The worst kept secret in Detroit radio is now official with Greater Media's WMGC-FM 105.1's flip from Adult Contemporary to Sports Talk as 'Detroit Sports 105.1' today at 3 p.m. The first live voice on the new station was Drew Lane, half of the 'Drew and Mike' morning program that was entrenched for years at sister station Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 until earlier this year. 'Detroit Sports 105.1' is the market's 5th station that will focus primarily on sports, and the second on the FM dial.
After a few sports-related and 'message' songs, the station launched with with some best of clips from the old 'Drew and Mike' show that segued into a couple famous Detroit-related sports clips, Lane opened the microphone and commented on the absence of Mike Clark in the new venture. The first show topic, the Detroit Tigers and star player Miguel Cabrera.
The newly titled (and possibly temporarily-named) 'Sports and More' afternoon show with Lane will focus first on sports, but will also drift into the hot topics of the day. Lane, who will the show's primary host, assured fans during the press conference announcing the format change that the "38,000 drops" that were part of the 'Drew and Mike' show on WRIF were safe and available for use - a hint that the offering on 105.1 won't be dramatically different than what listeners were used to hearing on 101.1. The program, which will air from 3 - 7 p.m. weekdays, will feature a mix of talk and analysis with well-known guests and callers also contributing.
The station will be affiliated with ESPN Radio and will carry that network's 'Mike and Mike' mornings from 6 - 10 and 'Colin Cowherd' from 10 a.m. - noon. ESPN Radio will also be heard from 8 p.m. - 6 a.m. and on weekends. The station becomes ESPN Radio's 148th affiliate on the FM dial.
At its launch, 'Detroit Sports 105.1' will offer listeners other local weekday programming in addition to Lane. FOX 2 sports reporter Ryan Ermanni and former WDFN AM 1130 host Rico Beard will be in place from noon - 3 p.m. starting tomorrow. Beard's role is apparently temporary; it's anticipated he'll move to weekends when former WXYT-FM and WDFN reporter Matt Dery joins the station at the completion of a non-compete clause he had with WXYT. Former WJR sports reporter Tom Mazawey will also be part of the midday show.
In addition, there will be a local 1-hour show from 7 - 8 p.m. hosted by Marc Fellhauer, longtime producer/contributor to the 'Drew and Mike' show on WRIF - a role he'll keep with Lane's afternoon show on the new 105.1.
The station's new Program Director is Jason Dixon who arrives from Raleigh, NC. He will lead the station up against four other Sports-focused stations in Detroit: CBS Radio's market leader WXYT-FM 97.1 which also owns/operates the mostly-syndicated CBS Sports Radio WXYT AM 1270; Clear Channel's WDFN AM 1130, which features Fox Sports Radio; and also Birach Broadcasting's WCAR AM 1090 which currently carries NBC Sports Radio.
CBS Radio currently holds the play-by-play rights to all four of Detroit's major league sports teams, (Lions, Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons) as well as the rights to University of Michigan football and basketball. The U-M games are carried on WWJ AM 950 with the Lions/Tigers/Wings/Pistons sharing WXYT-FM/AM with an occasional airing on WWJ when there are three of the pro teams playing simultaneously. Cumulus Media's WJR AM 760 is the Detroit flagship for Michigan State University football and basketball.
Greater Media/Detroit Market Manager Steve Chessare commented, "We are thrilled to be able to offer Detroit a new alternative that will be designed with our loyal and dedicated sports fans in mind. We look forward to providing the very best local and national talent on the airwaves for our listeners. We will have more announcements surrounding the new station in the near future."
Detroit Sports 105.1 on Social Media:
Greater Media press release here.
Regular listeners of the soft rock 'Today's 105.1' format will no doubt be looking for a new station to tune into. Stations like 'Fresh 100' Clear Channel's WNIC-FM 100.3, and '963 WDVD', Cumulus' WDVD-FM 96.3, will likely be the biggest beneficiaries in both listeners and advertiser dollars to today's change. Other stations that play at least some similar music include CBS' Classic Hits WOMC-FM 104.3, Bell Media's CIDR-FM 93.9 and Cumulus' WDRQ-FM 93.1.
The switch increases Greater Media/Detroit's focus on male listeners - in addition to 105.1, the station's cluster includes Active Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 and Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7. The switch should improve the company's ability to lure more advertisers willing to put spots on all three of its stations. Trade publications have reported that with the Adult Contemporary format WMGC-FM was lagging behind many other stations in the market in terms of ad revenue.