The programming schedule for Sports Talk 99.5 will undergo a few changes beginning Monday, Jan. 25, with one local show moving to a different time slot and another show making its debut.
“The Randy Kennedy Show” (featuring Creg Stephenson) will move from its current 7-10 a.m. timeslot to a 3-6 p.m. time slot. Helping fill the void the morning slot the Kennedy show had filled will be “The Press Box” featuring Mike Grace, Chris Stewart and J.D. Byars.
Kennedy and Stephenson had built a good following in the morning time slot but, according to Kennedy, had wanted to move the show to the afternoon, where the duo got its start on WNSP prior to joining Sports Talk 99.5. The introduction of “The Press Box” makes the move possible.
“I have thought, and Creg agrees, that our show is better suited for the afternoons, but the reason we put it in the mornings is because we didn’t have a viable alternative for the mornings that we thought was good enough,” Kennedy said. “For several months I’ve been working with these guys — Mike Grace, Chris Stewart and J.D. Byars — to try and figure out if we could make something work for the morning drive. Finally, we logistically got things worked out.
“We’re the only station that’s going to be running this show, but if they want to go to 100 stations around the world, that would be great. But we’ll be the flagship station for the show. As soon as I was able to get those guys to say, ‘We can make it work,’ then we decided to make the move.”
It will be an interesting concept for “The Press Box” as all three hosts are set in different cities. Grace, well-known in the local area for his sports broadcasting over the years, is stationed in Atlanta. Stewart, who works for the University of Alabama broadcasting team, including play-by-play work for the baseball and men’s basketball teams, is located in Birmingham. Byars, the play-by-play man for South Alabama football who also does radio and TV work for other USA sports, is located in Mobile.
“There are some advantages to that because it’s a local show but it also has a bit of outside play or two,” Kennedy said. “Chris is the host of the Nick Saban Show and the Nate Oats Shows, so we get a bit of that, and it will all be set into one feed. It will sound like all of those guys are sitting right here in Mobile.”
Kennedy said not just counting being able to sleep later each morning he likes the change.
“I hope it’s a big deal,” he said. “I think Creg and I were always better suited for the afternoon. The morning slot you have to be a little more newsy. … I want to talk about the things that I think people are interested in and are fun and show personality and those types of things and we’ll be able to do more of that in the afternoon. … When we first started, I got a lot of feedback where people said they loved the show but they wished we were in the afternoon. Now we’re finally going to be able to do that.”
Kennedy noted there are other changes ahead, but he was not at liberty to discuss those at this time.
As for the daily lineup, Monday through Friday, the station will carry the “Clay Travis Show” from 5-7 a.m., with “The Press Box” holding the 7-9 a.m. slot. The third hour of the syndicated Travis show will then play from 9-10 a.m.
Each weekday from 10-11 a.m. will feature an “insider” show, with The Reese’s Senior Bowl on Mondays (with the bowl’s executive director Jim Nagy), South Alabama athletics on Tuesday (with Doug Konkel), prep sports on Wednesday (with Ben Thomas of AL.com), Alabama Crimson Tide on Thursday (with Jimmy Stein) and Auburn on Fridays (hosted by Kennedy). Those programs will be replayed the following day from 2-3 p.m. On Monday in the 2-3 time slot will be a new show, “Weekend Recap,” hosted by Kennedy, which will feature “best of” segments based on news of the previous weekend. More details on the show will be presented later.
The daily program schedule will also include “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from Fox Sports from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each weekday and Fox Sports programming beginning at 6 p.m. until the local programming schedule picks up the next day.
In other news involving Sports Talk 99.5, Kennedy said the station will be the official station for the Reese’s Senior Bowl this year, with Byars handling play-by-play and Kennedy color commentary of the Jan. 30 game at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the South Alabama campus. The game is set to begin at 1:30 p.m., but pregame programming is planned, beginning at 1 p.m.
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