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Lions Radio Broadcast Leaving WJR, Could Return to 97.1

After five years, the Detroit Lions are leaving WJR following the 2020 season

The Detroit Lions have decided to end their radio broadcast partnership with WJR-AM (760) following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL season. 

The broadcast of Lions' games on WJR began in 2016 after being broadcast on 97.1 FM The Ticket for several seasons. 

The partnership became contentious with 97.1, largely due to the boisterous commentary of afternoon drive host Mike Valenti, and the team made the switch to the AM dial following the 2015 season.

"It is sad to say goodbye," said CBS Detroit senior vice president and market manager Debbie Kenyon in a statement when the Lions left 97.1 The Ticket. "But in the end it came down to the integrity of CBS -- the refusal to be censored in talking about the team and making honest assessments on the air about this team."

The Lions most likely will be returning to The Ticket, an Entercom owned Detroit Sports station on the FM dial with a powerful signal, a significant audience, and the financial resources to reunite with the Lions organization.    

According to a Free Press report in September, “One thing that seems likely to happen is that the Lions will change broadcast partners next year. The team moved its flagship station to WJR-AM (760) starting in the 2016 season, but the scuttlebutt right now is that they’ll be headed back to WXYT-FM (97.1) next year. The team has had a rocky relationship with the station at times based on the strong opinions of its hosts. Hopefully, management resists pushback from the team if it gets broadcast rights and continues to encourage its hosts to speak their minds.”

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