Towpath Media’s River Rat Country welcomes new morning show


GRAND RAPIDS — Over the last three months some major changes have come to River Rat Country and the biggest change came with the new Penrod Radio Show.

“We’ve been working to freshen things up and give Northwest Ohio a station that focuses on real country music and a real country lifestyle,” said Towpath Media owner Josh David. “Too much of the music heard on the corporate FMs focus around pop country and those stations miss the mark with the blue collar listeners in our area. We’ve tweaked our playlist to focus on more country classics and new music that speaks to the ‘every man’ who works his tail off, whether its in a farm field or factory.”

According to David, part of that change included bringing on a morning show that listeners can relate to.

“Our previous morning show was great, but as River Rat Country evolved so did our listeners,” David said. “Penrod and Paul speak less about pop culture and more about real life. They call it like it is and cover sports like no one else in the area.”

London Mitchell is also part of the new show with local reports at the top and bottom of every hour.

“London has been a staple in Northwest Ohio radio for something like six decades,” David said. “We’re proud to feature London’s reports and farm market reports from the Ohio Ag Net to make sure listeners stay informed while they’re heading to work in the morning.”

River Rat Country is owned by Towpath Media LLC and operates out of a barn in Grand Rapids along with oldies station Towpath Radio. The company has become home to local DJs who have left corporate radio. Recently, Cliff Smithers joined River Rat Country after leaving K-100 mornings.

“Cliff has been a major game changer,” David said. “We were about to pull the plug on River Rat Country but after Cliff came on board, listening went through the roof. Cliff’s advice and connections have really helped us grow.”

The new Penrod show can be heard weekdays 6-10 a.m., Cliff Smithers’ show follows weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. River Rat Country is available on the free River Rat Country app,, or listeners can tell Alexa to enable River Rat Country. River Rat Country is not currently available on FM.

Other notable items:

The previous River Rat Country morning show, “Van Camp and Morgan,” can now be heard on sister station Sweet 419, which is marketed toward “at work listening” in Toledo. Sweet 419 plays ‘90s and 2k hits that are safe for the office. Listeners can download the Sweet 419 app, go to, or tell Alexa to enable Sweet Four One Nine.

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