The 2 Live Stews has lost its syndication deal with Sporting News Network as of July 1 but will remain on 790/The Zone from 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays.
“It allows them to be more involved with the local teams,” said their agent Norm Schrutt, trying to make the best of it. He also represents several other local personalities including 680/The Fan’s John Kincade and Dave FM’s Mara Davis.
Doug and Ryan Stewart started their syndication deal in early 2008 and amassed as many as 35 radio stations across the country. But Sporting News has been going through ownership changes and cost cuts. The Stews lost some affiliates, and a new contract didn’t pan out.
Sporting News replaced the Stews with a single talk-show host, which is certainly less costly.
“There are two Stews instead of one,” said Ryan. “They are a very good company but our time was up. There’s no love lost. Everything is good.”
Focusing exclusively on their metro Atlanta “dogs and poodles,” as their fans are dubbed, and “being live and local again should be fun,” he added.
As the brothers focused on national sports to accommodate syndication the past three years, ratings for the Stews on the Zone slipped a bit, but the station as a whole has had ratings problems. Nonetheless, the Stews remain the strongest show on the Zone and the station’s performance has steadied in recent months.
The Stews’ TV deal with ESPN-TV, where they appear four times a month to provide commentary, remains in place.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog