Monday, September 27, 2010

1250 ESPN cans all local talent

By Jeff

Starting today, 1250 ESPN Radio Pittsburgh will have no local shows. All of the local talent has been let go, allowing Colin Cowherd to make his return to Pittsburgh radio. It's a sad day for the city.

The story was first reported by Bob Smizik Friday and then confirmed today. You can read it here.

Personally, I rarely listened to ESPN once 93.7 The Fan hit the airwaves. It's not that the Fan is much better than ESPN, it's just I can't stand the talents on the ESPN shows when I'm in the car. I've made it clear in this space my hatred for"Mike and Mike in the Morning." The duo has never asked a hard question on their show since it began. Everything about the show bothers me.

In the afternoon, "The Drive" was an OK show. Scott Paulsen is a great radio talent. Sports is not really his strength, but he was still entertaining and did a solid job running the show. The problem with "The Drive" was Mike Logan is terrible. He struggles with speaking, and that turns out to be pretty important in the radio world.

The saddest part of this transition is Stan Savran and Guy Junker are two of the best voices in Pittsburgh sports. I rarely got to listen to them, but was entertained when I caught bits of their show. They didn't even get to say goodbye to their listeners or thank them over the air for their support.

The Fan is the big winner here. With a big competitor out of the picture, they should see a ratings boost, despite the station's programming is getting stale. Other than the post-Steelers game show with Gregg Giannotti and Colin Dunlap, the hosts on the Fan rarely interact with the callers. They take plenty of calls, but their interaction is usually limited to "Thanks for your call," or "We appreciate the call," and then they hang up on the caller and rip them.

The Fan's talent also seems to have thin skin. Any time an athlete puts the media in a negative light, hosts on the Fan immediately go into attack mode. They also don't like callers questioning them. I've heard Paul Alexander and John Burton say countless times "Thanks for telling me how do my job." I understand they get bombarded with plenty of idiots and it's annoying, but they are on the air telling professional athletes and coaches what they should do in the next game, or how they should have handled a situation. Who are they to bitch about callers telling them they are doing a poor job?

I'm curious to see how the Fan reacts to having less competition. Will they get lazy, or will they make more bold steps (They are the official station for Pitt sports) to increase their exposure in the market?

Sam Cooke - Chain Gang

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