Do you still listen to the big 50,000 watt AM stations?

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Marky
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Do you still listen to the big 50,000 watt AM stations?

#1 Post by Marky » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:28 am

After reading Doug Nye's recollections of listening to LSU games from South Carolina during the Tigers' 1958 National Championship season on WLW in [i]The State[/i], I wondered if in today's multimedia era the board still moves up and down their AM radio dials listening for sportscasts.

At one time, this was my entire life. I was such a junkie I would try to pull in stations that had LESS THAN 50,000 watts, and as a result I could listen to WMAL out of Washington D.C. in Johnson City, Tennessee and, when I worked at it, WTAE out of Pittsburgh.

Around this time of year I would be scanning the radio dial to listen to the sports talk shows from Philadelphia to hear inside news about the World Series.

But I notice I don't do that so much anymore. In my car I'll search for WFAN or WMVP out of Chicago overnight, but that's about it.

Is it because sports radio is now so common that every market has a station, so I don't have to put up with the crackles and pops? I'll listen to Todd Wright instead of try to pull in Tony Paige not because he's better, but because he's more accessible.

Is it because so many teams have taken their games OFF the big AMs? This is a trend I don't like because I want to be able to pull in the Pirates on KDKA and have an aversion to paying for my internet broadcasts.

Don't call me cheap. Think boxing. Nobody paid attention to it once all the fights were in Las Vegas and you had to pay $50 on cable to watch them.

Is it because with the internet all the information I once searched for on these sports talk shows can now be found easily at my fingertips?

Probably a lot of it all.

Anyway, a sappy but fun read by Nye, who I grew up reading when I lived in South Carolina. He is an exceptional writer and does so well when it comes to historical data.

Jon Chelesnik
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#2 Post by Jon Chelesnik » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:48 am

When I was a kid growing up in San Diego, I used to listen to Albuquerque Dukes Triple-A baseball 740. Their station was right next to the Padres, who were on 760. Then when I was in college at Kansas State, I used to listen to BYU football on KSL out of Salt Lake City. It used to always be like a game to see the farthest away stations that I could hear. One time at K-State I even got a very fuzzy Los Angeles Raiders game.

radiodj2
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#3 Post by radiodj2 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:16 pm

Jon,

I'm surprised you got 740 back then. I remember the "Mighty 690" AM blasting all of Los Angeles from Mexico. Bleed over from that would barely let you get anything between 640 KFI-AM and 760 AM (not including 710 KMPC). I remember going up to Silverwood Lake and trying to pull in stations from all over the country. I would pick up KMOX in St. Louis and listen to Blues hockey.

Now that i'm in Missouri, on a perfect night I can still get 980 KFWB and 1070 KNX. At least I know what traffic i'm missing.

But you know, with the advent of streaming stations on the internet, I'm always listening to stations from California.
Steve Casson
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Jon Chelesnik
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#4 Post by Jon Chelesnik » Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:55 pm

Living here in Southern California, we get a station from northern Arizona, AM 660. It is apparently owned and operated by the Navajo Indians. If that doesn't make the station unique enough, they have a gal handling their high school football play-by-play, Ellie Williams. She does a good job. In fact, I have heard her several times in the past four years.

It is interesting what you might find if you channel surf on your radio at nighttime when the signals are carrying farther.

RadioDaddyKat
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#5 Post by RadioDaddyKat » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:50 pm

Whenever I would travel to do games, or just drive around, I would do the same thing. I discovered that, when I moved westward from the Atlantic (where there were plenty of stations I could pick up at night ... would drive my then-wife nuts!), the number of stations quadrupled.

I can remember on my first trip to Lamar, CO, from Elkhart, IN, I listened to stations in St. Louis, Minneapolis (the state HS football championship games were happening that night), Salt Lake City, Denver, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Dallas. When you get out this way, Seattle, Calgary, occasionally Saskatoon (when I was in Miles City, MT, especially ... I would sit in the drive-thru line at Wendy's and listen to the Rough Riders update at 12:20 in the afternoon ... gotta love the baked potato!), Portland and on a great night, if you're in the south part of the Bitterroot, LA have been added to the list.

I miss those days ... while I am greatful for not having to make the drive on those road trips, I wonder what I am missing out on without the car radio. And in some cases, depending on the movie of choice on the bus, I'd be much happier surfing!
Ben Catley
Operations Manager - Lamar/Sports
25-7 Media, Inc./Beacon Broadcasting
Lamar, CO

Marky
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#6 Post by Marky » Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:52 am

Jon- When you were at K-State and got the LOS ANGELES Raiders- was Bill King doing the game?

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