Bob Smizik reported on his blog this afternoon that multiple industry sources are saying 1250 ESPN (WEAE) will cease operating in its current manner at this time next week and that full-time employees will be let go. Expect the format – albeit the national feeds nearly exclusively – to linger through the end of the year and Radio Disney to take over at that time. It is expected that during the interim some of the programs like Penn State football and other profit-makers will continue with part-time talent hosting the programs.
Sources are saying that Disney’s agreement to run the teeny bopper format on WWCS-AM (540; Canonsburg) expires at the end of the year and which point sources tell Smizik the format is to move to 1250.
Reportedly the station has been losing money for several years, thus the reason for the recent personnel cuts of Eddy Crow, Joe Destio, Eartha Jackson and Jim Colony. Apparently the station had been up for sale but the weak economy and the weak 5000 watt signal on 1250 didn’t bring on any buyers. The arrival of 93.7 The Fan (KDKA-FM) didn’t help either as listeners and advertisers made the switch to the FM station, despite the fact that 1250 has maintained a ratings lead.
Further reports say that Clear Channel is likely to adopt the ESPN programming on WBGG-AM (970) which currently carries Fox Sports.