New local sportstalk radio show set to start next week in Dayton

The Dayton area is getting a new local sportstalk radio show.

Emphasis on “local.”

“You can get national sports talk anywhere,” said Marty Bannister, a sports broadcasting veteran set to take the airwaves next week. “So our focus is going to be local.”

His show will air on 980 WONE-AM from 3-5 on weekdays starting Monday.

“We’re hitting the high schools heavy. We’re hitting Wright State heavy. We’re hitting Dayton heavy. The Reds, the Bengals, the Dragons — anything that’s sports-related in the Dayton and Miami Valley area, that’s where we’re going to focus.

“I think a lot of times people just get swamped with national coverage. You can only take so much of people yelling at each other for two hours, and that’s just not me. I’m a fan just like everybody else. I want conversation. I love to sit around and just talk sports. We’re not going to dive into politics. I am a big pop topic guy so I’ll be doing a lot of that stuff as well, too, but it’s going to be loose. It’s going to be fun, and we’re going to have fun with it.”

Bannister has worn many hats since breaking into the sports radio business in the early 1980s, but the Columbus native said some of the best times he has had were working in the Miami Valley.

That includes 13 years at WIZE from 1992-2005, where his duties included being the voice of Wittenberg athletics, and six-plus years as the lead play-by-play announcer for multiple Wright State sports for Time Warner.

For more than a decade after that, Bannister worked for the Ohio State Athletics radio network, where his duties included the sideline reporter during Buckeye football games. He was also the voice of Ohio State women’s basketball and baseball while serving as the backup play-by-play man for OSU football and men’s basketball.

He still does television play-by-play for Ohio University athletics as well as OHSAA football and basketball for Spectrum while also working radio broadcasts of football, basketball and baseball postseason games for the OHSAA.

“You can pretty much pick a sport, I’ve called it,” Bannister said. “I’ve hosted talkshows in Dayton, Lima and Columbus. I’m pretty well-versed on just about every part of the state, and for Dayton I think this is going to work pretty well.”

Most recently, Bannister was an executive producer for iHeart Media (owner of WONE) working with multiple stations in Southeast Ohio out of Chillicothe, but he is looking forward to returning to the Dayton market.

That is because the passions of the fans here include not only the local colleges and high schools but also the Buckeyes, Bengals and Reds.

“One of the things that’s so enticing about this to me is ‘local’ includes Ohio State and the Reds and the Bengals and that’s because they are local to that market. That’s the exciting part about this,” Bannister said.

“I have not found an area that is as passionate about their sports. It was remarkable to me when I got over there the way people follow and love to be involved with high schools, Ohio State — it’s a very passionate sports area. The years I was covering Wittenberg and Wright State and the other things I was doing, I don’t know if I’ve had as much fun. It was just tremendous. Those 13 years were just spectacular. I loved being in the market. It’s a great market. And that’s why I’m glad to be going back. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, but I still know what goes on in that market. It’s a great area. I’m really thrilled about this.”

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