As we learned Monday, the sports radio landscape shifted quite a bit as McClatchey Broadcasting opted to pull out of the local market in a deal with both Curtis Media and Capitol Broadcasting which sees Capitol picking up WDNC (aka The Bull) in Durham, and 850 The Buzz, taking the solid morning show from 850 the Buzz to WDNC. They'll also pick up 1550 AM and target Hispanic sports fans.
Curtis picks up the North Carolina News Network and a satellite distribution network from Capitol. They'll also get WRBZ (The Buzz's) broadcast tower and the frequency, which we believe Don Curtis used to own back in the day as WKIX, one of the Triangle's more famous stations.
Dave Glenn's show will move to Capitol's The Fan (99.9) and may also have a weekly show syndicated by Curtis.
That's a lot of change.
One thing that might change is the blog Joe Ovies has been running at the Buzz. It's pretty irreverent and may not be a great fit with Capitol's image, which is more traditional. We hope not. It's been fun.
On another level, though, while all three companies are local, which is great in an era of massive consolidation, the Buzz offered something a bit different. They've never been afraid to annoy people, and at the same time provide compelling content and characters. That's not to say that we liked everything - the NASCAR coverage bored us and while we listened periodically to hockey coverage, you really have to either have grown up with the sport or spent a lot of time around the RBC. We followed it, but not closely.
On balance, though, it's a loss. The McClatchey folks were always good guys. Glenn's show has always been pretty solid, although our only criticism would be that when he gets carried away, his voice is not as mellifluous as it is when he's discussing things dispassionately. Gold and Ovies are a pretty funny pair who have an interesting chemistry as Gold is wry and usually above the fray to an extent, while Ovies just wants to gut the fish as soon as possible. He's great at cutting to the chase. Having one guy who aspires to urbanity and one who is a bit punk makes for a great show. They might not hang out together after work (like we'd know). And someone - we expect it's Gold - has great taste for bumper music.
Of course they've also had Duke's contracts for football and basketball, something which will presumably transfer to Capitol.
Speaking of Duke broadcasting, Matthew Laurance will be on the Buzz Tuesday morning at 8:30. So check him out, as one departing member of the local media says farewell to another.