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Ravens Radio Expands Into D.C. Market

By Dave Hughes,

The Baltimore Ravens land two important radio stations in Washington Redskins territory.

Even though Annapolis is part of the Baltimore metropolitan area, WNAV, 1430 AM, has been a Redskins outlet for almost 20 years -- until now.

The news and talk station, owned by “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak, will carry the Ravens in 2010. The decision was made based on survey results of both listeners and advertisers in addition to other market data, according to the station. The outcome overwhelmingly favored a transition to broadcast the Baltimore Ravens.

“The move had been contemplated for a few years,” said Steve Hopp, vice president and general manager of WNAV. “As a community-based radio station, we are dedicated to listening to the needs and interests of our audience.”

In addition to the preseason and regular season game broadcasts, WNAV plans coverage of Ravens training camp and will air daily reports throughout the season.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome WNAV Radio into our growing network of radio affiliates," said Mark Burdett, VP of corporate sales and development for the Ravens. "The Ravens have many fans and season ticket holders in the Annapolis and greater Anne Arundel County area, including our owner, who will now be able to hear game broadcasts live, along with more Ravens coverage in WNAV’s outstanding daily sports programming.”

WNAV also carries Navy football, basketball and lacrosse, as well as the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Wizards networks. In addition, the station does play-by-play broadcasts and streams selected Bowie Baysox games and local high school football and basketball games.

WNAV’s sister, Sajak-owned station WTTR, 1470 AM in Westminster, is also a Baltimore Ravens affiliate. The dual affiliation will provide “additional marketing opportunities for regional advertisers,” according to a WNAV announcement.

But that’s not all the good radio news for the Ravens. Baltimore's team will also be heard in Washington D.C. on Bonneville's Federal News Radio, WFED, 1500 AM. WFED's night signal is 50,000 watts and can be heard from Maine to Florida. The addition bolsters the station's sports lineup, which also includes the Washington Nationals and Washington Capitals, plus three college teams.

In the event the Ravens play at the same time as a previously-scheduled play-by-play broadcasts on WFED, the Ravens will air on Bonneville's WBQH, 1050 AM, a newly-leased Spanish outlet in the nation's Capital. Last year, the Ravens were heard on D.C.'s 1050, which used to be WZAA, an Air America outlet before the network discontinued operations in January.

"It's outstanding to have such a well-established station and station group as Bonneville become our network affiliate in Washington, D.C.," Burdett said. "We are pleased to be able to serve our many and growing number of fans in D.C. and to complement the already-outstanding lineup of live play-by-play team broadcasts."

The Ravens' flagship stations remain Baltimore news talker WBAL-AM and sister Hearst rocker WIYY, 98 Rock. The Washington Redskins do not have a Baltimore radio affiliate, but their games can easily be heard in the Baltimore market on the 980 AM signal of ESPN 980, WTEM.

Comcast SportsNet announced the return of "Tee Time," the Bethesda-based sports network's summer golf program, for its third season in July.

This year's four-episode series, hosted by Chick Hernandez featuring prominent sports and entertainment personalities, will air weekly throughout July on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and Sundays at 9:30 p.m. beginning July 3, as well as at various times throughout the summer.

Posted July 2, 2010