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Could Steve Duemig be leaving WDAE?

A showdown could be brewing between Tampa Bay's top sports radio station and its most popular host. Steve Duemig, also known as the Big Dog and host of the afternoon drive show on WDAE 620-AM, is in the midst of negotiations for a new deal with the station and the sides do not appear close to an agreement. Duemig's current deal with WDAE expires on Sunday.

Duemig, 56, has been with WDAE since 1990, mostly hosting the weekday afternoon slot from 3 to 7 p.m., which has become the area's most-listened-to sports-talk show.

When reached Monday, Duemig refused comment, only confirming that his contract expires Sunday and that negotiations are continuing. Telephone messages for executives at Clear Channel, which owns WDAE, were not returned.

Because its signal is so strong and it is the Tampa Bay affiliate of the three local professional sports teams -- the Bucs, Rays and Lightning -- WDAE has become the dominant sports station in Tampa Bay. However, if Duemig were to become a free agent and stayed in the area, he could attract interest from the other local sports stations: WQYK 1010-AM and ESPN 1040-AM.