Media Musings: Sports Radio Shuffle


by R.L. Bynum

CBC shuffles sports stations, adds music station

The long history of daily local sports radio shows on WDNC (620 AM) ended with a Capitol Broadcasting Company’s shuffle Tuesday that has added a new yet-to-be-named music station to the CBC mix.

There will still be sports stations branded as The Buzz, The Ticket and The Fan, but only the latter didn’t change. [editor’s note: SO DON’T WORRY, you can still listen to SportsChannel8: The Radio Show from 10-noon on 99.9 The Fan)

WDNC was branded The Buzz, featuring the local morning drive-time show The Sports Shop with Reese and Kmac. That 6–9 a.m. program and the other Buzz programming also aired on 93.3 FM, 96.5 FM and WCMC HD2, but now will only air on those FM frequencies while keeping “The Buzz” branding.

The other Buzz shows now only airing on FM are a tape-delay presentation of NBC Sports Radio’s “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio” from 9 a.m.–noon, Fox Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from noon–3 p.m. and ESPN Radio’s “The Will Cain Show” from 3–6 p.m.

Along with many other AM stations, WDNC struggles with ratings. It put up a 0.5 rating in the first three months of the year (compared to 1.1 in January and 1.0 in February and March for WPTF.)

The programming and branding of “The Ticket” shifted from WCLY (95.7 FM) to WDNC.

That means a return to WDNC for the Premiere Radio Network’s “The Dan Patrick Show” from 9 a.m.–noon. Also heard now on AM 620 are CBS Sports Radio’s “Taz and The Moose” show from 6–9 a.m., CBS Sports Radio’s “The Jim Rome Show” from noon–3 p.m. and a tape-delay presentation of ESPN Radio’s “The Stephen A. Smith Show” from 3–5 p.m.

WCLY programming shifted to an “adult album alternative” format. There is a contest to name the station, with the station’s URL currently  The contest’s winner will be able to donate $1,000 to the local charity of their choice. It currently refers to itself as “that station.”

WCMC, which didn’t change in the shuffle, put up ratings of 3.4, 3.4 and 3.9 in the first three months of the year. Leading the market overall in first three months were urban contemporary WFXC-FM, Foxy 107/104 (9.3 in March), public radio station WUNC-FM (8.8) and country music station WQDR-FM (7.5). While high overall ratings are obviously ideal, stations often target certain demographics and view specific ratings by gender and age group.

Ravanos to co-host college football podcast

Beginning Monday, Raleigh resident Demetri Ravanos will be a co-host for a weekday 15-minute college football podcast called “Chewing Clock” for the Armchair Media Network.

Ravanos, who writes movie reviews for and sports-radio columns for Barrett Sports Media, was the executive producer and third voice on “The Morning Show,” which aired weekday mornings on WDNC for one year ending in June 2016.

His association with Barrett led to this venture. His co-host Tyler McComas, who covers the Oklahoma Sooners for WREF (1400 The Ref), also writes for Barrett.

“That’s how we met and discovered our mutual love for college football,” Ravanos said of their association with Barrett via Messenger.

The podcast should be available for download on most podcast apps, including iTunes and Stitcher, by midnight the night before so people can listen during their drive to work.

Why the name?

“In terms of ‘Chewing Clock,’ in football it means to just waste time, not to try to score. The way we look at this podcast, our goal is just to get you to work,” Ravanos said.

Carter’s sports focus reduced

When Andrew Carter left the The News & Observer sports staff, it was to become a sports investigative writer on the newspaper’s investigations team. He had been the UNC beat writer until the end of the 2016–17 school year.

He’ll now be a part of The McClatchy Company’s “N.C. High Impact Team,” and that will mean he will focus less on sports.

“Obviously, given his background and skills, that will remain a core part of his focus,” Robyn Tomlin, who became the executive editor of The N&O and The H-S in February, said of Carter via email. “We just don’t want to fence him in to only telling those stories.”

