Just got done listening to Brian on the morning show from a few days ago and they mention Ira Weintraub getting a promotion to program director... does this mean he will no longer be doing the morning show? Him and Sam can be a bit wonky at times, but I still thoroughly enjoy the show, especially the segments each week with Brian and Craig Ross.... the three of them have good on the air chemistry.
OT-Ira Weintraub promotion
There was a period just post Clark/Fithian when the station was unlistenable. I think I've blocked out their names, but I remember this kid they had on with Defran-all the kid talked about was Lebron James and how many red bulls he'd drank. Then you had that guy with the yooper accent who only wanted to talk spartan hockey, and Dave Shand who I always assumed was drunk and/or hung over. When Defran is the best thing you've got going for you, you know you've got problems. At any rate, the station has come a long way, and Ira has had something to do with that, so I am happy for him.
Dave Shand was the man. He is the only person at WTKA that could have forced the Michigan AD to strong arm WTKA to fire him. Everything Shand said was the absolute truth about Bill Martin.
i personally think Ira is intelligent, funny and a Michigan fan which is nice versus Spartyboss and Defran's delusional paradigms. He and Sam are the only reasons I listen to WTKA. The afternoons I have to sit thru feather in the wind Huge Show
up to about the eighth time you heard him, and then you started hearing the same goddamn stories and anecdotes and one-liners over and over and over and over and over again.
Sam Webb and Ira are the best one-two punch WTKA has had since the days of Karsch and Fithian, both of whom were great. There is nobody who does a better job of covering UM football and basketball recruiting than Webb. The only guy who comes close to Sam is TomVH. Between those two, you don't need to pay attention to anybody else.
Anyone who could take on Bill Martin and his old guard cronies will always be number one in my book.
So what he says is of course spot on. I'll add I liked when Steve Clarke was on in the morning. But Shand liked to hear himself speak, and most of the time was talking out of his ass. He is not missed.
Post Karsch (tremendous) and into the Fithian/DeFran/ Wickett era...
Karsch left for the obvious career growth opportunity. Fithian got shoved out, but his talent landed him at least part time at first and now a less desirable but more lucrative night gig at 97.1 with Caputo. TKA is a training ground, so what do you expect?
DeFran bounced around doing news at WWJ and then landed back at TKA after the Shand debacle. I just remember the epic on-air slapfests he'd have with his co-host (Wickett) who was an insufferable kid. (I ran into him at Yost a few times and still asked him what the hell he was doing there with a press pass.) He "left" to take a job in Milwaukee. Good f'n riddance.
One of the more worthy flops to mention was that character Ryan Maguire they hired from K-zoo I think. Total Notre Dame slappy that thought he was JT the Brick. Then there was the Huge experiment and now the current afternoon rotating chair.
Today, I use TKA as a substitute for the 2-6 time slot (for obvious reasons) but it is still slappy radio. DeFran and his host of call in guests jumped the shark a long time ago, but at least it is not MSU propaganda.
Ira has some work to do, but basically has little budget and advertising to do it with. The morning show is stable, but seeing him do both will be hard.
I can't wait until Detroit has another FM sports station to compete with the arrogance at 97.1
That was the kid's name. My irrational hatred for him knew no bounds. Since then I've grown much more tolerant of people who are bad at their jobs.
When they got rid of Dennis and ended up not even having an afternoon show. It was amateur hour radio. Sam's even said before the guy before Ira (would was actually better than Ira, but his name escapes me) he was thinking of quitting because it was no fun.
I couldn't remember his name either and had to google it. I agree that he was better than Ira.
I liked Andy. He was probably the most fair minded guy they've had recently, the best at riding the line between being a slappy and being fair. Too often it's flat out do no wrong, camp factions, or just outright haters. Andy was obviously a fan, but one with a clear viewpoint.
Plus he has a much better voice to listen to in the morning than Ira.
Damn, man. I usually support you-- not necessarily in your opinions (though more often than not...I do support what you're saying), but really in your principle. That being said, I would agree that Ira is not the classical "radio sports guy" personality, and I don't mean that in the "DJ and the Douche" sense; I mean it in the, "I get what you're probably saying." As in, for example, Dennis Fithian, I thought, did an excellent job of the role Ira has- being the resident cheerleader/straight man. And Dennis did it better. HowEVER, I disagree with you that Ira shouldn't be on the air.....DeFran, Huge, et al- Ira is a normal guy who loves Michigan and isn't a total douche or anything close to it. So, hey, cut the guy a break.
No, I'm not secretly his mother.
I asked him off-air, and he'll continue to do the morning show.
Ira is a positive force on the show and for UM atheletic coverage in general. As mentioned above he has good chemistry with Sam so happy keep him on board.
I'll always miss the days of Steve Clark and Dennis Fithian on 1050, but Sam and Ira led a Renaissance when there wasn't much left of the station.
Remember when they had both Fithian and Karsch? That was the Zeinth for WTKA. They were complete idiots to fire Fithian and went into the dark ages for years afterwards - the guy they replaced Fithian with was a complete douchebag and he only lasted a little while. I liked Bacon and Shand. They still don't have the afternoon sorted out yet.
I remember them as WPAG - founded by two brothers, Paul and George hence PAG before moving to WTKA.
I actually interviewed with WTKA back in college for some low level internship, and when asked who my favorite on-air personality was I said Fithian. Didn't realize at the time that his name was mud there, I clearly didn't get the job.
