Millions of sports fan have listened to their local sports-talk radio station and had the thought cross their mind that they know more about the subject matter than the guy talking at them. About 99 percent of the time, those listeners are wrong, as most sports-talk hosts, beneath all the bluster, at least know some stuff about sports.
But when Frank O. Pinion (real name: John Craddock) takes the mic on KFNS in St. Louis, fans tuning in can rightfully claim they know sports better than the host they’re listening to. Pinion, a long-time host on KTRS, is making the jump to the all-sports station despite acknowledging that sports are not at all his forte. Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“I don’t know sports,” O. Pinion, 67, acknowledged in a lengthy meeting this week. “No one knows less about sports than me.”
He said he grew up poor in Tennessee, began working when he was 11 and didn’t have the opportunity to get involved — or interested — in athletics.
KFNS owner Randy Markel defended the hiring to the Post-Dispatch, comparing Craddock to Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan and saying he wants the best talent regardless of whether the fit seems perfect.
It’s a bit unclear whether Craddock’s show will or won’t actually have any sports on it. The host reportedly said he won’t change his show when he switches station, but Markel insisted his station will continue to focus on sports… while also introducing more entertainment or even politics. Craddock told the Belleville News-Democrat that he wants to widen the audience on KFNS:
Craddock says the addition of his show is the opening salvo in revamping the station from all sports, all the time, to a mix of sports and other entertainment. In so doing, Craddock says he intends to help change the station’s reputation from that of an “elephant graveyard,” where old radio jocks go to fade into obscurity.
“I have never been anywhere and had a failure,” he says on a 10-minute video selfie he posted Wednesday night on Facebook. (It was his fourth try. His son called once and he belched in the middle of another.) “I don’t intend to make what is probably the last stop in my career a failure, either, and it’s not going to be.”
According to the Dispatch, Craddock’s show will feature periodic sports updates, and if major news breaks, KFNS sports staffers will cut in to cover it.
It sounds like we’ll have to wait a while to figure out exactly how a sports novice will host a show on a sports-talk station, but it seems to be an experiment worth following.