WMUL featuring Basketball Friday Night in W.Va.
HUNTINGTON -- It looks like one of WMUL's newest sports show is a slam-dunk.
Airing Friday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight, Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia is getting attention from across the state. The show, which provides scores, analysis and news on high school basketball across the state, is syndicated on eight radio stations throughout the Mountain State. The show began as a collaboration with the high school station WFGH in Fort Gay and started airing in late December.
The show is hosted by Ryan Epling, Ric Morrone, James Collier and Rudi Raynes.
"We have reached out through social media and using all of our contacts to get people in and call in every Friday night and give a game update," said Collier, sports director at WMUL. "We have a scoreboard on our landing page that we try to update throughout the entire night. The format is really simple, we try to provide as many scores as possible to listeners. It's a very caller-oriented show as well. Whether you're a fan at a game, broadcaster or columnists, you can discuss that team's game of the night. We try to take as many calls as we can. We've had as many calls as 40 in a three hour show. We also try to set up interviews with coaches and players as specials guests."
Fred Damron of WFGH in Fort Gay had the initial idea.
"He presented the idea of wanting to put something like this together," Collier said. "It was an idea we were kicking around and it presented a need to fill a void for the state of West Virginia. I and the other hosts of the show got together, put in our ideas and everything fell in place. We started Dec. 20, and we have been rolling every Friday Night since."
The show is planning to run through March 21, the Friday after the Boy's State Championship. Plans are already being made for next year's season.
"We want more affiliates to expand our coverage area," Collier said. "The people we've connected to have been amazing. We wanted to make it a truly statewide show and I think we've successfully done that. The feedback has been tremendous. People have told us that something like this is long overdue. Every person we talk to talks about the need for the show and the great job of making it work. Coaches, players and sports columnists throughout the state have contacted us."
Amanda Reesman, promotions director at WMUL thinks the show will help improve the station's visibility.
"We do much more than play music at WMUL," she said. "My job is to make sure that people know we're making an impact not just locally, but also statewide. We have a sports site that runs 4 1/2 hours of original programming. We also do charity events like Hair From the Herd in April."
"I think this show is a wonderful opportunity for our sports staff to learn and deal with presenting sports to a wide audience rather than a local or regional audience," said Dr. Chuck Bailey, faculty manager. "Doing a state-wide show has its own requirements. This provides students with something they can't learn just covering local sports. This is great for WMUL and WFGH."
For scores, live video, past show podcasts, visit http://basketballnight.com/ .
Basketball Night in West Virginia can be found on the following stations:WMUL-FM 88.1 in Huntington, WFGH-FM 90.7 in Fort Gay, WQAZ-LPFM 101.5 in Beckley, WYAP-LPFM 101.7 in Clay, QWAZ-LPFM 98.5 in Edmond, WVOW-AM 1290 in Logan, WVOW-FM 101.9 in Logan and WVKM-FM 106.7 in Matewan.
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