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Familiar voices, new station


Photo
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
KCUB 1290's Ryan Radtke, right, interviews UA head strength and conditioning coach Corey Edmond Wednesday night at Frog n' Firkin, 874 E. University Blvd as part of the station's Arizona Assistant Coaches Show.
By Brett Fera
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 3, 2004
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Jeffries, Radtke join KCUB 1290 radio team

A new coach may be ready to change the face of Arizona football on the field, but it's a pair of familiar voices that are ready to revolutionize the sound of UA football on the airwaves.

Brian Jeffries, entering his 17th season as lead play-by-play announcer for both UA men's basketball and football, joins Ryan Radtke, a 1998 UA graduate, at the new official home for Wildcat sports, KCUB 1290 AM.

"It's a great environment. With primarily a sports station, everybody's really happy to have the Wildcats," said Radtke, who along with Jeffries left KNST 790, the previous carrier of UA sporting events, to be a part of 1290 AM's UA football broadcast team. "They're fired up about the games, and that was tough to achieve in a news-talk environment."

Radtke, who hosted his first UA assistant coach's show Wednesday at Frog & Firkin, 874 E. University Blvd., said he hopes the expanded coverage near campus will help brings students closer to the team.

"To find out about Mark Stoops and Mike Canales and the strength coaches is something I think the fans want," Radtke said. "We would really like to see this for the students. It's close to campus; there are some beer specials. We'd really like to see it become interactive with the coaches."

Tomorrow's gridiron matchup between head coach Mike Stoops' Wildcats and the visiting Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona at Arizona Stadium will be the play-by-play debut for KCUB, owned by the Citadel Broadcasting Company and known, until early this month, as Tucson's local Fox Sports Radio affiliate.

KCUB, now known as "The Source," will team with Lexington, Ky.,-based Host Communications to air the broadcasts.

Host agreed to pay more than $5 million to the UA in exchange for the rights to the broadcast, which will air via KCUB.

The deal marked the end of the university's two-decade partnership with local station KNST 790, owned by Clear Channel Communications.

The change, Radtke said, will only bring better coverage all-around for UA sports, especially football.

"I feel pretty confident speaking for Brian in the fact that I think, like me, he's thrilled. There's more opportunity, more exposure. It's fun. It's just a fun environment to be in."

Host and Citadel will combine to air nearly 10 hours of game-day coverage for UA football games. For games with 7 p.m. start times, for example, the networks will re-air the Mike Stoops Coach's Show, taped earlier in the week, at 3 p.m., hosted by Fox Sports Net television reporter Sean Mooney. For the next two hours of programming on KCUB, Citadel will air a local pre-game show live, hosted by Tucson radio personality Rich Herrera.

Radtke hits the air next, leading Host's hour-long network pre-game coverage before Jeffries and color commentator Lamont Lovett give listeners play-by-play of the game. The evening wraps up with a network post-game show hosted by Jeffries and Lovett, followed by a local post-game show from Citadel.

"When you expand the coverage and step up to the plate, it can only help," Radtke said, noting that the UA football team has the potential to approach UA men's basketball's status as one of the nation's best teams. "For the longest time I really didn't believe that you could have two programs like that. With the leadership Arizona has, I definitely think it can be that kind of school. I just don't see a scenario where Mike Stoops doesn't win at this school. I just don't see it."

In addition the assistant coaches show and his gameday duties, Radtke hosts a weekly radio show on "The Source," which airs from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays.

He said the greatest change for him in the move from KNST to KCUB could be the change in his daily lifestyle.

"It's a lot different. Just my schedule - I used to be on at 7 at night, now I'm on at noon. It's a big change for me. Instead of sleeping until noon and keeping my college schedule, I actually have to get up and go down there."



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