The plug has been pulled on the only sports radio stations in the greater Chico area. This morning at 10am Huth Broadcasting out of Marysville/Yuba City officially changed the formats on 101.7 FM and AM 1340 Fox Sports Chico to music. What kind of music, you might ask ? Well, does it really matter ? It’s not sports.
While sports programming was a staple in the Deer Creek Broadcasting family it also was seen as a vital commodity by others. And, as we all know radio is a business. So, when Huth Broadcasting came-a-calling in August of 2012 to purchase the FM and AM frequencies the hierarchy at Deer Creek had to listen. It was a savvy business move for Deer Creek when they sold the frequencies to Huth, but it also meant that sports programming was left in a lurch. What were Huth’s plans ? What was his vision ? Would he continue with Paradise High and Butte College Football ? Well, we now know the answers to those questions.
Being a free market capitalist I have no problems with someone doing whatever they want with something they own. Sports was valued by Deer Creek Broadcasting. It served a very specific niche, and I believe we served that niche well with varied sports programming and as much play-by-play as our little station could handle. It was programming that we found easy to sell for several different reasons. Sports wasn’t offensive, it was entertainment and with satellite programming, it was affordable.
One thing I have learned in my nearly two decades in Chico, this place is unique. Deals are done with a handshake and a smile. If you think you are going to make friends, business partners and generate clients by shooting off emails and texts and then wait for people to knock down your door. Well, think again. You can be as successful as you want to be if you just get out and meet people. Shake hands, be friendly. There is a community waiting to embrace you. A familiar refrain when Chico State graduates go on the job search is, “we find a strength of Chico grads is their interpersonal communication skills.”
With the loss of sports programming in the market there is now a void when it comes to much of the local sports that people loved. Butte College Football, high school play-by-play and the opportunity to just get away from the seriousness of the world’s daily events, and then fall into the pillow of sports-talk. No more Dan Patrick, Jay Mohr, The Cannons and College Football Saturday’s or NFL coverage on Sundays. The market will miss this.
Deer Creek Broadcasting and Newstalk 1290 KPAY is still your home for the Chico State Wildcats. We have been the North State’s home for Wildcat sports for nearly 20 years and it is a marriage made in heaven. Beginning on November 2nd we will be courtside once again for another season of Chico State Basketball. And then in early February the Chico State Baseball team is back at it for another exciting season.
We will pick up the void where we can here on KPAY. But, after 8 great years in the Chico market, the microphones have been muted, 24 hour sports-talk is no more.