Tommy Craft had hoped to get his morning show, The Morning Rush, on in the Little Rock market in May. It didn’t work out but six months later it made its debut on new sports talk station the Source 93.3 FM.
The deal came to fruition when former Arkansas basketball star Pat Bradley announced he was leaving The Source in early November. He and former Razorbacks standout quarterback Clint Stoerner began hosting Bradley and Stoerner in the Morning in May.
When Bradley left, station co-owner Steve Renfro, a Northwest Arkansas businessman, contacted Craft, who is the station manager at ESPN 96.3in Fort Smith and has co-hosted The Morning Rush with Derek Ruscin since 2008.
The two parties struck a deal quickly and Stoerner, whose contact was up at the end of this month, was re-signed by Capital City Broadcasting, and joined the Morning Rush. The show began airing Nov. 25.
The partnership means the show that runs weekdays from 6-9 AM not only in the Little Rock market but can also be heard in Fayetteville on 99.5 FM and in Nashville on 105.5 FM. Those stations had run B&S in the morning. The Morning Rush’s other affiliate besides, the strong Fort Smith signal, is Harrison’s 104.3 FM. The Morning Rush is the only all-sports morning show being heard on multiple affiliates.
“It’s great to be back on in Fayetteville and getting on in Little Rock for the first time. Having a Clint, a former player is is great, too,” Craft says. “After the first three weeks we couldn’t be happier.”
The Source program director
Jessica Duff says the stability that Craft and Ruscin bring is refreshing.
“We are getting some consistency a
nd [Craft and Ruscin] are getting in the Little Rock market and teaming up with with Clint, who is an Arkansas icon,” says Duff, who produces Stoerner’s part of the show in the Little Rock studio. “I think that is huge, and Clint is glad to be able to continue talking sports on the radio everyday. It’s a
m job for some, and he has expressed that he is happy he can continue to do it.”
Craft and Ruscin have built a chemistry over the past five years in the Fort Smith studio. With technology they’ve added Stoerner with relative ease in the first month.
“It’s a three-man booth now, so it’s not really the fact that we can’t see each other, but just getting the timing down of when I talk, when Derek talks and when Clint talks. It’s just trying to adjust to those patterns. It’s getting better every day,” Craft says.
Filling the vacant slot Bradley, who recently announced he’s returning to 103.7 The Buzz, left is a big item checked off Duff’s to-do list.
She hopes 2014 brings more stability to the station that has operated with a sports talk format for more than a year. The Source has experienced turnover with talent and behind the scenes when station manager Jon Davis left shortly before Bradley. Duff has assumed some of Davis’ roles and with some order hopes to add a local show from 9-11 AM, which would give the station local programing from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Little Rock TV sports anchor Wess Moore co-hosts Game On with former Arkansas running back Michael Smith (with an appearance from Northwest Arkansas TV sports anchor Mike Irwin) from 11 a.m. to 2 and from 2 to 7 p.m., the station runs statewide show Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly.
“I think having local programming from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. is a big deal,” Duff says.