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ESPN Radio To Move To 105.5 Denver In 2012

87.7 The Ticket 102.3 Deportes ESPN 1600 Fox Sports Denver KEPN 105.5 KJAC Front Range Sports 104.3 Fan KKFN

Update 3/28: Ticket morning host Gary Miller clarifies the report from the Denver Business Journal putting it more in line with what we’ve expected. The local programming will remain on 102.3 KDSP, while the national ESPN feed will move from Lincoln Financial Media’s 1600 KEPN to Front Range Sports Variety Hits “105.5 Jack-FM” KJAC on January 1, 2012.

That is, unless Front Range acquires another station in the market. Front Range GM Tom Manoogian tells Westword that there are options for the group to add additional signals in the market.

Update 3/27: The Denver Business Journal reports that ESPN has announced it will shift its Denver affiliation from KKFN and KEPN to Front Range Sports Network’s 102.3 KDSP on January 1, 2012.

A little sooner will see the frequency swap of English language Sports “87.7 The Ticket” KXDP-LP and “ESPN Deportes 102.3” KDSP on Thursday, March 31. That was the orginally planned locations for each format before a last second switch prior to their debut in July 2010.

Update 3/5: While we await to see the end result of the sports network affiliation shuffle in Denver, Lincoln Financial Media has added a few more domains indicating that the affiliation switch is inevitable. Nate Lundy, PD of 104.3 KKFN has registered FoxSports950.com, DenverFoxSports950.com, DenversFoxSports950.com, DenversSportsRadio950.com, and DenverSportsFan.com. If Fox Sports Radio is heading to 950, what about the current “Cruisin Oldies” format currently on 950 KRWZ. Well, Lundy has registered CruisinOldies1600.com and CruisinOldies1031.com for its K276FK translator.

To summarize all of the domain registrations, it appears ESPN Radio will shift from Lincoln’s 1600 KEPN to Front Range Sports Network’s 105.5 KJAC or 102.3 KDSP. Fox Sports Radio will go 24/7 on 1600 KEPN or 950 KRWZ, with the current “Cruisin Oldies” format taking the other AM slot while retaining its 103.1 translator. Still no word on when this affiliation swap will take place.

Update 2/16: A few more domain registrations have been made for the coming Denver sports radio affiliation shuffle: 1023ESPNRadio.com, ESPNRadio1023.com, DenverESPNRadio.com, DenversESPNRadio.com, and DenverESPN.com. If ESPN Radio goes to 102.3 KDSP, it would displace the low rated ESPN Deportes while potentially saving the Variety Hits “105.5 Jack-FM“.

Original Report 1/30: The Denver market has been flooded with Sports radio stations over the past few years. It now looks as though a network affiliation change will lead to yet another station to join the fray.

Front Range Sports Network, owners of the two newest members of the fray, “87.7 The Ticket” KXDP-LP and “ESPN Deportes 102.3” KDSP appear to be bringing the ESPN affiliation from 1600 KEPN to its Variety Hits “105.5 Jack-FM” KJAC. 1055ESPN.com and 1055ESPNRadio.com were registered by an associate of Front Range Sports in November.

Lincoln Financial Media, owners of “104.3 The Fan” KKFN and “ESPN Radio 1600” KEPN will retaliate by shifting 1600 to Fox Sports Radio. FoxSports1600.com, FoxSportsDenver.com, FoxSportsRadio1600.com, DenverSportsRadio1600.com, and MyDenverSportsRadio.com were all registered on Friday.

This shift will have further impact as 104.3 will need to find a new morning show. KKFN currently airs ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike on a two hour delay from 6 to 10am. The other entrant in the Sports battle, “Mile High Sports” 1510 KCKK/93.7 K299BS will be unaffected. 950 KRWZ/103.1 K276FK is the flagship station for the NBA Denver Nuggets and NHL Colorado Avalanche. The other major play-by-play rights for the NFL Denver Broncos and MLB Colorado Rockies are held by Clear Channel News/Talk 850 KOA.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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