Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Will Jocks Play Musical Chairs on Talk Radio?

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Will Jocks Play Musical Chairs on Talk Radio?

Article excerpt

The raid by KTRS already has taken its toll on KMOX. Now KFNS, the all-sports station, is feeling the effects of the new radio wars.

KTRS (550 AM), which airs 17 hours of sports talk a week, is looking for an additional anchor and has pursued longtime St. Louis sports gab host Mike Claiborne.

Claiborne said he is under contract with KFNS (590 AM), but the length of that deal is in question. He could not be reached Wednesday but recently said, "KFNS has been good to me. But if it was a perfect world, would I like to make more money? Yes. If they can come up with the right dollars, I'd like to stay here. But you never know in this business." Claiborne, who met Wednesday with station management, wants to become involved in the station's Rams broadcasts if he remains. KFNS programming director Steve Moore said his first priority was wrapping up deals with play-by-play man Gary Bender and analyst Jack Snow. The KTRS-KMOX battles also could affect Claiborne's on-air partner, Bob Ramsey. KMOX (1120 AM) has lost numerous employees, as well as University of Missouri football and basketball broadcasts for next season, to KTRS. In turn KMOX is making a strong pitch to obtain SLU basketball, which currently is on KTRS, for 1997-98. Ramsey is that team's radio voice. "We're close" to getting the Billikens, KMOX general manager Rod Zimmerman said. "We'd certainly be interested in him doing the games." If KMOX lands the Bills, it could be an easy transition for Ramsey because there also will be an opening in KMOX's sports department. Mizzou play-by-play man Mike Kelly plans to leave his KMOX sportscasting job, probably in the spring, to remain the play-by-play voice of MU football and basketball. Ramsey, another longtime member of the local sports gabfest crowd, also has an extensive background in reporting as well as hosting call-in shows. Add the fact that KMOX has a long tradition of using its own personnel on major play-by-play properties, and it seems Ramsey would be a natural to fill those spots if KMOX gets the Bills. …

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