Sacramento and has been hosting podcasts, will get a chance to fill in Monday on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. Cattles posted about the assignment on his LinkedIn account.

“The wait is over,” he wrote. “It’s been almost a year since the last time I walked into a radio studio. I’m back. This Monday morning from 6a-10am, you can listen to myself, Ryan Johnston, and Kendra Middleton on 98-5 The Sports Hub. No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

Cattles was part of the Cattles and Ramie show in Sacramento and upon leaving said, “It’s just, we love our family more. Since moving to Cali, we’ve had to overcome a lot personally. Those challenges have been amplified the last two months. It’s no longer tolerable to be 3,000 miles away. Once we settle the home situation, we’re heading back.” He had started with Sactown Sports in 2021 and also had the program director title for a period of time.

Cattles worked at The Sports Hub from in 2017 and 2018, taking part in The Adam Jones Show in the evenings and hosting on the weekends. Cattles had other stints in Boston, Virginia and with ESPN Radio.

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Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael Celebrate 5 Years Together on 92.9 The Game

“To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.”

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Graphic for Andy and Randy on 92.9 The Game and a picture of hosts Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael
Graphic Courtesy: Audacy Photo Courtesy: Randy McMichael X Account

It was a milestone week for Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael, hosts of 92.9 The Game’s The Midday Show with Andy & Randy in Atlanta. It was this week five years ago they permanently took over the midday slot replacing John Michaels and Rick Kamla who had been released earlier that year.

The show celebrated on remote at a party with several listeners, friends and family members and spent time talking about their time together. “People listening right now, thank you, we appreciate that,” said Bunker. “We wouldn’t be doing this if you weren’t listening and if you hadn’t been listening the last five years…Making it five years on a radio show is not normal. I know it seems normal at 92.9 because we are a radio station that has a lot of stability. Dukes and Bell have been on for 10 years. The morning show that’s on right now is doing great, and the show before them was on for a lot of years.”

Bunker later added, “To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.” McMichael replied, “It has been a fun five years.”

Bunker had been hosting the evening show for three years prior to partnering with McMichael, and had previously been in sports radio in Seattle, Portland and Boston. McMichael had been with the station for about four years at the time, after an 11-year career in the NFL. Prior to that he was a three-year letterman at the University of Georgia.

The show amassed an 8.3 share for the most recent quarter, retaining their fourth place ranking it had in the fall. The show airs from 11a-2p EST.

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