Tampa gets second FM sports talk station as Clear Channel Radio simulcasts WDAE-AM at 95.3
The Tampa Bay area now has two FM sports talk stations.
That’s because the folks at Clear Channel Radio have fired up an FM “translator,” simulcasting their powerful AM sports talk station WDAE-FM (620) on the 95.3 frequency.
In May 2012, Clear Channel started simulcasting its top-rated political talk station, WFLA-AM (970) on an FM frequency. But its signal seems a bit more limited, mostly reaching Hillsborough County at 105.9.
Now it’s moved ahead with plans to put WDAE on the FM dial as well, with a signal that reached St. Petersburg. Both changes are a relatively quick way to get Clear Channel’s AM talk stations on the FM dial without the expense and risk of converting an existing FM station to a talk format.
Indeed, when I asked last year about Clear Channel’s translators, Doug Hamand, the company’s Tampa area vice president of programming, made the same point a different way. "All my FMs are making money," Hamand said then of a stable which includes WFLZ-FM (93.3), WXTB-FM (98 Rock) and WBTP-FM (95.7 the Beat), WMTX-FM (Mix 100.7) and WFUS-FM (US 103). "I don't have one I can flip."
Rival Cox Radio has seen tremendous success converting WHPT-FM (The Bone 102.5) into an all-talk format (they celebrated the year anniversary of the format change just a couple of weeks ago). So it makes sense Clear Channel might try to compete by bringing its own talk formats to FM, trying to duplicate their success on he AM dial.
WDAE’s move also increases competition for another rival, CBS Radio’s Sportsradio 98.7 the Fan, a station which has seen a series of staff changes since debuting last August.