Jeff "Skin" Wade, co-host of the "Ben and Skin" show on KRLD/105.3 FM "The Fan," tells a story about the advantages of having a sports-talk show on the Dallas Cowboys' flagship station.
"I was on vacation in the Caribbean with my wife on a beach," he says. "I said something to my wife and a guy 10 feet from me turns to me and says, 'Are you Skin Wade?'" Wade says. "I said yes and he said, 'I listen to you guys on the internet. I’m from New York.' That’s an example of who the Cowboys are and what their reach is."
Ben Rogers, Wade's co-host and longtime friend, can top that.
"My brother was living in China, and he flew my brother and I over there," he says. "Then we went mountain biking in Nepal, and we are in the most remote place I have ever been to, looking at the base of Mount Everest. We are standing there talking and a guy comes over and asks, “Are you Ben from 'Ben and Skin?'
"So I asked him, 'Would you say that louder so that my brothers can hear you?' So my brother was like, 'Are you kidding me, is this really happening?'”
Rogers, who also credits being recognized to the Cowboys' reach, and Wade have known each other since seventh grade, when they met while playing basketball at the Huffines Recreation Center in Richardson. Football and the Cowboys may have helped them become world famous, but it was basketball that played a big role in vaulting them into the DFW sports-media world, where they have had shows on all three major sports-radio stations. But it was on TV where they got their start.
Both graduated from the University of North Texas and were working day jobs when Rogers was able to get them a shot at an on-air pre-game spot before the Dallas Mavericks telecasts on what was then "K-Star 49" (KSTR/Channel 49).
When Mark Cuban purchased the Mavericks in 2000 and moved the team to a different TV station for the next season, Rogers and Wade parlayed their TV show run into a show on (now-defunct) FOX Sports Radio 1190 AM station, which in turn led to their being named hosts of the Mavs post-game show on the KTCK/1310 AM "The Ticket."
That was the beginning of a wild ride that saw the "Ben & Skin" show join a select group of personalities who have hosted shows on all three of the Dallas-Fort Worth all-sports stations.
Ben & Skin discussed their time in the Dallas-Fort Worth sports media stratosphere, where they have tangled with Mark Cuban, chatted with President George W. Bush, and had a show on KESN/103.3 FM as well as the Ticket and 105.3 -- and have sometimes been on the same station more than once.
The two of you actually started in TV before you worked your way around the DFW sports radio dial. How did that come about?