Omaha sports radio suffers a loss today as Kevin Kugler departs his regular show on KOZN-1620 AM. He'll still show up from time to time with interviews (and probably a fill-in appearance here and there), but he won't be on daily. After surviving Steve Pederson's attempt to run him off the air, Kugler's career skyrocketed as he went national. Now he's going to do even more broadcasting nationally, which is great for him. He'll be missed locally though.
Replacing him on "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" is Matt Schick. Not quite sure how I feel about this replacement. Schick is an engaging, humoring radio host, though I'm not sure about giving Schick a bigger role. He had an axe to grind against Bo Pelini (presumably for having the audacity to be outraged at Dirk Chatelain over his muddled "Bench Martinez because Brion Carnes isn't ready" article), and let that take over. He's quick to take offense at Pelini, yet gave Creighton's Greg McDermott a free pass for much worse.
I haven't listened to Schick and his current co-host Nick Bahe much in recent months. Bahe is leaving radio, apparently to work for Creighton. The morning show on KOZN will now be hosted by former Husker defensive lineman Jason Peter and a new co-host to be named later. Peter isn't afraid to ruffle feathers, so it could be interesting radio. I say "could" because I don't know how that translates to radio, as I could never pick up Peter's old Lincoln radio show in Omaha.
Who would be the co-host? Unknown at this time. Some scuttlebutt indicates it might be Jack Mitchell from KLIN-1400 AM. I personally thought it might be David Gustafson (currently working for a Columbus radio station) initially. Some people have suggested that Gary Sharp would be a nice name to bring back to the local airwaves. Sharp formerly worked for Pinnacle in the early 2000's as a sideline reporter, talk-show host, and baseball announcer on Husker broadcasts before being dismissed. He's now working for the Fort Myers Miracle baseball team.
I also thought of Kent Pavelka as a potential candidate as well. Not sure how being a Husker basketball broadcaster would work on a station that doesn't have the rights to the games, especially considering that that restriction carries over to interviews with the coaches. Personally, if I was trying to increase interest in Nebraska basketball, I'd not only encourage KOZN to hire Pavelka, but find a way to get Tim Miles onto the other Omaha radio stations on a regular basis. That runs counter to the exclusive arrangement that the "Husker Sports Network" has with the University, but that arrangement may be penny-wise but dollar-foolish with respect to basketball.