By Sally Voth
Washington Nationals fans from the Front Royal area can tune in to their radios as their team takes the field on opening day, April 1. Other sports fans might want to turn theirs on as well.
WFTR-AM 1450 now goes by the name Sports Radio 1450. It is affiliated with the new NBC Sports Radio Network, operations manager Lonnie Hill said Wednesday afternoon.
"It's been primarily a news source and music source for the 60-plus years it's been in the community," Hill said of the station. "It will be all sports when we finally make the switch."
April is the target date. Right now, the station is continuing its programming of classic country, local weather, sports and news, with NBC Sports Radio Network programming from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays and 7 p.m. Friday-5 a.m. Monday, Hill said.
Local news and local sports will continue to be broadcast after the change to full-sports programming, he said.
"The affiliation just means a broader outreach for sports enthusiasts," Hill said.
All of the Nationals' games will be broadcast.
"That's a huge deal," Hill said. "[We will be] the only station in the area that will be broadcasting Nationals baseball. We're planning on doing all 162 games. Plus, we will have Little League baseball, which no other station does."
Warren and Skyline high school's football and basketball games also will go out over the airwaves, Hill said.
He said staffing would remain the same. The station has been interested in affiliating with NBC since the new service launched, he said.
"We looked very hard at it and decided that was the way we wanted to go as well," Hill said. "We're one of the first stations in the country to sign on to NBC Sports."
Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org