To say Monday was a difficult day for Detroit’s 97.1 The Ticket would be an understatement as the station mourned the loss of longtime sports radio host Jamie Samuelsen.
Having to carry a radio show without your partner can prove to be a challenge, but having to do so after your co-host passed away less than 48-hours prior is unimaginable. That’s what The Ticket’s Mike Stone was confronted with Monday morning. After losing Jamie Samuelsen to cancer over the weekend, Stoney got behind the mic on Monday and offered a four-hour tribute to his co-host which included laughs, tears, frustration and celebration.
Samuelsen passed away Saturday, just five days after he announced he was battling colon cancer. For 19 months Samuelsen kept the diagnosis private, but he decided to publicize his fight as a way of encouraging others to get tested. Several friends, including Stone, visited Samuelsen last week to say goodbye.
“We were in his bedroom,” Stone said. “We were telling some jokes. He was having a good time. Obviously didn’t look well. And it was tough for him. Obviously, it was tough for us. And he told us each that he loved us.”
The Bay Area born Samuelsen entered Detroit’s sports radio market in 1994 by way of WDFN, later joining The Ticket in 2012 where he was paired with evening host and longtime friend Bob Wojnowski. Then in 2016, Stone and Samuelsen partnered in morning drive where the duo enjoyed immense ratings success.
“We’ll all get through this eventually,” Stone said shortly after reading lyrics from the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows. “It’s going to be hard. It’s going to suck. Don’t worry about us. We’ll figure it out,” Stone continued as his voice began to break near the end of the four-hour tribute.
“Thanks to all the listeners, thanks to all the support that this community has showed him since last Monday, the Lions, the Tigers, the Pistons, the Red Wings, Michigan. We had Matt Patricia on today and Dave Revsine and the love for this man is overwhelming,” said Stoney. “Jamie, I loved you, still love you. Christy, Josh, Catherine and Caroline, and we can throw Wojo in there because he’s part of their family.
“God, Jamie was the greatest. When Wojo asked one word to describe Jamie, I said ‘inclusive.’ Jamie was good to everybody, God Bless you, James K. Love you, love your family, and gonna miss you so much,” Stone said in closing as he broke down in tears, and undoubtedly, many of his listeners did too.
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.