850-AM WKNR, until Thursday the only all-sports-talk station in Cleveland — said changes were afoot in the station's programming as 92.3-FM WKRK changes to all sports and brings new competition to the market.
He answered the main questions of Joel Hammond at crainscleveland.com, centered on the loss of Westwood One's NFL coverage, in a Thursday morning voice mail, and had a simple explanation for Westwood One joining with WKRK: WKNR, through fan surveys, said it found more Browns coverage was in demand. So it now will have five hours of pregame and postgame coverage, and thus other NFL games on the station were impossible.
“Westwood One was a great partner for many years, but we weren't able to continue as an affiliate,” he said.
Tom Herschel, CBS Radio's senior vice president and market manager in Cleveland, said the addition of Westwood One was a big factor. He wouldn't comment, though, on whether Westwood One signed with CBS Radio here, forcing WKNR's hand, or whether WKNR cut ties first.
The new station also will have Big Ten Football, though Ohio State will remain on WKNR.
“We really look at this as an incredible opportunity,” Herschel said.