NBC Sports radio to end most daytime syndication


When Cumulus Media acquired Westwood One in 2013, they acquired the NBC Radio trademark.    NBC (operated by RCA) had dominated radio for the first two decades of network radio.  WNBC and the Talknet network were abandoned when GE acquired the TV network.    The NBC Radio intellectual property was sold to Westwood One, where the trademark was kept alive by pretending that Dirk Van’s First Light syndicated morning show was a production of NBC News.  Dirk retired in 2015

In 2012, Westwood One decided that there was not enough sports talk radio so they started NBC Sports radio, competing against ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports and the brand new CBS Sports Radio, which was syndicated by Cumulus Media.

When Cumulus acquired Westwood One in 2013, it left them syndicating two competing sports talk networks.  CBS Radio was not happy that the sports talk shows they produced had a direct conflict within their syndicator.  Few affiliates adopted NBC Sports radio, and no major stations.

In 2018, with Cumulus through bankruptcy and CBS out of the radio business, it was logical for Cumulus to wind down NBC sports radio. Probably only to protect the trademark, Westwood One will continue to do a three hour show from 6-9 AM and refeed those recorded three hours to the West Coast.   Morning drive is the time of day radio stations are least likely to want syndicated programming.   

The new shortened lineup will appear January 1, 2019.   Most syndication contracts require 30 days notice if the syndicator plans to change programming, as stations have already sold advertising.   So several spork talk hosts will be having a sad holiday season.

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2 Responses to NBC Sports radio to end most daytime syndication

  1. Parrott says:

    I remember years ago, maybe in the 90’s, Westwood one, use to broadcast NFL football games. It wasn’t bad. Sunday and evening drives back home after a visit some or going somewhere for work, it was decent to listen to. I don’t think they do that anymore.
    After Sporting News radio was shut down, I have not listened to sports radio since.
    Everything is ‘ESPN’ bla, bla, carp, now. I don’t like NFL anymore since kneeling, kapernick, I’ll never own another shoe with a ‘swoosh’.
    I work on the Jeeps or model trains on sunday afternoons now. I don’t watch sports anymore. ‘Unless it’s woman’s volleyball’, and just happen upon it.

    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      I’ll put in a plug for US Women’s Olympic basketball. I don’t even like the sport of basketball, but the US Women’s team is so far ahead of the other teams that is amazing to watch. They end their game with as many points as an NBA team and their opponents end the games with as many points as a football team.

      It is just amazing to watch them once they get the ball, set up a play, march down the court and sink the shots – it is close to perfection and beautiful to watch.

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