Seattle’s Third Sports Talk Radio Station Ends

July 26, 2015

Well, not so much ends, as nationally syndicated programming continues, but the one local show on CBS’ 1090 The Fan ceased operations a couple of weeks ago.  Having started in January 2015, the afternoon drive-slotted Sandmeyer Show never got support from additional local programming, which was much rumored in the early days but not so much near the end.  This no doubt impacted its rating, but the show definitely filled a void left by the two other sports talk radio stations, who have seemed to mimic each other when it comes to content (ie. lots of Seahawks).  Geoff Baker’s Times’ article linked above provides a lot of the nitty gritty.

It’d be interesting to see if Sandmeyer & Co. could take their show online as a live Internet radio program that could be podcasted. Teaming with one of the local independent sports websites (ie, not newspaper or radio) might help provide traffic for both. Some local FM radio shows have tried the live Internet/podcasting path after their radio show shows were cut.  Whether such a tie-up could be profitable enough for everyone involved is another matter.  I’m not sure audio technology has evolved yet to the extent that a show can work online without the benefit of leveraging a terrestrial radio station or satellite radio.  It will happen.  And probably sooner than I think, it’s just difficult to predict.

Taking the show straight to podcast-only without a “live” component could be an intermediary step.  This might prove challenging for a previously “live” show where both hosts and listeners depended on immediacy of interaction in the relationship.  The economics of this are also challenging.

Another option would be to produce an online show for a place like ROOT Sports NW and its website.  Added together with a couple of other such shows and ROOT Sports over time could consider entering terrestrial radio.  I’ve stated to near ad nauseam that ROOT Sports would be more valuable by expanding its presence in the sports media world.

We’ll see what happens.  Local sports fans lost with the show cut from the airwaves.  History says the hosts end up elsewhere on radio, most likely at one of the other sports talk radio stations.  But radio in the past is not going to be like radio in the future.  It’s already changing.  At some point, challengers to our local duopoly will emerge.  And they won’t necessarily emerge via terrestrial radio.