The Catamount Sports Network (CSN) is the audio and video broadcast service for Western Carolina University's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Three of Western Carolina's men's sports - football, basketball, and baseball - are currently broadcast on the radio and with online audio on a full-time schedule through the year, with a select number of Catamount women's basketball and softball games also broadcast online.
Beginning in 2014, the Southern Conference Digital Network (SDN) began operations with the Catamount Sports Network providing audio / video coverage of Western Carolina home events. The online broadcasts are free-of-charge and available at SoConDigitalNetwork.com. In the 2016-17 season, CSN also expanded to incorporate broadcasts on ESPN3 and ESPN+ including football, volleyball, men's basketball, and women's basketball.
Seven radio station affiliates across North Carolina and streaming audio online at CatamountSports.com are set to carry football broadcasts of the Catamount Sports Network (CSN) during Western Carolina’s 2019 season. Two of those remain on-board for Catamount men's basketball season with women's hoops, baseball, and softball primarily broadcast online CatamountSports.com.
The Catamounts have a strong presence on the air across the mountains of Western North Carolina including WISE Sports Radio 1310 AM and 102.9FM out of Asheville; 540 AM and 105.7 FM WRGC “The River” in Sylva; 1050 AM and 104.9 FM WFSC in Franklin and north Georgia; and WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5, which originates on-campus in Cullowhee.
Check below for a complete listing of the Catamount Sports Network's affiliate stations.
CSN has also again partnered with Stretch Internet (www.stretchinternet.com) to provide unlimited free streaming audio through the athletics web site, CatamountSports.com, giving WCU a worldwide reach.
Catamount Sports Network Personalities:
Longtime play-by-play voice of the Catamounts, Gary Ayers, returns to the microphone this football season and will be flanked by returning crew members in producer Jeff Bryson and WCU alum, Greg McLamb, who will both patrol the sidelines on road games and provide color commentary for home broadcasts. Another WCU alum will again join the broadcast during the 2019 season as Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations – and WCU football contact – Daniel Hooker will join Ayers and Bryson in the broadcast booth during games played away from Cullowhee for color commentary.
Ayers has been behind the microphone for 33 of the past 34 years at WCU and has been a familiar voice to the region’s sports fans for over four decades. In addition to serving as the “Voice of the Catamounts,” on football and men’s basketball broadcasts, the Swain County native has done play-by-play for Pisgah, Tuscola, Franklin, Cherokee and Swain high school football and basketball. Ayers, who retired from Allison Outdoor Advertising in Sylva, also spent several seasons as the public address announcer for WCU Athletics.
Bryson serves as the program’s producer, as well as the in-booth host of the pregame, halftime and post-game shows. His radio experience dates back over 30 years. During that time, he has worked at a variety of stations including WZZU-FM in Raleigh; WCHL-AM in Chapel Hill; WKSF-FM in Asheville; and served as the program director at WRGC-AM in Sylva. Bryson is no stranger to the Catamount Sports Network as he previously worked with CSN providing color analysis for football and men’s basketball for the 1995 and ‘96 seasons. Additionally, he has provided various play-by-play football and basketball broadcasts for Smoky Mountain, Franklin, Cherokee and Pisgah high schools. Bryson, too, has served as a Public Address voice for WCU Athletics, while also working with WCU’s basketball crew for in-house ESPN television productions.
McLamb – a 2000 graduate of WCU – will roam and report from the sidelines for a 13th-straight season after joining the CSN crew on-the-air in 2007. His radio experience also includes stints on the weekly sports talk shows, “Sports Talk Live” and “In the Litterbox,” both produced on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5. McLamb also works on-campus as an Academic Advisor at Western Carolina.
Aiding with pre-production work and as on-air talent as the color commentary on road games is WCU Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations, Daniel Hooker, who is also a part of Catamount men’s basketball and baseball broadcasts. A 2001 Western Carolina graduate, his sportscasting experience began in 1997 as a student announcer at WWCU-FM in Cullowhee and includes both play-by-play and color analyst roles in broadcasting Catamount women’s basketball, Thomasville Hi-Toms baseball in the Coastal Plain League, and two seasons on broadcasts of the Charleston Swamp Foxes in the arenafootball2 league. He also spent one season on the sidelines during CSN’s 2001 football coverage. Hooker also provides play-by-play during home ESPN broadcasts for football, volleyball, basketball, and baseball.
Each week, the pregame tailgate show starts 60 minutes prior to the scheduled kickoff time and includes comments from WCU eighth-year head coach Mark Speir, highly-anticipated in-game scoreboard updates, as well as other special features including the loveable “Two-Minute Drill” with Greg McLamb for a lighter-side look at Catamount football.
The Catamount Sports Network broadcasts using the Tie-Line i-Mix G3 unit, with network breaks transmitted on-location. Also in use are a six-channel Shure M367 mixer and a Shure PGX2/SM58 Handheld Transmitter and PGX4 Diversity Receiver.
2019 Catamount Sports Network Affiliates (Sports):
WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 - Cullowhee, N.C. (Football, Men's Basketball)
540 AM / 105.7 FM WRGC "The River" - Sylva, N.C. (Football, Men's Basketball)
1050 AM / 104.9 FM WFSC - Franklin, N.C. (Football)
WISE Sports Radio 1310 AM / 102.9 FM WISE - Asheville, N.C. (Football)
Online at www.CatamountSports.com
2019-20 Catamount Sports Network Affiliate Bios:
WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee again serves as the hub of the network coupler and Internet up-link from which the broadcast will be disseminated. A broadcast service of Western Carolina University, WWCU is a classic hits station with many specialty shows. The station has carried a variety of Catamount athletic events on its airwaves over the years. In addition to broadcasting CSN's coverage of football, men's and women's basketball, WWCU has also carried Catamount soccer from the Southern Conference and NCAA Championships, as well as Catamount baseball and softball broadcasts.
A staple of Catamount coverage over the years, 540 AM & 105.7 FM WRGC, "The River," is the local source for news, weather and information of interest to the local community. WRGC returned to the airwaves at its new strength of 5,000 watts in April, 2012. WRGC plays a variety mix of music with both national and local news and remains a big part of the Jackson County community and a staple of Catamount coverage.
1050 AM & 104.9 FM WFSC - Franklin's First Voice is the heritage community radio station in Franklin/Macon County, N.C. The station also simulcasts on 104.9 FM. With a full-service format that focuses on local news, sports, weather and community events, WFSC has a unique relationship with its community dating back to 1957 when WFSC signed on the air as the first radio station in Macon County and the first broadcast voice in far western North Carolina. Broadcasting 24 hours daily, seven days per week, "Franklin's First Voice" - 1050 WFSC's format consists of heavy local news and information focused on the residents of Macon County. A member of the Georgia-Carolina Radiocasting Group, WFSC celebrated its 55th year on the air in May of 2012 by increasing its broadcast strength to 5,000 watts.
Asheville, N.C. / Canton, N.C.
WISE Sports Radio 1310 AM & 102.9 FM is based out of Asheville and simulcasts on WYSE 970 AM in Canton, N.C., and on the FM dial at 97.3 FM. The three stations are members of the six-station Asheville Radio Group which also includes Mix 96.5 FM WOXL; 98.1 FM the RIVER and 105.9 The Mountain. 1310 and 970 carries Fox Sports Radio programming while producing its own local afternoon show, the WISE Guys - Western North Carolina's only local sports talk show.