PROVIDENCE — Kevin McNamara plans to put his extra hour to good use.
The length of his weekday show will double with the return of “The Score” to the radio airwaves next week. McNamara is the local anchor for programming that will feature some top national voices and important gaming-related content. He was a long-time sports editor at the Journal and now runs his own sports website at kevinmcsports.com .
“In an hour, I tried to be as informed as possible,” McNamara said. “It’s basically a three-segment show – we would try to have three different topics. Now we’re going to try to get to those three different topics, but we’ll have a real avenue for calls.
McNamara’s start time moves forward an hour at 7:90 a.m. — it will air from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Its second hour will simulcast in its current timeslot on WPRO, which can be found at 630 AM and 99.7 FM. Providence Men’s Basketball, Brown Men’s Basketball and Soccer, Patriots, Celtics and Yankees are among the top properties under contract for at least the 2022-23 season.
How “The Score” will be different from other sports shows
“If Pete Gillen, Rick Pitino and God Shammgod are in town, ‘The Score’ and WPRO are everywhere,” McNamara said. “If it’s in Boston, they don’t go there. It’s not on their radar.
“The Score” will seek to reduce the market share of the two current giants based in Boston. WEEI was moved to the top of the charts by The Sports Hub, with their afternoon reader hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti attracting over 20% of male listeners aged 25-54. It will take something other than offering the same content.
“For 18 hours a day, if you want to learn about Boston sports teams, there’s nowhere else to go in the country,” McNamara said. “It’s a different product.”
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“The Score” will rely on CBS Radio for three national shows – Jim Rome from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., JR Jackson with his JR SportsBrief from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Amy Lawrence overnight from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. The Daily Tip and Bet QL Daily cover the hour from 6 a.m. to noon. You Better You Bet airs from 3-5 p.m. and Bet MGM Tonight will follow McNamara from 7-11 p.m.
“I can’t wait to see how different they all are,” McNamara said. “I think because it’s new, I would encourage people to give it a try. It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio we are used to.
Attract communities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
The obvious appeal of this market is tied to recent discussions in local state legislatures. Rhode Island legalized sports betting in 2018, and Massachusetts just passed a bill legalizing it and is just waiting for the governor’s signature. “The Score” signal is strong enough to reach border communities like Fall River, Seekonk and those deeper in the state like Foxboro.
“We couldn’t have picked a better time to release this product,” McNamara said. “It’s the oldest AM radio signal in Rhode Island. It’s definitely strong in southeast Massachusetts and all the way to Foxboro. There will definitely be coverage from Massachusetts.
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McNamara will broadcast remotely from Warwick, Providence and Barrington next week to coincide with the station’s return to market. The previous edition of “The Score” ran for 10 years until 2008 before being discontinued. The Friars are their biggest local sports property and just finished a Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years.
“A total home run for the Brothers to do so well last year,” McNamara said. “Having them on WPRO is invaluable. Access and cooperation from them has been excellent.
On Twitter: @BillKoch25