Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Triple X has classical signal solution

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Jim Williams, The Examiner
Dec 19, 2006 3:00 AM (3 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 3 of 10,543 articles

WASHINGTON - Tired of the signal problems Triple X ESPN/Redskins radio has had since launching? Soon they will be a thing of the past.

The station’s parent company, Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra Broadcasting, has a deal in place to buy classical music giant WGMS 104.1 and 103.9 FM with the intent of moving Triple X ESPN to that frequency as early as January.

With 104.1/103.9 FM and the possible expansion of 730 AM’s signal (an FCC request to boost the power is pending), Triple X ESPN would have little problem blanketing the area with Washington’s first full-time FM sports talk station. The AM signal will cover any of the dead spots.

It means more listeners will be able to hear the local shows weekdays like “Redskins Lunch with Larry Michael and Bram Weinstein” and the drivetime offering of “The John Riggins Show.”

Riggins’ show is being targeted by MASN for a TV simulcast. But several issues could kill the deal. A source told me it was a long shot but “worth a try.”

Diamond media notes

Word is Baltimore sports radio personalities Amber Theoharis and Anita Marks could be involved in MASN’s baseball pre- and post-game shows. It is possible the network will do one show that covers both the Orioles and Nationals. Like ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight,” the show’s host would interact with announcing teams from game sites and conduct interviews. It would make sense and is a good way to connect the network with both the Orioles and Nationals. Plus, the sports desk concept could provide score updates and highlights during both game telecasts.

Former Orioles player and coach Rick Dempsey has been tapped by MASN to be part of the pre- and postgame shows. It is also possible Dempsey could fill in for Jim Palmer in the booth with Jim Hunter and Fred Manfra on selected O’s telecasts.

That would make sense if Buck Martinez moves over to join former ESPN partner Bob Carpenter in Washington to call the Nats games. Word out of the winter meetings have both Don Sutton and Steve Stone still angling for the Nationals color job vacated when Tom Paciorek was not retained after one season.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.


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