The Spartan Podcast

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“I’m certainly concerned,” says Paul W. Smith about the future of radio. “But I’m more concerned about music stations. I think the people in a city the size of Detroit will always want to wake up hearing things very specific to their city.

“Our morning show is about Michigan and specifically about Detroit and its surrounding area. And I think what WJR provides its listeners will be around for a long time.”

Paul W. was inducted in November 2013 to the National Radio Hall of Fame and in December signed a seven-year contract to remain the morning man at WJR.

Smith likes to think Detroit has been through the worst of its suffering and feels the city has turned the corner even though more pain and suffering is likely on the way.

“It’s taken a lot longer than I thought it would for Detroit to turn around,” Smith says. “But I really believe that with Gov. Snyder and Mayor Duggan, the new city council, and all the people helping out from the business side of things who aren’t waiting around for government intervention are taking the problems into their own hands and fixing them.

“I hope and pray that we’re really on our way this time to a much better day in Detroit, which is therefore good for the great state of Michigan.”

Smith is a proud University of Michigan graduate and is “proud of Michigan State and everything the Spartans represent.”

The MSU/WJR partnership “is a wonderful business relationship, but it’s so much more than that,” Smith says. “I like to think the relationship has helped both WJR and MSU tremendously.”

While Paul W. has been “doing radio” for 45 years, he jokes that he “really, really, really doesn’t like getting up at 4:00 in the morning. I will never get used to getting up at 4 in the morning because I’m a night time guy.”

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