Mike Valenti considers his new co-host, Rico Beard, a friend. And friends like to argue.
Now they'll get to argue every afternoon on 97.1 The Ticket, starting August 3.
And Valenti says not to worry about their mutual ties to Michigan State.
"I don’t care about any of the stuff. I’m meaner to Michigan State than anybody, so that doesn’t bother me," he said. "It’s about programming for what I want this show to be."
A Detroit native with over two decades of experience covering local professional and collegiate sports, Beard has been a host of The Spartan Beat podcast as well as a co-host of “The Ryan and Rico Show” for Detroit Sports 105.1.
Now he'll get to see what it's like working every day with Valenti.
"Rico is someone I've known for over a decade, someone I absolutely do consider a friend and I don’t hide that, someone who I think is immensely talented and someone who I tried to get hired at this station multiple times in the last five years. Full transparency, I’ve gone in and had those conversations.
"Now, I don’t get to program the station, and this is a really hard place to work because my co-workers kick ass, too. This station puts up the highest ratings of any sports station in America. Our goal isn’t to beat other sports stations. Our goal is to beat everyone."
Valenti said it was crucial to bring in a new voice to make up for the loss of Sully, who's departing 97.1 The Ticket to pursue his own career.
"Losing Mike, I wanted to make a big move, not stand pat. I like having multiple voices. And I gotta be honest, the idea of having a partner again sounded like fun," said Valenti. "The idea of having someone else to work with and be different sounded like fun."