Talk WKRK-FM will be starting 2007 with some big changes to its on-air lineup. Rob Parker and Mark Wilson, 'Parker and the Man' have been released from their 7-11pm show, fueling speculation that FM 97.1 will soon be the home of play-by-play coverage for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, perhaps as soon as the Red Wings game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday evening (Dec 31, 7pm).
Both the Wings and Tigers have been heard on sports WXYT AM 1270 for the past several years but that agreement will expire with the end of the current Red Wings season. Discussions on a new agreement for the broadcasts have been underway for several months and part of those discussions likely dealt with numerous complaints from fans that WXYT's nighttime signal was subject to interference and fading in many parts of the metro Detroit area. Moving or adding the games to FM 97.1 would address those concerns.
At least one other personality change at WKRK has been confirmed as Michelle McKormick has been released from her role as co-host of Motor City Middays, which had been running from 9 AM - 3 PM weekdays. There is no official word on the fate of Jay Towers, the show's other co-host, but there is speculation that Towers will remain with CBS Radio in Detroit but transition to another station in the group.
CBS Radio management has not yet commented on the changes at WKRK-FM, fueling much speculation on Internet message boards about a possible change in the station's overall format and on the status of the station's highest rated show, afternoon drive's Deminski and Doyle along with the syndicated Opie and Anthony program heard during morning drive.
The Detroit sports talk radio firing season continues. WKRK 97.1 fired Rob Parker and Mark Wilson Thursday, marking the immediate end of the duo's seven-year run on the station. This move could signal WKRK's intent to make a run for the broadcast rights to air the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings. The Tigers contract with WXYT 1270, a sister station of WKRK also owned by CBS Broadcasting, expired at the end of the season. The Red Wings contract, also with WXYT, expires at the end of the season. The two teams are owned by Mike Illitch and the radio contract will be a package deal with one station. The station currently broadcasts Detroit Lions games... 'Parker and the Man' is canceled (Fri 12/29)
WKRK-FM (97.1) could be ready to simulcast Red Wings and Tigers broadcasts. WDIV-TV Local 4 reported Thursday that WKRK -- which handles Lions games -- had parted ways with weeknight sports talkers Mark Wilson and Rob Parker to make room for the broadcasts beginning with the Wings' New Year's Eve game. The Channel 4 report would indicate that CBS Radio, WKRK's parent, had maintained rights to Tigers games... WKRK clears way for pro teams (Fri 12/29)
Michelle McKormick is apparently the latest voice to exit CBS-owned WKRK-FM (97.1). The dismissal of Jay Towers' midday talk cohost was first reported on the website of former WKRK voice Gregg Henson, now a Philadelphia radio personality. Station GM Kevin Murphy, programmer Craig Schwab and CBS Radio corporate spokesmen did not respond to inquiries... McKormick joins the ousters at WKRK, WXYT (Fri 12/29)