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Chuck Landon: Dispute to leave WVU out of earshot

Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:10 AM

The drama between John Raese and the WVU-IMG consortium has been the best original theater the state of West Virginia has seen since "Honey in the Rock."

Author, author.

Talk about compelling.

If Susan Lucci had a role in "As the Raese Turns" it wouldn't have taken her 19 tries to finally win an Emmy.

I mean, just imagine a vicious falling out between an ultra-successful businessman and the university his very own father, Dyke, once worked at as a coach.

Imagine Raese's MetroNews radio network suddenly being jettisoned as the voice of the Mountaineers by WVU after years of service, costing Raese lots of money and prestige.

That's the saga and the plot has been riveting.

My favorite twist was when IMG began searching for a Morgantown radio station to serve as the hometown flagship for the Mountaineer Sports Network. When IMG decided on WCLG-AM and FM guess what Raese did?

He bought the station.

Now, just how rich is that?

That's why IMG finally had to settle for WZST-FM, located in nearby Westover. The station has only 3,000 watts of power and barely reaches the Morgantown city limits.

Welcome to WVU's flagship station.

By comparison, the Marshall radio network's flagship station -- "The Dawg", WDDG 93.7 FM -- is a booming 100,000 watts.

Which gives me a great idea.

If Raese really wants to get back at WVU. ... I mean, really wants to stick it to the Mountaineers. Then, all he has to do is air Marshall's games on his MetroNews stations.

Wouldn't that be some delicious revenge?

I know, I know. Everybody is thinking that isn't possible because Marshall is also affiliated with IMG.

Well, guess what?

That's why there are court injunctions.

NETWORKING: Speaking of WVU's radio network, aside from three stations it is a collection of small, low-power AMs and FMs.

Affiliates in Bluefield (100,000-watt WHAJ-FM), Sutton (50,000-watt WDBS-FM) and Wheeling (50,000-watt WWVA-AM) are strong stations.

But the rest of the 40-station network?

The other 37 combined have only 106,125 watts of power during the daytime. And at night, that diminishes to a mere 80,550 watts.

Compare that to The Dawg's 100,000 watts night and day.

Why, WVU has one affiliate -- WJAW-AM in St. Marys -- that drops to only 37 watts at sunset.

Imagine two tin cans and a string.

HOLGO UNPLUGGED: Talk about a concept that needs to happen.

A buddy recently asked how long is WVU going to allow head football coach Dana Holgorsen to continue embarrassing the school?

It was a rhetorical question.

The reference was to the "Mouth of the Mountaineers" recently spewing more venom in this direction. The difference was instead of vilifying Marshall, as usual, this time Holgorsen took aim at Huntington, in general.

''There's 1.6 million people," Holgorsen told The Intelligencer, a newspaper in Wheeling, referring to the state's population. "Actually, I think there's 1.8 million. ... well, 200 of them don't count cause they're down in Huntington ... so the 1.6 million people in the state is really what counts."

Ah, what a charmer.

The interesting part is Holgorsen's comments came just a few days after WVU athletic director Oliver Luck had flown to Huntington for an annual meeting with local WVU fans.

Geez, I guess those Mountaineer fans just don't count to Holgorsen.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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