Will WJR switch back to Michigan now that Michigan has a better bball team and football team than MSU?

Submitted by ThadMattasagoblin on December 5th, 2012 at 10:09 PM

If you remember in 2006 WJR switched from being affiliated with UM to MSU basing their rationale on MSU bball bringing in more listeners.  Around this time Michigan bball was in the dumps and Amaker was enroute to being fired.  Fast forward to 2012 and Michigan's football future looks much brighter than MSU's and the bball future looks bright as well.  Any chance that WJR switches back to Michigan?



December 5th, 2012 at 10:16 PM ^

It would be nice.  Even though it would make sense, that doesn't mean it will happen.  Radio stations have a way of doing stupid things and going out of business.  It's uncanny.


December 6th, 2012 at 10:24 PM ^

because without WJR, no one would know about them.  This was a business decision plain and simple.  We dont need WJR to promote us.  We have the brand to pull in independant radio stations across the state for half the cost.

I dont blame WJR for taking the money.  However msu forced many listeners to switch stations.  WRJs numbers have tanked since they took on moo u.  No one cares about moo u.

WJR needs us back to bring back listeners.  Their numbers will double if they do.

yossarians tree

December 7th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

This still irks me to no end. It is a loser for both WJR and Michigan. The only "winner" is MSU because they have a radio power they neither need nor deserve. All the WJR people were big Michigan slappies and they suddenly had to "change allegiances" and act like they meant it because it was, well, their job. My guess is Martin fucked this up. I get so pissed off because every season when the first game starts I have to find out which bullshit Detroit station is carrying the Michigan game. For a couple years it was the FM "oldies" station that didn't even have a postgame. Now it's the 24 hour news station. It is like some greasy douchebag with a pinkie ring is banging your hot former girlfriend. Damn it to hell! Motherscratcher! Foul!


December 5th, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

Is a mere shadow of its former great self. It used to be a beacon for the tigers, red wings and um that you could hear in much of the country. Now it's just another clear channel mouthpiece.

Maize.Blue Wagner

December 5th, 2012 at 10:58 PM ^

It's still a better signal than most. I can get it at my home in Ionia about as well as I can get 1300 out of GR (an 'M' station). I think it would be great to have Michigan sports back on WJR, though I don't think the recent success of the basketball team will have any direct impact on the radio situation. 

Cold War

December 6th, 2012 at 5:45 AM ^

Yeah, you nailed it. Makes me sad. I miss WJR carrying UM and the Tigers. Now it's dominated by political blowhards and carries a school that bought it's way in, and fewer people care about.

I do think they are relevant, given their reach. Maybe not as much with the net, etc., but it  still matters. I'd love to see them and UM. Tigers, etc, swallow  some pride and get it done  at some point. But I doubt it happens.


Cold War

December 6th, 2012 at 5:45 AM ^

Yeah, you nailed it. Makes me sad. I miss WJR carrying UM and the Tigers. Now it's dominated by political blowhards and carries a school that bought it's way in, and fewer people care about.

I do think they are relevant, given their reach. Maybe not as much with the net, etc., but it  still matters. I'd love to see them and UM. Tigers, etc, swallow  some pride and get it done  at some point. But I doubt it happens.


Benoit Balls

December 6th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

my Dad and I could get a clear signal in his truck on a stretch of road between our house in Cleveland and our cottage near the Pennsylvania state line. Some of the happiest memories of my childhood involve riding back from a night doing work on the house at the lake, listening to Bruce Martyn call a Wings game.  

The funny thing was we couldn't get a signal on the big Cleveland AM station (1100), but we pulled in 760 well enough to hear the Wings.


December 5th, 2012 at 11:56 PM ^

Because I had to ask the same question, trying to figure out what two-sport recruit with the initials WJR was wavering in his commitment to MSU.  WJR was our favorite Detroit station when I was a kid, fergodsakes.  Didn't it play classical music as well as Ernie Harwell?  And now it's Clear Channel?  How the classy have fallen.


