RADIO WAVES

The Catamount Sports Network returns to the Asheville and Charlotte markets

By DANIEL HOOKER ’01

The Western Carolina Department of Athletics has announced the signing of a two-year agreement with ESPN Radio 1310 AM (Big WISE) in Asheville to join the Catamount Sports Network for coverage of Catamount football beginning in 2012 and the return of the network to the Charlotte market.

The addition of Asheville’s ESPN Radio 1310 AM, which simulcasts on WYSE 970 AM in Canton, expands the Catamount Sports Network’s footprint across Western North Carolina. The deal adds an over-the-air presence for CSN in Buncombe County, which has the largest concentration of WCU alumni in the state.

From left, Randy Eaton; Ken Carson, operations manager with the Asheville Radio Group; Pat Ryan, co-host of ‘The Wise Guys’ radio show; and Mark Speir MAEd ’95 celebrate the addition of ESPN radio.

“We are very excited about the addition of ESPN Radio 1310 and 970 AM to the Catamount Sports Network in carrying Catamount football,” said Randy Eaton, WCU director of athletics. “With such a large portion of our fan base and alumni located within the listenership of both 1310 AM and 970 AM, this partnership is a big victory for Catamount athletics. This will greatly increase the exposure of Catamount athletics across our region.”

ESPN Radio 1310 AM is home to “The Wise Guys,” Western North Carolina’s only local daily sports show. First-year football Head Coach Mark Speir MAEd ’95 has been a weekly guest on “The Wise Guys” afternoon show every Tuesday since mid-April after becoming WCU’s 13th head coach all-time in late December 2011.

This year also brings WCU football back to the airwaves in the Charlotte metropolitan area with the addition of two stations that bracket the Queen City. The CSN welcomes 1150 AM WAVO of Charlotte/Rock Hill, S.C., back to the network after a one-year hiatus and its sister station, 1270 AM WCGC in Belmont/Gaston County.

A total of nine stations across North and South Carolina are set to carry CSN broadcasts of the during the 2012 football season, with six stations returning to the fold.

“As the Catamount Sports Network continues to grow, so does the accessibility for our alumni and fans, while also enhancing the network advertising power for our corporate sponsors, said Larry Arbaugh ’79, WCU associate athletic director for external operations. We additionally hope that this outreach will also encourage fans to make the trip to E.J Whitmire Stadium for as many games as possible this fall.”

2012 Catamount Sports Network football affiliates

90.5 FM WWCU – Cullowhee

540 AM WRGC – Sylva

920 AM WPTL – Canton

970 AM WYSE – Canton

1050 AM WFSC – Franklin

1150 AM WAVO – Charlotte/ Rock Hill, S.C.

1270 AM WCGC – Belmont/ Gaston County

1300 AM WISE – Asheville

1600 AM WTZQ – Hendersonville

Online at www.catamountsports.com