#MediaMonday – Lee Patterson

Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from southeast Arizona, where Lee Patterson is a sports radio host and sports director at KATO-AM 1230 AM in Safford. He’s the voice of Gila Valley and eastern Arizona prep sports. Overtime with Lee Patterson is the only live, local radio sports talk show in the southeastern part of the state, airing every Wednesday.

Lee, time to share.

About your show… The show started as an idea to highlight local athletes. I would see them all on the field on Friday nights performing at a high level and would never get a chance to highlight them off the field.

About your job… I wear a couple of different hats at the radio station. I have the title of sports director, which includes my play-by-play duties of local sports and my weekly show. I’ve also been in the sales department for 17 years and handle all of the political advertising at the station. 

About your passion for high school sports… My passion for sports in general started while I was playing in my youth. I grew up in rural Arizona and played any sport available but never attended a sporting event in person until after I started in radio. So I had to watch on TV or listen on radio which I’m sure helped build my passion as well.

How you decided to get into the media… I’m not sure if I chose media or it chose me. I was studying criminal justice when I answered a radio ad for help in the office. The was February of 2000. I started helping with sports broadcasts that season and it snowballed from there. I served as the office manager at age 19 before transitioning into sales.

Any career highlights… The biggest highlight I think is being able to say I’ve called at least one state championship game on the radio every year of my career. I’ve been blessed to be in a market where high school sports is king and are often the last one standing at the end of the season.

I was also in Chihuahua, Mexico, in 2007 to broadcast Eastern Arizona College’s first football bowl game, The Aztec Bowl. Figuring out the logistics of broadcasting internationally was a challenge, but the broadcast went off without a hitch. I was also on the air for the final Eastern Arizona College football game in 2018 (the school dropped the program) in Perkinston, Miss., a 21-7 loss to Jones College in the Mississippi Bowl.

What you like to do when you’re not working… My wife, Amanda and I enjoy traveling the globe in the off-season.

A couple little known facts about you… I was the radio voice for Schlotzky’s Delis of Texas for five years.

I’ve tried to collect a baseball hat from each school I’ve ever been on the mic for. I wish I would have thought of this earlier in my career. If I did I probably wouldn’t be able to display them all.

How about social media… You can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

Photo provided by Lee Patterson

Written by
at Oct 18, 2021

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