Back in July, we first told you the Oklahoma City sports radio landscape was about to change. Well, that change becomes a reality next week.
We have confirmed with Tyler Media that 107.7 The Franchise will take the air this Monday afternoon at about 2:00pm. On the following Tuesday, the station will launch its full weekday lineup of shows and hosts.
That lineup was released last week in a John Rohde blog post on the station’s new website. Somehow we missed it. The post is classic John Rohde. It’s long, boring, egotistical and uses a dated analogy to try to make a weak point. The only thing it was missing was a Vijay Singh slam:
In 1994, Billy Tubbs left Oklahoma to become the new men’s basketball coach at TCU. To many people, myself included, Tubbs’ decision to leave the Sooners to coach a bunch of Horned Frogs seemed inexplicable. For Tubbs, however, his reasoning was quite simple.
Tubbs believed coaches shouldn’t stay at the same place for more than five or six years. “I always knew your honeymoon would be about a six-year stint,” Tubbs recalled. “Because once you reached a certain level of success, if you didn’t obtain that level every year, people started to think you weren’t doing your job.”
So after 14 years in Norman that included 13 straight post-season appearances, 12 straight 20-win seasons, four Big Eight titles, a national runner-up finish in 1988 and an overall record 333-132 (.716), Tubbs bolted for Fort Worth.
Tubbs lasted eight seasons at TCU (1994-2002) and then returned to Lamar, where he previously served as head coach (1976-1980) before heading to OU. Tubbs coached Lamar for three seasons (2003-06) and finished his 31-year coaching career with 641 victories.
Tubbs has since come full-circle. He never fell out of love with Oklahoma, which is why he and wife, Pat, returned to reside in Norman.
For Tubbs, there were no regrets. “I had almost reached a burn-out point at OU,” said Tubbs, now 78. “If I had stayed, the next good year that I had I probably would have quit. You’re so hung up in what you’re doing, and you’re so burned out while you’re doing it, you fail to realize until it’s over how much of a burden your job has become.”
Tubbs’ departure nearly 20 years ago was perplexing to me, but it became much clearer last month.
After working 30 years – 3½ years with the Colorado Springs Sun (1982-86) and 26½ years with The Oklahoman (1987-2013) – I decided to leave OPUBCO.
With the newspaper industry doing its damnedest to survive the Perfect Storm, Tyler Media president and general manager Ty Tyler threw me a life raft. Had I not climbed on board, I’m convinced I soon would have become another drowning victim in a sea of journalistic uncertainty.
Yeah, that’s a totally natural and fair analogy. Billy Tubbs was a successful basketball coach that made the Final Four, turned OU into a title contender, and helped change the college basketball game. John Rohde was a bored newspaper columnist who toiled for 27 years at a mid-level newspaper. The comparisons are endless.
Also, I like how Rohde thinks that sports radio is an escape from “the perfect storm” hitting newspaper journalism. Uhm, I hate to tell him this, but radio isn’t too far behind. Everything’s changing. Maybe instead of waiting for people to throw him life rafts, he should learn how to swim and navigate the waters (a.k.a. adapt, change, work harder, don’t mail in sports columns, etc.)
Here’s the station’s new line-up:
As you know, Tyler Media recently announced they are converting 107.7FM to a sports radio format. Back on August 1, we updated our Twitter followers to some of the developments.
Here’s the first tweet we sent out:
1. I believe the new station is going to be called 107.7FM "The Franchise." Pretend some guy saying that in a deep voice or something.
— The Lost Ogle (@TheLostOgle) August 1, 2013
It looks like we were right…again. Earlier today, Tyler confirmed the station’s name and released the logo. They even got some guy to say the Franchise in a deep voice or something. Here’s a video of the logo:
So, is The Franchise a good name? I don’t know. I guess they could have gone with The Fan, The Ticket, The Score, The Game, The Jock, The Zone, etc, but just like the Franchise, those names are kind of generic and in use in other markets. I personally would have gone with The Drunk Heckler, but what do I know. One complaint I’ve heard is The Franchise is kind of long and doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but then again, you can say the same about The Sports Animal. They seem to be doing okay.
In addition to other stuff reported on this site (Steely, Lump, and Rohde going; Rodgers staying; Traber “undecided”), here’s some other news about The Franchise:
As we first reported last night via Twitter, big changes are happening to the local sports radio universe. Tyler Media is switching 107.7 KRXO from a classic rock format to local sports talk radio in August. The new station will air OU football, NFL games and has already poached regional radio curmudgeon Mike Steely from the Sports Animal. The classic rock format that KRXO has aired since the 1980s, including some of the station’s personalities, will move to 104.5 FM:
Mel Bracht at the Oklahoman conveniently spelled out some of the details for us.
