Clear Channel, CBS Radio Vie For Indians' Radio Rights Set To Expire After '12 Season
The Indians have “offered for bid the rights to their flagship radio broadcasts," with WKRK-FM "mounting a stern challenge for them to the incumbent, WTAM-AM,” according to Joel Hammond of CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS. Sources said that CBS-owned WKRK “is the front-runner to obtain the rights” when the two-year contract with WTAM expires “after the current season.” A source said that the two stations are the “only entities involved in the bidding.” Another source, without disclosing the amount involved, said he was “blown away” by what WKRK offered for the rights. A third source said that WKNR-AM was “involved early but since has dropped out of the discussions” (CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 9/17 issue). Indians Senior Dir of Communications Curtis Danburg said, “We are making strides, but it’s hard to put a date in when we’ll get a deal done.” In Cleveland, Paul Hoynes noted the Indians are “seeking a longer deal than their current two-year contract.” It is “believed they prefer a three-to-five year arrangement.” Clear Channel-owned WTAM “has been the Indians' flagship station since 1998” and also is the flagship station of the Browns and Cavaliers. It has a 50,000-watt signal that “allows it to reach a larger audience.” WKRK, an all-sports station, went on the air in '11 and has “a stereo quality to its broadcasts and appeals to a younger audience” (CLEVELAND.com, 9/17).