ESPN radio jumps to FM in KNBR split

Bay Area sports radio upstart The Game 95.7 has wrested ESPN Radio programming from KNBR, bringing events like the World Series, the NBA Finals and the World Cup to FM radio in the Bay Area for the first time.

The shift comes as KNBR 680 routs the The Game (KGMZ-FM) in recent local radio ratings. Bay Area Sports Guy reported the Giants’ dramatic World Series run helped propel The Sports Leader to an 8.1 rating in November, with listeners increasing by 48 percent over the same period last year.

Though The Game (KGMZ-FM) increased listeners by 39 percent, their ratings peaked at 1.4 during the A’s playoff run, then nose-dived to 0.7 in November.

Initially, The Game will broadcast overnight ESPN Radio programming including the pre-dawn (on this coast) Mike and Mike show. Other strongly-branded network content could prove useful if ratings continue to sag and local programming adjustments — or cuts — are required.

Meanwhile, KNBR program director Lee Hammer confirmed to SFBay that newly-expanded CBS Radio Sports has been slotted into the overnight and sports update slots.

CBS just went 24/7 with their radio network on Jan. 2 with some familiar voices in tow.

Bay Area radio throwback Scott Ferrall rides his mahogany bench from 7 to 10 11 p.m. on weekdays on KNBR 1050 (KTCT-AM), while former ESPN voice Amy Lawrence has been hired into her familiar weekend overnight slot, heard on KNBR.

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