KSLG’s changes

Malcolm Briggs is out and Howard Balzer stays in a series of moves effective Monday at all-sports radio station KSLG (1380 AM). As expected, Bernie Miklasz shifts from the morning to afternoon drive-time period and will be paired with Randy Karraker, who had been working in mid-mornings.

They’ll fill the 3-6 p.m. slot that had been manned for two years by Balzer and Briggs. KSLG general manager Dave Greene is sending Balzer to the 9-11 a.m. period and teaming him with Andy Strickland and Max Leinwand. Briggs is busy with several non-broadcasting businesses but will continue to work on Rams radio broadcasts.

The 5-9 a.m. slot will be filled with the "Mike & Mike" show from ESPN Radio, with Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg.

"Mike & Mike is doing very well across the country," Greene said, saying its ratings are beating local programming in markets such as Dallas, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Indianapolis. "If it can work in those markets, why can’t it work here?"

KSLG thus abandons local programming in a lucrative advertising period of the day — radio listenership is high while people make the morning commute. But there have been rumblings that KSLG has interest in the "Morning Grind" team at rival station KFNS (590 AM, 100.7 FM), and Greene didn’t rule out anything.

"Our long-term plans for the morning are to see how it goes," he said.

Afternoon focus

Nationally syndicated programs hosted by Jim Rome and Dan Patrick will continue to air between the local shows. But Greene said he wants to concentrate the local efforts in the afternoon drive spot, although Miklasz and Karraker occasionally will provide short reports in the morning.

"I think most sports fans in this town would agree with me that this is one of, if not the, best combinations that could possibly be put together on sports radio," he said. "When Bernie decided he would consider moving to afternoon, I jumped at the chance to do it. Partnering him with Randy was the icing on the cake."

Karraker has been at KSLG since February, shortly after being cut when KTRS (550 AM) fired most of its on-air staff.

"What happened to Randy was to our benefit," Greene said. "He’s been better than I could have possibly expected in terms of revenue that’s followed him here and audience that’s followed him."

Greene said it also is important to have someone working with Miklasz who can carry the show by himself. That’s because Miklasz figures to miss more afternoon airtime to cover breaking news for his primary employer, the Post-Dispatch, than was the case early in the morning.

"That was one of the factors, making sure we had someone who was strong to go solo," Greene said. "And with Howard still being with us, he can fill in. We’ll now get a lot of on-scene reporting not only from Strickland, but now from Bernie."

And Greene said Balzer, the leading pro football authority among local sports-talk show hosts, will appear on Mondays and Fridays on the afternoon show during the season as well as being an integral part of the station’s Rams game-day coverage.