Tony Wright and local sports off the air at iHeartRadio
After 24 years on the air, Tony Wright, the dedicated radio voice of local Pueblo sports, has had his job as sports director eliminated at 590 KCSJ-AM and 1350 FOX Sports Radio, effective last Friday. With his resignation also comes an undecided future about local prep sports broadcasts.
“I left in good standing,” he admitted. “They just didn’t want to do local sports anymore.”
Wright made the revelation on a family member’s Facebook page, after the Broncos AFC Championship win Sunday, stating, “I want to thank everyone in Pueblo and everywhere that has supported me through the past 24 years. I will be back on soon with a new account and number. I will be back in the mix as well. Also, congratulations and go Broncos!”
Wright, who has deep roots in Pueblo, graduated from the University of Southern Colorado (CSU-Pueblo) in 1986, started at KCSJ in 1991. His recognizable deep voice, and familiar catchphrases, including “Whaddya say, whaddya know?” quickly became synonymous with local sports broadcasting. One of his last broadcasts, airing Jan. 18, promoted the newly-formed Pueblo arena football league, the Steel City Menace, as well as nominations for the Pueblo Softball Hall of Fame.
The dismissal leaves KCSJ-AM and 1350 FOX Sports Pueblo with no local announcers on the air at the stations—and a large gap in local radio sports coverage. According to Wright, local prep sports coverage including high school football, basketball and other locals sports would be off the air. This would put into jeopardy the radio broadcasts of local high school rivalries such as Pueblo Centennial and Central’s Bell Game, and Pueblo South and East’s Cannon game.
Colorado State University – Pueblo’s college radio station, Rev 89 had been covering some prep sports over the last few years and this announcement would not affect Rev 89.
Reaction to Wright’s departure has been mixed with shock over the abrupt change, and support for the broadcaster, as comments began pouring in on social media over the news. Wright says he is keeping his options open as whether he plans to stay in Pueblo, or move on.
“The feedback from the public has been amazing,” Wright said. “People are dedicated to Pueblo sports, here, and I hope to continue to be a part of it—once I take some time off, and decompress. I look forward to the future.”
The move away from prep sports should not affect CSU-Pueblo athletics, which is broadcast on 1350 Fox Sports Pueblo as the university contracts with iHeartRadio to broadcast Thunderwolf athletics.
iHeartRadio, the corporation that owns the station has made no formal public announcement of the decision. Attempts to reach the station for a comment were unsuccessful.