OT- Ira at WTKA

Submitted by MGoPietrowski on September 24th, 2013 at 9:58 AM
Did he really just make a crappy comment about Burleson? Did he really then just spend 30 minutes insecurely defending himself because of fan mail? Did he really then cover michigan basketball and hockey for only 8 minutes afterward?

Yep. He's still f%#^ing talking about it. Now he's reading a new email. Tuesdays from 9-10 are apparently say something douchy and then argue with listeners day.

Does anybody else feel my pain?



September 24th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

Right on.  WTKA's advantage in the morning is that they cover Michigan.  If they're not talking about Michigan athletics, they're no different than 3-4 other local sports stations.  And without Sam, there are better radio personalities than Ira that I can listen to.  Glad I wasn't subjected to it. 


September 24th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

then you have to be able to deal with critics.  Ira struggles with this.  I think he's a good guy.  I'd imagine I would enjoy having a beer with him.  But he's not a great radio personality.  Biggest issue is that he's not funny.  And that's not a knock.  It's just that not everyone is funny.  It helps when you're a radio personality that you have a make you laugh factor.  Also, his Michigan arrogance makes even a Michigan grad cringe.  Again, he wants to bash Sparty or Ohio but he doesn't have the humor to do so it comes off as just arrogance.  And he needs to let go of the Phil thing.  It's not funny.  It's not informative.  He's a caller with another opinion.  Give him his 30 seconds and leave it at that.

Sam is pretty good and he's the man on recruiting so he makes it worth listening to. 

The thing that always makes me quickly scramble for the tuner is caller Brian!  OMG can he please take about a year off and not call the show every day with the same lame comments.



September 24th, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

The show is definatly less fun when Webb/Brian/Clark not in studio.  I do turn the dial when it is Ira and MArcus Ray, who I like sometimes, but find hard to take in long periods.


September 24th, 2013 at 10:09 AM ^

When reporting the story about Burleson, he said "Same old Lions" which a listener thought meant that Ira was glad or happy that Burleson was injured in the accident. That was not the case... he was just referring to the long, sad Lions history of bad luck, which accompanies their long, sad history of incompetence.


September 24th, 2013 at 7:04 PM ^

While I know that Ira was not wishing Burleson ill or anything like that I do wish he would just stop talking about the lions. He may have just been reporting the Burleson stroy this morning but it didn't come off that way to me immediately either.  Maybe that is because 95% of the time he talks about the lions it is to rag on them in some way or make fun of them. Fine your a ravens fan great but don't act like your the smartest man in the room because the rest of us are just dumb lions fans.

Still in AA

September 24th, 2013 at 10:17 AM ^

Replace Burleson with [insert detroit athlete here] and your first three sentences seem to be Ira's typical script.  He does a nice job running the programming at WTKA but I don't think he is a quality radio personality.


September 24th, 2013 at 1:34 PM ^

And manages to create some good events. Though why the hell they can't get the MGoBlog roundtable mic thing figured out so Sam doesn't blast out of the speakers and Brian and Craig are a whisper I don't know.

But on air he's best in small doses. Sam is great, but the guy before Ira was actually better with him.  (My wife can't stand his voice on the radio either). And Marcus is no replacement for Sam, because he's not really suited for long airtime filling. He should be great on the BTN in soundbytes and telling stories, without hours of interaction. 

Sam has a REALLY good excuse to be gone, but come back soon.


September 24th, 2013 at 10:20 AM ^

I didn't think Ira's comment was bad, and agree that the listener might have misinterpreted it. That being said, I was sitting at my desk thinking, "Ira, you gotta let it go!" He made it out to be significantly worse than it was. Made for a rough listen, but not a big deal.


September 24th, 2013 at 10:26 AM ^

He's a good dude. That being said, that show is struggling without Sam, and finding it difficult to fill air time. Let's be honest, 95% of the reason people listen is the Recruiting Roundup, so when that's not there, people will look for even more of a reason to be overly critical.


September 24th, 2013 at 10:26 AM ^

Ira alone is pretty awful. I'm a huge fan of Sam but when he's not around. It's pretty unlistenable.
Even when Sam and Brian are there, the way he butts in all the time with something pretty dumb to say drives me nutts.


