All-sports radio off air in city

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 15, 2009

After nine months on the air, ESPN Radio has left Vicksburg.

Debut Broadcasting Corporation, a Nashville-based company that owns two other radio stations in Vicksburg, dropped ESPN Radio from its list of offerings on June 1 because of a lack of local advertising revenue, local radio officials said.

The economic downturn that hit shortly after the nationally syndicated sports station hit the airwaves in September, as well as a desire to focus on the company’s other Vicksburg stations, led to the decision, said Ron Anderson, operations manager for K-Hits 104.5 FM and River 101.3 FM, and Deloris Evans, general sales manager.

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“We didn’t have the resources at the time to develop a new format in Vicksburg and maintain the success of the other two stations,” Anderson said. “We probably would have shot ourselves in the foot doing that. The other two stations are doing well.”

Debut Broadcasting leased the frequency for the sports station, 1420 on the AM dial, from independent station owner Mike Corley.

Before becoming an ESPN affiliate, 1420 AM had been a news and talk radio station. Debut’s lease to operate the frequency runs through the end of July, Evans said. She said she wasn’t sure of Corley’s plans for the station — one of the oldest in Mississippi — but said Debut would be willing to abandon its lease at any time before then. Since June 1, only static has been heard on the station.

“We would allow Mike to put some format on there and crank it back up if he wants to,” Evans said.


Contact Ernest Bowker at