Radio station KGY discontinues high school sports broadcasts

Olympia’s KGY radio likely broadcast its last high school football and basketball games.

The station announced it will discontinue its play-by-play coverage of South Sound high school sports — football and boys and girls basketball — beginning this fall, ending the station’s tradition of prep sports broadcasts, which has spanned more than 50 years.

Jackson Weaver, general manager for KGY 1240-AM/95.3-FM and KAYO 96.9-FM, said financial and economic factors were the main reasons for the station cutting prep sports. Weaver said the decision was made before Monday’s announcement of the stations’ pending sale to Seattle-based Sacred Heart Radio.

“There just isn’t the support (for high school sports),” said Weaver, who added that the station hasn’t profited from prep sports coverage in 10 years. “We’ve knocked on doors.”

KGY broadcast about 40 football and basketball regular-season and playoff games during the 2013-14 school year, said Brent Bryant. He teamed with Keith Clark on the play-by-play broadcasts the past two years, replacing KGY’s longtime tandem of Dick Nichols and Larry McMillan in 2012.

Bryant was discouraged by the announcement.

“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s disappointing for how long KGY has been doing football.”

This fall, Bryant said he and Clark will join Eli Sports Network, South Sound’s all-internet-based webstation.

Weaver said he isn’t shutting the door permanently on local sports broadcasts on KGY, but noted community support and businesses would need to step up with funding to continue.

“If we have a client who starts knocking on our door,” Weaver said “… and if we had enough of them, we’d do it.”