David Locke, who helped pioneer sports talk radio in the Salt Lake market, has resigned his position with KFAN-1320 effective Tuesday to take an evening on-air position with KJR-950 AM, the Seattle Sonics flagship station.
Locke, who currently teams with former Jazz coach Tom Nissalke on KFAN's drive-time program, "The Show," will remain on the air with KFAN until mid-October. Locke also serves as the station's program director and this past season was the voice of the Utah Starzz.Locke said no decision regarding his replacement has been made, although speculation is that former KFAN on-air personality Kevin Graham or Scott Masteller, Nissalke's previous partner on KISN-570, are leading candidates.
Locke said he'll work exclusively as an on-air talent in Seattle doing a show solo from 7-10 p.m. He is scheduled to begin broadcasting in Seattle the week of Oct. 19. He'll also be part of the Sonics halftime and post-game programs.
Despite pursuing a job in thei Seattle market for some time, Locke said the decision to leave the Salt Lake market wasn't an easy one.
"I love Salt Lake. It's been an incredible five-year run - two NBA titles and a trip to the NCAA Finals. It's the ultimate compliment to the Jazz, Citadel Communications (which owns KFAN) and Salt Lake City is that I actually had to think about taking the job," said Locke who has worked at all three full-time sports talk radio stations in the market - KQOL-The Score, KISN-570 and KFAN.
Locke, who along with Nissalke, has been embroiled in a running feud with Jazz star Karl Malone, said friction with the Mailman didn't play into his decision to leave.
"No. Not at all," Locke said. "It's just I like the rain, just like Karl."
Nissalke had nothing but praise for his radio partner.
"It's been a terrific year. I've really enjoyed working with him. It was a good combination. As I got to know him over the last year I came to enjoy him more and more," Nissalke said. "People told me he was cocky, brusque and overly ambitious, but I found those things not true at all. I found him to be sensitive to other people, hard-working and an enjoyable person to be around. He did a great job with this station, not only as an on-air personality, which he was terrific at, but as a program director."
Nissalke, who said he plans on remaining in the the market himself, said he isn't surprised by Locke's move and that on several occasions Locke had discussed wanting to work in the Seattle or Bay Area markets.