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Dan Snyder's Total Sports Talk Takeover

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's campaign to assert control over the coverage of his team in local media took a giant leap forward yesterday when his Redskins Radio took over its chief competitor, the region's longest running sports talk radio station, Sports Talk 980 (WTEM), now known as ESPN 980.

The takeover means a significant reduction in the amount and quality of sports talk on the radio in Washington. The new combined stations offer only seven hours a day of local sports talk, from noon to 7 p.m., strikingly less than what's available in every other top 10 market in the nation. Information and argument about local teams is the essence of sports talk radio, yet small-market stations and a few cheap large-market outlets cut costs and pipe in nationally syndicated fare from ESPN or Fox Sports. That programming can be both entertaining and info-packed, but it lacks the passion and glue that make this format one of the few in radio that is thriving and even growing.

(See list of stations below for details on how much time each of the sports talk stations in those cities devotes to local programming. To keep the comparisons fair, I looked at programming from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, the 13 hours that by far attract the largest audience and the overwhelming majority of the stations' efforts.)

But the Snyder operation is even farther behind its national peers if you look at the full 24 hours of the broadcast day. Most of the stations on the list below have local talk in the evenings when they are not broadcasting baseball, basketball or other play-by-play coverage. Washington's sports talker has no local talk in the evenings.

In addition, it will be interesting to see how the new station's obvious deep commitment to the Redskins alters the menu of sports being discussed during the local shows, which are mainly holdovers from the old Clear Channel-owned WTEM (John Thompson, Doc Walker, and The Sports Reporters with Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin, a mainstay of WTEM since its birth in 1992.) The new management killed off the station's only baseball show, with Phil Wood, which the Washington City Paper called the city's "best radio show."

Washington is now the rare big market city to have but one sports talk station. For now, at least, Snyder's company plans to run the same programming on all four of its AM and FM sports outlets--the three weak suburban signals on which he started Redskins Radio, and WTEM. Snyder picks up the rights that Clear Channel had to Washington Wizards games, as well as to Baltimore Orioles baseball broadcasts.

Snyder also bought two non-sports AM outlets from Clear Channel, the lefty political talker WWRC (1260) and the righty political talker WTNT (570), on which Clear Channel often put Orioles games when they conflicted with Wizards games on either shoulder of the baseball season. The new management will face similar conflicts come early fall, when baseball playoff coverage from ESPN could bump up against Redskins coverage.

Curiously, there is no mention of the Wizards broadcasts on the Snyder stations' home page, though a letter to listeners does acknowledge that the Wizards are part of the station's package.

In that letter, ESPN 980's vice president for operations, Dennis Glasgow, says the station is open to changing its lineup if fan demand points in another direction. "I'm sure more changes will come but they will come with the intention of making us bigger and better," he writes. "Time will tell of course. We're not afraid to make changes, but we're also not afraid to say when we were wrong, and we count on you to help us with that."

In a region whose fans lead the NFL in attendance (by far), boast the second-best attendance in Major League Soccer, and land squarely in the middle in baseball (17th of 30 teams this season despite the worst record in the sport), NBA basketball (15th of 30 teams), and WNBA women's hoops (eighth of 14 teams), there's every reason to believe this market would support a round-the-clock, top-shelf sports talk station. (Among local franchises, only the Caps are in the bottom third of their league in attendance, ranking 24th of hockey's 30 teams.)

Clearly, there is room for another sports talk operation in town. Longstanding rumors that CBS would switch its FM talker, WJFK (106.7), to a sports format have so far proven false, and efforts by Bonneville's 3WT (1500 AM and 107.7 FM)--which carries Nationals baseball, Capitals hockey, Navy football and George Washington University basketball play-by-play--to grab onto more sports coverage have so far not been accompanied by any significant move into sports talk.

Here's the list. (All programming schedules are per the stations' own web sites. Top 10 markets are defined by Census Bureau population statistics.