Morning show is fine. I hope he does a total revamp of the "big" show in the afternoon. Those guys are horrible. Its as if they walk into the studio and do no research at all and they know little to nothing about Michigan sports.
Agreed. Go bring Fithian back or something. Save him from the hell that is co-hosting an evening show with Pat Caputo.
The afternoon show on WTKA is beyond awful. Please Ira make a change.
Those two old meatheads on Friday—Jim and Al, I think—are like two old cranky spinsters who have lived together for 50 years—all they do is interrupt each other and argue constantly about what each other says. It's beyond painful, which is why the only time I hear them is when I'm channel-surfing past 1050 and get a few seconds by accident.
Don't get me started on DeFran.
It's far worse than their studio show, if you can believe it. In terms of production values, as well as the quality of the play-by-play and commentary, a high school station would be immeasurably better.
I was listening last Friday because my son plays JV for an Ann Arbor-area high school and I had to leave after his game, but I wanted to find out how the varsity was doing. Those two clowns were unbelievable. They talked over each other constantly, they interrupted their guests during the pre-game interviews, and they could barely describe what was happening on the court. At one point, they said that the ball went out of bounds off a player who (a) is not on the varsity roster; and (b) is out for the year with a knee injury. I have no idea what they think they saw. It's like sitting next to two drunks in a bar who are discussing the game on TV and are mistaken about which teams are playing.
And the sound quality of the broadcast is just as bad, if not worse.
The amazing thing is that McDonald's apparently pays for this production to be called the "McDonald's High School Game of the Week." If I were with McDonald's, I'd sue.
(Because The Ticket in the afternoon is far worse for obvious reasons) and on DeFran's show they mentioned you and said you should call back in, and you had told them you were done with them or something. It was a number of weeks back.
For more "radio guy" coverage. Instead of a segment he could bring back more Brian. (But lose Craig Ross...why anyone listens to what that guy says...)
Agree. As much as I hate Valenti, he is not completely stupid. Jeff Defran is not a bright guy and his complete lack of intelligence is insulting to listen to. I agree that the guys in the afternoon "show up andf throw-up" with zero prep.
I absolutely love Ira. I'm happy he got a promotion and I'm even happier he'll remain on the show. Congrats to a true Michigan man.
WTKA and all of its ancestors/relatives have a history of underpaying and overworking program directors. I'm not surprised that Ira is doing "double duty." I'm glad he will continue to work with Sam, though. I think they work very well on the air together.
Sometimes, the biggest part of being an on-air personality is knowing when to talk and when to shut up and let the star do the things that make people want to listen to the show. Ira does a great job at both. He also knows how to elicit a reaction out of Sam when he needs to.
I've been listening to WTKA for years (and have actually applied for a few jobs with them, having done some radio work myself). Ira and Sam are two of the best out there, IMHO.
Promotion couldn't go to a more deserving or hard-working guy. Please,please,please get rid of DeFran. The worst two days of afternoon radio anywhere!
I've never been much of a sports-radio fan. So much arrogance and pomposity. But I love Sam & Ira, separately and together. Distinctly different but complementary personalities, both truly intelligent (vs. simply thinking they are), knowing the difference between fact and speculation. They clearly like and respect each other, and actually listen to each other (and their callers)! Great chemistry, and great to listen to.
Those of us late-sleepers without cars thank you for the Podcasts (and go through serious withdrawal when they're not working).
Program Directors at many small stations are overworked and underpaid. When I had an internship, all the personnel complained about that same problem. I don't think it's a WTKA thing.
I don't know if this is possible, but I wish they could make the postgame show longer than 2 hours. For those of us who like to get something to eat in A2 after the game and drive back home, it's annoying when you're just leaving town and want to hear more from the radio about the game, but then TKA switches to that boring ESPN national show.
Though I get the feeling the radio is only heavy call traffic after a loss on those nights. Not sure why they don't carry the press conferences live.
First get rid of "Sparty Boss" then pummel Sparty in 2012...step one accomplished...on to step two.
Beat MSU, THEN get rid of Sparty boss. Want to at least here him once after MSU loses.
Fithian was Good. Karsch was Very Good. Ira is Excellent. And... PLEASE SIGN SAM WEBB TO A LIFETIME ON-AIR CONTRACT! Damn the budget!!! SIGN HIM to a LIFETIME Deal! He is the MAN! The absolute best thing that has been on the Ann Arbor airwaves since Ufer...And that is a Fact! If he ends up at a Detroit station someday, PRETENDING to cover MSU and UM in a 50-50 manner, I will immediately drive my car off a steep cliff; and that is also a fact.... Also, Brian is Excellent during his weekly segment (please see my standard for excellence above).... Also, Andy Mignery is Excellent during his weekley segment..... Also, someone (WTKA?) should begin grooming AM to be the next "color analyst" during Michigan Football radio broadcasts (you heard it here first). He is an ABSOLUTE NATURAL on the radio, is a former player, has a GREAT "radio" voice, is actually very fair, and bleeds Maize n Blue....Also, Defran is poor, but his buddy Michael Bradley can be very funny. So, I guess Defran gets points for that?
I don't listen to WTKA much anymore, and one of the reasons is Ira's terrible on-air voice. He seems like an alright guy, albeit a bit nerdy, but his voice is painful in the morning. It's like listening to an elementary school kid with a huge retainer.