Danny Balis is back on the air. The longtime personality is a new addition to The Freak 97.1 FM, rejoining former Sportsradio 96.7 FM/1310 The Ticket (KTCK-AM) cohorts Mike Rhyner, Mike Sirois and Michael Gruber.
Balis was introduced Monday as the newest member of Mike Rhyner’s show, The Downbeat. Rhyner was the showpiece personality on Oct. 3 when The Freak flipped its format from rock to free-form talk.
In the announcement, Rhyner told listeners he wanted Balis from the beginning.
“He was the one I wanted, and I get what I want here,” Rhyner said.
Balis’ addition re-creates a full crew of Ticket exes on The Downbeat in the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. slot.
Balis left The Ticket on May 19, hinting at limited advancement and saying he plans to focus on other parts of his life. But he said he was eager to jump at the chance to work with Rhyner, who he has known for 22 years.
“He pretty much walked away from The Ticket because there was no place to go,” Rhyner said Monday night in a phone interview. “He was tired of being just a producer.”
When Balis left, Rhyner called him a “one-of-a-kind guy.” Rhyner’s retirement left an opening on the Hardline that was filled by Bob Sturm, another longtime on-air personality.
Rhyner expects Balis to take on a bigger role with The Freak. Balis, an accomplished bass player and guitarist, joined in the conversation at The Ticket, but he was best known for his creative style in writing song parodies and comedic bits.
“That’s what we wanted, and that’s what he’ll bring,” Rhyner said. “If it turns out to not be that way, I’ll be surprised.”
Balis told his co-hosts Monday that he’s excited about returning to the air.
“I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time,” he said. ”I thought this may not ever happen to me again, [and that’s] to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”