New York's ESPN Radio: Seven of 13 hours are local, plus ESPN's morning show is based in New York and covers New York teams closely.
New York's The Fan: All local, 24/7--probably the only such sports talker in the country.
Los Angeles's KLAC: Seven hours of local content; Dan Patrick and Jim Rome in the morning.
Chicago's ESPN 1000: Eight hours of local content vs. five hours of syndicated fare, including parent ESPN's Mike and Mike in the morning.
Chicago's The Score: All local, all day, with Dan Patrick and Sporting News fare late nights.
Houston's The Sports Animal: All local content, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Houston's KILT: All local except for Jim Rome's midday show from Fox.
Houston's The Ticket: Local for four hours each afternoon; ESPN programming the rest of the day.
Philadelphia's WIP: All local, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Philly's 950 ESPN: Eight of 13 hours are local, with ESPN's Mike and Mike in AM drive and Mike Tirico at midday.
San Francisco's KNBR: All local, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Atlanta's The Zone: All local (and the station's afternoon show, 2 Live Stews, is now syndicated to more than 20 stations around the nation.)
Atlanta's The Fan: Eight hours of local content, with ESPN's Colin Cowherd and Mike Tirico in midday and local morning and afternoon drive time shows.
Miami's WQAM: All local.
Detroit's The Fan: All local--10 of 13 hours--except Jim Rome middays.
Detroit's The Ticket: All local, all day.

As you can see, in almost every big city market, there is a leading sports talk station that is all local, all the time, and there's generally a secondary station that goes the cheap route, picking up syndicated programming from ESPN or Fox. Washington uniquely has only a secondary station, with no outlet devoting the time and money it takes to put out a full roster of local programming.

By Marc Fisher |  July 22, 2008; 8:04 AM ET
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Comments

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Disturbing, from a man that leads many leagues in accomlishing disturbing things. One hopes that at least one of the Snyder stations will now have a strong enough signal to broadcast Redskins game clearly throughout the metropolitan area.

Posted by: AWWNats | July 22, 2008 9:03 AM

D.C. is a bad market for sports talk radio, but a great market for sports blogs. Perhaps there is a connection or more likely a disconnection here.

Posted by: WFY | July 22, 2008 9:06 AM

Look out Andy and Czabe! Snyder is a virus and infects everything he touches. This purchase is a disaster and should have been halted by tougher FCC regulations. However they were too busy trying to ban 9/16 of a second of boob then to try and stop this Boob (Snyder) from squashing even the slightest bit of criticism of his product.

I'm really worried if WTOP starts investigating the death trap rides at Six Flags. Snyder might buy them and turn it into W-DAN radio. Don't think it can happen? Are you sure?

Posted by: deltaxi | July 22, 2008 9:12 AM

"The takeover means a significant reduction in the amount and quality of sports talk on the radio in Washington."

Quality sports talk in Washington? I know not of what you speak.

"In addition, it will be interesting to see how the new station's obvious deep commitment to the Redskins alters the menu of sports being discussed during the local shows"

Instead of 2 minutes of talk every hour on non-Skins related sports, we are going to get 1 minute every hour.

Posted by: Brian | July 22, 2008 9:14 AM

I really enjoyed the Fox show in the mornings - it wasn't the pandering commerical fest that Mike and Mike is, so it meant I got a decent amount of actual talk, and it was irreverent and informative. I'll certainly miss listening to that show and focus on satellite cause I hate the "we must break for commercial every 5 minutes" that M&M are slaves to.

Posted by: Mark | July 22, 2008 9:14 AM

Let me play devil's advocate for a second. Maybe sports talk is overrated in this country? The world is a vast and interesting place, with a lot going on besides sports. Maybe the sports nuts should take some of the time they spend focused on sports news and dedicate it to learning more about world events, or listening to music they haven't heard hundreds of times before? Maybe Dan Snyder is trying to tell us something about our priorities as a society - in his bumbling, accidentally incompetent manner?

