Wild Side to air on The Outdoor Channel and Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast

Release Date: 12/26/2001. Expired: 2/15/2002

Craig Morgan

He’s a rising country music artist, and she’s one of the most popular radio hosts in Nashville. Now, Craig Morgan and Cathy Martindale have teamed up to take the popular public television program, Tennessee’s Wild Side, to a national audience comprised of 20 million viewers on The Outdoor Channel, as well as 2.5 million viewers on ComCast Sports Southeast.

While most of the filming is done on location, the program is produced in the television studio at The Renaissance Center by the expert multimedia team.

The show debuts this month on TOC and promises to show outdoor enthusiasts another side of Tennessee as Morgan and Martindale introduce hunters, anglers and outdoor fans to a side of the state they have likely never seen. Our guides take viewers on eye-pleasing adventures across the state to fish in cool mountain streams, scare up game in flatland fields, and track wildlife through thick forests.

But Tennessee’s Wild Side goes several steps beyond the conventional hunting and fishing show. The audience will also see the fun and diversity of outdoor activities in the Volunteer State with stories about hang-gliding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing and lots of other adventures that stretch the boundaries of what are typically called outdoor sports.

Both avid outdoors enthusiasts, Morgan and Martindale promise viewers a fun ride through Tennessee’s outdoors. Singer/songwriter Morgan loves to hunt and Martindale, host of the popular NASCAR radio show and veteran radio and television personality, loves fishing.

Cathy Martindale

“We’ll go on some hunting trips with Craig and we’ll take Cathy out fishing,” said Steve Hall, senior director of Multimedia for The Renaissance Center. “We’ve already been on PBS for a year. We produced 26 original episodes that have been on every PBS station in the state of Tennessee. Now we’re taking that television show to a national audience, a much bigger audience and a different audience than the PBS viewers.”

Bill Cody and Janet Ivy still continue to host the PBS version, Hall said, adding that Morgan and Martindale were selected to host the national and regional shows.

“It’s still a magazine format show,” he said.

“When I heard it was about wildlife I had a completely different idea of what the show is supposed to be,” Martindale said, lobbing a friendly dig at her co-host.

Always one to go for the laugh, Martindale said: “Craig, my co-host, has this reputation of being just a wild and crazy guy and I thought we’d be out honky-tonking and hitting the bars late at night. But we’re talking about deer and fish and all those things that both of us really do love. I’m an avid fisherman and an outdoors person. I love the outdoors.”

Morgan’s first encounter with The Renaissance Center was when he stopped by to meet the people responsible for Tennessee’s Wild Side and he wanted to be a part of it. He struck up an instant friendship with Hall and has since produced the video for his hit single, God, Family and Country, through TRC’s studio.

Further, Morgan said, as an entertainer he’s come full circle since his first radio interview was with Martindale. He said he is pleased to be working with her and with Tennessee’s Wild Side.

“It’s a lot of fun, we have a lot of fun doing this show and I’m glad to be a part of it,” he said. “This show is a great show and it deserves to be national.”

Brad Markham, promotions manager for TOC, said that while thoughts of Tennessee conjure up images of guitars and banjos, Morgan and Martindale are about to make outdoor sports equally synonymous with Tennessee.

“Both Craig and Cathy are certain to bring their combined enthusiasm and love of the outdoors to Tennessee’s Wild Side,” he said.