History

Jon Fine has spent his entire professional career in broadcasting.  From 1983--2010, with the exception of a few months off here and there “in transition”, he hosted drive time daily radio sports talk shows in Louisiana.  At the apex, his program was syndicated to as many as 5 of the 7 largest cities in Louisiana, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

 

Beginning in 1987, Jon hosted and produced these programs, in his self-employed capacity at Jon Fine Sports Productions.  In addition to radio sports talk, Jon Fine Sports Productions has produced a number of other radio and Internet sports talk programs, with an emphasis on high school sports in the last decade.  On many of these programs, Jon was also on the air as a host or play-by-play announcer.

 

In March 2012, with the coming of a nightly non-sports radio program that Jon was going to be producing in April, The Central Story, Jon decided to drop “Sports” from his company’s name and it became Jon Fine Productions.

 

To further appreciate where we are, here’s a look at where Jon’s been.  The gory details (with some creative license and hyperbole!):

 

February 1978 – May 1982 – Philadelphia, PA.

As a student at Penn, Jon’s secondary priority becomes working at the campus radio stations.  First priority was attending Philadelphia Big 5 basketball games at The Palestra.  Jon was sports director of WQHS, where he founded and co-hosted a 3 hour Sunday night sports call-in show, WQHS Sportsline.  Jon announced some Penn football and basketball games on WXPN.

 

September 1982 – July 1983 – Tallulah, LA

As part of the Witness Protection Plan, Jon relocated in Tallulah, LA.  KTLD-AM morning man.  News and Sports, public relations, and sales.  Jon did Tallulah High School, Tallulah Academy and McCall High School play-by-play.  Answer to a trivia question:  First FM country music disc jockey ever on the air in Tallulah radio history (KBYO).   First country music disc jockey ever fired in Tallulah radio history (same station). 

 

August 1983 – January 1987 – Lake Charles, LA

Jon began telling ladies that he was Jean Fineaux from Mamou, Louisiana.  Started what is believed to be the first ever sports call-in show in the Lake Area, SportsTalk, on KLCL.  Did McNeese State and Barbe High School play-by-play on KLCL. Some morning cut-up news and sports on LA99.  January 1, 1987 produces 5 interceptions and 1 sack.  Miami’s Vinny Testaverde gets picked off 5 times by Penn State.  Lake Charles’ Jon Fine gets sacked by KLCL management.

 

March 1987 – May 1991 – Lake Charles, LA

Jon says that he finally gets a good looking boss-becoming self-employed.  A multi-$10 company, Jon Fine Sports Productions, purchases air time from KAOK in Lake Charles and Jon hosts a nightly one hour sports call-in show, SportsTalk.  Beats Joe Dumars in Pop-A-Shot.  Jon suckered him in.  Don’t ask?!  Some McNeese play-by-play, first on Q101, then KYKZ.  Co-founded Calcasieu River Big Bass Bonanza.

 

May 1991 – January 1993 – Baton Rouge, LA

Moves to Baton Rouge.  Experiences first traffic jam in Louisiana.  Host morning sports call-in show, SportsTalk, on WIBR.  Works with outlaws both on and off the air…but they pioneer sports talk radio in the capital city.  Experienced discouraging revelation:  found out you can be fired even if you’re buying the air time!

 

February 1993 – May 1998 – Baton Rouge LA

Moves to WBIU…and continues to do a sports talk show, SportsTalk, but this time in the afternoon with co-host Tommy Krysan.  Begin our association with Denham Springs High School sports.  Produce an LSU football pre-game show on WBIU.

 

June 1998 – December 2004 – New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Monroe

Clear Channel Communications buys WBIU, changes format to all sports.  Move SportsTalk back to the morning on The Score, 1210AM.  On air midday in New Orleans on WTIX.  Off the air in New Orleans.  Back on the air in New Orleans.  Move show to morning to simulcast with The Score, 1210AM. At that point in early February 2001, the show’s name is changed from SportsTalk to SportsGumbo.  Add KEZM- Lake Charles, Alexandria and Monroe stations. Delete Alexandria and Monroe.  New Orleans deletes Jon.  Can anyone ever be hired and fired from the same radio station twice in a 3 year period?  Yes, Jon Fine , WTIX-New Orleans.  “Thumbs Up” to the Late Ed Butler of WTIX.  Move to WBYU-New Orleans for mid-days (in addition to morning show out of BR). Eric Asher and others join show.  WBYU changes formats.  Move show to ESPN, 1560AM.  Eric and others leave afternoon show.

