‘Drive Time’ offers local take on sports radioWritten by John Rasche | | JRasche@toledofreepress.com
“Drive Time,” a sports talk radio program that premiered April 30 on ESPN 106.5 FM The Ticket, broadcasts every weeknight from 5 to 7 p.m. Hosts Mike Miller and Anthony Bellino talk to guests about a variety of sports. What makes the radio show unique? For starters, “Drive Time” is broadcast from a car dealership, Monroe Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM Superstore.
“We are very proud and excited to have two quality people like Mike Miller and Anthony Bellino,” Superstore owner Ralph Mahalak, Jr. said. “Both have great resumes in the sporting and broadcasting world, but the emphasis of the show will be their interviews with great guests recognized both nationally and locally.”
The talk show hosts, both from Monroe, have a long history of sports broadcasting.
Miller began his career in 1980 as the play-by-play voice of the International Hockey League’s Toledo Goaldiggers and went on to spend nine seasons as the radio voice for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Occasionally, SiriusXM Radio will recruit Miller to broadcast various sporting events, including the Presidents Cup of the PGA Tour.
In the spring of 2011, Miller broadcasted his 2000th game.
Bellino is the public address announcer for the Toledo Mud Hens and the University of Michigan’s Wolverines baseball. He is also a voice of Rockets football at the University of Toledo and a voice of both the men’s and women’s basketball programs at UT.
Together, Miller and Bellino will interview guests from all types of athletic backgrounds.
“‘Drive Time’ is going to be a multi-faceted show,” Mahalak said. “Miller and Bellino will be covering all sports, not just basketball and football.
“The goal of the show is to have three to four guests every night over the course of two hours.”
The radio show’s first guests were Mario Impemba, the play-by-play broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers, and Miami Heat television host and courtside reporter Jason Jackson. Audie Cole, an NFL draft pick from Monroe, was also interviewed.
A majority of “Drive Time” will broadcast from inside the Monroe Superstore, but a portion will come from remote locations at sporting or high-charity events.
“We want to get our listeners involved,” Bellino said. “We want to get out there and see the event firsthand, but we also want to be seen by our audience.”
In addition to being on the scene, Bellino also hopes to capture a larger audience by utilizing
“Drive Time” has its own Twitter account and works with 106.5 FM The Ticket’s Facebook page. By providing alternative methods of communication with the show, Bellino said he believes he can reach younger listeners.
“Since I am younger, I think I can stay on top of the social media and bring a younger demographic into the news sports show,” he said. “This will not be the typical sports radio with a group of 50-year-olds rambling about sports. We want to hear from everyone. If the phone lines get jammed, younger listeners can use social media as another avenue to contact us live on the show.”
Listeners who do not live in the Toledo area can still stream “Drive Time” live online or on their smartphones. The sports talk show will also be aired on 1470 AM in addition to The Ticket.
The Superstore is located at 15160 S. Dixie Highway in Monroe.
“People are always coming in and out of here,” Mahalak said. “We’re really excited for the show, because there’s going to be a lot of action and energy right here.”