Just over two weeks ago, 104.5 The Zone underwent major changes in regard to daily programming. While time slots and show pairings were altered almost entirely, it was the Wake Up Zone with Mark Howard, Kevin Ingram, and Blaine Bishop that was blown up completely.
Veteran on-air personalities Howard and Ingram were both fired from the station’s morning show airing from 6-10 AM. Although Blaine Bishop survived the purge, he was reassigned to the 1:00-3:00 slot in afternoons with Mickey Ryan after the 3HL crew was also split up.
I had no idea when we signed off this morning that it would be for the final time on the Wake Up Zone. Thank you to everybody who has reached out with kind messages and calls. I promise I will get to every one of them.
— Kevin Ingram (@KIngramSports) August 11, 2020
For the first time since the overhaul at The Zone, Bishop opened up about what went down the day of the shake up on A to Z Sports Nashville’s Titan Up Podcast hosted by Austin Huff and Jack Gentry.
“This one here was kind of a shocker,” said Bishop, who did not see the impending writing on the wall.
Blaine went on to say, “I thought they just moved me. They didn’t say that they were letting Mark Howard and Kevin Ingram go. They never told me that. I thought I was just moving to another time slot.”
The business side of radio is ugly. The fluidity of the industry, as it stands today is becoming increasingly apparent as evidenced in the firings of Howard and Ingram. Two guys that spent 15 years apiece behind the microphone at 104.5 are gone in the snap of a finger. And it would not be surprising to see more moves like these on the horizon.
“That was a hurricane,” said Blaine on the departure of his two cohosts. “I survived the hurricane, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a storm still brewing.”
The Zone radio host and producer Jason Martin is taking over the Wake Up Zone for the morning drive during weekdays. One of the moves, or lack thereof, that raised plenty of eyebrows across the mid-state was the decision to bump The Midday 180 up an hour to the 10:00-1:00 time slot. That show, which is hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky, is as strong of a sports talk radio show as you will find in the country. Why that trio was not plugged into the afternoon drive slot from 2:00-6:00, formerly occupied by The 3HL, is a head scratcher.
The programs following The Midday 180 are Blaine’s show with Ryan followed by Brent Dougherty and Dawn Davenport, who will take Nashville sports fans home from 3:00-6:00 PM.
A new chapter of 3HL begins today. We love @MickeyRyan1045 & what he brought daily. So many great memories. We look forward to hearing him @bbishop23 bring it every day from 1-3. @DawnDavenportTN returns 9/2. You’ll hear @brentdougherty w/various hosts until then. Thank you.
— 3HL (@3HL1045) August 11, 2020
When asked about the constant uncertainty in the sports talk radio business, Blaine summed it up about as well as anyone can, “You just never know.”