Shocker: Fox Sports Radio, LA Local Shows Merge

As foreshadowed by my earlier post today, there were some major changes and deletions made at Fox Sports Radio and L.A. sports radio station KLAC-AM today. Numerous on-air personalities at FSR were let go, replaced by KLAC talent who will now be syndicated nationally.

Chris Myers SbB Girl Erin

(Apparently Myers’ own co-host candidate, SbB Girl Erin, was shot down)

Some of the changes confirmed by an industry source:

FSR’s Craig Shemon and James Washington Show (9a-noon ET) show has been dropped. Dan Patrick’s Show will fill the void, now syndicated by Premiere Networks.

FSR’s Andrew Siciliano and Krystal Fernandez Show (7p-10p ET) show has been dropped. Show will be replaced by KLAC’s “PMS” Show (Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith)

KLAC’s Steve Hartman and Vic Jacobs, formerly the station’s “Loose Cannons” will now co-host national FSR show with Chris Myers from 3-7p ET. Myers’ former co-host, Sean Farnham, moves to FSR weekends. Mychal Thompson, part of the Loose Cannons L.A. show, has been dropped.

FSR’s Overnight show with Ben Maller has also been dropped.

Now word yet on the shows by J.T. The Brick and Steve Czaban but it appears they will remain intact for now.

Pretty radical changes by Clear Channel’s FSR syndicator, Premiere Networks in Los Angeles.

So who was behind the changes?

FSR had previously been unable to get much clearance for its network shows on local L.A. station (and CC-owned) KLAC, so it appears that Clear Channel corporate stepped in and forced the merger - and subsequent clearance. Since the “PMS” and “Loose Cannons” shows were very SoCal-centric, it will be very interesting to see how they do nationally.

Charlie Rahilly, a former L.A. CC exec, is now running Premiere and was obviously also in on the changes. The moves look good superficially for FSR, as now they’ve got shows running live in the L.A. market throughout the day. But since KLAC recently lost the Lakers, that might not be as lucrative a prospect as you think.

This shuffling is also about cost-cutting and a last, desperate stab by Fox Sports Radio at getting more clearance on local stations around the country. I have a feeling that this all may be a prelude to the eventual demise of FSR. But I hope not, since the more sports radio programming out there we have, the better.

More observations on the move:

It was sad to hear that Siciliano was let go by FSR, but it’s probably a blessing for him. He wasn’t cleared live in most major markets by legit stations, and this might lead to him getting more exposure in a subsequent gig. He’s one of the more underrated sports media talents out there. I’d love to see him get picked up by ESPN Radio, he deserves a larger platform.

Also departing Fox Sports Radio weekends is Jorge Sedano, who has a solid gig at WAXY-AM in Miami as a midday host. Watch out for Sedano, I have a feeling you’re going to be hearing (and seeing) a lot more of him in the future. He might be the breakout sports media star in 2009, and you read that here first.

The move is certainly a positive for Patrick, but he won’t pick up that many more stations as Shemon and Washington’s Show wasn’t cleared much besides Fox Sports Radio-devoted affiliates. Thank god for those SI-signed checks!

I feel bad for Papadakis, as I know he wasn’t all that interested in doing a national show, but perhaps the PMS thing will take hold around the country. Papadakis and Smith have filled in quite a bit for Jim Rome the past two years and PMS certainly has done well in the Los Angeles radio ratings since its inception. Smith is another guy like Siciliano, a real talent who deserves more notice. If you don’t know him from KLAC or Rome, you’ve probably heard his voice on NFL Network.

I’m also intrigued by the pairing of Hartman and Myers, who are both lead hosts. It’ll be interesting to see if they can co-exist. I’ve co-hosted shows with Myers in the past, and knowing his professionalism, I think they’ll get along fine. Whether that translates to a compelling show remains to be seen. I tend to doubt it, as the two guys are too similar in their tastes.

For those of you outside of Los Angeles, and the radio know for that matter, I understand this is all pretty damn complicated and largely irrelevant. But I’m a radio geek at heart -  so thanks for indulging me.

UPDATE: I’ve been informed tonight that Tony Bruno, who recently launched a new evening show called “Into The Night” via national syndicator Content Factory, has been dropped by KLAC presumably in favor of Fox Sports Radio’s J.T. The Brick.

I don’t have official word on when all these changes will go into effect, but prevailing wisdom is most everything will be in place on-air by Monday.

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