PHOENIX -- Arizona sports fans have one more thing to cheer about now that Arizona Sports is simulcasting on the FM band.
The change took place Monday as Arizona Sports, the flagship broadcaster for the state's professional teams, as well as for Arizona State University and Arizona Interscholastic Association prep events, took over 98.7FM.
"Putting Arizona Sports on FM is an opportunity too big to ignore," said Scott Sutherland, vice president and market manager for station owner Bonneville Phoenix. "Our live, local and exclusive sports content has never been better. We have world-class local talk personalities who deliver powerful opinions and insights that engage, entertain and positively impact the communities we serve.
"We also have amazing team partners," he continued. "And all of this attracts a passionate and loyal audience, which in turn, attracts a lot of marketing interest from small and medium business owners, major brands and C-Suite decision makers."
For nearly 10 years, 98.7 has been The Peak (KPKX). It was one of the first "adult hits" stations in the country, priding itself on never repeating a song in a 24-hour period.
The change in format for 98.7 means the elimination of 11 jobs.
The Arizona Sports lineup, which includes Doug and Wolf (6-10 a.m.), Colin Cowherd (10 a.m.-noon), Dan Bickley with Vince Marotta (noon-2 p.m.) and Burns and Gambo (2-6 p.m.) will be simulcast on 620 AM and 98.7 FM.
"Radio is a powerful medium that reaches millions of Americans each week -- 243 million in fact," according to Nielsen.com. And overwhelmingly, FM is the band of choice.
"Listeners have been abandoning the 'standard broadcast' AM band in favor of FM for well over 20 years," researcher David Giovannoni wrote For Station Resource Group in 1991. "Technical displacement is the reason. By simply switching to FM, the consumer hears clean stereo, full fidelity, and no AM static.
"AM stations dominated radio listening until 1978," according to Giovannoni. "That was the last year that more listening was done to AM than to FM. Since then, FM listening has been increasingly dominant."
That dominance is what prompted Bonneville Phoenix to put Arizona Sports on 98.7 in a move that changes Arizona's radio landscape.