WTWP to carry men’s basketball

In an attempt to further propel the GW men’s basketball program, the University announced a multi-year agreement with Washington Post radio Monday to broadcast at least 25 games on the new Colonials Radio Network.

In the past, games were broadcast on WMET, which broadcasts at 10,000 watts during the night, considerably weaker than The Post’s WTWP’s 50,000-watt signal. The Washington Post partnered with WTOP to form Washington Post radio, which will air on WTWP 1500 AM and 107.7 FM.

“People couldn’t hear the games last year,” Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz said. “We had to start looking around for another station and had some people (at WTWP) that we knew, so we entered into talks and eventually came to an agreement. I wanted to make sure we would be on the air.”

Kvancz said that other radio stations, including SportsTalk 980, were contacted about broadcasting games, but their professional sports teams commitments conflicted with the Colonials’ schedule. As a result, many GW games would have been bumped from the air. WTWP, which first started broadcasting March 30, also airs Washington Capitals games.

“The problem with other stations is they have other things to cover,” Kvancz said. “This way we know it’s our station. If someone sets it to our station at game time, they know we’ll be on.”

As part of the agreement, the school and WTWP will mutually agree to use broadcast excerpts in promotional materials.

WMET play-by-play announcer Byron Kerr, who will continue to broadcast for WTWP next year, sees the move as a publicity opportunity for the school.

“The 1500 number is kind of a famous number in the radio world,” Kerr said. “It’s really a coup for George Washington to be on this station because they’re the only collegiate team that’s on the station right now and it really is, in my opinion, the best signal of any play-by-play in this area. It’s a great advertisement for the University.”

Student radio station WRGW, which is fully funded by the University, will continue to broadcast all men’s and women’s games online next year. Kvancz said that the University put an addendum on the original contract to ensure that WRGW would be allowed to broadcast games.

“We’re thrilled, this is great for the University” said senior Sam Farber, WRGW’s sports director. “Our goal is not to take listeners away from Colonials radio network, our goal is to be a service to people that want to listen to us. The more radio stations the better. I don’t think Washington Post radio coming into the market affects in any negative way.”

Vice President for Communications Mike Freedman believes WRGW still plays an important role because it is the only station to broadcast women’s games.

“The online broadcasts on WRGW serve very important purposes,” Freedman said. “One purpose is experience for aspiring sportscasters who are students at GW. That doesn’t change one iota. I think there are a number of people who may continue to listen to the broadcasts online at WRGW because this is the University’s student broadcast of the games and there’s something very special about student broadcasts.”

WRGW’s relationship with WMET allowed students to work with Kerr as aides and both Farber and Freedman are optimistic about the relationship with Washington Post Radio.

“We will make every effort to make the opportunity available again to students to work with Byron on the Washington Post Radio broadcasts,” Freedman said.

“I would consider this a wonderful new companion, not a bad new competitor,” he added. “This is a positive for everybody involved.”

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