Entries in 2004 Category

On The Radio/Oakland Press: 2004 Archives

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Looking for more On the Radio columns? Visit the current On the Radio page.

 

January:


  • Regent Communications WLSP-AM 1530 Lapeer changed format from Talk to Adult Standards using ABC Radio's 'Stardust' format.

  • Midwestern Broadcasting sold Sports WKJF-AM 1370 Cadillac to Traverse City-based Good News Media, owner of Religious WLJN-FM/AM 89.9/1400 for $85,001.

  • NBC affiliate WEYI-TV 25 Flint/Saginaw/Bay City was sold by LIN TV to Barrington Broadcasting.

  • WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor tweaked its format from Full Service to full time News-Talk.

  • Richard Appleton, general manager of CBS affiliate WMMT-TV 3 Kalamazoo, passed away after a long illness at the age of 69.

  • Full Service WION-AM 1430 Ionia is off the air, and has been since September 2003, while the FCC reviews the sale of the station to Stafford Communications by Agricultural Resource Group. The sales agreement was reached in August but has not yet been approved by the FCC due to the fact Stafford requires a waiver of the radio-newspaper cross-ownership rule in order to take over control of the station. Stafford owns The Daily News newspaper, which serves part of the coverage area of WION.

  • LPFM station WBHC-LP 95.9 Benton Harbor signed on the air with Urban and Gospel programming- however the construction permit holder, the City of Benton Harbor, is not certain it wants to be in the radio business. The city is investigating exactly how the station obtained the CP and how the current operation of the station came under control of the African Arts and Culture Council of Benton Harbor.

  • An agreement between Fife Lake Broadcasting (Fort Bend Broadcasting) and the FCC has been reached regarding the construction permit for WTCU-FM 95.9 Fife Lake. The Consent Decree resolves issues concerning whether Fife Lake misrepresented facts to, or candor with the FCC regarding WTCU. The end result is that Fife Lake Broadcasting will surrender the construction permit for WTCU and make a $20,000 voluntary contribution to the U.S. Treasury. In exchange, the FCC concludes that no substantial or material questions of fact exist as to whether Fort Bend possesses the basic qualifications, including those related to character, to hold any FCC license or authorization.

  • FCC Actions:

    - New station licenses to cover granted to: WRDS-LP 104.3 Roscommon


    - Licenses to cover for changes granted to: WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit (50,000 watt operations from facilities in Northern Monroe County); WBUP-TV 10 Ishpeming (ERP to 133,000 watts directional); W271AG 102.1 Mackinaw City (moved from 101.5)


    - Construction permits for new stations granted to: KQDS Acquisition Corp. for a TV translator on Ch. 32 (W32CV) to be licensed to Ironwood. The station, which rebroadcasts FOX KQDS-TV, is already on the air under special temporary authority.


    - Call sign changes: 95.9 FM WTCU Fife Lake deleted Jan 30; 32 LPTV Ironwood assigned W32CV Jan 23; 88.1 FM Rogers Heights assigned WAQQ Jan 15; 98.9 LPFM Mt. Pleasant assigned WQOS-LP Jan 9


    - Granted the voluntary transfer of control for WQBH-AM 1400 Detroit from Trienere Steinberg to the Order of Fisherman Ministry


    - Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses for WBUP-TV 10 Ishpeming and WBKP-TV 5 Calumet from Scanlan Television to Lake Superior Community Broadcasting



February:

  • A major change to the FM allocations in West Michigan was been granted by the FCC; Adult Contemporary WCXT-FM 105.3 Hart has been granted a new allocation for the station, which will shift its city of license from Hart to Coopersville. The change will effectively allow the station to move in closer to the Muskegon and Grand Rapids markets once its new facilities are constructed. In order to preserve radio service to Hart, the FCC simultaneously granted Classic Rock WWKR-FM 94.1 Pentwater permission to apply for a change to its city of license to specify Hart.

  • Marc Avery, a longtime Detroit radio personality who started out as a 1960s Top 40 rock disc jockey on the old Detroit AM hit-players WJBK (1500) and WXYZ (1270), died in Evansville, Ind.

  • Great Lakes Radio WPIQ-FM 99.9 Mansitique signed on the air with a talk format.

  • Mark Andrews, sports director at Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit passed away after a battle with colon cancer.

  • The 17th Annual Dick Purtan Radiothon received an amazing total of $1,530,836 in pledges for The Salvation Army's Bed and Bed Club in metro Detroit. The amount once again set a record for the highest amount for a single-station single-day radiothon anywhere.

  • FCC Actions:

    - New station licenses to cover granted to: WEEH-LP 100.5 Hart; WBSQ-LP 105.9 St. Louis; WJKQ-FM 88.5 Jackson; WWKM-FM 88.1 Goodland Twp; W32CV LPTV Ch. 32 Ironwood


    - Licenses to cover for changes granted to: WMJZ-FM 101.5 Gaylord (increase in ERP from 6,000 watts @ 325 feet to 50,000 watts @ 492 feet - Change from Class A to Class C2); WIAN-AM 1240 Ishpeming (slight location change); WGTQ-TV 8 Sault Ste. Marie


    - Construction permits for new stations granted to: Edgewater Broadcasting for a new FM translator to be licensed to Gaylord at 102.5.


    - Construction permits granted to: WAKL-FM 88.9 Flint to modify its broadcast location to the same tower used by WCRZ-FM 107.9 and change ERP from 150 watts @ 361 feet directional to 380 watts @ 263 feet directional; WTLI-FM 89.3 Bear Creek Twp to increase its power from 6,000 watts to 17,000 watts (Class C2 to Class C1); new FM 92.5 Newaygo (ERP from 6,000 watts @ 328 feet to 2,250 watts @ 543 feet, plus tower location change); W206AZ 89.1 Fremont to increase ERP from 55 watts to 100 watt and tower location change; WJKN-AM 1510 Jackson (3,000 watts daytime and critical hours using a 3-tower array)


    - Call sign changes: New LPFM 98.9 Mt. Pleasant assigned WQOS-LP on 1/9/04


    - Granted the voluntary transfer of license for WLPC-LP 26 Detroit from Glenn R. and Karin A. Plummer to WLPC-TV 26 Detroit, Inc


    - Granted the voluntary assignment of license from WKJF Radio to Good News Media for WKJF-AM 1370 Cadillac



March:

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April:

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May:

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June:

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July:

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August:

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September:

  • Michiguide.com did not report news in September 2004


October:

  • Michiguide.com did not report news in October 2004


November:

  • Michiguide.com did not report news in November 2004


December:

  • Michiguide.com did not report news in December 2004

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, December 31 2004

 

By: Art Vuolo


So ends another crazy year in local radio. It ended with four more of your favorite folks fired from one local station owner - Infinity Broadcasting. They were country WYCD-FM (99.5) morning guys Wilhite & Wall; oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) midday mainstay Tom Force; and Doug Massey, the smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7) swing man who also worked at talk WKRK-FM (97.1).

The biggest shocker was Force, who spent more than 10 years at the mega-power oldies station. I'm not sure anyone, including Tom, saw that one coming. Long time Detroit radio fans will remember Force as Zack Burns on the first incarnation of hits WDRQ-FM (93.1).

My biggest concern is, why do radio stations do things like this just before Christmas? Personally, I question the timing.

The WYCD morning show team of Darren Wilhite and Tim Wall never seemed to really embrace the Detroit area, so they probably will not be as missed. My hope for 2005 is that new WYCD program director Chip Miller puts the right person in that job, and not some out-of-towner who can't pronounce Lake Orion or Gratiot Avenue.

Last March, I saw Dr. Don Carpenter at the Country Radio Seminar wearing a T-shirt that said "Hire me" with his phone number and Web address. We can only hope.

Let's do a quick look-back over the past year across the dial. Sadly, the year was barely started when the cast and crew of Dick Purtan's people faced another terrible loss with the untimely death of Mark "Doc" Andrews at age 50 from colon cancer.

The only good thing to come from that tragedy was that, in his memory, WOMC listeners gave more than $1.5 million at the Salvation Army Radiothon, making it a national record.

Only three years earlier, Purtan's longtime producer and head writer Gene Taylor died after an asthma attack.

Too bad neither got to see Dick inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.

Actually, I'm certain that both had the best seat in the house.

The biggest single word to define 2004 was "indecency." Thank you, Janet Jackson. Fines for WKRK, WKQI-FM (95.5) and others helped keep the FCC in the black. Major names such as Mel Karmazin, Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony and NPR's Bob Edwards all defecting to satellite radio - plus the addition of NFL football and Major League Baseball - have many "regular" broadcasters nervous.

The satellite traffic and weather channels added to the concern, and Detroit was the first city with XM and Sirius traffic channels on highway signs. Yikes!

Changing hands were talk/oldies WPON-AM (1460), with little noticeable format modification, and black-community WQBH-AM (1400), which did a major flip to conservative syndicated talk.

Besides the WYCD morning show, other AM drive changes happened at pop WNIC-FM (100.3) when Chuck Gaidica switched with the most deserving Chris Edmonds, and at sports WXYT-AM (1270) Sprindler & Lund replaced Don Imus.

One of the better moves happened at news-talk WJR-AM (760), when a quality talk show with Frank Beckmann was added following morning master Paul W. Smith, keeping "the Great Voice of the Great Lakes" live and local. Kudos to PD Steve Stewart, and when you watch the Rose Bowl tomorrow, turn down the sound at kickoff and crank up WJR radio.

Now, let's look ahead to what 2005 might bring us. Please realize these comments are mine and do not represent the staff or management of The Daily Oakland Press.

In 2005, I predict a local station adopting a Spanish-language format; another FM station trying country music; Lee Alan making a comeback on a local station; WRIF-FM (101.1) bad boys Drew & Mike facing stronger competition; the Canadians at the CHUM Group finally doing something brilliant with their 93.9 FM frequency; and Christmas music will not start in early November. We can only hope.

A final Detroit Radio Reunion is being planned for the last full weekend in September. We'll certainly keep you informed as that develops.

Yes, that is a new photo of your radio reporter, as the last one lasted for more three years. My colleague Mike Austerman and I hope you enjoy a happy and prosperous New Year - and be responsible this evening.


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, December 24 2004

 

By: Mike Austerman


In radio, the phrase that "the only constant is change" seems to be especially true. In a move that surprised nearly everyone, 30-year market vet Tom Force was shown the door at oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) last week. Force had been with 'OMC for the past 11 years as midday host.

While owner Infinity Broadcasting is mum on the reasons, Force was reportedly let go because of budget cuts and a desire to shake up the station's on-air lineup.

Moving to middays is evening host Bob Vandergrift, while weekender Rick Hunter moves to evenings until the station finalizes a new lineup - or decides it likes this roster.

The radio business never really takes a holiday, it seems.

Another notable exit will take place in February at public radio WDET-FM (101.9), when longtime general manager Caryn Mathes moves to Washington, D.C., to take over as general manager for American University's public radio station there. Though her departure's been announced, she'll stay here until then, as the search begins for her successor.

Mathes has worked at WDET for 22 years, 20 of them as the station's GM. While she was at the helm, WDET enjoyed great increases in support from listeners, donors and underwriters and the station scored numerous local and national awards in local news, programming, creativity and community service..

"I will always cherish these years I spent in Detroit," Mathes says. "I've had the opportunity to know so many wonderful people at the station, at the University and in the community."

Whomever takes over at WDET will have a big job ahead of them.

Congrats to Bloomfield Hills School District's radio broadcasting students and staff, who won six awards in five categories at the third annual John Drury High School Radio Awards ceremony earlier this month in Illinois.

