By Adrian Zupp
On April 1, 2013, a joint venture between NBC Sports Radio and Dial Global went live, bringing a full weekly schedule of programming to a venture that began in September 2012 with a slate of shows airing between 7pm-5am Eastern. By April 2014, NBC Sports Radio surpassed 400 affiliates.
Fast-forward five years, and the fervor for syndicated sports talk programming had simmered a bit, with 24/7 programming replaced by newsfeeds and syndicated offerings.
Now, it’s all poised to come to an end.
Westwood One has informed all affiliates that it will no longer distribute NBC Sports Radio, come the end of March.
However, the company is offering affiliates an alternative programming option: switch to CBS Sports Radio, which it also distributes.
As for the programming heard on NBC Sports Radio as of today, Westwood One says it will be made available through other NBC audio platforms.
That said, it is believed that ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio, The Daily Line with Michael Jenkins and Tim Murray, and The Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison and Dan Schwartzman are cancelled.
News from Westwood One was distributed to NBC Sports Radio affiliates earlier this week via a memo, which reads:
Attention WESTWOOD ONE affiliates:
This letter will serve as notification that Westwood One will discontinue distribution and representation of NBC Sports Radio content. The cancellation is effective 11:59:59 PM ET on Tuesday March 31.
NBC Sports Radio came to life on Sept. 4, 2012, prior to Dial Global’s transition to Westwood One and Cumulus. Upon launch, NBC Sports Radio had 178 affiliates; the Dial Global 24/7 launch in April 2013 included 257 affiliates and programs from ESPN commentator and onetime WTZA-62 in Kingston, N.Y. sports anchor Brian Kenny, and Newy Scruggs, a veteran sports anchor with experience in Los Angeles and Dallas.
By late April 2014, NBC Sports Radio topped 400 affiliates. Among the stations added to NBC Sports Radio’s roster at the time were Tribune’s WGWG-FM 87.7 in Chicago (now MeTV Radio); Cumulus Media’s KTCT-AM in San Francisco; Entercom’s WEEI-FM in Boston; and Grand Slam Sports’ KFNS-AM in St. Louis.
— Archival reporting by Carl Marcucci; research by Adam R Jacobson