In recent weeks, Carter has written about the Rice Commission’s plan, Dennis Smith Jr., the graduation rates of black male athletes at UNC and multiple stories in the wake of Woody Durham’s death.

His transition last summer came after The N&O’s investigations team had loss stalwarts Joseph Neff and Mandy Locke and Steve Riley, the longtime editor of the team in a few months.

That left Carter, Dan Kane and David Raynor as the only remaining team members. Kane wrote extensively on UNC’s NCAA scandal, and this week wrote about the findings regarding alleged meddling in a controversial UNC sports history class.

Tomlin is regional editor for eight McClatchy newspapers in the Carolinas, including The Charlotte Observer, and created the High Impact Team to include journalists in the Triangle and in Charlotte.

She said that the team would be “working together to produce some of our most ambitious work. They also serve as force multipliers who work with other journalists across all three N.C. newsrooms on quick-turn investigations and major projects.”

In addition to Kane, Carter and Raynor in Raleigh, other team members include Greg Gordon, an investigative reporter out of McClatchy’s D.C. bureau, and three Charlotte reporters, Ames Alexander, Gavin Off and Anna Douglas. The editor of the team is Doug Miller, who is based in Charlotte. In addition, McClatchy is hiring an additional reporter, who will be based in Raleigh.

“I’m really excited about this team, which met together in Charlotte a few weeks ago,” Tomlin said. “We’re already starting to see how their collective expertise will help us do the kind of journalism that is core to our mission and essential to our communities and state.”

The N&O still is waiting for its appeal to be heard on the libel judgment won by former SBI agent Beth Desmond related to Locke’s reporting.

Flashy new digs for The N&O

Earlier this week, The N&O left its 1950s-era McDowell Street office and moved a few blocks to two floors of One City Plaza, which is on Fayetteville Street.

The old building is very familiar to older runners because, for years, the Old Reliable Run — in the days when the newspaper covered the race, and did it extensively — used to start right outside the building.

Advertising, the publisher’s officer and business operations are on the 14th floor, and the newsroom is at the building’s street level.

While there have been negatives with McClatchy purchasing The Herald-Sun, such as the loss of its sports and photo department, as well as positives, this week’s move shows quite a difference between Paxton Media Group (its former owner) and McClatchy.

When The Herald-Sun moved from its previous office on Pickett Road to the BB&T Building near Northgate, Paxton simply moved the old desks and partitions to the new building.

N&O staffers got quite a contrasting experience at its new building on Monday, with all new furniture and a floor display of historic front print pages of The N&O.

In an interesting feature, all the newsroom desks are adjustable so that staffers can work either sitting down or standing up.

North Carolina-related sports stories of note

Quinn Cook has come a long way since his body language and attitude early in his Duke career suggested that he wasn’t a good teammate. He’s learned and matured since then, writes Melissa Rohlin in the San Jose Mercury News, and he probably wouldn’t be on the Golden State Warriors’ playoff roster otherwise.

Semi Ojeleye of the Boston Celtics doesn’t want to talk much about it now, but his family has plenty to say about his time with the Duke program. They don’t portray family meetings with Coach Mike Krzyzewski in much of a positive light in this Boston Herald story by Mark Murphy. The story also explains the difficult road of Ojeleye’s father to fulfill his American dream.

Twenty-five years after Jim Valvano’s death, Chip Alexander, in The N&O and Herald-Sun, looked back at the legacy of the N.C. State coaching legend.

After a memorable career at UNC that included a national championship and a Most Outstanding Player award, Joel Berry II wrote his thanks to Carolina in a The Players Tribune article. He reflects on tearful good times and bad times in his career and his many positive influences.

Ravanos had an interesting Q&A with WCMC afternoon-drive co-host Adam Gold in the Barrett Sports Media site.

For some, seeing Tiger Woods in person can make their day. One special fan REALLY had their day made by Tiger during the Wells Fargo Championship Pro-Am. ABC 11’s Bridget Condon was on hand to capture the moment.