The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

March 23, 2010

Local FM radio station changing to ESPN Radio

Focus will remain on region’s sports

BECKLEY — The River is going with the flow of sports popularity.

Beginning April 5, local rock music station 102.3 The River will officially become ESPN Radio 102.3 The Ticket. The idea of switching to all-sports programming was hatched over a year ago by Southern Communications owner Shane Southern, but the plan was set into motion a few months ago.

Despite the collaboration with ESPN, local athletics will be the station’s focus.

“Local sports do not get (broadcast) like they need to,” said Jesse Dawson, the new station’s program director. “Shane approached me about it and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

In addition to local sports programming, listeners will also be able to hear some of the top shows on ESPN Radio.

That includes the wildly popular Mike and Mike in the Morning, plus The Herd with Colin Cowherd and The Scott Van Pelt Show, along with hourly SportsCenter updates.

“We will do hourly local updates as well,” Dawson said.

Coverage of local high school, college and youth sports will air across a wide region that includes Raleigh, Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Summers and Wyoming counties, plus Virginia counties of Giles, Buchanan and Tazewell.

The River and its associate stations will continue airing the same local sports they have for years. Princeton Rays baseball, Summers County football and girls basketball and Concord men’s and women’s basketball will still be heard on 102.3. Groovy 94.1 will continue its prep football Game of the Week and 105.9 Power Country will continue to be the home of Mountain State University basketball and NASCAR races.

Marshall football and men’s basketball will air on News/Talk 620 WWNR-AM.

The station’s Web site, www.theticket102.com, will also highlight local sports, including any and all games not covered live. It will debut the same day as the station.

“It will be a 24/7 streaming live Web site,” Dawson said. “Every high school will have its own space and page for schedules and rosters.”

Dawson, who received a liberal studies degree from MSU, is a sideline reporter on Game of the Week broadcasts. She is also an on-air personality on 103CIR.

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com

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