OUR RADIO FAMILY
Paul Freeman Tinkle, CRMC, CRSM
President & General Manager
Paul Tinkle jumped into 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 WCMT in Martin, Tennessee. Now he’s the President of Thunderbolt Broadcasting, the company that owns WCMT and several other radio stations.
Paul has a Bachelors degree in English and Communications from the University of Tennessee at Martin and has also headed up stations in Union City, Trenton and Milan in addition to the Thunderbolt stations and has worked in both Mayfield and Paducah, Kentucky.
He is a recipient of the Tennessee Association of Broadcaster’s “Distinguished Service Award” and is a “Weakley Countian of the Year.” His radio stations have received the coveted National Association of Broadcaster’s “Crystal” award for outstanding community service while being a ten-time finalist for the honor and they have also been a Marconi finalist.
Paul has served a chairman of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and president of the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He is a founding member of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame and has served as on the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Radio Board of Directors representing Arkansas and Tennessee.
As president of Thunderbolt he oversees 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, WCDZ FM 95.1 in Dresden. In addition to Thunderbolt operates stations on 92.7 in Greenfield, 96.1 in Dresden, 99.7 in South Fulton/Fulton, 100.5 in Martin, 102.9 in Dresden, 103.3 and 107.7 in Union City.
In 2019, Paul was inducted into the Tennessee Association of Broadcaster’s Journalism Hall of Fame for his lifetime work in News and Sports. Paul also serves as the Voice of Weakley County sports calling high school games and hosting a weekly Coaches Corner program which has aired since 1975. In 2020, Paul began his 50th year on the air in radio. Paul is also an author of “The Ready Book” A Comprehensive Guide to Organizing your Life. He is married to Diane DeSario and they have two sons John Watts and Jordan Tinkle.
Gary Capers, CDMC, CRMP
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, Tennessee, a week following his graduation. Gary and Rosemary 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 Franklin, TN) and Jennifer Bristow (who now lives in Nashville). Gary and Rosemary have two grandsons, Ryan and Owen.
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 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 grandsons..
Leatha McCroskey, CRMC, CRSM
Director of Business Development
Leatha McCroskey was born and raised in Martin, where she graduated from Westview High School and has a degree from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Leatha joined the Thunderbolt family for the first time in August, 2012, as a marketing representative and was awarded “Salesperson of the Year” in 2013. She left Thunderbolt to work as a TV account rep in Jackson and learned much about the different types of media advertising and how to make it work together for amazing results. She rejoined Thunderbolt in February of 2018. Leatha loves writing creative advertising campaigns that get results for her customers, enjoys spending some time on the air as needed, but her very favorite part is just being out and about in Weakley, Henry and Obion Counties and Northwest Tennessee in general, making lasting friendships with people everywhere. Leatha loves being a part of the Thunderbolt sales team, and adores her home town and county.
Leatha has two children. Her son, Skylar, attends UTM and is a board operator, on-air talent and color commentator at Thunderbolt. Her daughter, Hannah, attends Dyersburg State Community College and works at Shoe Shack. Leatha is incredibly proud of her children. They are the center of her universe.
Delinda Scarborough Goad is from Union City, Tennessee. She is a graduate of Dyersburg State Community College where she received an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. Delinda has been a dancer for 30 years and enjoys teaching dance and choreography. She is a member of the Union City Kiwanis Club and enjoys volunteering at Masquerade Theatre in Union City.
Jeff Stevens, RMP, CRMC
Jeff Stevens is an award winning songwriter and musician whose innate creativity and business acumen
have led him into leadership in the advertising industry. Prior to radio, Jeff enjoyed success for many
years in media sales in both the print and digital industries. He is well-versed in all things digital
including Geofencing, Retargeting, SEO, SEM, Social Media, Branded Content, Listings, etc. and has built his career on the development of comprehensive strategies for small and medium businesses that make a difference. His customers have come to trust him as a seasoned advocate who can truly help their businesses in many ways. His formal schooling is in the field of fluid power and engineering, but his passion is in marketing and communication. Jeff has some unique talents that augment his talent to “tell a customer’s story”. He was a columnist for a midwestern publication for many years and has won the coveted Bill Payne Award in Advertising. He is also a Master Brewer who received his training from the Siebel Institute of Brewing Studies in Chicago. He has designed very complex systems in the process industry and knows very well both sides of the income statement and balance sheet, as he spent more than a decade as CEO of his own manufacturing firm in Wisconsin.
