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Mike Valenti Gets New Contract at The Ticket

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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

Parker Hillis Named Brand Manager of Sports Radio 610

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Goodbye snow and hello heat! Parker Hillis is headed to Houston. Audacy has announced that he will be the new brand manager for Sports Radio 610.

“Parker is a rising star,” Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy in Houston, said in a press release. “He has impressed us since day one with his innovative ideas, focus on talent coaching and work ethic. We’re thrilled to have him join our Audacy team.”

Hillis comes to the market from Denver. He has spent the last three years with Bonneville’s 104.3 The Fan. He started as the station’s executive producer before rising to APD earlier this year.

In announcing his exit from The Fan on his Facebook page, Hillis thanked Fan PD Raj Sharan for preparing him for this opportunity.

“His leadership and guidance set the stage for me to continue to grow and develop in this industry, one that I absolutely love,” Hillis wrote. “This is a special place, one that I am honored to have been a part of and so sad to leave.”

Sports Radio 610 began the process to find a new brand manager in February when Armen Williams announced he was leaving the role. Williams also came to Houston from Denver. He started his own business outside the radio industry.

“I’m excited to join the Sports Radio 610 team in Houston,” said Hillis. “The opportunity to direct and grow an already incredible Audacy brand is truly an honor.”

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Iowa Adds WCKG As Chicago Radio Affiliate

“The Hawkeyes open their season at home on September 3 against FCS power South Dakota State.”

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Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa, sits just over three and a half hours from Chicago. It makes sense to assume plenty of alumni move to the Windy City after school and that other Iowa fans live in the metro area as well. That is why the Hawkeyes have struck a deal with WCKG to become their radio affiliate in Chicago.

The station, which is heard on 1530 AM, will air the entire season of Iowa football.

“Iowa Football’s storied history, continued success, and loyal fan base and alumni network throughout Chicagoland made this move a no-brainer for WCKG,” WCKG Sports Director Jon Zaghloul said in a press release. “I’m excited to bring the Hawkeyes to Chicago, and can’t wait to start airing games this Fall. It’s a huge acquisition for our brand, and, more importantly, our devoted listeners.” 

The Hawkeyes open their season at home on September 3 against FCS power South Dakota State. Gary Dolphin has called all of the school’s sports on radio since 1996. Ed Podolak is his partner in the booth during football season.

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Dave Rothenberg Can’t Stand Hearing Kenny Albert Mispronounce ‘Raleigh’

“I would think a true professional, like somebody that cares about their craft, would get that kind of feedback and welcome it.”

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Dave Rothenberg has a tiny bone to pick with Kenny Albert, and it’s over the way Kenny pronounces the Carolina Hurricanes’ home city.

Talking on his show on ESPN New York on Tuesday, Rothenberg, who spent three years working in Raleigh on 99.9 The Fan, said he wished someone would get in Albert’s ear and correct the way he’s been saying it adding that it has made him wish one of the top play-by-play voices in hockey wouldn’t be on the call for the playoff series between the Canes and New York Rangers.

“I would think a true professional, like somebody that cares about their craft, would get that kind of feedback and welcome it,” Rothenberg said.

Albert has been pronouncing the city’s name as “RAW-lee”. It is properly pronounced “RAH-lee”.

Co-host Rick DiPietro and the rest of the show crew thought Albert would take offense to the correction, especially since it’s such a minor thing, but Rothenberg thought that was ridiculous.

“See, no one can deal with tough love anymore,” Rothenberg said.

The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes series shifts back to Raleigh on Thursday for Game 5. The series is tied 2-2.

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