He's gotten under the skin of just about every sports luminary in Detroit, asking the tough questions fans want answered. Now, it's his time to ruffle Wojo's feathers.
Jeff Riger was named Bob Wojnowski's latest co-host for 97.1 The Ticket's weeknight drive-time program. Riger replaces Kyle Bogenschutz, whose contract wasn't renewed last month after a breakdown in negotiations.
It's the first permanent show assignment for Riger, who's been at the station since 2002.
"I've done pretty much everything at the station, from running a board to getting kicked out of Jim Leyland's office several times, so it's exciting to take on this new role at the station," Riger said.
"Wojo's the best, he's a staple in Detroit sports radio and it's awesome getting a chance to work with him every day."
The show airs Monday through Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m. these days, with no sports going on. When the Tigers, Pistons or Red Wings are playing, the show often is shorter.
Riger, 44, a Canton resident, has been at The Ticket for 18 years, starting out in an entry-level board-operator position, but he quickly found his niche as an interviewer.
A staple at Tigers and Red Wings games, he always can be counted on to ask the pointed questions, which often aren't appreciated by the interview subject. In one memorable moment before a Tigers game in August 2013 in Cleveland, reporters were told not to ask Leyland about Jhonny Peralta's recent suspension for PED use. After allowing other reporters to get in their pertinent questions of the day, Riger then proceeded to ask Leyland about Peralta, prompting an enraged Leyland to clear his office.
In the summer of 2016, Riger served as a temporary co-host with Mike Valenti during afternoon drive, when Terry Foster had taken a leave of absence following a stroke. Riger also has hosted time slots in late night.
He is a graduate of Specs Howard School of Media Arts, and also attended Wayne State.