The following news release from Peak Broadcasting/Fresno was received by KMPH.com on Wednesday, December 12, 2012:
KMJ TO DISCONTINUE PLAY BY PLAY BROADCASTS OF FRESNO STATE
- Out of Town Rights Holder Makes Fiscally Impossible Demands -
(Station to Increase Coverage of Bulldog Sports)
December 12, 2012 - Peak Broadcasting's KMJ AM 580, (www.kmjnow.com) The Central Valley's most listened to radio station, has ended its 43 year association with Fresno State University. The 50,000 watt station covering all of Central California has been carrying the play by play broadcasts of Bulldog sports since 1969.
For the past 4 decades, Fresno State has always been associated with KMJ. Through the winning and losing seasons, in good times and bad, FSU and KMJ stood together as close local partners to provide the Fresno community with high quality play by play broadcasts of Bulldog Athletics. For 38 years, KMJ paid millions of dollars in rights fees directly to the university as a way of supporting the FSU sports program, while in turn, sold advertising in the games to local companies and retailers who wanted to use the FSU/KMJ relationship to build their business. 100% of the revenues generated by local advertisers, KMJ, and FSU stayed right here in Fresno County to hire people, provide coverage, and support the teams.
In 2007, a third party, Learfield Sports of Plano Texas acquired the multimedia rights (Radio, TV, and Internet.) to FSU broadcasts. Over the period through 2012, KMJ saw its rights fees increase 117%. We went from sending our rights fees DIRECTLY TO FSU in support of Bulldog athletics to sending money out of town. Given the tough economic realities in the Central Valley over the past few years and continuing today, these are fees KMJ chose NOT TO pass along to our clients and advertisers. We put people ahead of profits because we considered it a long term benefit to the community.
We have exhausted all avenues in trying to negotiate financial terms for a new contract to broadcast the games that was equitable for both parties and The University. Learfield Sports has made doing business with Fresno State fiscally impossible for KMJ. If we pay the exorbitant fees demanded by Learfield, we would be forced to cut back our high quality coverage of local news, local talk shows, and other local programming resulting in local staff reductions experienced by other Fresno broadcasters. For KMJ, our staff, and the community we serve, this is NOT AN OPTION! We will not compromise the depth or quality of local programming our listeners and advertisers expect every day from KMJ.
For generations, FSU Athletics has always been associated with the KMJ brand. Effective immediately, KMJ will INCREASE its press coverage of FSU sports. Effective with the 2013 season, and with the exception of the actual play by play broadcasts, KMJ FM, AM, KMJ NOW, KMJ Mobile, will continue to provide expert analysis of every FSU football, baseball, and basketball games, both home and away. Bulldog fans will always know the score with unbiased reporting from Fresno's leading radio brand.
KMJ will keep The Central Valley informed with local sports talk shows, pre and post-game shows, listener interaction through our social media platforms, ticket giveaways, charitable events, advertiser promotions, and FSU sponsored events.
Going forward, Fresno State University will always have access to the entire spectrum of locally owned and operated Peak Broadcasting radio stations.