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Catamount Sports Network Sets 2007 Football Broadcast Lineup, Network Affiliates

Aug. 20, 2007

Cullowhee, N.C. - Six radio stations, including the return of a familiar staple of Catamount athletics, are lined up to broadcast the Catamount Sports Network's coverage of 2007 Catamount football this season. In addition, the broadcast team for the fall has been established with two-year sideline reporting veteran, Brandon Stephens, stepping into the booth along side the "Voice of the Catamounts," Gary Ayers with Steven Crumpler serving as an on-site engineer/producer.

WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee will again serve as the flagship station of the network, housing the network coupler 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 past three seasons. 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.

After a one-year hiatus, 680 AM WRGC in Sylva will again join CSN's coverage of WCU football. A staple of Catamount coverage over the years, Jackson County radio, WRGC, is the local source for news, weather and information of interest to the local community. They were also recently featured in an article in the New York Times. WRGC provides an adult format with "today's hits and yesterday's favorites," with live, local announcers.

Another addition to the CSN lineup is 920 AM WPTL in Canton, N.C., which features a "great blend of today's stars and legends of country music." WPTL, a locally-oriented, full-service radio station, features a live morning show with John Anderson and the best country music along with hourly news, weather and community events.

Returning for the '07 season are 1480 AM WPFJ, The Dove in Franklin; 1590 AM WBHN in Bryson City; and 1600 AM WTZQ in Hendersonville.

WPFJ 1480 the Dove is Franklin, North Carolina's only locally owned and operated radio station, offering listeners in Franklin and Macon County the best in Contemporary Christian and Southern Gospel music, as well as some of the top speakers and preachers in the country. WPFJ also offers live local web cameras on their website (www.wpfj.com ) of downtown Franklin and the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.

WTZQ 1600 AM has built a reputation of being a locally-based, community-involved radio station. Its unique music mix is augmented with regional news, local news, weather and Henderson County current events - along with Henderson County's most popular morning show, "The Good Morning Show with Randy & Tiffany."

For the first time since 1970, broadcasts of Western Carolina University Catamount football will be void - with the exception of feature pieces - of the sports information legend, Steve White, who has been a full-time part of the Catamount Sports Network (CSN) since his retirement from full-time work at WCU in 1998.

However, there will be numerous familiar voices returning to call all of the exciting action for the 2007 season. Gary Ayers returns as the play-by-play voice of the football, and for the third-consecutive year, Brandon Stephens will be a part of the Catamount Sports Network coverage moving from the sidelines to the press box as the play analyst.

Ayers has been behind the play-by-play microphone for WCU's football and basketball games in 21 of the past 22 years and has been a familiar voice to the region's sports fans for over three decades. In addition to serving as the "Voice of the Catamounts," the Swain County native has done play-by-play for Pisgah High, Tuscola High, Franklin High, Cherokee High and Swain High football and basketball. Ayers is also employed by Allison's Outdoor Advertising.

Stephens, who also works as the Sports Director at WRGC, has handled play-by-play for the Lady Catamount basketball team for the past thee years as a part of a radio career that spans two decades. He additionally calls the action for Smoky Mountain High School football and basketball. This year, the Sylva native moves from the sidelines into the broadcast booth to handle the color analyst, as well as coach interviews. Stephens also worked briefly in Raleigh for the North Carolina News Network covering college sports while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Slated to have a larger role in CSN's coverage of football is Steven Crumpler, who joins the team as an on-site engineer after serving as an announcer in Lady Catamount basketball broadcasts over the past three seasons. A 14-year veteran of radio, Crumpler is a former program coordinator of WWCU-FM in Cullowhee. Before arriving in Cullowhee, Crumpler served as the student station manager at WSIF-FM in Wilkesboro, NC while obtaining his associates degree in broadcasting from Wilkes Community College in 1997. During the same period, Crumpler also worked as an announcer for the 100,000-watt super station WKBC-FM/AM in North Wilkesboro.

CSN's broadcasts will include an hour pre-game show beginning one-hour prior to kickoff with features such as interviews with student-athletes, offensive coordinator Doug Malone, defensive coordinator Don Powers, as well as head coach Kent Briggs, and a weekly look "Inside the Southern Conference." The pre-game will also feature a look at the Catamount Calendar, as well as score updates from around the SoCon, Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) top 25 and around the nation. The halftime show will include specials pieces from Steve White, as well as the All-Western feature.

The first broadcast of the Catamount Sports Network will be Saturday, Sept. 1 as Western visits Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Game time is set for 6:00 pm CT / 7:00 pm ET, with the broadcast air time set for 6:00 pm ET across the CSN stations.

 

2007 Catamount Sports Network Football Affiliates:

Streaming Audio/Video through www.CatamountSports.com

WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 - Cullowhee (www.WWCUFM.com)

680 AM WRGC - Sylva (www.WRGC.com)

920 AM WPTL - Canton (www.WPTLRadio.com)

1480 AM WPFJ, The Dove - Franklin (www.WPFJ.com)

1590 AM WBHN - Bryson City

1600 AM WTZQ - Hendersonville (www.WTZQ.com)

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