Sports Talk bumped off air in Columbia for Sean Hannity Show

bgillespie@thestate.comJanuary 31, 2014 

— Sports Talk, heard on radio stations across South Carolina since 1984, will no longer be broadcast in Columbia by news and talk station WVOC-FM 100.1. The final show on WVOC was Friday.

The statewide sports call-in program, which runs weeknights 6 p.m.-8 p.m. with long-time anchor Phil Kornblut and co-hosts Kevin McCrarey and Tom Hayes, is now seeking a replacement outlet in Columbia, a Sports Talk spokesman said Friday.

“We’ve enjoyed our relationship over the years with Clear Channel (Communications, owners of WVOC),” said Scott Brandon, director of operations for the Sports Talk Radio Network, a division of Learfield News. “Now we look forward to moving on and doing bigger and better things.”

Midlands’ followers can still listen to the show on-line at sportstalksc.com, or via the “I (Heart) Radio” app for mobile devices, Brandon said. Two other S.C. stations carrying Sports Talk – WGVL-AM 1440 in Greenville and WSEA-FM 100.3 in Myrtle Beach – are carried on I (Heart) Radio.

Sports Talk originates from the S.C. Network studios in downtown Columbia.

Kornblut declined comment, referring questions to Brandon and to Clear Channel management. Until January 2013, Sports Talk also aired on Clear Channel’s WXBT-AM 560 The Team, but the show was replaced in the 6 p.m.-8 p.m. slot by “Clemson Sports Talk,” hosted by Lawton Swan.

Syndicated conservative talk show host Sean Hannity will replace Sports Talk on WVOC. In September, Hannity ended his contract with the Cumulus radio network to sign with Premiere Networks, a division of Clear Channel.

Also as of Friday, Sports Talk’s companion show, Sports Talk First Edition – which aired on 560 The Team 1 p.m.-3 p.m. weekdays – has left Clear Channel. Starting Monday, Clear Channel will fill the afternoon slot with former USC football player Rick Sanford, who also co-hosts Talking Sports with Teddy Heffner from 6 a.m.-10 a.m. weekdays.

Brandon confirmed Sports Talk is seeking a new Columbia outlet but said there is “nothing I can disclose” at present. “We’re excited about (the prospects of) adding a new affiliate,” he said.

Brandon said that in addition to Sports Talk’s radio broadcast, the sportstalksc.com website soon will begin airing video from the show. “It’s pretty interesting,” he said. “We’re experimenting with it right now. Soon listeners will be able to see the ‘pretty faces’ (of the hosts), too.”

Clear Channel director of operations LJ Smith did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Learfield News has owned Sports Talk since July 2008. Clear Channel, in addition to WVOC and 560 The Team, operates four other stations, all with music formats, in Columbia: WCOS-AM (gospel), WCOS-FM (country), WLTY-FM (variety hits) and WNOK-FM (contemporary hits).

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