Friday, January 05, 2007

Want to lose IQ points? Listen to Detroit sports talk radio

Art Regner got the ziggy from WXYT in what was called a "Cost-cutting" move. As bad as it is to see ANYONE lose their job before the holidays, the move was a positive one for 1270. As you might remember, I had Art high on my list of Detroit media hacks. Regner's blind love of all things Wolverine and Red Wing caused him to come off as nothing more than a sycophant. Neither team could do no wrong in his maize, blue, and red tinted world. Regner was nothing more than a glorified fluffer when it came to those organizations, I guess WXYT tired of paying for handi-wipes and knee pads.

With the loss of Regner, WXYT has improved themselves. 1270 may not be listenable, as pseudo tough guy Mike Valenti and Michigan mouthpiece Doug Karsh are still on the air, but improved all the same. Faint praise, but it's progress.

The highest ranking member of my media hack list, self designated baseball "Expert" Wobb Parker, along with his long suffering partner, Mark Wilson, was given his walking papers from 97.1 FM. The cancellation of Parker and the Man was greeted with a shrug by me, as I never listened to them. Personally, I find Parker to be absolutely insufferable. I avoid his columns at all cost, so why on earth would I want to listen to his drivel as well? If only the Detroit News would take heed, and shitcan the worst columnist of any major market newspaper.

But there was even better news than no longer having to hear Parker's tripe. The reason given for Parker's removal was that both the Red Wings and Tigers were going to have their night games simulcast on WKRK along with WXYT. That may have been the best news for Tigers fans since Joel Zumaya gave up playing "Guitar Hero." 1270's weak signal was long been a sore spot with the Tigers fanbase. Since leaving WJR, you couldn't hear the Tigers over the air at night, unless you were living within plain sight of 1270's transmitter. Considering WXYT's transmitter is powered by 2 asthmatic hamsters during the day, and 1 at night, the Tigers moving to FM was loooong overdue.

For those pining for the days of the Tigers being heard on the WJR's blowtorch of a signal, as compared to WXYT's Bic lighter of one, those days are long gone. WJR makes more money going with a schedule full of syndicated programming, which is a damn shame. 760 is a shadow of its own self, anyway. Today's WJR is an utter waste of a clear channel signal. Local programming is an afterthought, as they would rather poison the airwaves with agenda pushing blowhards like Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura. If only JP McCarthy knew what has happened to his once great station, which is no longer the "Voice of the Great Lakes." The Tigers and Wings are better off being on stations with more sports-centric focus, rather than the rhetoric-spewing voice of far right wing conservatism.

WDFN is dead to me at this point. The station has become so full of inside jokes, callers who fancy themselves as bad comedy writers, run into the ground cliches, and hosts that encourage such behavior, that 1130 has become unlistenable to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence. Tuning into Stoney and Wojo yesterday afternoon (For the first time in months, actually) pretty much confirmed that I wouldn't be listening to 1130 again anytime soon, as I'm trying to preserve what brain matter I have left.

I don't mind guy talk at all, but S and W have turned into an audio version of the lowest common denominator lad mags, Maxim and Stuff. Sports are an afterthought, talked about in between "Wacky" news stories and rote, by the numbers caller contests. They have dumbed themselves down to the point where they have become frustratingly unlistenable.

For example, yesterday's big topics were sexual fetishes, and another one of their once funny, now lame, 64 team tournaments. What was even worse hearing Mike Stone and Bob Wojonowski going through the motions was their outright asinine callers. They feel the need to do awful bits that even Jay Leno would find unfunny, state the blatantly obvious, and encourage Wojo's stupidity, which is an act that has worn awfully thin. If I ever hear "HAPPY NEW YEAR" over the airwaves ever again, I'm going postal.

After listening to out 2 local sports talk outlets, one thing has become clear. Between Detroit sports talk radio, or getting a lobotomy, local sports talk kills more brain cells.


  1. "Wobb" is pretty damn bad, but I think Drew Sharp is worse.

  2. I never got into sports talk radio, basically for the reasons you gave. It just seems to be the lowest form of sports to me. Blowhards trying to fill up 4 hours of airtime and saying provocative things to draw callers. Callers who, like Deadspin posters, try too hard like they're auditioning for the blowhard's job, spout off just as stupidly. I mean, I know you can listen to it just to be entertained by stupidity, but it's not my thing. It's not totally useless of course. I like when they have beat writers on to speak with some actual knowledge about teams. But then it's back to "Why didn't they run the trap on that second down play, Joe?" or "That was so stupid, I can't believe this moron still has a job coaching!"

    Fortunately up in the hinterlands, we don't have any local sports talk radio. Fortunate because I might be asked to say something intelligent about any of the teams I cover, which, the way I see it, just isn't going to happen and I'd be self conscious while doing it.

  3. I'd be surprised if Art Regner doesn't follow the Wings to WKRK. He's in really good with the organ-i-zation. Maybe it's just a matter of working out the pay cut.

    I suppose some would tell me it's typical for radio, but WXYT's suffered from a ridiculous amount of turnover and shuffling over the past year. It's almost fun to tune in every week, just to see what station you'll get.

    I don't listen to nearly as much sports talk radio anymore, opting instead for podcasts, but it's still an easy fallback when I have a short drive. And I'll be curious to see how 'The Sports Inferno' performs in afternoon drive-time, as I think they're currently a much worthier program than 'Stoney & Wojo.'

    (One thought on Wojo: Can you believe the columnist and the buffoonish sports talk host are the same guy?)

    But ultimately, you're right - a sports market like Detroit deserves far better from two competing sports talk radio stations.

  4. Hi Al!

    Longtime reader, first time commenter...