N-G Media to remain home for UI sports broadcasts through 2022

N-G Media to remain home for UI sports broadcasts through 2022

CHAMPAIGN — Broadcasts of University of Illinois athletics will remain on WDWS 1400-AM and WHMS 97.5-FM for at least the next four years.

On Thursday, the UI's athletic department and media-rights holder Learfield's Fighting Illini Sports Properties announced the extension of the broadcast relationship. The program's athletic events have been carried by News-Gazette Media for more than 30 years.

"News-Gazette Media and the University of Illinois are two long-standing institutions in the community," News-Gazette Media CEO and Publisher John Reed said. "We've obviously enjoyed a very good working relationship for a number of years now."

The agreement includes all football, men's and women's basketball, volleyball, baseball and select softball games. The stations will also air the weekly coaches' shows.

"We are pleased to continue our longtime relationship with News-Gazette Media and radio stations WDWS and WHMS," Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman said. "Fighting Illini fans in the Champaign-Urbana area have known for decades that those stations are the radio homes to our games, and this new agreement will increase the presence of our programs even more. We appreciate the efforts of Learfield and News-Gazette Media to put together this partnership."

WDWS and WHMS will broadcast more than 150 live events each year.

"Fighting Illini sports is fundamentally a part of our DNA," Reed said. "Whether it's radio, print or digital, we cover Illinois sports like nobody else. This is just four more years of us doing what we have always done."

The contract was put out to bid to interested radio operators in the market. At the end of the process, Learfield and the Illinois athletic department decided News-Gazette Media was the preferred partner.

"It's very much a three-pronged partnership," Reed said.

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MasterOfTheObvious wrote on January 13, 2018 at 9:01 am

Joy to the World.  From the boring announcers to the unlistenable coaches shows and postgame call ins, at least we have no chance of the on-air product rising above the quality of the non achieving teams.  Truly a perfect match.  

A much better play for the DIA would have been to do a real big process and end up with the company that offered the most money back in 2015. Why would the DIA not go with the company that provided better quality and more money?  Because of the MEDIA MONOPOLY in Champaign that is the News Gazette and WDWS, aka the Marajen Stevick Foundation.  The DIA will never leave WDWS as if they would, the bubblegum cheerleader coverage of the teams would all cease.  If you are looking for the sports version of FAKE NEWS, here it is.  The NG/WDWS will always tow the party line with DIA as they are in business together.

Let's see how long it takes for the online editors to delete this comment...