Terry Foster explains why Detroit cannot support all sports radio

In recent weeks, there has been news that 1130 AM The Fan is no more and rumors that “big changes” are coming to 97.1 The Ticket. Both of these things are in addition to Detroit Sports 105.1 failing in less than three years.

Terry Foster, who many remember as Mike Valenti‘s former partner on 97.1 The Ticket, published a piece on Wednesday titled, “Detroit Cannot Support All Sports Radio.”

In the piece, Foster said he is not surprised that 1130 AM and 105.1 FM both failed because, “There are not enough passionate sports fans in the Metro Detroit area to sustain an all sports station.”

When I did radio at 97.1 with Mike Valenti I was taught that if you only talked sports that eventually you’d go out of business because you could not get a large enough audience in Detroit to attract advertisers and compete with the big boys in radio.

“There are not enough passionate sports fans in the Metro Detroit area to sustain an all sports station.”

If the goal is to get a two or three share in the market, you could do it if the company was willing to sustain financial losses and back the product. If the goal was to compete with 97.9 FM, WWJ-950 AM, WRIF and WMOC you had to venture from sports and take a lot of phone calls.

Mike and I talked about former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his legal problems when that story was hot. We talked race and culture and best burgers in Detroit. We wanted to crown a Miss Sliders queen. Every time we did it people would call in to bitch. “Stick to sports” they would scream.

We ignored those calls because our ratings kept increasing.

Nation, do you agree with Foster? Does the Metro Detroit area not have enough passionate sports fans?

Written by Arnold Powell

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