Justin Spears will host ‘The Sports Exchange’ starting Monday

“The Sports Exchange” will be just that, starting Monday. The Arizona Daily Star and ESPN Tucson are partnering on a radio show.

Star sports producer Justin Spears is the new host of “The Sports Exchange,” which will air from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday on 1490-AM and 104.9-FM.

Spears’ first show is Monday; he replaces Tom Lapadat, who started “The Sports Exchange” after longtime sports-talk host Zach Clark left earlier this summer.

Spears, a Tucson native and graduate of both Cienega High School and the University of Arizona, has been with the Star for the last year. He produces and hosts The Wildcast, the Star’s sports podcast, and is a key contributor to both Tucson.com and The Wildcaster, the Star’s free mobile sports app. Spears also manages Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for The Wildcaster and covers high school sports and Arizona Wildcats football and basketball for the Star.

Spears will continue in both roles this fall.

“This is a dream come true, honestly. I’m really excited about this new opportunity,” Spears said. “It’s not only a way to get myself out there as a young journalist, but a way to promote what we do here at the Arizona Daily Star and The Wildcaster.”

While at the UA, Spears worked for the Arizona Daily Wildcat and Sports Illustrated Campus Rush, and served as KAMP Student Radio’s sports director for two years.

He also interned at ESPN Tucson, where he cut up audio clips, managed the station’s Twitter page and helped Clark and producer Stacey Wampler with the daily show.

“The Sports Exchange” allows both the Star and ESPN Radio to reach new audiences.

The show will feature regular interviews with Star sports editor Ryan Finley and beat reporters Bruce Pascoe and Michael Lev, all of whom have been longtime contributors to ESPN Tucson. Spears’ interviews with other newsmakers will air live on ESPN Tucson and will re-air on The Wildcast podcast.

Finley said he’s excited to see what Spears can do.

“Over the years, I was thrilled to work with ESPN Tucson hosts Jody Oehler and Zach Clark. I looked forward to my weekly ‘hits’ on their show,” he said.

“I can’t wait to see — and hear — what Justin does on the air.”