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Atlanta Hawks extend radio deal with 92.9/The Game for three more years

Hawks center Al Horford walks off the court falling to the Cavaliers 100-99 in Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series at Philips Arena on Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Hawks center Al Horford walks off the court falling to the Cavaliers 100-99 in Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series at Philips Arena on Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Monday, June 27, 2016

The Atlanta Hawks have signed a new deal with 92.9/The Game for another three years.

The NBA team was the first pro sports team to join the sports talk station after it signed on in October, 2012.  Later, the Game picked up the Atlanta Falcons as well.

It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship. The Hawks receives a strong full-market signal and a fully committed sports talk station to help spread the word. The Game bolsters its credibility with listeners and advertisers, generates built-in content and ties itself to a respectable basketball franchise.

The Game’s owners, CBS Radio, also happen to own V-103, the top urban station in the market.

And V-103 morning host Ryan Cameron is the in-game announcer for the Hawks while afternoon host Big Tigger is the DJ.

Terry Foxx, the program director for the Game, said it’s been a solid relationship working with the Hawks’ administration, staff and players. And he gets to work with Andrew Saltzman, Hawks’ chief revenue officer. Saltzman is former co-owner of 790/The Zone, which he and Steak Shapiro sold off six years ago. Ultimately, the Zone died in 2014 two years after  the Game’s arrival.

“Andrew is a radio guy,” Foxx said. “He understands.”

After a slow start, staff turnover and millions in losses, the Game is now finally generating passable ratings on a consistent basis, beating its primary rival 680/93.7 The Fan in most dayparts. I am not sure how things are going on the revenue side but sports talk in recent years nationally has seen its star rise as news/talk has lost steam. CBS’s pricey, long-term gamble on sports talk over rock at 92.9 may finally be paying off.

Foxx said the Game remains committed to local sports talk. “We have zero syndication on this radio station and there will never be,” he said.

He said the station is still seeking a replacement for Mitch Evans at nights, noting that it’s an important day part for him.

 


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