The Lakers have called KLAC-AM (570) their radio home since 1977 — two years before Jerry Buss bought the franchise from Jack Kent Cooke. But the relationship will officially end after this season — KSPN-AM (710) officially announced today it has obtained the broadcasting rights, starting with 2009-10.
The announcement was made known to listeners minutes ago on 710-AM by midday hosts Steve Mason and John Ireland. LARadio.com reported the news earlier this morning. The station has the announcement on its website as well (linked here).
“This is an exciting but somewhat bittersweet announcement for the Lakers organization,” said Jeanie Buss, the team’s executive VP of Business Operations, in a statement today. “KLAC has been a wonderful partner for more than three decades and we greatly respect and appreciate everything they have done. At the same time, we feel strongly that the time is right for this move to 710 ESPN.”
The Lakers and KLAC celebrated their 30th season together with all kinds of special features a year ago. Apparently part of the appeal for the change, Buss said, was the fact the new KSPN offices will be in the ESPN building at L.A. Live, across the street from Staples Center.
“It’s hard to imagine two groups better suited to working together than the Lakers and ESPN,” said Jim Pastor, the senior VP of ESPN Radio Station Group, in a press release. “The move to L.A. Live and the vast resources of both organizations provide an incredible opportunity to serve Lakers fans for years to come. We couldn’t be prouder to call 710 ESPN their new home.”
The team said play-by-play man Spero Dedes and color commentator Mychal Thompson will move with the team to the new station, which probably puts Thompson’s stint on the 570-AM midday show in doubt after this summer.
The move shouldn’t conflict with 710’s coverage of the Clippers — that one-year deal is over after this season.
KLAC program director Don Martin was not immediately available for comment.