B94 Dead, The Fan Coming to Pittsburgh

If you're not from Pittsburgh, this probably won't irritate you, but our buddy Bloggin' Bob is reporting that the KDKA folks want to launch another local sports station:

As word about the new sports-talk station in town -- SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan -- continues to dribble out, one thing is clear: These guys mean business.

From all indications, the CBS Radio Group has made a serious long-term commitment to the station, which will use the call letters to KDKA-FM.

Most notable about that commitment is The Fan will carry at least 16 hours of locally originated programming. That’s twice as many hours as 1250 ESPN produces. 

ESPN 1250, for those of you that don't know, is the Penn State flagship (well really, the only ship) in Pittsburgh.  Smizik goes on to talk about The Fan (which I will call B94 despite the change in content) wanting to land broadcasting rights for some local teams.

Another area where I expect the new station to be a major player is in bidding for the broadcasting rights of the local franchises -- Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt football and basketball and Duquesne basketball. All of those rights, except Duquesne’s, are currently held by Clear Channel, which operates five stations in the Pittsburgh market and has the Steelers on one, the Penguins on another and Pitt on a third.

The Penguins recently extended their deal with Clear Channel and will be heard on WXDX (105.9) for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to imagine the Steelers leaving Clear Channel, when their contact expires. Because they are the No. 1 franchise in town, the Steelers are heard on WDVE (102.5), the crown jewel of the Clear Channel stations and No. 1 in the market.

This begs the obvious question, why not Penn State?

ESPN does little more than broadcast Penn State.  No pre-game.  No post-game.  No Nittany Lion Hotline or anything during the week.  And let's not forget it's an AM frequency.  I would think Penn State would try to make a push to be the only game in town on what appears to be the up-and-coming sports radio station in Pittsburgh. 

I think there are a lot of opportunities here for PSU, and considering the way ESPN 1250 treats us, I think even just changing frequencies in Pittsburgh would be a good thing.

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