By Becky Bracken
The Airpark is known for its golf courses, resorts, restaurants and beautiful people basking under blue skies. But what many might not know is the Airpark is emerging as a hub for sports and news in the Valley, thanks to two truly local radio stations broadcasting right off the runway.
Money Radio 1510 AM, KFNN, is the Valley’s longest locally owned radio station and offers consumer advice and money news. The Fanatic 1580 AM is a brand new local sports station launched earlier this year by the same team, CRC Broadcasting Company, led by President Ron Cohen.
Both stations broadcast out of offi ces just off Raintree and the 101 in the heart of the Airpark. Driving downtown you might have seen the call letters KFNN on the side of a building on Central Avenue. But that hasn’t been the home of the station for years, according to Cohen. For some reason, the building managers just haven’t taken down the sign, which is just fine with Cohen, who is happy to get a little free advertising.
“We were down on Central for 21 years because that was important back in what I like to call the ‘shoe leather days,’ to be centrally located,” Cohen says.
But while his offi ces were downtown, for the past 20 years Cohen has lived in North Scottsdale. So when the opportunity presented itself, naturally he was attracted to the idea of bringing his business closer to home. “Then the freeways were built, technology de-emphasized the centralized location, and a client can do a radio show from their offi ce and it sounds great.”
Seven years ago he moved the operation to the Airpark. “My commute went from 35 minutes to fi ve,” he says. But it wasn’t just drive time on his mind. He said it was the particular unit which became available that caught his attention. It’s right next to the post offi ce, which Cohen says is the second highest traffi c spot in the Airpark, drawing plenty of eyes to his operation.
“So you know what the highest traffi c spot in the Airpark is?’ Cohen asks. Kierland? WestWorld? Nope.
No surprise there.
With the addition of The Fanatic, there are now 18 employees of CRC Broadcasting in the Airpark. The company also has two employees operating stations in Palm Springs, California.
“We really like it here,” Cohen says. “We just expanded and signed a new 10-year lease.”
In addition to local money and sports news, the stations are always looking for ways to reach the neighboring community. For instance, on tax day, April 18, they will set up tables outside the station and broadcast live with giveaways and other fun events as people fi le into the post offi ce to mail off their returns.
The Fanatic is the home of prep sports in the Valley and in partnership with the Better Business Bureau, which Cohen has served on the board of for more than 12 years, the station honors outstanding student athletes – not for their athletic performance, but for being good kids and good citizens.
The Fanatic 1580 is simulcast on 99.1 and 99.3 FM and boasts a morning show with Ray and Bauer, formerly of 910 AM KGME, and a mid-morning show with ABC15’s Craig Fouhy. Lunchtime features national host Jim Rome. Mike “Roc” Muraco, Dan Manucci and Shawn Crespin have moved over from 1060AM to host a show during the afternoon drive.
Cohen says he sees a bright future for his new business.
“It’s great being an independent. When we get a good idea, it doesn’t go to a committee, and we have the ability to innovate,” Cohen says. “I fi gure out how to say ‘yes’ rather than ‘no.”
He thinks major players will start to take notice of the Valley’s newest sports radio station:
“I feel it is inevitable all of major teams will see the quality of our programming and signal. It’s just a matter of time.”