Union City: 731.885.0051
Speak Out: 731.503.9675
Paul Tinkle began in broadcasting when he was nine years old….talking on his grandfather’s CB radio. When he was 15 he was hired to be the janitor of the radio station in Martin, Tennessee where he began his radio career as the janitor. He is now President of Thunderbolt Broadcasting that owns that radio station and several others.
Paul has a Bachelors degree in English and Communications from the University of Tennessee at Martin and has headed up stations in Union City, Martin, Trenton and Milan and has worked in both Mayfield and Paducah, Kentucky.
He is a recipient of the Tennessee Association of Broadcaster’s “Distinguished Service Award” and “Weakley Countian of the Year” honors. His radio stations have received the coveted National Association of Broadcaster’s “Crystal” award for community service while being a ten-time finalist for the honor and they have also been a Marconi finalist.
Paul is a past chairman of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and past president of the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He is a founding member of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame and was recently elected to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) as a director representing Arkansas and Tennessee.
As president of Thunderbolt Broadcasting the company owns and operates KYTN FM 104.9 and WQAK FM 105.7 both in Union City and WCMT AM 1410 in Martin, WCMT FM 101.3 in South Fulton and WCDZ FM 95.1 in Dresden, Tennessee.
Paul is author of “The Ready Book” and is married and they have two sons John Watts and Jordan Tinkle.
A native from Alabama, Jason Aldridge had a drug problem. He was “drug” from Alabama, to Georgia and then to Tennessee as a kid, enjoying all the scenery and people that became a part of his life along the way. After graduating Union City High School, Jason attended UT Martin where he received his B.S. in Communications specializing in Broadcasting.
Ok, so that was 25 years ago…and here he is still today…still wearing headphones and doing radio. But his job as a broadcaster has kept him going to different places in different roles. From doing morning shows, newscasts, Program Director and Operations Manager all the way to the big corner office as General Manager. Jason’s radio stops have included Fulton KY., Dyersburg, Jackson, Clarksville and Knoxville, TN and Owensboro KY.
Great times happened at all those stops but he found his way back to Union City. Jason has six wonderful children from 21 years old to his youngest at six years of age and they keep him pretty young and on the move!
• Board Member of the Obion County Chamber of Commerce Board as VP of Community Development
• Owner/Lead Photographer of Jason Aldridge Photography
• Football fanatic
• Drumline instructor for UCHS
Cindy Prince began working at Thunderbolt Broadcasting in September of 1979. When she bagan she maintained all the on air commercials announcement that aired for WCMT-AM and WCMT-FM while using an old IBM typewriter! Today she does that plus much more including managing the day to day business operation for Thunderbolt Broadcasting and serves as a community liasion.
Cindy has been married to her husband Sammy since 1982 and they have two children Tessa and Cody. They are members of First Baptist Church in Martin. In her spare time Cindy enjoys reading and watching Cardinal baseball and Tennessee football.
Davita Stephenson has lived in the Union City area since 1975 when her parents bought the former Hick’s Market and renamed it to Skaggs Market. She is a graduate of Union City High School, is married to Robert Stephenson and has two children, Brandon and Breanna.
Davita has been with Thunderbolt Broadcasting since 2007, beginning in sales before moving into the position of Office and Traffic Manager, meaning she sees over the day to day responsibilities of insuring all commercials and other announcements are aired properly. She also gives tours of the radio stations, works with customers on their marketing and is involved in a number of community projects. Davita has obtained “Radio Marketing Professional” and “Certified Radio Marketing Consultant” certification with the Radio Advertising Bureau.
John Watts got his first job in radio at Thunderbolt Broadcasting at the age of 14 working for WCMT. His first responsibilities were mowing the station lawn, painting the radio station, sealing the parking lot and running the weekend programming. After high school John moved to Nashville and worked for WNAH, the oldest radio station in Tennessee. John then joined the United State Marine Corps and during his eight years of active duty service he was an award winning combat correspondent and marketing director for recruiting in Northeast Ohio. After leaving the Marines, John worked for WFXB TV FOX43 in Myrtle Beach before returning to Thunderbolt as the Group Sales Manager. John also does voice-over work world wide for TV, radio, audio books and more.( wattsvoice.com) He is married and resides in Cayce, Kentucky with his wife and their three children and two cats.
