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790/The Zone and Star 94 become new Falcons radio partners; CBS Atlanta picks up pre-season games

790zone_4c_logo_1_ab11f41d71The Atlanta Falcons, after eight years, has dropped 92.9/Dave-FM as its radio partner and is moving to Star 94 and 790/The Zone. Those two stations will simulcast Falcons games starting this upcoming season.

CBS Atlanta will also pick up the pre-season  games and special weekly Falcons shows which had been on NBC affiliate WXIA-TV.

Financial terms for the four-year deal were not disclosed though given how much more popular the NFL is now, it’s likely a richer deal than what CBS Radio signed in 2003 for radio rights.

The Zone has been providing exclusive sports content for CBS Atlanta over the past year.

For the past two years, the Zone was already a partner with the Falcons, helping CBS (which owns Dave FM) with sales.

Others reportedly in the running for the Falcons included Dave FM, 680/The Fan (owned by Dickey Broadcasting) and Clear Channel Atlanta, which owns 640/WGST-AM and Project 9-6-1, among others.

The Falcons first aired on radio in 1966 on what was then 790/WQXI-AM and stayed there for a decade.

According to CBS Atlanta, which broke the story, “fans will still hear the familiar voices of Falcons broadcasters Wes Durham (play-by-play) and former Falcons quarterback Dave Archer (color analyst) calling all of the Falcons action on both stations.”

Given 790/The Zone’s limited coverage area, Star 94, with its 100,000 watt signal,will fill in the gaps. While the NFL has a sizable female audience, football is still a heavily male-oriented sport. Star 94 draws 70 percent females. It’s a bit of a mismatch. But this affects pop station Star only on Sunday afternoons for 20 weeks or so out of the year (including pre-season games, not counting playoffs) and maybe a stray Monday or two. This is not like the Braves, which takes Rock 100.5 out of music commission 160-plus days out of the year.

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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

66 comments Add your comment

790 Sucks

March 7th, 2011
3:42 pm

To bad nobody outside of the perimeter will get to hear anything done on 790

Andre

March 7th, 2011
3:43 pm

You spoiled their big 5:30pm announcement! lol

B Real

March 7th, 2011
3:45 pm

Steaky,Bell rule, see yah cha cha!

Keeball

March 7th, 2011
3:47 pm

Mike Bell is the worst radio personality in this town!!!!!

Poodles ARE dogs

March 7th, 2011
3:55 pm

Can’t wait to hear all the coverage when the NFL goes on strike.

Jim

March 7th, 2011
3:58 pm

Crap, a lose lose for everyone

I'm Awesome

March 7th, 2011
4:00 pm

It’s clear that the first poster has very limited comprehension skills. LOL

Tubby

March 7th, 2011
4:10 pm

Rodney, just curious, what percentage of Dave’s listeners are men? Is this arrangement with Star 94 airing the Falcons really that different?

Rodney Ho

March 7th, 2011
4:13 pm

Dave is closer to 50/50. Football viewership is probably closer to 60-65% men. But it’s appointment radio. Falcons fans who are in the car will seek it no matter what station it’s on.

Mattlanta@680.com

March 7th, 2011
4:17 pm

What a shame…. I just got my 680 / Atlanta Falcon graphic tees back from the press.

Tubby

March 7th, 2011
4:20 pm

Rodney

I agree that fans will find the games wherever they are.

That’s kinda what i was thinking in terms of the listener breakdown. Neither Dave nor Star are exactly men-centric stations. While it is somewhat of a mismatch, it’s only going to really impact several hours per Sunday (maybe 1-3 Mondays instead of Sundays) for about 20 weeks so I think it makes plenty of sense for Star.

Do you think 790 has any plans of simulcasting their day-to-day programming on FM anytime soon? It would seem to me that doing so would really help their ratings since you figure they lose a pretty big chunk of their potential audience w/their signal issues OTP.

Get Real

March 7th, 2011
4:30 pm

Doesn’t help 790 as it can’t be heard in the fall.

GA Dawg

March 7th, 2011
4:35 pm

Give it up 790 Haters. The fact that Dimino will be doing pre-game on Star 94 and 790 is a plus for all of us. The only show on 680 worth listening to beyond Chuck and Chernoff is a syndicated ESPN show.

