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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Talking Sports With Aggie Talk

BECCA RIDGE / AGGIE
BECCA RIDGE / AGGIE

Every Tuesday night, UC Davis gets the opportunity to discuss the week in sports at KDVS’ “Aggie Talk”

Sports talk radio is a staple for sports fans across the country. It provides an avenue where fans of all different sports can talk about the teams, players and events that they are most passionate about. On “Aggie Talk,” UC Davis gets its own place in the sports talk world. For over three decades, KDVS has been covering sports, but in his second year as sports director, Andy Clausen wanted to make sure that he brought athletics to the forefront. Many radio veterans, such as Andy Reichwald of “Sunday Night Baseball” and Miami Marlins play-by-play announcer Rich Waltz, have lended their voices to KDVS in the past, but Clausen hopes to make its reach go even further.

“I think I brought the sports department back into the fold,” Clausen said. “We want student broadcasters to sound as professional as possible.”

With “Aggie Talk,” students and sports fans of the Davis area have a show where they can discuss not only the UC Davis Aggies, but professional sports from all over the country as well.

“It’s a place where people can gain a solid background in radio and sports while gaining a solid background in sports, while still putting out an entertaining product and putting out something that people want to listen to,” Clausen said.

“Aggie Talk,” which airs every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m aims to provide the people of Davis a place to talk about sports both local and national. While it may not have the budget — according to Clausen, the show itself draws no funding from the Athletic Department — or the reach of a commercial radio station. Clausen’s goal is to give both hosts and listeners a professional experience and won’t let the dated equipment or diminishing funding hold back his pursuit to put on a great show. The show, and station, rely greatly on two fundraisers, one every spring and fall, to stay on its feet.

“If you’ve ever been in our studio you can see that it’s really old,” Clausen said. “Literally one of our broadcasting boxes is held together by tape.”

This doesn’t keep the KDVS crew of mostly volunteers from putting out high quality content, and “Aggie Talk” is no different. The show’s format is simple and free-flowing. For the first half, the hosts typically cover Aggie sports. Volleyball, baseball, football, basketball — whatever sports are being played, they hope to cover it. Though “Aggie Talk” itself has no official connection to the Athletic Department itself, Clausen does his best to bring on guests from within athletics, and works hard to keep the program’s listeners informed; often drawing from the station’s work with the teams broadcasting the games.

“We don’t get told what to talk about,” Clausen said. “We’re very independent. We work with [the Athletic Department] in that they run the sports that we cover.”

For the second half of the show, the hosts of “Aggie Talk” move more toward the national sports scene, where they cover any headlines or stories which they feel the listener may want to hear. If something comes up that may warrant an increased conversation, the format may get switched up.

“Luckily our format is very loose,” Clausen said. “The host’s job is steer the conversation where he wants it to go.”

In a time where off the field issues may dominate the sports media, Clausen tries to avoid any issues which may be dominating the other media. If something comes up that warrants a greater discussion, it is up to the hosts and the guests to keep the discussion civil, as long as it fits the format of the show.

“We’re not trying to emulate other stations or channels,” Clausen said. “If it’s something we legitimately feel interest about, we’ll do it. It doesn’t always make for good radio, because we’re all probably going to get in a huge argument about it, [but] we try to do things that will make our listener want to pay attention.”

Aggie Talk can be heard every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 p.m. at KDVS 90.3 and online at KDVS.com.  Those with inquiries on the show, as well as the rest of the sports program can contact Andy Clausen at sports@kdvs.org.

Written by: Bradley Geiser — sports@theaggie.org

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