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24-hour sports talk radio comes to southern Middle Tennessee

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

WHMT The Ticket LOGOWHMT radio (105.1 FM, 740 AM) became the area’s first 24-hour sports talk radio station when it joined the CBS Sports Radio Network on Aug. 5.

The station, which has been known as ‘Tullahoma Radio’ and ‘The Heart of My Tullahoma’ during recent years, will now be known simply as ‘The Ticket.’

According to General Manager Deuce Anderson, the transition from an adult contemporary music format to a sports talk format is a natural one for the station, which has been Tullahoma’s only licensed radio station since the late 1940s, when it began as WJIG.

“Sports talk radio is the fastest-growing radio format in the country,” said Anderson. “We are excited to be the only radio station in this area with a sports talk format, and the combination of our excellent local sports production and the CBS network programming will be outstanding.”

‘The Ticket’ will continue to offer extensive local sports programming, including Tullahoma High School football, basketball, baseball and softball; Motlow College basketball, and the Tullahoma Sports Plus talk show. Sports Director Scott Shasteen believes the new format will allow the station to expand its local offerings.

“Our first priority will always be Tullahoma sports,” said Shasteen. “Over the past five years we have established ourselves with more local sports programming than any radio station in the area, and our hope is to continue to grow in that direction. The new format helps to enable that growth.

“With a strong signal in Moore County and northern Franklin County, we will incorporate those areas into our sports talk offerings and perhaps into our live event offerings as well,” added Shasteen. “In addition, the sports talk format once again makes the legendary 740 AM signal a highly valuable asset with its daytime reach into Murfreesboro, McMinnville, Pulaski and North Alabama.”

The CBS Sports Radio Network launched in January with a 24-hour, seven-day lineup of sports talk show hosts, including Jim Rome, John Feinstein, Doug Gottlieb, and Tiki Barber and Dana Jacobson in the morning. The network will also offer hundreds of hours of live college and professional sports, including the NFL and the SEC.

“One of the primary attractions of the CBS Sports Radio Network for us is the flexibility it provides,” Anderson added. “We not only can increase our local sports coverage and our local sports talk offerings, but when we are not local our listeners can enjoy a variety of outstanding national sports personalities.

“For example, in addition to the CBS programming and expanded local programming, we are also going to present Alabama Crimson Tide football. Alabama is the premier college football program in the nation, and we are extremely excited to be the only radio station in our listening area to have Eli Gold and Alabama football.”

The new station format launched officially Monday evening Aug. 5, with Shasteen hosting the Sports Plus local talk show. Sports Plus will continue to air live from 6-8 p.m. each Monday.

A new local sports talk show, also hosted by Shasteen and featuring Anderson, has been added to the programming lineup. Live Sports Saturday will air each Saturday from 8-10 a.m. and will recap Friday’s high school games, preview the weekend college and pro games, and take listener calls.