Fox Sports Radio made a somewhat significant move today, clearing the evening 7p-11p PT shift for Tony Bruno while moving longtime evening host J.T. The Brick (John Tournour) to overnights. (Five hour shift- yikes!) Eight months ago FSR effectively merged with KLAC-AM in Los Angeles, with Tournour one of the holdovers from Fox.
(Oh, wait, not THAT Bruno)
But station manager Don Martin has since decided that listeners on 200 affiliates, including Boston’s WEEI-AM, would rather listen to Bruno than Tournour. The move as it pertains to Tournour is definitely a demotion.
In all reality though, the whole thing resembles a deck chair rearrangment. Bruno, who previously manned mornings for FSR, never broke through as a success in that time slot. Likewise Tournour at night.
The bigger, more interesting question for Fox Sports Radio is the chance of its long-term survival.
FSR’s flagship affiliate, KLAC-AM in Los Angeles, recently suffered catastrophic programming and revenue blow by losing the Lakers’ broadcast rights. Couple that with rumors that parent Clear Channel is for sale and you wonder how long Los Angeles will have two sports radio stations (ESPN 710 is the other).
ESPN 710 now owns the hottest broadcast properties in town, in the Lakers and USC football. And features two shows that primarily feature locally-driven content, unlike KLAC’s zero. You heard that right, there are only two local sports talk radio shows currently originating from Los Angeles!
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we here in L.A. are left with only sports radio station by the end of ‘09, which is precisely the reason ESPN overpaid to get the Lakers away from Clear Channel’s KLAC.