Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ESPN Unveils New Affiliate in Orlando

What has been rumored for several days is coming true.  ESPN Radio today formally announced a new affiliate in Orlando, FL.  

It’s WDBO 580 AM..starting November 12th.  WDBO for years has been the N/T leader in the market and last year Cox Media jettisoned Classic Rock on 96.5 FM to simulcast the successful AM signal.

The time has now come for Cox to try and cultivate another revenue stream.  The N/T format will continue on 96.5 FM.   

Orlando is very important to ESPN-Disney and obviously they wanted to find a new affiliate quickly.  Their previous affiliate Genesis’ WHOO 1080 AM recently dropped ESPN in favor of the new NBC Sports net. Also, ESPN wanted to secure a new affiliate before CBS Radio Sports starts January 1.  With WDBO, ESPN has lined-up the best AM signal in the market.  WDBO-AM covers the metro counties day & night.

Today's announcement indicates WDBO will partner with Disney’s ESPN Wide World of sports in Kissimmee for programming opportunities.

“We are thrilled to offer Central Floridians the opportunity to hear ESPN on 580-AM with an exceptional radio signal allowing Orlando listeners  to experience the best sports brand and most compelling sports radio content,” said Cox Media Group Orlando's VP/arket Manager Susan Larkin.

Tom’s Take: Cox Media is to be applauded for attempting to make best use of a terrific AM signal. In too many others markets the AM is often coming up on the short end of a simulcast.  Also look for Magic Basketball play-by-play to air on 580, ending interruptions to WDBO’s talk programs on FM.

Cox entry brings to four the number of sports stations serving the Orlando market.  CC's WYGM 740 AM carries Fox Sports.  WRSO 810 AM carries Yahoo Sports and WHOO airs NBC Sports.

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