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).