Building on Monday night's scoop by Jeremy at Section303.com, the Nashville Predators have confirmed that WBUZ, better known as 102.9 "The Buzz", will take over as the team's new radio flagship station for the upcoming season. After previous partner 104.5 "The Zone" brought on University of Tennessee football & basketball, along with Tennessee Titans football over the last few months, speculation ran rampant as to whether the Predators would move to a new venue, or play second (or third... or fourth...) fiddle at 104.5.
What will this mean for radio coverage of the Preds? The biggest difference should be the end to getting games shunted off to other stations due to conflicts with other sports. Sure, for diehard fans that may not have been a major inconvenience, but it certainly didn't help the casual fan, and fed the perception that the Preds were the red-headed stepchild at "The Zone". Despite the guys at Section303 trying to drum up support for the post-game gig via Twitter, the word I have is that Willy Daunic will continue in his pre- and post-game duties, so the transition should be relatively smooth here.
What remains to be seen is how much of a presence hockey maintains at 104.5, which promotes itself as the city's sports-talk leader. Will they fall victim to the temptation of self-promoting their content, placing even greater emphasis on pro & college football than they already do?
Pete Weber, Terry Crisp and Tom Callahan kicked things off by announcing the transition live on 102.9 just a few moments ago... saying that this is the first time since the lockout that all the games will be on a single station in Nashville.
The following is from 102.9's website:
THE BUZZ IS PROUD TO BE YOUR OFFICIAL HOME FOR THE NASHVILLE PREDATORS!
The Buzz will air s 30-minute pregame show as well as an hour-long postgame show.
All postgame shows following home games will originate from Bridgestone Arena's Patrón Platinum Club and will be open to all ticketed fans in attendance.
Tom Callahan returns as the Predators radio-specific play-by-play announcer and will call the action for the club's 60 radio-only regular season games.
And in turn, the Predators issued the following:
Nashville Predators and the Cromwell Group, Inc. announced today that WBUZ 102.9 FM (The Buzz) has signed a multi-year deal to serve as the flagship station of the team's radio network beginning with the 2010-11 season, insuring that all games will be broadcast on the same station.
Cromwell Group, Inc affiliate WYCQ, Inc owns 102.9 WBUZ (BUZZ) and also operates WPRT 102.5 (The Party) and WQZQ 102.1 (The Light). WBUZ will carry select preseason, all regular season and all postseason Predators games each year. This marks the first time since the 2003-04 season that all Predators regular season and playoff contests will be aired on the same station. These games will include a 30-minute pregame show as well as an hour-long postgame show. All postgame shows following home games will originate from Bridgestone Arena's Patrón Platinum Club and will be open to all ticketed fans in attendance. Tom Callahan returns as the Predators radio-specific play-by-play announcer and will call the action for the club's 60 radio-only regular season games. Callahan will join the longtime team of Pete Weber and Terry Crisp for the other 22 contests.
"We are very excited to announce The Buzz as our new radio flagship partner," Nashville Predators Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer Chris Parker said. "WBUZ is Nashville owned and operated, boasts a 100,000-watt broadcast signal and is a top-ranked station in Middle Tennessee with tremendous demographics. Add to this their promotional ability and the fact that our fans can preset 102.9 FM for every game, and this is a fantastic partnership that will benefit our fans."
"We've seen the excitement that the Predators generate for the Nashville community, and as a local business we are proud to be a part of that," Cromwell Group President Bud Walters said.
"The Predators bring a hard-hitting, action-packed feel to everything they do and that is exactly what the Buzz Nation has come to expect from our station," BUZZ General Manager Tincy Crouse said. "We know our listeners are Predators fans, and because of this we are excited to be a part of Smashville."
WBUZ's first Nashville Predators broadcast will be the preseason game at Bridgestone Arena on Monday September 27 vs. the Atlanta Thrashers. A complete radio broadcast schedule can be found online atnashvillepredators.com or 1029thebuzz.com.
The Predators also announced that a strong partnership remains with sports station 104.5 FM (The Zone).
"We look forward to continuing joint efforts to provide mutually beneficial programming and promotions throughout the season," Parker said. "Many ZONE on-air hosts - including George Plaster, Willy Daunic, and Mark Howard - are fans and friends of the Predators, and as such we will continue the strong relationship we have grown over the years."
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