OT-Ira Weintraub promotion

Submitted by Summoner10 on December 18th, 2011 at 4:51 AM

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.




December 18th, 2011 at 5:21 AM ^

PDs have a history of doubling as on-air personalities, especially with radio budgets being what they are right now.

That said, I personally hope Weintraub does not continue on the air.


December 18th, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

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.


December 18th, 2011 at 1:43 PM ^

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.


December 18th, 2011 at 12:18 PM ^

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



December 18th, 2011 at 10:09 PM ^

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.
<br>Plus he has a much better voice to listen to in the morning than Ira.

03 Blue 07

December 18th, 2011 at 6:14 AM ^

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.


December 18th, 2011 at 7:20 AM ^

I don't think he's a douche at all. He's never offended my sensibilities. I just don't think he has improved all that much in his time at TKA (it can be done -- Fithian is lightyears ahead of where he once was), his style has never done it for me and I'm ready for a new voice. No big dealto me if he stays on which I'm sure he will.


December 18th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

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.


December 18th, 2011 at 8:58 AM ^

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.


December 18th, 2011 at 11:00 AM ^

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.

el segundo

December 18th, 2011 at 1:58 PM ^

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.


December 18th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

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.


December 18th, 2011 at 9:01 AM ^

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.  


December 18th, 2011 at 11:46 AM ^

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).


December 18th, 2011 at 1:44 PM ^

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.

snarling wolverine

December 18th, 2011 at 2:25 PM ^

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.


December 18th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

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?


December 19th, 2011 at 8:43 AM ^

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.