My favorite afternoon drive show, Deminski and Doyle heard on the former CBS “Free FM” outlet in Detroit came to an end after a brief morning stint on the new sports station that couldn’t make up its mind what to call itself. First, they’re the Sports Powerhouse. OK fine. Then it’s the Ticket. How original, guys! Hey, I was briefly Chief Engineer for the local station that was FIRST called the Ticket from which several of their hosts came: WTKA in Ann Arbor! I’m glad some of my former co-workers landed in Detroit, because they’re good people, but there is always fall-out. There are always bodies to step over.97.1 -- whatever it’s called (and it’s AM sister station, WXYT, which was already sports) turned itself into a 24-hour sports outlet. D & D, the top-rated duo who built up a huge loyal listenership during the past eight years simply were not given acceptable contract terms by CBS. That is the bottom line, and money was not the major issue.The word is D & D's show basically kept the station in the black, pulling numbers that brought in 70% of the stations’ revenue. The station is airing is re-runs through the end of the year. Enjoy while you can!
The talk show arena is pure feces right now. All the popular talk shows are in re-runs! Jay Leno, David Letterman and Deminski and Doyle are all “best of’s.” The CD collection in my car keeps growing, and you can bet it is for everyone else. Local radio is not in good shape, unless you’re looking for music. D & D was yanked off the air a week early, as some kind of “power” move on the part of CBS. This action prompted other area media columnists to call station owners (CBS) and management “gutless”. Nothing lasts forever in radio though, and eight years of becoming Detroit’s most beloved afternoon drive hosts, is still a helluva long time. But if CBS can yank Tom Ryan off WOMC (in the same year), it’s no big deal to do the same to D & D. Kick them to the curb. It sucks and I've been kicked myself, but I got back up and kicked some butt. D & D will too, and in a big way. Why? Because they rock! The best rise to the top. Losers wind up OUT OF THE BUSINESS.
Thinking further, perhaps the local economy is a factor and the market can no longer afford to support the caliber of talent we’re used to. Or perhaps too many high-end management people are brought in from outside the market that treat talent like commodities. The reality is it’s probably a combination of both.
Who loses? Us. The loyal listener. Big time. It’s a vicious cycle. Not everyone wants to hear sports babble around the clock, day in, and day out and have it on multiple stations on top of that. So the numbers will continue to drop with revenue falling further. Those local shows will be replaced by syndicated shows. The so-called “powerhouse” stations will sound the same as the remaining 1Kw smart market AM stations who can just barely afford to pay for the power to keep the transmitter on. The difference is now the stakes are much higher, and it costs a helluva lot more to keep 50Kw on the air...and NOBODY is listening!