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Detroit Sports 105.1 Drops Format; Begins Stunting

Detroit Sports 105.1 WMGC Detroit Sean Baligan Mac MarcAmidst the other changes taking place at Greater Media, the company abruptly dropped the Sports programming at “Detroit Sports 105.1” WMGC-FM Detroit this evening.

WMGC is temporarily rebroadcasting the Oldies programming heard on 94.7 WCSX-HD2 until a new format is launched. The Sports format had launched in August 2013 with much fanfare to take on CBS’ usually market-leading “97.1 The Ticket” WXYT-FM, but failed to gain any momentum despite the addition of Detroit Pistons basketball. In the May 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM ratings WMGC held a 0.9 share of the Detroit audience while WXYT-FM was #1 in the market overall with a 7.3 share.

Greater Media released the following statement:

Greater Media announces the company has discontinued the Detroit Sports talk format on 105.1/WMGC-FM in the Motor City. The change officially took place at 6pm on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016.
The station, which officially launched in August of 2013, has served as a sports talk alternative in the market.

“The change comes after much careful consideration of the direction of the station’s format and overall ratings over the past three years,” said Steve Chessare, vice president and market manager of WMGC-FM. “We would like to thank our dedicated listeners and the entire Detroit Sports 105.1 staff for their many contributions to the station in the Motor City. They are true professionals and we are very grateful to them.”

WMGC-FM will feature the sounds of sister station WCSX-FM’s HD2 Detroit Oldies format during the interim until a new format is officially unveiled.

WMGC-FM is owned by Greater Boston Radio, Inc., a subsidiary of Greater Media, Inc., the parent company of 21 AM and FM radio stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. The company also owns a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey and several telecommunications towers located throughout the United States.

INSTANT INSIGHT: At first glance only two gaping format holes exist in Detroit. Formats that Greater Media conveniently programs in other markets. Rhythmic Hot AC ala “Hot 96.9” WBQT Boston or Variety Hits. The latter would give Greater Media the same three music formats in their Detroit and Philadelphia clusters.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

11 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Kyle G.


    Definietly rooting for Rhythmic Hot AC on 105.1, but regardless am very excited to see what Greater Media has in store for Detroit.

  2. Profile photo of Woof!


    I kinda wonder if they may go into Active Rock, since everyone hates 89x (CIMX Windsor). But I can easily see Classic Hits, leaning rock, since many complain of WOMC being too new musically. I can’t expect “the groove” to come back at all.

    • Profile photo of charles57


      Greater Media already has a current-based Rocker in WRIF.

    • Profile photo of ksradiogeek


      Yeah, there is no way an active rock format is coming to MGC, as WRIF is already in the cluster.

      Classic hits? I see that eating away at CSX rather than helping.

      Rhythmic AC is my guess.

  3. Profile photo of EDM radio 87.9


    It’s been 5 years I been to Detroit area but I don’t know if this will work or not how about putting EDM on 105.1 to give the area something different instead already have 89X, 101 WRIF, Channel 95.5, and 98.7 Amp Radio on the air waves

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      Where is Dance a viable Commercial format anywhere? The only markets where it is in existence are on translators in Miami and Panama City, a weak class A on Long Island and a high school station in Seattle. If it was viable it would’ve succeeded in many of the other markets where it was tried and failed. Its a niche, but too much of a niche to succeed as a mass-appeal format.

      • Profile photo of ksradiogeek


        I get what he’s saying. Detroit is the birthplace of techno, after all. But yeah, Dance has never been viable in this country. EDM radio, I suggest listening to many European stations for dance.

      • Profile photo of johndavis


        There’s also the booster that barely gets KYLI into Vegas. But they’re not what I would call a commercial success, either.

        The songs that make hardcore EDM fans happy don’t move the masses. The dance songs that cross over to pop get plenty of airplay from CHR. End result is you have a format that is better suited to online (where the cost of operations is lower) than on air.

  4. Profile photo of troygud1


    I hope Detroit will be getting a New Alternative radio station-As it is much needed now. Featuring Classic Artists from The Red Hots, STP, & Nirvana, The current stuff from 21 Pilots, Fitz & The Tantrums, & X Ambassadors. Also some Triple A from Hozier, Mumford & Sons, & ColdPlay. I hope you’re listening after the The Fourth of July Weekend.

    • Profile photo of Cory


      Sounds like 93.9 The River’s playlist. I think GM will leave that audience all to Bell Media.

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