While Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley was hardly bashful in stating during her company’s Q4 earnings call on Monday that its WBZ-FM 98.5 “The Sports Hub” is the new No. 1 all-Sports radio station in the U.S., Entercom Communications has no trouble in calling itself “the unrivaled leader in local sports radio.”
Now, it seeks to expand on this national dominance by bringing local businesses into its answer to iHeartRadio and TuneIn.
Introducing “Radio.com Sports,” described by Entercom as “a new brand which serves to magnify the company’s unmatched local business to a more prominent national scale in order to better serve its listeners and advertisers.”
This means Entercom’s array of all-Sports stations will get a digital branding boost designed to bring in more ad dollars — a boost that will also be integrated into the main Radio.com platform.
In the words of Entercom President of Sports Mike Dee, a veteran of such organizations as the San Diego Padres baseball club and Miami Dolphins NFL franchise, “Radio.com Sports is a strategic initiative to further elevate our existing portfolio of local brands and personalities and provide a more robust and unified experience for fans coast to coast.”
But, more than anything, it is a digital ad play.
“The platform also offers our advertisers an efficient way to tap into Entercom’s scale and multiplatform content,” Dee said.
The launch of the digitally focused Radio.com Sports will see “Sports Insiders” make appearances at Entercom’s wide array of sports stations across the U.S. to provide commentary and insight. Premium content will be available on demand on Radio.com.
Who are the Sports Insiders? Baseball manager and retired player Joe Girardi, now an analyst for the MLB Network; Ross Tucker, former National Football League offensive lineman and current national sports broadcaster; Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB columnist; Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com NFL columnist; and Armando Salguero, Miami Herald sports columnist.
Serving as launch partner is Mercedes-Benz, which will be activating a 360-degree campaign across various elements of the national platform. Additional partners will be announced soon.
The transition to the RADIO.COM Sports brand on Entercom’s broadcast and digital platforms does not affect the CBS Sports Radio Network, which the company operates in a joint venture partnership with Westwood One.
Among the Entercom Sports stations are WEEI-AM and WEEI-FM in Boston, presently behind Beasley-owned WBZ-FM, the broadcast home of the New England Patriots NFL franchise. Also in the Entercom stable are WFAN-AM & FM in New York, WIP-FM in Philadelphia and both WAXY-AM and WQAM-AM in Miami.
In other Entercom news, there’s been little movement in regards to the shift of all of the company’s Miami stations to a new facility in the Little River neighborhood of Miami.
The former Jefferson-Pilot (and Lincoln Financial Media) stations remain on U.S. 441, while the former Beasley Media Group (and CBS Radio) stations are just down the road in a different facility.
RBR+TVBR reported in January 2017 that Entercom would be getting “trendy new digs” as some 104 people are to relocate to a new facility taking shape in one of Miami’s “uptown” neighborhoods.
“The move will be very late this year,” a source close to the matter said at the time.
More than two years later, a move has not happened … but will soon.
The new home of Entercom/Miami is to have 7,500 more square feet than its current facility. According to the South Florida Business Journal, the property will include a performance space with up to 200 seats.
A January 9, 2019, report in BISNOW says the building’s grand opening is near. However, an Entercom/Miami representative tells RBR+TVBR a move of the stations will not occur until June or July.