Samuelsen moves to morning show at 97.1

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Jamie Samuelsen

It’s been quite some time since WXYT 97.1 made any significant changes to its on-air lineup.

A big one is coming next week.

The Southfield-based station announced Wednesday night that Jamie Samuelsen will replace Bill McAllister on the 6-10 a.m. morning show, starting Tuesday.

Samuelsen will team with morning-show incumbent Mike Stone. They have worked together a lot over the years, from their days at WDFN 1130 to 97.1. This will be the first time they’ve co-hosted a show full-time.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Samuelsen told The News on Wednesday night, after wrapping up a show. “I’ve known Stoney for more than 20 years. Hopefully we can be an outlet for sports fans in the mornings.”

Samuelsen has been working weeknights with Detroit News sports columnist Bob Wojnowski since 2012.

There was no immediate announcement on a new co-host for Wojnowski, who could be prepared to fly solo for the foreseeable future. The show often is for only 45 minutes a night, leading into Tigers games.

Program director Jimmy Powers didn’t immediately return a message for comment Wednesday night.

Stone declined to comment at this time out of respect for McAllister, his long-time morning partner. McAllister’s bio no longer is viewable on the station’s website.

Samuelsen said his goal is for the morning show to include more sports talk; it had featured a mix of sports and pop culture with the humorous McAllister working alongside Stone.

Samuelsen also said he wants to have more guest interviews, which aren’t a staple of the caller-driven station. The weekly Jim Harbaugh interview will continue Thursday mornings, and Samuelsen wants to get more interviews with members of the Tigers and Red Wings, the two pro sports teams for which 97.1 remains the flagship.

The schedule will be an adjustment for Samuelsen, a Northwestern alum who’s not used to waking up long before the sun comes up.

“It’ll be rough. The alarm will go off at 4 each morning instead of 6:45,” said Samuelsen, who has three kids. “But it’ll be good to be home in the evenings.”

The Ticket has long been the top-rated radio station in Detroit, and among the top-rated sports-talk stations in the country.

The now-defunct sports format at WMGC 105.1 lasted less than three years before flipping formats at the end of June, having barely put a tiny dent into 97.1’s stranglehold.

That station’s new format — “The Bounce” features old-school hip-hop — drew terrific ratings in August, though it got a serious bump in July and August when it was playing so many songs in a row without commercial interruption.