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Elephant Rumblings: Oakland A’s eyeing return to radio

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Good morning, Athletics Nation! With baseball news picking up lately, here’s a special Saturday edition of Elephant Rumblings.

The Oakland A’s were planning to play the 2020 season without any presence on Bay Area terrestrial radio stations, but they appear to be re-thinking that idea. The team is “considering adding a Bay Area radio station back into their broadcast mix” when the delayed season gets going in late-July, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

No deals have been made, and it’s not clear what specific stations might be in play, but Slusser notes that the A’s have talked to multiple potential partners.

Back in February, the team announced they would forego traditional radio entirely, at least within the Bay Area (they still have a presence in Sacramento, 1140 AM). Instead, their games would only be carried on their own online streaming service, A’s Cast. That news was met with a healthy round of criticism from folks who prefer regular radio as their preferred medium of baseball consumption.

The decision came after recent splits with two different stations. First was a thorny exit from a near-decade long relationship with KGMZ 95.7 The Game, ending after 2018. Then came a one-year run with KTRB 860 AM, a right-wing political talk station that turned off many fans. After having trouble finding another landing spot in the area, the team decided to skip it entirely and put their audio exclusively online, at least until this latest reversal.

Athletics Nation will surely be happy about this new development, as many in the community like using the radio and were bummed about losing it. Meanwhile, those who don’t care about radio will lose nothing by a new option becoming available. And if more people gain access to the magical work of broadcaster Ken Korach, then all the better.

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