CBS & Townsquare Media To Launch Michigan News Network

CBS Radio Townsquare Media Michigan News Network 950 WWJ 97.1 The Ticket WXYTCBS Radio and Townsquare Media are partnering to launch the Michigan News Network on Tuesday, September 2.

Launching with 20+ stations, the network will distribute content from CBS News 950 WWJ and Sports “97.1 The Ticket” WXYT-FM to affiliates across the state. MNN will offer top-of-the-hour newscasts weekdays from 6:00am through 7:00 PM and 60-second sports updates three times per day. Townsquare Media will syndicate the product and manage affiliate relationships while licensing the content from CBS.

CBS RADIO and Townsquare Media announced today the creation of the Michigan News Network, which will provide affiliated stations across the state with news, sports and other local content produced by CBS RADIO stations WWJ Newsradio 950 (WWJ-AM) and 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM). MNN will debut on Tuesday, Sept. 2 on nearly 20 affiliates throughout the state, including stations in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor.

As the state’s preeminent news and information source, MNN will offer top-of-the-hour broadcasts weekdays from 6:00 AM-7:00 PM and 60-second sports updates three times per day during the same time period. The CBS RADIO content will be licensed by Townsquare Media, which will serve as the exclusive syndication partner and manage affiliate relationships.

“CBS RADIO’s Detroit stations have served as the authoritative voice of the community for many years, establishing themselves among the market’s most credible brands and news sources,” said CBS RADIO President and CEO Dan Mason. “We are excited to be working with Townsquare to distribute our award-winning programming to listeners across the entire state of Michigan, while also realizing the highest value for our content.”

“Townsquare Media has a constant focus on providing live, local and vital information to the communities we serve,” said Townsquare Media Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven Price. “We are thrilled to partner with CBS RADIO to provide important statewide content to the residents of Michigan. The Michigan News Network will also offer a new and impactful environment for clients who want to reach Michigan consumers on a statewide basis.”

WWJ Newsradio 950 is Michigan’s only all-news radio station, providing live and local content 24 hours a day. In 2014, WWJ was named Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, honored with a Crystal Award by the National Association of Broadcasters for community service and received the General Excellence Award for news by the Michigan Associated Press.

As Detroit’s sports talk leader, 97.1 The Ticket serves as the flagship home of Detroit Lions football, Detroit Tigers baseball and Detroit Red Wings hockey. With “Stoney & Bill” in the morning,” “Karsch & Anderson” mid-days, “Valenti & Foster” during afternoon and “Jamie & Wojo” in the evening, The Ticket is metro Detroit’s #1 sports destination.

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  1. Robert Keil says

    sounds similar to what the Oklahoma News Network (Clear Channel) or Radio Oklahoma Network (Griffin/Tyler) do…

    1. Eric Jon Magnuson says

      There are a lot of state networks that are run alongside (or out of) local News/Talk stations; not surprisingly, CC owns many (maybe even most) of them (although the biggest example is probably the CBS-owned combo of KRLD and the Texas State Network).

      What’s interesting here is that, as far as I know, Saga still operates the Michigan Radio Network (along with a farm network there and similar operations in Minnesota and Illinois). I can’t see both MRN and the new MNN doing well over the long haul, which makes me wonder if something is going on with MRN–and, if so, whether CBS/Townsquare could also pull this off in Minnesota and Illinois.

      1. Lance Venta says

        Saga does still operate the Michigan Radio Network/Michigan Farm Network.

        This new CBS/Townsquare agreement is likely an extension of the Lansing based Michigan Talk Radio that came to Townsquare as part of the more recent deal with Cumulus.

      2. Nathan Obral says

        The Dispatch Company still operates ONN Radio, which is all that remains of the Ohio News Network. Virtually all content is fed through the network’s affiliates and with the former TV cable network’s regional affiliates (the lone anchor, Mike Hawkins, is a WBNS-TV employee). The flagship stations, WBNS AM/FM, don’t carry a single newscast and rarely (if ever) air the networks sports programming.

        Of course, WBNS AM/FM just so happens to be the flagship for tOSU football and basketball. IMG operates the network now after WBNS ran it for decades.

  2. Joseph_Gallant says

    Could the CBS/T9onwsquare Michigan News Network eventually become the exclusive distributor of Tigers, Lions, and Redwings games, meaning that outside of Detroit, a station would have to affiliate with MNN to get the games?

    1. Nathan Obral says

      No. No. No, and no. Did I say no at all?

      The Tigers, Red Wings and Lions all control their respective radio networks and pocket a majority of the revenue. Like hell they are going to give up control of that.

      This arrangement is very similar in scope to many statewide news radio networks. Ohio News Network, RadioPA, Tennessee Radio Network, etc., etc.

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