KXFN (1380 AM), which airs a lot of sports-talk programming, was off the air for several days recently and that provided plenty of fuel for conspiracy theorists. The station is leased by talkstl.com — a web-based programming provider — from Grand Slam Sports. And Grand Slam is best known in the last couple years for a wild saga that includes unpaid bills that led to its transmitters being turned off and employee unrest that culminated with a fight in the studio that led to a broadcaster being arrested and a company executive being hospitalized.
Grand Slam finally ran its other station, KFNS (590 AM), off the air following its more than a two-decade run in the sports-talk business that was interrupted briefly near the end when it was switched to “guy talk” (and 1380 AM to women’s-oriented shows).
So late last week when KXFN began sounding like KFNS has since November — only a blast of static — the immediate suspicion for some was that another unpaid bill by Grand Slam had led to the power to the transmitter being turned off.
But talkstl.com owner Scott Gertken said the outage was caused by a transformer falling to the ground and creating a problem involving Ameren Illinois, not Grand Slam. The transformer powers the transmitter, which sends out the signal, and they are located in a remote area on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River near the Chain of Rocks Bridge.
“We were told (by Ameren) that they think a beaver may have chewed a tree down back in the flood plain, and that tree fell and … pulled the transformer and the wire (holding up a pole) down,” Gertken said. “It was in such a heavy vegetated area that they had to bring their forestry group in to even get in there and cut a path” to get the repairs done, which took 2½ days.
“That was a debacle,” said Gertken, whose station features J.C. Corcoran in morning drive-time and Kevin Slaten in afternoons. “We were really literally at the mercy of nature.”
Programming continued to run on the company’s website, but Gertken knows the conspiracy theory talk regarding the over-the-air signal was out there.
“That’s the fun part, that’s what keeps us alive,” he said, adding that his company’s relationship with Grand Slam is good.
“I think they’re trying to do what they need to do on their end to clean things up,” he said. “I think they’re making progress.on several levels. … I think they are really trying to do what they can to do to make things right.”
Credit to the St. Louis post-Dispatch who originally published this article
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.
Kayla Anderson Added to 104.5 The Zone Morning Show
Anderson will begin hosting Wednesday morning. She has previously worked as a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor to WKRN-TV in Nashville.
Kayla Anderson has been added to the 104.5 The Zone morning show, newly titled Ramon, Kayla, and Will, joining Ramon Foster and Will Boling on the Nashville station.
Anderson will begin hosting Wednesday morning. She has previously worked as a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor on WKRN-TV in Nashville. A graduate of Washington State University, she has also worked at television stations in Spokane, Missoula, Tucson, and Columbus in addition to her time in Nashville.
Anderson said on Twitter she is “so excited to join this group!”
Boling had been the interim host of the morning show after the August departure of Jason Martin.
Ramon, Kayla, and Will will be heard from 6:00 AM-10:00 AM each weekday morning.
Derek Wolfe Joining 104.3 The Fan as ‘The Drive’ Co-Host
I am so insanely pumped to talk with you every afternoon on The Fan. We had a special connection when I was playing for the Broncos that’s only going to grow stronger every day on The Drive.”
Former NFL defensive lineman Derek Wolfe is joining 104.3 The Fan in Denver as Darren “DMac” McKee’s co-host on The Drive With Derek Wolfe and DMac.
Wolfe announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this year after signing a one-day contract to retire with the Denver Broncos. He was the franchise’s top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, spending eight seasons with the team, including a win in Super Bowl 50.
“To the listeners in Denver, ‘The Fan Wolfe-pack,’ I am so insanely pumped to talk with you every afternoon on The Fan. We had a special connection when I was playing for the Broncos that’s only going to grow stronger every day on The Drive,” said Wolfe. “DMac and I are going to fight sometimes, maybe we’ll fight a lot of the time, but we’ll always be working together to entertain you. I’ve always kept it 100 with you, and that’s not going to change one bit.”
“Derek is one of the most popular players in Broncos history, with the iconic image of his sack celebration in Super Bowl 50 forever etched in Denver sports lore,” said 104.3 The Fan program director Raj Sharan. “What’s so exciting about adding Derek is his connection with the audience goes far beyond his production on the field. He’s never been afraid to mince words and is unapologetically authentic. Those characteristics drew Denver sports fans to fall in love with Derek, and we’re thrilled to help Derek build on that relationship everyday as he entertains his ‘Fan Wolfe-pack!’”
Wolfe enters a role previously occupied by former Bronco Tyler Polumbus, who departed the station in September. The Drive with Derek Wolfe and DMac will be heard weekday afternoons from 2:00 PM-6:00 PM.
Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees
Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.
Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.
The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:
- Mr. Doug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
- Mr. James Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
- Mr. Bob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
- Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
- Ms. Bernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
- Mr. Sid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
- Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
- Mr. Pervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
- Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
- Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.
“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”
The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.