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.
OU quarterback and TD machine Blake Bell, the current favorite to replace Landry Jones as the most loved and reviled man in Oklahoma, went to Grand Lake with some teammates for a little R&R this past weekend. We know this because the Belldozer tweeted about it on Friday.
— Blake Bell (@B_Bell10) June 21, 2013
In addition to that, an Ogle Mole sent us the following pic from the Grand Lake dive bar Big Shots:
That’s not the only thing the Mole sent us. Check out this video of some drunk chick trying to catch a ride on the Belldozer
Bob Stoops’ defenses just haven’t been the same in recent years.
In case you missed it, Stoops’ new mansion – the Casterly Rock of Norman – was burglarized early Wednesday morning. The robber got away with a car, a few other items and respect from the local crime community for years and years to come.
NewsOK.com has all the exciting details:
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