Partner for a.m. talk show remains unresolved issue.
Paul Allen's stay on KFAN's airwaves will be extended at least another five years.
Allen, the host of the mid-day show at the all-sports station and the play-by-play voice of the Vikings, signed a five-year contract extension to remain with the Clear Channel-owned property.
"Despite what people say about Clear Channel, we really do try to make sure we're keeping our best talent here," said Gregg Swedberg, director of operations for Clear Channel Minneapolis. "People say, 'You're cheap,' but I don't think so. We're committed to keeping the best talent with all of our brands, and P.A. is core to what goes on at KFAN."
Allen, whose three-year contract had expired, said station management has been "very cool" in dealing with him, adding, "I'm really happy to be a part of the team for at least another five years."
The announcement of Allen's contract extension comes a month after Clear Channel fired Allen's longtime co-host Jeff Dubay. That decision came after Dubay was charged with felony drug possession; he was accused of tossing crack cocaine and a pipe from his vehicle in Maplewood. Allen and Dubay had hosted the "PA and Dubay" show for 10 years.
Since Dubay's dismissal Allen has been working with producer Justin Gaard and a variety of guests.
"It's kind of on hold right now," Swedberg said when asked about a permanent co-host for Allen. "We're trying some different things. I think we're going to ride with this through the Vikings season and then kind of take a look at it."
This marks the first time that KFAN has combined Allen's talk-show contract with his agreement to call Vikings games. But it's not a given he will remain in the latter job for the long term. The Vikings have an option to get out of their deal with KFAN after this season, and there have been rumblings that the team might consider a move to WCCO Radio (830 AM). If the Vikings do exercise their option to return to KFAN (1130 AM) in 2009, they would be in a position to explore their value on the open market after that season when their contract comes to an end.
The Vikings to WCCO rumors gained steam this month when longtime Clear Channel executive Mick Anselmo was named the manager of CBS' three local operations, including WCCO. Anselmo was fired by Clear Channel in July 2007. If Allen had not signed the new deal, there would have been an opportunity for Anselmo to pursue Allen but that is no longer the case.Dubay hearing
Dubay made his first appearance in Ramsey County District Court on Friday and his case is being evaluated for pre-trial diversion. If he's accepted into diversion, that means the charges could be dismissed following completion of the program. Dubay is due back in court Dec. 19.