Guide to Michigan Radio and Television Broadcasting since 1997

 

 

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Coverage of the Detroit Pistons' change in flagship radio stations to Detroit Sports 105.1:

Pistons.com:

Among the many changes ahead for the Pistons before they get back on the court in October is where you'll find them on your radio dial. Both the Pistons and new carrier WMGC 105.1 FM see their marriage as much more than a traditional broadcast partnership.

Full story: A Win-Win Deal (Tue, 4/22)

 

Also see: Detroit Pistons Announce New Radio Broadcast Partnership with Greater Media Detroit (Tue, 4/22)

 


 

DetroitSports1051.com/WMGC-FM:

Palace Sports and Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Dennis Mannion and Steve Chessare, Market Manager of Greater Media Detroit, have announced that the team has signed a multi-year agreement with the radio broadcasting company for all Pistons games to be aired on the FM dial on Detroit Sports 105.1FM beginning immediately.

Full story: Detroit Pistons announce new radio broadcast partnership with Greater Media Detroit's Sports 105.1 FM in the Motor City (Tue, 4/22)

 


 

Crain's Detroit Business:

Live radio broadcasts of Detroit Pistons games will move to WMGC 105.1 FM beginning in 2015, a source familiar with the matter told Crain's this afternoon.

Full story: Detroit Pistons game broadcasts to move to 105.1 FM (Mon, 4/21)

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

Sports talk radio WMGC 105.1 FM will add more local content. The Detroit Pistons and the station held a news conference at the station's studio today to announce the Pistons will move from 97.1 FM, starting in 2015.

Full story: Detroit Pistons make move to 105.1 FM official, will keep Mark Champion, Rick Mahorn on radio broadcasts (Tue, 4/22)

 

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has agreed to a multiyear radio agreement with Greater Media Detroit. Detroit Sports 105.1 FM (WMGC) will serve as the flagship station for the Pistons Radio Network.

Full story: Detroit Pistons 'pleased' about jump to 105.1 FM for radio flagship (Tue, 4/22)

 


 

Detroit News:

Detroit Sports 105.1 FM will be the new flagship station for the Pistons under a multi-year deal that was announced Tuesday. The Pistons had been on 97.1-FM / 1270-AM.

Full story: Pistons' radio broadcasts move to Detroit Sports 105.1 (Tue, 4/22)

 


 

 


 

Detroit News:

Former progressive radio host Nancy Skinner on Tuesday joined the crowded race to represent the 11th Congressional District. Skinner, a former syndicated radio host and TV commentator, gave incumbent GOP Rep. Joe Knollenberg a tough re-election fight in 2006.

Full story: Ex-radio host joins race for Bentivolio's House seat as filing deadline for candidates passes (Tue, 4/22)

 

 

 

Fine Tuning:

  • Multiple media reports claiming the NBA's Detroit Pistons are expected to move their radio play-by-play starting next season from CBS Radio/Detroit's Sports WXYT-FM 97.1 to Greater Media/Detroit's Sports WMGC-FM Sports 105.1 with an official announcement coming tomorrow afternoon. The Pistons have been with CBS Radio for a number of years after leaving Clear Channel/Detroit's Sports WDFN AM 1130.

    Landing the Pistons would give the relatively launched Detroit Sports 105.1 its first locally based play-by-play agreement - the station has been airing nationally broadcast games via it's agreement with ESPN Radio.

    Having the Pistons on 105.1 in Detroit would also likely please fans of the Detroit Red Wings that prefer to hear the games on FM as many Wings' games were bumped to the AM band on CBS Radio's Sports WXYT 1270 when both the Pistons and Wings had games that overlapped.

 


 

High School Radio Day focuses on budding broadcasters

The 3rd Annual High School Radio Day, happening this week on Wednesday, April 23rd, will unite High School radio stations nationwide for a one-day celebration of fledgling broadcasters.

