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WGR Is Sticking with Rome After Move to CBS

It is time for a special pre-holiday edition of Sports on the Air:

Jim Rome clones should be assured that the sports talk host will continue giving his takes and hearing their takes on WGR 550 even after he changes networks.

On Friday afternoon, Rome reminded listeners what was announced months ago — his radio show is leaving the Premiere Radio Network on Jan. 2 after 16 years and moving to CBS Sports Radio.

Jim Rome

He told listeners that they could go to a website to see if the station that was carrying The Jungle was going to make the move with him. A quick look at the website showed that Rome was staying on WGR.

Greg Ried, the vice president and general manager of all the Entertcom stations in town including WGR, confirmed Rome will remain on the sports station from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays.

“He’s staying on WGR,” said Ried. “We’ve had him for years and he’s an entertaining talk show host.”

According to Ried, WGR’s morning program featuring Howard Simon and Jeremy White and the afternoon program with Mike Schoop and Chris (The Bulldog) Parker get better ratings than Rome’s national show.

The move to CBS radio follows Rome’s previous move of his daily TV talk show from ESPN to the CBS Sports Network on cable. He also recently premiered a talk show on Showtime, the pay-cable network that has the same owner as CBS — Viacom. Showtime announced Friday that Rome’s show will air monthly in its second season.

Jay Mohr, the actor who was a frequent substitute guest host on Rome’s radio show, is replacing him on Fox Sports Radio (FSR), which is owned by Premiere. FSR doesn’t have a Buffalo radio affiliate anymore. It does have affiliates in Rochester and Jamestown.

Kenmore’s Don Criqui, the Dick Clark of play-by-play men, works the Bills-Miami game Sunday alongside analyst Randy Cross. One assumes the game conversation will include talk of the Bills’ new 7-10 year lease.

Bills executive Russ Brandon sure seemed prepared during Friday’s lease press conference for the question from Channel 2’s Scott Brown about any secession plans for the team after the passing of Owner Ralph Wilson. Brown prefaced his question with the phrase “with all due respect” but still got KO’ed by Brandon’s response. It was a legitimate question, but Brown might have gotten a better answer if he asked it in a one-on-one interview with Brandon. But maybe not.

ESPN went nuts again Thursday with Tim Tebow coverage after sources told the sports network that the New York Jets were ready to drop the quarterback after the season. Just about every one of its analysts basically said Tebow isn’t a NFL quarterback. The extended coverage was more laughable than Tebow’s throwing ability. If he stinks as badly as ESPN analysts were saying, then why did they spend so much time on him? It’s hard to think of another third-string quarterback in the league who would get that kind of coverage.

Bills center Eric Wood gets points for honestly in ripping the Bills series in Toronto. Sportswriters have ripped it as well. Sure, it is a money grab. But WNYers and Bills players should accept the fact that compromises have to be made for a market as small as Buffalo to compete financially in the NFL. If the Bills played better over the years, the crowds in Toronto probably would be bigger and better, too.

There was a T.O sighting on ESPN Friday. Terrell Owens got plenty of air time speaking about his career and reconnecting with ESPN analyst and former San Francisco teammate Jerry Rice. It apparently had something to do with Madden 13, which is apparently the only place where the former Bill is playing this season. He still wants to play in the NFL, but acknowledged that his past problems (and not to mention his age) are being held against him.

You expect to hear opinions in newspaper columns, but not in TV news stories. At the end of Jim Heaney’s informative Investigative Post piece on Channel 2 about the Bills new lease, my former Buffalo News colleague noted the total subsidies from the state and county will exceed $200 million. “That’s a lot of money for a business that makes a lot of money and a team that loses a lot of games,” concluded Heaney.

All true. But I doubt that minor cheap shot would have made it into the newspaper copy of a news story. After all, what does losing have to do with it? It’s a lot of money even if the Bills of today were the Bills of the early 90s when they reached four straight Super Bowls.

I repeat: There’s a price to pay to be part of the best professional sports league in the world. If you think of it that way, $200 million is getting off pretty cheaply.


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6 responses to "WGR Is Sticking with Rome After Move to CBS"

  1. Joe says:

    How nice it is to read a Saturday edition of your blog about sports. Reminds me of the days when I use to buy the Saturday Buffalo News for page two. Then I would read Sports on the Air, The Bowling Beat, and The Happy Handicapper. Miss those Saturday mornings with Alan, Milt, Bob and ink spots on my hands.

    Merry Christmas & God Bless Alan

    • Agree completely, Sports on the Air was the first place I would go in the Saturday Morning paper. Count me as another reader who is happy they found this page Alan.

      • alanp says:

        Thanks guys. Appreciate the kind words. I would write Sports On the Air every Saturday but readership on weekends is about half of what it is on weekdays That’s true of most blogs.

  2. Doug says:

    I think you may have contradicted yourself….

    You said: “But WNYers and Bills players should accept the fact that compromises have to be made for a market as small as Buffalo to compete financially in the NFL”

    Then you quote: “That’s a lot of money for a business that makes a lot of money and a team that loses a lot of games,” concluded Heaney. All true.”

    Mike Schop says the Bills are rumored to make a large profit each year, even without the Toronto series. So to me it looks like they dont NEED it after all


    No one knows for sure because the BOOKS ARE CLOSED TO US.

    • alanp says:

      It depends on what you consider a lot of money. The Bills have little or no debt, which helps them make money. But ticket prices and box revenue are so low compared to that of other teams that they can have difficulty competing financially with the Dallases, Chicagos and the New Yorks in the league. That is not a contradiction. Schopp’s comments are all conjecture and not based on any facts I am aware of. Talk show hosts can do that.

  3. Doug says:

    But Alan, aren’t your opinions based on conjecture as well? The books are closed, so neither you or Mike are in position to say they NEED the money from the Toronto series, you don’t have enough information.

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