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Bruce Gilbert says WJFK helped WTEM

Bruce Gilbert, the CEO for the Dan Snyder-led Red Zebra Broadcasting, recently accepted a job as VP of news, talk and sports programming with CBS Radio in Dallas. My colleague Paul Farhi talked to Gilbert about the move, and asked him how WJFK's switch to sports talk just over a year ago affected Red Zebra's 980 flagship.

"I'm a glass half-full guy, so I always look on the positive side," Gilbert told Farhi. "It definitely made us better, sharper. There was definitely some complacency there [before the switch], and that blew it away."

Gilbert also said the move was "good for the sports-talk format" overall in this city, and it's hard to disagree. Before the switch, WTEM was getting four percent of its target audience, men ages 25-54. Now, the two stations are getting a six percent share, combined.

"More people are tuning in to the format," Gilbert said. "The competition has made the format better."

Gilbert has family ties in Dallas, where he used to work in radio, and his wife is from Houston. He said he had "no dissatisfaction" with Red Zebra, and that Snyder "has been gracious and helpful and true to his word every step of the way."

Farhi also asked Gilbert whether Snyder wants to sell Red Zebra and get out of the media business.

"I never felt it was a possibility," Gilbert said." He added, "I can't speak for the board. But I can say that Dan has been very passionate about being in the media business....There's no question the economy has changed in ways no one would have predicted in our lifetime. But there's a passion there with Dan. He's a big believer in the media business."

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 6, 2010; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

If Snyder had any clue he'd stop preempting is highly rated shows and good talent (Sports Reporters and Sheehan/Loverro) with his shills Larry and Larry who drone on for hours and weeks at a time with utterly unlistenable radio.

Posted by: seriesoftubescleaner | August 6, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

With one or two exceptions, the people who do sports talk radio in dc are abominable. And that includes both stations.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 6, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If Snyder had any clue he'd stop preempting is highly rated shows and good talent (Sports Reporters and Sheehan/Loverro) with his shills Larry and Larry who drone on for hours and weeks at a time with utterly unlistenable radio.

Posted by: seriesoftubescleaner | August 6, 2010 11:21 AM
__________________________________
+1
and get rid of the non-local content.

Posted by: Hattrik | August 6, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Two sports talk radio stations in town and neither carry the local MLB team. One carries the games from a team that is from another city. And Va Tech - a school about as close to DC as New York City - has had their football games broadcast for years.

I love my sports radio, but somthing ain't right with that.

Posted by: buster_c | August 6, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Andy Pollin sucks!!!!

Posted by: Hump1 | August 6, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"Two sports talk radio stations in town and neither carry the local MLB team. One carries the games from a team that is from another city. And Va Tech - a school about as close to DC as New York City - has had their football games broadcast for years."

-------

Doesn't matter if VA Tech is as far away from DC as NYC, the sheer number of alums and fans in the metro area make DC a VA Tech town.

Larry and Larry are an absolute disgrace, with their burgundy and gold kneepads and all. Thankfully we only have to put up with them during August vacation season. 980 also needs to get a full-time local morning show to get rid of the insufferable Mike and Mike. Get Galdi a co-host and make it five days a week. He's worth it.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | August 6, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

With one or two exceptions, the people who do sports talk radio in dc are abominable. And that includes both stations.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 6, 2010 12:10 PM

_______________________________________

Couldn't agree more. Laverro, Knoche maybe LaVarr and that could be about it.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | August 6, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Two sports talk radio stations in town and neither carry the local MLB team. One carries the games from a team that is from another city. And Va Tech - a school about as close to DC as New York City - has had their football games broadcast for years.

I love my sports radio, but somthing ain't right with that."

--------------------

While I certainly don't want to listen to the Orioles broadcast - honestly, does anybody not bordering on Baltimore listen to the O's? - the idea of the sports radio not broadcasting the Nats is the more preferable option. If sports radio doesn't broadcast the Nats, somebody else will. That more sports on the radio. Two sports talk stations plus the mlb broadcast. That is better!


Posted by: niceshoes1 | August 6, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The worst is the John Thompson Show. The target demographic for that show is crystal clear.

Posted by: randysbailin | August 6, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Both stink! Redskins Radio 24X7X365 X2=BORING!

Thank the lord for XM MLB-175, XM-144 Mad Dog Radio and Sports Radio 66 WFAN New York!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 6, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Thompson has outlived his usefulness i don't know about target demographics but Big John's show has run it's course.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 6, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

"980 also needs to get a full-time local morning show to get rid of the insufferable Mike and Mike."

Gosh, what local host that works for 980 has already been up for two hours by 6am and could cover that slot?

Posted by: WorstSeat | August 7, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if it's saying much for the 5th biggest market in US radio to go from 1 sports talk (AM) station having 4% market share, then having the ONLY social talk (FM) station shift to sports talk, and gain another 2% of the total audience. Doesn't that just mean most of the guys (and I do mean guys) really didn't have a comparable alternative to WJFK's former format. Essentially, people who listen to talk radio programming didn't discover the change and say, "Screw this, I'm gonna experiment with country. Which button is the preset for WMZQ!"

And can they at least agree to drop the pretense of it being a, "Sports" station? Apart from Agent Zero this summer, nearly 50 minutes of every hour (minus many minutes of commercials) is dedicated the Redskins. And there's nothing wrong with that, since that's what most listeners care about. It's just insulting to hear the stunning lack of expertise or even preparation when almost any host discusses Baseball, Hockey, The World Cup, Olympics, and often Basketball. If nothing else, calling it a, "Redskins Station" would absolve the on air personalities from feigning interest in other sports' stories.

Posted by: Kdarienzo | August 7, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Neither of those stations are very good at doing sports talk. Both spend too much time dedicated to football and neither has people who can or have any real interest in talking other sports. Not always true -- WTEM fired Phil Wood, who's one of the most knowledgeable baseball talkers in the country, and killed its single freakin' hour per week devoted to the game of baseball.

As somebody said earlier, thank goodness for XM.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 7, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse


I could not agree with you more. Larry Michael in particular is gawdawful.

Posted by: cman1963 | August 7, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse


I could not agree with you more. Larry Michael in particular is gawdawful.

Posted by: cman1963 | August 7, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

if Snyder had any clue he'd stop preempting is highly rated shows and good talent (Sports Reporters and Sheehan/Loverro) with his shills Larry and Larry who drone on for hours and weeks at a time with utterly unlistenable radio.
I second seriesoftubescleaner.

Its' good there is another station to listen to Larry and Larry could cause someone to fall into a coma while driving it's not safe to listen in the car.

Posted by: vw52 | August 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I have never understood those who attack broadcasters for sharing the same love for the team that we do. To me it's kinda funny how the same people who continually bash Larry Michaels and/or Rob Dibble for being too biased and too pro-Redskins/Nationals, respectively, are the very same people who for years and years loved and adored guys like George Michaels, Frank Herzog, Steve Buckhantz etc...you get the point. I guess you just have to do it for decades before everyone begins to love you for it instead of trying to tear you down for it.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 9, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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