Twins confirm switch from AM to FM radio

The Twins officially are heading to FM radio.

The club on Wednesday announced that it will move all regular-season, postseason and at least 25 spring training games a year to KTWN (96.3 FM) starting in 2013, continuing a migration of local professional sports teams from AM to FM radio. Only the Timberwolves are not on a FM station.

The Twins have long had the vision of someday moving to FM, and when the Pohlad family purchased what was then named B96 in June 2007, speculation then was that the Twins would wind up on that station one day and leave KSTP-AM (1500 ESPN), which is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting.

"We have been very vocal, internally, with Hubbard Broadcasting about our desire to be on an FM," Twins President Dave St. Peter said. "That discussion dated back to the original deal. We were unable to find that match with them.

"With 96.3 being a sister company, we thought there was an opportunity to not only move the Twins to FM, which we think is ultimately what our fans want, but also be part of what we think will be a dynamic radio station."

The official announcement was made during a VIP breakfast held at Target Field.

While Twins games will head to KTWN -- which the team is calling K-TWIN -- programs such as "The Ron Gardenhire Show" and "Inside Twins" will continue to air on 1500.

St. Peter stressed that the Twins' 88-station network that serves the five-state region will not be affected. If anything, he said, the signal in the Twin Cities should improve.

But hooking up with a FM station -- a pop music station, at that -- is a big step.

"It's not a talk radio station, it is a music format," St. Peter said. "We're going to try some fun things over time to try to incorporate the Twins brand. I think it will be less about X's and O's and more about human interest. We think it is a great fit for the Minnesota Twins.

"We are also realistic enough to understand that we are trying some things here that maybe haven't been done. Never say never that we'd move [back]. But we are doing things with the vision toward the long term."

The young demographic that listens to KTWN appeals to the club as a potential fanbase builder.

"We need to introduce Dan Gladden to that younger demo who don't remember him as a player," St. Peter joked. "Now they think of him just as a broadcaster. That's hard on Dan's ego."

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