Posted by: Priorities | July 22, 2008 9:23 AM

People can pay attention to more than one topic at a time. Following world events, listening to music, and listening to sports talk are not mutually exclusive ideas.

Posted by: Just sayin' | July 22, 2008 9:29 AM

DC is a bad market for radio period. I believe that DC has one of the highest percentages of people with satellite radio. This is in response to the terrible selections in music and sports.

Posted by: Smirkman | July 22, 2008 9:31 AM

WFY | July 22, 2008 9:06 AM

"D.C. is a bad market for sports talk radio, but a great market for sports blogs. Perhaps there is a connection or more likely a disconnection here."
______________________________

When you think about it, why did Washington Post Radio fail so miserably? They failed to tap into the blogosphere which is so incredibly counter to the Washington worldview of the average Postie!


Posted by: Geert | July 22, 2008 9:51 AM

So, in an attempt to boost game coverage Snyder went out and upgraded his station portfolio from 3 stations with with no signal to include WTEM -- a station with a signal so weak that it sounds like it's broadcast from someone's basement? How this guy ever made a billion $ is beyond me.

Posted by: LOL@Snyder | July 22, 2008 9:54 AM

Way to go Snyder. You take away the First Team on Fox to bring us Mike and Mike and Commercials instead. The worst thing is that Mike and Mike are on 730 am and now they are also on 980 at the exact same time (they are actually about a second or 2 apart). What's the point? I used to like First Team: they had a different call in a show each morning, they had much less commercials, they didn't have the exact same guests every time (like Gammons/Dick V. saying the same thing each week) and they are just more entertaining than Mike and Mike. On the other hand, M&M speak for literally 5 or 6 minutes, have around 8 minutes of commercials, then come back. Also, too many dumb things are discussed on M&M and too many "lists" such as the "best QB of all time - Favre, no Unitas, no, maybe Montana." That gets old quickly. Bring back First Team. If I want Mike and Mike I'll go to 730, or find an infomercial somewhere.

Posted by: Zimm | July 22, 2008 10:01 AM

WJFK, PLEASE rescue us and switch formats to sports talk! Many of us would gladly jump away from Chairman $nyder's evil propaganda radio.

Posted by: Not Anonymous | July 22, 2008 10:02 AM

WEEI in Boston is 24/7 local as well, last time I listened.

Posted by: ACS | July 22, 2008 10:35 AM

While I'm glad that the bulk of WTEM's local programming survived (I guess we'll see if the tone/content shifts), its disappointing that WTEM and the other Red Zebra stations will have the exact same programming. It was nice to flip back and forth between the stations. This is the risk of ownership consolidation, I suppose - a loss of diversity in programming.

Posted by: Killer Aardvark | July 22, 2008 10:46 AM

"How this guy ever made a billion $ is beyond me."

Good timing, and a lot of smoke and mirrors. After a number of false starts, he built a pretty respectable direct marketing business, then sold it at the height of the stock market bubble to some European ad firm. The amount these idiots paid was ridiculous. Hey, I don't blame Snyder for it--if you can find a sucker who'll overpay, go right ahead! Mark Cuban did the same thing, basically.

Since that home run, however, his at-bats have been disappointing. He's done his level best to destroy the support of the best fan base in pro football, in particular with his price gouging. It seems he wants to build some sort of entertainment conglomerate, but it looks like all he's done is acquire a bunch of aging, overpriced, declining assets--including Tom Cruise. The movie deal with Top Gun Tom hasn't gone anywhere, Dick Clark's production company had one big product (New Year's Rockin' Eve) that's getting more and more irrelevant, the radio stations are money pits in a declining technology (WTEM excepted), and Six Flags...well, if the park in Maryland is any indication, it's a collection of filthy, overpriced "amusement" parks that I'll never set foot in again.

