First, it was the Miami Marlins. Then, COVID-19 crippled the St. Louis Cardinals. Will there be a truncated Major League Baseball season in 2020? If so, Oakland A’s fans can find their team on the radio again — in yet another audio coverage shift for the team known for “Moneyball” man Billy Beane.
“We’re happy to announce that we will broadcast 54 games on BLOOMBERG 960 AM during the 2020 season,” the team shared late Thursday via its Twitter feet.
That would be Class B KNEW-AM 960, owned by iHeartMedia, a 5kw directional facility with three towers. It has city-grade coverage of Marin County, and all of the San Francisco-Oakland market as defined by Nielsen Audio.
Coverage can also be found on KOSF-FM 103.7 HD2.
The loser here: TuneIn.
And, it is an about-face to a decision in February 2020 to keep the American League team’s games on an online-only platform for those in their primary San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market. The decision did not impact the A’s radio network, which includes 50kw Class B KHTK-AM 1140 in Sacramento — a Bonneville International Sports Talker with a signal that covers nearly all of the Bay Area, Stockton, Modesto, and much of the Monterey-Salinas, Chico and Santa Rosa, Calif., markets.
Other affiliate stations can be found from Fresno to the Oregon-California border.
Audio play-by-play is handled by Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo.
The return to an AM station in the Bay Area itself comes just 17 months after the A’s had a terrestrial radio deal. As RBR+TVBR reported, Salem Media Group Class B KTRB-AM 860, a conservative Talker under “The Answer” branding used at other Salem secular spoken-word properties across the U.S., had been designated as the flagship station for the team.
Alas, that relationship didn’t last.
And, it came about after the A’s tried, and failed, to purchase KTRB a decade ago. That unsuccessful effort led the Athletics to team with Entercom’s Sports station now carrying the KGMZ-FM calls — “95.7 The Game,” starting with the 2011 season.
On October 15, 2018, following the end of the baseball season, the A’s ended months of speculation by parting ways with Entercom. It did so publicly in a now infamous Tweet, with the A’s saying “It’s not us, it’s you” as the four-year contract the team had with Entercom expired.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s were “frustrated” across the 2018 season about a lack of promotion of the team’s games on “The Game.” They also believed there was a genuine lack of interest in the A’s beyond play-by-play and being bumped to another station as the Golden State Warriors NBA franchise was given preference in game-day conflicts.
Athletics COO Chris Giles told the newspaper at the time that, in its search for a new partner, “The driving factor No. 1 is signal strength. The second is the ability to have a consistent home for our broadcasts. And third is the ongoing partnership we will have with a true flagship station.”
Now, it appears the A’s have the partner they’ve been seeking in iHeart.
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