Named for award-winning ABC-Chicago news anchor John Drury, the awards were created to recognize excellence in high school radio broadcasting.

Students Alex Rusciano, Marissa Boyajian, Brad Lutz, Robyn Berkowitz and Daniel Muskovitz won awards for their work at WBFH-FM (88.1), while station manager Pete Bowers earned a second place as Best Radio Station Advisor and the station itself won third place overall as the Best High School Radio Station.

It was the first year WBFH entered the contest.

Radio stations are banking on car companies to upgrade the radios installed in new cars to pick up digital broadcasts from regular radio stations - just as automakers are now offering satellite radio options.

The Detroit area leads the way in the conversion to High Definition radio. That's because HD - high definition - broadcasts have CD-quality audio, with signal interference, static, hiss and pops no longer affecting the FM reception.

HD radio receivers also can display important data, including song/artist information, show title, breaking news, local weather and traffic, stock quotes and more.

Many local FM stations either have added the capability or will soon. The newest addition is public radio WUOM-FM (91.7), which started digital broadcasts earlier this month. Greater Media's rock WRIF-FM (101.1) and classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) plan to offer the service early in 2005.

Broadcasters are betting on the new technology to help counter the effect of satellite radio.

And lastly, I wish all my Daily Oakland Press readers a very merry Christmas!


Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.

 

Don't forget stations' holiday campaigns

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The Oakland Press - On The Radio, December 17 2004

 

By: Art Vuolo


Christmas is but eight days away, and I can't find any holiday music on the radio. Of course, I'm not serious.

Personally, I'm hoping that lots of new radios will be given this year. Sadly, for local broadcasters, I'm afraid many will be the kind that pull in satellite signals and lack the ability to receive traditional AM and FM stations.

The other hot electronic toy under many trees will be the iPod, that mini-music system with the white cord and earphone "buds." It's quickly become a major status symbol.

This year, the 39th annual WJR-AM (760) Christmas Sing will be different - it's later, in the daytime and in a new place.

It's 11 a.m.-noon Saturday in front of the Town Hall inside Dearborn's Greenfield Village, not in front of the clock tower as in past years. Or at Kennedy Square in downtown Detroit, where it got started years ago when it was sponsored by one of the Detroit papers.

This year's MC will be Paul W. Smith, the golden-voiced morning host of the news-talk station. Those paying admission to the Village are promised a good time, and the lucky ones will walk away with certificates for five golden rings compliments of Edmund T. Ahee jewelers. Just register at www.wjr. com.

Paul will be joined by a plethora of personalities from 'JR, the Walled Lake Central High School Choir and, of course, Santa Claus!

There's also still time to contribute to the WJR Adopt a Family 2004 campaign, being held in concert with Volunteers of America Michigan. Simply call (248) 945-0101 and press 9. Sunday is the last day for this effort and more info is on the WJR Web site.

Soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1), better known as Magic, is bursting with pride over the fact that generous listeners contributed more than 26,600 toys in their Toys for Tots campaign.

Done in association with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, the drive means that many needy kids will have a better Christmas - and they do believe in "Magic."

Across the hall in the Greater Media Broadcasting compound, classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) also has the holiday spirit. The station recently launched an online music channel, and family and friends of local military personnel are invited to record holiday greetings.

The station will upload them to the WCSX Holiday Channel, which will allow soldiers to hear the sounds of the season and these special messages wherever they are stationed. Just call (248) 586-2941 to record a greeting. That's it - no catch, no cost.

If you missed it, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca went head-to-head with defense lawyers on the "Mojo in the Morning Show" last week on hits WKQI-FM (95.5).

The topic? The Basket Brawl Game at The Palace. And haven't we seen that video enough times?

Another "radio moment" occurred recently when WJR afternoon star Mitch Albom actually called Greg & Michelle on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) to defend his reputation as the midday duo ripped Albom for an allegedly self-serving column he wrote. Amazingly riveting radio.

Kudos to Oakland County resident Bernie Fratto (pronounced FRAT-toe), who's now the official fill-in on WKRK's Parker & The Man sports show, which is 7-11 p.m. weeknights.

The "other Bernie" knows his sports, is passionate about our local teams and deserved this shot. He'll join co-host Mark Wilson whenever Rob Parker is on assignment.

From Jan. 6-9, the annual Consumer Electronics Show will host more than 100,000 attendees in Las Vegas, and I'll be there to salivate over all the neat stuff that I can't afford - and report to you the latest technological marvels that'll be rolling into your favorite electronics stores next year.

Happy Holidays!


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, December 10 2004

 

By: Mike Austerman

We've got lots of radio stocking stuffers to get caught up on as we wind down the year: The market's top-rated morning show, Drew and Mike of rocker WRIF-FM (101.1), continues to score accolades. Readers of the radio/music trade publication Friday Morning Quarterback have voted the duo this year's as Best Local Morning Show in the Active Rock format.

Drew and Mike also nabbed the national award for Air Personality/ Show of the Year at the 2004 Radio & Records Awards ceremony in June. No coal in these guys' Christmas stockings this year!

Man at Large (McConnell Adams) has been let go as the evening jock at Top 40 WDRQ-FM (93.1); the station will not comment on the reason for the dismissal. A permanent replacement for the 7 p.m.-midnight shift has not yet been identified.

Across the hall at the Fisher Building, pop WDVD-FM (96.3) has tapped Ron Harrell as its new program director, replacing Greg Ausham, who exited in September. Harrell arrives in town from Denver, where he programmed a similar station for nearly 10 years. He says he's "certainly looking forward to this new challenge - Detroit is a great radio town." General manager Steve Kosbau says he's "thrilled" to have Ron onboard, adding that "his keen understanding of Hot Adult Contemporary and many years of experience in Denver will be invaluable as we take WDVD to new heights." Would that be Madison, Dearborn, or Sterling Heights?

The Detroit Public Schools continues to operate its radio station, WRCJ-FM (90.9) - the former WDTR - from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays only; there's been no word on what happened to plans to turn operations over to a third party earlier this fall.

One bit of good news: The half-hour children's show "Brady Jamzz," which features fourth- and fifth-graders from Detroit's Brady Elementary School, has returned at 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays. The program, which teaches kids about radio careers, features student DJs, their commercials, stories and radio plays.

We hope Santa Claus will bring FM 90.9 a full-time schedule.

It's a Merry Christmas for "Morning Edition" hosts Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep as the pair lose the "interim" tag and are now named the permanent hosts for National Public Radio's popular morning show.

Heard locally on WDET-FM (101.9) and WUOM-FM (91.7), Los Angeles-based Montagne and Washington, D.C.-based Inskeep have been anchoring the show since May when former host Bob Edwards had his chair yanked by NPR.

Edwards found his mistletoe earlier this fall when he landed his own morning gig at XM Satellite Radio.

You'll be hearing more Fox News on the radio with this week's announcement that broadcast giant Clear Channel has become the first major affiliate group to sign up with Fox for things such as top-of-the-hour newscasts and breaking news reports.

The five-year agreement between the companies creates a direct competitor to ABC Radio and CBS Radio and it's expected that hundreds of Clear Channel news-talk stations across the country will switch from ABC and CBS to Fox by mid-2005.

Locally, Clear Channel-owned WXDX-AM (1310) already airs some Fox News reports in addition to newscasts provided by the Michigan Talk Radio Network.

Set your dials: Nostalgia/standards CKWW-AM (580) features classic holiday-themed episodes of "When Radio Was" at 10 p.m. every weeknight through Dec. 24. Next week's shows feature the 1946 Red Skelton Christmas Eve show and the Radio City Playhouse version of " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" from 1949. For a schedule, visit www.580ckww.com/ programs/wrw.html.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, December 3 2004

 

By: Art Vuolo


In the last couple of weeks, the radio trade publications have been loaded with news about satellite radio. Last month, I wrote about the oldies format in Radio & Records, the industry's leading trade publication, and mentioned sat-radio.

Afterward, one of my most memorable e-mails was from a local program director, whom I have great respect for and who also noted that I got in a good plug for "the jukebox from outer space ... and that ain't radio, baby."

Hmmm, the five-letter word in those stories that follows "satellite" is "radio." It ain't a refrigerator, baby.

Besides extensive stories on the sat-casters in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Las Vegas Review-Journal last Sunday, the current issue of Newsweek has a major story on the sat-casters with heavy emphasis on Sirius, one of the two available competing systems with differing technologies.

By the way, we've apparently learned nothing from Beta vs. VHS battle as very little in the electronics industry is standardized. It's one of the ways they try to get you to spend more money.

Heard mornings on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1), Howard Stern is an edgy talk show host - not a "shock jock," as he plays no music.

He probably did more to increase awareness about satellite radio with his carefully timed announcement about moving there in 2006 than all of the advertising done by both Sirius and XM Satellite Radio over the past three years.

The buzz on this new medium is loud, and the stock prices for both companies have made them the talk of Wall Street.

The word "content" - the stuff you can listen to - is propelling thousands of people to actually pay for radio, and now with major personalities abandoning traditional radio for "the jukebox from outer space," many broadcasters are concerned.

This week in Los Angeles, XM rolled-out the new MyFi handheld radio, which is about the size of a cell phone. It represents a new technology from Troy-based Delphi Electronics, which makes it possible to take XM anywhere. After I get to play with one, I'll let you know if it's really worth the hefty $350 price.

Back on Earth, our local stations continue to do good things for the community that the big national guys simply cannot.

The jocks at hits WDRQ-FM (93.1) probably want to get back into those nice warm state-of-the-art studios in the Fisher Building after a week of being out on location for their creative "Stuff-A-Bus" promotion to help the less fortunate.

Last year, they collected nearly $1 million in toys. The bus is in the parking lot of Micro Center, across from the Oakland Mall in Madison Heights. Jay & Rachael and all of the 'DRQ jocks appreciate your support.

From 9-11 a.m. today, it's Judy Adams' 28th annual Jimi Hendrix birthday special on public radio WDET-FM (101.9). This birthday tribute to an American music legend will include rarely heard recordings and special giveaways.

Who says NPR affiliates are stuffy and out-of-touch?

Speaking of NPR affiliates, smart move on the part of WEMU-FM (89.1) to pick up Matt Watroba and his popular "Folks Like Us" show, which was dumped by 'DET two months ago. Watroba's first show on WEMU airs 2 p.m. Saturday.

I recently got a copy of "On the Radio" by Lee Alan, and could barely put the book down. It's loaded with vintage photos and hundreds of great stories about the early days of pop radio in Detroit. He really should be back on the air locally.

When personality WJR-AM (760) ran its special syndicated oldies show on Saturday night during the Woodward Dream Cruise, I thought how cool it would have been to have Alan host such a show on 'JR - complete with his famous Frank Sinatra sign-off.

His comeback on oldies/talk WPON-AM (1460) didn't work out when the station was sold recently.

Speaking of WPON, one of its popular programs was the morning insanity of Crazy Al and sidekick Larry Matthews.

Well, Crazy Al is still around on the Internet at www.industri alinfo.com, where his show is drawing nearly 1 million hits from people on their computers all over the world - a far greater audience now than when he was on the little 1,000-watt station in Walled Lake.

Check it out between 8-11 a.m. on the Web, and mark your calendars for Dec. 22, when your humble radio writer/wannabe DJ will be the guest jock doing a Christmas special.

Regarding Christmas music, standards CKWW-AM (580) is mixing holiday hits with its regular music until Dec. 15, when it presents its 12 days of Christmas music through the 26th. Seems a much better way to celebrate the season. Bravo to 580 Memories.


