WVLZ sale forces Tony Basilio, Jayson Swain to make moves in Knoxville sports talk radio

Doug Mathews, who has owned or leased WVLZ for the better part of 12 years, has sold the AM radio station known for its sports talk format.

Mathews said Wednesday the buyer is Aaron Ishmael, who owns WKCE 1120-AM in the Knoxville market. The deal will go into effect Thursday.

“I kept hoping someone locally to go into business,” said Mathews, a former University of Tennessee assistant coach from 1980-89.

“Just time to get someone else involved.”  

Mathews, who lives in Nashville, hosts “Big Orange Sunday,” and “Football Saturday” on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville.

Attempts to reach Ishmael were unsuccessful. Mathews did not know if the format would change. WVLZ has used SB Nation Radio when not using local programming.

Veteran host Tony Basilio signed off Wednesday while Jayson Swain ended his six-year affiliation on 1180 AM last Friday. Both were independent from WVLZ, purchasing their own air time.

Basilio, who has been on Knoxville radio since 1993, told listeners that he is returning to WJBE on 1040 AM and 99.7 FM on Thursday. He left WJBE to take over for the 11 a.m.-1 p.m. time slot three years ago.

“I’m just excited to go back to work for (owner) Joe Armstrong and the FM exposure,” said Basilio.

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