Bulls Reach Agreement with 2008 Broadcast Partners
On January 23, 2008, the Durham Bulls announced an agreement with a new flagship station, the addition of an FM station to the Bulls Radio Network and an expanded television schedule as part of its broadcasting plans for 2008. 1410 WJRD-AM replaces 620-AM The Bull as the new flagship station, carrying all 144 games of Durham Bulls Baseball this season. 99.9 FM The Fan, who like the Bulls is owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company, will simulcast the Bulls games on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
“This is a big step for us to get nearly half of our schedule on the FM dial,” Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said, “Combined with our new partners at WJRD and the webcast on milb.com, fans have more options then ever for listening to Durham Bulls baseball.”
The agreement ends a relationship between the Bulls and 620-AM that dates back to 1947 when Wally Ausley broadcast games for the station known then as WDNC. The Bulls toggled between WDNC and WTIK every few years for the next two decades until the ballclub folded after the 1971 season. The Bulls returned in 1980 with a new broadcast partner, WDBS-FM, but switched to WDNC the next season and remained through last year.
“Admittedly, this is the end of an era for us,” Birling said, “The Bulls have been on 620-AM for 27 consecutive seasons and had a relationship that began 60 years ago. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t come to an agreement, but it has been a great partnership and I thank them for all of the years we worked together.”
President/Owner of McClatchey Broadcasting Billy McClatchey, the parent company of 620-AM The Bull, agrees.
“It’s unfortunate we were unable to come to terms of a new agreement – however, we wish continued success to the Bulls with their new broadcast partner,” he said.
WRJD-AM is a Gospel Music station in Durham, NC owned and operated by Unwind Productions, LLC, a diversified marketing and communications company in Greensboro, NC. WRJD began coverage of North Carolina Central University Football and Men’s Basketball during the 2007-08 school year while looking forward to partnering with the Bulls in 2008.
“We are proud to be a part of the Durham Bulls broadcast team and look forward to serving Durham Bulls fans,” WRJD General Manager Linda Greenwood said. WRJD has adopted a new format and the broadcast of Durham Bulls baseball coincides with our format.”
99.9 FM The Fan made the switch from country music to sports last October 10, picking up the Carolina Hurricanes Radio Broadcasts to compliment it’s lineup of local sports radio and programming from the Sporting News Radio Network. They are the Bulls first FM partner since 1980.
The Bulls also announced television partner RTN (Time Warner Cable Channel 251), formerly FOX-DT, will carry 55 of the Bulls 72 home games in 2008 beginning on Friday, May 9th when the Bulls take on the Syracuse Chiefs. All 72 home games and several road games will be available on milb.tv, available on a subscription basis through www.durhambulls.com.
To view the complete broadcast schedule, click here.
Thanks to DBBC’s Matt DeMargel for this capcom story & graphic.