Just one day after the reinauguration of President Barack Obama, CBS Sports Radio is impeaching the “Gov Biz” format on a Washington, D.C. radio station.
The CBS Radio-owned WNEW-AM had been “The Big Talker 1580” with hosts ranging from Glenn Beck to Dennis Miller to Lou Dobbs, up until last October, when it was transformed into something called “Gov.Biz Radio: Where government and business intersect.” The format was created in an attempt to counterbattle the rival federal news station in town, WFED, whose big brother, all-news WTOP, is usually the most-listened-to station in the District – and for the better part of the last year, CBS has been gunning for WTOP with their own all-news station, WNEW-FM.
The fact that WNEW-AM wasn’t one of the original AM stations announced by CBS Radio back in June that would be converted to CBS Sports Radio outlets on January 2 was a bit puzzling: at that time, WNEW-AM still had a general talk format, one that was also on AM stations in markets such as Houston and Charlotte, that would eventually become CBSSR outlets.
Now, as Obama starts his final term in office, “Biz.Gov Radio” starts its final week on the radio.
As of Monday, January 28, the national content-laden “CBS Sports Radio 1580″ will complement CBS Radio’s local sports talker, WJFK-FM/”106.7 The Fan.”
“CBS Sports is a clear leader when it comes to breaking down the day’s headlines, and stories breaking across the country,” CBS Radio/Washington market manager Steve Swenson said, appealing that with the combo of the all-national AM station and “The Fan,” which “knows D.C. sports like no one else,” CBS will own “the dominant sports voice in the city.” The market’s other all-sports station, WTEM/”ESPN 980,” is owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, an arm of the media empire of Daniel Snyder, which includes the Washington Redskins – a station that recently made headlines after their afternoon hosts clowned a transgender athlete.
CBS Sports Radio’s arrival on AM 1580 means that CBSSR late night host Scott Ferrall will once again be heard on WNEW: he once hosted the morning show on 102.7 FM in New York back when that station had the WNEW callsign.
Recently, there was light talk of a possibility of CBSSR ending up in the D.C. area on 107.9 FM, which currently bears a Tropical music format that had moved to the frequency once “all news, all the time” began on WNEW-FM 99.1, which was, in fact, exactly one year ago today. Prior to that, CBS purchased 107.9 FM from Family Stations, which had been unloading several big-market properties in recent years, including Philadelphia (they’ve recently returned to the market via AM 950, which had previously been an ESPN Radio affiliate owned by Greater Media).
This would be an opportune time to issue somewhat of an apology for a bit of speculation that fell through. Yesterday, Family Radio’s former New York City station, 94.7 FM, began its new format under the control of Cumulus: country music. I had previously written, upon the report of Cumulus possibly purchasing an FM stick in Chicago, about a scenario in which CBS Sports Radio would be cleared on three FM stations in the top three markets – including Los Angeles, which, to this day, remains the only major market without a sports radio station, local or national, on the FM dial. But with CBS Radio recently going on record with a plan to slowly but surely turn 66 WFAN into the network’s flagship in the New York market, it would be moot to bring the format to the FM dial full-time.
Anyhow, with CBS Sports Radio on WNEW-AM being a foregone conclusion a few weeks into the New Year, CBS might need to issue an apology to fans of D.C.-based CBSSR personality John Feinstein for denying them a few weeks of his show on the radio.
In fact, the midday program could be the station’s highest-rated show. With the previous formats barely moving the ratings needle on WNEW-AM, the sky – or a 0.2 share – is the limit for Feinstein.