Townsquare Media taking over Panthers' broadcasts

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After more than 70 years on the air, Yates Media is no longer the voice of the Lufkin Panthers.

Lufkin ISD said it was a business decision.

They re-evaluate their contract every two years and said they feel their brand would be better served with a larger audience.

In a written statement, Yates Media says they were given little-to-no information on the status of the contract renewal from the LISD school board.

"We put a proposal together and have wanted to broadcast Lufkin Panther sports and just thrilled to be able to do so this year," said Tami Koonce, General Manager for Townsquare Media.

In a statement Yates Media says "it's unfortunate that an unproven radio group, operated by a corporation out of state, would be given the opportunity to broadcast Lufkin panther sports."

The change comes just weeks after Yates Media owner Stephen Yates was released from a Polk County jail after violating the terms of his felony DWI probation.

"Yates Broadcasting has been a wonderful partner for us through these years, but in the school business, I have to look at every opportunity we can to generate the kind of revenue that we need for our school district and times call for re-evaluation of every kind of service we're provided," said Roy Knight, Lufkin ISD Superintendent.

Football games will be broadcast on KYKS 105 FM.

Baseball and basketball games will be on Q 107 FM.

Gary Ivins, better known as Big Nasty, will continue providing game play-by-plays.

"Getting out there and making relationships with kids and coaches that you'll have long past any kind of broadcast is fantastic and being able to bring that back, what everybody has been so passionate about I really look forward to doing it here," said Ivins.

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Koonce said Q107 will continue to carry Nacogdoches Dragons football games on Q107. She said it has not yet been determined if Townsquare will continue to carry Diboll football games.