Thursday, March 26, 2009

WINZ flip coming mid-April, to become 6th area sports talk station

There has been no real official statement, but the pending switch of Clear Channel's WINZ (940AM) in Miami to an all-sports talk has been a poorly kept secret, especially coming on the wresting of the FOX Sports Radio affiliation from another area station and the recent dropping of Don Imus' morning show for four replays of Rachel Maddow's one-hour show.

And now, it looks like WINZ will become the sixth sports talk-formatted station in South Florida.

From the Miami Herald:

WQAM general manager Joe Bell cracks that "we're not going to rest until there are more sports stations than gas stations" in South Florida.

It's certainly headed that way.

When WINZ-940 switches to an all-sports format by mid-April, South Florida will have more sports radio stations than pro teams -- six if you include West Palm Beach, as well as Miami and Fort Lauderdale; and five if you include the stations that can be heard throughout Broward County and at least part of Miami-Dade.

Can that many stations survive in a reeling economy? And why would a few of these stations even try?

"Of course it's too many," said Howard Davis, station manager of 790 The Ticket. "In my mind, there are two sports stations in this market -- us and WQAM. I don't consider syndicated [programs] local radio."

For the record, the other sports stations include locally-oriented stalwart WQAM (560AM); WAXY (790AM), which also carries a large amount of local programming; WFTL (640AM), which lost the FOX Sports affiliation to WINZ and recently picked up another syndicated service, Sporting News Radio; WFTL's sister station, WFLL (1400AM).

The real irony? Over the past year, WINZ's liberal talk format bested the area's top sports talker, WQAM, in the overall ratings.

Is South Florida really that sports-crazy, or is it just radio station owners that are crazy?


Lu Cifer, said...

DEATH to Crap Channel!!! And I'll answer the last line of the article: not only are radio station owners Nazis and crazy (especially CC aka SS Radio: Sig Heil Y'all) most y'all in print media SUCK too! And don't tell me CC is just so great cuz they have so many liberal talk stations, blah blah blah, look at WINZ not even A MONTH after 9/11 and the Nazi bastards flipped from (mostly) liberal talk TO SPORTS. AND BOMBED. And hello Cheap Channel, how's KLSD doing?! Everybody in South Florida, PLEASE, only listen to Bubba on 93.1 & Neil Rogers on 560 WQAM and let EVERY other station in that market DIE its long overdue death already!

FSL said...

The crazy people are the advertisers. Stations can sell sports even when hardly anybody is listening. Clear Channel says they are in the advertising sales business. All commercial stations are but at least Clear Channel admits it.

In much the same way advertisers will buy right-wing talk but won't buy progressive talk, supposedly because it's too "controversial." Remember that list that circulated a couple of years ago of advertisers who told ABC to black out their spots on any progressive talk stations (but those same advertisers were all over right-wing talk).

I am not a fan of Clear Channel but I can hardly blame them for programming what sells. Advertisers are their customers, not listeners.

jvwalt said...

A Clear Channel subsidiary owns Fox Sports Radio (which has no corporate connection to Rupert & Co.), so I suspect this decision was made at the corporate level: CC is trying to prop up FSR as a credible alternative to ESPN Radio. In order to do so, they need FSR outlets in as many major markets as they can.

They probably don't care what the Miami ratings are, or what the competition is doing; they just want to be able to tell national advertisers that they broadcast in X number of top markets, including Miami.

ltr said...

I can't believe that people still believe all that nonsense about the supposed ABC 'blacklist'. I thought I had already debunked it:

It wasn't a blacklist, it was a traffic list. Anyone who has ever been employed in the broadcast industry or knows anything about it should know this. Right, FSL?

FSL said...

I never said "blacklist." You did. Apparently, you'd rather quibble over semantics than deal with the basic issue. Which is: There is a mindset, among some advertisers and even among some broadcasters, that liberal talk is "controversial" while conservative talk is not.