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, November 26 2004

 

By: Mike Austerman


When you warm up that turkey sandwich this weekend, don't forget to give thanks to our area broadcasters and the work they do to support our community.

The amount of help local radio gives to metro Detroit charitable organizations cannot be underestimated and certainly deserves a big "thanks" from all of us.

So when you plan your holiday schedule this year, make time to help your favorite station and organizations in their drives to help others.


Pop WDVD-FM (96.3) is helping to brighten the holidays by hosting broadcasts for area children to create holiday cards for kids who are sick.

The most creative young artist at each location will receive a Toys "R" Us gift card and have his or her card printed and sold at next year's events to raise money for Children's Hospital of Michigan.

Each broadcast will be hosted by WDVD's morning show team of Blaine and Lisa and feature surprise giveaways and special guests. Bring the kids to the Detroit Science Center on Dec. 4; Macomb Mall in Roseville on Dec. 11; or Oakland Mall in Troy on Dec. 18. Each event runs 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


Rock WRIF-FM (101.1) and Buffalo Wild Wings have partnered together to help Gleaners Community Food Bank of metro Detroit stock food banks throughout the region.

The 'RIF will be doing a series of live broadcasts from area Buffalo Wild Wings locations, where listeners are encouraged to drop off donations in the form of canned or nonperishable food or a monetary donation. Everyone who makes a donation will receive an entry slip to win a guitar autographed by Detroit's own Kid Rock.

Upcoming broadcasts are 3-7 p.m. Monday with Arthur Penhallow at Buffalo Wild Wings in Southgate; 3-7 p.m. Dec. 6 with Arthur P. at the one in Mount Clemens; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 13 from the Westland location. Visit www.wrif.com for more details.

Gleaners and its member agencies create remarkable results - nearly 24 million meals last year for hungry people of southeastern Michigan alone.

Speaking of 'RIF's legendary afternoon jock, Arthur P. was recently across the big pond in London filming scenes for an upcoming Mike Binder film titled "Upside of Anger," starring Kevin Costner and Joan Allen. Costner's character plays a DJ who just happens to work at 'RIF. The movie should hit the big screens soon, bay-bah!


Smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7) morning show host and jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic will be performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Marriott Renaissance Center's Ambassador Ballroom to help promote his new "Seldom Blues" CD.

"The whole project is a love letter to the city of Detroit," Zonjic says. "The CD is dedicated to the greatest music city in the world."

Tickets start at $25. Learn more on Page D-3.


Fine tuning: Broadcast rights for the NFL's nationally broadcast games will move from sports WDFN-AM (1130) to rival WXYT-AM (1270) starting next season, giving 'XYT exclusive coverage of Super Bowl XL from Detroit in January 2006. WXYT also has secured the rights for this spring's NCAA Men's Basketball tournament.


Classic country WCXI-FM (1160) has been mourning the Nov. 5 death of manager and engineer Hank Hagy. Reader Mary Troff reports that his staff has been doing a fine job filling in while the station adjusts to the loss. Our condolences to Hagy's family and fans.


Eye on the Sky: Mel Karmazin has signed on as the new CEO of satellite radio broadcaster Sirius. That reunites Karmazin, the former head of Infinity Broadcasting's parent company Viacom, with his former employee Howard Stern, who's moving to Sirius by January 2006 - and gives Sirius a boost in its battle with rival satcaster XM.

Behind the mic: WDTW-FM (106.7) afternoon drive host Joe Thomas recently marked nine months with the rock station after moving here from the Windy City. He spent 15 successful years at various stations in Chicago and once claimed the Billboard Magazine Personality of the Year award. Since arriving, Thomas has helped lead WDTW to its best ratings since its switch to rock from country five years ago.


Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, November 19 2004

 

By: Art Vuolo

It was a thrill to have been at the Radio Hall of Fame gala in Chicago recently, as local radio veteran Dick Purtan was inducted into the hallowed hall.

When the inductees were introduced by talk show host Jim Bohannon, who entered this fraternity last year, Purtan received noticeably greater applause than any of the others. And with his six daughters, their husbands, the full cast of Purtan's People and key station personnel on hand, he also had the largest entourage.

Dick's emotional introduction was made by Herb McCord, the former CKLW-AM (800) general manager who once lured Purtan across the river with more power and a bigger paycheck. In all, a very special moment.

Learn more about the Museum of Broadcast Communications by visiting www.museum.tv or www.radiohof.org - and you, too, can vote in the Hall of Fame by becoming a member for just $15.

FYI, the Hall of Fame's building a new museum in downtown Chicago scheduled to open in the spring of 2006.

Speaking of Purtan, this morning he kicked off the 28th annual Oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) "Christmas is for Kids" campaign benefiting Children's Hospital. He's broadcasting live from 44248 Cypress Pointe Drive in Northville one of the many homes beautifully decorated for the holidays.

A $5 per person donation is suggested to support this worthy cause. What this means is that Oldies 104.3 may have to break down and play a few Christmas tunes early, though.

And that brings us to my colleague, Mike Austerman, who truly struck a nerve here last week with his comments about the over-commercialized early switch to all-Christmas tunes by two of our most popular soft rock radio stations, WNIC-FM (100.3) and WMGC-FM (105.1).

His computer almost melted down as readers fired back nearly 100 e-mails on the subject, some of which were quoted in a follow-up story in last Sunday's Daily Oakland Press.

Of the 96 responses, 91 agreed that the holiday music started way too early; only five felt it was appropriate. One of the more interesting perspectives was from reader/listener Matt Franckowiak who noted: "On Dec. 26, the Christmas songs are no longer played. In my Catholic religion, the Christmas season begins on Christmas Day ... ending in early January."

"Prior to Christmas," he adds, "there is a period of four weeks of Advent, which is the time to prepare for Christmas. Usually, it's the weekend after Thanksgiving. These radio stations forgot what Christmas really means, except for their bottom lines. Shame on you 100.3 and Magic!"

In the interest of fairness, we note that WNIC program manager Darren Davis was quoted last Sunday saying, "The positive feed-back regarding our Christmas music outweighs the negative by a 10-1 margin. We can't argue with that kind of overwhelming desire."

And Lori Bennett, the WMGC program director, chimed in too late for last week's paper, but said, "Magic tried the 'wait-and-see' approach to holiday music the past few years as we thought that was the best course of action. And every year, we lost a lot of folks to our competitor (WNIC) simply because of the all-holiday music campaign."

For now, listeners seeking light rock can find it at CIDR-FM (90.9).

Meanwhile, the pros and cons just keep on comin'.

Radio morning shows across the country often release compilation CDs of memorable moments from the program, but how many debut a great music CD?

Smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7) will premiere of morning host/jazz musician Alexander Zonjic's new CD "Seldom Blues" at 8 p.m. Sunday, interspersing the broadcast with interviews from stellar artists and producers who contributed to the album. It'll hit stores next week.

Nashville cats will want to mark their calendars for the Country WYCD-FM (99.5) eighth annual Christmas Show starring Lee Ann Womack, Westland native Josh Gracin and the just-added Uncle Kracker. We're not sure if he'll sneak in his buddy Kenny Chesney as an added bonus.

The concert is Dec. 8 at the Detroit Opera House. More information is at www.wycd.com

On the flipside of the musical coin, rock WRIF-FM (101.1) presents Velvet Revolver on Nov. 23 at the Emerald Theater in Mount Clemens, and on Dec. 2, The Riff brings Godsmack to Harpo's Concert Theater on Detroit's East Side.

A final note: If you're going to Columbus for the Ohio State game, be careful - and "Go Blue ... Beat the Bucks!"


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, November 12 2004

 

By: Mike Austerman

Is anyone besides me not happy with the newest radio war in town?

Both soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3) and WMGC-FM (105.1) have ditched their regular format in favor of nonstop Christmas music - a full three weeks before Thanksgiving!

When WNIC made public its plans to make the switch earlier this fall, it seemed inevitable that WMGC would do something to prevent its rival down the dial from owning the Christmas music market as it did last year. And when WNIC went "all-Yule all the time" last Friday, WMGC quickly followed suit.

Both stations were promoting an all-Christmas weekend, but when Monday came, neither station went back to nonseasonal music, instead preferring to see if they could make the other blink in the bizarre barrage of "White Christmas," "Silver Bells" and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."

It's just not right to be hearing about Jack Frost nipping at my nose seven days a week long before the Thanksgiving turkey has been carved. I can understand the appeal of special Christmas weekends in November when people are out starting their shopping.

But expecting those same people to be happy hearing about Rudolph's red nose for seven weeks while they are at work is just too much. Though I'm all for the Christmas spirit, when radio stations exploit the holiday in this manner as they attempt to one-up each other, it's anything but the Christmas spirit at work.

I'd like to know how you feel about the early appearance of Christmas. E-mail your thoughts to me at ontheradio@austerman. com.

In more seasonally appropriate news, news-talk WJR-AM (760) will again be the radio voice of America's Thanksgiving Day Parade, providing live coverage from 6 a.m. till noon. Pre-parade information and interviews will run until 10 a.m. when morning host Paul W. Smith will provide float-by-float coverage of the parade itself.

You also can join WJR's Ann Delisi for a unique opportunity to ride your motorcycle in the parade's Harley Brigade. For more info, call (734) 947-4647 or visit www.motownharley.com.

Christian WMUZ-FM (103.5) is searching for a new morning show with last week's departure of long time host Sean Harriott, who left to take on morning duties for Relevant Radio, a Catholic talk network with 24 stations across the country.

Meanwhile, WMUZ operations manager Steve Dealy is getting out of bed early to handle the morning shift until a permanent replacement is identified.

Microsoft is now offering another option to your regular radio station. Point your Web browser to http://radio.msn.com and you'll find a listing of more than 1,000 "local" radio stations that supposedly feature playlists based on the songs played by regular radio.

MSN's service lists 13 audio streams for Detroit, but I suspect the computerized service isn't really watching all that closely. How else can you explain that the stream based on WMGC isn't playing - ugh - Christmas music?

While MSN's service features fewer commercials, you'll also miss out on local content such as DJ's, weather and traffic. By adding the listings that resemble your local radio dial, MSN is trying to cash in on the name recognition of local stations to market what is essentially just another Web streaming service.

Set your dials: Brian Auger's 40-year-plus music career has featured forays into jazz, early British pop, R&B, soul and rock, winning him legions of fans all over the world. Auger and his band make a rare radio station visit 9-11 a.m. today when they appear on the Judy Adams program on public radio WDET-FM (101.9).

Auger also appears at 9 tonight at the Tenny Street Roadhouse in Dearborn. Tickets are $15; visit www.tennystreet.com.


Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, November 5 2004

 

By: Art Vuolo


Well, radio coverage of this week presidential election was certainly above the bell curve.

All-news WWJ-AM (950) and news-talk WJR-AM (760) certainly should be proud of the great job they both did keeping listeners well informed. Public WDET-FM (101.9) also did a fine job with assistance from National Public Radio.

When news events of this magnitude occur, local radio, with help from CBS on WWJ and ABC on WJR, really shines, especially on the local issues, which are of little concern to the TV networks or a national audience.

Nov. 2 also was commercial radio's 84th birthday, but that was somewhat overshadowed by the election.

Less is more, and we're not talking about Les Moonves, one of those who replaced the irrepressible Mel Karmazin of Infinity Broadcasting.

"Less is More" is a new edict handed down recently by Clear Channel Radio's head honcho John Hogan, who replaced CC's maverick ex-president, Randy Michaels, who himself is poised to re-enter the radio scene.