• First Concert (who and where): Metallica, in Memphis
• Favorite Food (favorite food right now): meat.
• Name one tune that’s “recently played” on your iPod: Ensiferum, “In my sword I trust”
• Favorite Book: “The Demon Haunted World” – Carl Sagan
• Favorite Movie: It’s a wonderful life or Full Metal Jacket
• Favorite TV Shows: Supernatural, Justified, House of Cards
• Current Hobby: Trying to stay off government watchlists
• Favorite Quote: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” – Benjamin Franklin
• Latest accomplishment: Finalist for Radio Ink magazine’s “Radio Wayne Sales Manager of the Year” award.
• Why I do what I do: Nobody else wants to do it and it needs getting done.
Charles Choate was employed as News Director for the KYTN and WQAK for Thunderbolt Radio in Union City in 2006. Prior to that, he was the sports and feature stories writer for the Hickman Courier, a weekly publication in Hickman, Kentucky. During his career with Thunderbolt Broadcasting, Charles has received six 1st Place awards from the Tennessee Associated Press, for “Best Radio Newscaster” and “Best Investigative Reporting.”
Charles is also a long-time Hickman, Kentucky City commissioner and was named a Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year.” He is very community active, serving for over 30 years as a Summer League baseball coach, assistant baseball coach at Fulton County High School and Chairman of the Hickman Pecan Festival. He and his wife April have two children, daughter Kara and son Ryne.
Radio is all Steve James ever wanted to do and he has been blessed to do just that since his junior year of high school. April 2014 will mark his 25th year as a broadcaster. Steve has done a little bit of everything in radio, from board operator to program director. He loves the connection that our radio station has with the Ken-Tenn area and feels it’s a vital part of the success of Thunderbolt Broadcasting.
When he’s not at the radio station or out covering local news events Steve can be found in his favorite spot: on the couch with his family, probably watching something stupid on TV. One little known fact about Steve is that he was the voice-over for “The Back-Up” infomercial, which has been featured, or ridiculed, on VH1′s Best Of, TruTV’s World’s Smartest Inventions and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Go ahead, Google it!
Steve, his wife Sherri, and his children, Reed and Ally, faithfully attend church at Union City First Assembly of God where Steve and his wife serve on the worship team. Steve is proud to be a part of the Thunderbolt Broadcasting family and thanks you for letting us be a part of yours.
Robert is on air 8p to midnight Monday-Friday on Mix 101.3 WCMT, as well as Sunday mornings on WCMT and Sunday afternoons on Star 95.1. Robert heads up many of the Thunderbolt Radio community projects. Additionally, Robert handles all matters relating to the Pet Patrol heard on the Thunderbolt Radio family of stations.
Kevin is a Union City native and graduate of Union City High School class of ’99. After spending three years in the radio industry from 1996 to 1990, Kevin attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN where he studied Broadcast Communications. He worked in retail management for eight years and banking for seven before returning to his roots in Union City and joining the Thunderbolt Radio family. Kevin is a father to his young daughter and he has a passion for all things sports and music. Kevin has a rather “eclectic taste” in music saying he “loves everything from classic oldies to modern rock and adult contemporary.” His strong base of music knowledge and trivia from the 80′s, 90′s that he incorporates into his morning show on Star 95.1 allows him to relate to his audience in a meaningful man while he’s do the “morning drive” from 5-8am daily. Kevin also serves a Production Director for WCMT AM, Mix 101.3 and Star 95.1!” Kevin says..”I’m excited to get up at 3:30am and hit the ground running” and often says “if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life!.” Station president Paul Tinkle says “Kevin is one of the most polite men I have ever met, always willing to learn more and looks for creative opportunities to help businesses generate traffic through his production skills.”
