Nats Radio 2005
The Washington Post reports that Nats games will be heard this year on two Bonneville-owned DC stations: (1) night games will be heard on adult contemporary station Z104 - WWZZ 104.1 FM (#6 on my presets); and (2) day games will be heard on WFED 1050 AM. I had never even heard of WFED before, much less listened to it.
I note several aspects of this deal. The split between two stations can be frustrating for fans of the Nationals. The Wizards, reputedly tired of being shuffled between Sportstalk 980 and 1260, this year are on 1260 AM only. So there is significant downside to being on two stations - fans can forget where they can find their teams.
The good news is that Z104 has a good signal that I can hear pretty much everywhere I go in DC. In addition, it's only a one-year deal, meaning that the Nats may find a more permanent (AM) home next year. There's just something about AM radio and baseball that makes sense.
Interestingly enough, the Nats are doing their radio deal as a we-purchase-the-air-time-and-sell-the-advertisements-model. This could be very interesting. My own thought is that the team will have many of its fans at the games in the first couple of years, and that the Nats will need either some success or 5-10 years to grow really deep roots in the community that generates radio success.
Meanwhile, check out Dave's rant at DCRTV arguing for an FM-sports-talk station in DC. Previously, Dave had argued for WJFK-FM to go all sports talk with the Redskins and Nationals, but now he argues for Z104 to go all sports talk. Personally, I think sports talk in DC would be pretty good if you had a lineup of the Junkies, Tony Kornheiser and Steve Czaban, but it probably would be tough to get them all under one roof - especially a Bonneville roof at that (Junkies are Infinity, Kornheiser and Czaban are Clear Channel).