Jeff and his wife, Donna, recently moved south (to escape the cold) and return to Tennessee where his wife’s family is from. In his spare time Jeff enjoys family, music, humor and antiquing.
At 14 years old, Jim won a record at the radio station by answering a trivia question. When he picked it up, he was fascinated watching the DJ spin records and talk into the microphone. It was then that he knew what he wanted to do. In 1965, Jim traveled to Nashville, took the exam and got his license to operate broadcast equipment. He returned to the radio station and was hired by manager Ed Fritts at age 16.Jim has spent the past 55 years building relationships with his clients and helping them promote their business. His passion is helping others meet their needs and seeing local businesses prosper.
Jim has a BA and an MSE from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He is a Colonel in the Tennessee Jaycees Volunteer Corps and has served as State Regional Vice President and several offices in the local organization, to include President. Jim is an active member at Bishop Street church of Christ. His family is the love of his life. He is married to the former Debi Nelson and they have two children. Kisah Stinnett, who is married to Paul, and Hannah Brewer, married to Jason, have two children.
Cindy Prince, RMP
Martin Traffic and Operations
Cindy Prince began working at Thunderbolt Broadcasting in September of 1979. When she started, she maintained all the on air commercials and announcements 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, CRMC, RMP
Union City Office and Traffic Manager
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.
Charles Choate, RMP
Union City News Director
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 30 FIRST Place awards from the Tennessee Associated Press, for “Best Radio Newscaster,” “Best Investigative Reporting” and “Best Long Newscast.”
Charles is a former 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 and 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.
Martin News Director
Growing up in West Tennessee, the only thing Steve James wanted to do was working radio. In 1989, while he was in high school, Steve got his first job at his hometown radio station, and it’s the only job he’s had since. Before being named News Director for Thunderbolt Radio, Steve was a morning radio personality for 20+ years, was a Farm Director for a regional ag network, and voiced nationally-aired infomercials. In his spare time, Steve binge watches comedies and documentaries and refinishes drums. Steve has won several first place awards for “Best Radio Newscast” & “Best Breaking News. Steve loves the connection our radio stations have with the Kenn-Tenn community, and feels that strong connection is a vital part of the success of Thunderbolt Radio & Digital. You can follow Steve on Twitter @SteveJamesRadio.
Programming and On-Air Advisor
Terry Hailey was born in Memphis, raised in Troy, and graduated Obion Central High School and UT Martin. He became “hooked on radio” at age 13 and loved music. Hailey also played in a rock band while in high school.
His first radio job was in 1967 in Dyersburg. He later came to Union City to be the nighttime disc jockey on WENK in 1968. Hailey worked his way up the ladder, serving as the Company President for 42 years and DJ for 50. He also spent three years teaching high school English at Obion Central and 35 years as a speech instructor for UT Martin.
In addition to Thunderbolt Radio and Digital, Hailey continues to serve as Mayor of Union City and serves as church organist at First United Methodist Church in Union City. He serves on several boards, including Discovery Park of America, the Union City Planning Commission and the Obion County Industrial Development Corporation. He is a JCI Senator and a lifetime member of the Tennessee Jaycees. Hailey states, “I was privileged to serve as President of the Union City Jaycees, the Union City Rotary Club. I am also a past President of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters.”
Terry Hailey enjoys fishing, visiting his children and spending time at home. He has a vinyl record collection of more than 20,000 units! He and his wife Mitzi have three sons. Chad and wife Christy live in Nashville; Travis and husband Lonnie also live in Nashville. His son Bret along with wife Chelsea and grandson Sawyer live in Chattanooga.
Hailey says, “Obviously, I love music… and that’s what I’ll be doing here at Mix 101.3 and Star 95.1.”.
On August 7, 2019, Terry Hailey was awarded the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters “Distinguished Service Award” — the highest honor awarded once per year to a single broadcaster for “outstanding service and contribution to their community.”
