OT: Lions Moving to WJR; Apparently Upset That 97.1 Criticizes Them So Much

Submitted by BursleyHall82 on November 20th, 2015 at 10:54 AM

The Lions are leaving 97.1 next season for WJR. The people at CBS Radio (97.1) are saying it's because the Lions are upset that the talkers on 97.1 criticize them so much. So it would seem the Lions hate Mike Valenti as much as we do.




November 20th, 2015 at 10:57 AM ^

After 50-plus years of being the worst franchise in football, destroying a pedigree that included four NFL Championships, three in the 1950's, what do they expect?  


November 20th, 2015 at 10:58 AM ^

think Valenti is actually becomming a hindrance to that station at this point.  He has become so one dimensional (Lions suck, Giants suck, Everbody sucks) that it is a really bad listening experience.  I didn't always dislike him just based on Sparty love but he is literally the most negative radio personality I have ever heard.  Good for the Lions in this regard.  He was and is out of control with his takes.


November 20th, 2015 at 11:12 AM ^

this puts me in extreme peril on this blog, I have to say that the "new Sharp" on 105.1 is actually quite a bit more tolerable than Valenti.  Sharp's stint with Shep was absolutely awful, and I really questioned why 105.1 would even give it a roll.  He is not as bad as I thought he would be(while still being bad, of course).  Look, it is what it is, I listen to sports talk radio and my options on the way home involve Sharp and Valenti.  I have to listen to something and meteor is not an option.  Valenti is considerably worse than Sharp right now and it is a shame because he is very knowledgeable about sports.  He is just completely one track.  Everybody and everything is "abysmal" and nobody and nothing is good.  At times it sounds as though Foster is actively trying to discourage him from those takes but Valenti takes it as though he is just "playing along."  Complete mess of a show.


November 20th, 2015 at 11:20 AM ^

would be a pretty epic move.  I have listened to 97.1 now for a while and my first suggestion would be dumping the early morning show as a "variety show" and commit to it being a legit sports show and move some talent there.  Jamie Samuelson is a VERY good morning sports show host and would be perfect for the job with really anybody (except for Bill who is quite literally like nails on a chalkboard to me-can't listen to him).  Right now their morning show and their drive home show are both disasters and that is not a good thing at all. 


November 20th, 2015 at 11:31 AM ^

Context: I haven't listened to Michigan radio regularly since I left in 2005.

My impression is that the Clear Channel blootletting that axed Stoney and Wojo was a huge mistake in many areas, and the Stoney/Wojo firing was a big one. Their show had become an institution locally; I don't know what the ratings were, but I was under the impression that they crushed the competition. And Clear Channel flushed it.

It's hard to develop high chemistry, well-liked, well-listened-to shows. Some radio management groups seem to think that they can just replace hosts and the listeners won't jump ship, but given how many of those moves get walked back I'd say that they are dead wrong. It happened in LA when I lived out there; I enjoyed the Mason and Ireland show on the ESPN radio flagship, and they dropped the show on a whim. Mason and Ireland were quickly brought back in the earlier pm time slot, and when the guy they originally put in their slot bombed, the station was stuck. They had nuked a good product.

I'm not local, but when I visit town I find Metro Detroit area difficult to listen to. Part of it is familiarity, but part of it is the subjective impression that it's not as good as it was when I left.



November 20th, 2015 at 11:41 AM ^

nearly as good as it was.  The Ticket had a really good line up back in the day, but I think part of the reason Clear blew it up is because they were having to pay hosts who had become institutions in their own right.  There was a running joke back in the day regarding Stoney's salary and I think there was an undercurrent of truth to it.

Detroit has some good talent still but they do not have it in the right places.  Baligan is back midday on 105.1 and appears to have honed his skills and is quite a bit better but he is relegated to a slot when nobody listens.(Disclaimer - in past posts I panned Baligan but I like him so far in his return).  Jamie and Wojo are actually really good and have really good chemistry but they come on after everybody is home.  Stoney knows a lot about sports but is on a show that never talks about sports.  Shep is serviceable if you really want to talk Detroit sports specifically but he is on AM and nobody even knows he still has a show.


November 21st, 2015 at 8:04 AM ^

I think if 105.1, having blown their chance at the Lions, wants to make a real commitment to sports in this market, they would be wise to attempt to reunite Stoney and Wojo at the earliest opportunity when their 97.1 contracts expire. They should also probably pay whatever it takes to get UM or MSU football, just saying. 


November 20th, 2015 at 11:03 AM ^

Well, the two biggest draws in SE Michigan, the Lions and Wolverines, have both been bad for basically the last ten years (one or two years excepted for each team). I fail to see how saying the Lions suck or Michigan sucks constitutes anything but telling the truth.

That being said, your point stands about negativity getting a bid old after a while. But at least that negativity pushed through change at Michigan.


November 20th, 2015 at 11:15 AM ^

radio host, you have to get past the overall "status" of the team big picture and just focus on games sometimes  Many Lions fans tune into talk radio because, despite the teams record, they want to hear discussion about the upcoming game.  Like, OK, the Lions are bad, but they play this weekend, so let's look at the Raiders matchup.  There is none of that on 97.1 right now and I think listeners are bailing on them.