The list (whatever label you apply to it) lists advertisers who regularly and frequently run spots on Rush, et al, while saying they do not want their spots run in liberal talk programs.
Such instructions are often ignored but they do reflect the mindset of certain advertisers. And because of that mindset, liberal talk is a harder sell than conservative talk.

Beyond that, anyone who has ever been employed in the broadcast industry or knows anything about it should know that many advertisers, especially local advertisers, want to be associated with sports programs. Beyond that, ad agency media buyers know that sports talk reaches money demo males, an especially hard-to-reach group for other radio formats.

Even with low cume and miniscule AQH shares, sports talk sells.

ctk said...

i really don't care that randi rhodes and thom hartmann are/were employed by clear channel at the local level. i really don't care that clear channel owns the majority of progtalk stations. clear channel is extremely bad for the format. they don't care about it, and no amounts of pointing out that they own the most progtalk stations will convince me otherwise.

how can you employ the first and second names of conservative programming and pay them MILLIONS of dollars in limbaugh and hannity, put them on hundreds of stations across the country and then out of the other side of your mouth claim that you have favor with progressive liberal talk by owning a few stations here and there, putting them on your weakest am signal in your market cluster and badly engineer them so that commercials run on top of each other, or your satellite connection is bad, or you get no audio, etc.? if clear channel really gave a damn about the format, not only would they not flip successful progtalk stations to sports in already sports radio crowded markets (KLSD and WINZ the prime examples), or flip stations that were successful already in their markets with weak signals (the ohio massacre), but they would ADD progtalk stations to their lineups and put them on good signals and make their sales teams sell advertising for those stations. and in the urban areas, there are opportunities to sell ads for this format.

i predict that this flip is going to fail, mainly because when the january 20 clear channel bloodletting occured, fox sports radio (which i always thought was better than espnradio) got much worse. essentially premiere/clear channel merged its national fox sports radio with the local fox sports radio affiliate. its not the same fsr last year as it was this year.

ltr said...

Just curious, FSL - have you ever worked in broadcasting?

Lu Cifer, said...

I think it's time to get ACTIVE!
PLEASE cut and paste into outgoing email box:,,

Please do this! It's INSANE that an area of 6 MILLION people will be stuck with NOTHING but oxyRU$Hitler shmit-talk radio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!

raccoonradio said... reports the flip to sports will happen Friday morning
Apr 3

Keith said...

I will deeply miss Air America in South Florida and I agree with most comments. The corporate owners of Clear Channel and the other massive media outlets gain more from deregulation and conservative government than by high ratings. Rupert Murdoch has been buying up papers and losing money on them. A sixth sports station here won't make money, but it could stem the tide towards re-establishing proper rules about media ownership. Clear Channel with their hundreds of radio stations would be gone if the old rules were brought back, which prior to Clinton's killing them, limited total media outlet ownership to 36 locations.

Why isn't diversity of opinion valued any more? We - the citizens - own the airwaves. WE NEED TO DEMAND they are used in our interest, so they cannot be controlled by Hearst-type organizations like Clear Channel.

Check out the new WINZ website - it's now at least 3/4 pornography. All we have now from Clear Channel is YELLOW JOURNALISM from inflammatory right-wing radio hosts - the whole reason we made the rules in the first place decades ago was to prevent this dereliction of duty.

The FOURTH ESTATE will die without our action:

1. E-mail Sanda Coyle at Clear Channel to let her know how you feel about this switch:

2. go to to learn other ways to fight back

Check out the last entry for WINZ on Wikipedia !!

"On April 2, 2009, it was reported on that the station would switch to sports the following day, making it the sixth sports station in Miami; this follows Clear Channel's trend of changing liberal talk formats (regardless of success) to its own Fox Sports network."

Note the "regardless of success" !!!!

This confirms my analysis.

Also see:

"The station currently enjoys decent ratings, typically maintaining a 1.5 overall share in the Arbitron ratings. That makes it the 4th most popular AM station in the market."

I read somewhere else...can't find the link now...that Air America out-performed the all-sports line-up on WINZ that preceded it.

Blatant disregard for their own profit motive....that's ideological.

Break up Clear Channel now!!!

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