BY PCC STAFF
FORT MADISON – Pen City Current is going live…at least they’re trying.
Monday marked the first edition of a new afternoon sports talk program that features Fox Sports Radio Kansas City host Dave O’Hara and award-winning sports journalist John Bohnenkamp.
Bohnenkamp was the sports editor for the Burlington Hawk Eye for a couple decades and an award-winning reporter before that. His coverage has included local high school teams across southeast Iowa, the University of Iowa football and basketball teams, Western Illinois University, and even the St. Louis Rams.
O’Hara is a multi-faceted radio host with connections across all sports, who is looking forward to building a great show and bringing guests with unique perspectives on area sports.
“I want to inform and entertain our listeners on local, state, regional, and national sports and I welcome listener feedback,” O’Hara said.
Pen City Current co-owner and editor Chuck Vandenberg said the first-week run has been a different hat to wear, and is a bit outside his wheelhouse.
“You can give the platitudes to the talent. These guys get along, they have a nice rhythm and good banter and aren’t afraid to test each other a bit,” Vandenberg said.
“But this I.T. stuff…I’d rather not,” he laughed.
Vandenberg said the first show featured HTC head volleyball coach Melissa Freesmeier who talked about the 2018 state runner-up Crusaders and how 2019 is shaping up. Joe Merschman of Merschman Seeds also showed up and talked about Iowa sports and fall ag news.
Numbers were surprisingly good for the first show, but Vandenberg said the stream didn’t podcast so it’s lost “in cyberspace”. The second show with Big Ten analyst Shelley Till on Tuesday also was lost after its initial airing, and the third show, with Fort Madison Head Football Coach Derek Doherty had dead time at the beginning due to a technical “oversight” but fortunately the interview itself did archive and is available on the website (click on the promotional banner at the top of the page).
Bohnenkamp said he was intrigued by the show and is excited about its future.
“I want to bring a daily show with the best questions and answers with the top area sports personalities,” Bohnenkamp said.
Vandenberg said some listeners may have logged on to listen and either couldn’t find the podcast or heard dead air at different times.
“Yeah, we tripped over our tail a bit in launching as we were dealing with a pretty new system, but we think we’ve got most of the bugs worked out and we’re geared up for a great weekend of shows,” he said.
On Thursday, Dave and John will chat with Chicago Cubs Gold Glove centerfielder Bob Dernier about all things sports. Central Lee Head Football Coach Nich Ehret will also be on the program.
On Friday, the show moves to the new PointsBet Sportsbook at Catfish Bend Casino where Dave and John will talk Iowa and Iowa State with Mark Emmert, the beat writer for the Hawks for the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen, and Tommy Birch the Register’s beat writer for Iowa State.
Saturday, O’Hara, a native of Postville, Iowa, again will host from PointsBet and Catfish Bend. Bohnenkamp will call in live from Jack Trice Stadium and O’Hara will have on a host of sports and SportsBook guests, oddsmakers, and some special guests for a special two-hour show from 1 to 3 p.m. prior to kick off of the Hawks and Cyclones.