SPORTS MEDIA: WLON, will work together

Published Monday, March 14th, 2022


Content, research done by website available for local broadcasts




LINCOLNTON – Two media outlets focused on sports in the region announced Monday they’ve agreed to work together – primarily on high school sports – effective immediately.

WLON (1050 AM) and have informally worked together through most of the five years that has been online.

Lanny Ford, who recently purchased WLON, and Chris Hobbs, editor and content coordinator of, have agreed on a formal working relationship.

“Working with Chris, who has dedicated his work to sports in the county (Lincoln) and the surrounding counties for so long, makes it a natural fit for us to work with him,” Ford said. “We believe coverage of high school sports is still a vital part of what people want to know about.”

Hobbs has waived the copyright for content on his website for WLON, allowing the radio station to use any or all parts of’s sports coverage, and WLON will air ads about in return.

Hobbs — the longest-serving active sportswriter in the state (46 years) — has a similar agreement with WNNC in Newton.

As part of the agreement, Hobbs will provide WLON with research as needed. He has historical information dating back to the 1970s – most of it exclusive – on every high school in these counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Iredell, McDowell and Watauga.

Hobbs also has extensive athletic histories of more than 100 schools he covered for nearly 14 years as the Piedmont N.C. beat writer for The Charlotte Observer.


“I am excited about this opportunity to work with Lanny as we work toward our shared goal of providing the young student-athletes of the region multiple forums for exposure,” Hobbs said. “Having first met Lanny nearly 45 years ago when I covered the football teams he played on at West Lincoln High makes this even more fun.

“Lanny is a trusted member of the local media who probably has the most extensive knowledge and insight among those of us who cover high school football because of his own playing and coaching experience. To have Lanny want to associate with and support my website is an honor.”

Hobbs spent 42 years in newspapers, working as a sports editor at The Lenoir News-Topic, Hickory Daily Record and Salisbury Post. He was also assistant sports editor of the then Gastonia Gazette and a sportswriter at The Hickory Daily Record and at The Charlotte Observer. He worked briefly for Lake Norman Publications while establishing launched in April of 2017 and has had more than 2 million page views since that launch.

Ford has worked football and other sports for WLON after leaving teaching and coaching. He played football at West Lincoln — where he was the Rebels’ first Shrine Bowl player — and college football at Clemson (his career ended early because of an injury).

Ford is the host of Sports Talk Guys, a local broadcast/podcast (available at, on Facebook and with the Tune-In app).

His resume includes 10 years as an assistant football coach at West Lincoln and Bunker Hill, and he started the Highland Tech football program as head coach in 2000.

Ford left teaching and coaching after the 2002 season and he is the owner of Sports Guys LLC and Tiger Man Tees, which does screen printing.

  • If you have sports information you’d like published at – which will make it available for potentially being on WLON sports show(s) — send the info by e-mail to


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