Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay FM station 98.7 The Fan converts to sports radio format

TAMPA — Tampa Bay's newest sports radio station, 98.7 The Fan, made its debut with a bang, and some bumps, Thursday afternoon.

Related News/Archive

Several of the hosts, including "Fabulous Sports Babe" Nanci Donnellan, shared celebratory chest-bumps with USF's mascot, Rocky the Bull, in an introductory launch party at the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center on campus.

Owned and operated by CBS Radio, the station announced a multiyear partnership to be the Bulls' flagship station, with program director Mike Pepper believing they'll distinguish themselves on the FM dial by being live and local "24-7."

"We call ourselves 'The Fan,' and we want to be a voice that the Tampa Bay listener can feel comfortable to talk about Tampa Bay sports," Pepper said.

There will be talk shows all day and night, led by former Bucs defensive tackle Anthony "Booger" McFarland, former Lightning forward Chris Dingman and longtime Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton. Kirk McEwen, a longtime host in Baltimore, Tampa product Justin "Commish" Pawlowski and longtime sports radio host Todd Wright also join former Rays pre- and postgame host Rich Herrera, who calls the group a "dream team."

"It's going to be a lot of fun. It's going to be new. It's going to be challenging," said Shelton, who currently calls during his show from London, where he is covering the Olympics. "As important as anything, it's going to give me another way to interact with people who have laughed, cried or been ticked off at my column for years. Also, I hear there are groupies."

The Fan hopes to permeate a market that already includes sports station WDAE-AM 620, which has a dominant presence in the area. But Mark Chernoff, vice president of sports programming with CBS Radio, said they believe it's a "ripe market," pointing out they've started similar stations in Boston, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Like in Pittsburgh, they began by aligning with the local college team, broadcasting coverage of Bulls football and men's basketball starting in the fall. USF athletic director Doug Woolard said because of the station's stronger signal, Bulls games can reach more of the state and "expand our brand" through CBS Radio.

"This is a big day for USF," Woolard said.

Shelton, who joins Pawlow­ski from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., is the latest Times writer to expand into radio, with Rick Stroud and Tom Jones co-hosting The Sports Page on WDAE weekdays from 6-9 a.m.

"Gary Shelton is a brilliant voice on the Tampa Bay sports scene and one of America's elite newspaper columnists, so we know he'll be an asset to CBS Radio's programming," Times editor Neil Brown said. "Gary's work on the air is another sign of our commitment to extending the reach of the Tampa Bay Times throughout the region and the state."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

.fast facts

Weekday on-air lineup for 98.7-FM

6-10 a.m.: Kirk and Dinger — Kirk McEwen and former Lightning player Chris Dingman

10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Gary and the Commish — Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton and Justin Pawlowski

2-6: Todd and Booger — Todd Wright and former Bucs player Anthony "Booger" McFarland

6-10: Rich Herrera

10 p.m.-1 a.m.: Temporary programming until a host is signed

1-6 a.m.: Nanci Donnellan, the "Fabulous Sports Babe"

Tampa Bay FM station 98.7 The Fan converts to sports radio format 08/02/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 2, 2012 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.