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Downtown' boomtown

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'Downtown' host Rich Kimball 'Downtown' host Rich Kimball
Bangor radio show expands to three new markets

BANGOR Radio's Downtown is growing.

The Bangor-based radio show 'Downtown with Rich Kimball' is expanding its reach. Starting on June 25, the show which currently broadcasts on WAEI AM 910 will also be heard on three other Fox Sports Maine radio stations. WFAU AM 1280 in Gardiner/Augusta, WRKD AM 1450 in Rockland and WIGY FM 97.5 in Madison/Skowhegan are all joining the 'Downtown' family.

'Downtown with Rich Kimball' has been on the air for nine months now. Airing from 4 to 6 pm Monday through Friday, the show aims to be something a little different. It's a sports show, yes, but it isn't just about sports. There's a whole lot of community-oriented stuff; the arts are especially well-represented.

Plus, 'Downtown' is guest-driven from big names in Boston sports to local guests (including yours truly), the show is all about the guests. This isn't controversy-generating overly-shouty sports talk. It's well-rounded and clever, packed with the sort of insight that you only get from true professionals such as Kimball and the rest of the 'Downtown' crew.

'We talked from the start about how an eventual goal would be to reach a larger audience but we didn't have any specific plan in mind,' said Kimball. 'Jon Shields of Blueberry Broadcasting brought up the idea of adding the additional Fox Sports Maine stations and it seemed like a perfect marriage.

'We'd been talking off and on about it for a couple of months and then [Blueberry Chief Operating Officer] Bruce Biette let us know a couple of weeks ago that it was a go.'

While the expansion will likely lead to some minor changes, fans of the show should rest assured that no drastic alterations are on the horizon.

'I don't see any major changes to our format as a result. We'll continue to focus on the Boston pro teams and the University of Maine programs,' Kimball said. 'The one area that we'll probably tweak comes in our non-sports segments; right now we have segments on Downtown Bangor's weekend events and the Bangor arts scene. I think we'll expand that coverage to our new areas and find the time to talk about the arts and big community events in the Augusta, Skowhegan, and Rockland regions.'

In many ways, 'Downtown' has been a labor of love for all involved. In some ways, this expansion is a validation of the long hours of hard work that everyone has put into making the show as good as it can be.

'All of us are very excited to see the show grow,' he said. 'First of all, it's a vindication of what we're doing. Our show is not the typical sports talk show; we're very guest driven, we're not looking to stir up controversy, and we talk about more than just sports.

'This expansion is an expression of support from the Blueberry people that says they believe in what we're doing,' continued Kimball. 'I've thought from the beginning that if we could put together a program that was about getting information and being entertained, instead of a bunch of silly arguments, we'd have a winner, and I feel like our first nine months have been a great start. As far as the big picture, it's great to know the show will be reaching a much larger audience.'

There you have it. Starting June 25, folks from all over central Maine will get the chance to learn what Bangor already knows; taking a trip Downtown is a heck of a lot of fun.

Note: Allan Adams appears twice weekly on 'Downtown with Rich Kimball.' Join him on Monday for his 'Pass the Popcorn' movie review segment or on Wednesday for a preview of the latest edition of the Maine Edge.


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