You can wake up to Kevin on Star 95.1 Monday-Saturday 5am to 10am. Kevin also takes you through your midday hours on Mix 101.3, weekdays 10am to 3pm.
Brian Thomas has been in broadcasting since he was 17 years old. While in high school, Brian was hired on by one of the area’s greatest sports directors, Larry McIntosh, reporting sports for the new television station WDYR in Dyersburg, Tennessee. (The station went off the air after Brian left.) He later became a news reporter and producer of nighttime newscasts at the TV station. Brian spent two years at WBBJ TV in Jackson, TN, working as a commercial producer. Most recently, Brian spent the last six years in radio in Dyersburg, TN and was host of the very popular “Homegrown Rock Show”; he occasionally filled in on the “Party-Line” radio program. Brian joined Thunderbolt Radio in August 2013 as the Digital Director and oversees all on-air products for WCMT AM, WCMT FM and WCDZ FM. He enjoys web development and recording commercials at Thunderbolt Broadcasting and fills in on Good Times in the Morning. Brian is heard during the afternoons and evenings (3p-10p) on Star 95.1.
Brian is an accomplished voice talent; he has recorded imaging and commercials for radio stations across the country, including Lite Rock 95.9 in Cookeville, TN and KJFM Eagle 102 in Louisiana, MO. He has also recorded for stations as far away as 92 Gold and Kinzua Country 104.3 in Warren, PA, and stations in Corsicana, TX.
Brian was a millennium graduate of Dyer County High School in Newbern, TN and has attended Dyersburg State for Information Technology. He holds a General Class FCC Amateur Radio License and has performed many on-air training sessions in the community regarding public safety and emergency preparedness. Brian is a certified SKYWARN storm spotter with the National Weather Service and has received a certificate of appreciation for serving as a net control operator of the nightly “weather net,” an on-air cooperative effort between amateur radio operators and the National Weather Service. He enjoys striking up conversations on the air with his radio friends and spending quality family time at home. Brian is happily married and they have four children.
Ethan Plunk began working at Thunderbolt Broadcasting in August of 2011 when he was 16 as a evening and weekend board operator for 104.9 KYTN in Union City. After a year of hard work, he also became the board operator for 101.3. In September of 2013 he added on “Weekend News Reporter” to his list of responsibilities.
Ethan is a member of the Westview High School class of 2014 and plans to major in Communications at UT Martin. He has been the #1 for his high school tennis team.
Ethan says that “working at Thunderbolt Broadcasting since I was a sophomore and having many very talented co-workers to look up to has taught me a lot about what kind of person I want to be.” He goes on to say “the radio station is a place I don’t mind being at all day Saturday, because whether it is my boss quizzing me about college football coaches or my co-workers helping me to pronounce ‘Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’ there is always a new experience for me to encounter that I can use for the rest of my life.”
Larry Doxey is the “dean” of the Thunderbolt on-air radio staff having begun in radio at WCMT in June 10, 1967. All during high school, being in broadcasting is all Larry wanted to do. Larry remembers using a salt shaker for a microphone at the dining table, pretending to be on the radio.
Two weeks after graduating from high school in 1967, Larry started his first job at WCMT AM 1410 in Martin. He worked Saturday and Sunday only, but that was a start. Larry attended Jackson State Community College the same year. In April 1968, Larry entered the United States Army and was later deployed to Vietnam in 1969. Larry returned to WCMT in 1970 and then worked at WENK and WWKF radio in Union City.
He was a member of the first on air staff at WALR FM (now KYTN) in Union City (along with Paul Tinkle, Woodie Cobb, Jim Adcock and Lou Wrather) and later served as general manager of KYTN from 1989 until 1994. During that time, Larry also was elected to the board of directors of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, including the positions of West Tennessee Director and Vice President for Radio.
Larry grew up listening to Art Roberts and Ron Riley on WLS Chicago and of course, Jack Parnell on WHBQ Memphis. Larry finally had the great honor in 2013 to meet Parnell one of his favorite radio DJs, when Parnell was in town speaking to the Union City Rotary. In 2012, Larry was on air at WLS in Chicago for the 50th anniversary of the Dick Biondi show; he congratulated Biondi on his 50 years of service.