Hogan's policy is for CC's radio stations to sharply reduce the number of commercials that are broadcast in any given hour. The move is to cut down on commercial clutter but no need to worry about radio profits - if commercials are more exclusive, they can charge more for 'em.

In six weeks, this policy will be the law at all local Clear Channel stations, which include pop WNIC-FM (100.3), hits WKQI-FM (95.5), urban WJLB-FM (97.9), urban-pop WMXD-FM (92.3), classic hits WDTW-FM (106.7), sports WDFN-AM (1130) and talk WXDX-AM (1310).

Hogan reports "a strong interest in shorter-length commercials from advertisers. Acceptance of 30-second and 15-second spots by clients and ad time buyers is a crucial element in the process."

It seems, then, that the mostly commercial-free satellite radio is putting pressure on your favorite radio stations to cut back commercials, and to provide another service that satellite offers. Increasingly popular Radio Data Systems technology lets newer car radios display the name of the station and slogans - plus, in some cases, the name of the song and artist. So you never have to wonder, "What was that?"

Baseball backfire? Could be.

Another Infinity big boss, Joel Hollander, is not happy with that multimillion-dollar deal that XM satellite radio made with Major League Baseball.

He blasted MLB for what he called "blind-sighting" their many terrestrial radio partners. And he dropped this hint: "There are already whispers that Infinity will be walking out on multiple team rights contracts when they expire next year."

Local Infinity boss Rich Homberg says this should not affect a long-term deal between sports WXYT-AM (1270) and the Tigers. For next spring, it's definitely a "home run" for XM.

This weekend in downtown Chicago, our beloved oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) morning ringmaster Dick Purtan will be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.

You may have read the great story on Purtan in Sunday's Daily Oakland Press, and your traveling radio reporter will be there to get it all on videotape and report on the black-tie affair.

Left-leaning local chatster Dave Barber is back on the air at Flint's news-talker WWCK-AM (1570) for listeners in northern regions of Oakland County.

Barber's program runs 9 a.m.-noon weekdays and always provides stimulating conversation.

For Michigan football fans who need a "football fix" for this bye-week, we have good news. On Saturday, the Wolverines will play Wisconsin - and the game will be announced by the late Bob Ufer!

It's the 1976 game, and you can hear it at noon on sports WDFN-AM (1130) or at 1 p.m. on sports WTKA-AM (1050) out in Ann Arbor.

A Ufer preview: Someone is sure to streak into the endzone like a penguin with a hot herring in his cummerbund.

Rock WRIF-FM (101.1) award-winning morning hosts Drew Lane and Mike Clark came out with a new "Best of" CD collection, which will be available exclusively starting Nov. 15 at all 23 Detroit-area Best Buy stores.

Titled "The Best of Drew & Mike's Cliff Notes Theater," the CD features 16 original hilarious send-ups of popular movies, and includes the team's previously unheard interpretation of the football drama "Rudy."

A substantial portion of the proceeds will go to the Drew & Mike Charitable Foundation, which to date has given away more than $100,000 in support grants to assist the families of fallen and disabled law enforcement and military personnel. Good goin,' guys.


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, October 29 2004

 

By Mike Austerman


Tomorrow's "Backyard Brawl" between Michigan and Michigan State gives local radio stations a good excuse to throw parties.

From 6-9 this morning, news-talk WJR-AM (760) morning man Paul W. Smith broadcasts his annual "rivalry breakfast" from Andiamo Italia Restaurant in Warren.

Though he's a Michigan grad, Paul W. will no doubt be completely neutral and would never consider playing "The Victors" more than the Spartan fight song.

Also, beginning at 3 p.m. today, Stoney and Wojo of sports WDFN-AM (1130) will broadcast their University of Michigan-Michigan State bash from Snookers Pool & Pub in Utica.

Then, starting at 1:30 p.m., Parker and the Man from hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) will host their show live from the area's biggest UM-MSU party at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. Admission's free, but you must be 21 or older to watch the game on the big screen and enjoy the barbecue by Chef Paul. Doors open at 1 p.m., and at 3 p.m., two lucky people will win tickets to the game and be whisked off to Ann Arbor, to arrive before the end of the first quarter.

Those watching at home can turn down the TV and pick their favorite radio callers: Michigan's Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter on WJR or MSU's George Blaha and Bill Burke on WXYT-AM (1270).

May the best team win ...

Ch-ch-ch-changes: Country WYCD-FM (99.5) has named Chip Miller as its new program director, starting Nov. 21. The search for a new PD had been underway since August, when former boss Mac Daniels exited for Austin, Texas.

Miller arrives from Memphis, where he led a country outlet there to its best ratings success in 10 years. Prior to Memphis, Miller worked at WFBE-FM (95.1) Flint.

He says he's "very excited to return to Michigan" and be a part of the WYCD team, adding, "Detroit, get ready for a re-energized WYCD!"

If you're a fan of legendary local radio and a subscriber to XM Satellite Radio, you'll want to check out XM's Sixties on Six from 4-8 p.m. today when the station honors our own 1960s AM powerhouse Keener 13 - WKNR.

Afternoon jock Terry "Motormouth" Young will provide a total re-creation of Keener 13, complete with jingles, tapes of former jocks, old Detroit commercials, and music of the 1960s.

What's even cooler is that XM is doing the tribute on the weekend of the station's 41st anniversary: Keener 13 was born on Halloween night 1963 and transformed the Detroit radio dial forever. You know what I'll be listening to this afternoon.

For more and for those without XM, check out Scott Westerman's outstanding Keener 13 Web site at www.keener13.com. There, you'll find station history, jingles, bios of Keener's legendary jocks (including Dick Purtan) and more.

Regular broadcasters can't be happy about all the press satellite radio has been getting lately.

This week's biggest news came out of the XM camp with the announcement that Major League Baseball has agreed to a $650 million, 11-year deal that will bring roughly 2,600 baseball games a year to XM.

You'll be able to hear every game on XM next year, although you'll only be able to hear one of the two teams' announcers per game (my guess is you'll hear the home team's feed). The broadcasts will be an exact duplication of what you'd hear over the "regular" radio - including the commercials and station promotions.

XM's other announcement was the availability of a new Walkmanlike receiver that also can be used to download program material for later playback.

The Delphi MyFi has the satellite industry's first built-in antenna and includes accessories for home and car use. It's pricey at $350, but it opens a whole new potential market for XM - just in time for Christmas. And for techies, it's, like, way cool.

Finally, Sirius debuted a new hip-hop channel yesterday programmed by Detroiter Eminem.

The main marketing point other than Eminem? The channel is uncensored, giving parents something else to be frightened of this Halloween.

Set your dials: Standards CKWW-AM (580) carries on a Halloween tradition and will once again broadcast the original 1938 classic "The War of the Worlds" at 8 p.m. Sunday. This realistic radio drama starred Orson Welles and convinced thousands of listeners that Martians were invading Earth ... Public WDET-FM's (101.9) Jon Moshier also will present his yearly Halloween special of spooky songs, rare novelty records, 1950s movie trailers, and special Rhino Record giveaways starting at 10 p.m. Saturday till the witching hour. Bwah-hah-hah-hah!


Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, October 22 2004

 

By Art Vuolo


Fezzey and Homberg is not the name of a new law firm in town.

Mike Fezzey and Rich Homberg are the names of the top brass at personality talk/news WJR-AM (760) and all news WWJ-AM (950), respectively.

They and the promotion people at these two competing stations seemingly have the toughest job in local radio - making sure you know which station is at 760 and which is at 950 on the AM dial.

They and their staffs must be doing a decent job because the two 50,000-watt outlets are in a dead-heat tie in the just-released summer ratings, even though it wasn't a very hot summer.

The surprising news is that neither of these two powerhouse stations is No. 1.

The new top station in the mix is The Mix, pop-urban WMXD-FM (92.3). Some of us are old enough to remember when 92.3 was WLIN-FM in Lincoln Park and nobody knew it was even on the air. My, how times have changed.

Following WMXD, WJR and WWJ is The Mix's sister station, urban hits WJLB-FM (97.9). Then, it's oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) whose numbers are up slightly; followed by rock WRIF-FM (101.1); country WYCD-FM (99.5), which is up significantly; smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7); all-hits WKQI-FM (95.5) and classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7).

The F-word that broadcasters fear most these days is the FCC and things don't seem to be letting up, either.

Metro Detroit's edgy FM talk station, WKRK-FM (97.1), is facing the hard, cold fact that the Federal Communications Commission still wants "Live 97.1" to pay a pricey fine of $27,500 for a Deminski & Doyle show that aired nearly three years ago and was over the line in discussing sexual activity. Interestingly, D&D are no longer aiming at the lowest common denominator. Now, management is facing the fact that its syndicated morning star, Howard Stern, will be defecting to Sirius Satellite Radio in about 14 months.

Personally, I hate columnists who refer to him as a "shock jock." Howard does a talk show. He's not a D.J. He's also not my favorite, but his popularity cannot be denied.

The industry trade paper Radio Business Reports notes that the WKRK fine could influence Infinity Broadcasting, which owns the station, to pull Stern well ahead of the January 2005 deadline for his segue to satellite.

Blame it on Stern?

Ford Motor Co. announced this week that it is upping the availability of Sirius Satellite Radio as a dealer-installed option - and it's targeting up to 20 vehicle lines for factory installations in the next two years.

The factory installs lets Ford compete with GM, which is in its third year of offering XM Satellite Radio in its cars.

XM has passed the 2.5 million mark with its subscribers, and Sirius has plugged into 700,000 folks who don't mind paying for radio.

Speaking of this "Sirius" topic, Pontiac native and rock critic Dave Marsh is now doing a program on Sirius music stream 148 called "Kick Out the Jams!"

Marsh says his show is "based at the intersection of music and politics." He also notes that "there is a creative freedom at Sirius that simply doesn't exist in broadcast radio, and I plan to take full advantage of it."

Our local Mr. Radio, the always "fabulous" Bill Burton, was honored last weekend by the MSU Business School, which presented him with a lifetime alumni achievement award.

Burton is president of the Detroit Radio Advertising Group, which, despite its initials, is not a DRAG.

Detroit has more stations switching to HD (high-definition) radio than any city in the country due, in part, to the concentration of the Big Three automakers here.

HD-Digital signals make AM sound like FM, and FM sound like CDs.

The HD pioneer iBiquity has signed up seven local stations for the enhanced sound: Infinity's WOMC, WVMV and sports/talk WXYT-AM (1270); Clear Channel's WMXD, WJLB, and WKQI and Radio One's urban jams WDTJ-FM (105.9). And iBiquity promises to sign even more by the end of the year. And public radio station WEMU-FM (89.1) is also broadcast in HD.

Is it that big a deal? I've heard HD radio and it is very impressive.

Finally, Denver-based Hudson Research claims "it's not excessive commercial loads or too much talk" that's causing listeners to tune out, it's "the song lyrics and DJ topics."

You can learn more from analyst Matt Hudson at www.HudsonMediaResearch.com.

 

'Brandy & Bo' sign on again for U-M

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The Oakland Press - On The Radio, October 15 2004

 

By Mike Austerman


They're baaaack: Legendary Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler and U-M football analyst Jim Brandstatter have returned to the airwaves of news-talk WJR-AM (760) for another season of the "Brandy & Bo Show."

The hourlong college football discussion show airs 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25, Nov. 1, 15 and 22.

Imagine taping your favorite radio talk show while you're working, then listening to it when you get back home. If you love technology as much as I do, Griffin Technology's new radioSHARK is probably going to be on your holiday wish list, too.

