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WLIR drops ESPN, reverts to Christian format
WLIR (107.1 FM), the Hampton Bays-based station that had been simulcasting ESPN New York Radio, reverted Monday to the All-Christian programming format it had offered until last summer.
The move follows an earlier one last month in which the station dropped all of its local shows, branded as part of its Champions Radio format, and went exclusively with ESPN’s New York-based programs.
The change leaves many on Long Island’s East End outside the reach of ESPN’s primary 98.7 FM signal without terrestrial radio access to the channel's programming, including Knicks and Rangers games.
Rich Anderson, the station president, did not return emails seeking comment.
ESPN said in a statement, “Yes, we are aware that [Monday] the station was returning to an All-Christian format. ESPNNY 98.7 is currently exploring other terrestrial options to serve Eastern Long Island.
“Fans cans still access radio content online and thru the app and ‘The Michael Kay Show’ on YES."
WLIR switched from a Christian format to sports last August. It is believed to have negotiated an early end to its contract with ESPN to return to that format. Terms of that agreement were not available.
One sliver of WLIR's sports programming will remain for now. The station is expected to carry Stony Brook's men's basketball game Sunday against Albany as well as any it plays in the America East and/or NCAA Tournaments.