ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

End of an Era in Midwest Radio

I've commented previously about the demise of KMOX. They have two primary drivers for their existing radio audience and the competition in the St Louis market is KILLING THEM.

Well, it appears that the second to last nail has been hammered into KMOX's coffin:

Lamping: KMOX 'pretty much done with us'
By Dan Caesar
Of the Post-Dispatch

Cardinals President Mark Lamping, unhappy with what KMOX has called its final offer to the team to retain its radio rights beyond this season, said the club no longer is focusing on that bid. Instead, the team is concentrating its efforts on deciding whether buying into KTRS and moving the broadcasts there, as has been discussed for months, is feasible.

"There's nothing else to focus on from KMOX," Lamping said this week. "They're pretty much done with us. We can't make them give us another offer.

"As far as KMOX is concerned, other than some non-economic things, we're not in the midst of any discussions with them. What we're spending our time on is not so much evaluating KMOX's offer, but if we choose to go to another station then there are issues that we're going need to deal with. (We) need to determine if we can deal with those issues or not before we make up our mind as to what we're going to do."

One of those key issues is lining up stations on the club's radio network that would cover areas in the St. Louis market that now get KMOX (1120 AM) but do not receive the signal of KTRS (550 AM) at night, when most of the games are played.

"That's one of many things," being evaluated, Lamping said. "Just in terms of the strength of the flagship station, KMOX is the best (option). But there are issues on both. And the thing that we're working on now is if we end up with a network that the flagship station does not have that strong of a signal, then there are things we need to deal with. What we're doing is we're figuring out is how would we deal with those things before we make up our mind."

Last week a source tied to KMOX and its owner, Infinity Broadcasting, said the offer to the Cards for next season, the first of a five-year deal, was worth about $7.5 million. But Lamping scoffed at that figure.

"The question has never been our rights fee going up with KMOX," Lamping said. "It always has been a negotiation of how far it goes down. I don't know what kind of funny math they have going."


"We know that there are a tremendous number of positives with both offers," Lamping said. "KMOX's positive is they've got a strong signal. If it just came down to signal (strength), this would have been decided a long time ago. On the other hand, if it just came down to financials it also would have been decided a long time ago and we would have gone to KTRS. There's no question financially the best way for the Cardinals to go is KTRS."
The "sports voice" of St Louis now will not have the Cardinals, the Rams, nor the Blues. They've always been a mix of talk and sports and they've had difficulty focusing on their identity, especially with significant competition from both the sports side (several all sports stations that true sports junkies listen to) and talk (550 KTRS and 97.1 FMTalk have eaten into their marketshare). The demographics for the station are terrible from an advertising standpoint...

How long before Rush leaves KMOX?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler