“Now that Broncos’ season is in full swing there is a appreciable chasm in Denver sports talk radio. “
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“Sandy Clough is more than a radio sports-talk host.
He’s an essayist, a broadcaster who has the ability — and had the time — to analyze controversial subjects in the sports world.” – Dusty Saunders, Denver Post media columnist, May, 2014
Now that Broncos’ season is in full swing there is a appreciable chasm in Denver sports talk radio.
The absence of Sandy Clough in the mornings on 104.3 the Fan hadn’t been so pronounced through the summer months but now that there are football games to be broken down and analyzed, players to be evaluated and strategies to be discussed fans are clamoring for the Ayatollah. There’s simply no substitute for Clough – and like fine Scotch Clough is best unmixed.
His solo act from 9-noon weekdays was snuffed out back in May to make room for the nationally syndicated Dan Patrick Show. Clough was moved into the subsequent time slot, noon-3, which he shares with Drew Goodman of Root Sports and Scott Hastings of Altitude Sports and Entertainment. With the travel demands heaped on the other two, Clough is rarely in studio with both. The lunchtime show most often features Clough paired with one or the other host. Still, even used as part of a duo rather than a trio, Sandy’s talent as a solo artist is being squandered.
It’s not difficult to understand why the Fan runs syndicated programming. The radio business runs on razor-thin margins and the battle for ratings is bloody. At least the station offers live and local morning drive programming. Its rival, 102.3 ESPN doesn’t. Its local shows don’t begin until noon, after both Mike and Mike in the Morning and the Herd with Colin Cowherd. Both stations realize that with the hordes of transplants living in Denver twelve straight hours of Broncos talk isn’t good for business, despite the way natives may feel.
Still, Broncos fans deserve to hear Sandy Clough solo – especially on Monday mornings after the Broncos have played. It’s frustrating to be stuck with national shows on two stations. Mile High Sports offers the excellent Press Box program from 9 to 11 with Brandon Krisztal, Oren Lomena and Mark Kiszla, but even that show is no substitute for the thoughtful stream of consciousness that Clough delivers when hosting alone. Nobody in the Denver market is as well-read, as prepared or as experienced as Clough.
Sandy Clough is a sports savant and his knowledge of the Broncos and their history is unparalleled. Interest in Clough’s commentary spans generation gaps. There’s something about his fatherly voice and well-structured though process that listeners young and old can appreciate. He’s an artist and his incredible talent just doesn’t shine through in his current role.
This Spring Denver Post media columnist Dusty Saunders wrote: “there should be a place for Clough’s thoughtful, solo style in the busy and often-noisy sports-talk scene.” Saunders also questioned whether Sandy’s involvement in a three-man show would allow time for his verbal “essays”. So far the arrangement has not given Clough the space he deserves.
While nobody can fault the folks at 104.3 the Fan for making moves they deem necessary to maximize their return on investment by upping their morning ratings it’s natural for fans to pine for the programming the station aired in the fall of last year. Sandy Clough’s three-hour show was Denver’s best chance to evaluate the Broncos in a quietly cerebral way. It’s not a wonder that radio listeners are clamoring to get Sandy back.