The device adds an AM/FM radio to your PC and can record any AM or FM radio broadcast in real time. It also can be programmed to record a scheduled show, or to "pause" live radio so you can return right where you left off moments or even hours before (think of it as TiVO for radio).

Recordings can be played back with the radioSHARK software or sent straight to a play list on Apple's iTunes music software. From there, recordings can be easily transferred to an iPod.

Reviewers do note two drawbacks: AM reception is subject to interference because of the close proximity of the radioSHARK to your computer (having a window nearby is a good idea). Also, setting up a recording is a manual process; unlike TiVO, there is no online programming guide to help.

The device will begin shipping soon and will retail for about $70; while that's a lot of money for a stocking stuffer, maybe Santa will be good to his favorite radio writers (and listeners) this year. Visit www. griffintechnology.com for more info.

Speaking of Christmas, soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3) is already getting set for the holiday season.

A quick visit to www.wnic. com reveals that the station will once again be flipping to an all-holiday music sound, likely sometime around Thanksgiving.

The station's Web site has already been redone for Christmas. I wonder if programmer Darren Davis has his tree up already, too?

All together now: "Dashing through the snow ..."

Public radio WUOM-FM (91.7) begins its fall fund-raising campaign this afternoon to drum up financial support for its talk and news programs.

Michigan Radio's three stations in Ann Arbor, Flint, and Grand Rapids are boasting an overall 2.5 percent increase in listeners from the same time last year, numbers the station hopes will translate into more financial support.

And the station is especially happy with its audience growth in southeast Michigan, where the numbers were up nearly 7.5 percent. Visit www.michigan radio.org.

Not to be outdone, Wayne State's public radio WDET-FM (101.9), also started its pledge drive today with special giveaways in exchange for pledges.

More than 90 percent of WDET's operating budget comes from the private sector; visit www.wdetfm.org to learn more.

Moving on up: WJR sales director John Gallagher has been promoted to general manager for a pair of Chicago stations, talk powerhouse WLS-AM (890) and Radio Disney WRDZ-AM (1300). Gallagher has been with WJR since 1987 and was promoted to general sales manager in 1995.


Mike Austerman is the founder of the Web site michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, October 8 2004

 

By Art Vuolo


Shocker. Stunner. Bombshell. You pick the adjective, but Howard Stern made a "Sirius" announcement this week that he'd be moving to Sirius Satellite Radio when his contract expires with land-based radio giant Infinity in January 2006.

Stern, who'd hinted at such a move, said he's had it with FCC hassles and potential FCC fines for his shock-jock shenanigans, heard locally on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1).

There will be more on this next week - and in the future.

Memo to broadcasters: Never assume anything.

Last weekend, I was in Bloomington, Ind., to watch the Wolverines eat Indiana's lunch, which they did 35-14. Trying to be helpful, I told several fans with radios which station locally carried the game. When I told one gentleman he could tune in at 105.1, he asked "AM or FM?"

Yikes.

Salem Broadcasting has turned Martha Jean the Queen's former station, WQBH, into conservative talk WDTK-AM (1400). Another right-leaning talk station - what an original idea.

With a signal at just 1,000 watts, AM 1400 is hardly a flamethrower, with a weak signal in most parts of Oakland County. The station also brought in a new manager, Chris MacCourtney, from CNBC's Midwest region.

On the other side of the coin, Ann Arbor's talk WAAM-AM (1600) carries Ed Schultz's very popular "progressive" talk show 3-6 p.m. weekdays.

"Big Eddie" is coming to town for the Michigan-Minnesota football game in Ann Arbor on Saturday and he'll appear between 9-10 a.m. on WAAM's Tailgate Show, broadcasting on Main Street near Stadium Blvd.

He'll also sign his new book, "Straight Talk from the Heartland," on Monday at Nicola's Books - 2513 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor, (734) 662-4110 - and he'll broadcast his national show from the store.

Marc Spindler and John Lund have made their morning show on sports WXYT-AM (1270) commercial-free from 6-10 a.m. Thursdays. And if you "spot" one during that time, you can win $1,000. It's S&L's way of creating more buzz about their show.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, nostalgia CKWW-AM (580) is set to host "Shoo the Flu at the Zoo," which will offer flu shots at the Detroit Zoo main entrance. Because of the current vaccine shortages, they're limited to the first 100 people at high risk for the flu. Call (800) 365-5899 for info.

Public WDET-FM (101.9) may have stirred mixed feeling about its recent programming changes, but a Metro Times poll shows the station ranked tops in "best local radio news" and "best local radio music show" with Martin Bandyke.

That's got to bother the staff in the WWJ-AM (950) newsroom.

Sad news: Local comic and former radio talk show host Bill Thomas died of cancer at 52 last Saturday. I had the pleasure of capturing him on videotape when he did a weekend talk show on WXYT.

I truly feel the local radio community never recognized his unique wit, sense of humor and personality. He will be missed.

Mike Rivers was a DJ back in the golden age of CKLW-AM (800), when it was known as "The Big 8." Rivers, who died recently in Tennessee at the age of 60, also worked at the old WCAR - now WDFN-AM (1130) - as Mike Donahue in the late 1970's.

Sad news and an update: Also passing on was Southern California talk radio icon Bill Balance, who invented a controversial female-oriented gabfest known as "Fem Forum" in the 1970s.

Locally, Tom Dean hosted the Detroit version of that show on the old WDEE, now WLQV-AM (1500). These days, Dean is up near Traverse City doing real estate and part-time radio on country WTCM-FM (103.5). Check him out at www.airsho.com.

Final farewell: New York City DJ and gravel-voiced pitchman Scott Muni was a true innovator and creative force in rock radio. His funeral earlier this week filled St. Patrick's Cathedral with the elite of the radio world.

Muni worked with Southfield native Pat St. John in New York, while Westland native and 30-year NYC personality Jim Kerr (who worked as Robin Stone on the old Keener 13) was one of the pallbearers - along with former Infinity CEO Mel Karmazin.

Now, that's a major sign-off.


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, October 1 2004

 

By: Mike Austerman

If all went according to plan this morning, WQBH-AM (1400) debuted its new sound - replacing local Christian-based programming as "Detroit's Community Radio Station" with broader-focused conservative talk, Christian teaching and/or contemporary Christian music. The smart money appeared to be on new owner Salem Broadcasting introducing a lineup that would feature syndicated talk from hosts such as Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved and Mike Gallagher - shows that are currently not heard in our market. Salem announced the $4.75 million purchase of WQBH earlier this year from the estate of station founder the late Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg. The deal received regulatory approval in the summer but the sale was not officially closed until today. Along with new programming, the station will change the call letters from WQBH ("The Queen Broadcasts Here") to WDTK. Although Martha Steinberg died in 2000, her voice has lived on through taped broadcasts on WQBH up until Thursday. For many regular listeners, it as though they are living through Steinberg's death all over again with today's changes.

* * * *

Detroit will retain its status as the country's 10th largest radio market for the next year in the eyes of ratings company Arbitron. In fact, Detroit came within 7,100 listeners to catch ninth-place Boston; the difference was 29,100 last year. Eleventh-place Atlanta was 84,500 people behind Motown - a bit closer than last year's 109,000 difference. Maintaining a spot in the Top 10 is important to all the stations in the area for many reasons, including prestige in landing talent, ad rates and station monetary values.

* * * *

Fans of Howard Stern, heard locally on talk WKRK-FM (97.1), have been flocking to his Web site (www.howardstern.com) to purchase uncensored viewings of his E! TV network shows. Prices start at $4.95 to download and view a single episode, which is recorded for TV during his daily radio show. Stern said he will personally profit about $1 per sale, with the money being funneled directly back into his Web site. Partners Movielink will take home about $2 per sale, with Viacom, Stern's employer, also taking a portion of each sale. "My plan is to create a Web site where we can communicate with the audience the day we get thrown off the air," Stern says in explaining the new online feature. "We won't have to rely on terrestrial radio when the FCC finagles a way to get us thrown off the air because they put too much pressure on Viacom and all the other companies we work for." This is a great idea; if proven successful, it'll open an avenue to those who want to take in uncensored programming without compromising the free airwaves.

* * * *

Don't be surprised if sometime soon you turn on your favorite radio station and hear programming all in Spanish. Clear Channel, which owns WMXD-FM (92.3), WKQI-FM (95.5), WJLB-FM (97.9), WNIC-FM (110.3), WDTW-FM (106.7), WDFN-AM (1130) and WXDX-AM (1310) locally, recently announced plans to covert at least 25 of its stations across the country to target Hispanic listeners. "A large Spanish-speaking population is just one consideration in determining where to launch stations," says Alfredo Alonso, Clear Channel's new senior vice president for Spanish-language stations, commenting specifically about Detroit. "It will not always be (based on) a population figure. For instance, Detroit doesn't have a huge Hispanic population, but the Hispanic buying power in Detroit is a billion dollars. We've identified around 50 markets that have enough buying power to be turned into profitable radio markets." There is no timetable or specific station identified as a likely candidate for a switch to a Spanish format here. It does, however, kind of make me wonder what the buying power of other unserved audiences - classical, for instance - in this area might be.

* * * *

Columnist Mike Austerman has covered radio for The Oakland Press since 2001.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, September 24 2004

 

By: Art Vuolo


The second monthly radio ratings for summer are in, and adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3) continues in first place, followed by a tie between urban contemporary WJLB-FM (97.9) and news WWJ-AM (950).

After that come personality/ talk WJR-AM (760), rock WRIF-FM (101.1) and oldies WOMC-FM (104.3).

Rounding out the Top 10 are smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7), country WYCD-FM (99.5) and soft rockers WMGC-FM (105.1) and WNIC-FM (100.3).

Wasn't too long ago that WJR and then WNIC owned the top slot.

My friends who work in local radio are forever chastising me for my enthusiasm for satellite radio, but one look at what happened at the recent Emmy awards and what happened at public radio WDET-FM (101.9) is revealing.

At the Emmys, "The Sopranos" won four awards. This mature-content program is available only in homes whose owners subscribe to HBO. The network's seen in about 30 percent of U.S. homes and costs about $14 per month over the basic cost of cable TV.

Yet, programs on this "premium" network captured a staggering 32 Emmy awards; "The Sopranos" alone nabbed 20 nominations. This is significant, and it has the people who run ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC extremely concerned.

Now, a similar thing is happening to radio. The medium which has no picture and forces you to use your imagination is facing ever-tougher new competition from satellite broadcasters.

Personally, I'm not sure they're taking it seriously - or should we spell that Sirius-ly? Just look at public radio.

Sirius Satellite Radio has snagged a number of listener-subscribers by offering programming from land-based National Public Radio. And rival sat-caster XM just started a public radio channel (133) that, on Oct. 4, will premier its own version of "Morning Edition" with Bob Edwards. He's the man who made that NPR news show a huge success for 25 years, until this spring, when NPR decided to demote him.

Now let's look at WDET. Last week, Detroit's Public Radio station made major changes to its weekday and weekend lineups (see www.wdetfm.org for details), and not everyone is happy.

That's because it got rid of such national shows as Tavis Smiley (who 'DET ballyhooed signing only two years ago), Terry Gross' "Fresh Air" afternoon interview program, and the witty weekend car advice show "Car Talk," which just happens to be public radio's most popular entertainment program.

The changes drew a lot of response, and one in particular captures the frustration of many disenchanted listeners.

