Uncertain future for local 1260 ESPN Radio

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - ESPN 1260 is the only sports talk radio station for the Deep East Texas area and according to one ESPN show Monday afternoon, there's talk it may not be around much longer.

Ivins, also known as "Big Nasty," said the talk may have something to do with recent Arbitron ratings where there are 24 stations in Ivin's rated market and ESPN was at 23. However, a flood of listeners called in to Ivin's show where they talked about how they didn't want the show to go off the air.

"You're on the Big Nasty show, who's calling?" asked ESPN Radio 1260 Big Nasty Show Host Gary Ivins.

"What's up Nasty this is Jeremy...Keep 1260 ESPN Radio on the air," responded the caller.

"I think ESPN really has a big following you know not only my show, but even nationally if you want to listen to sports talk it's really the only show in town," Ivins said.

Local listeners aren't thrilled with the idea of ESPN radio going silent.

"We moved back about five years ago to the Lufkin area after living in the big city where you've got tons of options for sports talk radio and there was not here and we considered getting Sirius or XM to get sports talk radio, but at that time ESPN 1260 came on the air and it was fantastic," said Listener Jessie Bonner.

Listeners like Bonner have come to love to listen to the personality of the only sports radio talk show in the area.

"What Nasty brings is a local perspective and if he was to, if his show was to go off air, we just wouldn't get that local perspective," Bonner said.

"I hope Big Nasty's show stays on the air," said a young Wesley Bonner.

Ivins said he's tried to give his ESPN radio show a local feel, and now he's just hoping it sticks around.

"All I know is what happened on Friday with the programming change," Ivins said.  "I was told that was just a music test, but I've been told there's things in the works as well. So, to answer your question, I do not know what's going to go on. All I can say is it's been two years, it's been a great time and I hope it'll continue. But, right now I don't have the answer to that question."

For now, Ivins said we'll have to wait and see what the future brings.

"You think you have listeners out there that really care about it, but you really don't know," Ivins said.  "But, when you get called like that it really feels good and makes you feel good and I hope that the two years that I put in the area, I hope people have had a good time because I know I've made a lot of friends and acquaintances that I know I never would've been able to do without that show and it's something I'll always hold close to my heart."

Ivins said other radio stations will be around to cover local sports.  Numerous attempts were made to contact the owner of the station, Steven Yates, however there has been no response.

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