(January 30, 2020) Following a legend is never easy but Marty Bannister is taking on the challenge. An STAA member, Bannister is replacing the iconic Vince Koza as Afternoon Drive host at 93.1 The Fan in Lima, OH. Koza passed away in January after battling cancer. He’d been at the station since 2008.
Bannister had been filling-in on Afternoon Drive since Koza took ill.
“Vince was well known throughout Ohio, not only for his coverage and promotion of high school athletics, but his extensive coverage of Ohio State. I met him on more than one occasion and appeared on his radio show,” says Bannister.
“I’m somewhat fortunate, as most of my career moves have led to me follow someone who held that same job for years,” Bannister recalls. “You just be yourself, remain true to your abilities. There will always be those that will not ‘welcome’ you, and want the prior guy back. Let that talk roll of your back and focus on the positives of what is being said about you.”
Bannister is currently the play-by-play announcer for Ohio University’s men’s and women’s basketball on ESPN3. He’s also been the voice of Ohio State University women’s basketball and baseball and was the primary backup for Buckeye’s football and men’s basketball. His non-play-by-play experience includes time as a sports update anchor and reporter at 97.1 The Fan in Columbus and as sports director and talk show host at WIZE/WBLY radio in Springfield/Dayton, OH.
Afternoon Drive in Lima will sound much the same with Bannister as it did with Koza.
“I am keeping all of the local elements Vince incorporated into the show — interviews with area coaches, players, athletic directors, info on big local events, golf tournaments and so forth, says Bannister. ” Local radio is so important, especially local sports, and that’s what made the show run.”
Occasional conflicts between Bannister’s show and his Ohio University women’s basketball duties will not be a problem. “The staff in Lima was more than willing to honor my prior agreements with my play-by-play freelance gigs and they allow me to host the show around those. Once the basketball season ends, I will host the show five days a week.”
Bannister will also be doing local play-by-play on The Fan. “That helps with name recognition as well,” he says. “Many listeners in the area know me from my years on Ohio State games, and that has made the transition smoother.”
Bannister has been an STAA member since 2016. “STAA has been invaluable to me in keeping my name out there,” he says. “When I started rebuilding my career in 2016, it was good to know what jobs were available and hear the talk on the forum boards about what is going on. I still use the site to this day for similar reasons. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m sure when I get there, STAA will have been a big reason why.”
(Visit Marty’s STAA Talent Page).