It’s been a bad time for sports fans here in Baton Rouge. The BCS Championship Game has come and gone and LSU lost. Not only did they lose, they were held scoreless, the first shutout in BCSCG history. LSU fans are in a funk, to put it mildly.
Even worse, they aren’t able to vent about the big loss through their usual outlet, radio station WSKR the Score. As of New Year’s Day, the Score, a local sports talk radio station, is now Hallelujah 1210, a gospel station. Rumor has it that radio hosts got a call from management the day of the change; other staff found out by email. There was an article in the local paper last Saturday, but it was in the religion section and talked mostly about the new format, not what happened to the old crew.
There is another local station with a sports talk format, but it is an ESPN affiliate broadcasting mostly nationwide programming, with one local afternoon show on weekday afternoons and a few others scattered throughout the week.
I never realized it until after the station changed formats, but the Score did not hire and pay most of their hosts. The hosts paid the station for their time slots and then sold their own advertising to make what money they did. Only one host was an employee of the station, and he was on hiatus. There are rumors about why that is, too.
So now there is a hot mess - hosts who sold advertising time they cannot deliver, advertisers whose products may or may not be suitable for a gospel format station. (Our barbecue platters are perfect for your next tailgate - uh, dinner on the grounds.) Nobody official seems to want to talk about why the change was made so abruptly with no warning to the people whose livelihoods were being affected.
Local sports fans, of course, are burning up the message boards talking. It takes their minds off the Big Loss.