Michigan Media Network To Launch The Ticket Grand Rapids With The Huge Show
On the heels of the demise of 107.3 WBBL Grand Rapids, Michigan Media Network is taking over the operations of the regionally syndicated HUGE Show with Bill Simonson and will launch Sports “The Ticket” on what is now Cumulus News/Talk 1340 WJRW/106.1 W291DJ Grand Rapids and “Big Talk 1490” WKLQ Whitehall/Muskegon and its future translator.
The Ticket will carry Matt Shepard’s “Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave” in mornings. Shepard, based at iHeartMedia’s 1130 WDFN Detroit and also syndicated by Michigan Media Network. Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick and CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome, both currently carried by 107.3 WBBL, will air from 9am-12pm and 12-3pm respectively.
The Michigan Media Network has reached an agreement in principal with Cumulus Radio Grand Rapids to take over the popular HUGE Show.
Under the agreement the HUGE Show and its network would merge into the Michigan Media Network, which also features the popular Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave show of Matt Shepard in the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. morning drive slot across the state.
THE TICKET West Michigan’s Sports Radio Network will be heard on four over-the-air frequencies; 106.1FM soon and 1340AM in Grand Rapids and 1490AM and a new FM dial spot yet to be determined in Muskegon. The HUGE Show will start anew Monday on 1340AM in Grand Rapids and 1490AM in Muskegon.
“Sports Marketing in America has always been a top priority ‘buy’ for America’s most popular advertisers,” Cumulus Radio Grand Rapids Vice-President/General Manager Bruce Law said. “Sports Fans pay close attention to what’s being presented on sports talk radio. We are excited to add a new morning show with Michigan centric content hosted by Matt Shepard; ‘Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave’ in mornings and continue the popular HUGE Show from 3 p.m to 6 p.m, plus offer two most popular national shows, Dan Patrick and Jim Rome.”
Marty Booher of the Michigan Media Network said when things are finalized in the coming days sports talk radio content will be enhanced and improved in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.
“The HUGE Show and Matt Shepard’s Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave, two popular shows with the best of Michigan sports content, will be heard on four Cumulus stations in Grand Rapids and Muskegon on AM and FM, as well as the current stations where those shows are part of the format,” he said.
Booher, who has worked in Michigan radio and built networks for several years, was originally involved in building the network of stations for the HUGE Show.
“It’s great to get a chance to work with Bill again,” he said. “Plus, the West Michigan markets now get Shep in the morning, and they are going to love him. The opportunity for West Michigan Sports fans to actually listen and engage in Sports in the mornings again will be well received in West Michigan.”
Shepard, whose show is also presented via the Michigan Media Network to a statewide Comcast audience of 1.1 million households via CN900, is a two-time Emmy winner and two-time MSBA Michigan Sportscaster of the Year. He re-launched his unique 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. radio show last November on WDFN (1130 AM) in Detroit and expanded in the Michigan Media Network.
It can be heard live or on tape delay in more than a dozen markets across the state including Detroit, Kalamazoo, Midland, Saginaw, Bay City, Grayling, Gaylord, Traverse City, Ludington, Manistee, Cadillac and Mt. Pleasant. Flint and Ann Arbor markets are anticipated to come on board soon.
The award-winning HUGE Show is also state-wide with stations in Alma/Mt. Pleasant, Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Cadillac, Flint, Holland, Houghton/Hancock, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Midland and Petoskey.
Shepard, or simply Shep as he is known to his audience, broadcasts his show from inside the OnStar Studios in the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. It is a state-of-the-art digital audio recording and editing facility and the perfect location for coach and athlete access – just a few long Matt Stafford bombs or Miggy homers away from where Michigan’s pros play.
Shep enjoys being the busiest voice in Michigan and having his hand on the pulse of the action. He has worked in the state for 24 years, including being the play-by-play voice of University of Michigan basketball for 16 years and Eastern Michigan University football for 19 seasons.
Fox Sports Detroit has called on him in coverage of the Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings, CCHA hockey and the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s state football championships. FOX has featured him on NFL Europe and Arena Football. The Big Ten Network has included him for college hockey, football and baseball, and his resume includes extensive reporter work on features and game-day coverage for FSD’s Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings programming.
“I’ve built my career on relationships with the sports fans as well as the coaches, players, writers, broadcasters, personalities and people who make Michigan sports what it is,” Shep said. “Join us each morning on the radio or on CN900. Let’s talk sports.”
Bill Simonson, or HUGE, is a West Michigan native who worked in markets across the country, including Chicago, before coming back to his home state to build a popular show that features Michigan content, commentary and interviews with the top sports figures in the state.