Larry says, “I am still happy to be able to continue to be in radio broadcasting. It has been a big adventure… lots of good times, lots of friends over the years, and truly lots of memories.” Larry is now retired from the Tennessee Army National Guard after 23 years. You can hear him on the air every afternoon 104.9 and evenings on 95.1.
When he’s not spending time behind the microphone, David Houston is teaching students in the Union City school system. David has spent 20 years in and around radio and is considered a perfectionist in providing children a quality education and giving listeners on the Quake and KYTN a reason to listen every time they tune in.
Information coming soon!
Chuck Hammer started at WCMT when he was 16 years old. He worked for Thunderbolt Broadcasting until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Chuck was honorably discharged in 2012 after serving five years aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier U.S.S. John C. Stennis as a damage controlman; while aboard, he obtained the rank of petty officer first class. He currently attends UT Martin majoring in communications. Chuck and his wife Jade have two children (twins) named Colby and Calleigh Hammer.
John Hatler’s has dabbled into broadcasting for six years helping as a color announcer for the Lions Club Christmas basketball tournaments. He became Paul Tinkle’s color announcer and analyst in the fall of 2013 when Paul’s long time partner Vic DuRall stepped away from the football microphone.
John was born and raised in Red Oak, Texas, where he graduated from Red Oak High School in 1993. He played baseball for two years at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree. John is an avid fan and supporter of UT Martin. John has deep ties to athletics in West Tennessee. He developed his vast network of coaching contacts during his 16 year career with Ken-Tenn Sports, now BSN, from 1995-2011. He left Ken-Tenn in 2011, and now works as an independent insurance agent for Alan Cary and Cary Insurance Services, INC.
John is an active member of the community where he serves in several capacities. He is on the WLJT Board of Directors, Weakley County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Martin FCA Board of Directors and the Commissioner of the Martin Girls Softball League.
John is the son of Rick Hatler of Martin, and Susie Malray Hatler of South Fulton. He married Jody (Brown) Hatler, of Martin, in 2000. Jody teaches science at Dresden Middle School, and they have two beautiful daughters, Cara Brooke and Cambry.
When not working behind the control desk at WLJT TV DT Russ has served as the play by play announcer for 104.9 KYTN FM sports. Russ has called tournament games both locally and on the TSSAA radio network. Russ is team on Friday nights with team mate Danny Carr during football season and Justin Jones in basketball season. Russ also serves as play by play for UT Martin television sports broadcasts.
Danny Carr began doing play by play for KYTN in 1990. During that time since he has covered Obion County Central football and basketball every year including covering the Rebels in seven states and several trips to the TSSAA State Tournament. He served as News and Sports Director at the station from 1991-1993. During this time he has served a police officer for the Union City Police officer. He has since become a School Officer with the Hickman County KY school system and also serves as the Junior High girls Basketball Head Coach. He and his wife, Karen, have two sons, Jacob, who is at Troy University in Troy, Alabama, and Colton, a senior at Obion County Central. Danny is also the Youth Minister at First Baptist Church in Clinton, Ky.
Art is the color analyst on WQAK for Union City High School sports and has been a part of all of Union City’s state championships. His insight to each game from his colorful commentary and quick statistical analysis makes Art a great partner with Mike Rauchle.
When he’s not behind the microphone Art is a partner at Alexander Thompson Arnold CPA, firm in Union City, Tenn. In the 30 years he’s served as a public accountant, Sparks has positioned himself as a leader in peer review and quality control issues. He performs peer reviews each year for public accounting firms across the country and consults with numerous smaller firms. His work with peer reviews enhances the quality of accounting, attestation and auditing services for firms across the nation. His experience also pushes ATA’s professionals to provide higher quality services to its clients. His areas of specialization include quality control, peer review, and accounting and auditing. Sparks currently serves as the chair of the Tennessee Society of CPAs and as a member of the TSCPA Peer Review, Finance and Personnel Committees.
