November 12, 2015
Philadelphia is big sports town; there's no question about that. But are its loyal fans diehard enough to support three sports talk stations at once?
We're about to find out.
Currently, the battle for radio supremacy is between SportsRadio 94 WIP, the local CBS affiliate that's the city's original sports talk station, and 97.5 The Fanatic, the local ESPN Radio affiliate that was the first to switch to FM. Now, according to Jeff Blumenthal of Philadelphia Business Journal, there's a new player looking to stake a claim in the sports talk world.
And it's not just any new outlet; it's Yahoo! Sports Radio (YSR), which reaches an estimated five million people across 515 terrestrial, satellite and internet affiliates, according to the report. Here's more from Blumenthal:
Beginning Monday, Yahoo! Sports Radio (YSR) will air on WNJC 1360AM with evening, overnights and weekend programming.
“You’ve got to start somewhere,” YSR Chief Operating Officer and Program Director Craig Larson said during a Wednesday interview from the network’s Houston headquarters. “We are starting with nights and weekends but you never know where it will be headed. Philly feels good to us. It can be one of the crown jewels in our network. We have good relations with the local teams there, so we’re really excited about the possibilities.”
Larson said the core hosts airing in Philadelphia will be: Sean Salisbury, Tony Desiere, Tim Murray and Matt Perrault. Because WNJC will not air YSR during weekday hours, local listeners will not hear the network’s morning drive host, Steve Czaban. [bizjournals.com]
As you can see, YSR won't be directly competing with WIP and The Fanatic during prime listening hours, like the morning and afternoon drives. Furthermore, both stations often air live games (Flyers, Sixers, Phillies, and some national games) during the evening, so the new kid on the block may offer an alternative to those not interested in listening to what will most likely wind up being a loss.
It's also worth pointing out that YSR will not air on FM, which could impact the number of people listening once the station launches on Monday.
But those are not the only ways in which Yahoo! will differ from it's two largest competitors.
"Larson said he doesn’t care much about the formats YSR’s affiliates," writes Blumenthal. "Nor is he concerned about the WIP and The Fanatic saturating the market with sports talk. While the other two stations offer local sports talk, YSR will offer a national perspective but will have some local guests as well."
“We think our content is unique,” Larson told PBJ.
He also hinted that their part-time status could change, calling it "an evolutionary process."
[Read the full story, here.]
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