BANGOR, Maine — It was a memorable day for the Fandom Group production company and broadcaster Rich Kimball on Thursday.
Kimball’s 281st Downtown with Rich Kimball radio talk show made its debut from the new studio on Main Street in Bangor inside the former Miller’s Restaurant building and Jim Churchill, general manager of the Fandom Group, handled play-by-play for their first televised broadcast on Time Warner Cable TV-Channel 9.
The Downtown with Rich Kimball show airs on Fox Sports Net AM 910 WAEI, WFAU-AM 1280 Gardiner-Augusta, WIGY-FM 97.5 Madison-Skowhegan and WRKD-AM 1450 Rockland.
It is primarily a sports talk show but it also delves into other areas. It is aired live from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Churchill and color analyst Ernie Clark of the Bangor Daily News called John Bapst of Bangor’s 49-18 football win over Orono at the University of Maine’s Alfond Stadium on Thursday night.
It was a tape-delayed telecast that will air Wednesday.
Churchill said the Fandom Group signed a one-year contract with Time Warner Cable to do a variety of sports on Channel 9. Most of the games will be aired on a tape-delayed basis.
“It’s mutually beneficial,” said Churchill. “We can provide them with quality programming and it fits into our business plan.”
The Fandom Group airs live radio game broadcasts on WAEI.
He explained that some games will be done on both radio and TV with the radio call airing live and the telecast being shown on a tape-delayed basis.
The games will include high school football, boys and girls soccer and basketball, boys hockey, baseball and softball.
Digitial Workshop, a multimedia production company in Bangor, will produce the televised games, Churchill said.
Churchill and Kimball were excited about the new studio, which will be part of a complex called Seasons on Maine that will also be the site of a dining room, sports lounge, cafe/bakery and function rooms.
The show’s studios used to be at Blueberry Broadcasting in Bangor’s Industrial Park.
The target date for the restaurant opening the week of Oct. 29.
Churchill and Kimball said they were grateful to Blueberry Broadcasting for hosting the first 280 shows.
“They were great hosts,” said Kimball.
But the goal all along was to move to downtown Bangor, they said.
“When we named the show Downtown with Rich Kimball, the idea was that we would eventually move downtown,” said Churchill. “It’s a great place to be. It’s the center of activity in the greater Bangor area with the Waterfront Concerts series, the casino and the new auditorium.”
The auditorium is scheduled to open in September.
Churchill said being in the middle of a venue like Seasons “will enable us to create our own special events.”
Next to the studio is a room with a long table draped with four microphones which would be conducive to a roundtable discussion.
“It’s very exciting,” said Kimball. “Being in this venue will give us an opportunity to interact with the audience.”
They will also have better access to performers who will be scheduled to perform at the Waterfront Concerts series, Hollywood Casino or Cross Insurance Center.
“It’s easy to get here,” said Churchill.
Churchill credited Jon Shields, the Bangor director of operations for Blueberry Broadcasting, with playing an important role in the development of the new studio facilities.