Posted by: Claudius | July 22, 2008 10:47 AM

ALL YOUR RADIO STATION BELONG TO US

Posted by: Little Danny Snyder, Power Dwarf | July 22, 2008 11:02 AM

Maybe once Tony Kornheiser comes back "full time" to radio (instead of the 6 months on, 6 months off thing he does right now), Bonneville will consider making it the flagship show of a new sports talker. Maybe they can surrender Redskins talk to Snyder's network and focus solely on every other sport in town.

Posted by: Shawn | July 22, 2008 11:17 AM

And now Snyder is doing is best Peter Angelos imitation by taking the only legit baseball show off the air. Please resurface Phil Wood...PLEASE. I'm done with the Skins.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 22, 2008 11:34 AM

From Mr. Glasgow's letter: "We want to thank you for your feedback, it helped us decided the lineup we now have."

My first bit of feedback would be: please learned to use correct verb tenses.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | July 22, 2008 11:50 AM

First of all, there hasn't been true "sports talk radio" in the Washington market for at least a decade. WTEM has never been willing to give baseball and hockey the same coverage that the Snydermen get year-round. I stopped listening to so-called "local" soorts-talk after Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban ridiculed as "Natsies" baseball callers who wanted to talk about the team. And until the Capitals made their breathless and historic run to the playoffs, hockey got even shorter shrift on WTEM. It was very apparent that the fans of those teams knew more about those sports than the radio hosts. Now, there will be football talk 365 days a year which is probably the easiest format to present because Snydermen fans are visceral creatures who either want to endlessly extoll the teams triumphs or to complain about slights real or imagined that kept the team from winning it all. That's why the local sports blogosphere is so important. Fans who know and care about the Nats and the Caps have their online communities where passion and ideas about those sports can be shared and exchanged without hearing some know-nothing radio hosts drone on in March about who's going to the Snydermen's third-string tight end. The Danny has effectively driven hundreds, if not thousands of intelligent and informed sports fans away from radio and into the blogosphere and deserves thanks for that.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 22, 2008 12:15 PM

The local sports radio guys are bozos, and now they are on two locations on the a.m. dial? Before at least we could toggle over to the station carrying syndicated content, rather than listen to non-stop, four season coverage of the Redskins. The only thing that exceeds their condescension towards other sports is their infuriating ignorance when they grudgingly devote a segment to something else. Oh well, just another reason to be thankful for satellite radio.

Posted by: MountieNatsFan | July 22, 2008 12:35 PM

qthank goodness for satellite radio. xm offers channels not only for year-round baseball and hockey talk, but also carries all mlb and nhl games. don't have to rely on local sports talk radio which apparently believes in the slogan"all redskins all the time."

Posted by: natsscribe | July 22, 2008 1:13 PM

So what are you saying Marc?

Change is NOT good?

Don't let Mr. Barack Hussein Obama or his minions hear you talking that way.

Actually I am not surprised by the topic of this blog at all. Who would expect people in DC to actually get some WORK done from 6 AM to 7 PM? They are all listening to the radio. And Marc seems to think that is a God given right that has been taken away by Dan Snyder.

Posted by: DC Voter | July 22, 2008 1:13 PM

After years in DC and then moving back to Chicago I fully came to realize how one sided the sports market coverage is towards the NFL there. I would say everything from radio to The Post to local news enforces that. I was shocked to learn that other pro sports besides the NFL existed when I left the confines of the beltway.

Amazes me that with all the academics around nobody has gotten around to doing a study on the supply and demand of sports related news in the DC market. I'm also always amazed at how little coverage the post has of youth sports. You're not a nationally distributed so why do you ignore your local market? I think every other paper in the country has better local sports coverage than the Post so don't point the finger at Snyder and the radio look in the mirror. You guys aren't owned by Snyder yet are just as biased to the Redskins as every other media outlet. How many days straight are you going to have Taylor on the front of the sports pages while every day another DC area athlete makes an Olympic squad that goes unreported.

