Tony Barnhart and Wes Durham had been in furious negotiations with 790/The Zone over their future there for weeks since they stepped off in April for a break.
The result: a more limited role on the sports talk station. They will do a two-hour “Southern Football Kickoff Show” on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and “contribute” the rest of the week.
Barnhart hosts the weekly Tony Barnhart Show on the CBS Sports Network and Talkin’ Football on CSS and contributes to CBS’s “College Football Today.” Durham is the play-by-play voice for Georgia Tech football and basketball and anchors play-by-play for the Atlanta Falcons on 790 The Zone.
In other words, they’re both insanely busy. Trying to do a five-day-a-week radio show the past two years on top of that proved too taxing.
But Barnhart and Durham pulled in plenty of listeners for the Zone, which is why the Zone really wanted to keep them, even in a more limited capacity. And it guarantees at least through this football season that the new Sports Talk 92.9 will not grab them.
I have heard no concrete hires yet for the 92.9 sports talk station or even a specific launch date. Dave FM will definitely be around at least through the end of the month. Its annual “Care-a-thon” for Children’s Healthcare will air from Sept. 26 to 28.
While the arrival of an FM sports talk station isn’t good news for either 680/The Fan or 790/The Zone, at least the Fan has the Hawks and the Zone has the Falcons. There are no major sports teams available anytime soon for 92.9 to pick up, though it used to have the Falcons. (The current 790/Star 94 deal still has 3.5 years left.)
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk