John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman in stereo? A warble in one speaker and crying in the other? Could it be?
Via Jerry Barmash:
Coming off its silver anniversary celebration, WFAN most powerful all-sports station in America, may be positioning itself for a dramatic dial switch to FM.
Several factors are at play for WFAN to make that leap of frequency: First and foremost is last month’s announcement that CBS Sports Radio is being created. Original 24-hour programming will air on station’s throughout the country starting in January. But as early as September, CBS Sports Radio will provide updates to affiliated stations.
One of those stations poised to take some of the network content is WFAN. Operations manager Mark Chernoff remains steadfast in the future of 660 AM.
“WFAN is locally programmed, no change.”
But there is much more to this story.
ESPN got its much-coveted FM home in New York at 98.7 in April. Ratings have immediately been impressive. But beyond that, FM is not just attractive to listeners and advertisers, it’s attractive to sports franchises.
The Yankees, heard on WCBS, are languishing through 2012 without a contract, in effect, like a lame duck president. They will be the biggest, off-season free-agent signing.
A former CBS Radio employee, who asked to remain anonymous, tells FishbowlNY that the Yankees are likely done with WCBS.
“If anything, they will go to the ‘FAN or WEPN FM,” the source says. “Whoever doesn’t get the Yankees will get the Mets, but there is a chance WFAN could try for both and clear the Mets on 660 and the Yankees on FM.”
Despite the stronger night time signal AM offers, the Bombers will likely dictate the need for being on FM.
“What the Yankees want to do is what the Giants have been doing, hold the broadcast rights and ‘lease’ time on a station,” the source adds. “WFAN then gets a guaranteed amount and loses the overhead of having to sell the spots while the Yankees retain total creative control and they have endless potential to profit as they sell spots. But it’s easier for those spots to be sold on FM even thought FM doesn’t have the full ‘reach’ like AM does.”