September 24th, 2013 at 10:52 AM ^

Ira has a bad habit of interrupting Sam, who is the reason I'm sure everyone listens. That habit is compounded by his opinion statements, which he nearly always follows with a "that being said" or two so that he really cannot be wrong about anything.

Actually quite maddening just trying to get to the Sam parts sometimes. And no, I do not listen if Sam is not there.  


September 24th, 2013 at 10:41 AM ^

Yep.  Sam makes getting through the endless amount of commercials worth it.  I've tried changing the station during commercials, but I sometimes miss the beginning of the recruiting round-up, which was the main reason for listening.  

Can't wait for Sam to get back.  


September 24th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

Man, that annoys me as well.  Often times he’s interrupting to list some supplemental piece of information like the score of a game that happened six years ago. On occasion the interruption is justified or pertinent to the discussion but more often times it’s just disrupting the flow of someone else making a good point or pleasant banter (when MGo roundtable crew is on).


September 24th, 2013 at 10:27 AM ^

Honestly, when I saw that Burleson broke his arm, I too thought "Same old Lions", meaning, holy sh*t, is there a NFL team with worse fu*king luck???

Did the Ford family piss off the owner of a goat, refuse a deal with Satan, wtf?


September 24th, 2013 at 10:41 AM ^

He crashed his car when he tried to prevent a pizza from falling off the passenger seat. It's unfortunate, but in terms of combining boneheadedness and a universe with no sympathy whatsoever, that is about as Lions as it gets.


September 24th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

Ira didn't say anything malicious about Burleson, he simply used the common phrase "Same Old Lions" to describe yet another unfortuante twist to the Lions long history of unfortunate twists. Did he get a bit upset when someone insinuated he was exactly like Jim Comparoni (the guy who called for Devin to get his knees blown out during the ND game), hell yeah. I would too. That said, the show obviously misses Sam, but he'll be back soon. 


September 24th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

I think he does a great job bringing topics discussed on this blog to the radio. He plays up the slappy side of Michigan fans. He talks about the non revenue Michigan sports. You can't get that anywhere else on the radio.


September 24th, 2013 at 12:11 PM ^

He's as devoted to UM sports as it's possible to be, but he's knowledgeable about a wide range of sports and sports issues beyond UM. I also enjoy the fact that he doesn't suffer the fools who call in regularly gladly. And why wouldn't he talk about Maryland? He grew up there, and his family is still there. I enjoy the perspective he brings about the Terps now that they're joining the conference. Yes, he can be combative at times, but that's hardly a unique or disqualifying feature for radio personalities. I think Ira and Sam are a great morning combo, and they beat the hell out of anything WTKA has had on the afternoon by miles.

Slippery Rock …

September 24th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

I can't believe all of the negative comments in this thread. I understand that a thread like this will bring out the vocal minority that for whatever reason dislike a radio show (see the many threads where other shows get blasted), but this seems over the top. I enjoy listening to Ira and wtka. I think the point that is lost in all the negativity are that it is a blessing and a curse to cover Michigan sports so in depth. We all tune in because we like hearing about michigan football, but the problem is there really isn't a whole lot of news to fill in multiple hours every single day. Sure, they do a good job during the football season, but how could you not ramble about a random michigan factoid or a game from 20 years ago when it's April and there hasn't been any real michigan football news in months?

I'm also surprised that Ira is being criticized a little about rambling. It is an extremely difficult skill to fly solo in a talk radio show. It is literally just you meant to fill the air for x amount of hours, and be sure to fill that air, too because nothing is worse that pauses or dead air time. Rants and long winded conversations with yourself are absolutely inevitable, and actually necessary. Combine that with the fact that you have no social cues to know exactly when your audience is losing interest, it makes it extremely difficult. Sprinkle in the fact that the audience is so niche that callers don't exactly light up his boards all the time, and it's a lot of Ira talking without it being his fault at all. I think Ira does a great job. I don't listen to many national radio talk shows anymore, and the only local guy that can really fly solo on the radio pretty we'll is pat caputo besides Ira. Again, I'm sure there are people here that don't enjoy his show, but I think he does a great job of keeping a show entertaining even if he doesn't have a cohost to bounce conversations off of. Pat has been doing this for decades, has many more topics available for him to cover, and has a much larger Detroit sports fan base to "turn it to the people" when he hits a lull. Let's give Ira some credit.

