The company said it has analyzed the Knoxville radio market for the past seven months to ascertain what listeners want and to identify what the market currently lacks. The result of that research is two entirely new formats unique to the East Tennessee market. The company will announce those formats in coming weeks.
Oskie Media is owned by a group of Middle Tennessee investors. Jason Bailey, co-owner of Oskie Media and General Manager of Tennessee Sports Radio, took over the former ESPN Radio station in Knoxville in 2010. He quickly changed formats and built a cult-following for Tennessee Sports Radio with on-air personalities including Erik Ainge, Jayson Swain, Dave Hooker and former television sports journalist Steve Phillips.
Bailey and his team of former University of Tennessee athletes, sports journalists and contributing writers embraced a digital approach for Tennessee Sports Radio which distributed sports news and entertainment beyond the radio to the Internet through its popular website and social media platforms and to nearly 100,000 mobile devices through its own app.
"We wanted to engage our audience," Bailey said. "We set Tennessee Sports Radio up in a way that was unlike any other radio station in Knoxville. We were ahead of our time, and our listeners and advertisers loved it and responded to it. We had a great four-year run and we raised the bar for sports radio in East Tennessee. Everyone involved with Tennessee Sports Radio should be proud of what they accomplished."
With a background that includes serving as on-air personality and host at some of the largest country music stations in the Southeast, including stints in Lexington, Ky. and Atlanta, Ga. which earned him a number of national radio and country music awards, Bailey (a Cookeville, Tenn. native) has spent a lifetime in the radio business. He said he is excited about what comes next for Oskie Media.
"I love the radio business," Bailey said. "I have never viewed myself as a country guy, a sports guy or a rock guy ̶ I'm a guy who loves radio. I'm a radio guy. What we're getting ready to do with Oskie Media is every bit as exciting as what we've done here with Tennessee Sports Radio ̶ except this time it will be completely unique to East Tennessee. I can't wait to get started."
Tennessee Sports Radio will continue to broadcast daily through August 29. The first of Oskie Media's new stations is expected to launch on 1180 AM on Monday, September 1 at 7 a.m. with a separate station launching soon thereafter on 1120 AM (which is also owned by Oskie Media). More information will be released about the new stations and new formats in coming weeks.