The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

8 May 2005

A Busch-league proposition

As far back as I can remember, which is farther than I'd care to remember sometimes, the St Louis Cardinals were on KMOX radio (1120); I used to pick up the games in Charleston back in the 1960s.

Apparently a blowtorch station that reaches about half the states in the Union isn't good enough for the Birds anymore, though:

The Cardinals' contract with KMOX (1120 AM) expires after this season, and team officials have talked with KTRS (550 AM) owners about buying that station and moving the broadcasts there.

KTRS, once KSD (I think), is a 5,000 watt regional station that has fairly decent reach but nowhere near the coverage of KMOX, especially at night when the directional pattern kicks in.

I understand the team's wanting to control the product, and the radio market has changed radically in recent years, but this still seems wrong, and Brian J. Noggle knows why:

Building the brand through a consolidated marketing plan by putting the broadcasts on a small radio station that most Cardinals fans cannot hear? The MBAs love it!

And when the fans in Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, and Indiana can't get the broadcast on KMOX, don't spend money for satellite radio [XM carries MLB games], and eventually stop making the pilgrimage to Busch stadium, the MBAs won't understand how the loss of tradition in a longstanding sport franchise ultimately hurts more than it makes hip.

I expect to have no trouble getting Cards games here in Oklahoma City, but it won't be the same without KMOX.

Posted at 10:30 PM to Overmodulation

It also used to be 55 KUSA country music, old timer. But memory is the first thing MBAs jettison.

Posted by: Brian J. at 7:05 AM on 9 May 2005

Do these MBAs not realize that the reason people can hear songs on the radio for free is because they drive sales of CDs and concert tickets?

Isn't there even at least one required course in elementary marketing in those MBA programs?

Posted by: McGehee at 8:14 AM on 9 May 2005

I've been thinking about this before the Cards made this decision, but I'm sort of convinced that those blowtorch stations may not have major sports teams on them much longer. Specifically, I'm thinking KOA (850) will not have the Rockies on after this season as well.

Clear Channel has up-and-coming talk radio personalities on its lower-tier talk station (KHOW), and is probably wanting to find a way to move them to KOA and shove the Rockies down to KHOW.

Posted by: Brad S at 10:06 PM on 9 May 2005

This may be a trend. I checked out the other MLB teams, and while 50-kw stations still predominate, there simply aren't enough of them to support every MLB team, and there are some serious anomalies. In Atlanta, WGST drops from 50k to 1k (!) at night, forcing Braves games to the FM band. A similar situation prevails in the District of Columbia, where a 1000-watt daytimer (WFED) has the rights to the Nationals, and night games show up on its FM sisters.

I'm not a major Rockies fan, but KOA booms in here at night clear as a bell; I've never gotten a peep out of KHOW, probably because it's only 10 kHz away from our own WWLS.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:03 AM on 10 May 2005