Local sports talk radio to get competition

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David Barron reports that local sports talk radio station KILT-610 will be getting some competition shortly:

Houston will add a second all-sports radio outlet in late December or early January, when KBME (790 AM) switches from its beautiful music format to compete with KILT (610 AM).

KBME, owned by Clear Channel Communications, will mix local programming with ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio shows, said Ken Charles, Clear Channel’s Houston AM cluster programming vice president.

“Sports is a huge franchise for our cluster,” Charles said. “With KPRC and KTRH and our rock stations, we talk to 85 percent of the men in this market, and a number of them are unhappy with the way sports is covered by the sports station currently. We want to give them an option, and with ESPN and Fox, we’re giving them a great option.”

KILT, owned by Infinity Broadcasting, currently airs ESPN Radio programs, including a tape-delayed segment of Dan Patrick’s midday show. It will lose the ESPN franchise to KBME as part of the format change.

Losing Dan Patrick (the national sports guy, not the local conservative talker) will actually be a case of addition by subtraction by KILT.

Unfortunately, KILT will still have their local talk hosts, none of whom blow away listeners with their wit or knowledge (with the possible exception of Charlie Palillo, who loses points because of that squeaky voice thing he does).

We can hope that Ken Charles will put together something better than the sports dreck KILT broadcasts. He could do a lot worse than locking himself in a room and listening to Dallas’s The Ticket for about a week straight. That sort of radio station would be refreshing.

As Barron notes, it’s unfortunate that the Houston radio market will be losing Paul Berlin. Here’s hoping he’ll find a home somewhere on the dial, although given the current Clear Channel/Infinity dominance, I’m not hopeful.

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