Cougars To Partner With Clear Channel Communications

Aug. 16, 2001

The University of Houston Department of Intercollegiate Athletics today announced it has reached an agreement with Clear Channel Communications to broadcast Cougar football and men's basketball for the next three years, 2001-02 through 2003-04.

The majority of the Cougar football games can be heard on Star 790, KBME-AM, one of Clear Channel's three AM stations. The station for men's basketball will be released at a later date.

The UH Athletic Department also announced it has hired Craig Ackerman, the "Voice of Cougar Basketball" in 2000-2001, to be the play-by-play announcer for the Cougar Football program. Ackerman will now be the official "Voice of the Cougars," as he will call both football and men's basketball.

Former Cougar great Chuck Brown will handle the color analysis for the department, replacing 1989 Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware, who has accepted a position as a sideline reporter for CBS Sports.

"I am extremely pleased we have found a home for Cougar football and men's basketball for the next three years," commented Chris Burkhalter, UH's Associate Athletics Director for Communications. "We are partnering with an outstanding organization which has put Houston-area sports first. We feel this is going to be a very fruitful and productive relationship, which will put UH Athletics into the cars and homes of the people of Houston.

"Craig is the utmost professional who works hard at his craft. After years of switching announcers, we now have a consistent voice for our football and basketball programs. As for Chuck, we think there is no better replacement for Andre Ware. Chuck and his family are lifelong Cougars, and he knows the history of UH, has a thorough grasp of college football and brings excitement and energy to the booth."

Ken Charles, Director of AM Programming at Clear Channel Radio Houston, reiterates his company's commitment to the university.

"We're proud to have created this long-term partnership with UH to carry their football and basketball broadcasts," said Charles. "College sports are an important part of any community, and we're committed to being there with them."

The Cougars debut on KBME begins on Saturday, September 1, when Houston battles Rice for the Southwestern Bell Bayou Bucket as well as bragging rights in the Bayou City. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m., with the pregame show beginning 15 minutes prior to the start of the game.

Ackerman has a wealth of experience broadcasting in the Houston market, outside of describing the action of UH men's basketball a season ago. He has spent the last seven years working for the Houston Rockets organization, where he has worn a variety of hats during his stint.

Not only is he the studio host for all broadcasts for the Four-Time WNBA Champion Houston Comets, but he also handled the play-by-play duties for the Houston ThunderBears, the former Arena Football team owned by the organization. Ackerman also has served as studio host and pregame reporter for the Houston Rockets Radio Network. He is a 1997 graduate of Sam Houston State University.

Brown was a three-year starting center for the Cougars from 1976-78, when he was twice named First Team, All-Southwest Conference. He was named Third Team All-America in 1978 after being an honorable mention selection the previous season. Brown was a member of the storied Bill Yeoman squads that captured two SWC championships in Houston's first three seasons in the league.

The brother of another UH great, PGA golfer Billy Ray Brown, the elder Brown has worked in sales for the past 12 years at Capitol Cement in Houston. A 1978 graduate of the University of Houston, Brown spent two seasons in the NFL with the Houston Oilers and St. Louis Cardinals.




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