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Major local radio shakeup; Bosh: Lakers probably best on paper; Miller update

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale market, which already boasts four all-sports English-language AM radio stations, now will have an FM sports station, too.

Lincoln Financial Media announced Friday that it has purchased WMSF-104.3 FM, which airs adult contemporary music, from Palm Beach Broadcasting. Beginning Wednesday and for the foreseeable future, WMSF will simulcast the programming that airs on WAXY-790 AM, which brands itself as 790 The Ticket.

Cost of the purchase: $13 million.

Jeff Dinetz, general manager of Lincoln Financial’s South Florida stations, said WAXY and WMSF will carry the same programming at least until the sale is approved by the FCC and until the FM station’s transmitter is moved from Palm Beach to Miami. He said that process could take three to six months.

Dinetz said it was too soon to discuss long-term programming plans for both stations or whether 790 would continue to broadcast sports long-term. But one possibility would be 790-AM carrying national sports programming, likely from ESPN Radio, and 104.3-FM airing local programming that now airs on 790.

Lincoln Financial has a similar arrangement in Denver, where the AM station airs Fox Sports Radio and the FM station carries local sports talk.

790 The Ticket’s programming includes, among other things, Miami Heat and Miami Marlins games and Miami Herald sports columnist Dan Le Batard’s afternoon drive talk show.

Dinetz said acquiring an FM station is appealing because sports radio stations target younger audiences “and that’s the way to reach them. It’s hard to get the 18-to-49 year old demographic on the AM dial. For us to become the first and only FM sports station in the market is huge for us.”

The saturation of sports radio stations in the market has splintered the genre’s audience. According to Arbitron’s most recent ratings book (June 24-July 18), The Ticket ranked 20th among 40-plus stations among men 25 to 54, the primary target demographic for sports stations.

WQAM-560, which carries sports talk and University of Miami and Florida Panthers games, ranked 23rd.

Palm Beach-based sports station WMEN-640, which has penetration in Dade and Broward, does not subscribe to Arbitron, and its ratings were not available Friday. WINZ-940 also carries sports, including Miami Dolphins games and a weekday Dolphins talk show.

Dinetz said Lincoln Financial’s new FM sports station will be rebranded as WAXY-104.3. The company already owns two other FM stations in the market: classic hits WMXJ and adult contemporary WLYF.

Palm Beach Broadcasting CEO Dean Goodman, who acquired WMSF from CBS several months ago, said selling the station “is consistent with our desire to super-serve the Palm Beach County market and our original plan for divestiture.”

### Heat forward Chris Bosh, who is usually pretty candid, told WQAM's Adam Kuperstein and Steve Goldstein on Friday: "The Lakers, on paper, have the best team in the west, and probably the league."

Then Bosh added, "On paper. I'm saying on paper. But it's a lot. It's a long season. And the best team always isn't the one who starts out the season as the best team. We know we're the champs, but we have to start off from scratch. We have a lot of chemistry building to do. We have to start over. We know favorites and all that stuff really doesn't matter."

On a potential Lakers-Heat Finals matchup, Bosh said, "It's ever better to think about we can possibly play them in a classic series one day with everything on the line.... They're a very big team, but we're very fast, so something's got to give."

Erik Spoelstra recently told 640's Sid Rosenberg that he's surprised the Lakers could acquire Dwight Howard without giving up Pau Gasol, but "they have a history of getting those bigs."

### Mike Miller, who said last month that he was confident he would avoid back surgery, tweeted Friday that it's great "to be back in the gym finally. Way too long of a layoff. Slowly but surely feeling better. Feels good getting ready for another year."

### Check our last post for the Friday media column and Heat free agent news. And check back for Dolphins and Canes this weekend.