It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a decade since Art Regner was one of the must-listens on the sports-talk radio scene.
It was late in 2006 that WXYT 1270 cut just about everybody making six figures, including Regner.
And that, amazingly, was the last time Regner had a full-time job on Metro Detroit radio — even as 97.1 The Ticket has blossomed into ratings royalty, and even as Detroit Sports 105.1 joined the market in August 2013.
Regner’s phone has stayed mostly silent all these years.
And it’s rather hard to believe.
Welcome to the never-know-what-tomorrow-holds world of sports-talk radio.
“Most guys in radio, except for a few, drive into the station each day not knowing if that’ll be their last day,” Regner said.
“I’m still jonesing to do on-air stuff.”
Regner still keeps busy, and still has a voice in the market — it’s just that his die-hard fans now have to work a little harder to seek out his voice, particularly for his strength, his takes on the Red Wings.
He often fills in for Matt Shepard on WDFN 1130, he does an hour-long Red Wings podcast with USA Today’s Kevin Allen — they started during the playoffs, and episode No. 24 is due out this week — and he does a Michigan podcast with longtime Detroit sports-talk host Gregg Henson, who’s now working in Pittsburgh.
Also, recently, Regner was hired by WDET 101.9 to produce a pair of shows, including Detroit Today, hosted by the Free Press’ Stephen Henderson, while the regular producer is on maternity leave.
But while the regular paycheck, at least for the summer, has to be nice, there’s not much sports at all on WDET, which has to be a killer for a guy who made his name around here with his famous rants on the lowly Lions, plus his inside-info scoops on all things Red Wings.
After being let go from WXYT 1270 in 2006, Regner, 57, hopped over to WDFN to start doing some guest-hosting in spring 2007, and has bounced around the airwaves ever since, though never really under the umbrella of a contract.
He recently left his gig at FoxSportsDetroit.com, where Regner wrote Red Wings columns and did videos — albeit columns and videos that appeared to be toned down, as FSD is the TV partner of the Red Wings. If you know Regner, he doesn’t really pull off “toned down” all that well.
Regner enjoyed the time at FSD, but knew it was time to go. His heart, after all, remains in radio, even if radio isn’t calling too much these days.
“I’m still holding out hope,” said Regner, “because it beats working for a living.”
Credit to the Detroit News who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Rob Dibble, 97.9 ESPN Help Collect Nearly 5,000 Turkeys
“This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”
The station, along with other iHeart Connecticut stations, also raised more than $189,000 during the 23rd annual Turkey Tuesday at Connecticut Foodshare’s headquarters.
“We are continually grateful of the outpouring of donations from our listeners and Connecticut community on our annual events to ensure a Thanksgiving for all,” said iHeartMedia Hartford and New Haven Vice President of Marketing Vanessa Wojtusiak. “This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”
Dibble has been a longtime support of Connecticut Foodshare, hosting its director Al Marino on his show several times throughout the year to ensure families in Connecticut have access to the food bank.
Danny O’Neil is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously hosted morning and afternoon drive for 710 ESPN Seattle, and served as a reporter for the Seattle Times. He can be reached on Twitter @DannyOneil or by email at Danny@DannyOneil.com.
Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement
Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.
After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.
Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.