Report: Greater Media to flip WMGC-FM Detroit


Greater Media, Inc.Detroit’s FM radio dial may soon have some competition for the sports talk audience. Local rumor has it that Greater Media’s AC “Magic 105” WMGC-FM will change formats in August to sports. That would pit it against market leader CBS Radio’s WXYT-FM “The Ticket,” which airs the CBS Sports Radio Network.

Crain’s Detroit Business reports Greater Media has been in talks with potential show hosts — including Drew Lane, formerly of the “Drew & Mike” morning show, who ended a 22-year run on Greater Media’s sister station and heritage rocker WRIF-FM.

Lane last month launched a weekday podcast on called “DM&M” with former “Drew & Mike” producers Mike Wolters and Marc Fellhauer. Former on-air partner Mike Clark has been off the air.

WMGC has lagged in the ratings since popular morning show host Jim Harper retired in December 2011 after a decade at the station, so a format change is a likely possibility.

The article noted Greater Media may be pursing local contractual rights to ESPN Radio, which belong to Birach Holding’s WCAR-AM. WCAR began airing ESPN Radio on 2/2/12. It doesn’t broadcast live local shows.

Until picked up by WCAR, ESPN Radio last aired in Detroit on WXYT-AM until September 2007. WXYT-AM now airs CBS Sports Radio.

WXYT has the rights to air live all four of Detroit’s professional sports teams’ games. The radio contracts for the Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons don’t expire until 2015, meaning it would be more than a year before a flipped WMGC could theoretically pursue and air pro games. University of Michigan football and men’s basketball games are aired on CBS Radio’s WWJ-AM under a five-year deal signed in 2011.

The market’s other sports station is WDFN-AM, owned by CCME. The only local sports content on WDFN is Matt Shepard’s 7-10 a.m. talk show. It carries nationally syndicated shows during the day and Fox Sports Radio programs at night.

See the Crain’s Detroit Business story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: Right on the money. WCAR was the Detroit affiliate of ESPN Radio until 7/12 of this year. The station is now an affiliate of NBC Sports Radio. ESPN Radio is heading to FM in Detroit.