 

December 2004 – September 2006 – New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles

Jason Van Buskirk co-hosts.  In January 2005, ESPN, 1560AM moves SportsGumbo (noon) version to morning to simulcast with Baton Rouge and Lake Charles. Central Coaches Corner debuts in August 2005.  2 mean ladies greatly impact shows (and unfortunately millions of others)—Katrina & Rita.  Katrina hits:  off air in New Orleans for 10 months beginning August 2005.  Rita hits:  off air for 3 months in Lake Charles beginning in late September.  Start to do select Central HS basketball pbp broadcasts.  Denham Springs HS Football broadcasts are joined by select boys and girls basketball broadcasts.  Livingston Sports Weekly debuts in September 2006.  In conjunction with Rick Cantu, SPORTSGUMBO.NET Broadcasting Network is formed, as Walker HS football is broadcast on SportsGumbo.net…..The SportsGumbo empire has arrived!!!!!...But takes a major hit.  In mid-September 2006, Clear Channel—Baton Rouge tells Jon they want to meet with him the next day to discuss station initiatives.  They then take the initiative to remove his program from their airwaves.  Jon becomes, maybe, the first person in the history of radio to be fired twice in the same city from 2 different stations despite buying airtime from both.

 

 

October 2006 – November 2009 – New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles

SportsGumbo returns to the airwaves in mid-October on KKAY—River Parishes, and is once again heard on ESPN-New Orleans and KEZM-Lake Charles.  The show initially airs 7am-9am.  In December 2007, we change to 8am-9am.  We continue our Denham programming on The Score, 1210AM in Baton Rouge.  Central Coaches Corner is canceled in January 2007.  Livingston Sports Weekly stays on the air on The Score and becomes THE High School Sports Show in January 2008.  Central HS Football (2007) and Live Oak HS football (2008), plus the feeds of Denham Springs HS Football and Sulphur HS Football are added to SPORTSGUMBO.NET Broadcasting Network…We broadcast 11 hours from the Bayou Bash in 2007-2009.

 

December 2009 – March 2012 – New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles

SportsGumbo becomes Monday Morning Quarterback, a Monday morning 1 hour show.  Olin Berthelot joins as the co-host….Jon gets out of Internet-only broadcasting… Plaquemine Sports Weekly (KKAY) comes on the air in May 2010…Jon becomes a marketing representative for SportsRadio-1310-KEZM-Lake Charles in June 2010…THE High School Sports Show breaks off into The Dru Nettles Show (The Score) and The Sid Edwards Show (WPFC) in July 2010.  Central HS Football radio broadcasts (WPFC) and Episcopal HS Football radio broadcasts (WXOK) are added in 2010… In 2011, select Denham Springs HS Baseball and Softball games are put on the air (The Score)…The Dru Nettles Show is cancelled in December 2011 due to an upcoming shake-up in Baton Rouge radio market….In January, with format changes, Denham Springs HS Sports Radio programming, in its 18th year on the air, goes by the wayside….Monday Morning Quarterback and Plaquemine Sports Weekly also depart…With a change in ownership at the station that carried our broadcasts, Episcopal HS Football leaves the airwaves.

 

April 2012 – December 2014 – Baton Rouge, Lake Charles

The Central Story debuted on April 2, 2012 on WPFC, 1550AM, Baton Rouge.  It originally aired weekdays, and then aired Thursdays, 5:30pm—6:30pm as  The Central Sports & Business Report (hosted by Steve Johnson).  In August 2014, the program merged with The Sid Edwards Show and is now called SportsCentral (Thursdays, 5pm—6pm, CBS Sports Radio, 910AM, Baton Rouge). Jon serves the program as a marketing representative and consultant.