The already crowded sports talk market in Oklahoma City soon will be getting its sixth sports talk station. Tyler Media announced Wednesday that it is launching a sports talk radio station in August on FM 107.7.
Classic Rock KRXO, which had been at 107.7, will move to a new frequency at FM 104.5, the company announced. According to the news release, KRXO’s lineup of Bob and Tom, Cara Rice, Buddy Wiley, Kelso, Unkle Dave and Rick Caldwell are expected to move to a much smaller signal on 104.5. Ty Tyler, president of Tyler Media, said in an email the new frequency recently was granted by the FCC and will reach more than 800,000 people in the metro area.
Tyler said it is in the process of hiring local sports talent from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the new unnamed station on 107.7 FM, which he said will have the strongest signal in the market. The station will include play-by-play of OU sports and be associated with NBC Sports. It plans to air NFL broadcasts on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights, and other programming is under consideration.
“We are excited to expand our portfolio of stations,” Tyler said in the release. “A Big League City needs a Big League Sports Station.”
Sports Animal radio personality Mike Steely is expected to join the new station. Steely, a member of the Morning Animals, last appeared on WWLS-FM 98.1 on June 29. He said he could not comment if he was leaving the station.
This is a big deal. The Sports Animal has had a near monopoly on the local sports radio market for 15 years. Others have tried to chip away at this stronghold, and all have done so with limited or no success. I’ve boiled down this dominance to the following four factors:
• Strong FM signal.
• Resources and Sales Infrastructure.
• OKC Thunder Radio Partnership
• The most popular sports personalities in the market.
With this new venture, all of those advantages have been neutralized. 107.7FM is one of the strongest FM signals in Oklahoma, Tyler Media has the resources and infrastructure to compete, and OU football is still a bigger draw than the Thunder. In addition to all that, Mike Steely may not be the only Sports Animal personality to jump ship. The rumor mill on this story is spinning out of control. Ogle Moles from all corners have been sending me information, gossip, tips, etc. about this story.
I’ve tried to sort through them and get to the bottom of things. Here’s what I know:
(Editor’s Note: With the NBA draft tonight, we dusted off Clark Matthews to take a retrospective look at the last six Thunder drafts.)
On June 7, 2007, the Seattle Supersonics hired a 31-year-old named Sam Presti as the team general manager. It was one of the first hires by the new ownership group that was rumored to be considering a move for the franchise. Under Presti’s leadership, the Supersonics have tranformed from a poorly managed perennial lottery team in the Puget Sound to a consistent championship contender in Oklahoma City. Much of that evolution can be tracked to the talent Presti has acquired through the draft.
Tonight, Presti presides as the leader of his seventh draft. Even prior to being hired to make the decisions for the team now known as the Thunder, he had built a reputation as a talent evaluating genius. Most of the basketball community credits him with discovering Tony Parker as a Spurs scout, and then convincing San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford to draft Parker. Conventional wisdom at the time was that smaller foreign players would never stack up against American born small players who had grown up playing against better competition. If a team was going to draft a player from overseas, that player had to have a physical advantage over every American player available. Presti went against the groupthink and helped create the foundation for a San Antonio juggernaut.
So how well has that pedigree stood up now that Presti is in charge? Here’s a look.
Players drafted: Kevin Durant (#2), Carl Landry (#31), Glen Davis (#35)
Draft Trades: Acquired Jeff Green (#5), traded Carl Landry to Houston, traded Glen Davis to Boston
Not bad for first timer. Anytime you can pick up a transcendental superstar to build your team around, you should probably take that guy. Unless you’re Portland. Then you take an underperforming seven footer with balky knees.
Hello again, Thunder fans!
Today we take a look at the NBA Draft, where we all pretend like we still watch college basketball before March. Or knew who Rudy Gobert was before we decided to take a quick glance at our favorite mock.
However, today’s preview won’t consist solely of hardcore analysis. We’ll touch on what the players can provide on the court, but, let’s face it, we’re all interested on what they do off the court as well. It’s pretty obvious what someone like a Robert Swift or Chris Andersen is all about, but it takes a discerning eye to discover the rapping abilities of Kevin Durant or the painting abilities of Desmond Mason. I’m not that discerning eye, but I’ll find some funny viral videos for you, anyway.
Thanks! Your message has been sent!