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Mike Valenti Gets New Contract at The Ticket

Brandon Contes

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Mike Valenti

Detroit sports radio host Mike Valenti agreed to a new contract with Entercom, keeping The Valenti Showon WXYT-FM 97.1, weekdays from 2pm6pm.  Length of the agreement was not disclosed, but the extension was announced as a “long-term” contract.

“Mike is an extraordinary talent who has a great rapport with Detroit sports fans,” said Debbie Kenyon, SVP and Market Manager of Entercom Detroit. “He has built a dedicated listener base and we’re thrilled to have him on the 97.1 team for years to come.”

Valenti joined The Ticket in 2004 and moved to afternoon drive in 2007 with co-host Terry Foster when the station switched from AM radio to FM.  Foster retired from the show in April 2017, following a stroke which put him on medical leave for much of 2016.  Since Foster’s retirement, Valenti has continued in afternoon drive as a solo host.

“I value the opportunity to continue my career at The Ticket in Detroit, one of the great sports towns in the country,” Valenti said in the press release announcing his new contract.

Valenti re-upped with WXYT The Ticket in 2016, signing a 10-year contract extension while the station was still owned by CBS.  The reason for renegotiating Valenti’s contract was not reported, but since his last contract was agreed to, Valenti has become a solo host of the show and new ownership took over.  While under his previous contract, the 36-year old Valenti explored the option of moving to a larger market.

Valenti’s highly opinionated style, combined with his ratings success and New York ties made him a candidate to take over for Mike Francesa when he was set to retire from WFAN.  Valenti spent a week on-air at New York’s WFAN last summer, partnered with Evan Roberts and Chris Simms separately.

Valenti ended up staying in Detroit after Francesa’s afternoon drive timeslot was filled by Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, but last November Tony Paul of The Detroit News tweeted “heard rumblings Mike Valenti was among those offered the job, but turned it down.”  Ultimately, Francesa returned after five months of retirement, pushing Carlin, Maggie and Bart to middays.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Jeremy Hill Leaving Radio Show For XFL Comeback Attempt

“It’s an opportunity I know is going to go by quick, and I’m probably not going to have that window again.”

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Former LSU running back and current ESPN Baton Rouge host Jeremy Hill is leaving his radio show to attempt a football comeback in the XFL.

Hill has been the host of Hunt & Hill with Hunt Palmer since August of 2021, but announced he is leaving the show to begin working out with the hopes of earning a spot in the third rendition of the XFL, which will begin play in February.

“It’s an opportunity I know is going to go by quick, and I’m probably not going to have that window again,” Hill said. “I’ve got some medical stuff to clear up, but when February rolls around I intend to be on that field again.”

“It’s been a thrill,” Palmer said after Tuesday. “A ton of fun. We are behind him. We can’t thank Jeremy enough for his contributions.”

Guaranty Media owner Gordy Rush, owner of ESPN Baton Rouge, told NOLA.com the company is “in no hurry” to make a decision on who will replace Hill on the show.

A 2nd round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2015, Hunt scored 29 touchdowns during his five seasons in the NFL. He last played for the New England Patriots in 2018.

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Sports Radio News

The Michael Kay Show Ponders Why Broadcasters Don’t Share Their Salaries Like Players

“Because if we were baseball players, we’d all know what we make and we could all go to management and negotiate based off that information. I can’t do that.”

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The salaries of virtually every professional athlete can be found through one avenue or another. And, apparently, if two thirds of The Michael Kay Show had their way, that information would be accessible for broadcasters as well.

While discussing how much MLB players earn for winning the World Series, the topic devolved into how much Kay makes each year.

After telling Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg players make $516,347 for winning the World Series, the pair hounded Kay about his salary.

“That’s what? Three months salary for you?,” La Greca asked.

“I don’t understand you guys,” Kay said. “You’re very…”

“Very curious about how much you make? Yes,” La Greca interrupted.

“Why are you so curious?,” countered Kay.

“Because if we were baseball players, we’d all know what we make and we could all go to management and negotiate based off that information,” said La Greca. “I can’t do that. What’s different? We’re personalities, we do things publicly, we’re in competition with other radio stations. I don’t understand why you can’t just — right now — tell me how much you’re making. Gerrit Cole can do it. Shohei Ohtani can do it.”

“If Michael would do it, you’d do it right now,” Rosenberg chipped in.

“Without question,” La Greca said.

“Here’s the deal: The great Scott Boras once told me — about representing broadcasters — ‘You guys are your own worst enemy’,” Kay said. “I asked why and he said ‘Because you don’t have a database of what you all make. So, the people that are negotiating with you, they have all the information. They know who makes what. You guys have no idea. Michael, you have no idea what Gary Cohen makes. Gary Cohen has no idea what you make.'”

“Someone needs to stand out, show the cubes — as you like to say — and throw it out there,” concluded La Greca. “Then everybody else will look gutless if they don’t.”

Rosenberg said the downside of sharing their salary on the air is that no matter what the number would be, noting he would be the lowest of the three, listeners “would be sickened” by the number, adding “they don’t think our job is a job, and they’d do it for free”.

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd Believes ‘Poorly Run’ New York Teams Make Decisions From Media Reactions

“When I used to live out east in Connecticut, you’d hear WFAN, and you’d hear them Met fans complaining, and then they’d go out and make a signing in free agency because their fans were complaining.”

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Many in sports radio believe they could be fantastic front office personnel for the teams they regularly discuss. FOX Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd believes there are front office personnel in New York who take their cues from sports radio hosts and newspaper columnists.

“I think it’s fair to say in the big cities — especially northeast cities, with larger, louder media, Philly, Boston, New York — GM’s, and owners listen to talk radio,” Cowherd said. “They read the columns. The northeast media has more influence than the west coast media.”

Cowherd then pointed to a specific team and specific station for his criticism.

“When I used to live out east in Connecticut, you’d hear WFAN, and you’d hear them Met fans complaining, and then they’d go out and make a signing in free agency because their fans were complaining.”

He then used the example of the Mets signing Jason Bay in 2009 after fans clamored for the team to sign the outfielder. He struggled during his tenure and was released after three seasons.

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