Finishing the Build
Written by Matt McClellan on September 29, 2019
It has been about a year since our last post heralding the rise of Horizon Radio. Today, I’m writing this looking at the most loaded schedule in Horizon Radio history, with one of the most interesting crops of shows we’ve had in two and a half very short years. Talent that has stayed, and talent that has come is truly staggering to observe. Horizon Radio has found its foundation, and the time has come to finish the build.
It was a quite a moment of pride as I watched Horizon Radio walk away with six (!) awards bestowed on us by the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Our shows won in several categories, and with varied content as well. Our shows about superheroes, dinosaurs, literature, music culture, and yes, even news, proved to be huge winners. It was the validation of many show host’s dreams. Some creators never even thought awards were a possibility. Yet, here they were, mingling with other journalists and receiving a piece of paper affirming what I already knew, that they were passionate and talented. They were making strides toward excellence.
Now, this will be far from the last time Horizon Radio wins awards in bulk. I look at this schedule, and it is shocking just how much quality there is. Old hosts, that have been with us since day one, are returning. New hosts from a wide variety of backgrounds are coming in to put their stamp on Horizon Radio. It is truly a great time to be a part of this station.
From the beginning, excellence has been a part of our DNA, and the shows that have run since the beginning prove that. The Latin Lunch Hour, hosted by Jose Aponte and Dr. Jennifer Ortiz, is a wildly popular show, and the only one that can make the chancellor dance. The hosts recently attended the first ever Latin Music Awards of Kentucky. Soundflux, hosted by Jen McNelly, has changed names a few times, but what hasn’t changed is Jen’s passion to share alternative music in an entertaining and friendly manner. You could say the same about metal for Garland Noel, host of Crimson and Chrome. His love of all things darkness has been a highlight on Saturday evenings. The (502) Review began life as The Southeast Sound, and Charlie Belle’s drive to give you the latest music is truly amazing. Even cooler is the spotlight he gives to local artists. We Are Here may be changing a bit, but Mac’s deep knowledge of music will ensure the show never gets stale.
Talk shows, too, have had a great tack record on Horizon Radio. One-On-One began as the Weekly Tip off two years ago, but John Renfrow’s desire to be the best in sports talk (his co-host is pretty great, too). On The End of the World Show Caleb and Andrew always have something up their sleeves that makes you question where the planet is going (occasionally in a good way). Edge of Reality started life as Will Snawder’s dream show, focusing on reality television, but has become a look at culture, and humor in general. They even got some free meals! Heroes on the Horizon became our first spin-off show, and Charlie and Levi are going to prolong their award-winning streak with in-depth looks at superheroes and their psyches. The Lit Show began as a joke between the hosts and I, and I grinned widely as that “joke” won an award for a discussion they didn’t think would win. Shy, Lilliana, Micalia, and new co-host AJ Merkle will continue with the banter that brought them success since day one. DANK History returns with Brad at the helm, and provides a unique and humorous look at everything from the Dark Ages to early Christianity. Even more curious is the tale of Myths and Monsters, hosted by veteran host of Let’s Talk Dinosaurs!, Billy Reed. Reed has traded in his Dinosaurs for a new set of monstrosities that are sure to thrill and enthrall listeners.
Looking to the future, there is plenty to be excited about. Swiping Right has become our first dating culture show. I am very impressed with the work being done by Mo and Nykayla. Talking Life with Logan, hosted by Horizon Media veteran Logan Stephens, uses panel discussions to rank and discuss the small things that make our lives interesting. Already, we’ve talked about comedy movies and the pronunciation of caramel. Beside the Point builds on the legacy of morning talk shows to make something new. Kendyl and Micky are working on the oddest show ever, but it is so entertaining. IUS Sports Talk provides campus sports takes and live-tweets Grenadier sporting events. With The Conspiracy Hour, Horizon Radio welcomed one of its first presenters that had prior experience in the world of broadcasting in Harlee Dorman, who worked at Jeffersonville High School. We have shows about music: That 2000s Show, Hi/FI Lo/Fi (hosted by veteran Maegan Irvin), The Rush Hour, The Inner Groove, Afro-Fusion, Rockin’ Thursday, and more in development that span any genre you can imagine. As for talk, Let’s Get Trashy, The Phillips Hour, The Dragon’s Den, Dissecting the Sidequest, and an upcoming political talk show are just a few of the shows coming up. We even have a show about dogs, but we’re still working on the name.
I’ll never forget the first time I walked into our studio to host The Captain’s Chest for the first time The whole studio felt like home. It was warm and inviting. That’s the way I want it to stay. It is a high honor to lead this team. I watch them rise through their fears to achieve things they never thought imaginable. I see this team, I see their talent and passion, and I am so glad that they get to share it with the community and you. No, empires are not built in a day, but that can be built in three years. That is where Horizon Radio is heading. This group has a will to entertain, inform, and enhance lives. Some having been listening since the bedrock was laid two and a half years ago, and we thank you. If you haven’t listened, consider this a formal invitation to get on board with a station that is growing, changing, and improving daily. Horizon Radio is more than a signal: it is the people that make it special. Make it special to you as well.