HOPEWELL — Steve “Da Truth” Nugent, general manager for Fox Sports Radio WHAP 1340 AM, is putting the finishing touches on the upgrades to the radio station in Hopewell. The finishing touches will expand the listener base and give more people more local sports and talk radio.
Nugent, who took over the radio station in April of 2009, said the $57,000 in upgrades included a new transmitter, new grounds system and fence surrounding the tower. Also, the 170-foot tower, which sits just beyond the station on Mesa Drive, is being painted.
The transmitter, which cost around $10,000, replaced the former transmitter, which had been in place since the 1950s. Nugent said new software was installed, along with a computer system, that makes the station more “automated” and is able to be controlled through another computer, even if it is thousands of miles away.
Nugent, who said he has been a sports guy all his life, said the station is a “family thing.” His two children, Taylor and Haylee, and his wife, Angela, who also works at the station, have been by his side since he started at the station in July of 2008.
Before working at the station, Nugent worked at K&L BBQ in Hopewell for almost 20 years with his parents who own the restaurant. He also had a lawn care business, Nugent’s Lawn Care.
Though his “official” career in radio did not start until July of 2008 when he started doing a radio show, Nugent is no stranger to the microphone. When his two daughters were growing up, and were involved with the local football league, Nugent lent his voice over the PA system as an announcer.
His start at the station began after a conversation with one of his friends. He said they spoke about doing a radio show together. Nugent called the local station to inquire about doing a show and has not left.
“From there on out, here I am,” Nugent said. Nugent also said his time on the radio has also been alongside Mike Epps, the station’s operation manager, who began with Nugent in 2009.
And there he said he will stay. It is clear Nugent loves the station as the walls are covered in pictures, posters, and signed autographs of professional athletics ranging from NASCAR drivers to baseball players.
Though Nugent cannot estimate how many listeners tune into the station, he said the website draws about 4,500 to 6,000 listeners a month.
A favorite time of the year is closing in on Nugent as Friday marks the start of his coverage of Hopewell Blue Devil’s football, which he has been doing for the past four seasons.
Listeners can tune into the station on game day or visit http://sportsradio1340.info. A schedule of the shows can also be found on the website. Nugent added the station can also be accessed through any smartphone and on Comcast channel 3 in the Tri-Cities.
“They can hear us anywhere in the world,” he said. Nugent also said he does not want to stop looking for ways to improve the station, as he said future plans for the station include broadcasting on an FM translator, which would broadcast the station even further across the area.