Since there are so few high schools with radio stations, organizers hope that High School Radio Day (HSRD) will raise a greater awareness of the ones that are still broadcasting over the air and newer ones streaming online. A website has been created to publicize the activities planned by participating stations on April 23: www.highschoolradioday.com. Schools can register their stations on that site. Also on the site are links to participating high schools with links to their websites and online streams of their programming along with notable high school radio grads, links to other high school stations nationwide; and a resource page with information pertinent to high school broadcasters.

High School Radio Day 2014 High School Radio Day was created after College Radio Day launched in 2011. Though College Radio Day did allow high school stations to register, organizers felt that high school stations should have their own day. High School Radio Day Founder Pete Bowers (Station Manager, WBFH-FM, Bloomfield Hills, MI) scheduled the first HSRD in May 2012 and the second one in April 2013. Bowers estimates that there are only about 200 high schools in the nation with either a terrestrial over-the-air non-commercial, educational radio station or an internet-only or online radio station. "The number of terrestrial stations is dropping but the number of online stations is increasing with some of those applying for LPFM construction permits," said Bowers. "That's why we need to unite on High School Radio Day and make the public aware of what we do, how we do it, and the service we provide our communities," he continued.

Bowers is thrilled that High School Radio Day has become an annual event. Last year, 52 schools from 32 states registered for the event, up from 31 schools from 16 states the first year. Students and advisors at those stations reached out to potential listeners in their broadcast area and online encouraging them to listen and be prepared to hear creative programming not heard on commercial stations.

For more information about High School Radio Day, contact Bowers at pete@highschoolradioday.com or call (248) 341-5695.

 


 

Detroit News:

Dan Dierdorf was 19 and Jim Brandstatter 18 when they met at Michigan in the late '60s. Now, all these years later, the two former offensive linemen will reunite as partners in the Michigan radio booth.

Full story: Dan Dierdorf and Jim Brandstatter weigh in on their history at Michigan (Sat, 4/19)

 


 

AllAccess.com:

BELL MEDIA Alternative CIMX (89X)/WINDSOR-DETROIT announces the "89X BIRTHDAY BASH" with KINGS OF LEON, KONGOS, ASHES OF SOMA on FRIDAY, AUGUST 1st at DTE ENERGY MUSIC THEATRE.

Full story: Lineup Announced For 89X Birthday Bash (Mon, 4/21)

 

FRIENDS COMMUNICATIONS Country WQTE/ADRIAN, MI PD JAY THOMAS has exited, just weeks after arriving at the station.

Full story: Jay Thomas Exits WQTE (Mon, 4/21)

 

 

 

Fine Tuning:

  • Returning: The Saginaw-Bay City-Midland radio market to Nielsen Audio's list of rated radio markets this Spring. Nielsen Audio predecessor Arbitron had dropped the Tri-Cities a couple years ago. Saginaw-Bay City-Midland is the 142nd largest radio market according to Nielsen and will be surveyed via diaries each Spring and Fall.
  •  

  • Honored: Lindsey Smith of Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint) as the Young Journalist of the Year by the Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

 


 

MLive.com:

The newest wrinkle in Jim Brandstatter's nearly four-decade run in the Michigan radio booth happened basically by chance, and almost on the fly. On Nov. 15, 2003 in Evanston, Ill., Brandstatter -- who, at that point, had spent the previous 24 years as Michigan football's radio color analyst -- pinch hit for longtime play-by-play man Frank Beckmann, who couldn't make a Big Ten trip due to back surgery.

Full story: Jim Brandstatter thrilled for new challenge in Michigan radio booth alongside Dan Dierdorf (Fri, 4/18)

 

 

 

Commentary by Art Vuolo, Jr.

This is Holy Week, today is Good Friday and Holy Cow, what a week it has been for one of the most decent guys in sports broadcasting, Jim Brandstatter! Those of us who are Michigan Football fans should be delighted that the man who Frank Beckmann affectionately called "Brando," has received the nod to succeed him as the new voice of the Wolverines' football team. Add to this exciting news the fact that he will be joined by his former teammate and longtime friend Dan Dierdorf and you have instant chemistry in the radio booth!

