* The big news of the day for McMurry fans in Abilene is the big change in the radio station that carries our sporting events locally. A couple of years ago we were excited to know that Radio Abilene brought the nationally-syndicated ESPN Radio shows to KZQQ 1560 AM. In bigger markets like Dallas where ESPN Radio is carried on 103.3 FM, there is a mix between the national shows, DFW focused shows and live broadcasts for TCU Basketball and Dallas Mavericks basketball. For Abilene, McMurry got to be a part of the "regional" focus of ESPN Radio in Abilene through our 60+ broadcasts per school year between football, basketball, and baseball. Then, last year Ben Dobson began a weekly, hour-long radio show and I continued that this fall before halting the show this spring. Al Pickett also carried his daily show on 1560 AM, which had some local focus to it and of course, Abilene High School football and Texas Rangers baseball professionally was carried on the show.
However, that all came to an end Wednesday when Radio Abilene dropped ESPN programming and changed to classic-rock programming. Parker Cannan, the Radio Abilene President, said that ESPN had forced the smaller markets that carried the nationally-syndicated sports-talk programming to begin paying monthly fees to air the programming. In the past, in an exchange for air time to air ESPN's coporate sponsors' commercials, the programming was free of charge. You can read more about the reasoning on McMurry's athletics web site or the Abilene Reporter News.
Initial plans are to continue our relationship with KZQQ as it has been successful in the past. However, we will not ignore the growing demand for Internet broadcasting, which in our first full year of audio / video broadcasting on mcmurrysports.com, has been extremely successful.
Marc David continues to write the weekly college notebook for the Abilene Reporter News and Josh Lee was the former McMurry athlete featured this week. Check out Marc's article here which also has tidbits from news around Abilene College athletics at ACU, HSU and McMurry. Lee, the former four-year player for McMurry and coached three seasons at his alma mater, moved to NCAA Division I UT-San Antonio in the offseason as an assistant coach.