The reported eight-year deal starting next season gives the team 50% ownership rights in KTRS, which was a key factor in the deal that KMOX apparently could not match.
On-air personnel, including Mike Shannon and Wayne Hagin, are employees of the team, not the radio station, so they are expected to remain in their current roles.
This decision is a loser for the Cardinals fans of the Midwest and South, who relied on KMOX' strong 50,000 watt signal to reach the far corners of the Cardinal Nation on hot summer nights. While there are 110 stations in the Cardinals network today, it is unclear whether more stations will be added in the future to help compensate in areas where coverage will be lost in the transition from KMOX to KTRS.
The standard answer for those who are not in the Cardinals listening area will be to sign up for MLB.com's internet fee-based radio feeds or purchase XM Satellite Radio, which also makes available all team's games for a fee.
After all, that is what this is about. Driving more revenue from every aspect of the franchise is the name of the game, like it or not.
To-date, messages from Cardinals executives have been consistent in stating that any deal would be done with the best interests of the fans in mind. Try telling that to the people who will soon lose their on-air access to their favorite team.
Sooner or later, as the seating in ballparks continue to shrink and free access to radio and television erodes, but after it is too late, someone will realize that the next generation of baseball fans never fully materialized.
Yeah, I know. Baseball isn't like your father's Oldsmobile. Or is it?
Brian Walton can be reached via email @ email@example.com.