September 7, 2012
‘Sportsland’ lengthens college radio’s reach
SUNY Cortland juniors hope to expand their show’s coverage to high school sports
Dan Hannon and Billy O’Hare want to bring SUNY Cortland radio to the sports fans of Cortland County.
The two SUNY Cortland juniors from the Buffalo area are physical education majors by day and, at least one night per week, they take to the college radio to discuss sports.
That has meant mostly Buffalo sports but they have branched out and want to stretch everything further, to include local high school athletes.
Their show, “Buckets’ and Dan’s Sportsland,” will air from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Mondays on WSUC 90.5 FM, the student station, starting Sept. 17.
WSUC is preparing to move from its headquarters in the basement of Corey Union to a new studio in Van Hoesen Hall, across the hallway from Tomik Fitness Center. The signal should improve, O’Hare said.
The station was founded in November 1976. Its programming is primarily NPR shows, except for some student shows on music, commentary and sports.
The pair have loyal fans back home, listening online, and on campus. But they want to reach beyond campus.
“We want more listeners,” O’Hare said this week. “Any high school athlete or coach who wants to be on, we’re interested.”
“Physical education will be our occupation, but this is our passion,” Hannon said. “Most sports radio people are part-time, with other jobs. We both hope to continue with this.”
The pair started their show last fall. The name “Buckets” is based on O’Hare’s nickname since childhood, “Billy Buckets.”
The show’s guests last year included Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and a Buffalo Bills player.
This year they tentatively have New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, former Sabres player Danny Gare and Buffalo News sports columnist Jerry Sullivan on their guest list.
“We got Lindy because my mother, SuzAnne, works for a judge who knows him,” Hannon said. “He called in when we didn’t expect it. Our producer, Sean Faulkner, told us he was on the phone.”
The two want to branch out from the Buffalo connection. They are talking to SUNY Cortland athletics communications about broadcasting games not covered by WXHC radio.
Their show can be accessed online through WSUC’s webpage or Facebook page.
They also are doing an internship with the Ithaca station of ESPN Radio, getting up a 4 a.m. to help with shows there.
Hannon captained the football and basketball teams at Kenmore West High School. O’Hare rowed and played volleyball and basketball for St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.
They met the summer before their freshman year of college, at a Goo Goo Dolls concert, after a friend of O’Hare’s said Hannon was going to SUNY Cortland. They were not roommates but are now housemates on Reynolds Avenue.
They also belong to the Catholic Student Club, with Hannon as president and O’Hare as treasurer. O’Hare is manager of the men’s basketball team. Hannon referees intramurals.
Neither had any radio background when they began doing the show one year ago. They are continually learning.
“We’re the epitome of obsessed,” O’Hare said.
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