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Dan Snyder just announced that, yes, he’s bought WTEM-AM, aka Sportstalk 980. Good golly.
“Ahoy mates! We’re being boarded!” is how Steve Czaban opened his soon-to-be-defunct Sports Reporters show.
UPDATE, 4:46 P.M.: Full press release is after the jump. They spelled Andy Pollin‘s name wrong.
RED ZEBRA BROADCASTING EXPANDS IN WASHINGTON DC
SILVER SPRING, MD – Red Zebra Broadcasting today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire WTEM (Sportstalk 980), WTNT (570-AM) and WWRC (1260-AM) from Clear Channel Communications, creating an exciting new combination of local and national talk radio programming.
“It has always been our goal to grow our company, expand our Redskins Radio footprint while also venturing into other forms of broadcast entertainment,” said Bruce Gilbert, CEO of Red Zebra Broadcasting. “We are especially thrilled to be adding local sports talk icons John Thompson, Doc Walker, Brian Mitchell, Steve Czaban, Andy Polin and others to our team, which already includes Hall of Famer John Riggins.”
In addition to bringing together some of the best sports talk talent in the marketplace, this acquisition will bring to nine the number of stations in the Red Zebra/Redskins Radio family.
“We’re thrilled to take ownership of these stations so that we can first and foremost deliver to sports fans the best events, breaking news, big name guests, information, and interactive debate. Additionally, we are excited about adding the news and talk programming heard on WTNT and WWRC to our lineup,” Gilbert added.
In the near term, WTEM 980-AM, WWRC 1260-AM, and WTNT 570-AM will maintain their current formats and programming. “During the coming months we’ll evaluate all program lineups to determine the best mix of programming to serve the many diverse fans of sports and news talk. Some things will change, some will remain the same, but our goal will be simple: to bring the best radio to the most listeners,” Gilbert said. “Beyond the Washington Redskins, we look forward to expanding our professional and collegiate play by play offerings for area sports fans.”
Closing of the acquisition is subject to FCC consent and other customary closing conditions. Under a separate agreement Red Zebra will provide programming for the stations beginning July 1.
Red Zebra currently owns and operates three Washington, D.C. area radio stations (WXTR 730-AM, WWXT 92.7-FM, and WWXX 94.3-FM). These stations serve collectively as the flagship for the Redskins Radio Network. Red Zebra also owns the ESPN Radio all-sports station in Richmond, VA, WXGI (950-AM), and the Fox Sports Radio affiliate in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA, heard on WXTG (102.1-FM) in Virginia Beach and on WXTG (1490 AM) in Hampton. All of Red Zebra’s owned and operated stations are home to the Washington Redskins. The Company was established in 2006.
Daniel M. Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, and Dwight C. Schar, a minority owner of the team, are primary investors in Red Zebra Broadcasting. Both are members of the parent company’s Board of Directors, but have no operating role in the company.
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