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How local radio host Clay Travis went from sports talk to political talk

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Boots & Jeans, BBQ & Beans

Talk show host Clay Travis was the guest speaker for Jack Johnson's annual Boots & Jeans, BBQ & Beans fundraiser.

Six months ago, Nashville native and Williamson County resident Clay Travis was talking sports on a national Fox Sports Radio show. Today, he’s behind the golden EIB microphone talking state and national issues with a co-host and half the free world.   

When most sports came to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lot of air time to fill for sportscasters. Travis filled it by voicing his opinion on what was going on in sports, around the country and the world.  

“The sports audience exploded,” he said in an interview prior to the start of Tennessee state Sen. Jack Johnson’s annual Boots & Jeans, BBQ & Beans event where Travis was guest speaker. “I used that as a strong sign. People wanted my opinion.”   

He’s continued to provide it.   

On May 27, after four months of guest hosts, two new voices crossed the airwaves, and “The Rush Limbaugh Show” took on a new name — “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.”  

“Nobody can replace Rush Limbaugh,” Travis said. “Legends can never be replaced. Their ideas live on. We’re just picking up the flag he carried for 30 years to continue to fight the fight he fought. It’s what he would want.” 

The audience has responded well. Ratings were up 120% in their first month and continue to climb.  

When asked if he felt any pressure trying to fill such big shoes, Travis said it’s all about perspective.  

“Pressure comes when you have real stakes in your life — whether you can make the mortgage payment, you’re 18 years old in a Kabul airport trying to help people get out of the country,” he said. “Pressure is real life, not talking on the radio.”  

“The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” now broadcasts from Nashville, Travis’ hometown, at WLAC 1510 AM and 98.3 FM from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sexton broadcasts from his home in New York City when he’s not visiting Nashville. 

“I try not to be a different person on the radio than I am on stage or with my family,” said Travis, who has been married for 17 years and has three sons.   

He brought his passion to a recent Williamson County Schools Board of Education meeting, speaking on his belief that the recently issued mask mandate for WCS elementary schools was the wrong decision.   

“I really care, as a dad, when the decisions they make impact my children,” Travis said. “I was proud to speak for the kids. I don’t think conflict is bad. It leads you to different results. You can’t buy into an idea if you’re divided.   

“Through conflict, we become a better place.”  

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