After three years as co-host of the long-running morning-radio program Sportstime with George Lapides on Sports 56-WHBQ, Commercial Appeal sports columnist Geoff Calkins has left the station for its primary competitor, 730-AM ESPN Radio.
Calkins made his final appearance on "Sportstime" yesterday morning, appearing with substitute co-host Brett Norsworthy, rather than Lapides, who was traveling to New York for a University of Memphis basketball game. Calkins didn't announce his departure, but suggested it in a closing monologue that paid tribute to the show. Lapides, appearing this morning with Norsworthy, announced that Calkins was leaving to do a show on another station and that Norsworthy would be his co-host for the remainder of the year.
Though the station hasn't officially announced a start date or time-slot, look for Calkins to re-emerge on local radio early next year on a two-hour morning show on 730-AM, alongside his former Commercial Appeal colleague Gary Parrish, the former Tiger basketball beat writer who is currently the national college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com. Parrish, currently a regular guest on 730's afternoon program, "The Chris Vernon Show," is expected to remain a part of that show in a reduced role.
"I really enjoyed my time with George," Calkins wrote this morning in an e-mail from New York, where hes also covering the Tiger basketball game. "I'm not going to say a bad word about the guy. But after three years sitting in that chair, I wanted to create my own show, to build something with Gary Parrish that reflects my sensibilities. People said I was silly to leave the law, too, but life's too short not to have new adventures along the way. This will be a great new adventure. I hope people give it a listen." --Chris Herrington