SYRACUSE -- Baseball fans will be able to hear the Syracuse Chiefs on broadcast radio again next spring. The Triple A affiliate of the Washington Nationals said it's returning to The Score 1260 (WSKO) in 2014, after trying out an "online only" approach during the 2013 season.
In a report on syracuse.com, Lindsay Kramer says the team and WSKO parent Cumulus Media announced the deal today. All 144 of the Chiefs' regular season games will be carried live on the sports-talk station, which served as the Chiefs' broadcast home in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. WSKO will also carry pregame and postgame shows, along with the International League's 2014 all-star game and championship series.
Earlier this year, former Chiefs GM John Simone gave many reasons for parting ways with WSKO, opting instead to offer game-day audio exclusively through the team's own website and through a custom-built "app" for mobile devices. Among those reasons, he said that the team was paying Cumulus Media $25,000 a year for the air time to broadcast the games.
At the end of the 2013 season, the team was more than $500,000 in the red, and the board of directors replaced Simone with Jason Smorol. In Kramer's story today, Smorol shared his opinion on Simone's decision:
"Why would you just want to be on the Internet? The fans wanted us to be on the radio. The radio wanted us to be on the radio. I don't think it's that hard. Everyone wanted us to be on the radio. We're on the radio.''
Although neither the Chiefs nor Cumulus revealed the financial details behind the renewed partnership, Smorol told Kramer, "We are on a completely different model. It's not going to cost us $25,000 to be on the radio."
Earlier this month, the Chiefs confirmed broadcasters Jason Benetti and Kevin Brown will be returning to the broadcast booth, for their fifth and fourth seasons, respectively. Both broadcasters spend the off-season calling other sports. (Benetti, for example, was on ESPN3 for last night's Syracuse Orange basketball game.)