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Published December 18, 1997
In San Diego, Fritz Quindt reported that the Chargers have signed a one-year deal with KFMB-FM making it their flagship radio station, "officially ending an 11-year run on" XTRA-AM. Although terms we not disclosed, Chargers Owner Alex Spanos "confirmed" that the team was offered $15M for five years earlier by XTRA and didn't resign. KMFB GM Bob Bolinger said the contract "may evolve" into a multi- year deal. Quindt added one "unique" item about the deal is that Chargers games will be simulcast on KMFB-AM "when there are no Padres or [SDSU] conflicts" (UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/18). FAMILY MAN: Chicago's WGN announced that Chip Caray will join his grandfather, Harry Caray, and Steve Stone in the broadcast booth for 50 Cubs games during the '98 season (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/18). Caray will continue doing his "MLB on Fox" Saturday assignment from June to through the end of the season (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/18). NOTES: The Broncos-49ers game on "MNF" earned a 40.7/60 overnight in the Bay Area (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/18). ....The LPGA's agreement with Mercury to sponsor seven events on ESPN and ESPN2 is "more about exposure than increased revenue," according to USA TODAY's Jerry Potter. LPGA General Counsel Ty Votaw said that the series is a "modified time buy," where Mercury and other sponsors will pick up the expense. While the deal won't give the LPGA increased TV revenue through rights fees, Votaw adds that it helps financially because events will be able to sign sponsors since they are being televised (USA TODAY, 12/18). PAGE TURNERS: USA TODAY lists the top selling sports books outside its top 50: No. 115) "Everest: Mountain Without Mercy," by Broughton Coburn; No. 130) "A March To Madness," by John Feinstein; No. 222) "The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Mt. Everest," by Anatoli Boukreev; No. 234) "1998 Sports Almanac," by the SI editors (USA TODAY, 12/18).