When Baltimore’s 1300 AM became a totally ESPN radio station (it was once a blend of ESPN radio content and local sportscasters), it seemed to signal a shift in the legitimacy of sports talk in Baltimore. The availability of ESPN’s full lineup (from Mike & Mike to Scott Van Pelt) provides the city with a national view of sports, something that was severely lacking in this town.
One of my main complaints with the former 1300 AM was the onslaught of commercials. Obviously, the ads are needed to bring in revenue to the station, but at times these commercial breaks lasted a good five minutes. That’s a long time when there are no visuals (like on television) to help break up the monotony of sound. Unfortunately, since the station’s switch, the ad blitzkrieg has seemingly taken a turn for the worst.
Driving home from downtown Baltimore, I was keyed up to hear the start of the second of two games being broadcast for Monday Night Football’s opening night. Instead, I was thrust into 12 minute hell of advertisement after advertisement after advertisement. Twelve minutes. In case you’re wondering, I traveled from M&T Bank Stadium on 395 to Route 100 in Columbia in the time span. The broadcast started with the announcers in mid-sentence explaining that the Raiders were now on their second possession.
That’s a darn shame. And it isn’t ESPN’s fault.
This same nonsense occurs on a daily basis on Baltimore’s 1300 AM. Try catching the traffic report on this station. They’ll introduce the traffic reporter. And the traffic music will play. But there won’t be any traffic report. What you will get, underneath the mundane music, is another ad in the background.
This station used to be a proud and reliable station. Now, one has to wonder if the powers that be aren’t trying to sabotage ESPN’s market share in favor of their own sports commentators that were moved to the FM dial because of the changeover. Maybe just a little?