Two Competitive Sports Radio Markets

The Cleveland radio market and Sandusky are separated by a few dozen miles, and have a difference in population of a few million people. But both are now either seeing sports radio competition…or about to see it.

When we mentioned the first new sports entrant in the Lake Erie “Vacationland” region – Norwalk daytimer WLKR/1510 “ESPN 1510” – we forgot to mention two things.

First, the station does run high school football. It can’t be live on Friday nights, due to the station’s daytime status, but games air under the “Pigskin Playback” banner on delay on Saturday mornings. Sister AC outlet WLKR/95.3 airs two games on Friday nights, one live, the other delayed…and the “ESPN 1510” game airing Saturday is a different contest entirely.

And WLKR does not normally broadcast on the Internet, but all three games are heard online via the station’s website. It’s a growing trend even in the smallest markets to offer up Internet simulcasts of high school football and basketball games.

Further north up U.S. 250, we’ve been listening to WLEC’s online feed as the station expands its Saturday morning local sports show to two hours.

The move to all sports actually makes sense for the Clear Channel Sandusky AM outlet, which already carries a pretty hefty diet of sports play-by-play.

With a local afternoon drive show (“Wiede after Rome” with Dave Wiedenheft), WLEC seems to be making an effort to make the format more localized than just being your standard FOX Sports Radio/Jim Rome outlet.

As far as the much larger market to the east of the Sandusky/Norwalk area, we’re hearing rumblings that something big could be afoot regarding the presence of “ESPN Cleveland”, the first all-sports competitor to Salem’s WKNR/850 in some time. (That, of course, doesn’t count the Sports Radio Elephant in the middle of the living room in Cleveland, Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100.)

But we have no details right now.

We’ll just continue with our ongoing speculation about what new WABQ/1540 owner Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting is going to do to overcome his signal handicap with the 1000 watt daytimer…and the repeat of our earlier mantra that Karmazin would have a tough time being competitive with that mostly inner city daytime signal…

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