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KALL 700 AM to go almost all sports

Bill Riley hired; KSL will get out of sports talk

Bill Riley
Bill Riley

KALL radio (AM-700) is poised to become an almost entirely all-sports station beginning Monday, Oct. 11, with the arrival of Bill Riley, formerly of KSL Radio.

Meanwhile, KSL (AM-1160) is getting out of the sports talk business and "SportsFinal" ceases with Riley's departure. KSL will remain the voice of Brigham Young University sports, however.

According to Robert Hendricks, director of communications for Clear Channel Radio of Salt Lake and KALL, the station will become "Hot Ticket 700" next week.

Except for the Phil Hendrie show (weekdays, 7-10 p.m.) and portions of Jon Wright's morning show (6-10 a.m.), KALL will be all-sports and continue to be the voice of University of Utah sports.

Wright, who replaced Tom Barberi in the morning last Wednesday, will talk about sports and everything else on his show. He'll be followed by Jim Rome (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) and Matt Thomas, coming to Salt Lake from Houston to do a 1-4 p.m. sports talk show starting Monday. Hendricks said Thomas will also replace the retiring Bill Marcroft after this football season.

Riley will do a sports talk show from 4-7 p.m. each weekday and will also host U. pre- and post-game shows.

That equals live, local sports talk on KALL from 6-10 a.m. and from 1-7 p.m.

Rome's daily show will re-play at 10 p.m. nightly.

Brad Stone, KALL's previous sports director, was also let go this week.

Hendricks said even though there are already three other all-sports stations in the market, Clear Channel believes they can be successful. The decision to go all-sports was months in the making.

He also said KALL will partner more with KTVX, Ch. 4, in an expanded convergence mode in weekend sports, with both stations using the "Hot Ticket" slogan/format and some of the same broadcasters.

Rod Arquette, vice president of news and programming for KSL radio, said the station was considering getting out of evening sports talk even before KALL was seeking Riley.

"You can't compete with just two hours of sports talk," Arquette said.

Riley will not be replaced and KSL will simply move Bill O'Reilly's syndicated talk show up to 7-9 p.m. Then, the station is considering what to air after 9 p.m.

Arquette said KSL was the first to initiate sports talk in the evening hours for the S.L. market decades ago.

"It's sad we're dropping it," he said. "Times have changed."

He stressed BYU sports will continue as usual on AM-1160.

KFNZ ("K-FAN," AM-1320), KZNS ("The Zone," AM-1280) and KJQS (AM-1230, ESPN) are Salt Lake's other three all sports stations.