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D.C. adds a third sports-talk station

I think it's fairly well-established that 90 percent of my job consists of listening to local sports-talk radio. Well, that job just got a little bit more complicated. Under the theory that if two is good, three must be better, Red Zebra Broadcasting announced on Tuesday evening that it's flipping WTNT 570 to an all-sports format and re-branding it as SportsTalk 570. The switch starts on Monday. Somebody buy me another radio.

According to the press release, the station will air Steve Czaban's new Sporting News Radio program in the morning, and ESPN Radio programming throughout the day, including shows hosted by Colin Cowherd, Scott Van Pelt, Doug Gottlieb and Brian Kenny. Red Zebra's other local sports talker, ESPN 980, airs Mike and Mike in the Morning but is mostly free of the nationally syndicated shows.

"This further enhances Red Zebra's image as the area's leading sports radio company," Executive VP Rick Carmean said in the release, in a quote not at all directed at any competitors.

"We are very excited to offer local listeners the Steve Czaban morning show and continue our relationship with the strongest brand in sports, ESPN," Director of Programming Chuck Sapienza said in the release.

The Web site is here. And DCRTV apparently reported this first, though I confess I missed last week's report.

By Dan Steinberg  | September 15, 2010; 8:54 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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Comments

No one is going to listen to that syndicated crap.

Posted by: MKadyman | September 15, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Scott Van Pelt's show is pretty good - but I still never listen to it.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 15, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean ESPN 980 will go 100% local?

Posted by: jf317820 | September 15, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that this new radio station will detract from any of the other shows, the only one is Czaban's show because he's local, it will take away from the Junkies but that's it. The local folks will mostly listen to the local shows.

I don't think this make Dan's job any harder because it's mostly national shows, unless they add additional local radio personalities.

Posted by: joeblazin | September 15, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Well that is sucking lineup don't care for Czaben or Pollin in the first place on 980...You know what I have as much knowledge on sports I'd like to have a gig on that new channel and it would be truly a home team based show none of this outsider crap we get now...

Posted by: papaskynz | September 15, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean ESPN 980 will go 100% local?

Posted by: jf317820 | September 15, 2010 9:27 AM

They can't dump Mike and Mike, they need to have a certain amount of ESPN national programming to keep the affiliation.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 15, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Having listened this morning to the Junkies quiz some 54 year old bag about the 62 affairs she has had, and Mike & Mike laying the patented ESPN argue over absolutely everything schtick on extra thick - I welcome the 3rd option. Sad as that is.

Not having to listen to TK, Wise or the endless Redskins over analysis should be good too.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 15, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Czaban's show is addictive and a slightly more grown-up version of the Junkies. Lots of sports with good guests, but features which really keep the show moving. I was about to replace my old XM car receiver with Sirius, but now I can save that $15 per month.

Posted by: TheOneWhoHurtsMost | September 15, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Why not make 570 the all ESPN station and put Czaban on 980?

As noted on Junior's blog,
The first four words you hear in hell are, ‘hey Golic; hey Greenie.

Posted by: rdpinva | September 15, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

This all about Czaban diving back into the national stuff again. With Sporting News hosting his show instead of Fox, Red Zebra can broadcast without ticking off the ESPN suits. The figure the Sports Reporters audience will head over to Czabin's show and dig into the junkies audience.

If that station is all national programming, though, I have zero interest. It's just low cost programming further down the dial that doesn't interest me too much outside of an occasional trial listen to see if he's better than goofy Mike and Mike or the too raw for me Junkies.

Sad that there's still not any predictable Nats or Caps programming. Basically, if there's a national story like Strasburg, the Dunn deadline stuff, the Caps playoffs, or Sid vs. Ovie you'll get the occasional less than informed commentary from guys that don't watch much hockey or baseball.

Needs to be a united effort amongst baseball during the summer and Caps during the fall and winter to offer a viable alternative besides podcasts to their growing to be more than niche audiences.

Posted by: souldrummer | September 15, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Problem with the Nats radio is that it is on an un-obtainable frequency. I still don't get why 106.7 isn't going after ALL caps games and some Nats games.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 15, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Dan,
You deserve a show.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 15, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to listening to Czaban in the morning. I agree with what everyone else has said about M&M and the Junkies (whose stupidity is often astounding). I'm mildly disappointed in the remainder of the lineup, except for maybe Kenny and Gottlieb, each of whom can be interesting on occasion. I would rather not listen to any ESPN personalities, though.

Posted by: plikkkk | September 15, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Now, if I ran a sports radio station, my lineup would be,

- A morning zoo with a former redskin from 6-10 maybe a rotation of non football side kicks by season from mid day shows.

