Infobox Radio Station
name = WTEM

area = Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Area
city = Washington, D.C.
branding = "ESPN 980"
slogan = "Home of the Redskins"
airdate = 1923
frequency = 980 kHz
format = Sports
power =
erp =
repeater = WWXT 92.7 MHz
WWXX 94.3 MHz
haat =
class =
facility_id =
affiliations = ESPN Radio
Washington Redskins
Washington Wizards
Georgetown Hoyas
Baltimore Orioles
Virginia Tech
Westwood One
owner = Red Zebra Broadcasting
webcast = [http://nick11.surfernetwork.com/wwxx Listen Live]
website = [http://www.espn980.com/ www.espn980.com]

sister_stations = WTNT, WWRC, WXTR
callsign_meaning = WTEM: W T E A M
WWXX, WWXT: former "Triple X" slogan

WTEM (AM 980 kHz) is a radio station that serves the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Now known as "ESPN 980", it is the flagship of a sports talk trimulcast with WWXT in Prince Frederick, Maryland and WWXX in Warrenton, Virginia, all affiliated with ESPN Radio and owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting.

WWXT and WWXX previously were simulcast with WXTR in Alexandria, Virginia, which has since become the Washington, DC affiliate of ESPN Deportes Radio as of September 1, 2008. WXTR will also become the Spanish-language home of Washington Redskins games. [http://www.radioink.com/HeadlineEntry.asp?hid=143186&pt=todaysnews]

Prior to July 21, 2008, WTEM was commonly known as "SportsTalk 980," used the slogan "The Voice of the Fan", and was the D.C. outlet for Fox Sports Radio. Beforehand, WTEM was the Washington, D.C. affiliate for ESPN Radio before Red Zebra Broadcasting acquired the rights for their Triple X ESPN Radio trimulcast which has since merged with WTEM.

"ESPN 980" is the home of "The Sports Reporters with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban", "The Doc Walker Show" and "The John Thompson Show". It's studios also host Fox Sports Radio's weekday morning show, "The First Team on FOX", also hosted by Steve Czaban, but is no longer carried on WTEM due to its' ESPN affiliation.

WTEM is the flagship radio station for Washington Redskins football (as Red Zebra is operated by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder), and Washington Wizards & Georgetown Hoyas basketball. "ESPN 980" airs Baltimore Orioles baseball and Virginia Tech football and men's basketball as an affiliate station.

WTEM's studios are currently located in Rockville, Maryland, and its transmitter is located in Hyattsville, Maryland. It operates with 50,000 watts power during the day and 5,000 watts power at night. The signal can be heard weakly but clearly as far west as Clarksburg, West Virginia, and as far south as Richmond, Virginia in daytime. The FM stations both broadcast below 3,000 watts and mainly serve to fill in the gaps in WTEM's coverage.



WRC Radio

The station was originally licensed as WRC, which was then an NBC Radio affiliate, through the 1990s. NBC owned and operated the station from 1923 to 1987, when the General Electric corporation, which owned NBC, sold off its radio properties. Eventually, WRC radio birthed WRC-FM (93.9 MHz, now WKYS) and WRC-TV (channel 4).

WRC carried Willard Scott and Ed Walker as the "Joy Boys" for many of these years, and also carried the "Monitor" radio program on weekends. From 1972 to 1975, WRC broadcast a Top 40 format (it was one of the Greaseman's early radio stops) and was known as the "Great 98"; it switched to NBC News and Information Service programming from 1975 to 1977. After the demise of NIS the station briefly aired an all-news format before switching to news/talk. The talk format included the first pairing of Pat Buchanan and Tom Braden who later became the first hosts of CNN's "Crossfire", as well as satirist Mort Sahl (the AM's former Top 40 format was moved to the FM side and later evolved into a "disco" pop dance music format as Kiss FM, which evolved to that station's current Urban format).

When WRC was purchased by Greater Media in 1987, the callsign was reassigned as WWRC, since NBC retained the rights to the WRC call sign for WRC-TV which continues to this day. During the early 1990s, WWRC was the talk show home to current and formerly notable personalities like Joe Madison, Mark Davis and Joel A. Spivak. It was also one of the brief homes for the last radio show to be hosted by Morton Downey, Jr. (the other being WTAM).

