Local radio will not air all Rams games

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Area St. Louis Rams fans have lost one of their media options for following their favorite NFL team.

While the Rams can be found on television each week in Cape Girardeau, they are absent from the radio airwaves for the first time in a number of years. KGIR-1220, a member of the Zimmer Radio Group, is no longer carrying the broadcasts.

The decision to not renew the contract with flagship station KLOU-103.3 in St. Louis was a business decision and not an emotional one, said Erik Sean, the program director for KGIR

"We don't have the advertising to support it," said Sean. "Economically, it wasn't feasible to our return on our investment."

Sean said the Rams broadcast fees had been increasing over the years and simply priced themselves out of the market in Cape Girardeau.

"I would think this would hurt the Rams because this is a big market, and St. Louis is not too far from here," Sean said.

Sean said KGIR, which has an all-sports format, was carrying the Rams when he came to the station eight years ago. The Rams were carried on Zimmer's more powerful KZIM-960 for a couple of years before moving to KGIR, which broadcasts at 250 watts, a signal that is quickly lost beyond the city limits, especially at night.

A weak signal is not conducive to advertising, and Rams broadcast fees are based on market size, rather than broadcast strength.

KGIR does have a football package with Westwood One that provides feeds for games on Sunday and Monday nights, which will mean the broadcast of at least two more Rams games. The Rams will play the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 17, a Monday, and their final regular-season game against the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 1 will be on a Sunday night.

Westwood One also carries select Sunday afternoon games, and if the Rams are chosen for national broadcasts, KGIR will pick up the feed, Sean said.

Sean termed the nonrenewal of its contract with KLOU as "unfortunate," but he has not given up on Rams football on the airwaves in Cape Girardeau in the future.

"Absolutely not," he said.

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