Packers change Milwaukee radio stations from WTMJ to 97.3 The Game

Fans of the Milwaukee-area Green Bay Packers will need to get used to a new radio station in 2022, but not new advertisers.

The Packers announced Wednesday that their games will switch to iHeartMedia’s WRNW 97.3 FM for the 2022 season, leaving WTMJ, 620 AM, which has been their broadcast partner in Milwaukee since 1929.

Because the Packers took over programming and production in 2018, the elements of the shows will not change, including the advertisers. Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren will remain on the call. Nonetheless, this is a big step up from what has always been considered the “flagship” of Packers’ shows.

“We are delighted to welcome a new station to the Packers Radio Network in the Milwaukee area starting in 2022,” said Craig Benzel, vice president of sales and business development for Packers. “IHeartMedia has enthusiastically pursued the opportunity created by being a part of the network, and we look forward to seeing how their innovative approach will appeal to Packers fans in Southeastern Wisconsin.

“The Packers have greatly enjoyed the partnership with WTMJ over the years and will always respect the history they have with the franchise.”

Packers are already offered by iHeartRadio subsidiaries in Madison, Eau Claire and Moline, Illinois.

Larrivee and McCarren have called the Packers shows since 1999. WTMJ continues to broadcast the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers games, as the station did during most franchises.

In 2018, WTMJ was purchased by Good Karma Brands, a Milwaukee-based radio company founded in 1997 by Craig Karmazin, which already had six ESPN radio subsidiaries, including one in Milwaukee. This brought the station back under local ownership for the first time since 2015, when EW Scripps Co. took over WTMJ as part of its acquisition of Journal Communications, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Scripps announced shortly after that it was putting its radio properties up for sale and ceded Journal Sentinel to Gannett Co. Inc. a year later.

WTMJ was started by the owner of the Milwaukee Journal in 1927 and remained locally owned until the purchase of Scripps. This should not be confused with the WTMJ-TV 4 channel, which remains the property of Scripps.

“While we are disappointed with the Packers’ decision, we are grateful for our partnership over the years with the team,” said Steve Wexler, vice president and market manager for Good Karma Brands, in a statement.

“It has been an honor to be the steward of the Packers brand and we look forward to continuing to serve sports fans and our marketing partners with a new era of football content. We will continue to cheer on the Packers for years to come.

The Game, meanwhile, is relatively new to the Milwaukee scene, join the fray in 2018 when WRNW moved from a contemporary music format.

Former Packers full-back John Kuhn, host of the station’s “Nine 2 Noon” since 2020, has been involved in various capacities with the Packers’ game broadcasts in recent years on television and radio.

A full list of affiliates across the state can be found here.

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