Sports History Leads Naturals to KURM

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When KURM-AM, 790 became a ’round-the-clock station in 1984, station owner Kermit Womack added sports to his talk radio format.

Upgrading the station to 5,000 watts allowed it to broadcast at night, and KURM has been carrying Rogers High School football ever since. In the meantime, KURM has added Bentonville High School football games to its FM station, 100.3, which also broadcasts St. Louis Cardinals baseball games.

The AM station also carries Springdale junior high football and had 100 Kansas City Royals games last season. The Royals are the parent ball club of the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals, who will have all 140 of their games broadcast on KURM this year.

Womack said the Naturals sought him out for a broadcast deal.

“I really had no effort to secure the broadcast, I didn’t make any entrees to anybody,” Womack said. “They looked over the situation in the market. There are a lot of music operations that don’t carry sports and weren’t interested. They looked at the coverage we have and we were probably the best option they had.”

Womack said he simply sold the Naturals the airtime, and the club is responsible for securing advertisers.

“I did not want to go out and sell the ballgames,” Womack said.

The station didn’t have to invest much in equipment, Womack said. The Naturals bought their own amplifier and mic, while Womack supplied play-by-play man Steven Davis with a Comrex “blue box,” which elevates the fidelity of a phone line to studio quality.

“I’m optimistic and surprised at the amount of interest,” Womack said. “I just hope they are successful on the field.”

After a four-game sweep of the Little Rock-based rival Arkansas Travelers, the Naturals were 10-15 and two games out of first in the Texas League North Division on April 30.