City of license Detroit, Michigan
Broadcast area Metro Detroit [1]
Branding 97.1 The Ticket
Slogan "Detroit Sports Talk All Day"
Frequency 97.1 (MHz)
(also on HD Radio)
First air date May 10, 1941
Format Analog/HD-1: Sports Talk
HD-2: WWJ simulcast
HD-3:WXYT simulcast
Power 15,000 watts
HAAT 272 meters
Class B
Facility ID 9618
Transmitter coordinates
Callsign meaning WXYZ Talk Radio
(original callsign)
Former callsigns 1997-2007: WKRK-FM
1994-1997: WYST
1981-1994: WJOI
1948-1981: WWJ-FM
1945-1948: WENA
1941-1945: W45D
1936-1941: W8XWJ
Affiliations CBS Sports Radio
Yahoo! Sports Radio
NFL on Dial Global Sports
Detroit Lions
Detroit Tigers
Detroit Red Wings
Owner CBS Radio
Webcast Listen Live
Website Detroit.CBSLocal.com

WXYT-FM (97.1 FM) — branded 97-1 The Ticket — is a sports talk radio station in Detroit, Michigan. WXYT-FM's transmitter and studios are located in suburban Southfield, Michigan at the intersection of Lincoln and Greenfield Roads and transmits its signal from an antenna 891 feet in height with an effective radiated power of 15,000 watts.

WXYT-FM can be heard as far north as Lapeer County and the Flint area and as far west as Jackson. The station may begin to sound unclear and with more static this far north, depending on the listener's radio, antenna, location, the weather, and the time of day.

WXYT-FM is the flagship station of the Detroit Lions,[1] Detroit Red Wings,[2] and Detroit Tigers.[3] It also carries syndicated programming from Yahoo! Sports Radio, NFL on Westwood One, and the CBS Sports Radio Network. [4]

WXYT-FM broadcasts three channels in the HD Radio format.[5]


  • History 1
    • Early history 1.1
    • Joy 97 1.2
    • Star 97 1.3
    • 97-1 K-Rock/Live 97-1 Free FM 1.4
    • Detroit's Sports Powerhouse/97-1 The Ticket 1.5
  • Future Plans 2
  • Sports 3
    • Play-by-play 3.1
  • External sources 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Early history

97.1 FM began broadcasting as an experimental Apex AM station called W8XWJ in 1936. In 1940, the station ceased broadcasting while owner Evening News Association (parent company of WWJ 950 and The Detroit News) waited for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve its move to the newly created FM band. Approval came in late October 1940 and on May 10, 1941 the station (now renamed W45D) signed on at 44.5 MHz with 3,000 watts of power, becoming the first FM radio station in Michigan and the seventh in the United States. When the FCC created the new 88-108 MHz broadcast band, W45D was moved to 96.9 as WENA in September 1945. By 1948, the station had settled on its present 97.1 home as WWJ-FM, originally simulcasting WWJ. In the 1960s and 1970s, WWJ-FM was one of several stations competing for Detroit's beautiful music audience, along with 95.5 WLDM and 96.3 WJR-FM.

Joy 97

In November 1981, WWJ-FM changed its call letters to WJOI, which helped it distinguish itself more from its AM all-news sister station. WJOI's format remained beautiful music, although the station changed syndicators from FM 100 Plan (distributed by Chicago's successful beautiful music station WLOO) to Bonneville, and later to Jim Schulke's package.

96.3 WJR-FM's change to "Hot Hits" WHYT in September 1982 left WJOI (nicknamed "Joy 97") as Detroit's only beautiful music station (fellow easy-listening stations WNIC, WOMC and WCZY having all evolved to adult contemporary formats by that time). As a result, WJOI enjoyed consistent top ten or top five showings in the Arbitron ratings through most of the rest of the 1980s, and even reached #1 12+ in the Arbitron results in the spring 1984 book (1), topping WJR, at a time when the beautiful music format was becoming endangered in other markets.

However, most of the station's listeners were older than the demographics usually courted by advertisers. Thus, in early 1991, the station made some adjustments to its format, dropping the syndication and going to a stable of live announcers and at the same time adding more soft pop and rock vocals to the mix and replacing many of the traditional orchestral-based instrumentals with new-age and smooth jazz cuts. The "freshening up" of the format, however, did not reverse the station's fortunes, and ratings steadily declined.

The WJOI call sign is now in use at an AM adult standards music station in Norfolk, Virginia.

Star 97

Losing the Adult Contemporary battle, WJOI became WYST (aka "Star 97") in September 1994 and featured a 1970s oldies/classic rock format. WYST positioned itself as "The Greatest Hits of the '70s," although the station did branch its playlist out somewhat into the late '60s and early '80s. WYST was also Detroit's outlet for syndicated morning show host Don Imus.

97-1 K-Rock/Live 97-1 Free FM

In February 1997, Imus' show moved to AM sister WXYT 1270, making room for The Howard Stern Show. WYST switched its format to Active Rock, as "97ROCK" (later taking the calls WKRK and the on-air identifier "97-1 K-Rock" in June of that year). Competing with WRIF (Detroit's other active rock station), "K-Rock" caught the ears of fans of harder rock and metal. Unfortunately, K-Rock's penchant for making fun of WRIF, mostly for long stretches between songs, turned off many a listener just as quickly. Ratings continued to be less than impressive, and in late August 1998, WKRK repositioned itself as "Extreme Radio" with its format evolving toward Hot Talk.

