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680/The Fan ends affiliation with ESPN, dropping Colin Cowherd

216px-WCNN_AM_Logo.svg680/The Fan has ended its affiliation with ESPN as of midnight last night and is using Fox Sports syndicated product instead.

This means that Colin Cowherd will no longer be on the station from 10 a.m. to noon. Instead, you will start hearing Dan Patrick.

Starting January, the Fan (also heard on FM 93.7) will use a combination of Fox Sports syndicated talk shows and the upcoming CBS/Cumulus sports syndicate, according to David Dickey, who runs the Fan.

Like Colin Cowherd? You won't be hearing him on 680/The Fan anymore? CREDIT: ESPN

Like Colin Cowherd? You won't be hearing him on 680/The Fan anymore. CREDIT: ESPN

“We now compete with [ESPN], so why not clear our own network in a top 10 market?” Dickey wrote in a text. The Fan had an affiliation with ESPN for 11 years.

Cumulus and Dickey Broadcasting (which owns the Fan) have common owners but are not the same company. Cumulus also owns several other sports stations nationwide where it will be directly competing with ESPN in terms of syndicated sports programming thanks to its alliance with CBS.

To add even more confusion, CBS just started its own sports talk show on FM/92.9 called the Game which competes with the Fan here in Atlanta. So in a sense, Cumulus (if you count the Fan as a sister station) is both working for and against CBS at the same time in Atlanta.

The competitive landscape has shifted since Oct. 24, when the Game arrived. Now we have three sports stations. 790/The Zone, owned by Lincoln Financial (which also runs Star 94), is in the weakest position with no FM option but it’s too early to count them out. The next couple of years in Atlanta sports talk should be fascinating.

Logically, the Zone will likely pick up ESPN programming. I have left a message with station manager Neal Maziar to see if that will be the case.

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84 comments Add your comment

Joe Lucas

November 5th, 2012
10:58 am

Dan Patrick sucks, had on for 2 min and moved up the dial for good during that time slot. And what about mort? Best in NFL gone. Not smart on mr dickeys part.

BI

November 5th, 2012
11:12 am

No reason to listen to sports radio in Atlanta anymore!! Colin is the best of the best in the radio world!!! No reason to listen to 680 anymore!!!

Peter MacGregor

November 5th, 2012
11:16 am

WON’T REALLY MISS ANYTHING- I WILL JUST GO TO MY ESPN APP OR XM RADIO. 680 DOES NOT FULLY REALIZE WHAT THE COST OF DROPPING ESPN WILL BE BUT IT WILL BE HUGE. I HAVE STOPPED LISTENING TO THEIR MORNING AND LATE AFTERNOON SHOWS IN FAVOR OF 790. STILL LISTEN TO BUCK AND KINCADE BUT THAT WOULD END IF THEY DROPPED BUCK!

davis

November 5th, 2012
11:22 am

Had no idea this change was taking place; turned on 680 while exercising this weekend and hear Fox Sports; both Saturday and Sunday programming was awful! ESPN programing is soooo much better; will probably be giving 790 The Zone another chance.

sue

November 5th, 2012
11:28 am

Very upset with the switch to Fox Sports; no more Mort, Adam, and all the other great personalties. Listened to 680 this weekend and the Fox programming was just terrible. I will be giving 790 The Zone and 92.9 The Game a chance to win me over. I’ve been a 680 listener since the beginning but no more!

Stuart

November 5th, 2012
11:47 am

After giving 92.9 a shot since the change I am convinced the 2-6 show is mind numbing and I don’t like it. I havent heard mornings yet but as for 10-2 not bad w/Jerome, Jamie and Bob NEal. Nights seem to be fair. Outside of that, it has too much of a national feel.
I was surprised to hear the Danettes on 680 since I listen to it in Newnan on 1400..
While it is too bad about Colin, but I am glad to see ESPN get drilled in the mouth even though the blow is minor. It is time for ESPN to go away.

Kmack3

November 5th, 2012
12:23 pm

Colon was great. Dp and The Clone??? Really??

Terrance Moore

November 5th, 2012
12:25 pm

the 2-6 show on Z93 the game is a joke. Some annoying woman who talks top much, a washed up has-been QB and a half drunk host. who was the genius who put that team together? and why does Z93 the game think we want to hear a woman’s opinion on sports??? thats just a fact.

AD=All Done

November 5th, 2012
1:02 pm

Problem solved: ESPN Radio iphone app. I get to listen to the whole 3 hours of Cowherd without the last hour being cut off by Buck and Kincade. Plus I can listen to Mike and Mike. Might switch back for the last couple of hours of Buck and Kincade but I can’t stand Chuck and Chernoff so I”m out at 3:00 if I even tune in at all.

Big Ken

November 5th, 2012
1:25 pm

So far the Fox programming sucks. I will miss Cowherd but didn’t always agree with him. Buck & Kincage are the worst, just a 3 hour UGA Show everyday. Will really miss Freddy Coleman and Bob Valvano at night.

