It was announced on ESPN 1320 Tuesday that Whitey Gleason and Mark Kreidler (The Rise Guys) will be back on the radio in Sacramento beginning July 28.
The Rise Guys left Sacramento's KHTK 1140 in 2011 to join 95.7 FM in the Bay area. In March, their show was canceled as Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend took over.
Now, they will be back on the air in Sacramento weekdays from 2-6 p.m. Gleason has been in radio in Northern California for more than 30 years and Kreidler was a columnist for The Sacramento Bee and ESPN. The Rise Guys show started in rock radio in the early 90s and moved to sports in 1999.
Gleason was kind enough to join to me to discuss the return of the Rise Guys.
Your show had a lot of success over the years in Sacramento. In 2011, when you guys made the move to the Bay Area it was probably a big opportunity, but what were your thoughts about leaving Sacramento at the time?
What was really difficult about it was that we had put down a lot of roots and we had raised our two kids in Sacramento and we loved our house that we were smart enough to keep. The hard part was that we pulled up those roots - they were much deeper than we even realized, and so that was a little painful to be honest with you. So this is a great opportunity. Already, it's been great to reconnect with a lot of people. But yeah, it was not easy. I'm from Vallejo and when I started my career in San Francisco ... went to Sacramento. I was expecting someday I would probably go back to the Bay Area. I had gotten to the point where I figured, ‘OK, I guess it's not going to happen.' That opportunity came out of the blue, so it was something that I didn't feel I could pass up and it didn't work out the way we hoped, but there still were a lot of positives that came out that and I know that we did a good show. So it's going to be good to be back in Sacramento.
The Rise Guys show was on here when there was the whole threat that the Kings were maybe going to move to Anaheim and you guys had the "We'll Mow Your Lawn if the Kings Stay" billboard. How closely did you follow all of the Seattle relocation drama that played out over the last couple of years?
We followed it extremely closely and it was just funny to be in a different market and see how quick people are to underestimate Sacramento. I'll be honest, I didn't think that they were going hang on to the team just because it seemed like the Seattle thing made so much sense, but it was interesting to see people say, ‘This is over, Sacramento has no chance.' I think people don't understand the fact that you've got the state Capitol there so you've got a lot of really sharp legal minds there and you've got incredible desire of the fan base to keep the team, and I think a lot of people underestimated that.
After doing radio for a few years in the Bay Area, is there anything you missed about doing radio in Sacramento?
I actually missed the weather [laughs]. I missed that there is something very special about the fans' relationship with the Kings that's very unique. It is interesting, you have a little bit of that same type of thing in Oakland with some real die-hard A's fans. So it was interesting being at the A's flagship and seeing some similarities there - kind of an underdog, tough-mindedness from the fans. It was interesting to see some similarities there between A's fans and Sacramento Kings fans. But I've missed people most of all, the people in Sacramento.
Tell us a little bit about the show. How close is it going to be to what The Rise Guys show was like before?
We're going to have a lot of fun, which we always had and that's part of what we do. We take sports very seriously so you've got to be credible, you've got to be able to make sure people know you know what you are talking about and then have fun on top of that. I think John Madden said, ‘You've got to be good before you're funny because otherwise you're just ridiculous.' So moving to afternoons, obviously, there are some differences there, but I think we're going to be bringing some elements to the afternoon drive that people may think of as morning elements, and I think that's going to bring more fun to the mix and more energy, and that's what I'm looking forward to.
And because you guys are on in the afternoons, there has been some debate about the show's name, ‘Rise Guys.' I imagine that we could probably get a nice Sactown Royalty thread going on new name suggestions.
[Laughs] I think the people who hired us like the cachet of that name [Rise Guys] so I don't think that the people who are hiring us are necessarily open to suggestions, but I would love to hear them. I know my wife thought that if the Rise Guys are an afternoon drive, then they should be the Rides Guys because you get to ride home with them.
Of course, in the 2-6 p.m. time slot you will be competing with Grant Napear on 1140.
I think it's nice that fans in Sacramento will have choices in the afternoons and I don't think they've had that since Ted Green at KSAC back in the 90s, if I'm not mistaken. So choices are good and competition is good, but we've got plenty to keep ourselves busy without worrying about what someone else is doing.
Is there anything else you would like to say to fans in Sacramento who may be interested in listening to the show?
The response we've gotten and the welcome home already on Twitter has been very gratifying, so I think I can speak for Mark [Kreidler] when I say we appreciate that very, very much and we're looking forward to getting going on July 28.