SBD/January 4, 2012/Media

Bills Expected To Move Radio Broadcasts To Former Home WGR-AM

Under different ownership, WGR-AM had Bills' radio rights in the early '90s
The Bills and Entercom Communications today announced that "the team's radio broadcasts will return" to WGR-AM, according to Greg Connors of the BUFFALO NEWS. Cumulus Media announced Monday that it was "out of the bidding for the Bills' radio rights," leaving Entercom as the "logical place for the games to land." Sources confirmed yesterday that WGR "will carry the Bills in 2012," and an official announcement came from the team this morning. WGR, "under different ownership, had the Bills' radio rights in the early 1990s, then the games moved to WBEN from 1994-97" (BUFFALO NEWS, 1/4). Officials for WGRF-FM announced Monday that they have "pulled out of negotiations with the team and will not carry games next season" on either WGRF or WEDG-AM. Cumulus Media VP & GM Chet Osadchey said that the stations "remained interested in airing the games but that when the talks got to the point where they felt it was no longer in their best interest, 'we walked away.'" He added that WGRF and WEDG have "broadcast Bills games for the past 13 seasons under a series of three- to five-year contracts." Osadchey said that negotiations for a "new pact have been ongoing throughout the past year and that the stations remained interested." He "downplayed the impact of another losing season, calling it 'the new norm.'" Osadchey said that the stations "still will do pre- and post-game coverage of the team" (BUFFALO NEWS, 1/3).

NEW HOME: The Bills will also have a "new radio home in Rochester" next season. After "30-plus on-again, off-again seasons with WHAM-AM," the team will be heard on Entercom in Rochester, likely on ESPN Radio 950 Rochester and/or WCMF-AM. Clear Channel Rochester VP & GM Kevin Legrett confirmed the switch and said, "We have made the strategic decision that the increased costs in rights fees plus expenses cannot be passed on to our advertisers in this economic environment" (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 1/4).
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