Creighton's move to a new league also will see the school shift radio broadcasts of its men's basketball games to a new spot on the dial.
The World-Herald has learned that officials of Creighton and NRG Media will announce later Friday that they have agreed on a three-year contract to move broadcasts of men's basketball to 1620 AM.
NRG already is the radio home for Creighton baseball, women's basketball and volleyball broadcasts. Many of those broadcasts air on 1180 AM, a sister station of 1620.
“We've been a partner with their other sports, and we're obviously very excited now to have the broadcasts for the men's programs,'' said Andy Ruback, general manager of 1620 the Zone and market manager for NRG Media. “Our personalities and shows are all about local sports, and Creighton is a critical part of the local sports scene.
“If I want to do right for my community and my listeners, I felt we had to get the rights to Creighton's men's basketball.''
Creighton, which officially becomes a member of the new Big East on Monday, had previously partnered with Journal Broadcast Group (590 AM) on its men's basketball broadcasts.
Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen said costs were a factor in making the switch but the desire to bring all of its athletic broadcasts “under one umbrella'' was an important reason for making the move.
“We've always had a good relationship with Journal,'' Rasmussen said. “But NRG gives us a better chance to promote all of our sports. Their station is more highly ranked in this market, and we feel there will be greater synergy between our product and their sports talk shows.''
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NRG broadcasts two local sports talk shows — one from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the other from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. — Monday through Friday on 1620 AM. Journal currently does not have a daily local sports talk show, although 590 has in the past.
“We feel our local personalities will allow us to promote Creighton athletics in the way that we're very good at doing,'' Ruback said.
Ruback said on-air talent for the men's radio broadcasts will be announced at a future date.
As with its previous contract with Journal, Creighton will buy time on 1620 and then recoup the cost through the sale of advertising.
“If someone wanted to give us enough money, we'd look at selling the rights,'' Rasmussen said. “We've looked into that option but we still feel this is the best option for us at this time.
“This arrangement gives us control over the content of the advertising on the broadcasts. It also gives us another platform in which to enter into corporate arrangements with our sponsors and boosters.''
Rasmussen said the possibility that 1620's talk show personalities will be discussing Creighton basketball and its other sports five days a week is exciting.
“Again, we feel there can be great synergy with this arrangement,'' he said. “It was one of the real big factors behind the move.''