End of an era: Gophers games find new radio home

11:48 PM, Mar 9, 2011   |    comments
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  • End of an era: Gophers games find new radio home
  • End of an era: Gophers games find new radio home
  • End of an era: Gophers games find new radio home

MINNEAPOLIS -- Marking the end of a radio era that started back in World War II, the University of Minnesota announced Wednesday it's moving Gopher games from WCCO 830 to other homes on the AM dial.

According to the university, football games will air on KFAN 1130 and KTLK 100.3 FM beginning this fall.  Basketball and hockey will be heard on KSTP 1500.

"We just really feel the all-sports talk format is a great fit for Gopher athletics," said Garry Bowman, the Director of Athletic Communications for the University of Minnesota.

Bowman acknowledged that both finances and the younger demographics on the two selected stations also played a part in the university's decision.

"We have to continue to expand our market," Bowman said.

For managers at Clear Channel Radio, the decision amounts to a sort of "coup" in the industry.

"I think with the huge number of alumni in the market, it will give us a fan base and more people sampling our Saturday programming and our Monday through Friday programming on KFAN," said Mike Crusham, President and Market Manager for Clear Channel Radio.

Crusham said his company will certainly grow viewership among younger demographics, with their ability to promote the games on their other stations -- including those on the FM dial.

"The FAN reaches a young males base but so does KDWB," Crusham said.

Meantime, industry analysts say this significant change in the local radio landscape may well end up benefitting all parties involved.

"It seems to be a win-win situation, for both Learfield and the university and the sports stations that need the consistent programming," said David Brauer, media reporter for minnpost.com.

Brauer said he suspects WCCO 830 will survive this latest loss, just as they did the loss of the Minnesota Twins broadcasts.

"WCCO will still be here.  They're bruised, but if they choose their hosts right, they'll be fine," Brauer said.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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