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Dasher 03-05-09 06:06 PM

Detroit Radio host sorry for joke
Radio host sorry for joke

WXYT's Valenti read joke about presumed-dead ex-Lion Smith on Monday broadcast.
Detroit News staff

ALLEN PARK -- Sports radio host Mike Valenti began his show Wednesday on The Ticket (97.1) by apologizing for reading on the air a listener comment that made light of the situation involving Corey Smith.

Smith is the ex-Lions player presumed dead in a boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Monday's "Valenti and Foster Show" with co-host and Detroit News reporter Terry Foster, Valenti read instant messages from listeners over the air, including one joke about Smith and another about a capsized boat.

Valenti opened Wednesday's show by referencing "a very, very, very stupid decision on my part -- probably the dumbest, most reprehensible decision I've made in my radio career. We were doing instant feedback and I put something flat-out on that never should've gotten on. No one else deserves to get blamed but me."

Debbie Kenyon, the station's marketing manager, said Wednesday she and program director Tom Bigby personally apologized to the Lions organization. But Kenyon declined to elaborate on possible disciplinary action with regard to Valenti.

"We've addressed the issue with Mike, and he's apologizing on the air," Kenyon said. "We do agree that the comment was inappropriate."

Earlier Wednesday, Lions president Tom Lewand publicly apologized on behalf of the team, noting The Ticket is the Lions' flagship radio station.

"There was some reading of jokes and some incredibly inappropriate comments that were made," Lewand said at the end of a press briefing in Allen Park. "And on behalf of our organization, I feel obligated to apologize to the Smith family on behalf of our flagship station."

Radio host sorry for joke | detnews.com | The Detroit News

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