September 26, 2013
CHICAGO – The flagship daily radio sportscast of Conference USA reaches a major milestone Friday with its 750th broadcast. Since February 1st of 2010, the program now known as Today in Conference USA has provided continuing daily sports coverage of the conference and its member institutions.
Today in Conference USA is produced and distributed by Bill Hazen Productions. It remains the only daily conference syndicated radio sportscast in Division I athletics. Twenty-one radio stations within the C-USA service area carry the program, while another fourteen stations air the companion weekly broadcast of Talking Conference USA Football and Basketball.
Originally known as the Conference USA Daily Update, the program had been airing only to an Internet audience. Bill Hazen Productions took over the daily report on February 1st, finishing out the 2010 season exclusively on the Internet.
Hazen believed the program, now featuring enhanced coverage and improved production values, would work effectively in radio syndication. Conference USA approved the plan, and the Conference USA Station's Group was born. Originally, the group was composed of a dozen radio stations. It has tripled in size since then.
“Today in Conference USA was our first college radio production,” said Hazen. “I believed that C-USA had a wonderful opportunity to be a leader among Division I conferences in radio syndication. And a daily conference sportscast would give fans a chance to learn more about all of the conference schools.
“Conference USA was very receptive to the idea,” Hazen remembered. “Back when the conference was based in Chicago, I had visited a number of times with Rex Lardner, Russ Anderson, Brian Teter and Erika Amstadt Hirshfield about this concept...that was back in the late '90's. Russ and Erika still work with the conference and were fully up to speed when I brought the idea forward again in 2010.”
Over 750 broadcasts, Today in Conference USA has covered the stories of every C-USA school in every sport. Listeners have heard the voices of nearly 3,000 athletes, coaches, administrators and broadcasters sharing their conference experiences.
“On a number of our stations, we've been on the air as long as many members of their own staff,” said Hazen. “It's great to be a part of the family now!”