The Detroit Lions have elected to move their radio broadcast rights to WJR-AM 760 starting with the 2016 season. In doing so they have ended a relationship with CBS Detroit who held the rights to the team’s broadcasts for the past 18 seasons.
CBS Detroit President Debbie Kenyon issued a statement saying “CBS Radio and the Detroit Lions are parting ways. 97.1 The Ticket has served as the flagship station for the Lions for more than a decade and we have been negotiating with the Lions a long time. It is sad to say goodbye, but in the end it came down to the integrity of CBS — the refusal to be censored in talking about the team and making honest assessments on the air about this team.”
So that begs the question, did the Lions attempt to influence the programming on the radio station?
Lions Senior Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships Elizabeth Parkinson says they did not. “This was a business decision for the Detroit Lions. We fully understand and respect the separation between editorial and business. At the end of the day, we’re a football team, and there’s going to be wins and there’s going to be losses, and there’s going to be things that are said when you lose that you’d rather not be said. But it’s a part of the business, and we all have very thick skins. It’s when it’s inaccurate or untrue that it needs to be addressed, and those are the times that we address it. But because someone has an opinion or a certain approach, as long as it’s accurate and fair, then it’s not going to be addressed. Do I wish that it was all happy talk? Absolutely. But it’s just not the reality of professional sports.”
While that’s the position the team has taken, there is certainly another side to it. Afternoon Host Mike Valenti who has the top rated sports program in the market has often been critical of the team’s poor performance. His agent Mort Meisner sent out an email stating that the team tried to flex its muscles to remove Valenti from the radio station’s airwaves in order to extend the agreement.
Valenti finally had a chance to offer his side of the story today at 2pm. He and his partner Terry Foster opened up their show by addressing the issue. Valenti believes the team is no longer with the radio station because of their disdain for him, his opinions and because they wish to control the message in the media. He says the club did request his termination and have been trying to get to him for more than a decade. Full audio of his opening segment is available below.
No matter how the team tries to slice it, this isn’t a good look for them. The franchise sits at 2-7 and most recently parted ways with their Team President and General Manager. Many Detroit football fans would prefer the organization focus on fixing the problems on the field rather than worrying about the opinions on The Ticket’s airwaves.
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.
Angelo Cataldi Bans Andy Reid’s Voice From WIP Morning Show
“25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”
As Super Bowl LVII approaches, many storylines have emerged. One includes Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid facing off with the team he coached for 14 years, the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid is a beloved figure in NFL circles, but 94WIP morning host Angelo Cataldi couldn’t hold back his disdain for the coaching legend.
On Tuesday morning, Cataldi mentioned he couldn’t believe Reid was so highly regarded in NFL media circles. The longtime host said Reid was never truthful during interviews.
After playing clips that included Reid saying the Eagles “were a good team” and how the Chiefs “would need a good game plan” to grab a victory, Cataldi took issue with the generalities Reid spoke with. When asked what he expected from an NFL head coach, Cataldi compared Reid to current Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.
“I was expecting something like Nick gives me every time,” Cataldi said. “I hate Reid ’cause he never won me the Super Bowl, I hate Reid that it took him six years to get there, it took Nick two, and I hate Reid because he never bothered to share a damn thing. If you’re out there, with 25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”
Cataldi — who admitted “I don’t like the man, and I’ve never liked the man” — said he received more than 300 emails about Reid, noting he didn’t realize he was “widely regarded as the all-time Andy Reid critic” in Philadelphia.
The 94WIP host added listeners will not hear the voice of the “phony, fraud” Reid any longer on his morning show.
“I do not control the other dayparts here. I don’t control the newsroom. I’m done playing anything said by Andy Reid. ‘Cause I learned over 14 years it’s a waste of time.”
Seth Payne: Ross Tucker is Stealing My Takes Without Attribution
“He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”
Seth Payne cannot say he wasn’t warned. When Ross Tucker joined Payne and Pendergast on Sports Radio 610 in Houston earlier this week, the seven-year NFL veteran told Payne that his take was so good that he would be stealing it.
“You know what, Seth, that is a great point that I am going to use the rest of the week in all my media stuff,” Tucker said when Payne suggested that the Philadelphia Eagles “earned” an injury to the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterbacks by taking advantage of poor blocking schemes that included using tight ends to block NFL sack leader Hasson Reddick.
A listener named Burch tweeted evidence to Seth Payne of Ross Tucker following through on his promise.
“If the rest of you out there can be more like Burch and let us know when people are stealing our good takes, they can have our bad takes,” Payne’s morning show partner Sean Pendergast said on Tuesday morning.
The duo then played the audio, which they said appeared to come from an unidentified CBS show. In it, Tucker says that the Eagles “earned those injuries” and used tight ends being assigned to block Reddick as his justification for the take.
“I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of a boss Ross Tucker is, like what kind of a manager,” Payne said. “He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”
Ross Tucker is no shortage of platforms to spread the take around. He is on multiple Audacy sports talk stations during the football season. He also makes regular appearances with Dan Patrick and SiriusXM as well as hosting his own podcast.
“This is what you get from these Princeton types,” Payne said of being ripped off. “This is how they get where they are in the world.”
Mully & Haugh: Mike Florio Had Perfect Response About NFL Games Being Fixed
There were questionable calls — both made and not — that played into the eventual outcome of the AFC Championship Game. Cynics have pointed to the officiating in the game’s final quarter as proof that NFL games are fixed. On 670 The Score, Mully & Haugh praised Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio for his response to those accusations.
“I always assume it’s incompetence and not corruption,” Florio said when asked about whether or not the league purposely got the matchup it desired. “The NFL does not rig its games. I will say that loudly, and I will say that clearly. Sometimes I will add ‘because I don’t think the NFL would be sufficiently competent to rig its games if it wanted to. That’s why I think they don’t even try.”
Florio then added that being lied to all the time doesn’t mean you’re being lied to all the time, adding that the NFL does need to be proactive against games being fixed, rigged, or altered after the expansion of legalized gambling.
Later in the program, Mulligan and Haugh returned to the discussion about whether or not a conspiracy was at play when Mulligan levied his praise for the Pro Football Talk founder.
“I thought Mike Florio handled that very well,” Mike Mulligan said. “They’re too incompetent to have a conspiracy. It’s true!”
When asked about whether the NFL would actually want to alter the outcome to pit the Chiefs against the Eagles, Haugh said it’s just not realistic.
“That’s a leap you can’t make. It’s not logical. It’s logical to think the referees stink and their incompetent,” David Haugh said. “They have proof of that. To me, it’s a bridge too far to say they wanted a certain team to win because it makes a better matchup or its better for the league. That, to me, makes no sense and is based on no fact at all.”