By March 1999, the majority of the station's music programming on weekdays was gone and the station soon took on the name "97-1: Detroit's FM Talk Station". This was later changed to simply "97.1 FM Talk". During this period it carried syndicated talk shows such as Loveline, The Tom Leykis Show, and Mancow's Morning Madhouse, as well as local shows. WKRK relaunched as "Live 97.1" in May 2003. In August 2004, WKRK became the flagship radio station for the Detroit Lions.

In October 2005, WKRK added the "Free FM" identifier being used by CBS Radio on many of its hot-talk properties across the country. Once Howard Stern left for Sirius Satellite Radio on January 3, 2006, WKRK began simulcasting Rover's Morning Glory. Rover continued as the morning show until September 2006, when low ratings led to a switch to the syndicated Opie and Anthony.

Detroit's Sports Powerhouse/97-1 The Ticket

On October 1, 2007, at 3pm, WKRK ended its eight year run as a hot talk station, and flipped to an all-sports format, starting with "The Sports Inferno" with Mike Valenti and Terry Foster. The station began simulcasting with 1270 WXYT, and changing it calls to WXYT-FM. Of its "Free FM" lineup, Bill McAllister remains.

On November 6, 2007, 1270 AM and 97.1 FM changed their names again from "Detroit's Sports Powerhouse 97-1 FM & 1270 AM" to "97-1 FM The Ticket." The 1270 AM frequency is only mentioned at the top of the hour. Another change was the names of the midday show "The Big Show" and afternoon show "The Sports Inferno". Both of the shows names were dropped and now the shows are named by the hosts last name, with the midday show now being "Karsch & Anderson", and the afternoon show now named "Valenti & Foster". A few months later, current morning show "Motor City Mornings" changed the name of the show to "Jay Towers & Bill McAllister Mornings". This was all done to "promote the personalities." Jay Towers left WXYT in December 2009, and the show is now named "The Morning Show" with Bill, Sara and Mike "Stoney" Stone filling in. In November 2010, the station changed the shows name to "Stoney & Bill".

On February 5, 2009, 97.1 The Ticket acquired the rights to become the Detroit Pistons flagship station starting in the 2009-2010 season. WWJ 950 AM covered Pistons games when they conflicted with The Ticket's coverage of Lions, Tigers, or Red Wings games. [6] 1270 AM also provided, and continues to provide, coverage of Tigers or Red Wings game in case of conflicting schedules.

97-1 The Ticket ranked at #1 (8.6) in the Detroit market according to the October 2011 PPM Ratings release.

The Lions and The Ticket renewed their partnership for three more seasons on October 9, 2009.[7]

On July 23, 2010, WXYT-FM extended its broadcast agreements with the Tigers and Red Wings for multiple years.[8]

In 2013, all CBS owned radio stations in Detroit moved their operations in Southfield, MI to the recently vacated Panasonic Building.[9]

WXYT competes with WDFN, WCAR, and WMGC-FM for the sports talk format in the market.

Future Plans

On June 21, 2012, CBS announced that WXYT-FM will become part of CBS Sports Radio, the largest sports radio network in the nation. Beginning on September 4th, CBS Sports updates can be heard on all network affiliate stations. [4] Headlines, breaking news and scores from the day’s major events and stories will be heard hourly.

Additional elements of 'CBS Sports Radio' will include: [4]

•24/7 all-sports talk radio lineup to debut on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Original programs across multiple weekday and weekend time periods will feature expert sports commentary and interviews with major sports figures along with listener calls and fan interaction. All shows will broadcast live with an array of hosts, anchor teams and contributors.

•Opportunities for affiliates to regionalize their lineup by choosing from select programs currently featured on CBS RADIO or Cumulus sports stations.

•Contributions from sport-specific experts, as well as a prominent role on the network from CBS Sports, CBS Sports Networks and CBSSports.com’s roster of high-profile personalities delivering analysis, features and special reports.

•Online streaming of live network broadcasts.

As a CBS owned and operated station, WXYT-FM is slated to carry CBS Sports Radio programming when locally originated live event (games) and non-live-event (sports talk) programming is not scheduled. Yahoo Sports Radio content will be discontinued. Sister station WXYT will carry CBS Sports Radio 24/7.



External sources

  • Michiguide.com - WXYT-FM History


  1. ^ Detroit Lions Official Site: Current Radio Affiliates
  2. ^ Detroit Red Wings Official Site - Current Radio Affiliates
  3. ^ Detroit Tigers Official Site - Current Radio Affiliates
  4. ^ a b c CBS creates the largest major market sports radio network in the nation CBS Sports Press Release, June 21, 2012
  5. ^ http://www.hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=27
  6. ^ "Detroit Pistons Radio Network". Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  7. ^ Detroit News October 9, 2009 Lions staying with WXYT as flagship station
  8. ^ Detroit Free Press July 23, 2010 Tigers, Wings games will remain on WXYT
  9. ^ Marcucci, Carl (September 6, 2012). "CBS Radio consolidating ops in Detroit". RBR.com TVBR.com. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 

External links

  • Query the FCC's FM station database for WXYT
  • Radio-Locator information on WXYT
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WXYT