Mac is back: Voice of Cavs leaps to rival
More than a year ago, Mac McDonald abruptly left his job doing sports radio play-by-play on WINA radio. Almost as unexpectedly, he's back on the air starting Monday, August 31, not for UVA nor his old pals at WINA, but with his own drive-time syndicated show airing on the competition AM station, WKAV Sports Radio 1400.
McDonald says he was about to move to Orlando after working on a book for the past year. "I had people pushing me to get back on radio and do UVA and ACC sports," says McDonald.
He found a partner– MLC Advertising in Harrisonburg– and the MLC Network was formed.
"Inbound with Mac McDonald" airs from 3 to 6pm weekdays in Harrisonburg, Staunton, Lexington, Lynchburg and Roanoke, as well as Charlottesville. They're looking to expand to other markets, and McDonald hints he has something in the works with NBC29.
McDonald calls it a case of doing what you know best. "I've been in radio for 35 years," he says, "and I've never had my own show for any length of time."
The show will focus on colleges in the region. "A lot of UVA, a lot of Virginia Tech, a lot of ACC," he says. "I'm going to talk about what fans want to talk about."
That includes unjailed football star Michael Vick and disappearing former Glenmore homeowners' treasurer Michael Comer. "I would have done that from the golf standpoint," explains McDonald, whose promos seem to promise inside info.
The biggest change being back on the radio? No longer the Voice of the Cavaliers, he doesn't have to flack for the UVA football and basketball. He says he parted on good terms with UVA and its coaches, expects good access, and isn't interested in an attack show. However, he does get to opine.
"For the first time," he declares, "I've got a venue, and I can voice my opinion."
With McDonald taking the afternoon slot, Adam Gottschalk, host of "The Fourth Quarter," moves to the a.m. on AM.
"It's great," says Gottschalk, whose own departure from the Virginia Sports Network and calling UVA games coincided with McDonald's. "Everyone in radio aspires to mornings."
Gottschalk foresees a more fast-paced show. "It'll still be driven by my opinions, and it'll still be my show," he says.
"His audience is younger," says WKAV program manager Joe Thomas. "There are no AM morning sports shows. He'll draw 25 to 34 males– the same audience as 3WV."
Gottschalk is working on a new name for the 7 to 9am show, maybe "The First Quarter" or "Kickoff." For now, it's just "WKAV Morning Show."
"I'm nervously optimistic," Gottschalk says. "I'm excited at the chance to do it and to be the first voice people hear in the morning."
Updated 4:40pm with the omitted time of Gottschalk's show.