Wednesday, January 25

You Can't Handle The Truth

You've GOT to be kidding me...

No, AK1984, I don't mean Paul Pierce. I mean this:

Seattle, WA (January 24th, 2006) - The Seattle SuperSonics organization today announced its signing of a multi-year agreement with Entercom Seattle. All Sonics games will be broadcast on 770KTTH starting in the 2006-07 season.

read the whole release here

Talk about culture clash. "KTTH - The Truth 770" boasts a broadcast lineup of conservative media giants--Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Medved and others who pine for the days of "traditional values." What those are, I have no idea, but I think it was last practiced in the 1950s. Anyway, from what I gather, The Truth is targeted at what is commonly known as a "Red State" audience.

Meanwhile, the Sonics are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association. You know, that sports league where "all" the players wear tattoos and corn-rows, smoke pot and star in hip-hop videos with big-booty women--things that definitely play better to a "Blue State" crowd (yes, lawd!). Traditional values are about as relevant to modern b-ball culture as short-shorts and the two-handed set shot.

So it's safe to say that these two cultures and their values don't overlap in too many places--well, except for when Danny Fortson is talking about homosexuality or something. But you can't tell me that shacking up with Rush was the Sonics' best option.

Some of KTTH's sister stations--710 KIRO, 99.9 KISW, 103.7 The Mountain and 107.7 The End--attract that core, prototypically-Seattle crowd of upper-middle class liberal-weenies (ahem) who form the bulk of the Supes' following. Why not relocate to one of those stations? Key Arena is packed with the yuppies, butt-rockers, modern-rockers, and aging hippies that listen to these stations... all that's missing are the baggy-pants KUBE 93 types (KJR's sister station).

My only guess is that, just like Commissioner Stern's dress code, the Sonics' foray into Bush-league radio is some kind of attempt to broaden their appeal to Red-Staters. Or conversely, KTTH could be trying to pull some of those heathen Sonics fans into their righteous flock. Good luck with that, guys. If that works, maybe they'll start playing Young Jeezy at NASCAR races and having Big & Rich sing at the NBA All-Star Ga--oh wait.

But whatever. At least I won't have to turn my AM dial, or turn my radio on at all, to get my KC fix. Kevin Calabro is still in the picture (har):
Nineteen-year-veteran Sonics play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro will continue to handle the television play-by-play duties on Sonics television partner FSN Northwest. The Sonics will add broadcast talent to handle the radio responsibilities. Calabro will remain the primary play-by-play broadcast talent for radio-only regular-season games and Sonics playoff games.
"The Sonics will add broadcast talent to handle the radio responsibilities," eh? May I be the first to suggest, then, a dynamic duo of Rush and Dennis Miller? If folks like me aren't tuning in, then hell, take this right-wing radio thing all the way.


Paul said...

That sucks. I will never listen to another Sonics game on the radio again.

(Unless they bring back Blackburn)

Anonymous said...

I guess the problem is that the Sonics were limited in their selection. As far as I know, teams never have their games on FM (I'm not sure exactly why), so KIRO was the only available AM station of the ones you listed. As KIRO is already paying for the Seahawks, I don't think they want the Sonics. Likewise, KJR has the Huskies and KOMO has the Mariners, so their plates are already full.

In my mind, here's how it played out. KTTH's ratings have been steadily declining for the past few years, while KJR's have been level, so that they both are getting the same ratings now (I don't know about the demographics, but, let's face it, the people who listen to sports talk radio are the same people who listen to political talk radio, with the political fans probably making more money). In any event, KTTH was looking to bolster their ratings, and the best way to get people to turn on your station in the morning is to have them turn it on the night before.

Meanwhile, KJR may be looking at it this way: If we sign the Sonics for 6 years, we take ourselves out of the running for the Seahawks when their deal expires with KIRO. If we have to choose between Seahawk football and Sonic basketball, it's pretty much a no-brainer, right?

If it makes you feel any better, you can always listen to the Sonics game, write down the sponsors, then boycott anybody who sponsors the Sonics on KTTH. That way you'll get to hear the games and assuage your liberal guilt at the same time!

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the ratings, in case anyone was wondering if I just pulled all of that out of my -ss.

Anonymous said...

Rush may not have the tats, but he's dipped into a few things stronger than pot, so maybe the match is not such a stretch.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that KTTH will give the Sonics complete control over the broadcast, and let the Sonics keep the rights to the broadcast. The other stations may not have wanted to give up so much control.

I think this was driven by the Sonics being able to bargain for more non-monetary compensation from a smaller station than they would be able to get from a bigger station.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Jake, that's an important consideration for the Sonics. Of perhaps more importance - and Sonics Central took notice of this as well - is that this may the swan song for one Craig "Mint" Ehlo.

