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Las Vegas radio group tells employees not to cover new NHL expansion team

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Don’t expect to hear Golden Knights talk on CBS Radio-operated stations in Las Vegas.

2017 NHL Expansion Draft Roundtable Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

UPDATE: CBS Radio Las Vegas has reversed its decision not to cover the Vegas Golden Knights, releasing a statement to SB Nation calling the prior decision to avoid the team an “error in judgment.”

Employees of CBS Radio-operated stations in Las Vegas have been told not to discuss the Vegas Golden Knights on air or social media despite the new NHL expansion team being the city’s first major professional sports franchise, reports KLAS-TV’s Ron Futrell.

“We have a lot of other things to cover; the Knights don’t work into our coverage,” Tony Perlongo, the general manager of CBS Radio Las Vegas, told Futrell.

The group operates six different stations in the Las Vegas area, including KXNT 840 AM.

The Golden Knights will begin their first NHL season in October after a summer full of roster moves and marketing hype. The team already awarded its TV and radio rights to AT&T SportsNet and Lotus Communications, respectively, which has left CBS Radio out of the mix.

Rather than cover the team anyway, it appears CBS Radio has decided to ignore the Golden Knights altogether. Here is the full email operations manager JB King sent to employees recently informing them of the new policy, via Futrell:

Just wanted to pass along this info ... a decision has been made that effective immediately, there are to be no further mentions of the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team on any CBS/LV radio stations or any of our social media platforms. This includes, but not limited to, on sale ticket mentions, player/coaches interviews, plugging locals to sing national anthem, TV broadcast schedule, etc. It is now the responsibility of the Golden Knights’ chosen radio partner to help accomplish their goals, not ours. We are asking you to include ‘show’ pages, as well. We need to show a united front on this issue. If you have anything already planned around the team, please cancel. If you have any ‘best of’ bits around the team, please do not air and find another piece of content.

So even though the Golden Knights are a brand-new NHL team in a market bereft of major sports franchises, the radio group seems determined to pretend they don’t exist for the time being. It’s an unusual move given that many outlets would be excited for coverage of a major expansion franchise that should get a lot of attention right out of the gate.

Having this kind of policy will force audiences in the area to head elsewhere for Golden Knights coverage. If you live in the Vegas area and want to hear about your new hockey team, CBS Radio-operated stations will not be the place to go. FOX Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM will be broadcasting the team’s games in its inaugural season.