- Nats focused show from 10-11:30
- Caps focused show from 11:30-1:00
- Wizards show 1:00-2:30

-National sports update 2:30-3:00

-Afternoon drive show covering all sports of the day. 3:00-7:00

- Whatever BS an intern is willing to do for free/Min Wage after that.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 15, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Why not make 570 the all ESPN station and put Czaban on 980?

Posted by: rdpinva | September 15, 2010 10:10 AM

See my comment above - 980 has to keep 'x' amount of national ESPN programming as part of their affiliate contract. They fill that with Mike and Mike + some evening stuff - but have a Monday/Tuesday morning exemption following Skins games.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 15, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

What you do is get three computers hooked to three walkmen, you use a male-male cord to put the radio into the computers' audio in ports, and then you use Audacity to tape each.

Audacity has a "speed tempo" or something that allows you to make the recordings shorter without having them sound like the Chipmunks. Fill up your iPod and listen like mad.

;^)

Posted by: WorstSeat | September 15, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Heck, their power after sunset and before sunrise is about 50-watts. Nobody south of the District can hear them.

Posted by: Rocco3 | September 15, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Why not make 570 the all ESPN station and put Czaban on 980?

Posted by: rdpinva | September 15, 2010 10:10 AM"

RDP, I'm with you there. Czabe is the ONLY reason I'll listen to 570, and once his show is over, I'll switch back to 980. Except for one small problem...

...I work in Baltimore. Which means I won't get 570's signal AT ALL, and when I do manage to get 980's signal on the way home, it will be sporadic as hell and cut out just northeast of the city.

I understand that 980 HAS to keep that schlocky ESPN morning show on their air for contract reasons, but it really would be nice if 980 were the all-local station and 570 was just a re-feed of the ESPN syndicated shows. Hell, it wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit if 980 "lost" its ESPN affiliation and moved it over to 570. Turn 980 back to Sportstalk 980!!!

Posted by: RCBJr | September 15, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I actually enjoy some of the ESPN shows. I may be in the minority but I can deal with Cowherd. He isnt just some patsy who sugarcoats things. He will say "The Cowboys are overrated...watch it" and also say things that boggle my mind. Sometimes I swear he cant actually think what he just said is correct but just looking to stir things up. Sometimes that is a good thing. I dont like listening to ESPN all day because every show does just bring up what the previous did so that does get stale. Van Pelt has a decent show and he is from Maryland and will bring that into the show from time to time.

Posted by: Killerangel81 | September 15, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"This further enhances Red Zebra's image as the area's leading sports radio company," Executive VP Rick Carmean said in the release, in a quote not at all directed at any competitors."

No, this further proves that a fool and his money are soon parted, and that Snyder has visions of grandeur beyond even what we thought before. There cannot be that much sports listenership in this area, not enough to support 3 24 hour sports talk stations.It will merely take some listeners from WTEM to the new station.
Big deal. All hail Caesar.

Posted by: chopin224 | September 15, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Colin Cowherd, Scott Van Pelt, Doug Gottlieb and Brian Kenny. With this line up of losers it will not take long for the format to change again. 570 was already sports talk before it changed to all cr#p all the time.

Posted by: vw52 | September 15, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"They can't dump Mike and Mike, they need to have a certain amount of ESPN national programming to keep the affiliation."

could they broadcast the syndicated garbage from 1:00 am to 5:00 am and keep their syndication.

570 is too weak to be a real popular station when it gets dark the signal disappears.

Posted by: vw52 | September 15, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

ah, back to the good old days of 570 being WTEM. remembering the good old ays of basically limiting my AM dial to WTOP (for Orioles/New), WTEM (most of the time) and WMAL for ken Beatrice, before he moved to WTEM and the redskins)

ah dating myself to the 90s, what a great time.

Posted by: spotter | September 15, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing is wasn't WTEM originally 570?

I would rather here about Ken Beatrice talk about curly fries than listen to M &M

Posted by: Natstural | September 15, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Red Zebra Radio. LOL - this is another one of Danny boy's attempts to control not only the message, but the media. Let's all hope this flops, big time.

Posted by: password11 | September 15, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I doubt WTNT's ratings will be any better under the new format, especially considering the station's signal is quite weak in the suburbs after dark.

Posted by: austinrl | September 15, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

John Thompson and Doc Walker are men discussing sports and other topics. The guys on 106.7 sound like high school sports nerds.

Posted by: thegraneys | September 15, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

SVP show is awesome, and he does a TON of local sports, especially Skins and Terps. Funny he has to compete with Sheehan, since the two are best buddies

It would be like me and Barno hosting a radio show at the same time; well, except I would talk about girls and Barno would talk about right-wing propoganda.

Posted by: jpfterps | September 16, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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