Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dropping KLSD?

Haven't we been here before?

Well, its been a while since the last rumor post here, since I'm always a bit wary of these, and have been burned a few times as well. Nonetheless, here's a new one to chew on. And it concerns one of the biggest success stories in the liberal talk format. And hopefully, by getting this out in the open, perhaps some light will be shed on this whole speculation.

Industry trade news site AllAccess is forwarding this little tidbit from San Diego, via sdradio.net's Chris Carmichael, who noticed that Clear Channel's Mike Costa, a local sports radio gadfly, has registered the domain xtrasports1360.com as of August 8th. The '1360' part of that is also the frequency for radio station KLSD.

Costa is currently employed by Clear Channel, and will do sideline reporting for sister station KOGO's coverage of San Diego State Aztecs football this Fall. Previously, he's done time at virtually every sports station that has ever existed in San Diego.

Carmichael is teasing a potential flip on Radio Info, going so far as to hint at new call letters, KXTR. Only problem is, a check of the FCC call sign database shows that the KXTR calls reside on an Entercom-owned AM station in Kansas City.

So far, this all sounds like merely a rumor. David Tanny at San Diego Radio News is a bit skeptical, given that the two other sports stations in town aren't really setting the world on fire. Meanwhile KLSD has been doing well with liberal talk, getting the best ratings the signal's gotten with various other past formats, though they took an unusual drastic slide in the most recent ratings report, dropping from 2.2 to 0.9 overall. With such a slide, which seems like a fluke to me, no doubt will there be rumors flying.

Save for the most recent book, KLSD has done well with the format, getting its best ratings since the 80s. The station has also helped to spawn local talent, such as Air America Radio's Jon Elliott and frequent fill-in Stacy Taylor.

So, does San Diego, or Souther California really need yet another sports talk station? Sure, XEPRS does well with its mostly local approach, while XESPN (airing, obviously, the ESPN feed) and two stations from L.A. that are listenable in the market - Clear Channel-owned KLAC (XTRA Sports 570, which 1360 would likely copy) and KSPN, another ESPN outlet. Of course, both of those stations get lousy ratings in their home market.

Clear Channel has tried sports in San Diego in the past. In fact, they did the L.A./San Diego combo before, with XETRA (690AM) and the former KXTA (now KTLK). Both stations did rather poorly in the ratings, even with XETRA's monster signal that reaches all the way up to Los Angeles. They dropped the San Diego part when they were forced to end their marketing agreement with XETRA, and moved the Los Angeles sports format to KLAC. Following that move, XEPRS picked up Jim Rome and FOX Sports Radio from Clear Channel's syndication arm, Premiere Radio Networks.

Reach KLSD's Cliff Albert here.


raccoonradio said...

The KLSD site does confirm that there are rumors of a change, all right,
and a couple posts on radio-info.com
surmise that it could happen on Sept 1...and that poss. formats may
include brokered financial or sports..

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