There’s A Baseball Game Going On?

There’s been a lot of chatter recently about Salem sports WKNR/850 Cleveland’s behavior during daytime Cleveland Indians games. The behavior – basically – is that the market’s only full-time sports talk station acts like the Tribe doesn’t exist while they’re playing during the day.

‘KNR’s sports update anchors are apparently not giving the Indians score while they’re still on the field, and its sports talkers aren’t talking Tribe while the team is playing. This only happens when the Indians play before 7 PM weekdays, as WKNR has no regularly scheduled local sportscasts after 7.

Why would the market’s only full-time sports talker ignore the game that’s going on?

Well, one would presume that they fear people hearing about a good game, and flipping the dial to the station’s chief competitor, Clear Channel talker WTAM/1100, to actually listen to Tom Hamilton, Matt Underwood and Mike Hegan call the game on the team’s flagship station.

Some have suggested that legalities force WKNR to ignore the Indians during day games. That can’t possibly be the case. The only legal hot water would involve WKNR’s anchors or hosts doing impromptu play-by-play of the game while it’s going on, which would be a definite no-no.

But there’s no legal prohibition against station sports news anchors, or hosts, simply giving the game score.

Our suggested happy medium: Have the anchors briefly give the score, but not dwell on it, and use the score as a way to promote the station’s “Tenth Inning” show with Bob Karlovic. (“Tribe 4, A’s 2 in the 8th, and a reminder, talk about the game with WKNR’s Bob Karlovic and the ‘Tenth Inning’ show…”) We also don’t expect WKNR afternoon host Kenny Roda to get on and say “hey, there’s a great Indians game going on now!”, but general talk about the team (not in the context of the current game) shouldn’t be verboten.

Of course, OMW and others have suggested that WKNR program director Michael Luczak actually use an out-of-station voice for ‘KNR’s imaging, but he continues to voice the imaging pieces himself. So much for being an armchair PD, eh?

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