Longtime Southern sports radio personality Max Howell is bringing his "Max'd Out" program to Chattanooga.
Howell's three-hour show will start Monday on ESPN Radio 1370 and will air weekdays from 1 to 4. He and his wife are moving after spending the past year in Jackson, Miss., which followed a four-year broadcasting stint in Destin, Fla.
"I told my wife that one great thing about Chattanooga is that I can ride down the main street of town and there are no bars on the windows and no boarded-up buildings," Howell said Wednesday. "In Jackson, Mississippi, it seems like every other building is that way. We're happy, and I'm really excited about this opportunity."
Howell's show will precede "The Drive," which runs 4-6 weekdays and is hosted by Marvin "Stump" Martin and Nick Bonsanto. Chris Goforth, the director of operations at ESPN 1370, is thrilled to have five hours of local programming each weekday after having none two years ago.
"With the situation we're in economically, and I don't just mean radio but everybody, when you get a chance to add somebody like Max Howell, you make yourself better from head to toe," Goforth said. "He's going to make the station better and everyone around him better. As many years as Max had been around this business, whether in Atlanta or Memphis or wherever, I was very familiar with him. When he called and wanted to talk, I saw it as a no-brainer."
Chattanooga's longest-running sports show is "SportTalk" on 102.3 FM, which is hosted by Gary Haskew and Scott McMahen, airs 4-7 weekdays, and will begin its 20th year in April.
The 68-year-old Howell has spent most of his 17-year broadcasting career in Atlanta and developed "Southern Sports Tonight" and "Conference Call," the latter of which was syndicated on 1370 in the late '90s. Howell said "Max'd Out" will have more than 20 markets in addition to Chattanooga and will air throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.
SEC football promises to be a dominant topic regardless of the month.
"We do the recruiting thing, too, and we'll follow these college kids to the draft and to the NFL," said Howell, who is responsible for the show's advertising. "We'll do a little basketball and mention the ACC some, but we know what sells and what most people want to talk about."
Before getting into radio, Howell spent years on the football field. He played at Troy State in 1961-62, coached safeties at Florida State in 1987-88 and was recruiting coordinator under Billy Brewer at Ole Miss in 1989-90.
Howell also was an offensive assistant at Escambia High in Pensacola, Fla., where he coached tailback Emmitt Smith.
"This is my last stop," he said. "There is no doubt about that."