Detroit radio's Drew and Mike find success with self-run podcast

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Almost three years after their epic run on Detroit airwaves came to an end, Drew and Mike reunited for a podcast -- and listeners are loving it.

Drew Lane and Mike Clark ruled morning radio for more than a decade on WRIF 101.1 FM until they were replaced in mid-May of 2013. Lane went on to do an afternoon sports and pop culture-themed show for WMGC 105.1 FM when that station flipped to an all-sports format. Lane left the station last year in a dispute over the show's format -- but that wasn't the end for him.

Last April, the two announced a reunion podcast, and it's been a great success.

The show is taped Sundays through Thursdays from Lane's basement studio.

Now you might ask, for a guy who's done it all in radio, why now the podcast?

"I'm at the point, chronologically, where what am I going to do radio-wise to top what we did before?" Lane said. "If Mike and I were able to put it back together, is it going to be the same? I don't know, maybe. But if I put another show together, is it going to be compared to the last show? Yeah, probably."

Without a boss or FCC regulations, Lane can make this show what he wants it to be.

"Not having any concern about language or content is so much easier," he said. "I feel like it brings an honesty and a rawness to the show that maybe we were lacking."

After parting ways with his last spot on radio, Lane sat on the sidelines -- and that just wasn't for him. Instead of waiting for a phone call, he poured thousands of dollars of his own money into equipment to build the studio and do a show on his own terms.

"That really just shows how badly I wanted to do something," he said. "I wanted to do a show, but I've been fired from my last three jobs. It seems like managing baseball or football -- you know it's going to end that way. ... I can't get fired from this."

As of now, Lane isn't making any money off this show but thinks that's about to change.

"We've had a lot of inquiries," he said. "We definitely can sell advertising. I just wanted to get the show established, see what kind of audience we could build, and then worry about that. Now we're at that point and I think we'll be able to do it."

On average, over 20,000 people listen to his show on daily basis, and that makes it a top 100 show nationally on iTunes.

The show reached as high as the top 45 when he interviewed Charlie Sheen a few weeks back.

"I'm amazed," Lane said. "We get emails from all over the world -- mind-boggling."

Although the podcast is called the Drew and Mike podcast, Clark hasn't been involved in a while.

"Mike was going to do two a week, and he did for the first six weeks, then he went on vacation for a month, and now Mike is -- I'll just say he's recovering. He went through a sleep apnea study and that seemed to knock him for a loop and now I think he's just struggling with coming back," Lane said.

Even without Clark, Lane has had a full range of co-hosts. He says Clark's absence has given other people a chance to step in -- all as a labor of love, working for free.

"A lot of people believe in it," he said.

Because of the popularity of the podcast, Lane says he could see himself returning to radio.

"Yeah I do have interest," he said. "There's a place or two I could work in this town."