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WFAN To Split Broadcast For Giants & Yankees

Under Nielsen’s new policy, splitting the signal to accommodate the Giants and Yankees will keep WFAN over the 95% threshold, allowing them to report ratings for 660 AM and 101.9 FM as a combined number.”

Brandon Contes

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WFAN is splitting their AM and FM signals, for at least one day.  For the first time since New York’s WFAN 660 AM began simulcasting on 101.9 FM, the two signals will broadcast different content on Thursday August, 8th

WFAN serves as the flagship radio affiliate for both the New York Giants and the New York Yankees, as it has for six years.  On Thursday, the Giants will play their first preseason game against the New York Jets at 6:30pm, while the Yankees have first pitch with the Blue Jays scheduled for 7:05.  The radio station will handle the conflict differently than in past years, choosing to place the Giants on WFAN’s AM signal, with the Yankees broadcast airing on 101.9 FM.  

The two teams will have similar scheduling conflicts during three of the Giants four preseason games and again during the first four weeks of the NFL’s regular season.  Some of the conflicts share direct start times, while others anticipate an overlap between the two broadcasts.  

“Depending on pre-game or game times there will be times where we’ll start a broadcast on both stations then split the signal when necessary to get full pre-game coverage on,” Senior VP/Programming Mark Chernoff told Inside Radio.  Whenever a conflict forces a split, the Giants will always broadcast on AM, with WFAN’s FM signal carrying the Yankees.

Previously, when a scheduling conflict occurred for the Yankees and Giants, The Fan’s sister station, WCBS NewsRadio 880 provided a temporary home for one of the teams.  This season, Entercom’s WCBS 880 is the flagship radio station of the New York Mets, who happen to be off on Thursday August 8th, when both the Giants and Yankees will play at the same time.  Still, the decision was made to split WFAN’s signal rather than move one game to WCBS as they did in previous years.

One factor that played a role in choosing to split WFAN’s signal was Nielsen changing its Total Line Reporting Policy.  In February, Inside Radio reported Nielsen will now allow stations that simulcast 95% of its quarter hours in a survey period to be reported as one combined rating.  Previously, Nielsen required 100% of a station’s content to be simulcast, which would have forced 660 AM and 101.9 FM to report separate ratings numbers if they chose to split the signal for any amount of time.

Under Nielsen’s new policy, splitting the signal to accommodate the Giants and Yankees will keep WFAN over the 95% threshold, allowing them to report ratings for 660 AM and 101.9 FM as a combined number.  The Yankees have partnered with WFAN since 2014, while Giants games have been broadcast on The Fan since 1997.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Toucher and Rich: There’s No Way Dennis Eckersley is Retiring

“There’s got to be some sort of gig waiting for him. And to be quite honest, maybe NESN was just small potatoes for a guy like Dennis Eckersley.”

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On Monday, Dennis Eckersley announced that this season would be his last with NESN, the Boston Red Sox and in baseball broadcasting. However, some in Boston don’t think Eckersley will truly be done once the season ends.

On Toucher and Rich, co-host Rich Shertenlieb said this can’t be the end of the broadcasting career of Dennis Eckersley.

“He’s way too young to be truly retiring, I think,” said Shertenlieb. “This can’t be it for him. There’s no way this is it. He’s too into it, he loves it too much, he’s good at it and he’s not old.”

“It’s a lot of travel, that’s the thing,” added co-host Fred Toucher.

Shertenlieb chimed back that he could have options in regards to his schedule.

“You could be somebody that’s just doing home games,” offered Shertenlieb. “You could also be someone who could be at a desk.”

Shertenlieb was adamant that Eckersley would have a chance to make it somewhere else, somewhere perhaps more national.

“There’s got to be some sort of gig waiting for him. And to be quite honest, maybe NESN was just small potatoes for a guy like Dennis Eckersley,” said the Toucher and Rich co-host. “Maybe he’s just outgrown it and he’s just too talented to only be at a regional network.”

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Sports Radio News

Chicago Bears Reportedly Leaving WBBM After 2022 Season

Sources tell the Sun-Times the decision has been made that WBBM, after airing the Bears since 2000, are giving up the rights.

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According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Bears will have a new radio home after the 2022 season when their deal with WBBM ends.

Sources tell the Sun-Times the decision has been made that WBBM, after airing the Bears since 2000, are giving up the rights. The source said the Audacy-owned station loses money on the Bears.

“We are focused on having a great 2022 season with WBBM and Audacy,” said Bears Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Scott Hagel said.

The report also says it’s likely the radio rights go to either Good Karma Brands-owned ESPN 1000 or iHeartMedia’s Rock 95.9 landed the rights.

Play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak and color commentator Tom Thayer are both expected to keep their positions with the Bears. Joniak is the Sport Director at WBBM.

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Sports Radio News

KFAN’s The Power Trip Jokes About Corporate Twitter Memo

“Listen I know we go on at 5:30 (AM). But don’t you think a tweet at 5:15 (AM) is gonna get people motivated to tune in?”

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Chris Hawkey returned to KFAN’s The Power Trip this morning after time away at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, and joked about an email he got from his corporate bosses about more promotion for the show on Twitter in the first segment of Thursday’s show.

“It’s good to disconnect and then come back and reconnect with everything that’s gone on here at the radio station while I was gone and try to understand everything that went on while I was gone. It was a lot of fun to disconnect and the reconnect and see all the great ideas,” said Hawkey, dryly.

“If you can’t tell, I got him wound up this morning,” Paul “Meatsauce” Lambert said.

“I’m not wound up at all. It makes perfect sense to me. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Are you talking about the tweet thing?”, Hawkey said. “I must admit, I was confused, because I had people tweet me saying ‘Nice tweet!’ and I was like are they being a-holes to me? Are they ripping on me? Then I got back and saw the wonderful memo. You know what I thought? I thought that makes great sense. Don’t you think that’s the way to win? To tweet before the show? Sure, listen I know we go on at 5:30 (AM). But don’t you think a tweet at 5:15 (AM) is gonna get people motivated to tune in? Because I forgot to do it,”

“I forgot to do it, too,” Cory Cove replied.

“No, each of us have to do it,” Hawkey said. “Read the email. Did you guys not read the email? Each individual on the show, I believe, — son of a bitch am I gonna be fired? –, we’re just gonna have to be better tomorrow. I’m gonna do it on the way in. Because I want people to plan. That as soon as they wake up, I want them to tune in. They’re like walking to their car to their place of employment and that’s when I tweet, that’s a missed opportunity. So what I wanna do is, first thing when they wake up, I wanna be the first thing they see. When they wake up and think ‘What should I listen to? Better check Twitter and find out.’ and then they do and see my smiling face and it’s me saying ‘Tune in. It’s me and the guys…on the Fan. We’ve only been on the air 21 years, but you may have forgotten’. Billboards don’t work. But tweets do, guys.”

The trio then joked other stations in the iHeart Minneapolis cluster get billboards and television commercials, but they “don’t work” for KFAN, before Hawkey noted the only time he’s seen on TV is during his endorsements.

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