By Jeff Moss
June 22, 2016
….. is it indeed a [Dead] Duck?
Now, I am not reporting that Greater Media (GM) has decided to flip formats at Detroit Sports 105.1 but what I am telling you is that their behavior is completely consistent with a radio company that is preparing to do exactly that by Labor Day.
Almost two months ago I was told by various sources that GM was in it for the long haul regarding 105.1, with “in it” meaning they were remaining an all-sports station and an ESPN affiliate. In fact, one source was willing to wager that 105.1 would still be a sports channel in 2018 and proposed a $1,000 bet if I thought otherwise.
I passed on taking that gamble and I really regret doing so now as all signals are pointing towards a format switch.
Because here are the facts ….
It has been 43 days since GM fired Dave Shore as the program director of 105.1 and there has been no urgency in replacing the head of the station. In fact, I do not believe that GM has interviewed anyone to replace Shore. 43 days without a program director and zero urgency to hire one? Or even look for a replacement? What does that tell you?
Ryan Maguire was one of the obvious candidates for the gig — he runs WQAM in Miami and obviously has local ties — but it would appear that he hasn’t been contacted either.
If my sources are to be believed, it doesn’t seem like any other logical candidates like Kevin Graham, Dan Zampillo or Gregg Henson have been interviewed either.
And not only does 105.1 not have a program director currently, I’ve been told they only have ONE sales rep for the entire station. One person selling advertising. For an FM channel? That’s insane.
And I am not sure who that lonely salesperson reports to because the station is still without a SALES MANAGER. There is literally no ad revenue structure in place for 105.1. Hell, if you aren’t even attempting to sell your product, I guess the station’s .9 rating doesn’t really matter.
Furthermore, the station’s stand-in PM drive host Lindsey Hunter has accepted a job offer as an assistant basketball coach at University of Buffalo. The midday host Ryan Ermanni seems to be taking more and more days off from 105.1 to work at Fox-2. Nothing is being done to stop the cratering ratings at all.
Worse yet, I’ve been told that three former CBS Radio sales reps are waiting out their non-compete contracts to start at 105.1 once the station has a new format.
It all adds up to Detroit reverting to a one-station sports town. Unless you consider whatever the hell WDFN is doing with Matt Shepard to be a viable alternative.
I do not.
MLive on Verge of Replacing Chris Iott on Tigers’ Beat
As I reported yesterday, sources have advised me that MLive.com has decided on a replacement for Chris Iott on the Tigers’ beat but it is not the DSR’s preferred choice of current Detroit News U of M basketball reporter Tony Paul.
It appears that while Paul was a finalist for the gig, the eventual replacement for Iott’s job will be a quasi-internal hire.
The new guy supposedly works at an MLive sister site in another state and will be relocating for this job.
You have to wonder what the future holds for the online publication as they have not been able to convert web clicks to financial success. They already laid off Iott’s understudy James Schmehl during the offseason for budgetary reasons and Iott voluntarily left the “paper” to start his own business.
Hopefully none of this upheaval impacts their coverage of the Detroit Lions as Kyle Meinke and Justin Rogers continue to do the best job in town of covering that pathetic organization, carrying on a tradition started by the late Tom Kowalski and temporarily maintained by Anwar Richardson.
And Then There is This …
— Abe Southfield (@abeinsouthfield) June 22, 2016
Ok, this is fucking weird. I just learned that Josh Katzenstein is taking over the Saints beat on NOLA.com in New Orleans for a guy named Evan Woodbery. And where is Woodbery heading???
To Detroit to replace Iott.
I am not sure if Detroit is sending a Bar Mitzvah boy to be named later in this transaction, but I am looking into it.