Mike Seltzer, the owner of the Bloomfield Hills-based marketing company SKM, is among them. He notes WDET is "spinning it on their Web site as 16 great new hours of musical programming each week, but the truth is that WDET has just cut all NPR programming except 'Morning Edition' and 'All Things Considered,' the bookends of news on NPR."

He also notes that if WDET's pledges have fallen during recent fund drives, "just wait to see what happens in the future."

Also dumped in the move to save $140,000 were local Saturday music shows by folkie Matt Watroba and bluegrasser Larry McDaniel, as well as the national show "Mountain Stage."

For Seltzer and all of those who care, NPR programming still can be found on several other stations, depending upon where listeners live and how good their radios and antennas are.

NPR affiliates WUOM-FM (91.7) in Ann Arbor airs Gross at noon weekdays and 4 p.m. Sun.; "This American Life" at 1 p.m. Sat. and 3 p.m. Sun.; and "Car Talk" at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sat. There's also WEMU-FM (89.1) in Ypsilanti; WKAR-FM (90.5) in East Lansing; WFUM-FM (91.1) in Flint; or WGTE-FM (91.3) in Toledo.

You also can tune in on the Web at www.npr.org - and, of course, on Sirius and XM satellite radio.

Speaking of signals from the sky, tomorrow's Michigan-Iowa football game will be the first one that'll be beamed nationwide on Sirius (channel 131) and XM (channel 187).

You can't sync it up with TV because of the satellites' 13-second delay, but Wolverine fans from Bellingham, Wash., to Key West, Fla., can hear the Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter broadcast fed by WJR and Host Communications.

XM and Sirius plan on airing select Big Ten games this fall, too.

Is it just me, or does pop hits WNIC-FM (100.3) have one of the best lineups of name-brand talent on the air?

Moving Chris Edmonds to mornings was a sensational idea, Gene Maxwell is a 25-year midday mainstay and Kevin O'Neill sounds like he was made for afternoon drive.

All that's missing is a local show in the evening, and (hint, hint) Johnny Williams is back in town.

Across the hall in the Clear Channel Fortress in Farmington Hills, folks are preparing for the first Rock & Roll Auction at classic hits WDTW-FM (106.7).

The Nov. 3 event at the Emerald Theatre in Mount Clemens will be a fund-raiser for The Rainbow Connection, a charity that benefits kids with illnesses.

Afternoon jock Joe Thomas says, "How can you not have a good time at The Drive's First Annual Rock & Roll Auction when all the money is going to help these kids?"

More details to come.


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, September 17 2004

 

By: Mike Austerman


Interesting times at pop WDVD-FM (96.3), as the station has let program director Greg Ausham go after only about 16 months on the job. The station has tried to position itself somewhere between the sound of soft rockers WNIC-FM (100.3) and WMGC-FM (105.1) and Top 40 outlets WDRQ-FM (93.1) and WKQI-FM (95.5), chasing the heavily emphasized female age 25-54 ratings.

The station's been running a steady stream of promotions that stress the musical comparison between itself and 95.5, but any effort to woo listeners from WKQI also could take listeners away from co-owned station WDRQ.

Hmmm ... maybe one of them should move to a completely different sound to stop the battle.

After all, WDVD has sounded pretty much the same since 1998 when, as "Planet 96.3," it boasted of playing "Modern Hits of the '80s and '90s." Several tweaks and name changes since then have evolved into the current slogan of "Detroit's Best Variety of the '80s, '90s and Today."

What hasn't changed is the station's place in the ratings - in the second tier of the market's FM signals. It'll be interesting to see what the next WDVD programmer comes up with to generate excitement and attract listeners.

There have been tons of headlines this year about the Federal Communications Commission's crackdown on broadcast indecency, but flying under the radar has been the license renewal process that all radio station in Michigan are going through as they prepare for their licenses to expire Oct. 1.

As expected, each station in the state has applied for an eight-year renewal with the FCC. As part of this, they're required to be current with their records and must provide info on how they serve the public.

But the process also allows for input from listeners like you on how well a station serves its market. While it's rare that a petition from the public to deny a license renewal gets very far with the FCC, this year might be different.

Two weeks ago, Macomb County-based Right to Decency Inc. filed a petition to deny the license renewal for hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1), aided by several broadcasts in the past couple of years that the FCC itself found to be indecent.

The group, which got its start at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Sterling Heights, has sent several complaints to the FCC about broadcasts its members find objectionable. In each of the FCC's rulings on WKRK, there have been calls by FCC commissioners to begin license revocation procedures against the station.

Could this be the example the FCC is looking for - a radio station that's gone too far over the line? Is this a big story in the making - or just a speed bump?

Stay tuned.

A tradition each fall is the release of the famed WJR-AM (760) Michigan RadioGuide, once again supported by GMAC Mortgage Corp.

The handy guides contain the U-M football and basketball schedules and a listing of every station in our state and which ones carry the games. They're free at participating Big Boy restaurants or for $1 (for postage and handling) at: WJR Guide, P.O. Box 880, Novi 48376.

It's the 31st year for the guides, produced by Art Vuolo. Over Labor Day, he was handing them out himself at the WJR tailgate broadcast.

Michigan football fans may have noticed that the traditional "Band, take the field" announcement sounded just a bit different when the season kicked off at the Big House on Sept. 4.

That's because Carl Grapentine, who had never missed a home game in 35 years, was sidelined by a recent heart attack, and his brother Chris, stepped in at the microphone. Fortunately, their voices are very similar.

Grapentine spent many years at the old classical mainstay WQRS-FM (105.1) before it changed to The Edge, then The Groove and now Magic; currently, he does mornings at Chicago's classical giant WFMT-FM (98.7).

He hopes to be back behind the Big House mike as the band announcer by either the Sept. 25 Iowa or the Oct. 9 Minnesota game.

All his fans and the Maize and Blue faithful wish him a speedy recovery.

Dropped: By Detroit schools' WRCJ-FM (90.9), all weekend programming, including the "Somewhere in Time" show regularly featured in this space. In advance of WRCJ coming under the control of a new operator, the Detroit Public Schools has limited the station's schedule to 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.


Mike Austerman is the founder of the Internet Web site michiguide. com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, September 10 2004

 

By Art Vuolo


As meteorologists try to figure out exactly where and if Hurricane Ivan (the Terrible) is going to strike, several radio stations in Florida are trying to get back on the air. And those lucky enough to have stayed on through the wrath of Hurricane Frances should be proud of the job they did.

Some of you will remember "Big" Jim Edwards from his days as a "Big 8" jock at CKLW-AM (800) in the late 1960s Well, Big Jim is actually James K. Davis, and he manages a group of stations in Vero Beach, Fla.

Close friend Michelle McKormick from hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) says she was glad to hear that Jim was safe. "He gave me my first break in morning radio, which led to my venture into talk radio in New Jersey back in 1996," she recalls.

Closer to home, several stations are to be congratulated for efforts to help victims of hurricanes Charley and Frances.

In nearby Flint, Scott Free, the program director of hits WWCK-FM (105.5), was proud of morning jocks Mike MacDonald and Stephanie Confer, who organized a multi-station relief effort this past week.

For readers in northern Oakland County, their sister station, WWCK-AM (1570), is now Genesee County's all-talk station since kids WFDF-AM (910) and standards WFNT-AM (1470) both jettisoned their news-talk formats in recent years.

Across America, the race to talk radio is almost out of control. Of the 13,000 radio stations in this country, more than 1,300 of them are some form of news-talk-sports and information.

Recently, I told you about how media giant Clear Channel has suddenly jumped on the liberal bandwagon, flipping stations coast-to-coast to what they're calling "progressive talk."

News-talk is the number one AM format and on FM, it's number two only to country music. Many of these FM talkers, however, are non-commercial NPR stations.

But nearly every time a station switches to a talk format, it replaces a music venue and the ones that are falling victim most often are adult standards, like memories CKWW-AM (580) and pre-Beatles oldies stations like WPON-AM (1460).

Tomorrow, the MSU Spartans attempt to regain their pride when taking on up-the-road rival Central Michigan. The game can be heard on sports WXYT-AM (1270).

Some Wolverine fans will be traveling to the stadium that sits on the South Bend of the St. Joseph River as Michigan takes on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

U-M games are on news-talk WJR-AM (760) and out in Ann Arbor sports WTKA-AM (1050), but if you're heading to northern Indiana, take your radio because the game should be on South Bend's WDND-AM (1580) - if their satellite receiver problem is fixed in time.

An alternate choice would be the powerful news-talk WKZO-AM (590) from Kalamazoo. Both stations get the WJR game feed with Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter.

Speaking of college football, both satellite radio broadcasters Sirius and XM have cut deals that allow them to carry Big Ten football and basketball games which makes it possible to hear your favorite teams nationwide.

Michigan fans also will want to tune in WFUM-TV next week for the new "Michigan Football Memories" documentary.

It airs Thursday (check local listings) and features footage of Fielding Yost and Fritz Crisler, legendary broadcaster Bob Ufer and dozens of U-M legends.

This must-see for Wolverine fans also comes out on DVD later this month.

Quick Hits: Congrats to all of the local radio people who joined their TV colleagues on the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, which raised $59,398,915 nationally. The local figure on WB20 was a staggering $1,712,320 ... WXYZ-TV Channel 7 general manager Grace Gilchrist was recently inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Grace loves local radio and is most deserving of this honor ... Microsoft is making static for radio with its new MSN Music service which allows users to buy songs online and is also creating Internet stations using the playlists and slogans from commercial stations ... Wolfman Jack has been dead since 1995, but tapes of his old shows have been digitally remastered and he'll be howling on the air again soon.

Set Your Dial: Hear the popular Australian swing band, The Cotton Club Orchestra, at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9) ... from 4 to 8 p.m. today, XM's Channel 6 recreates another 1960s AM radio giant, Philadelphia's original rocker, WIBG Wibbage 99 ...


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, September 3 2004

 

By: Mike Austerman


One of the pleasures of this column is reporting on the positive side of the radio business. Two of the area's " 'NICest" guys have reasons to spend this weekend grinning from ear to ear as they prepare to take the next steps in their respective radio careers.

At soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3), afternoon guy Chris Edmonds will take over as the morning show co-host on Tuesday, replacing Channel 4 weatherman Chuck Gaidica.

And taking Edmonds' place in afternoon drive will be 24-year market vet Kevin O'Neill, as O'Neill moves from the morning show at Ann Arbor adult alternative WQKL-FM (107.1).

The shuffling is a result of Channel 4 weathercaster Kim Adams' decision to move out of state to follow her husband's assignment in the Navy. Her departure from the 11 p.m. newscast opened the door for Gaidica's return to full-time TV duty, requiring him to cut back on his radio responsibilities.

Mr. Cuddle Alert will still appear each morning and throughout the day on WNIC, providing weather information and chat with WNIC personalities.

Edmonds, who will join "Breakfast Club" holdovers Dave Lockhart and Lisa Berry, has been with WNIC, primarily in the afternoon slot, since 1987. "How could I pass up the opportunity to wake up at 4 a.m.?" he asks jokingly. "Seriously, I'm excited to join the team and keep WNIC sounding 'NICe' every morning."

He'll have the challenge of taking on morning drive in Detroit, a timeslot loaded with talent up and down the dial, including former 'NIC morning man Jim Harper, who moved to soft rock WMGC-FM (105.9) and has been outpolling Gaidica in the ratings recently.

Meanwhile, O'Neill will join afternoon co-host Tamie Lockhart. Before landing at WQKL earlier this year, his most recent Detroit gigs were as morning show host at modern hits WDVD-FM (96.3), country WYCD-FM (99.5) and Top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5).

