Sports talk in St. Louis was born in 1992 at 1380 AM, which had the call letters of KGLD before soon becoming KASP. Now, nearly a quarter century later, 1380 is counting on several big names still around from that era to get it rolling.
Kevin Slaten and J.C. Corcoran, who have worn bad-boy hats on the St. Louis airwaves for decades, form the programming bookends of the operation. And Howard Balzer and Charlie “Tuna” Edwards are on the way.
The station, now known as KRFT, recently was leased by talkstl.com — a web-based programming provider. By taking over the radio station, it is also able to send its content out over the air.
The first move was to put longtime St. Louis sports-talk firebrand Slaten in the key afternoon drive-time slot (3-6 p.m.), when he has been doing his customary raucous show since mid-March.
Starting Monday, the station’s lineup grows again. The marquee name among the newcomers is Corcoran, who will be in the morning-drive slot (7-9 a.m.). Although he doesn’t do a sports show per se, he frequently touches on athletics. And sports will be the focus of the station throughout most of the day.
“Everything’s going to have at least a bit of a sports flavor,’’ said Scott Gertken, who runs the operation. “Probably 90 percent.”
Longtime St. Louis sports talkers Balzer and Edwards are to arrive April 20 from WQQX (1490 AM). And nationally syndicated jock-jabber host Jim Rome is on in early afternoons.
Gertken said he “giggles” when it’s mentioned that some think he’ll have trouble operating a regular radio station after having been in charge of a simpler online business. He said he has people working for him with a good understanding of regular radio, adding, “We couldn’t be more excited about the lineup we were able to finalize. We’ve done a whole lot in 10 days.”
The station, which is using NBC Sports Radio to provide its additional programming, currently is licensed to operate only during the daytime. But Gertken hopes to be on 24 hours by May 1.
Corcoran has been on the St. Louis airwaves for almost all of the last three decades, at many spots on the dial. But vast changes in the business phased out his style — a morning show heavy on talk about news, entertainment, sports and politics mixed with music.
He ended up getting work in Houston last year but also did a show tailored to St. Louis for a time on KFNS (590 AM) — which now is off the air. The Houston gig fizzled after a format change, but he persevered. He has been conducting his program digitally (at jcontheline.com and a mobile app), which he plans to continue to do from 6-7 a.m. before his show starts on the 1380/ talkstl.com operation.
He’s known for his outspoken — sometimes controversial — stances. And he promises no changes in approach or format of the show.
“It will be exactly the same thing I’ve been doing,’’ he said. “Anybody who listens to the show is going to hear J.C. Corcoran — they know what they’re going to get.”
What gets his proverbial goat is the current state of the radio business.
“Its embarrassing to watch the forces that be at some of the bigger stations rumble around putting people on the air you can tell are going nowhere” while proven veterans are available, he said.
He adds that he finds it perplexing that he can be on in big markets (he’s done fill-in work in Chicago in addition to his time in Houston) but has had trouble finding on-air work at a major station in St. Louis — where he is established.
“You explain to me what the rationale is for people who run radio stations here that J.C. Corcoran is good enough to work in (markets ranked third and fourth nationally) but just not in market 21,” he said. “You explain that to me and I’ll write you a check.”
But he’s glad to be coming back on the St. Louis airwaves.
“It will be a general interest talk (show), entertainment and a heavy dose of my twisted mind,” he said.
1380’S WEEKDAY LINEUP
7-9 a.m. • J.C. Corcoran
9-11 a.m. • Chris Razavi, Todd Blackstock
11 a.m.-1 p.m • Howard Balzer, Charlie “Tuna” Edwards (starts April 20th)
1-3 p.m • Jim Rome
3-6 p.m. • Kevin Slaten
6 p.m. • T. Cole, Steve “The Greek” Jones
* Midday lineup before April 20 to be determined.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Brent Dougherty Signs New Deal At 104.5 The Zone
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Things are going very well for 104.5 The Zone. The Cumulus station is coming off of a strong Fall ratings book, and now it has secured the future of its signature show Brent Dougherty has a new deal that will keep the 3HL host on the station for the foreseeable future.
“I am blessed to be able to work with the most talented people in radio, both on and off the air,” Dougherty told BSM. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Brent Dougherty has been part of The Zone since 2008. He was well-known to Nashville sports fans long before that, having previously served as the Sports Director at 1510 WLAC.
Dougherty announced his new deal last week on Twitter. On Monday, he told Barrett Sports Media that re-signing was a no-brainer, given his teammates.
“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Dawn Davenport, Ron Slay, and Joe Hunk on a day-to-day basis. We know that there is always room to grow. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and will continue to do that every day. Win every day – always and always.”
While all of the teams currently in Nashville were already there when 3HL launched in 2010, Dougherty knows the landscape is so much different now with a population boom and the changing options for sports media. He says that he is optimistic that both the show and 104.5 The Zone will play a prominent role in shaping sports fans’ conversations in Middle Tennessee for years to come.
“We as a radio station have tried to grow with Nashville hand-in-hand. 104.5 The Zone is the voice of Nashville sports. It was that way when I came to work at this radio station in 2008. We are blessed to have such loyal and passionate listeners and are so thankful for their participation and their desire to take ownership over what we do.”
David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP
“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”
WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.
Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.
David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.
“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”
The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.
Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”
Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.
McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”
Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.
“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”