Thursday night, Michael Stets of local Detroit AM radio station WJR-760 announced on Twitter that the Detroit Lions would be leaving their radio station in 2021 after a six-year stay on the radio station. Friday morning, Lions team president Rod Wood confirmed that news, saying that Lions radio will be moving back to local Detroit FM station 97.1 The Ticket starting next year.
The Lions and 97.1 The Ticket had an ugly divorce back in 2015, when the Lions decided to move to WJR after 18 years with 97.1/1270 AM. At the center of the controversy was 97.1 The Ticket personality Mike Valenti, who alleged the Lions decided to move on because the radio station would not fire or censor him due to his brash criticism of the team.
“This is a petty, juvenile, nasty organization,” Valenti said back in 2015. “They don’t like me, because I don’t fear them. I don’t care about them.”
The Lions, at the time, denied these allegations.
“It simply isn’t true,” Elizabeth Parkins, Lions senior vice president of marketing and partnerships, said at the time said. “This was a business decision for the Detroit Lions. We fully understand and respect the separation between editorial and business.”
Regardless of the past, it looks like this will be the partnership of the future. Though terms were not disclosed, the Lions called this a “multiyear” agreement in an official statement.
“This partnership now makes 97.1 The Ticket the flagship station for all four professional sports teams in the Motor City, giving fans a one-stop destination for all of their favorite local teams,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Entercom Detroit.
97.1 The Ticket, starting in 2021, will be the host of live broadcasts, pre- and postgame shows, and other weekly Lions features.