08.07.05

Ratto On KNBR And The Giants

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 10:59 am by

San Francisco’s KNBR has shown no inclination to fire chat show host Larry Krueger over his recent remarks about Carribean ballplayers and Felipe Alou, and the SF Chronicle’s Ray Ratto points to cracks in the relationship between the Giants and their radio partner.

KNBR needs the Giants for the unlimited amount of programming it offers, even though the station’s more recent attraction to the 49ers offers some pause. The two sides just signed a new five-year deal that only increases their joined-at-the-face-ness, so it isn’t as if KNBR can stop cozying up to Peter Magowan and His Merry Pranksters on an hourly basis.

But the Giants also need KNBR because it is, after all, the only 50,000- watt station in the Bay Area interested in anything other than news/weather/traffic. Baer need only look at the A’s years of hopscotching along the dial trying to find a station that would love them more than 5,000 watts worth. Their station, KFRC, has a deal with God, and Billy Beane notwithstanding, we know who wins that little debate.

If Krueger stays, KNBR is now in the driver’s seat in its often servile relationship with the Giants. He will hang his head low, true, but he will have to continue to savage the boys or be laughed out of the market as a fraud. The Giants can complain, they can even boycott KNBR (Alou, standing on principle, has already quit his show with the station, and Brian Sabean is said to be mulling doing the same), but they will no longer have the power they once had in this relationship. That becomes a slippery slope that someday could lead to the right end of the dial, with the Highway Patrol reports, foreign language right-wing radio and cab calls.

In other radio news, it was announced earlier this week that the St. Louis Cardinals will move their broadcasts next season to KTRS, an outlet they’ve recently purchased 50% of, leaving KMOX, the club’s flagship station for more than 50 years.

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