BANGOR, Maine — Popular Bangor sportscaster Rich Kimball and his late-afternoon “Downtown with Rich Kimball” radio show are changing stations beginning on Monday.
Kimball is moving to Bangor radio station Sportsradio 92.9 The Ticket (WEZQ-FM) from WAEI (910 AM). WEZQ is owned by Townsquare Media while WAEI is owned by Blueberry Broadcasting.
Kimball’s show debuted on WAEI on Sept. 6, 2011, and his show was picked up by three more stations this past June 26: WFAU-AM 1280 Gardiner/Augusta, WIGY-FM 97.5 Madison-Skowhegan and WRKD-AM 1450 Rockland.
The show still will be produced by the Fandom Group and Kimball will continue to work out of the new studio in the Seasons on Main Grille building on Main Street in Bangor.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Kimball. “It has been our goal for some time to get on a station with a strong FM signal. And it’s better for what we want to do as part of our total business plan.”
WEZQ is a 50,000-watt FM station while WAEI is a 5,000-watt AM station.
Kimball said that the “ultimate goal is to have people come into the restaurant and see the show as we’re doing it. And Seasons is certainly helping with that.”
Kimball had nothing but praise for Blueberry Broadcasting.
“They were phenomenal. We wouldn’t even have a show if they weren’t willing to take a chance on us. They were great. They were tremendous supporters of the show and their confidence in us made it all possible,” said Kimball.
Townsquare Media general manager Tom Preble and Fandom Group GM Jim Churchill brokered the partnership.
“Jim and I started talking a little while back and we have the same philosophy concerning programming,” said Preble. “We believe in live, local content that is relevant and engaging. And that’s what Rich does. The synergy is great. It’s a natural fit.”
Preble also noted that producing the show in the Seasons building provides them with valuable exposure while the larger signal benefits Kimball.
“Everything makes sense,” said Preble.
WEZQ has an all-sports talk show format that is aligned with ESPN and Kimball said being affiliated with ESPN is another plus.
Kimball’s show will replace the “Coach and Company” show featuring Jonathan Coachman and Tim Legler. That show airs from 4 to 7 p.m.
The move is a reunion of sorts for Kimball and sportscasters Dale Duff and Clem Labree, as they worked together at former all-sports station WZON of Bangor (620 AM). Duff and Labree began a new 6-8 a.m. show when WEZQ became an all-sports station in early January. Duff and Labree also are handling other programming at the station such as high school games.
Preble said adding Kimball to go with Duff and Labree is another piece to the puzzle.
“We want to be a local sports station,” said Preble.”This is one more step in the right direction.”
He said Duff and Labree have been well-received.
“The feedback has been great,” said Preble. “Dale and Clem work long hours and are totally committed to it.”