December 5th, 2012 at 10:19 PM ^

Given the historical dominance of MSU over Michigan in both Basketball (they trail 75 to 94) as well as football (they trail 32 to 67 with 5 ties) I'm sure WJR views the current state of affairs as nothing more than a temporary and quickly overcome setback.  Clearly with MSU dominating as they have in head to head meetings athletically coupled with their national reputation academically it's no wonder a radio station that broadcasts over half the USA at night would want to carry the Spartan torch.  And then when you add in the obviously higher per-capita income of State fans over Michigan fans well - you have an advertising trifecta that's tough to beat.

Here in backwards universe the decision makes all the sense in the world.


December 5th, 2012 at 10:34 PM ^

1.) They have a contract.. its not like at any time they can just say oh UM looks good this year lets switch.

2.) Yes the basketball and football teams look to be trending upward...but they haven't done squat yet. The bball team hasn't made it to the 2nd weekend in the tourney and the football team hasn't made it to the B1G title game in a terrible down time for the conference.

3.) Why would UM even give them the rights back after they trashed us when they switched..they are a nobody am radio station..The internet has made them irrelevent and UM sure doesn't need the money.


December 6th, 2012 at 8:23 AM ^

Just to add a little to the first point in particular, it will not be anytime soon either, per this announcement from January 2010, when WJR extended its agreement with the school until 2020.

Feezy also has built this contract into a going thing at WJR, as far as I know, since they broadcast MSU-backed non-sports content sometimes as well now with programming like "The Greening Of The Great Lakes", so I can't imagine that the station could or would even consider backing out at this point.


December 5th, 2012 at 10:36 PM ^

This was all about money (as most things are now) instead of better programs and records. 

MSU spent a ton of money to take WJR away from us.  And basketball will never be bigger than football, so I have a hard time believing any rationale that MSU basketball was going to bring in more listeners.  Especially when you take into account that MSU basketball circa 2006 was nothing compared to their 1998-2001 years.   

French West Indian

December 6th, 2012 at 9:12 AM ^

Fuck WJR indeed!

Having said that, radio is far from dead.  In addition to covering live events, it's probably the best medium for storytelling.  If Michigan is really swimming in money the way that everybody seems to think that Brandon is, then why not just create their own radio station?  Could feature most M sports events live with additional pre & post game coverage.

Or, alternatively, this could be an opportunity for an aspiring media entrepreneur.  WJR is vulnerable because of their outdated corporate ownership and with something like M sports as an anchor, a new channel could make major headway.

Germany Shultz

December 5th, 2012 at 11:57 PM ^

Martin assumed WJR need UM more than UM needed WJR. He expected UM to be WJR's "loss leader." Now WJR makes actual money from MSU and we have no radio station that everyone can hear Michigan football. Feezy HATED Martin and had nothing but contempt for him. And he really loved the attention the State admin gave him and the station. But as I said, Feezy is gone now. 


December 5th, 2012 at 11:37 PM ^

WJR used to be something of royalty in the broadcast universe when JP McCarthy and Ernie Harwell graced the airwaves. That station used to carry a LOT of clout. All the major Michigan sports were broadcast on "the Flamethrower". Now? No so much.


December 6th, 2012 at 12:07 AM ^

We need a better raid deal... I prefer Frank and Jim to the TV guys but I can never get a non-staticy 950 signal in my house. Going to FM was the right move, we need to sign a long term deal for football and bball on 97.1 


December 6th, 2012 at 12:18 AM ^

This has to be the most pining for radio that I've ever seen take place on the Internet. Especially for a site that makes fun of newspapers and bundled cable as much as we do. Radio is dead, it has no money, no audience, and no appeal.


December 6th, 2012 at 2:02 AM ^

Radio was as good or even better than the newspaper on getting the latest and greatest sports info. I remember when I was a kid listening to JP McCarthy interviewing Bo often during the 70s. They were pro UM way back then. That station really fell on hard times after JP died and the station became a shell of what it use to be. I would always listen to the Tigers with Harwell and Carrie, Red Wings Hockey with Bruce Martin and Sid Able, and Van Patrick then Reynolds did the Lions games! It use to be a great station years ago.