Two weeks prior to swapping call signs and formats, WWRC dropped its' talk radio format for a financial news and talk format, one that would last over to a second dial position move to 1260 kHz.

ports Radio 570 - The Team

Before moving to 980 kHz, WTEM was known as "Sports Radio 570 - The Team" and on the frequency of 570 kHz, which previously had been used by classical music station WGMS. WTEM made its debut at 3:30 p.m. on May 24, 1992, right after the Indianapolis 500. [Roxanne Roberts (1992-05-23), Whaddaya mean Rypien's a bum!?, "The Washington Post".] [Leonard Shapiro (1992-05-27), WTEM is born babbling, "The Washington Post".] At the beginning, WTEM emulated the program lineup and even imported the jingles from WFAN, the first all-sports radio station in the United States.

At the beginning, Paul Harris hosted the morning show between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., WTEM hired Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser and CBS Sports announcer James Brown to host two mid-day radio shows. "The Tony Kornheiser Show" aired from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and "The James Brown Show" aired from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Kevin Kiley and Rich "The Coach" Gilgallon hosted "Kiley and the Coach", which emulated the highly successful "Mike and the Mad Dog" radio program. Jean Fugett and Ira Mellman anchored the night-time hours. WTEM also acquired the radio rights to broadcast the Washington Redskins between 1992 and 1994.

However, the ratings of WTEM struggled mightily in the beginning. Harris was quickly replaced by Bruce Murray and Bob Berger in late 1992. WTEM introduced "Imus in the Morning" on July 19, 1993 to replace Murray and Berger in the 6–10 a.m. morning slot. For cost-cutting reasons, WTEM canceled "Kiley and the Coach", and shows hosted by Phil Wood (8 p.m. to midnight) and Rob Weingarten (midnight to 6 a.m.) at the end of 1994. [Leonard Shapiro (1994-12-09), All-sports station's survival requires a team effort, "The Washington Post".] After "Kiley and the Coach" was canceled, WTEM tried several afternoon-drive shows before it settled to broadcast "The Tony Kornheiser Show" live between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and then replay between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to boost the afternoon drive-time ratings until the show moved to ESPN Radio in January 1998.

After his contract not renewed by WMAL, Ken Beatrice and his show, "Sports Call", moved to WTEM in late 1995.

When "The Tony Kornheiser Show" launched in 1992, because Tony needed to focus on writing his Style column in the Washington Post weekly, he usually did not host the show on Thursdays. Usually Andy Pollin, the Sports Director at WTEM, would guest-host Tony's show on Thursdays. Between November 1995 and December 1996, Warner Wolf was named the guest host of "The Tony Kornheiser Show" on Thursdays until he moved to New York as a sports anchor on WCBS-TV. [Warner Wolf and Larry Weisman (2000), Let's go to the videotape: all the plays and replays from my life in sports, "Warner Books" (ISBN 0-44652-559-6).] Tony started to host on Thursdays when he was on ESPN Radio.

When "The Tony Kornheiser Show" was on hiatus between November 14, 1997 and January 5, 1998, WTEM filled the 10 a.m.-1 p.m. slot with Kevin Kiley and the 4-7 p.m. slot with comedian Chuck Booms and Scott Linn. Because of on-air wildness and inexperience, Booms was later paired with the experienced Kiley.

When "The Tony Kornheiser Show" on ESPN Radio debuted on January 5, 1998, the show aired between 1–4 p.m. WTEM filled the 10 a.m.-1 p.m. time slot with Doc Walker and Al Koken hosting " The Doc and Al Show" and the 4–7 p.m. time slot with Kiley and Booms.

portsTalk 980

On March 9, 1998, WTEM moved from 570 kHz to 980 kHz. [Leonard Shapiro (1998-03-06), Watts up next week at WTEM, "The Washington Post".] After the move, WTEM was branded as "SportsTalk 980". The lineups on March 9, 1998 are "Imus in the Morning" (6–10 a.m.), "The Doc and Al Show" (10 a.m.–1 p.m.), "The Tony Kornheiser Show" on ESPN Radio (1–4 p.m.), Kevin Kiley and Chuck Booms (4–7 p.m.) and Ken Beatrice's "Sports Call" (7–10 p.m.).

Because of poor ratings, Kiley and Booms was axed on November 13, 1998, which happened to be Friday. [Frank Ahrens (1998-12-17), Kiley, Booms fired up, "The Washington Post".] WTEM moved the highly rated "The Tony Kornheiser Show" to the 4–7 p.m. slot as a tape delay show to replace Kiley and Booms. Kornheiser did not like the idea because he would lose the callers from the WTEM broadcasting area. WTEM moved "The Doc and Al Show" into the 1–4 p.m. slot and created a new show hosted by Rich Cook and Kris O'Donnell in the 10 a.m.–1 p.m. slot.

