Las Vegas will be stepping into the major league sports realm in a short few months when the Vegas Golden Knights step onto the ice. But if you listen to the CBS Radio stations in the city, you wouldn’t even know they exist. It appears that the group which includes six stations has been ordered not to mention the team, not to discuss the team or even write about the team on the group’s websites and social media platforms.

Update: CBS Radio has now changed course, issuing this statement to Jason Barrett (who wrote about the situation here):

Original piece follows:

The Golden Knights are preparing for their inaugural season in the NHL and have already awarded their TV and radio rights to AT&T SportsNet and Lotus Broadcasting respectively. But for CBS Radio, it’s as if the Golden Knights aren’t even playing. The cluster’s general manager Tony Perlongo spoke with KLAS-TV sports anchor Ron Futrell about this policy:

“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.”

An e-mail was been circulated to 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.

This is quite rare for an entire radio group to ignore a professional sports team especially when it’s beginning a new experience in the city. Imagine CBS Radio stations in Southern California ignoring the Los Angeles Chargers in their first year in the market.

For CBS Radio in Las Vegas, this smacks of sour grapes after losing the sweepstakes to get the Golden Knights. If CBS Radio won the rights to the team, you can successfully bet that all of the stations would be on board with coverage, ticket giveaways and all types of promotions.

It’s a strange policy. CBS Radio stations in other markets don’t ignore teams that aren’t carried on its airwaves, but the Las Vegas group is making a point to ignore the Golden Knights.

[Ron Futrell]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.