"Working at WNIC is a treat not many people get to experience," O'Neill says. "The station has such a stable, long-running on-air staff, I'm honored to come aboard."

For both he and Edmonds, this is proof that good things do happen to good people.

As anyone attempting to hit downtown Pontiac this weekend will attest, the Arts, Beats & Eats festival is second only to the Dream Cruise in terms of excitement and attention.

And just as with the Cruise, radio has jumped aboard with sponsorships and live broadcasts throughout the four-day event.

The roster of stations heavily involved this year includes news-talk WJR-AM (760); modern rock CIMX-FM (88.7); soft rock CIDR-FM (93.9); classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7); WKQI; hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1); smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7); WYCD; WNIC; rock WRIF-FM (101.1); public radio WDET-FM (101.9); adult urban WDMK-FM (102.7); and urban WDTJ-FM (105.9).

Whew! If you see any bumper stickers or keychains, pick one up for me ...

Fine Tuning: Paul Edwards, host of the afternoon talk program "On the Word" on Christian WRDT-AM (560), resigned his position last Friday. He'd been the sole local talk host there since February 2002 ...

E-mail inquiries continue about a possible return of Don Imus' show to the Detroit-area airwaves. Unfortunately for fans of the I-man, my response hasn't changed since his show was dropped by sports WXYT-AM (1270) at the end of February: I'm not aware of any station expressing an interest in adding Imus. His show is now only available on one Michigan station, WKMI-AM (1360) in Kalamazoo.

Set your dials: "Somewhere in Time" presents the wacky music of 1940s star Spike Jones and his City Slickers at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9).


Mike Austerman is the founder of the Internet web site michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.

 

August 2004 News and Notes

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August 30:

* Clear Channel Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM 100.3 Detroit will change its morning and afternoon drive lineup beginning next Tuesday. Afternoon host Chris Edmonds will move to mornings and become the new co-host of the station's 'Breakfast Club', joining Lisa Barry and Dave Lockhart. Edmonds has been with WNIC, primarily in the afternoon slot, since 1987.

Taking over afternoons will be 24-year market veteran Kevin O'Neill, who will shift from mornings at sister station AAA WQKL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor.

“How could I pass up the opportunity to wake up at 4am???” joked Edmonds. “Seriously, I’m excited to join the Breakfast Club team and keep WNIC sounding “NICe” every morning.” Current Breakfast Club host Chuck Gaidica will reduce his role at WNIC in order to return to full-time weather duties at WDIV-TV, adding the nightly 11pm news back to his schedule. Gaidica will still appear each morning and throughout the day on WNIC providing weather information and fun interaction with WNIC personalities.

O’Neill will be joining afternoon co-host Tamie Lockhart. Before landing at WQKL earlier this year, his most recent Detroit gigs were with WDVD-FM 96.3, WYCD-FM 99.5, and WKQI-FM 95.5. “Working at WNIC is a treat not many people get to experience,” said O’Neill. “The station has such a stable, long-running on-air staff, I’m honored to come aboard at WNIC!”

* Paul Edwards, host of the conservative Christian afternoon talk program "On the Word" on Crawford Broadcasting WRDT-AM 560 Monroe/Detroit WRDT has resigned his position effective August 27. Edwards had been the sole local talk host on WRDT since February 2002.

* FCC Action: Granted WKUF-LP 94.3 Flint a modifcation to its construction permit (slight change to location and power from 93 to 100 watts)

August 28:

* Overnight “Cuddle Alerts” will soon be back at WDIV-TV 4 Detroit as weatherman Chuck Gaidica returns to the station's 11:00pm newscast. “I’ve been working nights my whole career of 25 years,” said WDIV director of meteorology Chuck Gaidica. “I can’t wait to get back on the air at 11 p.m. with Carmen, Devin and Bernie.”

At the same time, Kim Adams, Local 4 meteorologist since December 2002, will be leaving the station. Kim’s husband, Lt. Jeffrey Daudert, is an active-duty Surface Warfare Officer for the United States Navy and has received official government orders to return to a post as a Department Head on a U.S. Naval ship in support of the War in Iraq and the War on Terrorism. Kim and her two children, Ava and Aaron, will be stationed at the United States Naval Base in Pascagoula, Mississippi. "Although I'm very sad to be leaving WDIV, my family comes first,” said Kim. “Being a good mother and Navy wife are my two most important jobs. Right now this country needs my husband and my children need me."

“Kim has been an outstanding member of the Local 4 family,” said WDIV vice president and general manager Joe Berwanger. “She has been a special part of our team with her weathercasts and Club Mom reports. Her decision is a demonstration of commitment to her husband and his commendable service to our country. We are really going to miss her.” Vice president and news director Neil Goldstein noted “Chuck … back at 11:00. Perfect. What more can I say.” “Kim has been a delight to work with,” added Gaidica. “I have the utmost respect for her decision and I wish her well.”

The on-air transition will take place over the next few months as Kim and her family begin the move to a new state.

August 27:

* Clear Channel Country WWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor morning show host Brian 'Bubba' Cowan has been named as the station's assistant program director. Morning show co-host Claire Wiley adds the role promotions/marketing director for Clear Channel's 4 station cluster in Ann Arbor. Out of the midday slot at W4 Country is Andie Lynn, her replacement is Sheryl Fender- All Access

August 26:

* Sold: WION-AM 1430 Ionia by Agricultural Resource Group to Packer Radio WION LLC, headed by manager James C. Angus for $127,000. Agricultural had previously reached an agreement to sell the station to Greenville-based Stafford Communications Group in August 2003 for $100,000 but the deal was never closed. Stafford, which owns the Greenville-based Daily News newspaper and radio stations WSCG-FM 106.3 and WSCG AM 1380, had to petition the FCC for an additional waiver to the rule prohibiting the ownership of both a newspaper and radio station in a small market. Stafford received such a waiver when it obtained WSCG-FM/AM in 2000. In addition to the issues with the FCC in obtaining approval for the deal, Stafford owner John Stafford passed away earlier this month at the age of 66.

WION has been off the air since September 2003. The station's sale to Packer Radio is pending FCC approval, which will likely take several months.

* The price tag on the previously announced sale of Houghton-area stations WOLV-FM 97.7, WHKB-FM 102.3, and WCCY-AM 1400 from Tu-Mar Broadcasting to Heartland Communications Group is $1,627,000. That deal also awaits FCC approval before it closes.

* FCC Action: Granted WUFL-AM 1030 Sterling Heights a construction permit to change from a two-tower array to a three-tower array with a corresponsing change to its signal pattern.

August 25:

* Call sign action: LPTV station W22CC Pinconning became WKNX-LP on August 9

August 24:

* Clinton County has a new radio station. But this one is a little different than the usual radio station- Clinton County Radio is a local radio station delivered via the Internet rather than over the airwaves. Anyone with a computer and dial-up Internet access or better can listen to the station by logging onto www.clintoncountyradio.com. The station, which will offer a non-commercial full service format, will serve the communities of Clinton County including Bath, DeWitt, Fowler, Ovid, St. Johns, and Westphalia, 24 hours a day, seven days a week while focusing on promoting community events and covering high school sports.

Longtime Lansing area radio announcer and St. Johns resident Dan Drolett keeps area listeners informed about their community while spinning the best tunes from the 60’s, 70’s,& 80’s. Drolett, a full time television station engineer, with over 20 years of radio experience at stations such as WITL, Kix 94, and WILS, is enjoying his new assignment. Thanks to advances in computer aided audio production, the husband and father of two is able to produce his show from a small studio in his home leaving him more time to spend with his wife Michelle and their children Hannah and Austin.

Former Michigan Farm Radio Network intern Matt Kapp also joins the Clinton County Radio air staff and will help keep sports fans informed about local high school events. Imaging for the new Internet station will be provided by Tony Clark Production Services of Rosebush.

For more information, contact Steve Evans at (517) 402-4479.

August 23:

* Michigan Talk Radio Network announced today that seventeen year radio broadcasting veteran Ron Pritchard will take over as the Network’s afternoon news anchor and become a key member of the production staff. He will be adding his production talents to programming heard on Michigan Talk Radio Network affiliate stations throughout Michigan. Pritchard’s depth of on-air and technical broadcast experience adds support for MTRN’s expanding program offerings. Ron is looking forward to the challenges of his new position. He said, “I am very excited to be getting back into news-talk and to have the opportunity to be heard on MTRN’s statewide network of affiliates.”

Like most MTRN personalities and staff, Pritchard is a Michigan native. He is well known in Northern Michigan where he spent the last ten years on the air and eight years as program director of WKHQ-FM 105.9, Northern Michigan’s heritage Top 40 radio station. Pritchard has over seventeen years of radio broadcast experience. He began as an intern at WDEY in Lapeer, Michigan in 1987, while still in high school. In 1989, he graduated from Davison High School and received a degree from Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts. He then worked in radio programming for ten years in the Charleston-Huntington, West Virginia., and Traverse City, Michigan markets.

In 1993, Ron Pritchard won the Radio and Television News Director's Association Award for Excellence in News Reporting. The Michigan Talk Radio Network is a rapidly growing source of Michigan-focused talk radio programs available on almost thirty radio stations across the state. MTRN also provides radio production and satellite uplink services.

* Dropped: By MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting News-Talk stations WATT-AM 1240 Cadillac and WMKT-AM 1270 Charlevoix, the syndicated Don Imus morning show. WKMI-AM 1360 Kalamazoo now is the lone radio station in Michigan airing Imus' program.

August 20:

* The statewide network of Contemporary Christian Smile FM stations, in conjunction with Salvation Army, helped provide 179 backpacks full of school supplies to needy kids in the community. They'll be able to start the school year off on the right foot thanks to help from the generous listeners of Smile FM.

The station's Jenn Czelada has just left for a mission trip to Kolkata (Calcutta), India with Mission of Mercy. Thanks to listeners, she took 150 educational toys with her to give to the children of the schools she's visiting.

* FCC Action: Granted WXVA-FM 96.7 Rogers City a construction permit to change ERP from 26,000 watts @ 384 feet to 42,000 watts @ 531 feet.

August 19:

* Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 morning show hosts Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison will welcome Dennis DeYoung, former singer and songwriter of the Classic Rock group STYX, to the studios for a live performance tomorrow morning from 8-9am. An “in studio” audience will be comprised of WCSX listeners who have won the opportunity to attend the special presentation. DeYoung will be announcing is upcoming Symphonic Rock Show: Dennis DeYoung the music of Styx and Alan Parsons LIVE Project, including music from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, with the Michigan Opera Orchestra, September 30th at the Detroit Opera House. The event will benefit Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV 56.

This month, Detroit Public TV offers a pair of preferred tickets to Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx with the Michigan Opera Orchestra and a Dennis DeYoung CD to viewers who call 1-800-859-WTVS (9887) and make a contribution of $175 or more to Detroit Public TV.

* Casey Cook, one half of the "Coffee Crew" Morning Show on Sovereign Communications Country WNBY-AM 1450 Newberry, has set a goal to raise $1,000.00 for Project Backpack, an organization that provides backpacks and school supplies for needy children in the Luce County area. Cook is looking to hit the mark and will literally go "over and above" to make it happen by jumping out of an airplane at an altitude of 10,500 feet on Friday, August 27th at 3pm, landing next to the Luce/West Mackinaw County Fairgrounds to kick off this years' fair and to raise donations for the cause. He will be assisted in the free-fall/parachuting feat by Wild Wind Skydivers of Saginaw, MI.

