Posted: 12:28 pm Friday, March 14th, 2014
By Rodney Ho
The regional sports network CSS is shutting down June 1 after a 15-year-old run.
General manager Mark Fuhrman today informed the 20 full-time employees who will be losing their jobs, a source close to the situation told me.
The primary reason why CSS is going away? The new SEC sports network set to arrive in August in cooperation with ESPN. (Details here.)
Without SEC conference games, the CSS will lose a major source of programming, revenue and viewership.
This will also impact 790/The Zone, which has been simulcasting its morning show for several years on the cable channel. The current show, which is led by Alge Crumpler and JP Peterson, pulls in significantly fewer viewers than what Mayhem in the AM had until that show was let go following the Steve Gleason ALS bit debacle last June. (Steak Shapiro is now on from 9 a.m. to noon on 680/The Fan; Chris Dimino joins the Rude Awakening in mornings starting March 17 and Nick Cellini is still seeking a new job.)
Comcast and Charter subscribers get the channel here locally. CSS reaches 5.5 million homes in 12 states.
CSS also runs Sun Belt Conference games (including those by Georgia State) that will have to find a new home.
Presumably, the SEC Network will take its place on those networks though nothing has been confirmed.
Comcast Sports Group runs a dozen regional sports networks across the country. CSS is the only one that lacks a professional sports team.
About the Author
I'm the media writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution and ajc.com. I've been following radio since 2001, TV since 2005. I cover everything from the local radio and TV news scene to shows shot in Atlanta ("The Walking Dead," "Real Housewives of Atlanta") to networks based here (CNN, TBS, Up, Weather Channel) to celebrities who visit town.