If you’ve been anywhere near A’s President Dave Kaval’s Twitter account lately, you’ll have seen the hoards of fans complaining to him generally about the most minor of inconveniences, and Kaval responding with some sort of gracious fix. One of those complaints led to an important – and heated – Monday morning debate.
Kaval asked his followers: Should the team renew its contract with 95.7 The Game after it expires this year?
We are in the last year of a multiple year deal with @957thegame Do you think we should renew or not? Would love your thoughts https://t.co/I4N9OjTShW— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 30, 2018
95.7 boasts the title of “flagship station” for the A’s, Warriors, and Raiders, but only became a sports station in 2011 (it previously broadcast country music as 95.7 The Wolf). Before the A’s signed their initial 4-year contract with 95.7, they attempted to purchase KTRB 860-AM, their previous flagship station.
This would have allowed the team to broadcast more A’s-specific content, as the Giants do on KNBR 680-AM. Alas, those efforts failed despite the team reportedly offering a respectable sum, and here we are.
When it comes to 95.7, the biggest issue is that the hosts spend more time talking about the Giants than any of the flagship teams, and when they do switch to Oakland-based teams, it’s usually football or basketball. Worse, the hosts openly degrade the team on-air and online.
The obvious counter-argument here is that the A’s haven’t provided enough good content to discuss on-air — but even Sean Manaea’s no-hitter wasn’t heavily discussed, among other team positives in recent weeks (and years).
So, let’s take a look at what some of Kaval’s followers had to say (click on his original tweet to read all 480+ responses).
In response to replies saying that A’s fans should call in to the station more if they want more A’s coverage, @Thischarminham responded with the following, pointing out that it’s not the listener’s job to drive discussion:
Pre and post are literally the least they can do and frankly I don’t think every listener should be required to call in as proof they exist. The hardcore A’s fans who would call in have bounced on the station for the most part because of their coverage over the last few years.— Thischarmingham (@Thischarminham) April 30, 2018
And finally, I’m not a host on this station. It’s not my responsibility to keep the convo going. They talk about football for hours 365 even when there’s no meaningful news. Something tells me they can BS through and hour about the A’s just fine without my input.— Thischarmingham (@Thischarminham) April 30, 2018
@RealRyanMesick’s reply encompasses the majority of complaints, which are that the station overlooks the A’s, and often actively ridicules the team.
last week (A's had won like 8 of 9 w/WINS over Sale/Price/King Felix, etc. w/a NO-HITTER mixed in & the best offense in MLB. Shills started their segment "have to mention the A's," then spent 8 mins discussing SF's roster before 2 mins of A's "talk," w/jokes about upcoming trades— Crusader 4 Oakland A's Justice (@RealRyanMesick) April 30, 2018
If the team is to stick with 95.7, @GlennRecon and @shawcochrane suggested that the station should bring back guests (or even a host) close to the team; say, Dallas Braden?
Last season David Frost and Bob Melvin were weekly guests on the station but this season there's no weekly A's guest on at all. Except for beat writer Sussan Slusser. I'd love for a weekly A's show hosted either by @townsendradio or @RickTittle— Glenn Halog (@GlennRecon) April 30, 2018
I only tune in to listen to A's games. They spend all their time talking about two teams that have one foot out the door, and aren't #RootedInOakland, and that other baseball team. It'd be nice if they had at least one host that was a former A's player. @DALLASBRADEN209 maybe?— Shawn Cochrane (@shawcochrane) April 30, 2018
@OaklandChav was one of a handful of followers to commend Damon Bruce and Chris Townsend for their good coverage. (Editor’s note from Alex: I also want to give a shout-out to Rick Tittle, who regularly has me on as a guest on his pre-game show to talk A’s prospects.)
Keep 95.7 the Game. They know their stuff and they reach such an enormous amount of people. I think it’s be a bad idea to move away from @DamonBruce and @townsendradio.— Chav (@OaklandChav) April 30, 2018
Finally, @cuppingmaster, along with a few others, said that the team should model a new station after Angels Radio AM 830, the Angels’ team-specific station.
Buy your own station like the Angels did.— Alan Torres (@cuppingmaster) April 30, 2018
And of course, the most important take of them all:
You should go to a radio station that won't torture its listeners with the Kars4Kids commercial.— Ken Arneson (@kenarneson) April 30, 2018
In all seriousness, should the A’s renew the contract? This conversation is also taking place in the /r/OaklandAthletics thread on Reddit, where one user suggested that 95.7 might not even want to renew with the A’s in order to pursue broadcasting rights to other Bay Area teams.
Given the above, what’s the best radio choice for the A’s? Let’s hear it in the comments.
What’s the best radio choice for the A’s?
This poll is closed
Renew with 95.7, keeping things as they are.
Renew with 95.7, with contractual obligation for more A’s air-time.
Buy and create an A’s-only station.
Strike a deal with an existing station other than 95.7.
Other (leave it in the comments)