Thursday, April 26, 2012

ESPN New York...1050...oops...98.7

Traug Keller, ESPN senior vice president/production, business divisions, unveils the station's new logo at a special meeting of all staff and talent on Thursday.  Picture courtesy ESPN New York
The news broke today that ESPN New York, the radio station that has been at 1050 on the AM dial, is moving to 98.7, replacing WRKS (Kiss 98.7), an adult urban music station.  Kiss will merge with WBLS (107.5 FM) to make one station.  In other words, Kiss is being absorbed by 'BLS.

Beginning Monday, ESPN will begin simulcasting with their programming being heard on both 1050 and 98.7.  In September, the simulcast will end and 1050 will become an ESPN Deportes station - a very wise business decision.

For some of us in the Hudson Valley though, this isn't great news.  1050, never a powerhouse signal, at least came in up our way.  In my own quick test today, 98.7 was full of static by the lower reaches of eastern Dutchess County, while 1050 was fairly clear.

Equally interesting is the buzz that the Yankees would move to 98.7 beginning next year, considering their contract with WCBS (880 AM) is up at the end of 2012.  That could spell the end of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman as the Bomers' play-by-play team.

Back to that in a moment.

ESPN New York made some changes in their programming.  Yes, "Mike and Mike in the Morning" and Colin Cowherd will carry on (terrible decisions - New York should always have a local element in the morning).  Mike Lupica will switch from 2-3 to Noon-1.  The Ruocco and Lundberg clusterbleep/farce is gone, but fear not, Ryan Ruocco will continue to have a job, joining Steven A. Smith for a two-hour thing from 1-3.  And Robin Lundberg will be heard on the weekend.


Their one wise move was to make Dave Rothenberg the weeknight fixture, but in my opinion, Dave and Steven A. would be a good listen in that 1-3 slot.

With this configuration, I'll be listening to Mr. Diet Coke (Mike Francesa) on WFAN.


Cidenzo said...

98.7 in CT is much worse later in the day than 1050 was (which was practically horrid) I couldn't listen to Game 3 of Rangers Caps at all in my way home but was able to pick up most of it on 1050! Even during the day there is consistent pop ups of static which get annoying. If that stays like this, the Yankees would be making a big mistake moving over.

Rob Adams said...

I noticed the same thing around the Hudson Valley. 1050 has a tolerable signal but 98.7 is just awful. I know it is probably a bad business decision, but my feeling is that ESPN should not put Deportes on 1050 but simulcast their 98.7 signal instead.