Posted by: Chicago Based | July 22, 2008 1:24 PM

Dan "Napoleon tree clearing" Snyder is just a little tyrant who we can all ignore. I was once a die-hard redskins fan. But since Snyder took over and moved the stadium to podunk maryland, the skins have become lackluster and tame corporate property. I will never give Snyder a penny of my money.

Posted by: skeezix | July 22, 2008 1:42 PM

This is why satellite radio is great. If I wanted to listen to stuff about football, I can listen to the NFL channel all day long. Same thing with ESPN and a a bunch of other channels purely devoted to nothing but sports.

Posted by: nadir | July 22, 2008 2:13 PM

It was hilarious listening to 980 yesterday; Andy and Steve have been defenestrated of their snark towards Danny. Now that he signs the checks, it's "Dan". You can literally hear them watching what they say. At least Steve has his AM Fox show; one wrong move from Andy and the kid's gotta come home from U Wisconsin! Andy's been such a bully to callers, I love it that now HE's the victim of a bully.

As for Phil Wood, he was the best DC sports talk show host, period, hands down. Knowledgeable, entertaining, LIKED to take calls, and acted like a grown up. Some station manager needs to hire him stat.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 22, 2008 2:18 PM

Lets make a stupid list of why M&M is the worst sports talk show ever: 5) Dull, 4) Humorless, 3) The fingers-on-the-chalboard voice, 2) Faux odd-couple schtick, and 1) Amazingly stupid lists.

If anyone knows where the First Team & DP are going - please post ASAP.

Posted by: Wanted-SportsRadioStation | July 22, 2008 2:59 PM

This is a perfect example of monopoly and exercising control! If you can't beat your competition, buy them! All the Doc Walker's and John Thompson's of the world will be extremely careful in their critique of Snyder and the Redskins's.

We need more programming choices. Bring back First team on Fox. It is a breath of fresh air after listening to M&M's rhetorical analysis.

Posted by: RadioHead | July 22, 2008 3:02 PM

It was great when Red Zebra entered the market. We actually had an option to listen to ESPN or FoxSports. Now, we are back the being the lamest sports radio town of any major sports city in the U.S. Or is that a misrepresentation? If D.C. wants to be a major sports city, its fans will pick their heads out of their arses, and demand national as well as local programming for sports radio. Note to the listener: though Doc and Coach are likeable, knowledgeable figures, their shows blow. Next time you are in Philly, Boston, LA, or Chicago, stroll around the sports radio dial. See what I mean.

Posted by: Jim | July 22, 2008 3:04 PM

Jim, I concur with your assessment. Steve and Andy are the best of what we've got here!! They humour me to no end with their candidness on their so called sports show!

We are football town and all other sports take a back seat unlike Chicago, Boston or St Louis.

Posted by: RadioHead | July 22, 2008 3:11 PM

DC sports is a joke. Only logical that sports radio reflect that. Skins/Nats/Zards fans - this is all on you. Like listening to the mumblings of coach T, Doc, and the incessant babble of Riggo? You are in heaven. If not, speak up.

Posted by: Leo | July 22, 2008 3:14 PM

There is an answer to all the maddness that is Dan Snyder. If people truly and honestly want to end Snyder's tyrrany then stop giving him your money.

Don't listen to his radio stations.

Stop supporting the businesses that advertise on his radio stations.

Stop supporting the companies that sponsor the Redskins.

Stop buying Redskins stuff at Snyder's stores.

Stop buying tickets to Redskins game.

Don't go to the games where you'll spend money on $8 beers, $5 hot dogs, and $5 pretzels.

Don't go to any of Snyder's Six Flags Amusement Parks.

Don't go see any Tom Cruise movies Snyder's production company finances.

If everyone stopped giving Dan Snyder their hard earned money he'd have a very tough time continuing to run his empire.

