June 2003 News and Notes

June 2:

* Sunday's Detroit Tigers-New York Yankees game at Comerica Park not only drew a record crowd in person, but also attracted the highest viewing audience in six seasons of Tigers telecasts on Fox Sports Net Detroit. Based on data from Nielsen Media Research, the FSN telecast registered a 6.7 household rating in metro Detroit, an average of 127,000 homes tuned in over the course of the 1:00-6:15 PM telecast (one ratings point equals approximately 18,990 households). The viewing audience saw Roger Clemens' attempt at career victory No. 300, the one-day return of Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell to the broadcast booth and a 17-inning cliffhanger resulting in a 10-9 Yankees victory. The telecast peaked at a 9.6 rating (182,300 homes) from 4:30-4:45pm, followed closely by a 9.2 mark during two quarter hours (4:00-4:15 and 5:45-6:00pm). It was the most-watched show in all of Detroit on Sunday afternoon, beating The Memorial golf tournament on CBS (3.9 rating), NASCAR's MBNA 400 on FX (2.3) and arena football playoffs on NBC (2.0). Sunday's viewing audience eclipsed the previous top-rated FSN Tigers telecast, a 6.6 rating on April 11, 2000, the first game ever at Comerica Park as Detroit took on the Seattle Mariners.

Harwell, filling in for analyst Rod Allen, worked alongside play-by-play announcer Mario Impemba and watched Clemens get a no-decision after six innings of work. The Tigers rallied from 7-1 and 8-6 deficits before finally falling in the 17th inning in front of a record Comerica Park crowd of 44,095 who witnessed the longest game in the ballpark's four-year history. "What a fun day of baseball - Ernie in the booth, Clemens on the mound and two storied franchises in front of a full house," said Greg Hammaren, FSN Detroit Vice President/General Manager. "It was great television from start to finish."

* FCC Action: Granted WUPX-FM 91.5 Marquette a construction permit to increase its ERP from 200 to 360 watts

June 3:

* FCC Action: Granted WLWZ-LP 97.1 Cassopolis its license to cover (new station)

June 4:

* The top 5 stations in Grand Rapids during the first spring Arbitrend report were country WBCT-FM, news/talk WOOD-AM, top 40 WSNX-FM, classic rock WLAV-FM, and adult contemporary WOOD-FM. Clear Channel continues to 'own' the market, with a 39.2 share. Regent's cluster moved ahead of Citadel's (16.3 for Regent, 16.1 for Citadel) during this trend.

* Hot talk WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland/Grand Rapids has added ‘The John and Jeff Show’ to their overnight lineup. John and Jeff are syndicated from KLSX Los Angeles on the Wilbur Entertainment Network. They air on WMFN 1-6am early mornings Monday through Friday. The duo talk about current news issues and deal with a wide range of day-to-day questions. They target third-shift workers.

June 5:

* Mark Davis exits Clear Channel classic hits WDTW-FM 106.7 Detroit. Davis, the former morning show host, continued on for about a year as the morning news anchor and board op for the syndicated Bob & Tom show.

June 6:

* Clear Channel sports WDFN-AM 1130 Detroit announced that Detroit has been selected as 'Tour Stop #31' in the Jim Rome World Tour. WDFN is the Detroit affiliate for the Jim Rome Show, which airs weekdays from noon-3pm. “We’ve been trying to get a Tour Stop forever,” says WDFN program director Rona Danziger, “but it’s been difficult until this year. This is a major coup for Sports Radio 1130 the Fan and the city of Detroit. Everyone associated with this event is ecstatic to be involved and we couldn’t be happier to be putting it on.”

* FCC Actions: Granted WEJC-FM 88.3 White Star (Gladwin) its license to cover (new station)

June 9:

* Fox Sports Net Detroit was the recipient of four EMMY Awards from the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. FSN Detroit won in the categories of Sports Play-by-Play, Sports Program, Light Feature, and Single Camera Field Directing. FSN Detroit has received 12 statuettes since 2000, including eight over the last two years.

June 10:

* FCC Actions: Granted WXMI-TV 17 Grand Rapids its license to cover for changes (ERP to 1,700kW from 1,290kW); Granted WFAT-FM 96.5 Portage its license to cover for changes (ERP from 3,600 watts @ 259 feet to 6,000 watts @ 249 feet)

June 12:

* The two Goodrich-owned radio stations in the Grand Rapids area have modified their programming in advance of another change that will take place on Monday June 16th. WKWM-AM 1140, which had been airing adult standards, and WJNZ-AM 1680, which had been a mainstream urban outlet, are both currently simulcasting ABC Radio's adult urban comptempory format 'The Touch'. On Monday WJNZ-AM will drop the simulcast and become Grand Rapids' affiliate for Radio Disney, joining WFDF-AM 910 Flint as Michigan's second station with the format targeted towards children and their parents. ABC/Disney will broker the time on AM 1680 which will change its call sign to WDSS.

June 17:

* Condolences to the family and friends of longtime Michigan broadcaster John Carroll Sr. who passed away at age 83 on June 11th.