When John Thompson resigned as the head coach of the men's basketball team at Georgetown University, WTEM moved "The Doc and Al Show" into the 10 a.m.–12 p.m. slot and invited Thompson to host a one-hour show within "The Doc and Al Show" (10:30-11:30 a.m.) called "Timeout with Thompson" starting March 3, 1999 before the 1999 NCAA Tournament began. At the same time, WTEM introduced "The Jim Rome Show", assigned it into the 12–3 p.m. slot. Between "The Jim Rome Show" and "The Tony Kornheiser Show", there was a one-hour program called "The Playground" hosted by WTEM news anchors.

After the 1999 NCAA Tournament, because of the positive reviews, Thompson was named the host of "The John Thompson Show" airing 10 a.m.–12 p.m. with Walker and Koken as co-hosts, replacing "The Doc and Al Show".

On September 13, 1999, ESPN Radio moved "The Tony Kornheiser Show" to his favorite 10 a.m.–1 p.m. slot to make room for "The Dan Patrick Show". WTEM accommodated the move by moving "The John Thompson Show" to 3–5 p.m., reducing "The Jim Rome Show" to 2 hours and creating a new program called "The Sports Reporters" hosted by Andy Pollin between 5–7 p.m.

After the new lineup announced, Jim Rome voiced his displeasure on the air, attacked Kornheiser and demanded WTEM to get his third hour back. In "The Sports Reporters", Steve Czaban began as a news anchor. Later on, Czaban became the co-host with Andy Pollin.

On April 20, 2000, veteran sports talk personality Ken Beatrice retired. [Leonard Shapiro (2000-04-21), He could talk the talk, "The Washington Post".] His show, "Sports Call", was replaced by Steve Czaban in the 7 p.m.-10 p.m. slot.

On April 9, 2001, "Mike and Mike in the Morning" (6–9 a.m.) and "The Tony Bruno Extravaganza" (9–10 a.m.) replaced "Imus in the Morning", which moved to WTNT to boost the station's ratings. [cite web | url=http://www.dcrtv.org/mediaw2i.html | title=Hot talk WTNT debuts with Imus in the Morning | publisher="dcrtv.com News Archive" | author=Dave Hughes | date=2001-04-09]

On May 23, 2002, WTEM celebrated its tenth anniversary as a sports talk station with a special "Sports Reporters" show starting at 5 p.m.

In December 2005, the station's studios were moved from Bethesda, Maryland, to 1801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, to consolidate Clear Channel's Washington operation.

Because of Tony Kornheiser's preparation for ESPN's "Monday Night Football", "The Tony Kornheiser Show" on WTEM ended on April 28, 2006 and Kornheiser eventually left for WTWP. Starting on May 1, 2006, "The Sports Reporters with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban" filled in the 9 a.m.-12 p.m. slot, a new show hosted by Brian Mitchell and Bram Weinstein aired between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., and "The John Thompson Show" was extended through 7 p.m. [cite web | url=http://www.dcrtv.org/mediaw2s.html | title=Changes at WTEM | publisher="dcrtv.com News Archive" | author=Dave Hughes | date=2006-04-27]

In early June 2006, "The Brian Mitchell Show" changed again. Bram Weinstein left WTEM and was replaced by Kevin Sheehan.

Starting February 12, 2007, "The Brian Mitchell Show" moved to the 10 a.m.–1 p.m. slot, "The John Thompson Show" moved to the 1 p.m.–4 p.m. slot and "The Sports Reporters with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban" filled in the 4 p.m.–7 p.m. slot. [cite web | url=http://www.dcrtv.com/mediaw2.html | title=Sked shifts at 980 | publisher="dcrtv.com News Archive" | author=Dave Hughes | date=2007-02-08]

On April 30, 2007, Doc Walker went solo and hosted "The Doc Walker Show" from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. WTTG's Dave Feldman and Comcast SportsNet's Carol Maloney hosted a new show called "Feldman and Maloney" between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Brian Mitchell moved to "The John Thompson Show" as co-host. [cite web | url=http://www.dcrtv.com/mediaw2.html | title=Dave Feldman Gets WTEM Show | publisher="dcrtv.com News Archive" | author=Dave Hughes | date=2007-04-30] [cite web | url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/08/AR2007050801105.html | title=Stuck in between stations | publisher="washingtonpost.com" | author=Leonard Shapiro | date=2007-05-08] Regarding going solo, Walker said, "Management came to me and I thought that is was time to do my own show. If you are lucky enough to get a chance to do your own show you would be foolish not to take it. I will miss Al and Coach, but it was a perfect time for me to go out on my own." [cite web | url=http://www.examiner.com/a-728442~Is_FOX5_s_Feldman_next_in_line_for_Michaels__crown_.html | title=Is FOX5’s Feldman next in line for Michaels’ crown? | publisher="D.C. Examiner" | author=Jim Williams | date=2007-05-15]

