John O’Connell, the 98.7 FM “The Fan’s” new program director has already made a major change in the Tampa Bay sports talker’s lineup. Jim Rome will move to the FM side from 1010 AM and air from noon to 3:00 p.m. weekdays beginning today (Monday).
The morning show “Kirk and the Dinger” will be cut back from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. to make room for “Gary and the Commish” to run from 9:00 a.m. to noon. “Booger and Rich” will run from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Jim Rome left Premiere Radio Networks late last year to bring his radio show to CBS Sports Radio Network. He also departed ESPN to do his television show on the new CBS Sports cable network.
98.7 “The Fan’s” ratings have struggled since hitting the airwaves as Tampa Bay’s first FM sports talk station last August. “The Fan” has not reaped much benefit yet from being the flagship station of USF sports. The football team was dismal this year and the basketball team has been mediocre of late. Also, news that the Tampa Bay Rays have re-upped their radio contract with WDAE 620 AM can’t sit well with the CBS Radio brass in Tampa.
Look for more changes in the lineup in the coming weeks and months. CBS Sports Radio has invested a lot of money in this venture and the Tampa Bay market is an important piece of the machinery.