- America's Trucking Network
America's Trucking Network is a syndicated nightly radio broadcast heard across the United States. Targeted toward truckers, the variety program, hosted by
Steve Sommersand Eric " Bubba Bo" Boulanger, covers numerous topics, mostly news and issues pertaining to truckers.
He also occasionally participates in trucker activism Other topics discussed include weather, diesel prices, traffic, auto racing, and general trucker chat. Some
country musiccontinues to be played on the program between, even after the show's original host went to an all-talk format.
The show was launched in 1984 by
Dale Sommers, under the name "The Truckin' Bozo." The show had a network of approximately a dozen affiliates at any given time; however, almost all of these were clear channelstations that had very large coverage areas during the show's air time.
Due to health problems, Dale Sommers was forced to retire in 2003. His son,
Steve Sommers, had been hosting the weekend edition of the program and was the natural successor to the weekday show. Dale Sommers would shortly thereafter take a daytime position at XM Satellite Radio, which had carried the program since 2001, taking the "Truckin' Bozo" title with him after several months of discussion with WLW.
To fill in Steve Sommers's former weekend position, flagship station
WLW-AMhired Eric Boulanger, more commonly known by his alias of "Bubba Bo." Boulanger has been fired or laid off twice from the station: once when a guest set off the smoke alarms cooking steak and eggs in the lunch room inside the WLW studios, and again in January 2007 when Clear Channel made budget cuts across its entire radio operations. However, as of February 2007 he is back on the air thanks to the Idle Buster company paying his salary.
America's Trucking Network airs five hours per night, live from 12 midnight to 5 AM Eastern Time. Steve Sommers hosts the show from early Monday through early Friday, while Bubba Bo hosts early Saturday and Sunday.
The show is currently heard on three affiliates, all currently or formerly owned by
Clear Channel Communications.
WLW700, in Cincinnati, Ohio, is and has been the flagship of the network. WLW is the only station to carry all five hours of the program.
* WWVA 1170, in
Wheeling, West Virginia, carries the last four hours of the program 7 days per week.
KWKH1130, in Shreveport, Louisiana, carries the last four hours of the program, weeknights only.
Despite the low affiliate count, all three of these affiliates are
clear channel(no pun intended) stations, resulting in the show reaching all of North America east of the Rocky Mountains.
The show can also be heard via WLW's satellite channel on XM, as well as the Internet feeds of both WLW and KWKH.
The show is often spelled "America's Truckin' Network" as an allusion to the former Truckin' Bozo title.
America's Trucking Network is not to be confused with the
Midnight Radio Networkwith Eric Harley, formerly the "Midnight Trucking Radio Network." That show is a rival of America's Trucking Network. Steve Sommers(with 2 Ms) is not to be confused with another late-night host, sports talk host Steve Somers(with 1 M) of WFAN.
* [http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/04/22/loc_bozo22.html Cincinnati Enquirer] story on the Truckin' Bozo's departure
* [http://blackcincinnati.blogspot.com/2005/07/cincinnati-radio-changes.html Article] from the Cincinnati Post (via Black Cincinnati blog) on Bubba Bo's initial firing.
* [http://www.700wlw.com/pages/onair_stevesommers.html Steve Sommers's official blog]
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