Mike Rauchle started as a sideline reporter in 1978 working with the late Jim Cawley broadcasting Union City High School and Obion County Central School sports. He is presently the play by play announcer for Union City High School and calls the games with Art Sparks, a well respected CPA who provides colorful commentary while Mike calls the games. Mike has been a part of the broadcasting of seven state basketball championships and two state football titles along with a number of semi-final games for Union City High School.
Mike is a 1969 graduate of Union City High School where he received honorable mention all State, District and Region in basketball. He also attended Union University and UTM. Rauchle recently retired from United States Postal Service with 39 and one/half years of service. Mike also served with the Tennessee National Guard for eight years.
Mike is a member of First Baptist Church Union City. He is married to Phyllis Dortch Rauchle, and they have 2 sons, Bill and Grant. Mike is also the nephew of Mid-South radio legend, Jack Parnell.
Vic DuRall has been a part of the broadcast family at Thunderbolt Broadcasting since 1978. Except for a period from late 1982-mid 1985 when he worked at WENK in Union City and a brief period in the insurance industry, DuRall has served WCMT in some capacity including on-air talent, Program Director, and News Director. The one consistent area DuRall has been a part of throughout that time is sports broadcasting, providing play-by-play and color/analysis for hundreds of high school basketball and football games. He continues to work with long-time partner Paul Tinkle on high school basketball games on WCMT. Vic is considered by Tinkle as the best organized color announcer anywhere. Tinkle says when he comes to a basketball game “Vic brings the “knowledge… all I have to do is describe the game and Vic does the rest.
DuRall holds degrees in Communications and Secondary Education from UT-Martin and a Masters Degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. He has taught American History and World Geography in the Lake County school system since 1991 while broadcasting sports and also coached Middle School basketball and football for 16 years. DuRall and his wife Hope, also a teacher, live in Union City and have two children and two grandchildren. He is an active member of 2nd Baptist Church in Union City and enjoys singing in the sanctuary choir. Other interests include playing golf and reading.
Justin Jones has complimented Russ Barker and Danny Carr on “color” for a number of Obion Central Rebel football and basketball brackets and has provide both color and play by play when Barker has been away from the microphone.
Chris Brinkley began working at WCMT when he was a junior in high school. Now retired from Good Times In The Morning, Chris has served as co-host with Paul Tinkle for over 20 years and had worked at Thunderbolt Broadcasting for 25 years. Chris began calling high school basketball games on WCMT in 1991. Chris has been the voice of the UT Martin Skyhawks for 15 years and continues to serve in that position today.
Leatha McCroskey was born and raised in Martin and got into radio at the age of 16, when she was hired by KYTN as a news reporter. She also worked during high school as a reporter for the City of Martin and sometimes reported for the Weakley County Press. Upon graduation from Westview High School, she went to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Education. It was there that she met and married her husband Joe McCroskey, a Knoxville native and they moved together to Martin in 1998.
Leatha returned to radio in August of 2012 when she joined the Thunderbolt Radio family as an account representative. She earned her Certified Radio Marketing Consultant certification. Today she works with business owners to increase their profits through use of creative radio advertising campaigns on Thunderbolt media. She also enjoys contributing to the Thunderbolt Facebook pages, the “Good Times in the Morning” program and being a sideline reporter during Westview football broadcasts.
Leatha’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family. Her husband, Joe, is the postmaster for the Dresden post office and he also responsible for operations in Dukedom, Palmersville, and Gleason. Leatha’s children Skylar and Hannah both attend Westview High School, where Skylar plays football and Hannah plays soccer. The McCroskeys are active members of First United Methodist Church in Martin.
A couple of random facts about Leatha…she’s a rabid Vol and Green Bay Packer fan. Her all-time favorite movie is Dumb and Dumber. She can quote it verbatim.
Allison Aumiller touts a thirty year career in marketing, selling and managing printing projects. Allison is a certified radio marketing professional who wants to help you garner more of the market by bringing new customers to your door through creative broadcast and digital media.