Bryan Stone

November 5th, 2012
1:44 pm

ESPN radio sucks. FOX isn’t great either but WCNN is selling their local stuff. Which is the best in the market. ESPN charges a solid full time position salary just to air their product & 680 only airs their garbage nights & weekend programming. So it only makes good bottom line business sense to go w/ a cheaper syndicate.

FOX sports radio has some decent programming. It’s not great but it’s good. Very Left-coast though, hence your “SEC is not the greatest” convo, so not sure how well that will go over in this SEC redneck ass area of the country.

Rusty

November 5th, 2012
1:58 pm

I’ve sampled most of the 929 The Game lineup. Here’s my take on it…

Morning show: I have no problem with Kamla & Cross. CJ seems forced.

Jerome & Jamie: Very solid show. I’m a UGA fan and I already prefer it to Buck & Kincade. I also like this show better than 790’s midday show except for the Thursday college football show with Barnhart & Durham.

Game Time 2-6pm: This is the weakest show in their lineup. I don’t see it as a viable competitor to 790 or 680 in afternoon drive. I’d be willing to bet this is the first show/time slot that gets tweaked.

Mac & Jason: Not bad. Jason seems to be very knowledgeable about the NBA. Mac, at least the times I’ve listened, hasn’t brought a whole lot to the table. Maybe they’ll mesh better with time. I’m not sure.

The OT Show with Jim Murray: Pretty entertaining show on the occasions I’ve listened. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Jim Murray move up in the pecking order pretty quickly.

Mitch Evans Experience: I’ve always thought Mitch was solid. Much like Jim Murray, I think Mitch is not being utilized to his full potential. Both of those guys would be better than a few folks on earlier in the day…people like Kordell Stewart, Barbeau and Mac, for example.

I haven’t listened to much of their weekend lineup. I heard some guy on overnight that wasn’t too bad. I think his name was Mark Ryan. Sounded at times like a guy doing a Cowherd impression though.

AtlantaDude

November 5th, 2012
3:17 pm

I liked Cowherd for a while, but I am glad to be rid of him before the NBA gets in full swing. So tired of him saying how great LeBron is, and how anyone that doubts LeBron is an idiot. LeBron, LeBron, LeBron. Jeez, get a room.

Pete

November 5th, 2012
3:24 pm

I really enjoyed Colin’s show and hope 790 will pick it up. To say the reason they are dropping ESPN is because they hope to compete with them in syndicating programming seems delusional. 680 has shifted over to all GA Bulldogs all the time which would be super if we lived in Athens, but this is Atlanta with 3 pro franchises and GA Tech. I’d like a radio station that wanted to appeal to someone other than a guy in a pickup truck with GA flags.

Sean Limbaugh

November 5th, 2012
4:23 pm

Pete,

The smart play for a sports radio station is to talk about subjects that its audience is most interested in. They talk plenty of Braves in-season and when warranted in the offseason. They talk quite a bit of Falcons. I’ll grant you that they don’t spend much time at all on the Hawks, but there’s not much of an audience for Hawks talk especially when it’s at the expense of college football or NFL talk.

Da Commish

November 5th, 2012
4:25 pm

#BringbacktheStews! #Unstoppable

Jeff

November 5th, 2012
5:06 pm

Did Atlanta somehow piss off the radio gods? In just a few months commercial rock radio has been practically snuffed out except for “classic hits”, and now The Dickey Media Group takes its 3 “The Fan” stations and wipes out the ESPN radio feed. I miss Dave FM badly but as a sports geek I like some of the new jocks on The Game; especially Jim Murray and Mitch Evans. That 2-6pm show is unlistenable though, and that is a critical time slot.

Rodney Ho

November 5th, 2012
5:09 pm

A certain 2 Live Stews will be available by March 12, 2013. We’ll see where they land then.

Luther

November 5th, 2012
8:54 pm

Smart 680! Replacing Colin C. with 3 old hacks, Dan Patrick, Jim Rome and Pat O’brien. Good luck with that lineup. See ya!

Michael

November 5th, 2012
11:52 pm

I will miss ESPN and think 790 makes a poor match. Those bald blowhards on the Zone are worse than the Herd.

chris

November 6th, 2012
7:52 am

790 just dropped Yahoo sports radio for NBC sports radio. I would guess they have a contract of at least a year before they tried to get ESPN radio. Is ESPN radio just charging Cumulus more then want to pay to run ESPN programming?

Emanjr

November 6th, 2012
8:45 am

Turned my radio on at 10:00am to listen to Colin’s opening rant and heard Dan Patrick Show and was like……WTF????!!!! Patrick’s ok but i’d much rather hear Cowherd because he could be any combination of funny or a turd which enhanced the listening experience. Pretty good on his “picks” too, got me paid!!! Oh well, SMARTPHONE APP HERE I COME!!!!

George

November 6th, 2012
11:56 am

Will really miss Colin and Mike & Mike. Now 680 1, 2 and 3 all have the
same basic programming when local talent are off. Boring!
guess I’ll go back to News.