On May 26, 2007, Phil Wood returned to WTEM, and hosted a weekly baseball show from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. [cite web | url=http://www.dcrtv.com/ | title=Phil Wood Back To TEM | publisher="dcrtv.com News Archive" | author=Dave Hughes | date=2007-05-21] Then, on October 22, 2007, "The Dan Patrick Show", syndicated by the "Content Factory", was back on WTEM in the 11 a.m.–1 p.m. slot as a tape delay show, replacing "Feldman and Maloney". [cite web | url=http://www.examiner.com/a-1002535~Dan_Patrick_returns_to_DC_s_airwaves.html | title=Dan Patrick returns to DC’s airwaves | publisher="D.C. Examiner" | author=Jim Williams | date=2007-10-22] Both hosts were dropped following the merger of WTEM with Triple X ESPN Radio.


From 2001 until November 17, 2005, WBZS-FM 92.7/WBPS-FM 94.3 aired the Spanish Tropical format under the positioning of "La Nueva Mega" (originally, WBPS aired a separate format, Spanish love songs "Amor"). However, due to strong competition from Infinity Broadcasting-owned and SBS-programmed WLZL "99.1 El Zol", Mega Communications changed the station to "Mega Clasica", a format consisting of a mixture of Latin Contemporary and Oldies.

Previously, as WMJS and WQRA respectively, these were traditional, full-service FM stations designed to serve their respective small cities of license and surrounding counties. During the 1990s, however, 94.3 underwent a series of unsuccessful attempts to garner listeners across suburban Northern Virginia as a "rimshot" signal:
*1996-97: WINX-FM (oldies; simulcast of 1600 WINX Rockville, MD)
*1997-98: WTOP-FM (all-news; the original FM simulcast partner of 1500 WTOP)
*1998-99: WUPP ("Up Country"; uptempo country spiked with Southern rock, similar to what's heard now on 104.5 WGRX Fredericksburg)
* 1999-2001: WPLC ("The Pulse"; mostly satellite-delivered hot AC)

WBZS-FM along with sister stations WBPS-FM and WKDL were sold in 2006 to Red Zebra Broadcasting. On July 17, 2006, the Mega Clasica format ended to make way for the English-language format sports radio format.

Program changes

When WTEM merged with Triple X ESPN Radio, the last hour of "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" was eliminated, as well as the entire network show hosted by Mike Tirico and Scott Van Pelt, the latter of whom graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in the local area.

Current staff


* Steve Czaban
*Al Koken
*Brian Mitchell
*Andy Pollin
*Kevin Sheehan
*John Thompson
*Rick "Doc" Walker


*Al Galdi
*Liz Drabick
*Scott Linn

Past local hosts and news reporters

*Rich Ackerman (currently at Sirius Satellite Radio)
*Ken Beatrice
*Bob Berger (currently at Sporting News Radio)
*John Bisney
*Jim Bohannon (currently at Westwood One)
*Chuck Booms
*James Brown (currently at CBS Sports)
*Paul Butler (currently at WBOC-TV Salisbury, MD)
*Jerry Coleman
*Rich Cook
*Dave Feldman
*Earl Forcey (currently at Westwood One)
*Jean Fugett
*Rich Gilgallon (currently at KPSI (AM))
*Paul Harris (currently at KMOX)
*Scott Jackson (currently at WCMC-FM in Raleigh)
*Kevin Kiley (currently at Westwood One and KSPN in Los Angeles)
*Tony Kornheiser (currently at WWWT)
*Mitch Levy (currently at KJR (AM) in Seattle)
*Carol Maloney
*Ira Mellman
*Dan Miller (currently at WJBK-TV in Detroit)
*Bruce Murray (currently at Sirius Satellite Radio)
*Kris O'Donnell (currently at WDTN in Dayton, Ohio)
*Marc "Nigel" Sterne (currently at WWWT)
*Pam Ward (currently at ESPN)
*Bram Weinstein (currently at ESPNEWS)
*Rob Weingarten (currently at KFNS (AM) in St. Louis)
*Warner Wolf (currently at WABC-AM in New York)
*Phil Wood (currently at WJFK (AM) in Baltimore)

tation Profiles

References and notes

External links

* [http://www.sportstalk980.com WTEM website]
*FM station data|WWXT
*FM station data|WWXX

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