Thunderbolt Radio Production Manager
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. He returned to college graduating with a BA in Communications with a focus in Broadcast Performance and Minor in Theatre from UT Martin December ’19.
Kevin is a loving husband and father of 2 children.
Kevin also serves a Production Director for Thunderbolt Radio!
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.”
Kevin co-hosts with Paul Tinkle and Terry Hailey on “Good Times In The Morning” from 6am to 9am and also takes you through your midday hours on Mix 101.3, weekdays from noon to 3pm.
Community Affairs Manager & On Air Talent
Robert is on air from 8 PM to midnight Monday through Friday on Mix 101.3 – WCMT, as well as weekdays from 10 to 3 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.
Digital Director / Assistant Engineer
Brian Thomas has been in broadcasting since he was 17 years old. Brian was first hired as a sports reporter in 1999 at TV station WDYR in Dyersburg, Tennessee by one of the area’s well-known sports directors, Larry McIntosh. Brian spent two years at WBBJ TV in Jackson, Tennessee, working as the chief commercial producer.
In 2006, Brian changed gears into radio, first in marketing and later as a morning co-host (alongside Steve James) and disc jockey in Dyersburg, Tennessee at WASL, WTRO and WTNV and was host of the very popular “Homegrown Rock Show.” He occasionally filled in on the “Party Line” radio program in the footsteps of long-time hosts Al Wood, Steve Guttery and Tom Hunt (Hunt, who also was Best Man at Brian’s wedding in 2013 and who he remains good friends with to this day).
A certified SKYWARN storm spotter, Brian 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. Thomas makes his home in Dresden with his wife Candice and his four children.
Brian is an accomplished voice talent and has recorded imaging and commercials for radio stations across the country. He joined Thunderbolt Radio in August 2013 as the Digital Operations Manager. Brian remains a loyal Thunderbolt on-air personality for Star 95.1 WCDZ Monday through Friday from 3pm-10pm. In August of 2019, Brian accepted the position of Chief Broadcast Engineer for the Communications Department at the University of Tennessee at Martin, while maintaining the position of Digital Director at Thunderbolt Radio and Digital.
Star 95.1 and WCMT On-Air Talent / Sportscaster
Skylar McCroskey was born in Knoxville, and was raised in Martin, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Westview High School Class of 2016. He previosly interned at SoKnox Music Studios in Knoxville as a sound engineer. Skylar enjoys making and listening to music, as well as working with other artists to make the best sound possible.
Skylar joined the team in February of 2018 as a sound engineer for sports broadcasts, and was quickly promoted to bringing news and sports to listeners of Star 95.1 Monday through Friday. He also runs the morning show every Saturday on WCMT.
In July of 2019, Skylar accepted a position to broadcast Friday Night Football games on Mix 101.3 WCMT with now-hall-of-famer Paul Tinkle, where Skylar brings knowledge from his 10-year football career. Shortly after, Skylar was offered a position on ESPN+ as the play-by-play broadcaster for the University of Tennessee at Martin’s women’s soccer team alongside Barrett Belote.
Skylar is also an avid sports fan. No matter where you are, you can probably hear him cheering for his Tennessee Volunteers, Los Angeles Lakers, Green Bay Packers, or Tennessee Titans.
On Air Talent, Country 104.9 KYTN / 105.7 The Quake
Dave has spent 20 years in and around radio and is considered a perfectionist in giving listeners on the Quake and KYTN a reason to listen every time they tune in.
On Air Talent, 105.7 The Quake, Country 104.9 KYTN, Mix 101.3
Thunderbolt Broadcasting’s resident rock goddess, Maggie hails from middle Tennessee and studied Theatre at UT Martin. She’s half mermaid and half dire wolf, and her favorite bands are Zeppelin, Soundgarden, and Muse. Maggie has starred in several Masquerade Theatre productions in Union City, and she is an avid runner.
Maggie is the host and producer of “Maggie in the Morning” on 105.7 The Quake weekdays from 6 to 9. She records many commercial ads each week for Thunderbolt Radio. Maggie is also on from 3 PMto 7 PM weekdays on Mix 101.3, and on Country 104.9 KYTN weeknights from 8 PM to midnight on Saturdays as well as Sundays.
