January 19th, 2011
The Trib launched a sports-driven Internet radio station Monday, and it is worth checking out.
Among the hosts are former Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend, former Penguins forward Rick Tocchet and former Pitt basketball guard Julius Page.
John Steigerwald, Chris Mack and Ken Laird, all veteran media personalities, are the hosts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in that order.
Laird and Mack also collaborate on a blog.
Here is a link to the station and the blog.
Sports Talk Radio
The official blog of TribLIVE Sports Talk Radio!
Welcome to Sports Talk on TribLIVE Radio
January 13th, 2011
by Ken Laird
Well, radio waves are relieved. They were tired of carrying my voice across Western PA anyway. And maybe, they’re just plain tired. The 1900s were great, but at some point you have to put progress past Frank Sinatra and Vince Lombardi. Radio was king in the 20th century; the 21st is changing the way we all interact.
The idea for a Pittsburgh Sports Web-Radio startup began on an evening this past fall, with a few fellow employees of mine from 1250-AM ESPN Radio sitting and chatting at a local pub over a couple of cold ones. The grapevine from Bristol, Connecticut (read, ESPN Mothership) re: the Pittsburgh branch was full of bad news, like a Pirates farm system report. The economy stunk, our station always lost the big company dollars, and for ESPN the idea of a Pittsburgh branch wasn’t matching the Los Angeles or New York smog in the heads of company suits.
It was a frustrating realization that 1250 was going under. We had great ratings for a 5,000-watt AM. And great content. It was a pleasure to work through the years with Mark Madden, Stan Savran, Guy Junker, Jim Colony, Joe Starkey and others who made 1250 a destination for listeners. Those guys are as talented as it gets, the best Pittsburgh has to offer. But no matter the content, we just couldn’t sell enough ads to gross dollar 1.
Why? Too much overhead, and too many employees. And really, conducting entertaining and informative conversation just isn’t that complicated in the new technological era we live in.
So, along with former 1250 Executive Producer Mike Barker and 1250 Sales Manager Nanci Rich, we decided to do it ourselves. Why not skirt the FCC world of restrictions and fees and head for the new frontier on our own terms?
The Tribune-Review (Trib Total Media) loved the idea. They’re a forward thinking newspaper in a nation where print media is fading just as fast as the AM dial. The future is a digital destination of print, video and audio. And so, TTM brought us in under their wing.
We built a studio on the 6th floor of the Trib offices on the North Side from scratch, and it was as enjoyable as it was simplistic. Microphones, sound cards and hard drives, without the need for EM waves. The end result will hit cell phones, tablet computers, and PCs at the workplace: the new way this millennium connects for infotainment.
We added a staff of hard working (Chris Mack), opinionated (John Steigerwald), and knowledgeable (Rick Tocchet, Deseha Townsend, Julius Page) talkers for the start-up, along with the vast TTM team of writers and reporters at our disposal; on Tuesday, January 18th we begin our new adventure.
Streaming Pittsburgh Sports Radio at TribLive.com, with podcasts and apps to come.