VuoloPerhaps the reason I am personally so excited to see this happen is due, in part, to the fact that it was my pleasure to help out via my extensive archive of U of M games. In 2003, when back surgery prevented Frank Beckmann from making the trip to Evanston, IL for the UM-Northwestern game, Jim was pressed into service calling the game, with Steve Courtney doing the color commentary. Brandy called me and asked if I had that game? I said I have just about all of them. After checking, that game was still on the original video cassette (a Beta tape none the less!) So, I copied it, with Jim on the audio, onto a DVD and watched it at the same time. I thought "wow he's damn good at actually calling a game!" When he came over to pick up the disc he was truly amazed at the library of Michigan video I've accumulated over the past 35+ years. A copy of that DVD was given to Michigan Athletic Director, Dave Brandon and the rest...is now history.

In an e-mail I received from Jim Brandstatter on Thursday he said, "Thank the Lord you still had a copy of that Northwestern game when my copy didn't work so well...that was big...I had no idea at the time, but it turned out large." My pleasure Brando.

In an e-mail that I sent to Dave Brandon, I said that the most popular buzz-word in media these days is BRAND. Branding is what stations all strive for and the Michigan brand is iconic. Brandon starts with brand, and Brandstatter starts with brand, and together they'll build a brand that M-fan's will love! Michiguide founder and webmaster Mike Austerman pointed out a unique alignment of Jim's and Dan's in local radio booths. The Lions have Dan Miller and Jim Brandstatter, the Tigers have Dan Dickerson and Jim Price and now we will have, at The Big House, Dan Dierdorf joining Jim Brandstatter covering the Maize and Blue. We believe this has never happened in any other region of the country.

There was a lot of speculation as to who would get the job up on the fifth floor of the press box in Ann Arbor. Other than Brandy, some of the names mentioned were: Doug Karsch, Matt Shepard, Dan Miller, Mark Champion and Larry Henry. Some wondered if age would become a factor. Jim and Dan are not youngsters, they played for Bump Elliott and Bo Schembechler in 1968-1971, that was a few years ago. Sports broadcasters get better with age. Names like Harry Carry, Ernie Harwell lasted into their 80's. Vin Scully (LA Dodgers) and Marty Brennaman (Cincinnati Reds) are still going strong with Scully pushing 90 years old! With age comes extensive knowledge of the game and its history. Bob Ufer's total recall of past Michigan games was encyclopedic. Imagine if he had lived beyond his 62 years? God bless his cotton-pickin' maize 'n blue heart. Between Ufer and Beckmann only two announcers covered Michigan football from 1945 through 2013, which is almost 70 years. Unheard of.

Jim Brandstatter hosted the long-running "Michigan Replay" TV show for many years and still does "Inside Michigan Football." He worked at WILX-TV 10 in Jackson/Lansing where he met local news anchor Robbie Timmons, who he married in August of 1980 and they live in Commerce Township. When I first met Jim he was at WDIV-TV Channel 4 and yet Local 4 had no coverage of Thursday's breaking news. Fox 2, WJBK-TV had nothing on their 5, 6 or 10 pm news, and Only WXYZ-TV Channel 7 made mention of the announcement. Why is local TV so afraid to report stories about local radio?

Dan Dierdorf's radio days began at one of America's most legendary stations, KMOX-AM (1120) in St. Louis where he has lived for many years, but he has a place in northern Michigan and said an opportunity like this to work with his friend of 40 years will probably keep him in Michigan during the most beautiful time of the year. Both Jim and Dan were interviewed simultaneously on WJR by Mitch Albom on Thursday, and that station is the voice of the Michigan State Spartans! Maybe we CAN all get along after all.

With Dan Dierdorf's extensive work with college and pro football, nationally on both ABC and CBS, he will be great this fall. Yes, we remember that Frank worked with former assistant coach Jerry Hanlon and former player Bob Thornbladh, but his many years with Jim Brandstatter were magical. We can expect many great broadcasts for Season 135 as a new era begins with a couple of great Michigan men. Now coach Hoke, let's just win the games!

 

Contact Art Vuolo, Jr. via e-mail at artvuolo@aol.com

 

Art Vuolo Jr.

 

 

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