Former Hornets Deuce and Mo make their mark in Sacramento broadcasting

The duo “do it all” in an evolving sports media landscape

Dave+%22Deuce%22+Mason+and+Morgan+%22Mo%22+Ragan+pose+for+a+photo+on+the+job+Wednesday%2C+Oct.+17+at+Golden+1+Center.+Deuce+and+Mo+have+been+creating+content+for+the+Sacramento+Kings+since+2015.
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Former Hornets Deuce and Mo make their mark in Sacramento broadcasting

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Dave "Deuce" Mason and Morgan "Mo" Ragan pose for a photo on the job Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Golden 1 Center. Deuce and Mo have been creating content for the Sacramento Kings since 2015.

Richard Ivanowski

Dave "Deuce" Mason and Morgan "Mo" Ragan pose for a photo on the job Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Golden 1 Center. Deuce and Mo have been creating content for the Sacramento Kings since 2015.

Richard Ivanowski

Richard Ivanowski

Dave "Deuce" Mason and Morgan "Mo" Ragan pose for a photo on the job Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Golden 1 Center. Deuce and Mo have been creating content for the Sacramento Kings since 2015.

In recent years, former Sacramento State students Dave “Deuce” Mason and Morgan “Mo” Ragan have become two of the most recognizable voices and faces of the Sacramento and San Joaquin sports media landscape.

The duo are broadcasters, podcasters, commentators, writers, reporters, producers, engineers and so much more.

Deuce and Mo stopped by The State Hornet newsroom Monday to discuss their career paths and how their time at Sac State prepared them for their ever-evolving professional field.

“It makes you more valuable in this business,” Ragan said of the diverse skill set she has had to learn. “Nowadays, they can find someone that can do one thing, but if you can do it all, you’re more likely to be a better candidate.”

Ragan said she first learned about sports by playing them. She played high school and college basketball and even ventured into a pro-am league in San Francisco. When injuries slowed down her playing career, she turned to analyzing the game.

Mason, meanwhile, said he knew from an early age that he wanted to get into sports broadcasting.

“I was a kid who would sit in front of the TV and tape myself doing play-by-play,” Mason said. “When I was 16, I started bugging people at (Sports 1140) KHTK and eventually got in there as an unofficial intern and worked my way up.”

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Both Ragan and Mason left their hometown of Sacramento briefly to pursue their dreams. Ragan ventured down to Los Angeles to pursue television work in 2009 and Mason moved to San Francisco to produce a morning radio show in 2011.

But by 2012, the duo was back at home and ended up being paired together to do a local radio show on KHTK.

“Originally we got on the mid-day [show], it was me, Morgan and Jason Ross,” Mason said. “We had great success.”

They had so much success, in fact, that they were eventually moved to a higher profile slot in the morning. Unfortunately, according to Deuce and Mo, the decision made by the station turned out to be a misstep.

“To be frank, it just didn’t work,” Mason said. “Our chemistry wasn’t there we didn’t vibe with our co-host at the time they ultimately decided to go in a new direction.”

Kelly Kiernan
Dave “Deuce” Mason and Morgan “Mo” Ragan pose for a photo Monday, Oct. 15 at Sacramento State. Deuce and Mo each attended Sac State before breaking into the sports media world.

The duo was let go by KHTK on April Fools’ Day 2016, but it was no laughing matter. According to Mason and Ragan, those are the types of ups-and-downs that come with working in the volatile entertainment industry.

“It motivates me all the time,” Mason said. “They didn’t say it, but when they decided to let us go, [they] told me I wasn’t good enough.”

The pair decided to stick together and bounced back quickly. They launched “The Deuce and Mo Podcast” and did their show their way.

“A lot of people on the outside see radio and they go, ‘Well isn’t it dying? Isn’t it dead?’ No, no, no,” Ragan said. “It’s just whoever is doing it the right way is evolving, it’s truly becoming audio and digital.”

The duo said they attribute some of their success to constantly adjusting their approach to sports talk radio.

“Newspapers waited too long to embrace the digital side,” Mason said. “It sucks because they are so important to a city, to a culture, and radio is the same thing.”

The two say their success through social media platforms and their use of alternative video and audio content sources is what soon landed them jobs with the Sacramento Kings.

Mason is currently a producer for the team’s radio broadcasts on KHTK and Ragan managed the Jr. Kings youth basketball program for several years before stepping down recently due to scheduling conflicts.

“I couldn’t focus 100 percent on my broadcasting with that,” Ragan said. “Now I’ve just been grinding, I’ve been hustling on the side looking for new gigs. I had something lined up and hey – it came, it went, and it might come back. It’s just how this business goes.”

Breaking into the sports media world may be difficult, but it is rewarding, according to Mason.

“It’s a grind, but it’s fun,” he said. “I think anyone getting into this field, whether you’re writing for a newspaper, a website, doing TV or radio, it’s going to be a grind. But it’s rewarding too because it’s something you love to do, and that’s why we’re doing it.”

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The responsibilities in their jobs have evolved along with the landscape of the sports media world, with both Mason and Ragan continuing to work in many different content production roles for the Kings. Currently, they make promotional videos, emcee home games and host interviews with the players.

In 2018, the duo began game broadcasting for the Stockton Kings, the G-League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings. Deuce is on play-by-play duties while Mo provides the color commentary.

In their first year with Stockton, the broadcasts were streamed live on Facebook. But for the upcoming season, all five Saturday home games, as well as one Sunday game, will be on TV on local station CW31 with Deuce and Mo on the call during the 2019-20 G-League season.

Mason said he is now living out the job he dreamed about as a kid while Ragan said she is helping break barriers for women in the sports media industry.

“It normalizes having females everywhere on a broadcast, whether it’s behind the scenes, whether it’s in front of the camera, wherever it may be,” Ragan said. “I don’t need to be a sideline reporter. I can be a color commentator. Let’s go!”

Both say that they wouldn’t be where they are today without what they learned at Sac State.

“It helped me become a better writer, absolutely. I think that was first and foremost,” Mason said. “The next thing for me and for anyone is to build relationships. Everyone talks about networking, but build relationships with fellow students and with professors.”

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Ragan agreed with Mason about networking and making new connections in college.

“What (Sac State) really allowed me to do was get those internships with KHTK (and) ABC10,” Ragan said. “It’s those resources, that’s exactly it. It’s branching out and finding other connections, especially in your smaller market.” 

Deuce and Mo went on to share their advice for any current Sac State students trying to break into the world of sports journalism.

“You’ve got to be a self-starter, no matter what field,” Mason said. “You’ve got to be fired up for what you’re doing.” Mason said students shouldn’t be concerned about how long it takes them.

“Everyone’s path is different. My path is different. Her path is different. Your path is different. There’s no set path,” Mason said. “The biggest thing I tell people in the business is if you work hard and treat people well, it’s going to work out.”

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