Radio station WVIE drops sports for all news

Daily Record Business Writer//July 5, 2011

Radio station WVIE drops sports for all news

By Chelsea Feinstein

//Daily Record Business Writer

//July 5, 2011

Radio station WVIE (1370 AM) has dropped its sports talk format in favor of all-day news programming.

The network, which until Friday was home to Fox Sports Radio, provides 12-hour-per-day coverage from America’s Radio News, a news service based in Alexandria, Va.

The new format, which started Monday, features national, international and local news, as well as traffic, weather and sports updates. Bob Pettit, the station’s general manager, said the focus will be news talk and the station will have no strong political affiliation.

“We saw an opportunity,” Pettit said. “There was a need for all news all day in Baltimore. We feel that sports is oversaturated in the market.”

Pettit said the station decided to change formats because of competition from five other sports talk stations in Baltimore.

“A market this size could support one station pretty well,” he said. “But there are only a handful of listeners and six sports talk stations. It’s a niche format, and we’re going to let the other guys have that niche.”

The network’s hosts were told of their shows’ cancellations after they finished recording theirs on Thursday. Pettit said he would be interested in bringing the hosts back to do weekend or evening programs, but no plans have been made yet.

“I felt that we had some of the best programming in town,” said Jerry Coleman, whose show had run on WVIE since 2008. “We were local, we covered all the local teams and we were successful. We just didn’t get the word out enough. But I’m proud of the work we did and I can hold my head up high. That’s just the nature of the business we’re in, unfortunately.”

This is the third format change the station has undergone in Pettit’s time as general manager. It was previously a music station and a political talk station before turning to sports talk in 2008.


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