The Dru Nettles (Television) Show debuted in the summer of 2012 on Cox 4 TV-Baton Rouge  The program, now in its third season, airs Thursdays, 6pm-7pm, with a replay on Fridays at 11am and Saturdays at 1pm.  The show had a terrific 3 year run.

After 6 years with Jon Fine (Sports) Productions, Central Football broadcasts departed.

Live Oak HS Baseball and Walker HS Baseball Radio broadcasts came to Comedy 1210, Baton Rouge and JonFineProductions.com in March 2013 for a 1 year stint.  Same with a hybrid St. John HS/Plaquemine HS Football broadcast on WPFC, 1550AM/JonFineProductions.com in the fall of 2013.

 

January 2015--PRESENT

Denham Springs HS Football is on the air in 2015 for the 21st year as a Jon Fine Production.  Yellow Jackets football games can be heard on Fox Sports Radio, 1210AM and on the net, right here, at JonFineProductions.com

Our EBay store, ArrestedDevelopmentMediaGuides began selling sports publications in February.

Jon continues as a marketing representative for SportsRadio-1310-KEZM-Lake Charles

Jon continues as a marketing representative for SportsCentral on 91.9 FM in Central.

A weekly e-newsletter, JonFineProductions.com Newsletter is sent out to over 1,600 people, mostly in the Greater Baton Rouge area.

************************************************************************

SPORTS-TALK RADIO PROGRAMMING HOSTING CHRONOLOGY:

 

August 1983 – December 1986:  Lake Charles: 

SPORTSTALK airs on KLCL Radio, 1470AM

Fall 1983:  Monday – Friday, 6pm – 8pm

Winter 1983-1984:  Sunday, 6pm – 9pm

March 1984 - December 1986:  Monday – Friday, 6pm – 7pm

 

February 1987:  Lake Charles

Jon Fine Sports Productions is established

 

March 1987 – May 1991:  Lake Charles

SPORTSTALK airs on KAOK  Radio, 1400AM

Monday – Friday, 5pm – 6pm

 

May 1991 – 1996:  Lake Charles

SPORTSTALK continues with Mike Alzamora as host for the first couple of years.  Mike leaves and Jon broadcasts the show, which becomes a Friday afternoon weekly show, simulcasting SPORTSTALK – BR in the spring of 1993

 

May 1991 – January 1993:  Baton Rouge

SPORTSTALK airs on WIBR Radio, 1300AM

Monday – Friday, 7am – 9 am

 

February 1993 – May 1998:  Baton Rouge

SPORTSTALK airs on WBIU Radio, 1210AM

Monday – Friday, 4pm – 6pm

 

June 1998 – September 2006:  Baton Rouge

SPORTSTALK/SPORTSGUMBO airs on The Score, 1210AM

Monday – Friday, 7am-9am

(There was a period in 1999-2000 when the show aired 6:30am-8:00am)

(SPORTSTALK became SPORTSGUMBO in February 2001)

 

January 1999 – December 1999:  New Orleans

SPORTSTALK aired on WTIX Radio, 690AM

Monday – Friday, Noon – 2pm

 

July 2000 – February 2001:  New Orleans

SPORTSTALK aired on WTIX Radio, 690AM

Monday – Friday, Noon – 2pm

 

February 2001 – August 2002:  New Orleans

SPORTSGUMBO (emanating from Baton Rouge) is carried on WTIX Radio, 690AM

Monday – Friday, 7am-9am

 

May 2001 – November 2007:  Lake Charles

SPORTSGUMBO (emanating from Baton Rouge) is carried by KEZM Radio, 1310AM

Monday – Friday, 7am – 9am

(Hurricane Rita knocks the station off the air from September 2005 to January 2006, knocking the show off the air for that period)

 

October 2001 – April 2004: Alexandria

SPORTSGUMBO (emanating from Baton Rouge) is carried by ESPN Radio, 1410AM

Monday – Friday, 7am – 9am

 

May 2002 – January 2003:  Monroe

SPORTSGUMBO (emanating from Baton Rouge) is carried by Fox Sports, 1310AM

Monday – Friday, 7am – 9am

(first 3 months, they carry the first hour only)

 

