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.