Cox Media Group (CMG) Birmingham is launching its new 24-hour sports-talk station, “The Zone” 97.3 FM, on 8/30. Replacing New Country “The Buck,” it will include a weekday 6 to 9 a.m. morning show co-hosted by Alabama radio play-by-play announcer Eli Gold and Auburn color analyst and former Auburn Tigers quarterback Stan White. Additionally, long-time sports radio fixture Matt Coulter, who previously worked at Citadel Broadcasting’s cross-town sports talker—ESPN affiliate WJOX-A/FM—will be on air noon to 3 p.m. The station also will carry Tim Brando’s syndicated show and The Rick and Bubba Show.
David DuBose, CMG/Birmingham VP & General Manager, tells RBR-TVBR all about the decision to make the switch. Listen to the audio, above.
The Zone will also be an affiliate of newly formed Yahoo Sports Radio, previously Sporting News Radio.
The Zone will also be home to the Atlanta Falcons, now the home team for former Alabama players Mike Johnson, Julio Jones and John Parker Wilson; select Thursday night college football games; NFL games every Sunday and on several Monday and Thursday nights; high school Football Fridays, including a live game of the week beginning at 6:30p.m.; Saturday and Sunday fishing, hunting and golf programs; weekend health and fitness shows; and weekend car shows.
RBR-TVBR observation: Three interesting items here: Birmingham, AL now has two FM Sports Talk stations—unusual still for a market of this size; Yahoo! Sports is picking up more affiliates against ESPN Radio; and yet another spoken word station replacing a music format on FM.