A Trip Back in Sports Radio Through the El Paso Time Machine
July 18th 1997. That day was a significant one in my radio career since I was about to inherit the hosting duties of Sportstalk. Jon Teicher, who had been the man in charge of El Paso’s only daily local sports radio show since 1992 had just signed with another radio station group and he was going to be calling UTEP games on another AM station. In those days, his UTEP contract was tied into the radio station that broadcast UTEP games, so he would no longer be able to host Sportstalk with Duke Keith. At that same time, I was hosting Crunchtime on Saturday mornings with Robert Garcia while working on KLAQ with Buzz Adams. Our general manager, Brad Dubow asked me if I would be interested in taking over as host of Sportstalk and replace Jon. For me, that was the easiest decision I have made in my 22-year radio career. I jumped at the opportunity and was at Speaking Rock for Jon’s last broadcast.
That day was a special one. Among Teicher’s guests was UTEP men’s basketball coach Don Haskins who had worked with him for more than 15 years. At the end of the show, Jon asked me to join him at his broadcast table so he could pass the torch to me and allow me to finish the last five minutes of Sportstalk. Little did I realize at the time that I would still be doing the same job after 20 years.
As I look back on that day and nearly 5,000 shows since then, I am appreciative of all the people who I have worked with. People like Duke Keith, Robert Garcia, Mando “The Monster” Medina, Andy Quintana, Jeff Flynt, Quinton Martinez, Andy Lee, Chad Middleton, Mike Tipton, Brandon Cohn, and Sal Montes. I have always kept the show formula simple: provide compelling talk radio that encompasses both local and national sports topics. Social media has been a game changer for two reasons. First, we can now get our news the minute a story breaks and talk about it in real time. Second, listeners now can participate in the show through Twitter and Facebook rather than just by calling into the show. It makes talk radio much more of a digital medium than it used to be back in the days when we relied on an AP Wire to get our sports news. I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years brings us.