We're hearing some interesting things from our sources about what to expect on the local radio scene over the next 6-8 months.
First, we are being told that even though they left 730 ESPN this week, that the Geoff & Gary Show will likely end up staying in the local confines of Memphis. No word on whether or not they are favoring Sports 56 or FoxSports 680, but I'm sure that both stations will be making a pitch for their services as their 6-month no-compete clause comes near an end in December. I, for one, am definitely looking forward to hearing them back on the radio again.
Next, it sounds like G&G leaving will have no effect on Chris Vernon remaining with the station, which is good, because nobody wants to cede all of the local coverage to one station, and Verno is one of the most entertaining sports talk hosts in the entire country, in my humble opinion.
However, we have received word that there are some rumblings about 680 AM purchasing the rights to the ESPN affiliation away from 730 in the future, which could lead to a swap over to FOX Sports or a change in format for 730 altogether. If that were to occur, Verno could obviously land back on a Memphis station (best case for us sports fans) or could go to another affiliate in the region under the Simmons Media Group, LLC umbrella. That would be unfortunate for Grizzlies fans, given that Chris has several regular guests with a lot of insight into the NBA landscape and the Grizzlies organization specifically on his program.
For the record, I'm in favor of us having 3 sports stations in Memphis, because competition leads to higher quality programming for all of us sports fans.
We don't have any truly concrete information on this, but you all know that we don't really deal in rumor spreading, so take it as solid information with a grain of salt. We'll all have to wait and see how it shakes out over the next few months.