Beyond football, do people care about what Green Bay Packers players think?
This is a question that WTMJ-AM 620 will figure out as Mark Tauscher and John Kuhn will get their own one-hour show for eight weeks this season. "Tauscher and Kuhn" is slated to air at noon to 1 p.m. on selected Tuesday afternoons.
This isn’t the first time something like this has been tried. WAUK 540-AM, the local ESPN sports talk station in the market, has had its "Tuesdays with Aaron" show with team quarterback Aaron Rogers for the past few seasons. But, the Aaron Rodgers show is hosted by Jason Wilde and sports is the prominent topic.
Rodgers’ teammates Tauscher and Kuhn won’t be hosting a talk show. The pair plans to tackle current events, pop culture and other relevant topics.
"WTMJ is committed to developing original, live, local programming and talent for our listeners," Tom Langmyer, vice president and GM of Journal’s Milwaukee radio operations, said.
"Mark and John have great chemistry. This is a chance to hear them unplugged discussing all areas of life, beyond the Xs and Os of sports. We look forward to have Mark and John on our team."
Having current athletes lead a non-sports program doesn’t bother me, as in the media business, many of the great TV anchors, writers, producers and show hosts have worked in sports before going over to news and other areas. The question will be, that beyond the initial novelty, can the pair of players maintain the audience.
Their backgrounds may leave a few clues on how things may go here.
Tauscher was a Green Bay Packers offensive tackle from 2000 to 2010. Born in Marshfield, he played for the University of Wisconsin-Madison before becoming the seventh round draft pick for the Packers in 2000.
Kuhn has been with the team since 2007, when he was picked up from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The fullback has earned two Super Bowl rings, the first with the Steelers in Super Bowl XL and the second with the Packers – against the Steelers – in Super Bowl XLV.
"One of my favorite things while playing in the NFL was debating and arguing a wide range of topics in the locker room," Tauscher said.
"John was and is always ready for a lively discussion, so I am looking forward to bringing our unique perspectives to the airwaves and having lots of fun along the way."
Well, Donald Driver has been a part of the "Inside the Huddle" program that airs on WISN-TV Ch. 12, and the wives of the Packers have presented a talk show that runs in different markets in the state. Both of those efforts were received better than Sara White’s cooking program from a number of years back. With enough personality, Tauscher and Kuhn have a real chance of attracting a solid listenership. And the timeslot in the mid-day should also help.
In Appleton, Kuhn has been working with a streaming show produced by the Appleton Post-Crescent newspaper for its website, postcrescent.com. Watching those shows, one can get an appreciation what Kuhn could bring to a conversation beyond what the team is working on in the locker room.
"Mark and I are about so much more than football and that’s exactly why we created this show," Kuhn said. "We want to give the fans a better sense of who we really are when we step off the field. That’s going to be a blessing and a curse because Mark is one of the most opinionated people I have ever met. I know I’m going to have my hands full trying to keep him in check."
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