Early Sports Programming at WREK

Editor’s note: John Conway worked at WREK during 1975-1977, when the studios were still located on the fifth floor of Georgia Tech’s Electrical Engineering building.

I worked at WREK from 1975 through 1977, and along with Steve Liggett, Steve Ashby, and Dennis McCunniff, we created the first sports department at the station.

We did sports talk, regularly scheduled sports reports, broadcast all the Tech baseball games, home and away, freshman football, and had live update broadcasts from courtside during the basketball games at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. (The studios were in the Electrical Engineering Building at the time.)

One of the shows I did for two and a half years was called The Sports Mike, a weekly call-in sports trivia show on Saturday mornings, which became very popular. We had a number of big-name guests on over the years, including, on occasion, Ted Turner. (I did radio play-by-play for a couple of Braves exhibition games in 1977.) I continued that same basic call-in trivia idea on commercial radio in New York for sixteen years after leaving Tech. I have done professional play-by-play for basketball and baseball and worked as a news reporter, news director, operations manager, and consultant.

Although I lost touch with Steve Ashby, last I heard he was involved in Georgia state politics, Steve Liggett and Dennis McCunniff are both medical doctors, McCunniff in private parctice and Liggett as one of the most respected researchers in the world, now at the University of Cincinnati. Working at WREK was fun, and even the constant battling with the music staff over air time provided fond memories.

– John Conway, <jconway52@hotmail.com>

Edited by Chris Campbell, May 2001