Tuesday, March 29, 2011

KFRC 1550AM in final hours of radio drama with Oakland A's and KTRB

3/29/11, Rich Lieberman, "The broadcast brohaha has to be mind-numbing to A's lead play-by-play man, Ken Korach, one of the vesy BEST in the business, not just here in the Bay Area, but nationally too. Korach, as I've said so many times, is about as good a broadcaster as they come. He's sharp, funny, gives the score relentlessly, and is not a homer. Just a terrific voice and consummate professional.
  • The fact that this current radio standoff puts him in an awkard position is a massive disservice to both A's fans and baseball fans in general. That's not good.
*Speaking of the A's radio situation, what I'm hearing: From the A's side: KTRB's bank receiver, (Comerica,) is trying to get more money out of the franchise, in essence holding the A's radio broadcasts as hostage while negotiations continue. That may or may not be true, depending on who you listen to. In addition, Comerica is floating the spectre of another bidder/suitor. But I doubt there's any substance to that. Is this a ploy? Probably, but more on that later.
  • From the KTRB/Comerica side: Simple business. The bank is trying to get maximum dollar for an admitedly distressed property, but at what price and how reasonable are they acting? If this is simply a negotiating ploy, its probably not going to work.
Bottom line: The A's, even if they're being squeezed, (and from every indication, they just might be) could have and should have avoided all of this. It further erodes any smidgen of good will between the fan base and Lew Wolff and company. And it only reinforces the notion that Wolff's mindset is squarely on San Jose as a future destination for his team, and damn the Eastbay and Oakland fans. Some conspiracy theorists on AthleticsNation have even speculated that this whole radio mess is being orchestrated by Wolff to make his case easier for a potential SJ move. I doubt that, but nothing would surprise me.
  • The radio matter is an embarrassment to the A's, their fans, Korach, the franchise's sponsors and vendors. No matter who or what is the bad guy, this whole thing should have been handled well before the season.
*KFRC 1550 AM: Although it's not 100% certain, the likelihood of the entire season's broadcasts on KFRC is now formidable, according to a well-placed source. The source indicated that there's a lot more to the whole mess, with lawyers, contractual obligations, and potential lawsuits in the play. Its not simply a case of the A's and KTRB negotiating over the cost of buying a radio station. As I said Monday, "the devil is in the details." This, of course, may all be window-dressing and on Opening night, 860 AM will be doing the games, but that now remains doubtful, according to the source. We'll see...and hear more later in the week. KFRC, even at the worst dial position on the map, (1550 AM) is a clear channel and is heard fairly easily throughout the Bay Area.
  • KTRB, while at a better dial position, has tower issues that require a whole lot of heavy lifting, (metaphorically speaking)...
maybe all of this, from a listening standpoint, may be a blessing in disguise. Stay tuned on this site; we'll post periodic updates when we obtain more information...Developing Story."


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