Sports Radio News
KFNS Returns To The St. Louis Airwaves
We’re only a week or so removed from Halloween and a made-for-TV exorcism attempt at a home in St. Louis County, so it seems appropriate that the ghost of St. Louis sports-talk radio’s onetime stalwart has reappeared.
KFNS (590 AM) returned to the local airwaves late Thursday after a nearly yearlong absence following its collapse under a maze of unpaid bills, employee unrest and even fisticuffs at the studio.
KFNS as well as KXFN (1380 AM) has been owned by Grand Slam Sports, which has been the target of several lawsuits — including one in which Triad Bank claims the company defaulted on loans totaling $1.1 million. “I always do the show that I do, and that’s what they want,’’ he said of management.
A St. Louis County Circuit Court recently appointed a receiver, Detalus Consulting, to oversee Grand Slam’s assets and the action gave Detalus the authority to do as it sees fit, including sell the stations.
Triad told the court that Grand Slam’s federal broadcast licenses, which it called the company’s “most valuable asset,” were in danger of being forfeited on Nov. 12 — next Thursday, a year and two days after the station stopped broadcasting. That deadline thus made action a priority.
So an agreement was reached this week for the receiver to lease KFNS to Markel Radio Group, an enterprise of Randy Markel and Scott Gertken. Markel owns the two local Chuck’s Boots stores and Gertken owns talkstl.com, which has been broadcasting mostly sports talk on 1380 under a previous lease arrangement with Grand Slam. The 1380 content now will be simulcast on 590.
The weekday lineup includes longtime St. Louis broadcasters J.C. Corcoran, Howard Balzer, Kevin Slaten and Charlie “Tuna” Edwards, and the addition of 590 is important to Markel Radio because it has a much stronger signal than 1380 — which does not have a license to broadcast after dark and thus is signing off before 5 p.m. now, which cuts off Slaten’s program in midstream.
“We’re very excited,” Gertken said.
Current hosts are energized.
“We’re on our way,” Corcoran said. “I think there are going to be defections from a couple of other stations in town as this thing rolls out in several phases.”
And contrary to what some might think, 590 isn’t actually the combined number of times that Balzer, Slaten and Edwards now have been on KFNS. It’s six for Balzer, five for Slaten. And Edwards said it will be “three or four” for him.
“Fifth time’s a charm,” joked Slaten, who is on from 3-6 p.m.
“This is as good a resolution as could be,” said Balzer, who appears from 11 a.m-1 p.m. “They are really committed to this.”
Corcoran, who is on from 7-9 a.m., is excited even though he doesn’t do a strictly sports show. It does cover athletics, but also focuses on entertainment and topical news — a format he has owned for three decades.
“When I signed on with these guys, I’ve always done a show that is top-heavy with sports,” he said. “But I’m not really interested in doing a sports show per se, nor am I the kind of guy … who can tell you what day of the week Rocky Bleier was drafted in 1970 or whatever. That is not what I do. And they don’t want that from me … so that’s going to work out.”
Edwards, who will be on from 6-8 weeknights (though he is off this Friday), is ecstatic.
“For the first time in years I’m really looking forward to being on the air,” he said. “This is management you can trust, which is hard to find in radio now.”
The move is the latest chapter in the wild saga of KFNS, the once-strong station that broadcast in the sports format for 20 years — until it began wilting under Grand Slam and was shifted to “guy talk” in 2013 (with 1380 moving from jock talk to female-oriented shows).
But guy-talk was a disaster in the ratings, with advertisers fleeing. Last year 590 and 1380 went back to sports, but 590 was too far gone to be salvaged and finally went to static. But now the static there will be coming from the hosts, not the crackling of dead air.
To read more visit STL Today where this article was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Doug Gottlieb: I Would Give Up Radio For Coaching Job
“I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up.”
Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb recently interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at Wisconsin-Green Bay and detailed the experience on his podcast.
“I got a chance to talk to (Wisconsin-Green Bay AD) Josh Moon several times during the year after they had made their coaching job available and my approach to how I’ve done these things — and this is not the first time I’ve gone down this path, but this was a different path,” Gottlieb said on his All Ball podcast.
“This is a low-major, mid-major job, and there’s no connection there. I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up. I love doing it and I think there’s a very smart world where if I’m coaching I can still do this podcast and still do it with basketball people all over the country and the world, and it’s kind of like a cheat code.”
