When sports talk radio host Steve Bortstein takes to the airwaves at 8 a.m. this morning, his audience will hear his rants clearer than ever before.
Fox Sports New Mexico will launch onto the FM dial this morning on 93.9 FM and it can still be heard on its home of 1340 AM.
"We are going to re-establish ourselves as what we used to be, a leader in local sports programming. If you are going to do that, you might as well do it with the clearest signal possible," said Bortstein, who is also the station's program director.
Listeners won't have to battle static and signal loss in San Juan County when listening into their favorite sports talk radio hosts.
"The 93.9 signal will provide a cleaner signal in Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield, Kirtland and the surrounding areas," said operations manager Dave Schaefer. "It will really boost listenership on the station, and it provides us a new platform because nobody is really doing sports talk radio on the FM dial in our area."
Fox Sports Radio is also looking into boosting local coverage to compliment its schedule of sports talk radio and major sporting events.
"We are in the discussion stages, but we are looking at branching out now to do more local high school sports," Schaefer said. "It will include football and basketball, but I can't really go further because I don't know specifics, yet."
Bortstein acknowledged the return of the "Live at Five" show that will bring another local sports talk radio show to the station.
"We will be adding shows and broadcasting live games again. Down the road, that is something we are going to get back into," Bortstein said. "The trick now is to find the talent to do the 'Live at Five' show, but there are a lot of people in this community with good sports opinions who are up to the task."
He is also happy to provide listeners a clear channel to listen to Denver Bronco games as well as the entire NFL post season, including the Super Bowl.
"When I was in Denver, the Broncos games were always on FM radio. Now listeners can hear the Broncos here on FM, and that is phenomenal," Bortstein said. "Now I hope they cooperate and go all the way to the Super Bowl because that means higher ad rates next year."
Along with Broncos games, Fox Sports New Mexico also airs the NCAA Men's Final Four and other major collegiate events. The channel will also air Ultimate Fighting Championship fight cards free of charge.
"It isn't the same as watching the TC broadcast, but the pay-per-view events cost a ton of money for the consumer, and we offer it absolutely free," Schaefer said.
The station has run tests on the 93.9 FM channel for weeks, but the official launch of the channel will come this morning with Bortstein's "First Sports in the Morning" show.
"We have been fine tuning it and tinkering around to make sure the signal is perfect before our splashy debut," Bortstein said. "We will open the show with it and then we are having a contest beginning Monday for a $50,000 grand prize. We will detail that Friday, and we will have different special guests on the show that first day.
"We will see how many times I can screw up the new name of the show. I have been saying 'Fox Sports 1340' for nine years, and adding something new isn't as easy as you would think."