On Air Talent, 105.7 The Quake, Country 104.9 KYTN
Robin Francis joined the Thunderbolt Radio family in November of 2014. He is part of the Quake & KYTN as on-air staff He fills the highly rated nighttime slot of 6 PM until Midnight on the Quake and has the afternoon drive on KYTN from 3 PM to 8 PM . Robin also voices & produces commercial advertisements & on-air features for Thunderbolt Radio. Robin is one of the original Quake radio personalities who helped bring an active rock format to the Ken-Tenn area in 1997.
Robin has been in radio & TV since 1981. He has filled just about every position possible in the broadcasting industry working for such radio outlets as WENK, WWKF, WTPR, WAKQ, WTNE & WLJT TV.
Robin is one of the most respected sports broadcasting personalities in the region. From studio work to play by play for local & regional sports broadcasts, he has called countless sporting events over the past 30+ years..
On Air Talent, Mix 101.3
Steve feels that he is truly blessed to have one of the best jobs…playing music for all of our great listeners on Mix 101-3. He loves helping you get your morning and workday underway! Being such a fan of music he still has a hard time believing that he gets paid to listen to music all day.
When not on the radio he loves spending time with his family that includes wife Connie and 2 sons, Matt and Brandon. They all have a great love for animals and share their home with a large collection of dogs and cats. Most of them were rescue animals who have given such joy as they give unconditional love. Steve also enjoys riding and collecting motorcycles with his brother and sports! Being an Ohio native, his favorite sports teams are The Cleveland Indians and The Cleveland Browns…and of course The Ohio State Buckeyes! Steve and his whole family loves the state of Tennessee with the incredible towns and people. He hopes you will join him every day as he plays your favorite music on Mix 101-3!
Brad has been the Chief Engineer of the Thunderbolt Broadcasting family for many years. He is the person responsible for keeping all of the transmitting equipment functioning properly.
Weather Expert and Master Forecaster
Charles has been a long-time resident of Weakley County and has seen many different kinds of weather. Hear our master forecaster ‘Weatherologist’ during Good Times in the Morning, on weekdays at 7:20 on WCMT.
Photo to the right: Charles and Mary Nethery, WCMT’s 60th Anniversary
Danny has been with the radio station for many years, performing various functions around the office. He is always happy to talk with anyone who visits the radio station. Danny is also an avid Tennessee sports fan.
High School Sportscaster
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 to 2011. He left Ken-Tenn in 2011, and now works as a partner with White & Associates-Hatler-Cary Agency in Martin, Tennessee.
John is an active member of the community where he serves in several capacities. He is an elected member of the Weakley County School Board, WLJT Board of Directors- Executive Council, the Weakley County Chamber of Commerce, where he served as President in 2016, and past president of the UT Martin Skyhawk Club. 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.
High School Sportscaster
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.
High School Sportscaster
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 and Colton.
High School Sportscaster
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, Tennessee. 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.
High School Sportscaster
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 UT Martin. Rauchle recently retired from United States Postal Service with over 39 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.
High School Sportscaster
Vic DuRall has been a part of the broadcast family at Thunderbolt Broadcasting since 1978. Except for a period from late 1982-mid to 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 retired in 2018 from the Lake County school system after 30 years of teaching American History, while broadcasting sports and coaching Middle School basketball and football for 16 years.
DuRall and his wife, Hope who also is a retired teacher, live in Union City and have two children and three grandchildren. He is an active member of 2nd Baptist Church in Union City and enjoys singing in the sanctuary choir. His other interests include playing golf, reading, and travel.
High School Sportscaster
Justin Jones has complimented Russ Barker and Danny Carr (also known as J.J. and the Franchise) 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. Jones has been a member of the Thunderbolt Broadcasting family since 2011.
Voice of the UT Martin Skyhawks
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.
Billy keeps vital stats for Union City basketball and football games and provides color commentary. He joined our broadcast team in 2012.
CRMC – Certified Radio Marketing Consultant
CRSM – Certified Radio Sales Manager
CDMC – Certified Digital Marketing Consultant
CRMP – Certified Radio Marketing Professional
RMP – Radio Marketing Professional