With that in mind, let's open the floor to nominations for Mint's replacement. I'll make one nomination - Lenny Wilkens, the easy, safe choice.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what was driving it... if people want to listen they will.
I quit listening years ago. I watch or ESPN/FSN it.
Now I REALLY won't listen. Non-Sport talk radio sucks!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they will let Rush in on the color commentary! I can see it now...

"The Liberal media really want a black point guard to succeed in this league... wait... uhhh...I take that back..."

Anonymous said...

On a separate note, here's a fun fact. The Sonics have, in their last two games, produced more points than the Hawks have in their last three:

Hawks: 78+76+91=245
Sonics: 113+152= 265.

How terribly exciting.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Brenda's point makes this deal sound even worse. In case any of use were wondering if the Sonics' signal could be any fainter on the Seattle sports radar, this story has to make you wonder.

After all, can you imagine the Sonics begging for a home in 1997?

Paul said...

Wow, Brenda must be some kind of radio scientist! Who knew smart people read this blog?

Anonymous said...

Ok, the fact that they are moving to KTTH sucks, because you know you will have to hear commercials for those idiots, but I think we are missing the real news. Calabro will no longer be doing the simulcast.

The best thing about listening to the Sonics on the radio is Calabro and the best thing about watching the game is hearing Calabro call the game for radio. Calabro will be good no matter whatever he does but it won't be the same.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and what about the Storm? That should be an interesting combination if they end up on "The Truth".

Anonymous said...

There has been some thought that along with the broadcasting rights to the Seattle Supersonics, Entercom is also attempting to obtain the Seattle Storm and placing them on 770-AM KTTH (Fall '05: 2.4/12+). Futhermore, Entercom will probably shift the Seattle Seahawks broadcasts from 710-AM KIRO (Fall '05: 4.3/12+) to KTTH next season.

Moreover, Entercom is also looking to reacquire the rights to the Seattle Mariners broadcasts once their deal with Fisher expires during the near future.

In addition, Fisher is looking to reacquire the syndication rights to "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which the company would place on 570-AM KVI (Fall '05: 3.1/12+) from 9:00 a.m. 'til noon. As it is, the only two nationally syndicated conservative talk show hosts that get decent ratings in the Seattle-Tacoma market are Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

In addition, with regards to local hosts, Kirby Arnold has a stronger following than the duo of Dan Sytman and Ken Boze; similarly, local host Michael Medved -- who is syndicated in other markets throughout the United States -- is currently having trouble competing against the aforementioned national powerhouse who is known simply as Sean Hannity.

Therefore, the possibility of KTTH switching from a conservative talk station to a sports radio station is, in fact, a high possibility at this point in time.

The following are some people -- other than those who work for 950-AM KJR (Fall '05: 2.3/12+) -- who could, perhaps, garner spots talk shows if KTTH is to switch to sports radio:

1. Dan Devone (Currently Employed @ Tribune Broadcasting) {KCPQ-13})
2. Chad Eaton (Currently Employed @ Tribune Broadcasting) {KCPQ-13})
3. Rick "R.R." Robertson (Currently Emplyoed @ Entercom {99.9-FM KISW})
4. New York Vinnie (Currently Employed @ Entercom {710-AM KIRO})
5. Tony Ventrella (Currently Employed @ Entercom {710-AM KIRO})

At any rate, though, the likes of Devone, Eaton, and Robertson could easily hold together a damn good morning show from 6:00 a.m. 'til 10:00 a.m., while Vinnie and Ventrella could take care of the middays, as they would work from 10:00 a.m. 'til noon & noon 'til 3:00 p.m., respectively. Next, two guys would be needed for an afternoon drive team show from 3:00 p.m. 'til 7:00 p.m.; additionally, a couple more guys would be needed to fill the evenings from 7:00 p.m. 'til midnight. Lastly, instead of some syndicated program, a local overnight sports talk show host, who'd work from midnight 'til 6:00 a.m., would bring about a nice change of pace in the region.

Good Times,

P.S.: I'm a libertarian; thus, I have no personal biases toward either conservative talk radio or liberal talk raido. As it is, ultimately, I'm a fan of both hot talk radio (e.g., "The B.J. Shea Morning Experience," "The Adam Carolla Show," "The Tom Leykis Show," et al.) and sports talk radio.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I heard that KTTH was interested in acquiring Paul Pierce to host the afternoon show. They would likely send the draft rights to Peter Feshe to Boston to complete the deal.

All kidding aside, thanks for the input AK; I hadn't heard any of that before and it certainly makes the whole scenario even more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Who is the nerd READING comments from previous Sonic games? Very amateurish and boring radio. Does anyone listen to that?