Over the past several weeks I have had the pleasure of writing stories about each of the current broadcasters that do games on 560 KMON for the Central MT Radio Network.  Because I made them tell their life “broadcasting” story, it is only fair I do the same.  I only ask that you are gentle with the comments, as I am shy, and this was hard to do…LOL!


My story begins about eleven or twelve years ago. I was an insurance agent with Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. I wasn't in radio at that time when Jim Sargent became the AG director at 560 KMON. Of course, Sarge has been well known around Montana for years as a broadcasting legend and rightfully so. One afternoon, on a Thursday he asked me if I wanted to ride to Fort Benton with him to watch him broadcast a basketball game. I said Absolutely! That would be a lot of fun. So Sarge picked me up, we drove to Fort Benton, we hauled the equipment upstairs as they have a nice little spot for broadcasters up in the corner, set it up and he said, here, I brought you a headset so you can listen into the game. Well, I thought this was pretty cool getting to listen to Sarge in person while I'm watching some great high school basketball. Well, we were about partway through the second quarter when Sarge turned and looked at me and said, what do you think about that defense? Well, I wasn't sure what to say. He mouthed to me talk while pointing at the microphone.


Well, my answer was:

It's good.

And that's where my career began basically, Sarge just grabbed me, threw me into it and gave me all the basics to learn how to become a broadcaster. Now I've had the opportunity to watch him and learn from him as well as work with many other broadcasters, each one providing a different skill and knowledge of the different games that I've enjoyed myself for the last eleven or twelve years. Some of the many tips that Sarge gave me, that I try to focus on in every game, is that we are here to entertain and inform.  You can never say the score to much and no matter the score, keep the energy up right until the last buzzer. Even in a blow out, recognizing the kids and their effort is important to the family and friends listening back home.


Some of the things that I've gotten to do in broadcasting that I'm pretty proud of is I've done basically every sport with the exception of a couple. I have not broadcast wrestling and I have not broadcast swimming but I have done all the others available to us here in town. I've done football, basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, I've done rodeo, I've done announcing for monster trucks, cattle shows, emceed fundraisers. I've done announcing for Launch Water Sports Wake Fest in the Falls and have had a chance to do many things including the East West Shrine football game here this past year. I also spent a little time at the University of Providence doing some broadcasting for both their volleyball and their basketball teams and was able to watch them and enjoy that sport for many, many years. One of the fun tournaments that I did for the University of Providence was a few years back I did the entire Frontier Conference Volleyball Tournament that was held here in Great Falls as I got to do every one of the games on their live stream very, very competitive, very, very fun.



One thing that I always look forward to is tournament time for several different reasons. One, the amount of kids that we are able to see in a short amount of time and the amount of games that we get to see the talent level, the excitement. Small town is on display. When you're at tournaments, all the families are there. You get to talk to a lot of folks, and it sure is a good time had by all. Unfortunately, though, at the end of the tournament there's always two or three teams that get to go on and everybody else, unfortunately, has to go home. There's always, always heart breakers. A lot of these kids, we start broadcasting them when they're in the 7th or 8th grade. You start watching them early, watch them in the JV games. And some of them are starting as 8th graders, which we even have a couple this year on a couple of teams. You really get to know those kids over a period of time. And by the time they're seniors, well, you kind of feel like you're part of their family and they feel like they're a part of yours. You see their mom and dad, their grandma and grandpa, and they talk about that game two years ago when they hit the half court buzzer beater shot. And those are the kind of memories that I really, really enjoy. So I always look forward to tournament time. It's a busy, hectic time, but it is an enjoyable time.

Another thing that I get to do is , Play On Sports for the NFHS live stream. There's usually a state tournament being held in Great Falls every year for basketball, and I've been fortunate enough to be asked to join in. And last year it was the state Class C basketball tournament. And hopefully this year I'll be able to participate in the state Class B basketball tournament. Play on Sports is the one that provides the audio and the video on the NFHS network, which I know a lot of you enjoy. Now, obviously, there's no broadcasters during the majority of the year, but during tournament time, they bring in the broadcasters, and I get an opportunity to do that. And it's always fun hearing from listeners from all over the state as they're following their respective teams.

One of the questions I've asked each one of the broadcasters is something that we may not know about them that you would find interesting. Since most of my life is an open book on the radio, there's very few things that I haven't divulged. But I think one thing that you may be interested to find out or find humorous was the fact there was a period of time I sold vacuum cleaners. I sold rainbow vacuum cleaners for about two years as a side hustle. I did that back in the late 90s, early two thousands. And that was something that was fun and interesting. Gave me an opportunity to go into folks' homes and demonstrate the wares of the equipment, show it how it worked, and offer them an opportunity to own one. I still own My Rainbow Vac, and it's a great vacuum, but, yes, they are very, very pricey.

I've enjoyed doing these stories with these broadcasters. I hope you've enjoyed them, too. As always, we would love to hear from you on comments and things that you are learning about us and, well, things that you'd like to learn about us going forward. So feel free to drop us a line.

If you have a story idea or something you want to learn more about, give Randy a call at 406-788-3003 or send me an email at randall.bogden@townsquaremedia.com

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