A’s announce Bay Bridge Series games to air on KFRC 1550 AM — drama with KTRB 860 continues

The A’s announced that the Bay Bridge Series games against the Giants (Mon-Wed) will air on radio station KFRC 1550-AM, and not on flagship station KTRB 860. The team said a plan for regular-season broadcasts will be unveiled later in the week, and none of this affects games that air on A’s affiliates in Sacramento, Modesto and other areas around Northern California. Ken Korach, Vince Cotroneo and Ray Fosse will call the games on KFRC, and Chris Townsend’s pregame and postgame call-in show will also air on the station.

But for Bay Area fans, it confirms that the A’s season-long radio plans are in limbo as Friday’s opener looms. As I’ve written the past couple of days, the A’s have been negotiating to buy KTRB, but talks have taken a sour turn to the point that the A’s could completely sever ties to KTRB, their flagship station for the past two years.

This drama all started very recently. KTRB is in receivership, and an informed source indicated to me that the station’s receiver is looking to sell the station for a higher purchase price than the A’s are willing to offer. As a result, the agreement to air games as negotiations continue has broken down. I was told that the A’s weren’t willing to budge because they knew they had a fallback plan in KFRC, which is equipped to start airing games on very short notice. KFRC was the A’s flagship station before KTRB. I’d say there’s a definite chance that Bay area fans will be tuning to KFRC all season for A’s games.

This is shaping up as a damaging blow for the A’s and their fans, particularly if the team’s chance to buy KTRB falls through completely. KTRB is a 50,000-watt station with a far stronger signal than KFRC. Buying KTRB would allow the A’s the freedom to tailor programming to more A’s-specific content. It would create a higher-profile identity for the team and give fans a permanent spot to look to for everything A’s-related on the radio. In short, it would give the A’s similar autonomy that the Giants enjoy by owning a stake in KNBR 680.

It’s important to note that the A’s say a plan for regular-season broadcasts will be announced later this week. Does this mean a season-long deal with KTRB could still happen even as the Bay Bridge games air on KFRC? I don’t know … But things have taken a dramatic turn on this topic, and time is short to hammer out a solution.

Joe Stiglich

  • crister

    I swear, My Oakland A’s. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I tell you, Stomper should run around wearing a Charlie Brown shirt.

    Whatever the reasons for this latest . . . situation, along with everything else, it just looks rather lame.

    And the Montrealization of Oakland Athletics baseball continues.

  • Raider Bong

    another example of money affecting the a’s competitiveness. comerica bank should go to *ell, didnt they get enough in bail out funds? the rat **stards.

  • Radio Fan

    Comerica is going to learn that radio station prices – especially those of AM radio stations – have fallen much more than home prices. With 40-some-odd AM signals in the Bay Area, any new station has to have something unique. Even then, you’ll have a rough time getting anyone to tune in to a new signal. Clear Channel learned this the hard way with the debut of “rush radio” in Boston, where they put all of the top-name talk radio hosts on a new station. Despite a strong signal and extensive promotion it failed miserably.

    The A’s are smart to hold their ground. As much as we the fans would appreciate this big fat signal it doesn’t make sense. Would you buy a house for $1.5 million when all of the other houses are selling for $400K?

  • Mistic1 Tha SupaVillain

    A’s baseball has become a comedy of errors. The ownership is a complete joke. Where is the bottom? We have gone from a a perennial contender & power house to minor league status. Welcome to Green and Gold plated embarrassment.

  • Bash Brother

    Great! Just when the A’s had a great station they will have to go back to a crappy signal. The A’s should pay the price and move on.

  • sparky

    Write the check Lou Wolfe. If you plan to move to the South Bay at some point you are going to want people in Santa Cruz to hear your broadcasts.