Today I bring something for your eyes: a replay of the amazing Boise State-Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl, which airs at 9 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest. And here's something for your ears: Maybe he's hopelessly pitching pebbles at the castle walls. Or perhaps Thom Bailey has the latest, greatest idea in local sports radio. This week, we're about to find out.
"There's not a station in this town for the real sports fan," says Bailey, a 20-year veteran of the Dallas radio landscape. "There's a void for a real sports talk station that talks to the fans, and also invites them to voice their opinions."
Enter Bailey's baby: Sports Fan 990.
The station, operating in studios of the North Dallas Bank building at LBJ Freeway and Preston Road, debuted this morning with a strong philosophical concept, if not concrete strategy. Among the shows will be a 6-8 a.m. morning roundtable, choreographed by Bailey and featuring such local print and TV journalists as Jean-Jacques Taylor (The Dallas Morning News), Dwain Price (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), Newy Scruggs (KXAS-Channel 5) and Max Morgan (KDFW-Channel 4); a reality-radio show featuring a Survivor-styled format in which listeners vote for a winner that will eventually host a show; a noon-2 p.m. extravaganza involving your favorite Unfair Park blogger (rhymes with "bitchy"); an afternoon show founded on fan-friendly road shows; and a 5-6 p.m. trivia show during which listeners can win cold, hard cash.
Also on board in some capacity will be metroplex radio veterans Mike Fisher, Wally Lynn, Jimmy Christopher, Rich Pamenko, Leon Simon, Ted Gange and former Kansas City Chiefs running back Greg Hill.
Says Bailey, "We're going to be a sports station that actually caters to sports fans."
Bailey, 48, has been in Dallas since graduating from Indiana University in 1982, most notably as KNON-FM's sports director for 16 years and hosting shows on Fox Sports Radio and Channel 52. Though recently the station has been an unlistenable smorgasbord of easy-listening music and Spanish-language commercials -- just the latest incarnation for the transitory 990 -- Bailey is confident his venture will find a niche in the nation's fifht-largest media market.
"We're letting the genie out of the bottle," says Bailey. "And when she comes out, she ain't going back in."
Stay tuned. --Richie Whitt