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Mike Valenti Gets New Contract at The Ticket

Brandon Contes

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Mike Valenti

Detroit sports radio host Mike Valenti agreed to a new contract with Entercom, keeping The Valenti Showon WXYT-FM 97.1, weekdays from 2pm6pm.  Length of the agreement was not disclosed, but the extension was announced as a “long-term” contract.

“Mike is an extraordinary talent who has a great rapport with Detroit sports fans,” said Debbie Kenyon, SVP and Market Manager of Entercom Detroit. “He has built a dedicated listener base and we’re thrilled to have him on the 97.1 team for years to come.”

Valenti joined The Ticket in 2004 and moved to afternoon drive in 2007 with co-host Terry Foster when the station switched from AM radio to FM.  Foster retired from the show in April 2017, following a stroke which put him on medical leave for much of 2016.  Since Foster’s retirement, Valenti has continued in afternoon drive as a solo host.

“I value the opportunity to continue my career at The Ticket in Detroit, one of the great sports towns in the country,” Valenti said in the press release announcing his new contract.

Valenti re-upped with WXYT The Ticket in 2016, signing a 10-year contract extension while the station was still owned by CBS.  The reason for renegotiating Valenti’s contract was not reported, but since his last contract was agreed to, Valenti has become a solo host of the show and new ownership took over.  While under his previous contract, the 36-year old Valenti explored the option of moving to a larger market.

Valenti’s highly opinionated style, combined with his ratings success and New York ties made him a candidate to take over for Mike Francesa when he was set to retire from WFAN.  Valenti spent a week on-air at New York’s WFAN last summer, partnered with Evan Roberts and Chris Simms separately.

Valenti ended up staying in Detroit after Francesa’s afternoon drive timeslot was filled by Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, but last November Tony Paul of The Detroit News tweeted “heard rumblings Mike Valenti was among those offered the job, but turned it down.”  Ultimately, Francesa returned after five months of retirement, pushing Carlin, Maggie and Bart to middays.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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Sports Radio News

Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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