SBD/February 11, 2011/Media

DC's WJFK-FM Expected To Become Nationals' Flagship Station

Changing flagship stations will help expand the Nationals' radio reach in DC
The Nationals are "close to an agreement with WJFK-FM to make the sports talk station their flagship radio affiliate," according to sources cited by Ben Goessling of MASN. Sources indicated that the deal is not yet finalized, but "there is a verbal agreement in place." The Nationals "would keep WFED-AM, which has been the team's radio rightsholder, as a relay station." The sources said that announcers Charlie Slowes and Dave Jaegeler, who have "been calling Nationals games on the radio for seven and six years, respectively, will return as the team's broadcasters for the 2011 season." Goessling noted the Nationals have "been searching for a FM radio partner since the end of last season," and WJFK probably "made the most sense for the team, since it's the only all-sports station on FM radio in Washington" (MASNSPORTS.com, 2/10). In DC, Dan Steinberg reported under the proposed deal, WFED would "remain a Nats radio affiliate and would broadcast all the team's games, which would help maintain coverage to the north." WJFK would "add the strong penetration of an FM signal while also helping listeners in DC's western suburbs." The new flagship station would "broadcast all the team's night and weekend games, plus holiday matinees," while non-holiday weekday day games "would be broadcast on its sister station," WHFS-AM. WJFK, also the flagship station for the Wizards, "would have a 30-minute pre-game show for every game," as well as a "call-in style post-game show of up to 45 minutes." Steinberg noted there also are plans for WJFK to "have a broadcast set at Nats Park, next to the MASN set in the center field plaza, that could host promotions and the post-game show" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/10). Sources indicated that the "new radio contract is awaiting final approval by Nats ownership, but the sides already have an oral agreement in place and staffers at the affected stations have been notified of the pending change" (NATSINSIDER.BLOGSPOT.com, 2/10).
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