Before it officially went on the air, the new sports talk radio station owned by Adelphia Communications has had to call an audible.
Tom Campbell, the former morning man at WYRK-FM 106.5 who was hired to be the morning host, told station officials in mid-week that he is leaving to take a job in Memphis, Tenn.
The station at 107.7 FM, which will go by the call letters WNSA (SA stands for the Sports Authority) on Monday when it premieres, has reassigned evening man Dave Miller to the mornings temporarily. While the search for a new morning man continues, the station will run Fox Sports Radio in the evenings.
Bob Koshinski, the Empire Sports Network executive running the radio operation, said former Buffalo News hockey writer Jim Kelley has agreed to a deal. Kelley will appear with afternoon man Mike Schopp and Mike Robitaille from 4 to 6 p.m. on the days that the Sabres have games.
Jerry Ostrowski of the Buffalo Bills also has agreed to do a brief call-in show in the morning, though the day hasn't been determined. Ted Cottrell, the Bills defensive coordinator, will also do a weekly show on 7 a.m. Tuesday, which generally is the team's day off.
Though WNSA does carry Buffalo Sabres games, it is expected to have a tough battle with WGR-AM 550 for the sports audience. WGR has the benefit of starting its format earlier and being on the left side of the AM dial. WNSA is on the right side of the FM dial, which isn't known to have talk formats.
There also is industry speculation that the Buffalo market isn't big enough to have two sports talk stations, especially since WGR has suffered ratings losses since it changed to sports talk.
CBC gave Western New Yorkers another bonus at 8 this morning, airing the final two minutes of the United States' basketball team's 85-83 victory over Lithuania. Had the Dream Team lost, it would have been one of the biggest upsets of the Sydney Games and in Olympic history.
Before switching to the game, CBC's Ron MacLean said the United States team was in surprising trouble and viewers would see if they could pull it out. You might have expected the U.S. to be down by 10 points. They were down by a one point.
Still, seeing it live certainly was much more exciting than viewing it on tape, which NBC plans to do. And CBC has another treat in store Saturday. With Vince ("Air Canada") Carter of the Toronto Raptors a member of the Dream Team, CBC is expected to carry a significant portion of the basketball final at 10 p.m. Saturday between the U.S. and France. And that game could be a good one, too. The U.S. beat France by only 12 points during their first meeting in the tournament.