The founder, Jason Bryant
I founded Mat Talk Online back in October of 1997 as a college freshman. The intent of Mat Talk Online was to provide the parents, fans and wrestlers in his native Virginia a place for discussion, results, rankings, news and event coverage. The site was an offshoot of the weekly radio show I co-hosted on a local AM radio station in Hampton, Virginia.
During the time Mat Talk Online was prevalent in Virginia wrestling talk, I continued my work as a copy editor and page designer at the Daily Press in Newport News and was also the high school wrestling beat writer. After leaving the Daily Press after an eight-year run, I joined the National Wrestling Coaches Association as the Director of Media Relations and managed and operated InterMat, which was then owned by the NWCA. Following a three-year run with the NWCA, Kyle Klingman and I managed and distributed Wrestling 411. The show was one of the first wrestling-centric podcasts in the sport, even though the podcast medium still wasn’t widely understood. Then came three years at USA Wrestling working as the Coordinator of Grassroots and Social Media. Now, I’m currently the Editor of TheOpenMat.com, an independent website covering wrestling worldwide.
So why the relaunch?
In developing the Short Time Wrestling Podcast with TheOpenMat.com, I found there was an untapped product useful to the wrestling community and it would harness my abilities as a broadcaster, take my understanding of production and distribution and formulate it into something not just useful, but beneficial. Mat Talk started as a radio show. The Mat Talk Online name was something synonymous with my start in the sport and was something I took great pride in producing out of my dorm, apartment or random living situation during my college days. I wanted to bring the spirit and history of Mat Talk Online back, but with a new, vibrant format that didn’t just tell you the score, but something that gives schools, programs, clubs and organization to get their message out in a medium with a exponential room for growth.
I love wrestling and I love talking about wrestling. And I love talking about wrestling with wrestling people. I’m currently the President of the National Wrestling Media Association, have won three national writing and broadcasting awards and am a frequent contributor to college wrestling television broadcasts on Universal Sports and Fox College Sports.
I can engage your fans and I can do it well.