During my time as an on-air host at 105.3 The Fan, I think the biggest mistake the station ever made was letting the Rangers leave for 103.3 ESPN.
But that was then. Now?
The Rangers were on a historic uptick in 2010. They had just made their first World Series, were saturated with intriguing story lines and engaging personalities, and were one of the hottest teams in all of sports. Traveling with them in the playoffs and hosting pre and postgame shows was new, and magical. And I couldn’t wait to do it again in 2011.
Then ESPN swooped in and nabbed them from us and benefitted from another World Series in ’11 and another playoff season in ’12. At The Fan, we were gut-punched. We lost momentum, and not having the Rangers undoubtedly hurt us in the ratings.
So I guess if the Mavs can right a wrong three years later by reacquiring Tyson Chandler, so too can a radio station. Although, at this point, the Rangers certainly aren’t the attractive commodity they were three years ago. (From what I hear from industry sources, ESPN didn't put up any fight to keep the Rangers once their contract expired in September.)
I guess it’s better late than never, but The Fan is now the flagship station of a team without a Nolan Ryan or a Josh Hamilton and coming off a 95-loss disaster of a season.
Good news: The Fan said legendary voice Eric Nadel will stay behind the microphone. And when there is the rare potential conflict with the Cowboys — 105.3’s other flagship team — the Rangers will be moved to strong-signal KRLD 1080 AM.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.