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KFAN Ascends To #1 In Morning Drive

Jason Barrett



As the late great Yogi Berra reminded us, nothing’s over until it’s over. And with 92 KQRS’ legendary personality Tom Barnard showing no signs of hitting the terminal cough button, the fight for morning drive supremacy in Twin Cities radio isn’t over yet, no matter how pleased KFAN is with itself.

Only the most culturally isolated don’t know who Barnard is by now — and that his dominance of the metro radio audience over the past 25 years is one of the most remarkable runs in the entire country.

Last year, he signed a new five­-year contract with KQ owner Cumulus Media. So it is of more than a little interest that this past summer, KFAN­-FM, the sports-talk station owned by iHeartRadio (formerly Clear Channel) beat Barnard as No. 1 in the demographic the two stations care about most — and not just for a month, but the entire summer … before football season (sports talk radio’s raison d’être) really kicked in.

The gulf between Barnard and KFAN’s morning show is not large. But “The Power Trip,” currently hosted by Chis Hawkey, Cory Cove and Paul “Meatsauce” Lambert, with a supporting cast that includes Mark Rosen from WCCO-­TV — a key figure in Barnard’s ascension to dominance three decades ago — has now demonstrated enough staying power to settle any question that there’s any fluke at play here.

The basic numbers for 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. weekdays, men 25-­54:

Spring 2015 

KFAN: 13.0
KQRS: 14.4

Summer 2015
KFAN: 13.6
KQRS: 13.1

Repeated calls to KQRS operations manager Scott Jameson never resulted in a connection. But KFAN’s program director, Chad Abbott, was more than happy to chat, emphasizing that, yes, he expects the tide to continue running high and suggesting that Cove, Lambert, Hawkey et al.’s “high energy” delivery probably best explained the show’s growing appeal.

While KQRS’ format is officially defined as “classic rock,” Barnard’s show has almost nothing to do with 30-year­-old Heart and Boston cuts and everything to do with Barnard’s persona: a combination of a world-­weary natural intelligence, eclectic interests, hair-trigger disdain, unapologetic biases and the unfailing appeal of an implicit message that real men can’t get a break in this world anymore. By contrast, the “Power Trip” crowd’s act is pretty much pure escapism. Sports, goofy stuff in the news, guy-­jiving and plenty of pop culture.


By coincidence, I had a quick conversation with Mick Anselmo, the former GM at the local Clear Channel group who is now GM for CBS Radio’s local stations, including WCCO­-AM. He expressed little surprise at KFAN’s good fortune, complimenting the station’s management team, many of whom he hired, and arguing as he often does that the key to successful radio in an age where people can carry 3,000-­song playlists on their phones and listen to podcasts free of 25 minutes an hour of commercials is “the sense a station offers listeners that they are part of a community. You can’t get that from an MP3 player or streaming or a podcast. People like the feeling of being connected and the good operators learn how to give it to them.”

To read the full article visit MinnPost where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: Doug Gottlieb Is ‘Using My Name’ To Deflect Blame From Himself

“I wasn’t there. This was 2013 before the incident. I wasn’t even there.”





Earlier this week, Doug Gottlieb revisited a gaffe he made on the set of CBS’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show a decade ago. On a set that included Greg Anthony, Charles Barkley, Greg Gumbel, and Kenny Smith, Gottlieb said that he was there to “provide the white man’s perspective.” Gottlieb owned that it was a poor attempt at humor, but Gregg Giannotti takes issue with the FOX Sports Radio host’s version of events that lead up to the televised misstep.

“If you’ll allow me, I’d like to clear my name for a little bit,” Giannotti said on Wednesday’s edition of Boomer and Gio on WFAN.

Gottlieb contends that he tried out a better rehearsed version of the joke in a number of other places before going on television and it was well-received. No one told him it was a bad idea or that if delivered in the wrong way, it could create problems. One of those places, according to Gottlieb, was CBS Sports Radio’s Gio & Jones.