Hoser

March 7th, 2011
4:36 pm

Rodney – any chance we’ll get an article about January ratings any time soon? You seemed to skip right over them…

Get Real

March 7th, 2011
4:49 pm

Dimino has been doing pre-game on Dave Fm…for years…and that helped the zone how?

cafeej

March 7th, 2011
4:54 pm

You can already hear 790 the Zone simulcast on FM if you have a HD radio. They are streamed on the third digital channel of 94.1.

Steve

March 7th, 2011
4:57 pm

If Steak Shapiro has anything to do with pre-game, I’m not listening…..what an obnoxious bore. Bell and Cellini (sp?) are pretty good though.

Tubby

March 7th, 2011
4:59 pm

Who has HD radio? I don’t know anyone who has it.

Decatur's Finest

March 7th, 2011
4:59 pm

I agree with Hoser, radio ratings have been out for over a week and Rodney has yet to post an article. Come on Rodney and keep us informed!!! :)

Sage of Bluesland

March 7th, 2011
5:13 pm

The only–and I mean only–silver lining in this is that possibly the most ignorant person I’ve ever heard on the radio may possibly be finally given the boot: Jeff Van Note. This dolt consistently murders the English-language.

To be replaced with the overinflated egos of the cha-cha’s isn’t much of a consolation…

I generally stopped listening to 790 with the Stews, as that show isn’t designed for me…so I turned the dial and kept it turned. I also laughed at Saltzman’s bluster about a rising-tide-lifting-all-boats (in the AJC) when they were supposedly so hip.

Nope, not listening to that incompetence….Plus, I don’t really care where Stephen and the baby-Sophie ate dinner last night…

Rodney Ho

March 7th, 2011
6:20 pm

@Tubby: I’m sure the Zone is seeking FM opportunities. AM is not the future as we are seeing with WSB and the Fan offering FM simculcasts. Makes you wonder about GST, which had an FM simulcast back in the 1990s, then inexplicably dropped it.

Freakshow Blue

March 7th, 2011
6:37 pm

What a dumb decision by the Falcons. Now I hope there is a strike. Even if there is not, expect the falcons to go 7-9 next year and 6-10 the year after that. There is a well known Creek saying “umbago jumm zimmi steakono nowinnio” -it says that the Falcons will never win as long as Steak Shapiro is working for 790 and associated with the Falcons. Oh well, Vick may have killed those dogs but Arthur financed it, a curse upon him so say we all…..

Rodney Ho Moe

March 7th, 2011
6:51 pm

Steak on the pre-game show = change the channel

Atlanta hates Steak Shapiro.

Murray Hewitt

March 7th, 2011
7:49 pm

Congratulations Steaky. 790 will be a fantastic partner for the Falcons.

Where's my bib?

March 7th, 2011
7:55 pm

Lemme tell you about this veal at the Palm, cha cha. The baby Sophie loves pork chops. I’m even worse than Dimino. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, dinner. We’ll get to the sports later on things I “LEEEEEARRRRNNNNEDDDD”.

Where's my bib?

March 7th, 2011
7:57 pm

Last night at the Palm…..Baby Sophie…..Dinner…. Things I LLLEEEAARRNNEEDDD. What was I saying again? Oh yeah, dinner…Sports can wait.

Wha thu

March 7th, 2011
8:04 pm

790, huh? I didn’t know it even existed. And by reading these comments, doubt I will turn it from 680 THE FAN

Oh Brother

March 7th, 2011
8:09 pm

You 790 haters/680 Fans are missing the point. The games will be simulcast on Star94, which has a fantastic signal throughout the metro area and with Zone personalities. This will help in two very critical areas that will ensure The Zone’s existence for the foreseeable future: 1) Revenue – it’s the NFL and they will pay handsomely; and 2) marketing of the on-air talent during pre-games and games. The ratings will help just like 680s went up last summer with the Braves.

It is clear to see that the Lincoln Financial deal with the Zone is starting to work. Once the revenue comes in, and it will, then look for the Zone to lock up some very good talent and get that ever elusive FM location. This is the first time in 2 years that the has looked like they are on the up and up.

Dan

March 7th, 2011
8:20 pm

Oh Brother = consider the possibility Lincoln overpaid for the Falcons rights in a Hail Mary attempt to save both the floundering Star 94 brand and The Zone before the 790-AM signal converts to some other suitable demographic target for AM such as Hispanic Gospel music

Getting the Braves away from WSB certainly did not pull WGST out of its nosedive

Wayne stuck in AL

March 7th, 2011
8:20 pm

The Falcons on Star94??? That’ll go over well with their “Cougars-In-Training” demographic.

