Detroit’s 97.1 The Ticket recently acknowledged they’ve “missed the mark” in building a lineup that reflects their diverse city. Two weeks later, the station is taking action with the addition of veteran local sports host Rico Beard to their afternoon show.
Beginning Aug. 3, The Ticket’s afternoon drive program will rebrand as The Mike Valenti Show with Rico, airing weekdays from 2 – 6pm.
“I am extremely blessed and honored in becoming a host on The Mike Valenti Show on 97.1 The Ticket,” Beard said in Entercom’s press release. “I was flattered when Mike Valenti himself asked me to join his show. My job will be to bring in a new voice and opinions to a show that is already one of the best shows not only in Detroit but in the sports talk radio industry throughout the U.S.”
Rico brings with him more than two decades of local sports media experience, having recently hosted The Spartan Beat for The Team 92.1 and The Ryan and Rico Show on Detroit Sports 105.1.
According to Debbie Kenyon, SVP and Market Manager of Entercom Detroit, Beard has long been on the company’s “wish list” of talent to add.
“I’ve wanted to work with Rico for several years now and it is simply fantastic the occasion has arrived,” said Valenti. “Adding Rico to our show represents a massive opportunity to not only stay at No. 1 but to evolve and become even stronger. I’m really proud of the show we created.”
The Ticket also announced Valenti’s producer and on-air contributor Mike Sullivan will be departing the show for a new opportunity.
“Sullivan has meant a lot to this show, to the station and to me personally,” Valenti added. “I’m excited about his new opportunity and wish him all the success in the world.”
While The Ticket may have been interested in adding Beard to their lineup for some time, the announcement comes just three weeks after a former local radio host and current FS1 personality Rob Parker highlighted the station’s diversity issues in a column on Deadspin.
“Talk about a lack of diversity. In a city that is 82.7 percent Black, according to the latest census, the only all-sports talk radio station in town — 97.1 The Ticket — has NO full-time black hosts on the air,” Parker wrote for Deadspin.
“It would be one thing if this was a radio station in Iowa or Nebraska. But in Motown, the Blackest city in America?” Parker questioned.
The sports talk prowess and perspective of Detroit native Rico Beard is a welcome addition to The Ticket’s daily lineup.
Tim Ryan Signs Extension With 49ers Radio Crew
“The Mercury News indicates that both Ryan and Papa will have their contracts come up at the same time – 2028.”
Just ahead of the San Francisco 49ers game on Thursday Night Football, the team announced its radio color commentator Tim Ryan has signed a contract extension to remain on broadcasts through the 2028 season.
Ryan kicked off his 10th season in the booth a few weeks ago. He has been calling games alongside Greg Papa since 2019.
The Mercury News indicates that both Ryan and Papa will have their contracts come up at the same time – 2028.
Ryan played four seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. He was a third round draft pick in 1990. He has been broadcasting ever since.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Howard Eskin: Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce Dating Rumors Are ‘All A Little Game’
“The producer of their podcast will say, ‘Hey, let’s play this up; it’s great for the podcast.'”
Whenever Taylor Swift performs a concert or goes out, there is generally a swarm of paparazzi that surrounds her. As one of the preeminent superstars in the world of music, there is considerable public interest in her life and upcoming projects. For years, fans of the artist have followed her dating life, which has included boyfriends such as Joe Jonas, John Mayer and Harry Styles.
Recently, many people are starting to believe that she could be dating Kansas City Chiefs star tight end and two-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce. In an appearance on Thursday’s edition of The Pat McAfee Show, Kelce was asked about the rumors and relayed that he invited her to a Chiefs game to watch him play.
“I’ve seen you rock the stage in Arrowhead [Stadium],” Kelce said his message read. “You might have to come see me rock the stage at Arrowhead and see which one is a little more lit.”
Although Howard Eskin’s guest appearance on SportsRadio 94WIP took place before Kelce’s public comments, he diffused the dating rumors by recounting the situation that started the ensuing chain of events. Kelce attended Swift’s concert at Arrowhead Stadium and tried to pass along a friendship bracelet with his phone number on it to the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning artist. Since then, reports from The Messenger have indicated that Kelce and Swift have conversed and hung out several times. Additionally, Swift reportedly thinks that Kelce is “very charming,” and the duo is “seeing where things go.”
“She’s in Kansas City – he’s Travis Kelce,” Eskin said. “There’s people there, I’m sure, that handed her a number and she said, ‘Who is this?’ I would bet – yes – she doesn’t follow football.”
Amid his statement, Eskin was reminded that Swift is a Philadelphia Eagles fan, something she revealed at Lincoln Financial Field on her acclaimed slate of shows within “The Eras Tour.” The sports radio luminary then shared that Swift wore his Super Bowl LII ring after the team won the championship in 2018 and that he was invited to the premiere of the tour movie on Oct. 13 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Reacting to comments made by Philadelphia Eagles’ center Jason Kelce during in an interview with McAfee on Wednesday, he believes the disclosure of the dating rumors are helping fuel increased notoriety. Each week, the Kelce brothers record and release episodes of their podcast, New Heights, with Wave Sports + Entertainment, and Eskin thinks that reacting to the reports could equate to a simple publicity stunt.
“The producer of their podcast will say, ‘Hey, let’s play this up; it’s great for the podcast,’” Eskin said. “It’s all a little game. Entertainment Tonight did a story on Taylor Swift and her former boyfriend who was married to somebody else, and they played this small clip of the audio and said nothing because there is nothing to report other than Jason Kelce said, ‘I think it’s 100% true.’”
Steak Shapiro: Chris Russo’s Gummy Comment an ‘All-Time TV Moment’
“I’m going to tell you, jaws dropped, folks high-fived me and you’re just like, ‘did that just happen?’”
Steak Shapiro told his audience that he has been in the media business for a long time. What he saw on First Take on Wednesday was “one of the all-time TV moments that I have ever seen.”
That moment was Chris Russo’s admission that he will eat a THC gummy, drink a cocktail in the middle of the day and bet $10,000 on Coach Prime and the Colorado Buffaloes to beat Oregon on Saturday.
“I’m going to tell you, jaws dropped, folks high-fived me and you’re just like, ‘did that just happen?’” He said Thursday morning on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.
He joked that promoting get drunk, betting thousands of dollars and taking drugs should be proof to critics that “ESPN ain’t that woke.”
Drew Butler, Shapiro’s co-host for the Thursday edition of The Steakhouse, said that what caught most people’s attention was the facial expressions and reactions of NFL analyst Marcus Spears.
He added that he was shocked to see something like that on ESPN, who just went through some very public layoffs which have drawn real criticism.
“They take a lot of heat for having to be righteous, politically correct, kind of milquetoast at times,” Shapiro agreed. “Listen, I don’t know that they’re related.”
He added that it would be different if Russo had said that he was going to roll a joint a get high. He said the afternoon that was described though is something that isn’t just unobjectionable to many, it is probably very appealing to a lot of people.
“Any women listening now may envision your husband just like this and any dude listening right now? Again, there’s plenty of guys that’ll wake up and run a marathon, right? Or just go hike for 4 hours. And that’s great, too,” he said. “But then there are other guys that want this out of their Saturday.”
“There’s certain entertainment in listening to a man who simply has nothing to lose,” Butler concluded.
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