And so it comes to pass. Much rumored by radio insiders and much denied by Greater Media for many, many, months, it appears adult contemporary radio station Magic 105.1 FM will officially become a sports/talk station while also bringing longtime WRIF-FM Morning Show giant Drew Lane back to the airwaves. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow at 11am.
It has been a long, slow decline for the former home of Jim Harper’s “Breakfast Club” – one-time king of the “soft rock” set. And while it is never easy to see top talent such as current WMGC morning man Chris Edmonds, let go (as reported Friday by Michiguide.com’s Mike Austerman), it was more than time for a change. As I’ve noted before (and heard again on the station the other night), when a major market radio station goes directly from music into commercials sans jock talk or reference to “call letters” (basically the station’s name or “handle”), it’s not hard to read the writing on the wall.
Industry trade website All Access and the Detroit Free Press are both reporting what Bill Shea of Crain’s Detroit Business speculated last month: Magic will pick up the contractual rights to ESPN Radio. Does that mean syndicated content such as the popular “Mike and Mike in the Morning will air in Detroit? It’s too early too tell but one would hope not. Early reports are placing Drew Lane in afternoons (3p-7p) without former partner Mike Clark. Lane has expressed no shortage of disdain for early mornings in the past. His love of sports would also make this transition work.
Magic’s “less talk” mentality since Harper’s exit no doubt contributed greatly to its downfall. It is once again a lesson I feel all radio programmers should consider when attempting to “neuter” on-air talent and personality. What is the hottest FM radio format today? Sports/Talk. Underline talk. Interesting, isn’t it, that that is exactly where Greater Media is turning to bring back 105.1′s “magic”?