August 2002 – January 2003:  New Orleans

SPORTSGUMBO (a second show) airs on WBYU Radio, 1450AM

Monday – Friday, Noon – 2pm

 

February 2003 – January 2005:  New Orleans

SPORTSGUMBO (a second show) airs on ESPN, 1560AM

Monday – Friday, Noon – 2pm

 

January 2005 – November 2007:  New Orleans

SPORTSGUMBO (emanating from Baton Rouge) is carried on ESPN, 1560AM

Monday – Friday, 7am – 9am

(Hurricane Katrina knocks the station off the air from September 2005 to May 2006, knocking the show off for that period)

 

October 2006 – January 2010:  River Parishes

SPORTSGUMBO airs on KKAY, 1590AM

Monday – Friday, 7am -9am from October 2006 –   November 2007

Monday – Friday, 8am -9am from December 2007 – January 2010

 

December 2007 – January 2010:  New Orleans

SPORTSGUMBO (emanating from Baton Rouge) is carried on ESPN, 1560AM

Monday—Friday, 8 am – 9am

 

December 2007 – January 2010:  Lake Charles

SPORTSGUMBO (emanating from Baton Rouge) is carried on KEZM, 1310AM

Monday – Friday, 8am – 9am

 

Feb 2010 – January 2012:  River Parishes

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK airs on KKAY, 1590AM

Mondays, 8am-9am

The show is co-hosted by Jon Fine and Olin Berthelot

 

February 2010 – January 2012:  Lake Charles

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK (emanating from Baton Rouge) is carried on KEZM, 1310AM

Mondays, 8am-9am

************************************************************************

CO-HOSTS:  There have been numerous co-hosts who have appeared on the air with Jon throughout the years.  At times, Jon would host the show 2 or 3 days a week, while another host would be on 2 or 3 days a week.

The most prominent co-hosts of Jon’s programs might include Greg Weston, Patrick Wright, Tommy Krysan, Eric Asher, Blake Andrews, Jason Van Buskirk and Olin Berthelot.

During the fall of 2000, former LSU Football Coach Gerry DiNardo served as a (once a week) co-host of SPORTSTALK the first year after he left LSU.

************************************************************************

REMOTE LOCATIONS:  We have, generally, broadcasted the program from the studio.

However 2 remote broadcasts stand out, as we broadcasted SPORTSTALK for several years on Fridays from Hunt’s Tire & Car Care in Baton Rouge and SPORTSGUMBO (New Orleans show) aired daily for close to a year at Uncle Larry’s Food & Spirits in Metairie.

************************************************************************

FINAL WORD FROM JON….If all of this seems like it has been somewhat of a disjointed, convoluted route, there is a good reason for this.  It has!  And, not to get too philosophical/analytical, yet be guilty of employing a run-on sentence…., but as a defense mechanism, I’ve found the best way to navigate through these murky, shark-infested broadcasting waters is through a healthy dose of self-deprecation and doing my very best to try to maintain a very strong, firm, resolute belief in Jon Fine.  The later has been difficult.  Often, I have lost the courage of my own convictions. 

Sometimes this works.  I’m still battling and am, in fact, real enthused about the prospects of a new program/venture/business or 2 I hope to be embarking on, coming up in the months ahead.

Sometimes this doesn’t work.  I’ve had 3 major bouts of depression in the last 20 years that I believe were largely career-related. And, although they’ve been pretty much depression-free, the last 3 or 4 years have been very, very, very challenging. 

I still fashion myself as a radio sports-talk host.  But, Jon Fine is getting long in the tooth!  Do I still have anything left?  If the right situation should materialize, we’ll find out.

And, if it doesn’t happen, I’m okay with that.  Through some adversity, I’ve given it my best shot.  And, based on the emotional—wringer that has often been my career in broadcasting, I’m delighted to wake up with a smile on my face, looking forward to better things to come. Intermittently, in the last 2 decades this presented a major daily challenge.  At present, I’m at peace.

For the numerous people and businesses who have helped me throughout the years, I say THANK YOU!  For those of you who have impeded the progress of the next Bob Costas/Al Michaels (LOL), to quote from Jackie Gleason/Ralph Kramden from The Honeymooners:  “One day, you will get yours.”