Al Jazeera in Talks to Buy Local Sports Talk Radio Station
By Fred Furnace
Published April 24th, 2016
ALBANY – The Qatar-based Al Jazeera news broadcasting network announced it is in talks to acquire local ESPN affiliate 104.5 "The Team.”
An Al Jazeera spokesperson confirmed to the Smudge that negotiations have been underway all week, though a deal is not imminent.
"We at Al Jazeera don’t want to be known only for dour, Middle Eastern, terrorist news," said the spokesperson Muhammad Jihad ibn Sharmuta. "We also want to be known for great sports talk. Weather and traffic, too!"
Mr. Sharmuta said Al Jazeera has been wanting to break into sports talk "for some time," and hopes to establish itself in advance of the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in the company’s home nation of Qatar.
He added that Upstate New York would be “the perfect place” for the company to take the leap into the sports talk genre.
“If we screw up, or hit bumps in the road as we try to learn the sports talk business, no one will really notice,” he explained. “There are only like 600 people who live up there. So it will be the perfect place for us to practice and learn the business before we eventually hit bigger markets, like Buffalo, Omaha, or Columbus.”
A second Al Jazeera official, however, painted a slightly different picture of the company’s intentions, suggesting they would likely switch the format from sports talk to the company's trademark Middle Eastern news if the deal were to go through.
"Sports talk, shmorts talk," said Ali Ali Oxenfree kis Imak. "We are only pretending to be interested in sports so that those Nancy boys at Disney sell to us.
“Once we get our hands on the station, we are totally going to change the format to our regular dour, Middle Eastern, terrorist news. Or possibly country western, which is also popular in the Middle East,” he said, referring to ESPN’s parent company.
"Though, I have to say, that Levack guy is growing on me,” kis Imak added. “We will have to make sure to keep him around no matter what we do with the format. Anyone know if he speaks Arabic, or is down with jihad?"