Last week, we noted that the Portland Trail Blazers were switching to their third radio station in three seasons, transitioning from 1190 AM KEX to 620 AM KPOJ. Both KEX and KPOJ are Clear Channel stations.
Aaron Mesh of the Willamette Week offers some further reporting, from a Clear Channel executive and a former KPOJ talk show host. Before switching to an all-sports format, KPOJ was a progressive talk station.
Clear Channel's local operations manager Chris Sargent tells WW the company was aiming to match KPOJ and the Blazers when it switched formats last fall.
"That's why we made the change," Sargent says. "We had a new alliance with the Oregon State Beavers and the Portland Trail Blazers. ... We're excited to move 'em over. It just makes a lot of sense to have a sports team on a sports station."
The switch of KPOJ to sports last November sparked outrage from Portland liberals angry that the station was canceling shows by local hosts Thom Hartmann and Carl Wolfson.
"I'm sure the 'Fighting Modas' will pay off Clear Channel's $20 billion in long-term debt," Wolfson says.
The Blazers sold arena naming rights for the Rose Garden to Moda Health, a Portland-based health insurance company. The building is now known as the "Moda Center."
The Blazers left Alpha Broadcasting's 750 AM KXTG to partner with 1190 AM KEX last August.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter