When the moon is out and the trucks are traveling down the highways across North America, Steve is there keeping the conversation going. Hear Steve Sommers and America's Truckin' Network Monday mornings through Friday mornings from Midnight-5am! Steve will have a fresh cup of coffee waiting for you. ATN is produced by Eric Halsey, Greg Shurts and Chip Pratt.
Steve Sommers was born in Cincinnati Ohio , October 15, 1964 . Growing up I never really had any aspirations of being in this business, but at the age of 15, doing odd jobs for a station in Cincinnati I just happened to be in the studio one day and asked the host "What do you have to do to be on the radio". This was still in the days when an FCC restricted license was a simple application form and you were allowed to broadcast. I filled out that form just because I thought it would be cool to have one. Several weeks later I get a call asking if I would like to board opp for some weekend shows. It was more of a simple babysitting position, but I gladly accepted the invitation. I mean what kid at 15 years old has that kind of opportunity?
After a hand full of years and several radio stations later I fell into what they call in the broadcast industry, the weekend rut. Being reliable and showing up on time is supposed to be a good thing, that's what every program director loves. But suddenly you realize "I'm not going anywhere". Why won't they give me that fulltime overnight slot that opened? That scenario plays out several times and I say "that�s it, I�m done with radio"
These were some of the toughest times. The wife and I pack our bags and move to Flintstone, Georgia with her family. I said "we'll give it 30 days, if I can't find work we'll come back to Cincinnati". As it turns out, day 31 I got a local delivery job in HVAC supplies in Dalton Ga. Keep in mind I was through with radio, but every day as I made those deliveries I would pass a radio station on the corner. You guessed right, I couldn't resist the temptation. As I turned in my application they were like "Where have you been? We've needed help for 2 months". How was I to know? WQMT in Dalton Ga. would be my employer over the next 5 years. I would do my first morning drive program. This was an opportunity to really develop my personality and grow on the air.
That brings us to 1996, I had peaked out as far as income in Dalton , and with 2 kids and a wife it was time for another tough decision. The opportunity had finally opened up for my father to hire a producer in Cincinnati . I had applied for the job, but the starting rate was actually less than I was making in Dalton at the time. It seemed like a tough call to make, but now looking back I would have been a fool to have passed it up. July 1 of 1996 I started working for 700WLW in Cincinnati as producer for "The Truckin Bozo"
This led to weekend shifts and filling in for my father when needed. Knowing nothing about the trucking industry to start, it has truly been a learning experience. I now can appreciate what it means to sit behind the wheel for untold hours, day after day. I sure am glad I'm in the radio business! It takes a special person to do what the American truck driver does every day. Thank You!!
I'll assume most of you know the rest of the story as per my father retiring in April of 2004,and 700WLW allowing me to take the reins and keep the show going. We have since changed the name of the program to "America's Truckin' Network". I am hopeful that we'll fill in the many blanks that will tell the story of my next twenty years journey in radio. It won't be possible though without you. I trust you'll be a part of my journey by listening and maybe participating along the way.
In the coming months, additional products will be released under the RATE-N-ROLL© brand for small to mid-sized third-party logistics (3PL) companies and trucking companies, so keep an eye on the website for more details!