* Spring phase 2 ratings trends have been released for Detroit. Back on top after dropping to 2nd for the winter book and first spring trend was news-talk WJR-AM, which flipped spots with all-news WWJ-AM. Oldies WOMC-FM, urban WJLB-FM, and rock WRIF-FM rounded out the top 5 stations among listeners age 12 and above. Infinity is ranked as the top cluster, followed by Clear Channel, Greater Media, ABC/Disney, and Radio One.

* On the air: Low power TV station WUHQ-LP channel 29 serving Grand Rapids. The station is carrying "America's Store" from the Home Shopping Network 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Starting in July, a one hour local show, "The TV Mall" is planned to launch on Saturday mornings at 10:00 featuring Michigan and local area businesses. WUHQ is the first of several LPTV's that the station's owner plans on building over the next few years- the construction permits (16 more in total) were all acquired from a wireless cable group that failed when the 18" dish became available. It has taken a long time to get the frequencies involved moved into areas that will serve larger population centers- work that continues with the FCC for some of the locations. WUHQ-LP broadcasts from the same tower as WFUR-FM and WFUR-AM in Grand Rapids with a directional 40,000 watt signal. The station's web site is www.wuhq.com.

* The Rotary Club of Detroit presented Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 morning host Dick Purtan with its annual Stanley S. Kresge Award on June 11th at the Detroit Athletic Club. Purtan is the 15th recipient of the award which is given annually to a person in the Greater Detroit area who has demonstrated in his or her life the ideals of the late Stanley S. Kresge. This person must: Exemplify in his or her personal and professional life those caring qualities devoted to causes which make a positive contribution to the life of the city; Epitomize a concerned and caring person whose talents and servanthood, freely given, makes a difference in the life of the community he or she serves; and live or work and exert an influence in the Metro Detroit Area. Dick received a bronze medallion award plus a $5,000 check to be give to the charity of his choice, which is the Karmanos Cancer Institutie for the Gail Purtan Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Purtan was honored for his philanthropic contributions to such organizations as: Children's Hospital of Michigan; The Salvation Army - where Purtan's annual Radiothon has helped raise $10 million in 16 years; and the Gail Purtan Ovarian Cancer Research Fund in Assoication with the Karmanos Cancer Institute where $1 million has been raised since its 1998 inception. Dick says Metro Detroiters are truly some of the most generous people in the country with their charity contributions. Purtan states, "I simply put a public face and voice to the efforts."

June 19:

* Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit sports guy Mark 'Doc' Andrews is on leave from the station's morning show once again as he starts a round of chemotherapy to hopefully fight off colon cancer. Andrews was off the air for several weeks last month while recuperating from surgery that removed a growth that turned out to be cancerous.

* Handyman Productions, syndicator of The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege, adds former WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit program director and operations manager Patrick Sheehan as its director of affiliate relations- All Access

* Call sign changes: WFVX TV 45 Vanderbilt became WFUP on April 28th; CP for FM 92.9 Fenwick was assigned WDLP-LP on May 5th; CP for FM 88.5 Jackson was assigned WJKQ on May 8th

* FCC Actions: Deleted W276AD 103.1 Ironwood which had been silent for a number of years

June 20:

* FCC Action: Granted the City of Benton Harbor a construction permit for a new low power FM station to be at 96.5

June 23:

* Detroit's own Joe Wade Formicola, a 1970 graduate of Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, will be inducted into the Career College Association Hall of Fame this week. Formicola, who is now program director and operations manager of WRAL-FM in Raleigh, NC, graced the Detroit airwaves for years on such stations as WWWW, WYCD, WXYT, and WJR. Joe says, "This award is special because it acknowledges not just professional but academic achievement as well. It is also a special tribute to the Specs Howard School and their thousands of graduates in the radio and television industries. I am thrilled to be in the company of fellow Hall of Fame inductee, Chef Bobby Flay (The Food Network)."

* FCC Actions: Dismissed WOAP-AM 1080 Owosso's application for a major change to move to the Lansing area (Waverly), increase daytime power, and add nighttime service; Granted Chapel Hill United Methodist Church a construction permit for a new low power FM station to be licensed to Battle Creek on 97.1; Granted WAOR-FM 95.3 Niles its license to cover for changes (ERP from 3,300 watts @ 299 feet to 5,500 watts @ 276 feet with a tower location change south from Berrien County to St. Joseph County, IN)

June 27:

* Contemporary Christian WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing (The Light) was honored by readers of the local newspaper this week. The Lansing State Journal's "Best of the Best" readers choice awards voted WLGH Best in two categories: Best Place to Rock Out To Jesus, and Best Place to Spend a Sunday Morning.

June 29:

* Clear Channel hot AC WVTI-FM 96.1 morning co-host Michelle McKormick exits the station to join the Scott and Casey show middays at Infinity FM talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit; Birach talk WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland adds two shows to its lineup: G. Gordon Liddy will air 2-4pm weekdays and Loveline 10pm-midnight Sun-Thursday- Grand Rapids Press




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