An effort to reach out to recently fired WTKA 1050AM talk show host Dave Shand paid off. I asked Shand for his understanding of what happened. Shand replied, “Bill Martin had me fired. [Martin] did not like some of the things I said on the show and threatened to pull Michigan football if I stayed. The station caved.”
I asked Shand if he had any issue with posting these comments on MVictors.com. He wrote back, “Not at all. It’s true and was confirmed by our program director.”
I reached out to a source (which we’ll leave unnamed) from the local media to comment on the situation and whether this crosses the line of censorship. Here are the thoughts that were shared:
WTKA and Michigan have a business relationship. WTKA pays Michigan for the right to broadcast Michigan sports. Michigan has the right to approve the broadcasters who do the coaches shows, as well as the play-by-play broadcasts that appear only on WTKA (such as women’s basketball, baseball, etc.) Now, that doesn’t give Martin the right to hire and fire morning hosts, but it certainly gives him leverage with station management. One could argue that Michigan sports is integral to WTKA’s very existence, which gives Martin even more leverage. It’s certainly a very sticky situation.