It's that simple folks. Cut off the funds and watch Snyder die a horrible financial death.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:18 PM

RadioHead

DC is a Redskins town, not a football town.There's a big difference. Redskins fans know of only three teams in the entire NFL - Washington, Dallas and whoever besides Dallas the Redskins play in a given week.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 22, 2008 3:18 PM

Someone else asked, but there was no answer - how can we get First Team on Fox here in the DC area in the morning? Is it gone? I scrolled through my radio and couldn't find it, but I don't know if it is out there. Somewhere :( Today Mike and Mike talked to the Jets coach, Mangini. Wow, that was very relevant since training camp started 1 day ago. And they asked him about Brett Favre going to the Jets?? HUH? That's not being a sports radio person, that's asking dumb questions.

Posted by: Zimm | July 22, 2008 3:45 PM

So I went to "ESPN 980's" website and clicked on the letter to the listeners where I got an email address for Dennis Glasgow, VP of Operations. I decided to email him and express my dissatisfaction with the fact that they got rid of Czabe in the morning. He emailed me back and told me that they have a Fox affiliate in Virginia Beach... Like I can pick up Virginia beach radio on my commute from Laurel to Gaithersburg. Red Zebra owns 6 local stations. There's no reason why they can't put alternate programming on at least one of them.

I encourage all of you to voice your opinions to this guy. Here's the email address..

glasgowd@redskins.com

Posted by: mcwop | July 22, 2008 9:21 PM

I can't believe they let Phil Wood go!

Posted by: Larry | July 23, 2008 8:27 AM

I can now listen to Mike and Mike on not one, not two, but three stations loud and clear! Is this a great country or what?

At least the Junkies are still around in the morning, and I have gone back to checking in on Imus too.

Phil Wood is too good to be associated with this crap.

Posted by: Spectator2 | July 23, 2008 10:49 AM

Several comments:

First, yes, The First Team on Fox had higher local ratings than Mike and Mike (maybe even significantly higher ratings). And Steve Czaban (and others on the show) are local (Washington) people. However, the First Team on Fox is not a local show; it's a network show; the coverage by necessity should be national sports (even if local sports are mentioned or occasionally highlighted); otherwise it's like as if people in Washington, Cincinnati, Dallas, and San Francisco had to listen exclusively to the traffic and weather for Miami. That's the problem with network, national, radio; by definition it covers everything; it's not local.

Second, Red Zebra radio apparently doesn't want to have two syndications (ESPN and Fox Sports Radio) in competition with each other unless there's value added, as they have to pay for the rights (or they have other financial arrangements). And they obviously feel that the ESPN package has more value (ratings and sales bookings) than the Fox Sports Radio package has. And, further, when you take the ESPN product, the agreement is that you will take their flagship show, Mike and Mike in the Morning. Like it or not, it's that simple; you want the rest of ESPN, then you have to take Mike and Mike.

Yes, Red Zebra could put competing shows on the competing stations; then people in on the east will complain they can't what's directed to the west; and the people on the west will complain that they can't get what's on the east. That in turn makes bookings (sales, commercials, etc) more difficult. By saturating the market with one product (whether it's ESPN, Fox Sports Radio, or local shows), they can better market the product, and ask for higher booking rates.

All that said, if you don't like Mike and Mike, listen to something else; see if you can get Baltimore or Frederick stations if you don't like what's on DC radio; get Sirius or XMs, listen to CDs or cassettes (or 8 track if that's what you have). There are alternatives. Let me admit that I prefer Mike and Mike to the First Team on Fox because I don't care that much about golf, and I don't need the brashness that early in the morning, things that (as were said on Czabe's website) you can talk about at the bar, or things that "tee" the First Team off; and I don't need the babe and locker room talk that early; I'm more interested in sports in general, what happened the day/night before, and what's on the schedule. But that's me and I understand different people have different tastes, and I would prefer to have the morning show (format, presentation, style, etc) later in the day. Morning commute time, to me, is too early for the brash confronational style of Fox Sports Radio and specifically The First Team, just as it was when WMAL had Bill Press (reprsenting the liberal side) and Jane Norris (representing the conservative side) in the morning; as I try to enjoy my coffee and not arrive at the office in a sour political mood, I avoided the WMAL programming (and I know that not everything can ever again be Harden and Weaver, etc.).