Allison strives to create a well executed advertising plan for clients large and small. She is a huge advocate of animal and human rights. For fun, Allison likes to get her hands dirty with gardening of flowers, trees and vegetables. Player of word games of all types.
Allison values family and friends most in her life.
Gary Capers was born in Adena, Ohio and lived there until he enrolled in college at West Virginia University. After two years at WVU, Gary transferred to UT Martin and finished his undergraduate degree. He married Rosemary Jorge of Gleason, TN a week following his graduation. Gary and his new family then moved to Memphis, where he taught and coached for ten years. While living in Memphis, Gary earned his Master’s degree at Memphis State University. He and Rosemary later moved to Martin, where he took a job as the head football coach at Westview High School.
Gary’s family includes two married daughters, Caryn Hanna (who now lives in Rochester, New York) and Jennifer Bristow (who now lives in Nashville). Gary and Rosemary have one grandson (Ryan) who lives in Rochester.
After leaving Westview High School, Gary began his broadcasting career as an on-air announcer for area high school football games when Paul Tinkle hired him to be his color announcer. Gary has done provided color on basketball games too. Since 2002, Gary has been a broadcast marketing professional for the Thunderbolt Broadcasting sales team. He has obtained his Certified Radio Marketing Consultant certification. When not working in the sales department Gary enjoys playing golf, talking “old school football” and spending time with his grandson.
Amy is a native of Obion County and proudly share roots from Weakley County. She attended the University of Tennessee at Martin and Arkansas State University and has degrees in Mass Communications. She has worked in television production, newspaper, and has been employed at Thunderbolt Broadcasting for nearly 20 years as a Certified Radio Marketing Consultant. She has developed and implement marketing strategies for hundreds of local businesses. Amy says “over the years, I have been very blessed with talented on-air staff to help give me a great product to my customers. I am very goal – oriented, and care about the bottom line for my clients, and enjoy providing the best customer service that I can.”
She goes on to say “ I love, love, love RADIO! I have always had a tremendous passion for music. I enjoy following local sports and news, plus radio is a medium that has more flexibility than any other media! As a certified radio marketing consultant, I absolutely enjoy being around people, learning about their field of endeavor, and being an important part of helping them grow their business… but the bottom line for why I do what I do: I only have a face for radio!”
First Concert: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MID-SOUTH COLISEUM, MEMPHIS
Fav Food: RIBEYE STEAK
Last Tune: PERFECT DAY by the late Lou Reed
Last Book: HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY by Phil Robertson
Last Movie: GRAVITY with George Clooney & Sandra Bullock
Current Hobby: Amateur Photography
Fav Childhood: My parents surprising me with a Baby Grand Piano!!
What Makes Me Laugh: ANYTHING THAT’S REALLY WITTY!
Celeb Crush: GREG BRADY aka BARRY WILLIAMS & HENRY WINKLER aka THE FONZ!!
PROFESSIONAL: MEETING SALES GOALS!
PERSONAL: NOT TAKING LIFE SO SERIOUSLY
* 1997 Employee of The Year
* 2002 Record Sales Achievement
* 2003 Outstanding Sales Performance
* Member of WE MADE IT HAPPEN award, Obion County Chamber 2013
* Member of Weakley County Chamber’s Business of the Year
Barbie Hardy is a native of the twin cities, Fulton and South Fulton. She graduated from South Fulton High School and attended the University of Tennessee at Martin.
She has lived in this area most of her life with the exception of 12 years in Dallas, Texas. She spent her time in Dallas as a Human Resources Staffing Manager for Texas Instruments.
She and her husband, Ben, decided to move back to South Fulton, shortly after their daughter, Mikaela, was born to be close to family.
She spent the past several years as a stay at home mom and serving as president and vice president of the South Fulton PTO for four years. Barbie decided to reenter the working world when Mikaela graduated high school and headed to college at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Barbie enjoys her role as Marketing Consultant for Thunderbolt. She believes in building relationships with her customers to better understand their business and its needs. She strives to provide the highest quality marketing solutions for her clients.
She spends her free time enjoying her family and friends and also, watching Mikaela cheer at UTM sporting events.