A year after he left 103.7 the Buzz, mid-day show personality Pat Bradley returns to the sports and entertainment station that gave him his big break.
The station made the announcement Thursday night at the Christmas Karaoke event at Verizon Arena. Bradley, who begins his second stint Feb. 5th, joined his former The Zone show co-host and The Buzz program, director, Justin Acri, and The Zone producer, Matt Travis, on stage to perform along with other Buzz personalities and local celebrities.
“I’m excited to have him back. It’s been an interesting year, and I think we’ve both grown professionally this year being in different settings and not working together,” Acri says. “I think it’s going to be a great 2014 with Pat on board.”
Bradley, a former University of Arkansas standout basketball player, left The Buzz last February to host his own morning show at startup KKSP Sports 93.3 The Source. However, Bradley left The Source last month just, six months after he and former Razorbacks quarterback Clint Stoerner began airing Bradley & Stoerner in the Morning weekdays from 6-9 AM.
“For me, it feels good to be back in a place where there is great support, and the atmosphere around here is a family one,” says Bradley. “It’s a team atmosphere, and it’s great to be back on a strong team that is going the right direction.”
Bradley knew of the challenges that awaited him at the new station that lacks the strength of the signal The Buzz possesses.
“It’s tough, and that’s how it is always going to be when you start things from scratch almost. I knew that. I think my ideas … I think maybe I was thinking too far ahead of what we could really get done,” Bradley says. “It was just kind of frustrating in that way.”
Bradley isn’t the only one who has parted ways. Other employees, including station manager Jon Davis have left recently. Former Arkansas guard Blake Eddins and Rex Nelson canceled their Monday evening show, Weekly Fried shortly before Bradley announced his resignation.
“It’s an opportunity I looked at, and it was a tough decision,” Bradley says. “Looking back on it, there were a lot of tough decisions. Things happen for a reason, and I am glad I am back where I am. I’m fortunate to be back and have the opportunity to come back to a better situation. I think I’m better and everyone around me is better as well.”
The co-hosts’ friendship grew in the six years they worked together the first time. The friendship didn’t end when Bradley resigned at The Buzz. As the two stayed in contact, Acri sensed Bradley was unhappy.
His co-host seat was still open as Acri never filled it, instead using a rotation of guest co-hosts.
“We hadn’t filled his position full time, so things kind of worked out,” Acri says. ‘We’re happy that it did.
“I felt like the quality of the show was good this year, but I thought something was missing without a consistent person in there as our third person. Matt Travis, our producer, and I, I think have done a pretty good job of bringing people in without Pat with some of the other co-hosts along the way. I certainly thank them for their time, they were great. But it just quite hasn’t been the same without the consistency.”
Acri says he has “a lot of respect for Pat and what he thinks about things in the world of sports and pop culture,” and that the show won’t change much.
“It wasn’t broken before. It was going extremely well. I don’t think we will try to do anything too significantly different to reinvent the wheel. We will keep doing what we were doing before, which was having a lot of fun. Hopefully, the listeners will be able to hear that on the air.”
Bradley says he is looking forward to “trading jabs with my good friend and enjoying some intelligent conversation.” The Razorbacks record-setting three-point shooter will also enjoy ditching his 4 a.m. wake-up call that had been the norm. Now, he doesn’t have to be on-air until 10 a.m.
“This is much better for my body,” Bradley says. “I was going to bed at midnight and getting up at four. I’m going to live at least another 15 years. I don’t know if that is good for the world or not.”
While he waits for his non-compete clause to expire, Bradley says he is helping Acri with show prep “and getting back into the routine of being [at the station],” Bradley says.
“I just can’t show up on Feb. 5, and do the show. I’ve gotta get back into the routine, so that’s what I’ve been dong.”