All that said, if the ESPN package is a better business deal for Red Zebra, and Red Zebra can better cover the market, I understand.

Steve Czaban can still be heard on the afternoon show, the First Team on Fox is broadcast on about 130 different broadcast stations, many of which can be picked up on the internet (and by internet desk top or portable radios), as well as on XM radio (both in the car and on XM portable radios).

Bottom line is, if you want to listen to Fox Sports Radio and/or Steve Czaban, you can. You might have to make a little effort, but you can. Just as you can't always get a cup of Starbucks unless you go to the store; the store doesn't always go to you.

A major issue is, yes, I'm concerned that coverage of the Washington Redskins, management and ownership, may not be as impartial or as free-wheeling as it might have been if the stations were independent. I would hope that station management (which is different than station ownership) would recognize that the station can't be a shill for ownership; it will lose it's audience, and the market for it's sponsors.

The other issue is, how much or how little local sports coverage do you want? Some people want more golf coverage on weekends (including the Czaban show) and others want more baseball (Phil Woods' show); some want basketball and/or soccer. To me, with all the teams in the region, college football, men's and women's basketball, soccer (pro and college), a number of minor league baseball teams, etc, not including a lot of high school and prep school teams, why can't they be covered? Or why aren't they covered? What about the minor acdtivities such as horse racing, hunting/fishing, rafting/crew, track and field? Isn't there some interest in those activities? Especially as we have so many large school in the area. Or, is or should Washingotn sports coverage be essentially limited to the big three (Washington Redskins, Wizards, and (now) Nationals, while not addressing (at least not with any significance the Ravens or Orioles (other than slamming Peter Angelos).

Sorry for the long post, but that's my five, rather than two, cents.

Posted by: Dungarees@gmail.com | July 23, 2008 11:36 AM

At least I can still listen to NPR on my commute to/from work.

If there was already very limited coverage of non-Redskin stuff on radio before the takeover, now it will be beyond nauseating.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | July 23, 2008 3:43 PM

Please, PLEASE, Bonneville, convert the three struggling WWWT stations into an all-sports format, emphasizing local coverage with no sacred cows (e.g., no former coaches or athletes as hosts). It doesn't have to be 24/7 local a la WFAN; the economics of the current radio industry probably make that unfeasible. But give it enough of a local angle to make it a multidimensional alternative to Danny Boy's all-Redskins pablum. You'll blow him out of the water, and it will enhance the play-by-play properties you already hold rights to. Washington is emerging as a full-fledged all-around sports market, even though some old-guard types refuse to realize it. We need a sports radio station that will reflect this evolution.

Oh, and of course, make Phil Wood one of the regular hosts.

Posted by: Vincent | July 25, 2008 11:58 AM

I don't feel too sorry for Phil Wood. He may have already had a job lined up with ESPN 1300 in Baltimore before he got fired.I heard someone say Phil said on his Saturday show on WTEM tha he was a Skins fan but Dan Snyder ruined it for him. That means to me that he wasn't a real Skins fan because if he was he would stay a fan no matter who the owner of the team is.He was trying to get himself fired in my opnion.

Posted by: Comcast fan | July 25, 2008 10:54 PM

So what, Comcast fan? Phil Wood should be fired simply because he may have said that, despite his broadcast experience and knowledge of baseball?

It's people like you and your Redskins-centric view of the world that ruin life for all of us Washington sports fans who realize there's more than one team in this market and want sports coverage reflecting that perspective.

Posted by: Vincent | July 26, 2008 1:32 PM

Agree with the majority here: Czabe and company - pretty smart. Mike & Mike - not. Now listening to NPR, C-SPAN radio, CDs. Probably a net plus for my brain.

Posted by: rabbit | July 29, 2008 10:02 PM

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