Steak Shapiro

November 6th, 2012
12:37 pm

We don’t have room for Steak at 790, i n fact going to make Mayhem 12 hours long so you people can get even more Steak.

John D

November 6th, 2012
1:51 pm

So I consider myself fairly reasonable. I’ve listened to 92.9 for a few days. Dont think i need to do it again for a while. I’ll just assume if I try again in 6 months to a year it will be a very different station. Morning show is horrible. Randy Cross couldn’t sound any more bored or angry and the girl CJ must be a parody. Good news for Buck Belue. Rick Kamla is now the dumbest guy on Atlanta radio. Middle of the day is unlistenable. Jamie Dukes snarkiness and apparent inability to stay focused is mind boggling. Congratulations Jerome whatshisname. Emptiest suit to sit behind a microphone perhaps in Atlanta radio history. Having 3 opinions about everything means you have none. Afternoon is actually worst of all. That says so much it actually hurts my head.
The reason I’m writing this now is I just heard the NFL commissioner on the station. Great guest. Horrible interview. Embarrassingly so. If you’re going to debate stadium issue, why let him say whatever he wants without a challenge. Throwback uniforms. Who he rooted for as a kid. Not knowing where he grew up when you are setting up that question. “What do you do with Roger time” after Jamie tells him about his mani’s and pedi’s. No pressing about health issues.

Who’s responsible for this. Morning host who says he doesn’t care about CFB. Afternoon female who won’t shut up about God and morals with two morons letting her do it. Former NFL player whose phoniness is unprecedented. In the words of Doug Stewart “WOW” great signal. Get some talent

DKL

November 6th, 2012
1:52 pm

So I consider myself fairly reasonable. I’ve listened to 92.9 for a few days. Dont think i need to do it again for a while. I’ll just assume if I try again in 6 months to a year it will be a very different station. Morning show is horrible. Randy Cross couldn’t sound any more bored or angry and the girl CJ must be a parody. Good news for Buck Belue. Rick Kamla is now the dumbest guy on Atlanta radio. Middle of the day is unlistenable. Jamie Dukes snarkiness and apparent inability to stay focused is mind boggling. Congratulations Jerome whatshisname. Emptiest suit to sit behind a microphone perhaps in Atlanta radio history. Having 3 opinions about everything means you have none. Afternoon is actually worst of all. That says so much it actually hurts my head.
The reason I’m writing this now is I just heard the NFL commissioner on the station. Great guest. Horrible interview. Embarrassingly so. If you’re going to debate stadium issue, why let him say whatever he wants without a challenge. Throwback uniforms. Who he rooted for as a kid. Not knowing where he grew up when you are setting up that question. “What do you do with Roger time” after Jamie tells him about his mani’s and pedi’s. No pressing about health issues.

Who’s responsible for this. Morning host who says he doesn’t care about CFB. Afternoon female who won’t shut up about God and morals with two morons letting her do it. Former NFL player whose phoniness is unprecedented. In the words of Doug Stewart “WOW” great signal. Get some talent

Sage of Bluesland

November 6th, 2012
3:27 pm

I’ll give 92.9 credit for one thing based on my initial listening experience: they encourage callers and put them on the radio.

The other stations have forgotten that’s, you know, sort-of the very basis of a “talk” show….It’s not to listen to Dimino ask his two-minute long questions (with pre-inserted answers)….

That, alone, is refreshing. I’ve listened to entire programs on the other two stations where they take only a caller or two, period. That isn’t my idea of dialogue.

I also like that it is live and local at night.

I say good start and keep improving!

Ron Mexico

November 6th, 2012
4:56 pm

92.9 The Game’s best shows are at night and their Sunday NFL show with Bob Neal, Ovie Mughelli and Len Pasquarelli.

Ron Mexico

November 6th, 2012
4:59 pm

It’s amazing how similar the opinions of “John D” and “DKL” are.

don

November 6th, 2012
10:13 pm

i like 92.9 hate 790 and 680 Steak nees to go and so do perry and that awful morning show go 92.9 love your show

Pete

November 6th, 2012
11:40 pm

It is underlay comprehensible that ESPN radio is not on in the Atlanta market!! Weather you like them or not ESPN is the dominate sports network and to not have them on in a top 10 market makes us look pathetic!!!

Cathmando

November 7th, 2012
8:37 am

I wonder if Chris Mortenson will still do his NFL updates on The Fan? I love the FM signal strength of The Game, but so far their weaker on content. I would love to see The Fan boost 93.7 to reach the burbs.

Dee

November 8th, 2012
9:27 am

Please – These guys can’t compete with the Heard. The only show that comes close is 790 between 7 – 10am. Dan Patrick really! Sports talk in Atlanta has truly been set back unfortunately there will be no objective voices in sports talk in the area. I can truly say there is no need for me to listen to 680. Good Luck with your programming.

Key

November 8th, 2012
12:39 pm

Ok like him or not Colin’s interesting, I don’t always agree. But everyone has an opinion, have you read some of these comments. He was the reason why I started listening to the fan and he will be the reason why I stop.