KFAN re-signs Cory Cove — is station now raid-proof?

KFAN programming director Chad Abbott just let me know that morning co-host Cory “Sludge” Cove signed a three-year contract Monday, “making all of our hosts now under contract for the foreseeable future.”

KFAN, as regular readers know, is battling it out for sports supremacy with the rebranded KSTP-AM, a.k.a. 1500 ESPN. This spring, 1500 ESPN signed away KFAN regular Phil Mackey; he became Pat Reusse’s noon-2 p.m. cohost.

Though 1500 ESPN has likely filled its dance card for now, competition has undoubtedly helped secure regular payouts for KFAN’s stable of hosts, and regular guests such as Strib baseball writer La Velle E. Neal and WCCO-TV’s Mark Rosen.

As I’ve written previously, 1500 ESPN’s gains have not come out of KFAN’s hide. Still, depending on how one slices the ratings in August, 1500 ESPN can brag about being the top-rated talk station 6 a.m. to midnight among the advertiser-coveted 25-to-54-year-old demographic — and among men 25-to-54, the sports godhead.

That number includes Twins games, where 1500 ESPN only airs the games and controls zero ad time.

While 1500 ESPN is saddled by its network deal to carry ESPN’s national shows in the morning, Reusse and Mackey beat KFAN’s 25-to-54 number noon to 2 p.m. However, daytime Twins games have hoisted that noon-2 p.m. slot over the top, and that spiff goes away in October. Joe Soucheray, whose evening drive-time number was falling pre-ESPN, has been the big winner no matter how you slice it, though KFAN’s Dan Barreiro is still very strong.

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