Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Station's Sports Format Is Postponed a Month

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Station's Sports Format Is Postponed a Month

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Elliott, Times-Union sports writer

The anticipated conversion of WZNZ (1460 AM) to an all-sports talk format will not take place Monday as station officials had planned. The switch from a business talk concept has been postponed until July 1.

WBWL (600 AM) which currently carries the all-sports format including ESPN, has been sold to The Disney Company. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has yet to approve the sale however, and Cox Radio which owns WBWL, balked at having WZNZ simulcast ESPN Radio while its station was still airing the same programming.

"We had hoped the deal would have been completed by the end of May, but it didn't happen," said Jon Bosworth, general manager of Concord Media group, which owns four local radio stations, including WZNZ. "We can't make a move until they [WBWL] drop the ESPN format. Our new date is July 1 and we feel confident we'll be on the air with the all-sports format at that time."

Bosworth also indicated that the station would be looking at additional local program possibilities and area sporting events. For now, the only local program the station plans to air is the Terry Norvelle Show (noon - 2 p.m.), currently heard on another Concord Media station, WJGR (1320 AM). Norvelle's show will move to WZNZ on July 1.

Bosworth would like to add Jacksonville University football, basketball and baseball games. The school is leaving WBWL and shopping for a new radio home. A proposed deal with WVOJ (970 AM) has not materialized. JU officials would prefer to continue with an all-sports station, but WZNZ has commitments with the PGA Tour for late Saturday afternoon broadcasts in the fall and early winter that would conflict with Dolphins football and basketball games.

In addition, Florida State basketball games for the 2002-03 season will likely be moved from WROO (107.3 FM) to sister station WZNZ. Station officials are looking at next year's Seminoles' schedule to determine possible conflicts with JU games. Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is the University of Central Florida, which has approached WZNZ about airing a package of football and basketball games as well as coaches' shows. …

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