Alum Al Martin Hosts New WKAR "Current Sports"

Posted on: September 10, 2013

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A "Proud" Detroit native, Al Martin, 2012 Journalism graduate, is back at MSU, sharing his passion for sports with a wide audience on WKAR Radio and TV.

Martin returned to host "Current Sports," a WKAR Radio show (weekdays at 1 p.m. on AM/870) and to cover sports for the station's daily news show, "Current State." Beginning Thursday, Sept. 12, a TV version of "Current Sports" will air weekly at 10 p.m.

The television show will feature lively discussion with Martin and his special guests, along with on-location features that focus on MSU and area high school sports. The program is recorded each Wednesday evening with a studio audience. (Register for free seats online at WKAR.org.)

Prior to the show, Martin spent seven months at WLNS-TV6 as a sports reporter and anchor. Then, in April 2013, longtime sports host Earle Robinson retired from WKAR, creating a position that Martin filled.

The first "Current Sports" episode was taped in late August and features former Spartan/NBA basketball player and current Detroit Pistons TV analyst Greg Kelser. Martin and Kelser chat about a number of topics, including the controversial issue of whether or not college athletes should be compensated for their participation. They also discuss the legendary 1979 NCAA championship, a Spartan victory that Kelser co-captained with Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Martin wants "Current Sports" to be relevant and accessible to anyone, from the hard-core sports fan to the more casual viewer. "The show goes beyond the Xs and Os of your typical sports talk show," he says. "I want to bring 'Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel' to the station. We're doing a pretty good job so far."

Martin says he realized while in high school that he wouldn't play in the NBA. But as sports editor for his school newspaper, he found a new passion. "I started researching the best journalism schools in the nation and saw that MSU was among the top 10. My brother had graduated from here. I took a visit with him and said "Why not?" I came to MSU and that was it!

"At MSU, I learned to be ambitious and try things that others haven't tried before. Creativity is so big in this field because there is so much competition in the field of sports journalism, and journalism period. MSU prepared me and instilled those things in me."

Among the things Martin credits for his success is CAS' focus on internships. He interned at WLNS, Lansing's CBS affiliate, during the summer of 2011 and stayed until the end of the year. After graduation, the WLNS sports director contacted him and asked if he was interested in an interview. "He hired me on the spot," Martin said. "It was truly a blessing."

With his relaxed, warm personality, Martin is primed to grow the "Current Sports" brand and host a fun, relaxed show that presents topics anyone can relate to.

"I want to bring a human interest aspect to the world of mid-Michigan sports that hasn't been explored before," he says. "I can't wait to see what the response is going to be."

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