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Sports Radio In Denver Is About To Heat Up

Jason Barrett

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It’s been widely speculated that the Denver sports radio market will become a little more crowded in 2016. However that didn’t look to be the case two weeks ago. 105.5 ESPN announced they would be exiting the format which set up a situation where 104.3 The Fan would have little competition.

But to borrow a line from Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend“.

Barrett Sports Media has learned that iHeart will flip 760AM from its current “Real Talk 760” News/Talk  format to sports. The station will launch with Fox Sports Radio serving as its network affiliate, Dan Patrick anchoring mornings from 7a-10a and Colin Cowherd hosting middays from 12p-3p.

Additionally, 760 will add some local flavor to the lineup. Broncos Play by Play voice and KOA afternoon drive personality Dave Logan will host weekdays from 10a-12p with Susie Wargin, and the afternoon show will include Andy Lindahl as part of the mix. The station is finalizing its decision on a co-host.

There may be some other additions at some point, and with talent like Scott Hastings, Nate Kreckman, Cecil Lammey, and Mark Schlereth available, along with former FAN Programmer Nate Lundy, the company clearly has options it can explore.

But they better act fast because there’s another shark lurking in the water!

Yesterday, it was learned that KSE Radio Ventures, a subsidiary of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, is purchasing KRWZ (950 AM) from Entercom Communications. Once the sale gets approved, KSE will have four brands under their portfolio, KRWZ-AM, and KIMN-FM 100.3, KXKL-FM 105.1 and KWOF-FM 92.5.

KSE is also the owner of the Pepsi Center, the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets.

No format has been announced yet for 950AM but it’s expected that the oldies format which currently airs on the station will give way to a sports talk format during the early part of 2016. One benefit for KSE is that the Nuggets and Avalanche have the majority of their games already airing on 950AM.

104.3 The Fan currently leads the ratings race and they’ve re-added the ESPN affiliation and hired a new PD (Armen Williams). On the other hand, morning show host Vic Lombardi’s contract is coming up for renewal, and KSE is rumored to have interest. They hired Lombardi earlier this month to join the Altitude Sports television network.

With 760 flipping to sports and Kroenke’s group on the verge of taking control of an AM brand and likely entering the sports radio picture, 2016 figures to be an interesting one in the Denver market.

Sports Radio News

Jeff Thurn To Exit ESPN Sioux Falls To Join ESPN Radio

“I get to stay here and do it from here. Who gets to radio from Sioux Falls on a national level?”

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ESPN Sioux Falls host Jeff Thurn will depart the station for a new national position with ESPN Radio.

The host of Overtime from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM on ESPN Sioux Falls, Thurn has been with the station for more than a decade.

Thurn thanked executives at Results Radio — owner of ESPN Sioux Falls — as well as listeners and guests for being so supportive during his tenure with the show and station during a thread posted to Twitter.

Thurn joined ESPN Radio as a fill-in host in February of last year.

“I’m so pumped to get to go out there and do something on a national level,” Thurn told Dakota News Now last year. “I get to stay here and do it from here. Who gets to radio from Sioux Falls on a national level? I think it’s really cool just growing up here, having that opportunity, to now do that on ESPN Radio throughout 2022…that’s pretty cool for me personally.”

His final show on ESPN Sioux Falls will be on Friday, February 3rd.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Adam Schefter Was Used By the Broncos

“Based on other stories that have come out — that we now know as a fact — he’s willing to be a mouthpiece for a team.”

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Tuesday was a frenzy for NFL insiders as the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans nearly simultaneously announced the hiring of new head coaches, and WFAN host Craig Carton believes one NFL insider was used.

Reporting from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport at 4:44 PM ET claimed the Broncos tried to hire DeMeco Ryans — who was hired by the Texans — at the last minute, but was rebuffed, and Denver hired Sean Payton instead.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter — in no uncertain terms — refuted the validity of that report at 4:55 PM ET.

Carton believes Schefter was used by the franchise to help with damage control.

“So here’s the deal: Adam Schefter — many, many years ago — used to write for The Denver Post, and he covered the Denver Broncos,” Carton said. “He is clearly — to his credit – getting his information directly from the Denver Broncos who figure that that story from Ian Rapoport — and it is — is somewhat embarrassing…the fact that it’s out there is a bad look.

“So they go to Schefter who, along with Rapoport — the two voices of record as insiders — and they say ‘Nonsense. Put out there that that’s nonsense’. Rapoport’s getting his information DeMeco or his agent, saying “Naw, naw, no. He had choices. He could have gone to Houston, he could have gone to Denver. Obviously, the Texans sweetened the deal’.”

“Schefter’s getting his info from the Broncos, who are doing damage control,” co-host Evan Roberts concurred.

“Schefter’s great at what he does, I’m not saying that he’s not,” Carton continued. “But based on other stories that have come out — that we now know as a fact — he’s willing to be a mouthpiece for a team — namely Washington — and again, he’s great at what he does. I wanna be clear at how I state this, he’s great at what he does, but it’s obvious that the Broncos are trying to spin this, and they’re using Schefter to spin it.”

Roberts added that the situation was similar to that of NBA Insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania, where Wojnarowski “speaks for front offices, where Shams gets his info from players and agents”.

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Sports Radio News

K&C Masterpiece: Cowboys Could Add 30 Million More Viewers To Super Bowl

“The Cowboys in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs would’ve shattered all viewership ratings.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The matchup in this year’s Super Bowl is set, and the game will undoubtedly be the most-viewed program on TV this year. But if the Dallas Cowboys were taking part in the game, it’s safe to say the ratings would be astronomical.

The Cowboys divisional playoff game against San Francisco drew 45.7 million viewers. It was the second-most watched divisional round contest on record.

The NFC championship between San Francisco and Philadelphia drew 47.5 million.

On 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, K&C Masterpiece host Kevin Hageland said had the Cowboys made it to Philly, the viewership would’ve been even better.

“I know the game sucked, but that just shows you, because the Cowboys were like almost 8 million above every other divisional game, this could’ve gotten to 58 (million),” Hageland said.

Kevin added that if Dallas had gone all the way, the audience tuning in would’ve easily eclipsed some of the highest-rated programs of all-time.

“The Cowboys in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs would’ve shattered all viewership ratings,” he said. “Even with the new system and so many people streaming and everything like that.”

Usually the Super Bowl averages around 100 million viewers. Hageland said a Cowboys Super Bowl appearance in this day and age would’ve set the new top ratings mark for years to come.

“My estimation would be you would add approximately an extra 30 million people,” he said.

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