CRAIG CARTON, NATE QUARRY, AND MIKE STRAKA TO SERVE AS ON-AIR TALENT FOR SPIKE TV'S "MMA JUNKIE LIVE"
New York, NY, January 18, 2012 - Spike TV has put together an all-star lineup for its first ever primetime mixed martial arts magazine show, "MMA Junkie Live." Sports radio personality Craig Carton will serve as host with middleweight fighter Nate Quarry and mixed martial arts veteran journalist Mike Straka as fight experts. Spike's weekly original series will premiere Thursday, February 23 at 11:00pm ET/PT.
Spike will announce more on-air talent for the series in the coming weeks.
"MMA Junkie Live" will emanate from the heart of New York City at the iconic MTV Studios in Times Square. This half-hour, multi-platform show will feature a look ahead at the weekend's big mixed martial arts fights, and a look back at the action from recent bouts.
Partnering with the award-winning MMA news website, "MMAjunkie.com," part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group, the half-hour show will feature lively debate and discussion with the show hosts along with live in-studio interviews with many of the world's top fighters, in-depth investigative features, action-packed highlights, as well as viewer interaction via Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels.
About the cast:
CRAIG CARTON: HOST
Craig Carton co-hosts one of the country's most popular and influential morning sports radio shows with former NFL great Boomer Esiason, WFAN's "Boomer & Carton." Carton began his broadcasting career in 1991 at WGR Radio in Buffalo, N.Y. His energetic and irreverent show quickly became a ratings hit. He moved from Buffalo to WWWE in Cleveland in 1992, and later to Philadelphia sports leader WIP-AM a year later. During his more than four years at WIP, Carton's program soared in the ratings, and he also became a well-respected reporter covering the Philadelphia Eagles. In the fall of 1997, Carton was given an opportunity to host a syndicated sports talk show on the Sports Fan Network. After being heard on 40 stations throughout the country, Carton was recruited to join KKFN, The Fan, in Denver, Colo. as morning show host. In his first year with the station, he became the highest rated show in the KKFN's history. He was later hired by cross-town rival KBPI and within one ratings period had the highest rated local morning show in Denver. Following a stint at WNEW-FM in New York City, Carton joined WKXW New Jersey 101.5 where he hosted "The Jersey Guys" in afternoon drive for five years. The 101.5 show was the most listened to FM afternoon talk show in America and for seven straight years was listed as Talkers magazine most influential and important talk show host. Additionally, Carton has written weekly sports columns for the Gannett Newspaper chain and The Trentonian.
MIKE STRAKA: FIGHT EXPERT
Mike Straka is one of the most prominent journalists covering mixed martial arts on television, and has the distinction of being the first mainstream media broadcaster to begin covering MMA as a sport dating back to 2001 while on FOX News Channel. He is the host of "The MMA Experience" on Fight Now TV and "TapouT Radio" on SiriusXM Radio and is formerly the host of "Fighting Words with Mike Straka" on HDNet and "FOX Fight Game" on FOXNews.com. Straka was also the UFC correspondent on "Inside MMA" and is a columnist with FIGHT! Magazine and the author of "Fighting Words: In-Depth Interviews With The Biggest Names In MMA." Straka was previously the Vice President and Executive Producer of FOX News Digital, where he oversaw original programming and created "The Strategy Room," one of the most talked about news streams in new media, and was featured regularly as a contributor on popular morning news show "Fox and Friends." Straka began his broadcast career as a page for CBS television.
NATE QUARRY: FIGHT EXPERT
Nathan Quarry made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2001 as a founding member of the world famous Team Quest fight team lead by UFC legends Randy Couture and Dan Henderson in Portland Oregon. After only six professional bouts, Nate was invited by the UFC to participate in the inaugural season of Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter." After winning his first three UFC bouts by first round TKO, Nate's success was rewarded with an opportunity to compete for the UFC's middleweight title against then champion, UFC Hall of Famer Rich Franklin. This bout would prove historic as it was the first title shot ever earned by a contestant of "The Ultimate Fighter." Following a loss, Quarry nearly had to end his career because of numerous injuries including degenerative spinal disk disease. After he was diagnosed, most doctors told him he may never walk again, a prognosis which would certainly end his fighting career as well. After a successful surgery, not only giving Quarry the ability to walk again, but would give him the ability to continue his career as a professional athlete, fighting an amazing six more times after his surgery. Quarry now serves as the official spokesperson for Nuvasive, the multi-million dollar creative spine technology company that pioneered the procedure that helped him fight again.
Jay Peterson, David Larzekere, and Jon Gerstel of Original Media along with Jon Slusser from Spike TV serve as Executive Producers. Christopher Martello serves as Vice President, Sports for Spike TV.
Spike TV is available in 99.8 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com.
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group, created in January 2011, encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY, as well as Gannett Co. Inc.'s 81 community newspaper properties, 23 broadcast television stations, HighSchoolSports.net and BNQT.com. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).