By Shannon Fagan, Sports Editor
CENTRE – WEIS radio broadcast producer and on-air personality Joey Weaver has worked with a few Alabama high school football scoreboard shows in the past.
He’s excited to be producing his own locally with WEIS (100.5 FM, 990 AM in Centre) beginning this September.
Following the station’s live broadcast of the Cherokee County at Piedmont game on Sept. 1, Weaver, along with Tony Hathcock and Drew Hall, will host the WEIS Prep Scoreboard Show until 11:30 p.m. It will replace the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s statewide scoreboard show and will focus more on local scores and interviews.
“It’s not a knock against anyone who does a scoreboard show in the state, but so many times our little schools get left out,” Weaver said. “We have had no control over that, and that’s what we want to take back.
“Out of the three hours we were on the air with the other show (last football season), maybe one school in Cherokee County gets mentioned for brief second. That’s what we want to change. We want our kids, our coaches and our community to get their due diligence, and not just the Cherokee County schools. We want schools like Collinsville, Gaston, Hokes Bluff, Piedmont and Cedartown, Ga., to get theirs as well. That’s what one of the main focuses is going to be.”
The WEIS Prep Scoreboard Show is the latest innovation for the radio station, which is set to begin its 34th season broadcasting football. In the past few years, WEIS has broadened its horizons to reach a larger audience, including an upgraded website to Facebook and Twitter accounts to a high school football preview show (The End Zone Show) on Thursday nights.
Weaver and WEIS radio station owner Jerry Baker are both excited not only for the new show, but to welcome the additions of Hathcock and Hall – both of whom have had previous radio experience.
“Tony has worked in the Gadsden radio market and has done Friday night scoreboards for another broadcaster in Gadsden previously,” Baker said. “He has the experience, the knowledge of the programming and what we expect.
“Drew had a radio show in Huntsville, so he has some experience in broadcasting. Drew coached basketball last season (at Cherokee County High School) and he wanted to do some sportscasting last fall, but since he was coaching, it interfered with him being able to do it. We talked about it and worked on it, and now he’s able to do that.”
Weaver said he hasn’t worked with his new partners before, but is anxious to be part of something new with them.
“Anybody in Calhoun County knows Mike Hathcock (Tony’s father, who is Director of Television Services and Engineering at Jacksonville State and Chief Engineer for WEAC-TV24), so you’re going to get the same delivery with Tony,” Weaver said. “Of course Drew being a coach (of the Lady Warrior softball team), he brings a lot to the table. He knows all the other coaches and can get us in contact with those folks. He’s a sports guru.”
Weaver will not only produce the show, but he’ll also take part in the on-air conversations. That is, when he’s not answering phone calls and chasing down scores.
“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes,” Weaver said. “You’ve got to make sure you keep everything going on the air. You’ve got the phones ringing. You’ve got Twitter. You’ve got Facebook.
You’ve scores coming in on email. With two other guys in the studio as opposed to just me, it’s going to be a lot of help. It really is a team effort.”
And that’s not all WEIS has up its sleeve to make their listeners’ experiences the best they can be.
Baker teased the addition of a sideline reporter joining the Friday night football broadcast personalities of Nolen Sanford and Shane McElwee. Baker said he should be able to announce who might be joining Sanford and McElwee “in the next few days.”
“We have a guy who’s done sports with us, and we’re looking to do some things like that with him,” Baker said. “We just hope to add another dimension to our Friday night high school football game of the week.
The better the content and the better delivery that we can give for our listeners, the community will be the beneficiary of it. They’ll be able to get the information they want. We’re excited for the upcoming season and what we have coming up.”