Friday, May 9, 2008

Typically, this is going to be where I share things I find interesting from my daily wanderings on the web, an opinion or two, and some other stuff. If you're reading it today, though, you're probably looking for answers on why I'm leaving my daily show at the Star 99.5. Here's what's going on:

Dating someone in sports broadcasting is tough - we work odd hours, travel a lot, are busy virtually every weekend from August to March, etc. For two people in the field to date is even tougher, because on top of all that career advancement is going to typically lead you to different cities. Long distance works for a while, but eventually you've got to get to the same place. For me, that time has come. As a result, I've accepted a job with WNKT FM in Columbia, SC. It's called 107.5 the Game, and it's the flagship station for Gamecock sports. I'm co-hosting daily from 4 to 7 PM there with my friend Mike Morgan, who you have likely heard discussing South Carolina topics with me when it's been relevant over the years. The station's website is at - you can listen live to the show there as well as check out multiple bad photos of me. (I'm in radio for a reason!)

I've been doing two daily shows and commuting back and forth between Gainesville and Columbia since midway through basketball season. At some point though, as much as I hate to leave Gainesville, I was going to have to pare things down to one show per day. My fiancee's a TV sports anchor in Columbia, so that's where I have to be. The guys at the Star 99.5 couldn't have been better about this whole situation, and we've discussed me rejoining them for regular scheduled guest appearances (like Dooley) beginning at SEC football media days. There's even a chance I'll still be able to host our regular Saturday football pregame show this year, depending on how some scheduling issues work out. I'll update you here on the site once we work out the details about any future on air stuff in Gainesville.

Gainesville is a special place. I've lived here for all but two of the last seventeen years, and it's strange to imagine that soon I won't. I've been incredibly lucky to cover the things I have since I started as a student at WRUF in summer 94 - three Final Fours, back to back basketball national championships, two football national titles, a Heisman Trophy ceremony, and so many great games. The only reason I got to do any of it was because you took the time to listen to me - please know how much I appreciate that you did.

I don't know anything about designing a webpage. As you can tell, this site is still a work in progress and rather primitive at the moment compared to what I hope it can eventually be. We never did get the podcasts up and running on the Star website, but I think I can make that happen here. This blog is a new challenge, and one I'm looking forward to trying to make enjoyable for you to check in on regularly. I'll start regular updates on Tuesday.

I'm not a big believer in drawn out goodbyes on the air. The point of all radio is to entertain you, and that's what we'll strive to do on Monday on what will be my final daily Gainesville show. We'll also introduce you to the person who's going to take over the show's time slot. It will be a very strange feeling for me to know when 1 PM rolls around the show's REALLY over. Hopefully you'll be able to tune in. Thanks again for your support.


Matt Tischler said...

It's sad to hear that your leaving, but I completely understand your motives and wish you the best during your days in Carolina.

You are a brilliant radio personality, atypical of the common sports jockey who revels in sarcasm and situational prejudice. You are well-read and thoroughly researched, and I have come to value your opinions over the years.

I have complete faith that you'll carry the tradition of quality that you created here to every opportunity you're given in life. Please keep in touch with your Gainesville brethren, and break a leg in all your future endeavors.

John said...

Thanks for your professionalism over the years, you have been my favorite talk show guy for years, once Buddy Martin left GGG/MOP. I will miss your fact based approach to sports news. I appreciate you bucking the trend toward knowing less and sensationalizing absolutely everything.
Good luck in SC, I hope to be a regular internet listener to your new show. Best wishes & Godspeed.

scubagator said...

Hey Heath,
I am going to miss all the insight on your show-I have never gravitated to a daily show like yours because most shows are not as straight shooting or as level headed as yours is. It is a great loss for gainesville and the gator nation. First spurrier and now you, man it hurts :) Glad about the site though- thanks for all your hard work!!!!

RAZOR said...

man, someone might fill your time slot, but no one will fill your shoes.

We know what ever you do in Columbia it will be with keen insight and thoughtful perspective. They are lucky to have you.

If we have to deal with regularly scheduled guest appearances...then I guess we will.

Even the majestic of Oak must wither away eventually, and return to the soil from which it sprung. May your boughs bloom brightly.

Dave Cline said...

I remember one end of year situation where you were broadcasting from Selmon's in Tampa. I think you were down for The Hall Of Fame Game or perhaps by then it was The Outback Game. Anyway, I had never had the chance to hear my nephew broadcast so went to Selmon's with your permission to sit in for a little while as you were on the air. We said our howdies, did a little family talk, and then it was time for you to go on. You had a single sheet of paper in front of you with minimal notes and proceeded to do 20 minutes of some or the most amazingly insightful, interesting, yet still entertaining sports radio I had ever heard. I had to leave at that point, but knew that you would not need any help from me so no I have told many people since that if all sports radio personalities were the caliber of my nephew there would be a plethora of sports radio stations all across the country. I meant it then and I mean it today. Now that I am finally retired I will at last be able to listen to you on a daily basis or as often as your aunt Darlene lets I know that Gainesville is truly going to miss you. I also know that Columbia is getting the best in the biz. Dave

Jeremiah said...

Dang, now who will I complain to about the Dolphins, at least on-air? (Lord knows, everybody in my life, especially my wife & child, get enough of it off-air. It's sad when one of the first complete sentences your child successfully says as a two-year-old is "The Dolphins are playing like a bunch of jackasses.")
Seriously, I consume a lot of sports-talk radio from a lot of areas in the country, thanks to the Web, and your show was one of the best. You always have good topics, good information, strong opinions, and the ability to examine all sides of an issue and find the one thing you feel strongly about, and deliver an entire segment about it, then switch up quickly without losing a beat. You could always fill two hours without a single phone call or e-mail, which shows you care about your show, you do your homework, and you recognize that people want to hear good talk, not somebody whine at their audience to call and say things like "Why are there no phone calls?".
I'd like to call every day if I could, but besides having a full-time job, I also realize I'm the only person on the planet that wants to hear my opinions on all things sports, and even I get sick of myself sometimes, so I know my place, which is call or e-mail only when I had something decent to contribute.
Thanks for letting me on-air and reading my e-mails. I tried to be different and have some fun with it.
I look forward to reading your blog and I wish you the best!