He continued by saying that seeing Shaka Smart be successful at Marquette has motivated him to continue to search for the right fit as a college basketball coach.
“That’s what I want to do. And last year when I was coaching in Israel, that also continued to invigorate me…this is something that I would really like to do. It has to be the right thing. It has to be the right AD who hits the right message.”
He continued by saying that a sticking point of negotiations was he wasn’t willing to give up his nationally syndicated radio program for the job. He was willing to take less money for his assistants pool, but also to continue doing his radio show.
Gottlieb did not get the position with the Phoenix, noting that he was a finalist but was never offered the job. The position ultimately went to Wyoming assistant coach Sundance Wicks. Wicks had previous head coaching experience and had worked with Green Bay athletic director Josh Moon at Division II Northern State. He admitted he wasn’t necessarily “all-in” on the job due to the current ages of his children and whether the timing was right to uproot his family to move to Northeastern Wisconsin.
The Fox Sports Radio host does have coaching experience. He has worked as a coach for the U.S. men’s basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Olympics.
Gottlieb’s father — Bob — was the head men’s basketball coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1975-1980, compiling a 97-91 record.
Sports Radio News
Waddle & Silvy: Scott Hanson Told Us to Lose His Number
“We didn’t call him back, so he set out what he wanted to do.”
Aaron Rodgers took immense pride in the fact that he told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter to “lose his number” while discussing his future earlier this week on The Pat McAfee Show. ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy said they’ve experienced similar treatment from guests on their radio show.
While discussing the Rodgers interview with McAfee, the pair admitted that NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson once told their producer to stop trying to book him for interviews on the program.
“I believe the presentation was ‘Do me a favor: lose my number after this interview’,” Tom Waddle said. “So he tried to do it politely. Scott Hanson did. Get out of here. That concept is foreign to me. How about ‘Hey, next time you text me, my schedule is full. I can’t do it, but thanks for thinking of me’. ‘Lose my number?’ You ain’t the President, for Christ’s sake. I’m saying that to anyone who would say that. ‘Lose my number?’ We’re all in the communication business. I just don’t know — why be rude like that to people? What does that accomplish? You know what it accomplished? We didn’t call him back, so he set out what he wanted to do.”
Co-host Mark Silverman then mentioned that the show once tried to book Hansen and NFL Red Zone host Andrew Siciliano together in the same block, with the idea of doing a trivia game to see who the supreme Red Zone host was. Siciliano agreed, but Hansen declined.
The pair also confirmed that an NFL Network personality had told them to lose their number, but couldn’t remember if it was Rich Eisen or not.
Silverman later joked that maybe Hanson was getting a new phone with a new number, and was politely sharing with the producer that he could lose the current phone number because he would share his new number in short order.
Sports Radio News
Seth Payne: Aaron Rodgers ‘Makes Gross Inaccuracies’ When Calling Out Media
“This is where Rodgers does this thing where he, in calling out reporters for their inaccuracies, makes gross inaccuracies in his accusations.”
Aaron Rodgers is always mad at the media for the inaccurate things he says they report, but according to Sports Radio 610 morning man Seth Payne, no one is more inaccurate than the quarterback himself.
Friday morning, Payne and his partner Sean Pendergast played audio of Aaron Rodgers responding to a question about a list of players he provided to the Jets demanding they sign. Rodgers called the idea that he would make demands “so stupid” and chastised ESPN reporter Dianna Russini, who was the first to report it.
“Now to be clear, Dianna Russini didn’t say demands in her tweet. She said wishlist,” Pendergast clarified.
They also played a clip of Russini responding to Rodgers on NFL Live saying that she stands by her reporting and it is her job to reach out to confirm that it is true.
“This is where Rodgers does this thing where he, in calling out reporters for their inaccuracies, makes gross inaccuracies in his accusations,” Seth Payne said.
He added that if Rodgers is being serious, he is doing some serious nitpicking. He claims that he didn’t give the Jets a list, but that he spoke glowingly about former teammates and told the Jets executives that he met with who he enjoyed playing with during his career.
Payne joked that maybe he wrote down the names in a circle pattern so that it was not a list. Pendergast added that he could have had Fat Head stickers on his wall that he pointed to instead of writing anything at all.
In Payne’s mind, this is a case of Russini catching stray frustration. Neither in her initial tweet nor in any subsequent media appearance did she use the phrase “demands”.
“What he’s actually responding to in that instance is Pat McAfee is the one that described it as a list of demands,” Seth Payne said.