Al Gardner is returning to Charlotte radio

Longtime WBT-AM (1110) morning host Al Gardner will be back on local radio next week as a Monday co-host on WZGV-AM ("ESPN" 730).

Gardner will begin next Monday on "The Bottom Line" show, which airs at 6 p.m., with Lanny Ford.

Ford said Monday that Gardner, who was host of "Charlotte's Morning News" on WBT for 14 years before leaving at the end of 2011, will discuss local sports and his own two passions -- boxing and golf.

Gardner, 66, said that he looks forward to being part of ESPN 730 because it is a locally owned and focused station. "They're going to grow locally," he said. "That's what I want to be part of."

First question: What does he think of the Panthers' performance Sunday night? "Unprintable," Gardner replied.

ESPN 730 announced in November it will be the flagship station for the Charlotte Knights beginning in April. It also carries Charlotte Checkers and Charlotte 49ers games.