Friday, November 22, 2013

Far overdue- Bucky is leaving AM620 WGOP

I've waited a long time for this. Wisconsin Badger athletics broadcasts are leaving WTMJ for another Milwaukee affiliate after this season. It's something I asked for in this blog over 3 1/2 years ago, and my feelings on the subject have only gotten stronger in time being. Especially since WTMJ was a major factor in the election of Scott Walker, and the subsequent attacks on the City of Madison and the UW in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan. Heck, don't take my word for it that WTMJ is a willing partner to Walker and WisGOP, just ask Reince Priebus.

Needless to say, I found it to be unacceptable that Bucky was helping that poisonous station get listeners (and make no mistake, sports programming gets people to tune their dials to 620, where they keep them on during the day when Sykes, Wagner, and Mercure and spreading their BS). And apparently the reason Bucky won't be on WGOP WTMJ is because Journal Broadcast group wouldn't give UW sports the priority it deserves. Here's part of a letter from Journal Broadcast CEO (and right-wing race-baiting enabler) Steve Wexler explaining this.
I wanted to let you know that we've been in discussions with Learfield Sports, the rights holder for Wisconsin Badgers radio programming. We decided to decline to renew our agreement with Learfield, based on their wish for full clearance of all their programming -- something we are simply unable to do for them. Beginning with the 2014 football season, Learfield will presumably move to a new market affiliate.

Clearing Badgers programming has always been challenging for us because of our commitments to the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks. We often have to move Badgers games to other stations in the market due to schedule conflicts. Additionally, unlike Packers and Brewers, we're not the rights holder to Wisconsin sports. We are a network affiliate of Learfield, so none of the commercial inventory in their games is available for us to sell to our local advertisers.
The UW rightfully wants one station to be "the home of the Badgers" in Wisconsin's largest media market, and my bet would be AM 920, which already has two Madison-based talk shows (a morning one with Badger announcers Mike Lucas and Matt LePay, and an afternoon one with Mike Heller), and is the backup station for Badger sports when TMJ bumps them for some random Bucks or Brewers game. I'd love for UW Athletics to do the same thing in Madison, where it's on the AM dial at 1310, which broadcasts hateful, anti-Madison programming such as Rush Limbaugh and Icki McKenna during weekdays. They already have an FM affiliate in Madison, and could move the AM part to 1070, which simulcasts the same local sports shows as 920 in Milwaukee, and is also a backup Badger station.

I don't have any illusions that AM620's right-wing daytime garbage was a reason behind Bucky going off of WGOP WTMJ- I know it was about dollars and exclusivity for UW sports. But it's a great side benefit, and this two-time Badger alum would love to see it continue in the Badgers' hometown.

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