The Drive is a daily radio show in Auburn hosted by Rich Perkins and Ron Anders.
The broadcast runs weekdays from 4-6 p.m. and is on 106.5 FM, which normally features ESPN radio.
It’s a sports talk radio show that mainly focuses on local interest sports, including high school sports and Auburn athletics.
The show went on air a few weeks before the 2011 football season and has been going strong ever since.
The Drive provides up-to-date information on athletic news in the region, and even branches out to speak about sports from around the world.
When the radio program first began, Perkins and Anders did not know each other. However, as the show progressed, their friendship took shape as well.
“You’ve got two people spending two hours together (at work) who barely know each other,” Anders said. “That relationship is naturally going to improve … It’s a lot easier to talk for an hour’s segment to someone you know, and I think the show has improved along with our relationship.”
The Drive has been on air for almost a year, and the two hosts are comfortable talking about almost anything related to sports on the air.
Small-market radio usually does not have ratings like larger radio stations. Therefore, the Drive must use other means to find out who is tuning in.
“We have gained steam, at least anecdotally,” Perkins said. “You know, how much are people talking about it, how many people follow us on Twitter, how many people follow us on Facebook, and how many people call in. All of those things let us know how many people are tuning in.”
The local broadcast does not have official ratings, but being an ESPN affiliate increases that amount of its listeners.
“ESPN is the single most successful sports entity, including radio,” Perkins said. “And I’ve tried to model our show the way ESPN does their shows. For instance, we take callers but are not caller driven.”
The Drive takes callers and regularly uses trivia questions to give away free tickets to Auburn athletic events.
The broadcast also has regular guests that come on the show and give a twist to the entertainment.
On Thursdays, there is an hour long segment called “It’s Pronounced Jordan” in reference to Ralph “Shug” Jordan. The segment brings in guest Jeremy Henderson of the War Eagle Reader.
Henderson showed up for a segment on last Thursday’s show to add some flavor to the show with some stories.
“Do you want me to start with the feel good story or the darker story?,” Henderson said.
After he was asked by Anders to tell the feel good story, Henderson said, “Never mind. I’m just going to tell the darker story.”
That sentence launched The Drive into a 20 minute, broadcasted segment that was full of laughter. According to Anders, it got so intense that he had to leave the studio for a few moments.
The program ended with Henderson finishing his story, and Perkins explaining that Anders had never walked out on a segment before.
It proved that anything can happen when listening to The Drive.