Atl Sports Guru

March 7th, 2011
8:53 pm

Looks like Arthur saved his boy Steakie by going with CBS Atlanta AND 790 The Zone….if 680 or anyone else got the radio rights and the TV rights stayed with 11 Alive, the Zone would’ve been done within a year. Now, they’ve bought life for another 5 (length of the deal), at least.

Traffic Headache

March 7th, 2011
8:55 pm

Getting the Falcons pre-games can only help channel 46’s ratings. Now only if there’s not a strilke, it’ll be dandy for ‘em.

Traffic Headache

March 7th, 2011
8:56 pm

That should be “strike. (Rorry, Raggy.)

ttaylor

March 7th, 2011
9:17 pm

Pollock is the worst hands down

The Dean

March 7th, 2011
9:38 pm

I’m back Doctor! Pregame with Glanville

Andrew

March 8th, 2011
12:11 am

I have HD Radio, but I will be turning it OFF the instant I hear Steak Shapiro’s voice.

Advertisers & Falcons, my disposable income and I do NOT listen to 790 The Zone or any of its crude hosts.

That lowlife Steak Shapiro can burn in the Eternal Flames of Hell and take his talentless, half-baked radio station with him.

Tee Rowe Price

March 8th, 2011
1:27 am

I don’t think it really matters where the games are broadcast.
This is not 1972. Radio is background in the sports business.
Every game is on television. The NFL is a video game.
Does anyone really listen to pre and post game shows?
No. Larry Munson became Larry Munson because Dawg game weren’t seen beyond his eyes.
Life has changed.
These are not the days of Beau Bock interviewing Leeman Bennett.

2nd Cup

March 8th, 2011
8:07 am

Just great. Listening to Falcons football as well as hearing promos for crappy pop music.

Chess

March 8th, 2011
8:24 am

Winning….duh

Another Proud Shapiro Hater

March 8th, 2011
8:52 am

When I was younger, more naive and just out of college, I was a fan of 790 and went to a live 790 The Zone broadcast Steak & Company were doing in Sandy Springs.

After meeting Steak Shapiro in person at that broadcast, I can say without reservation I have never met a bigger jerk and more disingenuous, condescending, arrogant blowhard in my entire life (myself included).

When I got back to my car in the parking lot after being talked down to by that piece of garbage, I immediately took 790 off my radio presets and haven’t listened a single minute of that station since.

It is a shame that slime like Shapiro might have ANYTHING to do with broadcasting our beloved Falcons.

Rodney Ho Moe

March 8th, 2011
8:57 am

Did Steaky’s daddy cut the Falcons a check to get this deal done?

Hey Steak….. we know your reading this… WE HATE YOU go away forever

What Steaky learrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrned = everyone hates him

WQXI

March 8th, 2011
9:17 am

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

:-(

March 8th, 2011
10:05 am

With the Falcons now making such horrible decisions to the (low) level of teaming with Steak Shapiro, Charlie Sheen now has a better chance at a “WINNING” Season this fall than the Falcons.

This is a sad day for FALCONS NATION and anyone with a radio who likes football.

:-(

Max Howell

March 8th, 2011
10:07 am

Steak needs a hair hat and a plug for his mouth.

Pat Peppler

March 8th, 2011
10:58 am

If I had one more season, we could of gone all the way.

Bhahahahaha

March 8th, 2011
11:29 am

This is horrible on many fronts. First, let’s consider that because the Falcons had a great season last year, they will likely be on Sunday/Monday Night Football at between 3-5 times this year, which will mean you won’t be able to hear those games in the suburbs on AM. Second, the fact that it is on the worst sports talk radio station in the Southeast is enough to drive me away from listening. Third, CBS 46 outsources their sports to 790, which will likely mean the preseason games will likely have a 790 flavor to them.

I will not listen or watch these games. Thank you Falcons for driving away this lifelong fan from your media outlets.

Rodney Ho

March 8th, 2011
11:35 am

@Bhahahahah–you’ll be able to hear it on Star 94, which has a metro-wide signal like Dave FM.

YoungDawg

March 8th, 2011
12:42 pm

Rodney, Does Lincoln Financial own any other stations in the Atlanta market? Who owns 105.7? I always thought that would be a great spot for 680, 790 or a new sport talk channel.

Dianne

March 8th, 2011
1:03 pm

Doesthis mean we are going to have to hear commericals with Cindy and Ray hawking hair removal?

fred

March 8th, 2011
1:22 pm

Shapiro is suck’n the life out of 790……