South Florida losing a sports-talk station, as 790 The Ticket moves to Spanish format

Daniel A. Varela/dvarela@miamiherald.com

Audacy’s experiment of owning two sports radio stations in South Florida, and simulcasting some of the same programming, will end on Monday when 790 The Ticket moves to a 24-hour Spanish format.

That leaves all of the company’s sports talk programming and games on one station - WQAM-560.

WQAM now must resolve how to handle dozens of conflicts among the five teams it carries: the Dolphins, University of Miami football, the Heat, Panthers and Miami Hurricanes basketball.

WQAM announced over the summer that Heat games would move from The Ticket to WQAM.

Audacy is exploring where to air Panthers and UM basketball games that conflict with Heat games. The company could use one of its four FM stations or do a time-buy on another AM station.

The Ticket’s move to a Spanish format comes a week after WQAM dropped longtime midday host Jonathan Zaslow and moved Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard from The Ticket’s morning show to a midday talk show on WQAM.

That move left The Ticket without any original local content, paving the way for the move to Spanish radio.

WQAM’s lineup will be Joe Rose and Zach Krantz from 6 to 10 a.m.; Tobin and Hoard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Marc Hochman and Channing Crowder from 2 to 6 p..m., with pre-game programming and games usually following.

The Hochman and Crowder show had been simulcast on both WQAM and the Ticket in recent years. Rose’s show would have been simulcast on the Ticket if the station hadn’t moved to a Spanish format.

The Ticket will carry Americano Media’s “Radio Libre,” according to NBC News national political reporter Marc Caputo. Americano, a conservative radio network, had aired on SiriusXM but is moving to terrestrial radio.

“We’re proud to introduce Spanish radio to our South Florida portfolio for the first time ever and empower the voice of so many of our neighbors in this community,” Claudia Menegus, Audacy’s regional president and market manager said in a statement. “With the launch of this station, we aim to not only serve our listeners but give them a reliable home for the news they seek and the information they rely on every day.”

790 The Ticket launched in 2004 when several investors purchased the signal. Dan Le Batard’s radio show was among its most popular content in its 18-year history.