On March 31, 2023, We lost one of our own here at Gator 99.5 and Townsquare Media (TSM) Lake Charles as Your Buddy, and ours, Russ Conrad passed away after battling bone cancer. The team here at TSM was devastated as well as all of Your Buddy Russ's friends, family, and fans.

Buddy Russ did the afternoon show on Gator 99.5 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm weekdays on Gator 99.5 for almost six years before his passing. One of the questions we battled with here at Gator 99.5 was who would ever be able to take his place and we think we found just the person.


Russ had a protégé named Chaston Tavares. Russ took this guy under his wing and mentored him while Chaston was going to McNeese State University. He would sit in with Russ on the show and talk with him about all sorts of things, especially sports. Chaston to his credit tried to teach Russ about sports because we all know Russ didn't know anything about the subject LOL. 

We reached out to Chaston and asked if he would be interested in coming on board and doing the show for his mentor and he said it would be an honor to do it and keep Your Buddy Russ's legacy alive.

We know that if Russ was still here and we asked him who he thought would be a great fit to succeed him, he would have said Chaston. So in a way, Russ picked his successor.

Russ And Chaston pic

Allow me to introduce Chaston.

Hey, this is Chaston! Here’s a little bit about me. I was born and raised in DeRidder, La. I graduated from Rosepine High School in 2018, and from there I attended (very poorly) McNeese State University in Lake Charles. I started in radio as a 16-year-old kid in High School who just wanted to call sports. I started with football and have now grown to call the three major sports. During those seven years, my love for the radio came…


I began to be on the air at a station in Leesville, KVVP - Today's Country 105.7. Throughout my time attending McNeese State University, I got connected with a guy named Buddy Russ and the rest was history. Russ mentored me and really showed me the reins of the Radio DJ world. A few of my favorite things to do are meet new people, listen to live music, watch sports, and just have a great time with folks in the community!!

Chaston will take over the afternoon show here on Gator 99.5 starting on Monday, June 5th, 2023, and will be on the air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. He will also be hosting the Gator 99.5 Drive at Five which is now named "The Buddy Russ Drive At Five" and it will always be named that from this day forward.

We love and miss Russ so much but we are so glad to have Russ's Protégé Chaston here to take over the reins for our dear friend. Please help us welcome Chaston to the Gator 99.5 family.

Your Buddy Russ' MySpace Page Photos