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Allan Davis: ‘Blue Jays Made Launch Of The Fan Easy’

“We got to the point of going all sports largely because 1430 was struggling with everything but sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the initial success of the station can be attributed to the runs made by the Blue Jays and the Maple Leafs in the fall of 1992.

Appearing as a guest on The Bob McCown Podcast, The Fan’s first program director Allan Davis said the writing was on the wall in spring of ’92 that the format change to all sports needed to happen in time to chronicle the Jays’ journey to its first World Series title that October.

“We got to the point of going all sports largely because 1430 was struggling with everything but sports,” Davis said of the station, which originally occupied 1430 on the AM dial. “It was really what are we going to do with the rest of our day. And we had tried different music formats, tried different talk formats, and nothing was really resonating and connecting other than play-by-play.”

Davis noted that in early October when the 92-93 Maple Leafs season started, the team rattling off 10 straight wins also helped drive interest. But he said it really came down to spring training and understanding that the Blue Jays had a team completely capable of winning it all and all the conversations about the format shift hinged on that success.

“We’ve gotta have everything in place by September, and we got it there,” he said. “It was crazy, it was not easy, but we got it there. And of course the Blue Jays delivered, and it was just unbelievable what they did.”

Davis added that taking a different approach to the style in which the shows presented themselves to listeners was important. He didn’t want a caller-driven station.

“I think that would’ve been a failure,” he said. “I think that the audience would not have accepted that. What we were promoting, and what we were hopeful in demonstrating hour in and hour out, was we were going to take you to the story. We sold that. We promoted it heavily.”

Still, those early days and the massive ratings that helped pave the way for The Fan are thanks to Joe Carter and company. He recalled getting a phone call from Billboard Magazine at the time, which named The Fan a station of the week, and being asked about how the station got off to such a hot start. Davis said the Jays made it easy.

“Well, the Blue Jays just won the first World Series in the history of the country,” Davis recalled saying. “I think that had something to do it.”

Sports Radio News

FOX Sports Radio Broadcasting Live From Arizona & Las Vegas For Super Bowl Week

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports radio will descend upon Glendale, Arizona and the greater Phoenix area next week for Super Bowl LVII, and FOX Sports Radio will be out in full force.

FOX Sports Radio announced Thursday that Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn, Jonas Knox, Doug Gottlieb, Steve Covino, Rich Davis, Chris Broussard and Rob Parker will all be live from either radio row, State Farm Stadium or Scottsdale Stadium starting Monday.

Dan Patrick and his crew will be at Scottsdale Stadium, which is the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants and the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. Colin Cowherd will broadcast two shows from State Farm Stadium, site of this year’s Super Bowl, on Thursday and Friday.

The rest of the FSR names mentioned above will all be doing their respective shows from radio row at the Phoenix Convention Center.

FOX Sports Radio also announced Jason Smith and Mike Harmon will broadcast from the Wynn Las Vegas resort on Thursday and Friday. They will have a strong focus on all things betting with regards to the Super Bowl.

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Sports Radio News

Alpha Media Ends San Antonio Sports Star Simulcast, 1250 AM Goes All ESPN Radio

“Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.”

Jordan Bondurant

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San Antonio now has a frequency where people can find local sports talk and the full ESPN Radio lineup.

RadioInsight reported owner Alpha Media has tweaked what was on 1250 AM, launching it as ESPN 1250. The station will be San Antonio’s 24/7/365 home for ESPN Radio. That will include NBA, NFL and MLB play-by-play on top of talk.

San Antonio’s Sports Star had been simulcasting on 1250, but Alpha will carry on with live and local programming on the stronger FM frequency. Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.

Sports Star is the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers in San Antonio.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1 ESPN.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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