Keep up the good work Ira. I moved out of the area 2 years ago. I used to solely listen to sports talk radio, but when I made the move yours is the only talk radio I listen to anymore via the radio app. You do a great job and we appreciate it.

Slippery Rock …

September 24th, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

I know that this all in good fun, but who really does a consistently good job as a solo talk radio host? National guys like Jim Rome/SVP have a room full of people to keep churning out the topics, and are hardly in the same category. I really don't know of any, and stand by my Caputo reference. Even if you think he's an idiot, the man has been doing the job for a long time, knows his craft, and can fill a strange air time by himself with reasonable consistency.

Maize Judicata

September 24th, 2013 at 11:16 AM ^

Ira is annoying. I cannot stand his love affair with everything Maryland. Without Sam around, I mostly listen to 105.1 because I cannot stand Bill from 97.1. Come to think if it, maybe Bill and Ira are the same person because they both seem to not be able to shut up for 30 seconds.


September 24th, 2013 at 11:51 AM ^

In August, when the issue of closing main st on football game days was discussed, Mr. Weintraub criticized people who called themselves "citizens" who were opposed to the policy. Mr. Weintraub's point was that a person may be a "resident" of a city but not a "citizen"----which to me implied that the people against the policy must be wrong because they weren't even smart enough to know they were "residents', not "citizens".

I e-mailed the station pointing this out, however, since I share the frustration discussed by other posters in this thread, I [in a not very charitable way] added:

Do I need to add that by far the best portions of the program are when you are not speaking?  [Even the commercials are better.]  While it must be extremely difficult to be on the radio, or in the public eye, day after day, I still must point out that I find you neither entertaining, nor informative.

Holy cow!  Weintraub went off like a rocket.  This little gem earned a ten [fifteen?] minute spot on that morning's show where the above was called the e-mail of the month [year?].

Anyway, I suggest that he has watched a lot of sports, but really has not learned as much as one would hope from what he has seen. 





September 24th, 2013 at 11:55 AM ^

Wtka used to have a bunch of local amateurs on in the afternoon, the Beatniks. They were horrible. They would blather on about nothing, spewing RichRod hate. Facts were usually wrong or in the wrong context. I found myself screaming at the radio on a regular basis. They were bad. But they talked about Michigan. And they loved Michigan. Since they were replaced by the Huge show, I stopped listening.
Ira is better than the old afternoon show. And he is far better than the rest of the crap on national sports talk radio.


September 24th, 2013 at 12:25 PM ^

Ira is fine (good, actually).  Certainly someone starting a thread to complain about something that he misinterpreted is more annoying than a radio host.  It's also nice that Ira brings an east coast perspective, given that so many Michigan people come from that region.  WTKA is great when doing the local shows.  I'd much rather hear talk about Michigan sports than hear Mike Valenti whine about what snacks he doesn't like or some other fat slob talk about his favorite tv shows.

Wolverines Dominate

September 24th, 2013 at 12:51 PM ^

I like Ira a lot. My gripe with the show is how they have WAY too many guests, interviews, and phone callers. They do that because they cannot fill the majority of the show with their own stuff. While I absolutely despise the Mike and Mike show (haven't listened to it in about six years), they don't take any calls and don't have nearly as many interviews or guests. The same goes with Jim Rome. I never listen to the segments discussing Olympic sports because I simply don't care about them (and I'm sure 90%+ of the audience doesn't either). That's the only show I know of that discusses M football and basketball at length, so I have to take what I can get. Living in NE Ohio, it's a beautiful thing to have access to radio talk about Michigan that isn't negative like I get here in Ohio.

EDIT: Regarding the phone callers, they're the SAME callers daily and I can't stand any of them. JJ in Linkin Park, Phil the Ignorant Asshole, Don, True Blue Tom, Linda (whom I have not heard call in a long time, thankfully), the guy who fails miserably with his Bob Ufer impersonations, and several others I cannot think of right now.