Some 16 months ago my job changed. I went from sports anchor/personality on 610 WTVN, to host of "The Drive" with former Buckeye quarterback Stan Jackson on 105.7, The Zone. It was a blast.
I knew I would love working with Stan. We had been working together for a decade on WTVN's Best Buckeye Coverage. They don't come much better than Stan Jackson, as a person, an analyst and a personality. He's one of a kind.
Because of that and my passion for talking sports, there was a lot of disappointment and heartbreak with last Friday's decision to move away from sports on 105.7. I'll miss working with Stan every day. I'll miss being a part of an outstanding team. Before "The Drive" debuted, I contributed to the 105.7, The Zone "Spielman and Hooley" morning show. Everything I said about Stan applies to Bruce Hooley and Chris Spielman. They're great friends and great people.
You can add to that everyone else involved with the Zone, producers Eric Rieser and Mike "Campy" Campana, former morning show co-host Maddie Spielman and our do-everything reporter and social media queen Lori Schmidt. I'm proud to have been associated with all of them and despite the ultimate outcome, I truly believe we had one hell of a product.
My move to the Zone back in September of 2017 was an exciting new challenge but there was some sadness associated with it. I had been Sports Director at WTVN since 2006 and while the plan was for me to maintain that title and contribute to WTVN, leaving for the Zone meant leaving a station I had invested most of my professional life to. It also meant leaving "The Joel Riley Show." We decided I would still do occasional phone segments for Joel, but I had to give up my day-to-day role of doing sportscasts and being a contributing personality. That was hard to give up because Joel and I not only had a great working rapport but we had become good friends.
As I process everything that's happened over the last few days, that's the obvious silver lining. I'm back with Joel. I'm back in a role I really enjoy and I'm back on a station in which I am deeply invested. The other silver lining is Eric, Campy and Lori still have roles either with WTVN or one of iHeart media's other stations in the market.
So I guess it's "out with the new, and in with the old"...but I can't do that without saying thank you. Over the weekend, I can't even count the number of you who reached out to me on Twitter, Facebook, by email or in person. Many were a combination of angry and sad that "The Zone" is no more. Many were concerned about me. Many were excited for the return of my 5:40 am chats with Joel. Whatever the reason, I cannot tell you how much the outpouring has meant to me. I responded to some of you directly, but there were so many comments, I was unable to send a personal thanks to everyone. If I didn't respond to you directly, please know that I saw it and I cannot thank you enough.
Bottom line, I'm blessed to be working with Joel at WTVN again and will give maximum effort to add to his already tremendous show. I'm also blessed to have worked with Bruce and Chris. We're friends and I know that will never change. I'm sure, at 3 o'clock today, I'll have a lump in my throat remembering how blessed I was to work with Stan and Campy. It ended sooner than I thought, but it was worth it...and I'd do it again---in a heart beat.