November 20th, 2015 at 11:24 AM ^

disagree.   I used to not be able to stand Valenti, but the last 2-3 years I've gained a bit of respect for him.  Personal feelings aside, I believe the Valenti & Foster show is a top 10 rated show nationally, despite not being syndicated.  I don't think Valenti is a hindrance to the station at all.  Quite the opposite.
The Lions moving to a station where they have more editorial input says more about a flailing franchise than it does the media outlets covering them.  It's also somewhat funny to me that this is 2015 and an NFL franchise is moving their broadcasts to the AM dial.


November 20th, 2015 at 11:34 AM ^

like you actually may be Mike Valenti.

I any case, I am the exact opposite with him.  I really liked listening to him 5 years ago but cannot do it anymore.  I think their rating say more about the kind of commuter city that Detroit is and how sports hungry it is than really reflect on the quality of the show.  I listen to those shows because I am a sports fan and have to listen to something, not because I have an affinity for either one.

And if you listen to Valenti, I think you would know that the Lions are not looking to "censure" the content as the station would have you believe, but they cannot put their product on a station that devotes 4 hours per day to panning them pretty much at the expense of actual content.  It became personal to Valenti with the Suh interview debacle and he has not let up on the Lions since.


November 20th, 2015 at 1:49 PM ^

He's right actually...last year they were voted the number 1 sports show in the country by Talkers magazine. Also Detroit is the only large metropolitan area in the country that has a sports station as the 1rated station in the market. That is largely based on Valenti and Fosters radio show. I honestly don't mind Valenti because I know where he stands. If I can take Sam Webb crushing Sparty at every opportunity he gets, then I can't cry when someone from the other side does it to us.

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November 20th, 2015 at 11:35 AM ^

This. I rarely post on this board and rarely will text 97.1 with anything, but I literally texted 97.1 a couple days ago: "Please find someone who enjoys talking about sports". I try and avoid Valenti but I drive a lot for work and he's on when my radio is on mostly, between 2:00-6:00. He is the most negative person I've ever heard.


November 20th, 2015 at 11:54 AM ^

but it cannot serve as the backbone for the narrative on a 4 hour program either.  You can either tallk about them within the context of who they are or not talk about them at all.  What you can't do is devote 4 hours to "the Lions suck" and expect to make a good radio show.  "The Lions suck" is the end of a conversation, not the beginning of one like it is used on 97.1.


November 20th, 2015 at 12:06 PM ^

of the show.  yes, during football season, it's a popular topic - but again, when the team is basement-dwelling bad, what are they supposed to talk about?  His negativity can grow tiresome, but when that happens, I try to put what he says in perspective.  and if i'm still tired of it, I change the channel.   He's positive when there's something to be positive about, and negative when there isn't.  it's called honesty.  I like it.  His new york cynic schtick can get old at times, but, if nothing else, it's still entertaining.  

I think too many michigan fans have thin skin when it comes to him, and I get it.  But, I grew out of it.  Most of the time I don't find he's being negative just for the sake of being negative.  He likes to troll M fans from time to time, but that's to be expected.  


November 20th, 2015 at 12:14 PM ^

he is never genuinely positive.  If the circumstances don't allow him to be negative he simply alters the perspective on the circumstances to continue negativity.  If the Lions turn it around this year, the conversation will become about NFL parity and how the NFL has become watered down, allowing a terrible Lions team to be competitive.  If anybody but Michigan State wins the Big Ten this year he will come out with "the Big Ten is not as good as everybody thought so [Insert winner here] is completely fraudulent."  If the NFL suspends a player for domestic violence his take is "what a shame that the NFL needs to suspend somebody so nobody will pick him" and "it is all about the dollars so of course the NFL suspended him."  Listen carefully.  Nothing is good and nothing can be good or he changes the conversation to how it makes something else bad. 


November 20th, 2015 at 12:47 PM ^

you hear what you want to hear.  The guy is a lot more fair-handed than you're accusing him of.   Be honest - are you one of those fans who never got over Valenti likening Brady Hoke to Fred Flinstone?   That's fine if you are, just be up front about it.


November 20th, 2015 at 12:07 PM ^

Side question: At what point do we have a new generation term?  I'm a millenial, but I'm 28 and when I was in high school my parents didn't care what I did or when and they certainly didn't hand me anything.  They bought me dinner when they visited college and took me grocery shopping.

I don't want to be lumped in with today's teens, thank you very much.


November 20th, 2015 at 11:09 AM ^

Also, looks like Terry Foster had been "granted" early retirement from Det News. They basically forced him out, but he seems okay with it. Hopefully the guy got a decent severance package.


November 20th, 2015 at 11:11 AM ^

The only thing that used to get me thru the Millen years was when Art regner would go off on rants for 10 minutes straight after Lions losses - that was some of the best radio ever.  I wish they'd hire Art and we could do it all over for a new generation.