With the beginning of high school and college athletics approaching, Fort Scott residents will soon hear a new voice broadcasting the sports over the radio as Brandon Tadtman continues to transition into his position with KOMB-FM radio.
In April, Tadtman sought part-time work with the local radio station, in large part because his father was now living in Fort Scott after completing his first season as the Fort Scott Community College’s womens’ basketball coach. But instead of getting those part-time hours, Tadtman was given a full-time job due to the departure of personality Larry Gazaway, who took on the city’s director of tourism position.
After having spent the previous six months working outside of the radio business in Kansas City, Tadtman quickly transitioned into working the morning shift for KOMB-FM of Fort Scott, being on the air 6 to 9 a.m.
“I was thrown in pretty quickly into the fire,” Tadtman says, saying he only had a few days to shadow Gazaway. “But now everything’s pretty smooth. It’s been good.”
Tadtman first became aware of his interest in radio commentary as a sophomore high school student in his hometown of Winfield, a town of similar size to Fort Scott southeast of Wichita. When the high school hosted the 5A state softball tournament, Tadtman was asked by a friend to help provide color commentary. That opportunity and his fondness for sports led to his interest in pursuing that as a career.
While attending Kansas State University, Tadtman participated in the student-run radio station as the sports broadcaster, often traveling with the teams to call their games.
“I thought that was very beneficial to me,” Tadtman says of that opportunity, which allowed him to learn the ins and outs of radio as a student. “It was a really awesome experience.”
Upon his graduation, Tadtman continued to work in radio in Manhattan before taking on a more logistical job in Kansas City. But Tadtman realized he missed being on the radio and pursued a position in Fort Scott.
While used to being on air, Tadtman says his new position is different from his usual sports broadcasting as he now provides other news and frequently interviews guests to the station.
“It is a little bit different here,” Tadtman says. “I wasn’t used to being on the air as much as the DJ because I was strictly doing sports in Manhattan.”
While he has enjoyed the chance to gain experience in the station, Tadtman says he is especially looking forward to the upcoming sports activities and says he hopes the community will enjoy his sports broadcasting, where he has the most experience.
Because he spent much of his earlier years in a small town, Tadtman says that the transition to Fort Scott has not been difficult as he tries to familiarize himself with the town and its residents. He added that he is grateful for the positive feedback he has received.
“I appreciate the community taking me in and letting me be their person that provides the information that they need every day,” Tadtman says, adding he has enjoyed living in Fort Scott these first few months. “I appreciate the people of Fort Scott. They’ve welcomed me with open arms.”
Tadtman also says he has been grateful for an easy transition while working with the KOMB staff, and their acceptance of him and willingness to help him as he grew accustomed to the job and tried to add his own personality.
“Everyone here is nice and they have accepted me,” Tadtman says. “I couldn’t be more happy with how easy the transition was.”