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DUEMIG, WDAE SEEK DEAL BUT ARE NOT CLOSE

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-AM 620, is negotiating with the station for a new deal, and the sides do not appear close to an agreement. His deal expires Sunday.

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

When reached Monday, Duemig declined 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 strong and it's the Tampa Bay affiliate of the Bucs, Rays, Lightning and Gators, WDAE has become the area's dominant sports station. But if Duemig were to become a free agent and stayed in the area, he could draw interest from the other sports stations: WQYK-AM 1010 and WHBO-AM 1040.

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