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KFNS Planning To Raise The Stakes in St. Louis

According to STL Today, the new ownership group for 590 The Fan, KFNS-AM, are ready to invest in rebuilding the once popular St. Louis sports radio brand. Randy Markel and Scott Gerken, who are leasing the signal and on track to get full licensing next month, say they’re ready to not only return KFNS to prominence but also build a powerhouse and eventually add a strong FM signal.

“We plan on being big time,’’ said Markel. “It’s either go big or go home.”

Markel and Gerken, who have no prior experience in the radio business, are facing an uphill climb as the market already has other successful sports radio stations. 101 ESPN has a potent FM signal, popular lineup, and long history of ratings success. CBS Sports 920 which is operated by Tim McKernan, has formed a partnership with Emmis communications and built a strong loyal following with local listeners. That’s not taking into account additional sports programming offered by News/Talk stations KMOX and KTRS.

But Markel isn’t worried about the competitive landscape.

“Kansas City has two great (sports-talk) stations, so there’s no reason there can’t be more than one here.”

According to Gertken, the station’s goal is to offer an entirely local lineup in the future. They’ve added Dino Costa to mornings, Bob Ramsey, Jeff Vernetti, Howard Balzer and Marc Lillibridge in middays, and afternoons are occupied by Kevin Slaten. The station currently offers the Dan Patrick Show but it doesn’t appear to be part of the company’s long-term strategy.

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