SBD/February 7, 2013/Media

Astros Switch Radio Station To KBME-AM; Decision Coming On New Announcers

KBME now will air broadcasts for both the Astros and the Rockets
Astros games this season will move to KBME-AM, and club President George Postolos said that the club "will make a decision soon on new radio announcers for their new flagship station," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Postolos said that the move from KTRH-AM, the Astros' flagship station since '99, to KBME "was made at Clear Channel’s request." The Astros will join the Rockets as the "primary professional play-by-play franchises on KBME." Postolos said that the Astros "wanted to remain in business with Clear Channel," and that KBME was "the logical place for Astros regular-season games in addition to spring training games, which have aired on KBME for several years." If there are "springtime game conflicts with the Astros and Rockets, Rockets games will move to KTRH." The Astros' move "will reduce the area in which" the team can be heard at night. Meanwhile, Postolos said that the team "continues to work on assembling its new broadcast teams." Barron noted the "front-runner for the radio analyst’s job is Steve Sparks, who worked last year as a studio analyst for Fox Sports Houston." The most recent candidate "to emerge for the play-by-play job" is K.C.-based KCSP-AM's Robert Ford. Also still to be named are "the announcers who will join veteran Bill Brown on television." Former Astros announcer Alan Ashby has said that he is "returning to Houston after working for the Blue Jays since 2007, but that hire has not been confirmed." Former MLBer Geoff Blum also is expected to "join the network to work games that Brown does not call and to work as a studio analyst" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/6).

I'M LIVING ON THE AIR IN CINCINNATI: In Cincinnati, John Kiesewetter noted the Reds and WLW-AM on Tuesday announced the "renewal of the radio rights agreement to broadcast all regular and postseason games through 2017." As part of the agreement, WLW will "serve as the flagship for the Reds Radio Network, one of the largest in sports with 93 affiliates in nine states." WLW first broadcast the Reds in 1924, and has been the team's "exclusive local radio outlet" since '69. For Spring Training, "all but four split-squad games" will be broadcast on WLW, Fox Sports WSAI-AM or "streamed at Reds.com as part of the team's new radio rights extension." WLW will air 16 games while WSAI "will carry 11 weekday games starting Feb. 26" (CINCINNATI.com, 2/5).

SPRING IS NEAR: The Tigers yesterday announced that 35 of 36 Spring Training games “will be called on” WXYT-AM by Dan Dickerson and Jim Price, with the “lone exception being the road portion of a split-squad game against the Yankees on March 2.” Four games also will be televised on FS Detroit (DETROITNEWS.com, 2/6).
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