After 11 years as the Utah Jazz flagship station, Sports Radio 570 (KISN-AM) and the NBA team have ended their official relationship.
The Jazz expect to have this market's second all-sports station - at an as-yet unnamed dial location - operational by Sept. 1.Sports Radio 570 Vice President Patrick Reedy issued a press release Saturday outlining the demise of the Jazz-KISN partnership, after several months of contract talks ended in a stalemate.
"Unfortunately, the much-publicized desire on the part of the Jazz to own a radio station in Salt Lake and our lack of interest in selling our station created irreconcilable differences," Reedy said. "We understand the need on the part of the Jazz to generate higher revenues to cover escalating player salaries. However, we're firm believers in business partnerships being win-win relationships. We basically agreed to disagree."
Apprised of Reedy's statements, Jazz General Manager Tim Howells said, "That's fairly accurate. We were looking for a more profitable radio deal for us."
Howells pointed out, however, that "This is not the KISN that we had an 11-year relationship with. This is a new owner and a new general manager. To a certain extent, it's a matter of philosophies not in sync. That's not to say theirs are wrong or ours are wrong. They're just different."
Howells said the Jazz are close to a deal with another station to become the team's flagship.
"We have a letter of agreement with them . . . and will try to reduce it to contract form," he said.
The Jazz GM declined to name the station, but he did say they are "very excited to have the Jazz. They recognize what the Jazz bring to a radio property."
Sports Radio 570 sports director Chris Tunis said the ex-Jazz station will continue to offer an all-sports format."We feel we can still be a viable product (without the Jazz)," Tunis said. "The market has shown there is a need for an all-sports station."
But is there a need for two all-sports stations? And which radio "personalities" will stick with KISN or go with the Jazz?
Jazz game broadcasters Hot Rod Hundley and Ron Boone are already under contract to the team. But, according to sources at Sports Radio 570, some on-air personalities - most notably Jazz Talk co-hosts Dave Blackwell and Steve Klauke - have been paid in part by the Jazz, in part by KISN.
"It's yet to be determined where the talent will go," Howells said. "My impression is some of them are not contractually bound (to KISN)."
Jazz owner Larry Miller acknowledged in late February that he was trying to buy a station - believed to be KFAM AM 700 in Bountiful - but that effort fell through. The Jazz then tried to purchase KISN, but were unable to come to terms with the station's parent company, Trumper Communications of Westmont, Ill.
The Jazz's previous contract with Sports Radio 570 expired in September, but the station continued to broadcast games while negotiations continued.
Sports radio 570 also broadcasts Salt Lake Buzz games, NFL games, occasional college football and basketball (though not local teams) and some high school games.