One problem, the show did not exist in 2013.

“Here are my issues with this,” Gregg Giannotti said. “One, I wasn’t there. This was 2013 before the incident. I wasn’t even there. Two, he is placing blame now on whoever he told this to to stop him and say ‘Don’t do this on the set!’”.

Boomer Esiason, Giannotti’s WFAN partner said he can see how Gottlieb overlooked the reality that this joke would not land well with a general audience. Former athletes are used to joking with one another like this in locker rooms. Plus, being on a set with Barkley and Smith may have made Gottlieb think that he would get a little more leeway.

Esiason added that he can see how Gottlieb would assume Gio was there. The show on CBS Sports Radio that he was likely on was MoJo, which featured Brian Jones and Chris Moore. It became Gio & Jones in 2015 when Giannotti came to CBS Sports Radio from 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, where worked in 2013. More surprising to Esiason was the Gottlieb wanted to talk about this a decade after it happened.

“He’s still hanging on this,” Giannotti answered. “The issue I have is that he is using me, saying that he tried it out on me and that I found it hilarious but I should have stopped him from saying the joke when I wasn’t even part of this. I was talking about the god damn Penguins!”

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Sports Radio News

Charles Barkley: ‘I Want to Be on TV Less’

“His contract with Warner Bros. Discovery runs through 2024-25.”

Jordan Bondurant



Charles Barkley

It’s possible you could see Charles Barkley appearing occasionally on CNN.

Reports from The Wall Street Journal and Variety this week indicate the cable news network is close to finishing a deal that would have Gayle King on the network. Rumors have said that the network would like to have Barkley join her, but Barkley says nothing is decided on his end.

In an appearance on Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports on Tuesday, the Suns legend and NBA on TNT analyst said he and King are friends so this wouldn’t be a situation where the duo would be coming in green.

“I’ve gotten to know her well through the years through my relationship with Oprah (Winfrey) and she’s just cool,” Barkley said. “I said, ‘I would consider doing a show with Gayle, one day a week starting in the fall.'”

But Barkley, 60, reiterated what he’s made known for a while now: he doesn’t plan on sticking around in the TV business for too much longer. His contract with Warner Bros. Discovery runs through 2024-25. So this CNN opportunity could be pretty limited in scope, which is what Charles desired.

“It’ll only be one day a week if I decide to do it,” Barkley said. “I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be on TV more. I want to be on TV less.'”

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Sports Radio News

John Kincade: Thursday Night Football Flex Vote About ‘Licking Jeff Bezos’s Boots’

“For these billionaires to be licking his boots? Embarrassing. They can’t do this. It’s obnoxious.”




John Kincade

A report claims that at the NFL owners meetings, a proposal to give the league the ability to implement flex scheduling for Thursday Night Football was proposed. 97.5 The Fanatic’s John Kincade was flabbergasted at the idea.

The proposal would allow the NFL to move scheduled games in the final weeks of the season from Sunday to Thursday. The league would also have to change the rule that teams could only play one Thursday Night Football game per season to accommodate the change.

During The John Kincade Show Tuesday, the host claimed that even considering the idea was simply a matter of the owners kowtowing to Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, whose company — Prime Video — broadcasts the package.

“They’re licking Jeff Bezos’s boots,” Kincade said. “I can only imagine buddies running trips and fans go ‘Ok, I’m going to the Eagles game on Sunday. I’m flying in Friday, spend two nights in a hotel, and fly out Monday’. Oh no you’re not, the game’s been moved to Thursday night. This is freaking ridiculous, and shining Bezos’s shoes is freaking embarrassing. For these billionaires to be licking his boots? Embarrassing. They can’t do this. It’s obnoxious.”

Kincade continued by marvelling at the idea even being floated to the public.

“To me, it’s just such a dumb idea. But sometimes those things happen in sports.”

The 97.5 The Fanatic host is not the only sports media member who has shared their displeasure with the proposal this week. Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King aired similar sentiments, saying “We can all agree this seems insane.”

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