Summer Sports War Heating up in Tampa
Leaning on the sports brainpower back in New York like WFAN's Mark Chernoff, CBS has made the move to dump music for sports on one of its FM signals in Tampa. Clear Channel owns "WDAE-AM The Sports Animal" in Tampa which features Jim Rome, Fox Sports Radio and play-by-play for Rays Baseball, Lightining Hockey and a host of other teams. CBS Market Manager Ben Hill tells Radio Ink the new "Sportsradio 98.7" will be made up of all local hosts and will not stray too far from the successful delivery New Yorkers hear on WFAN (which celebrates 25 years in July). Hill says putting sports on "FM automatically introduces us to a younger more vibrant audience where 80% of the listeners are."
Hill says CBS has been thinking about flipping this dial position to sports for a while and the local hosts who will take to the airwaves under PD Mike Pepper will be announced very soon, there will be no network programming and the switch will take place in August. The majority of the talent are from the Tampa area. Hill says it'll be a combinations of radio, media and sports professionals that listeners will hear once the station turns off the music. 98.7 is currently airing the "Play" format which Hill says just isn't catching on in the ratings although it's a good format. Hill says putting sports on "FM automatically introduces us to a younger more vibrant audience where 80% of the listeners are and gets it out of Siberia."
CBS RADIO has more than 15 sports stations among its portfolio and is the leading broadcaster of the format on FM. The division of CBS is home to top-rated stations in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit, among others, including the nation’s first all-sports station WFAN-AM.
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