I was out of town last week and noticed today that Bill Simonson’s “The Huge Show” is occupying the 3-6PM slot once again on WTKA 1050AM.   I believe Huge last filled this time on WTKA was back in 2008 before he was moved to a tape-delayed segment from 6-8pm.

AnnArbor.com chatted with PD Ira Weintraub about the change this weekend.   The reason for the change per Ira:

“Budget cuts,” explained WTKA Program Director Ira Weintraub on Friday. “It was based on decisions made elsewhere and decisions made locally.”

Ira told me they still plan to preempt the show with their popular afternoon special events like Signing Day and Grill Wars, which is good.

“We’ve definitely had people that wanted to hear from Marcus [Ray] and Jeff [DeFran] and from Ben [Holden] and The Beatniks.”   Ira added, “We’re trying to do a few things to bring back some of the staples that were on in the afternoon.” 

According to Ira it came down to who to syndicate in the afternoon slot between CBS radio host Doug Gottlieb and Huge.   “I chose the regional coverage over the national coverage because we have national coverage for the previous 5 hours [John Feinstein 10-12, Jim Rome 12-3) and when it’s over we have a lot more national coverage.”

Ira added that given Simonson is back on live in Ann Arbor he expects he’ll bring more U-M-based content to his show.

Make take?

  • Huge is an acquired taste, often seemingly trolling the common denominator, but I’m glad they went with regional content vs. Gottlieb. And he definitely lands some strong interviews.
  • I’ll miss Steve Clarke’s midweek segment and Marcus Ray on Friday.  
  • I think having a consistent regional host in the afternoon, something missing for years, will help cultivate a stronger following.   Barring an influx of local advertising money, I don’t think we’ll get back to the WTKA afternoon heyday when a dedicated, Ann Arbor-based host like Dennis Fithian will man the mic.
  • Other upside?  Perhaps we can rekindle the Jim Carty vs. Huge feud:

Bill ‘Huge’ Simonson (The Huge Show
Jim Carty (Ann Arbor News (formerly)/New York Times

OVERVIEW: Do you remember?  Yes, there was a spell a few years back when Huge was regularly teeing off on Carty on his radio show (which used to air live in Ann Arbor).   According to Carty it started after he declined to go on air with Huge because he didn’t care for the style of the show.  Despite an olive branch from Huge when Carty retired from regular journalism, I’m guessing each man still has a few things to get off their respective chests. 
EDGE:   Carty strikes me as a lawyer, not a fighter, and I’ve run into Huge a couple times—he’s a pretty big dude.  Sorry JC, Huge by KO.

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  1. Bill sent me an extremely gracious email when I went off to law school, essentially taking all the fight out of me. While I might not be a regular listener, he is good at what he does. He also has credibility with folks such as Tom Izzo and Lloyd, who regularly appear on his show – and that’s a big part of what fans care about. You’ve gotta give the man credit – he’s making it work in a tough, tough business.

  2. Ira said he had folks that wanted to hear from DeFran, please! Don’t get me wrong, I am sure he is a nice dude, but a radio show host he is not.