Las Vegas Radio Group Blackballs Golden Knights Hockey Coverage

Las Vegas is becoming a Major League sports market, but in at least one instant, it is acting minor league. Rookie League at best.

CBS Radio in Las Vegas has said ‘no go’ to the Vegas Golden Knights.

An e-mail sent last week from Operations Manager J.B. King to all CBS Radio Las Vegas employees tells them, “a decision has been made effectively immediately, there are to be no further mentions of the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team on any CBS/LV radio station or any of our social media platforms.”

I need to mention – CBS Radio in Las Vegas has NO connection with CBS TV in Las Vegas (8NewsNow) for which I work. CBS Radio Las Vegas runs 6 radio stations, including KXNT, Mix 94.1, CBS Sports Radio, 95.5 KLUC and X-107.5. Some pretty highly rated radio stations right there that cover a large part of the Las Vegas radio market.

So — the reason for the blackout? Simple — it’s answered in the e-mail. “It is now the responsibility of the Golden Knights’ chosen radio partner to accomplish their goals, not ours.” The Golden Knights went with Lotus Broadcasting as their radio partner, after CBS Radio also made a strong push to get the contract. So — it’s quite simply, we didn’t get the contract, so you don’t exist. Okay.

More can be heard here on The Vegas Sportscast where this issue was discussed Monday evening. The talk of the CBS Radio blackout of the Vegas Golden Knights begins about 3 minutes into the broadcast.

The e-mail continues, “We need to show a united front on this issue. If you have anything already planned around the team, please cancel.”

I spoke with Tony Perlongo, the GM of CBS Radio Las Vegas and asked him about the e-mail, he said, “We have a lot of other things to cover, the Knights don’t work into our coverage.” He added, “We have an amazing amount of content. We support their (the Golden Knights) success in the marketplace, but that will depend on their partnership that they’ve already developed.” During the ticket push (before the radio contract was awarded to Lotus) CBS Radio Las Vegas broadcast 24 hours straight on all 6 of its radio stations. They were making a major push for the Golden Knights radio rights. When I asked Tony if this meant that CBS Radio Las Vegas would not mention the final scores of games he said, “We don’t really give the scores of sporting events as it is.” CBS Radio Las Vegas carries Chicago Cubs games and they mention those scores across their platform often. On CBS Sports 1140am local sports scores are given there.

Hmmmm. Not sure if this means they will never mention the scores after games or everything that this entails, but I know if I worked for CBS Radio Las Vegas I would be afraid for my job if I mentioned anything to do with the Golden Knights. Why risk it?

As far as the listeners are concerned, the purpose of a local radio station is to serve those who listen, not get caught up in petty pissing matches because you didn’t get a deal that you thought you should’ve gotten. I have no dog in this fight — I have friends at every media outlet in town. My guess – this policy will have an ‘end-date’ to it, and I hope for all concerned it’s sooner rather than later. That end-date would likely come when the Golden Knights do a full scale ticket drive and they take the high-road and purchase advertising on CBS Radio Las Vegas. Coverage of the Golden Knights would then magically return.

Here is the entire content of the e-mail:

Tue 8/8/2017 8:57AM

King, JB

Las Vegas Golden Knights

To: @CR Las Vegas All Employees

Just wanted to pass along this info….a decision has been made that effective immediately, there are to be no further mentions of the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team on any CBS/LV radio stations or any of our social media platforms. This includes, but not limited to, on sale ticket mentions, player/coaches interviews, plugging locals to sing national anthem, TV broadcast schedule, etc. It is now the responsibility of the Golden Knights’ chosen radio partner to help accomplish their goals, not ours. We are asking you to include ‘show’ pages, as well. We need to show a united front on this issue. If you have anything already planned around the team, please cancel. If you have any ‘best of’ bits around the team, please do not air and find another piece of content.

I am out of the office this week, but will answer any questions next week when I return. For any immediate questions, please see Tony.

Thanks, Have a great week.

JB

Editors note: Since this story was done, CBS Radio Las Vegas changed its policy and is now saying it will give the Vegas Golden Knights full coverage. See story here.

 

 

About ronfutrell 658 Articles
33 years covering sports, news and entertainment in Las Vegas.