This post might not resonate for UCLA fans not living in Southern California. But it will for those still close to Westwood and even those living in far-flung places will intuit the relevance.
According to Tom Hoffarth, who writes the Farther Off The Wall blog for the Daily News, radio station 570 KLAC-AM is getting rid of all it's local programming via a merger with Fox Sports Radio and will replace all of its local shows with nationally-syndicated programs.
Dan Patrick started his show this morning on KLAC-AM (570) announcing there were 60 new affiliates.The promos on during Jim Rome's show this morning tout the new Steve Hartman-Chris Myers "Loose Cannons"-kinda tag team that will come on later today (noon to 3 p.m.).
It's all the local residue of Clear Channel Communications' decision Tuesday to cut some 1,850 jobs, or 9 percent of the work force nationwide, to save the company a reported $400 million. Most jobs dropped are in ad sales, and its billboard department, but it really slices through all departments.
With the KLAC consolidation of all-sports with Fox Sports Radio, more of our sources say that Vic "The Brick" Jacobs will now be a news update guy for Hartman-Myers and Petros Papadakis-Matt "Money" Smith. Will Tim Cates and Tony Bruno be back? Doesn't seem so. KLAC does the Lakers-Clippers game tonight, so they wouldn't be on tonight, or Thursday (when the Lakers face Washington) anyway. Listen to see if JT The Brick replaces him, probably starting Friday or Monday.
Why does this matter to UCLA sports fans. Well, KLAC is the flagship station for UCLA football and basketball and now that KLAC is all national shows, there will be no local coverage at all of UCLA sports.
At least the Loose Cannons Show (UCLA alum Steve Hartman, former Laker Mychal Thompson and Vic "The Brick Jacobs) and PMS - the local version - (Petros Papadakis and Matt Smith) talked Bruins. Both shows were seriously flawed -- not even counting Papadakis' USC pedigree, but at least they talked about UCLA sports and had UCLA players and coaches on as guests. Now, the Hartman-Meyers show and PMS (the national show) won't talk UCLA unless we are a national story.
How much do the nationally-syndicated Dan Patrick or Colin Cowherd talk UCLA?
Well, that's how much the other shows will talk UCLA.
So, the UCLA station will have no UCLA programming except the games and maybe a post game show. All we'll be left with is Chris Roberts and Tim Cates. That's actually depressing. (We'll also hear Don MacLean during broadcasts, which is a good thing. But I doubt we'll be hearing Maclean on the new PMS program, talking UCLA. Maclean was a frequent PMS guest in the past and was very good. Who knows if they'll still have him on and if they do, will be be talking about more general basketball topics?)
Meanwhile, one wonders what will happen at KSPN 710, the other halfway decent all sports talk station? They are the Trojans station. They are also going "national" with mostly all syndicated programming. According to Hoffarth, Chris Denholm and Brian Long will be on in the evenings and Steve Mason and UCLA-alum-turned-SC-fan John Ireland will be on in afternoon drive and possibly Doug Gottlieb will be on in the afternoon.
This means that the Mason-Ireland/Denholm-Long block will be free to talk about SC. KSPN can't abandon the L.A. market because they are building a studio at L.A. Live near ESPNZone and Staples Center. So, SC will have a voice on local radio (and will be associated with the popular Lakers at least subliminally) while there will be no UCLA associated shows on the air.
I don't know what the overall impact there might be on UCLA sports, I was not a fan of the old Cannons show, so I won't miss it much. But I'll miss the fact that they talked Bruins sports and I'll miss the fact that PMS will be talking less Bruins, too. I'll continue to avoid 710 when the Trojans are the topic.
(There is another sports station in town, KLAA 830. They don't do sports all the time. I personally hate it. Their main sports host is the rabidly-anti-Bruin, Oregon alum Dave Smith. I'm completely serious when I say that given a choice between Trojan Talk and Dave Smith, I'd listen to Trojan Talk, that's how bad his show is. Luckly, KLAA has the worst signal in Los Angeles.)