So as not to bury the lede, I’ve got a bit of news: Friday will be my final day at South Carolina Radio Network and SportsTalk.
Earlier this month I made the decision to leave from my role as Sports Director to accept a job outside of the media.
I’ve got to say, that feels pretty strange to write. I’ve been a part of this organization in some form or fashion since I walked through the door as an intern in 1999. I’ve spent pretty much my entire adult life here. I’ve been a part of over 3,000 shows, anchored over 7,000 sportscasts and posted thousands of stories and commentaries in this very space. I’d like to think some of that work was pretty decent even though I know some of it probably wasn’t.
Every bit of it was fun though, that I do know.
When I was a kid, around eight or nine years old, I used to make-believe I was on the radio and do sports casts from my bedroom. I recorded them into the tape deck of a boom box and played them back and imagined it was me on the radio talking to a huge audience. It was my dream to be on the radio and having the opportunity to live that dream has been an extremely gratifying experience.
I’ve been lucky enough to cover everything from the Super Bowl to the Independence Bowl and lots of things in between. Sure, experiences like the Fiesta Bowl and the Final Four were amazing, but nothing will top the people I’ve met along the way. Sports truly are about the people and I will forever cherish the relationships that I have been fortunate enough to build.
The coaches I covered, my colleagues, our great affiliates, and of course, all of the listeners and readers who have been kind enough to engage in a robust and spirited sports conversation with me for the past 15 years are what has made this a truly special experience.
The old “there are too many people I want to thank to name them all” cliché is definitely in play here. I don’t have the space to thank them all, but I do want to mention a couple of people.
First and foremost I have to thank my wife and family for supporting me as I spent most nights and weekends away from them covering South Carolina sports.
I owe my start in this business to Keven Cohen, who didn’t hang up on me when I called him my junior year in and kindly begged him to let me come in and learn about the radio business. Then there is Mike Morgan, who took me under his wing early and became one of my best friends inside and outside of the media.
And, of course, Phil Kornblut. My mentor, my sounding board, and most importantly my friend. From a sports standpoint, Korn and I are polar opposites. He’s a Celtics fan, I am a Laker guy. He pulls for the Yankees, I pull for the Dodgers. We’ve probably had about 1.7 million debates over the years about everything from the designated hitter to Donald Trump. I think he would be the first to tell you that I have won all of them.
All kidding aside, Korn and I have crossed a lot of rivers together and no one has taught me more or means more to me in this business than Phil Kornblut. Working alongside him on SportsTalk was an honor and privilege.
So long, friends
In case you haven’t noticed, I am not very good at goodbyes. I usually just ghost people at parties and social gatherings.
That said, in this current media climate, I should say that this is a decision that I made myself. This isn’t a layoff or a buyout. SportsTalk is as strong as ever. It has over three decades of street cred and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The fact of the matter is a great opportunity outside of the media presented itself and I am extremely excited about the next chapter in my professional life. I’ve had an opportunity to live my dream for the past 15 years and now I am ready to go chase my next one. I am definitely looking forward to new challenges and having more time to spend with my family—even though it means I am going to have to buy a ticket at the next sporting event I cover.
Whatever am I going to do without that media buffet?
I owe so much to my Learfield family. My bosses Scott Brandon, Ashley Byrd and Bill Pollock have been amazing people whose support and guidance have been invaluable to me. The entire South Carolina Radio Network team, Tom “Professor” Hayes, Matt Long, Jared Rogers-Martin and Bill Dubensky; they are incredible, first class people that made it fun to come to work each day.
Last but not least, I want to again thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your sports experience. Maybe you didn’t always agree with me. Heck, maybe you NEVER agreed with me. But either way, I hope you at least enjoyed the dialogue. I know I did. It was a pleasure talking sports with you all these years.
Thank you for making this kid’s dream come true.