Sixteen years ago, a young man had an idea for an outdoor radio program. At the time, he was doing Natchitoches Central football as a color analyst with Chris Boyd who did the play-by-play. Chris was an outstanding sports broadcaster and a great mentor to this young man as he learned a lot under his tutelage. During this time, NC football was not a great program and on this particular night, they were at West Monroe (Louisiana’s top high school football program at that time). It was 42-0 at the half, and during a commercial break, the young man pitched his outdoor radio show idea to Chris who thought it was a great idea and encouraged him to pursue it.
After getting a full endorsement from Chris, the enthusiastic young man approached a local radio station to carry the show and was told, “It’ll never work; already tried and no one would buy advertising for it.” Hmmmm…. After a lot of explaining and begging, the young man finally got the station owner to let him buy the airtime. The station owner offered a monthly figure it would cost and gave him three weeks to try and sell it. Obviously, the station owner had basically told the young man that this would never happen. Bound and determined to prove him wrong, he immediately started reaching out to businesses that he felt would benefit from such a program. Any business related to the hunting or fishing world was on his radar, and in most cases, there was a personal connection.
One reason the young man believed he could make such a program work was due to the great list of contacts he had related to the bass fishing world, both from a business standpoint and personal relationships he had with professional anglers. He made these connections due to the level of tournament fishing he was competing on with the FLW Tour and B.A.S.S. Opens. Formatting a show would be the easy part. Gaining sponsors would be more difficult since only a handful of people had tried producing this type of radio program. A few had tried, but all had failed.
Two days after walking out of the radio station, the young outdoorsman walked back into the office. He announced to the station owner that he had secured 14 sponsors and was ready to roll! The look on the owner’s face was of shock and dismay, to say the least. He asked how he did it and wanted details. Well, the young outdoorsman surely wasn’t going to reveal his selling strategy but did tell the station owner one important part of his success. There was a difference between the station owner’s sales staff trying to sell this type of programming versus the young outdoorsman; he wholeheartedly believed in what he was selling and knew the program would be a success. That’s when the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show was born in February of 2007!
Yes, the young outdoorsman with radio dreams was yours truly. Over the course of sixteen years, the show went from local radio to regional, and even a nationally known radio station by way of KWKH. KWKH is a legendary Shreveport radio station known by listeners all across the country, which at the time switched from country music to all sports talk and became the official home of LSU Sports. This gave the HUTD Show a built-in audience with KWKH, and we quickly gained more traction as word spread about the level of our programming. We interviewed the greatest names in the bass fishing world… Kevin Van Dam, Skeet Reese, Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Ray Scott, Mark Zona, and Rick Clunn to name a few. By having the top professional anglers in the country appear, the HUTD Show obtained instant credibility.
Today, the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show continues to set the bar for great outdoor radio entertainment as we talk hunting and fishing on a weekly basis with the greatest names in the industry. There are also two guys who have helped make this program the success it has enjoyed…my two co-hosts, KISS Country radio legend Gary McCoy and H&W Team Trail Tournament Director and duck hunting guide Mike Echols. They say successful people surround themselves with people better than themselves. This is definitely true in my case, as these two guys brought not only a wealth of knowledge of the great outdoors, but offered great personalities as well.
We invite you to tune us in every Wednesday from 11:00 AM till 1:00 PM on AM 1130 The Tiger KWKH or catch us on our Facebook page and YouTube Channel. I hope you’ve enjoyed going down the path of the HUTD Show and how our show got started. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget your sunscreen!