ETSU launches new Buccaneer Sports Network

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 12, 2003) - The East Tennessee State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Tuesday that it will begin a new, in-house radio and television network beginning with the 2003-'04 season.

In cooperation with the ETSU Communications Department, the Buccaneer Sports Network will produce live radio broadcasts of ETSU athletic events, a weekly radio coaches show, live audio streaming of games through www.etsubucs.com, a weekly television show highlighting all of the department's 17 programs, as well as daily reports on a local sports radio show.

"This is a project we've been working on for some time now, and we're extremely pleased with what this network will provide for both our program and our fans," said ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dave Mullins. "Our fans will be able to learn more about our program through this network and our games will be easier to find on the radio. One of the goals of this network was to expand our radio reach from just east of Knoxville all the way to Wytheville, Va. We have reached that goal."

WJCW-AM 910, a long-time supporter of ETSU athletics, will once again act as the flagship station for the network, while as many as eight other stations have agreed to broadcast games and the weekly coaches show. The list of stations includes:


WJCW-AM (910) in Tri-Cities
WKIN-AM (1320) in Kingsport
WCSK-FM (90.3) in Kingsport
WRGS-AM (1370) in Rogersville, Tenn.
WSWV-AM & FM (1570 & 105.5) in Pennington Gap, Va.
WNRG-AM (940) in Grundy, Va.
WMJD-FM (97.7) in Grundy, Va.
WCRR-AM (660) in Rural Retreat, Va.

As for the television component of the network, Charter Communications has agreed to broadcast the weekly show on its local channel Tri-Cities TV 13, while Comcast Cable will broadcast to the remaining households in the area on its Community Channel 14. Thursday nights at 7 p.m. is the tentative broadcast time for the show.

According to ETSU Director of Athletic Media Relations Michael White, there is room for more affiliates and the drive for sponsorship is still underway.

"Ideally, we would like to add two more stations to the network - especially one west of Johnson City in the Morristown and Greeneville areas," White said. "However, the radio stations we already have on the network provide advertisers a large umbrella of listeners throughout the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia area."

As part of the Buccaneer Sports Network project, ETSU has named local radio personality Jay Sandos as the "Voice of the Bucs." Sandos, who acted as play-by-play man during ETSU's 2002-03 men's basketball season, will carry those same duties for football this season and will serve as host of the weekly coaches radio show and the television broadcast.

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to do this," Sandos said. "Working at the Division I level as a broadcaster has been my dream for a long time and now it is becoming a reality. My job is to produce radio and television programming for ETSU that raises the standard. What fans will hear and see this season will be something totally different from the past."

Part of this new format will be an hour-long pre-game and post-game show for both football and men's basketball. The Sophisticated Otter Restaurant in Johnson City will act as the pre-game and post-game host for the show and fans will be encouraged to participate.

"We want fans to ask questions and be a part of the broadcast," Sandos said. "There are plans for a sideline reporter too, so we're going to be all over the place during our broadcasts. Without a doubt there will be more energy and more excitement when you listen to the game."

Fans are encouraged to visit etsubucs.com for more information on the network, and interested affiliates or sponsors can contact Michael White at 423.439.4220 or via e-mail at whitem@mail.etsu.edu.

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