"Last year, I sat in a dunk tank at the fair and raised money for Project Backpack and this year, I wanted to contribute again in some little way and the opportunity came up to do this, so I committed to it for the kids", Cook said, who along with partner, Mike Stanley, are involved with projects such as this on a continuous basis in the community. Station general manager Travis Freeman stated, "Casey's one of those wild and crazy guys, and when it comes to kids, he will do anything it takes to get everyone involved to make a fundraiser, such as this, a success."

* FCC Action: Granted W294AI 106.7 Marquette (translator for Christian WPFF-FM) a construction permit to change its frequency to 106.1 and change ERP from 500 watts to 55 watts

August 18:

* Cindy Austin exits as promotion director at Citadel Country WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint- All Access

August 16:

* From the Daily Mining Gazette: Heartland Communications Group of Appleton, Wis. announced Thursday it has signed an agreement to purchase Houghton radio stations Classic Hits WOLV-FM 97.7, Country WHKB-FM 102.3, and Adult Standards WCCY-AM 1400 from current owners Tu-Mar Broadcasting Inc. The group has no plans to change the stations’ formats. "There won’t be a lot of changes to the listener,” said Heartland CEO Tom Bookey. “We like the format and the personnel,” he said.

Heartland plans to acquire small market, unrated radio properties throughout the upper Midwest. The group currently owns four stations in Ashland and is also in the process of acquiring the licenses of Oldies WIKB-FM 99.1 and WIKB-AM 1230 in Iron River. Tu-Mar president and news director Richard Tuisku, more commonly known as Dick Storm, said he had been looking to sell the stations for some time. “We have been courted by a number of suitors for the last six months,” he said. Heartland’s commitment to working with small market stations was particularly appealing to Tu-Mar. “Small market radio is different,” he said. “We wanted to sell to people who understood that we’re local, we’re involved in the community and we have an excellent sales program.”

Tuisku credited his partner and general manager, Justin Marzke, with creating the stations’ successful marketing plan. \ The timing of the sale is not ideal, however. Tu-Mar is in its last year of a 7-year license with the Federal Communications Commission. Acquiring a license while it is in renewal is a complicated business, Bookey said. Typically, the proposed contract is presented to the FCC and the public has 30 days after that to challenge it. It returns to the FCC, and is put on notice a second time, during which there has to be significant grounds for not granting the license transfer. The FCC continues to process it and a third public notice is issued. If there is still no challenge, the FCC issues a final order, and the sale is permitted, Bookey said. “The whole process will take about four months,” he said. “We hope to own the stations in October.”

* MacDonald Broadcasting Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing has made an overhaul to its lineup which now includes:
Mornings- Jason Addams and Melissa Profitt
Middays- Lisa DeAngelo
Afternoons- Dave Adams
Nights- Hunter Quinlivan
Parttime/Swing- Rob Bennett and Louise Brock
Parttime/Swing- Kelley Jelinski

Dave Adams arrives from WYSS-FM 99.5 Sault Ste Marie and becomes assistant program director; Hunter Quinlivan arrives from Indiana. Jason Addams remains as the station's operations manager and program director. Out of the lineup are former midday host Dan Parks and overnighter Tim Howe- All Access

* Earlier this year, Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit morning show hosts Jim Johnson (JJ) & Lynne Woodison launched this year’s Stone Soup Project, the restoration and raffle of a classic 1970 Plymouth Road Runner to raise money for the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. After countless hours of work by hundreds of volunteers from all over southeast Michigan, JJ & Lynne’s Stone Soup Hemi will come to life tomorrow, August 17th, outside the studios of 94.7 WCSX.

The “birthday” celebration will begin at 7am with the arrival of the Stone Soup Hemi and many members of the volunteer team working on the restoration. During the 8am hour, JJ & Lynne will officially fire up the 610hp Hemi for the first time. To add to the festivities, local classic car enthusiasts will be on hand displaying their custom rides. The 94.7 WCSX studios are located at One Radio Plaza in Royal Oak Township. Everyone is invited to follow the progress of JJ & Lynne’s Stone Soup Project by tuning into The Classic Rock Morning Show on WCSX weekdays from 5am to 9am and by visiting the WCSX web site at www.wcsx.com.

* FCC Action: Granted W258AH 99.5 Kalamazoo its license to cover for changes (55 watts to 19 watts, location change)

August 13:

* Cara Capuano has joined Fox Sports Net as weekend anchor on the Detroit Sports Report. She makes her debut this Sunday, August 15 at 10:00pm. While primarily appearing on weekend shows, Capuano also will fill in occasionally on weekdays. Capuano joins FSN from ESPN where she appeared on ESPNews and SportsCenter. She replaces Kerry Sayers, who departed FSN for a position with Comcast Sports Net in Chicago.

* A change in plans for Damon Perry - he will not be joining Fox Sports Radio for its overnight slot as announced earlier in the week, instead opting to return to Detroit.

* The on-air staff of Greater Media Adult Contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1 Detroit hosted a day of live broadcasts at Gordon Chevrolet last Friday in support of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and helped raise over $32,000 along with filling two and a half trucks with a variety of items in just 6 hours- All Access

* Federated Media Classic Rock WAOR-FM 95.3 Niles/South Bend, IN raised $42,266 over two days during the station's 7th Annual WAOR Riley Radiothon for Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis- All Access

August 12:

* FCC Action: Granted Educational Media Foundation a construction permit for a new FM translator at 95.7 Webberville (W239AU)

August 11:

* Call sign swap: WWKM-FM 88.1 Goodland Twp. and WHYT-FM 89.1 Imlay City have swapped call signs as of August 9th; 88.1 is now WHYT and 89.1 is now WWKM. WHYT-FM 88.1 remains part of the Contemporary Christian 'Smile FM' network while WWKM-FM 89.1 now features seperate Classic Christian Radio programming.

* Where are they now / where are they going: Outgoing Infinity Country WYCD-FM 99.5 program director Mac Daniels will be returning to Austin to become operations manager for Clear Channel's cluster of stations in the Texas capital. Daniels arrived at WCYD from Austin about 2 1/2 years ago; Former Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids hosts Sean Kelly, Hunter Scott, and Cristi Cantle have reunited in Cleveland at Rock WMMS-FM 100.7 for mornings; Former Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 midday host Damon 'The Dog' Perry has signed with Fox Sports Radio to host that network's 2-5am shift. The show will be heard in Detroit on another of Perry's former haunts, Clear Channel Sports WDFN-AM 1130.

* FCC Action: Granted Taylor University a construction permit for a new FM translator station at 97.7 Adrian (W249BT)

August 9:

* ABC/Disney Hot AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit will present its 6th Annual "Bark in the Park" on Saturday August 14th at Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights from 11am-3pm. “Bark in the Park” is not your usual dog or pet show for pet owners. It’s for dogs too! “Bark in the Park” brings together dog lovers and dogs of all kinds for an afternoon of entertainment, information, and fun, all focused on “man’s best friend.” This festival style event invites the entire family to a day in the park, exciting events and festive food. “Bark in the Park” also raises much needed awareness and funds for animal charities… this year the benefiting charity will be Michigan Animal Rescue League which has been a part of Bark in the Park for the last several years. Events this year include Pet Tricks contests, Dog Look-a-Like Contest, Agility & Obedience Demonstrations, and more. The event itself is free, parking is $5.00 with $1.00 from each parking fee collected going to Michigan Animal Rescue League. For more, visit www.963wdvd.com.

* Big D Broadcasting Talk WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor has added a web site at www.talkradio1600.com.

August 6:

* Congratulations to Dick Purtan, morning show host at Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit, on his pending induction into the Radio Hall of Fame. Purtan joins veteran public radio anchorman Bob Edwards, legendary Chicago disc jockey Larry Lujack, broadcasting executive L. Lowry Mays of Clear Channel Communications, and the late Walter Winchell in the Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2004. The induction ceremony will be Saturday, November 6th at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel.

* Jim Biggins jumps back into the radio wars and will join NextMedia Country WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock/Saginaw as morning show cohost joining Jodi K starting Monday. Biggins last full time Country gig was doing mornings at WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint.

* Mac Daniels will exit as program director at Infinity Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit at the end of the month. Assistant program director / music director Ron Chatman will take over the PD role on interim basis.

* Kevin Redding of Federated Media Classic Rock WAOR-FM 95.3 Niles/South Bend exits as program director / morning show host- All Access

* Call sign action: WKNX AM 1250 Bay City became WNEM on August 2

* FCC Action: Granted a construction permit for an FM translator to Family Stations for 98.9 Plainwell (W255BC); Granted W266AE 101.1 Coldwater a construction permit for changes (ERP from 64 watts to 27 watts and a slight location change)

August 5:

* Rick Hunter will be returning to Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit after a 9-month hiatus as a weekend host and for fill-in swing duties. Hunter's first day back on the air is this Saturday 2-7pm.

* New program director at Cumulus Adult Urban WDZZ-FM 92.7 Flint is Trey Michaels, effective August 11th. Michaels will also host afternoons for WDZZ- Radio and Records

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to Educational Media Foundation for 95.3 Mason (W237BY), 100.3 Diamondale (W262BD), and 106.9 Vernon (W295AT); Granted WEYI-TV 25 Saginaw its license to cover for changes (HAAT from 1319 feet to 1296 feet).

August 3:

* CHUM Ltd. Adult Standards CKWW-AM 580 Windsor/Detroit has signed on as the new radio voice for the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers for the 2004-05 season. All 68 regular season and subsequent playoff games will be aired on CKWW, starting with the season opener Sept 24 in Sarnia. Longtime Whalers' voice Pete Krupsky returns as the Plymouth's play-by-play man and will be joined by Sean Baligian. Ironically, CKWW was the Whaler's first radio partner when the team was formed in 1990-91 and was known as the Detroit CompuWare Ambassadors.

* Kirsten Buys has become the new director of affiliate relations for the Michigan Radio Network and the Michigan Farm Radio Network. Kirsten is orignally from Ionia and is an MSU graduate. She will also be responsible for affiliate relations of the Illinois Radio Network and travel both Illinois and Michigan extensively. She will be involved in the radio satellite distibution of MSU Men's football and basketball, plus the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Lions, and Detroit Pistons.

The Michigan and Illinois Radio Networks are statewide radio networks delivering state newscasts and sportscasts from Lansing, Chicago, and Springfield, IL. The Michigan Farm Radio Network is Michigan's only farm radio network, along with radio sports distribution. These networks provide product to over 150 radio stations throughout Illinois and Michigan; all three are divisions of Saga Communciations.

* The construction permit for WWZP-FM 90.9 Freeland has changed hands once again, this time moving from the American Family Association / Great Lakes Community Broadcasting to Edgewater Broadcasting, a division of Radio Assist Ministry Inc, for $1. Edgewater at closing shall give AFA credit toward the purchase of FM translators, CPs or stations licensed to Edgewater in the amount of $80,000 and shall give AFA's Great Lakes Community Broadcasting credit toward the purchase of FM translators, CPs or stations licensed to Edgewater in the amount of $10,000.

The initial construction permit for WWZP was issued to AFA in September 2001; AFA then sold the CP to Great Lakes Community Broadcasting in March 2004 for $40,000. The FCC approved that sale in April, however the construction permit has remained under the name of AFA.

Edgewater Broadcasting and Radio Assist Ministry have received construction permits for more than 50 FM translators in Michigan this year.

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to Educational Media Foundation for 100.1 Morrice (W261AV) and 102.1 Lennon (W271AX).

August 2:

* Meredith has changed the format of WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City from Talk/Oldies to News as of this morning. The station will take on the WNEM call sign to match sister station WNEM-TV 5 and feature simulcasts of the TV station's newscasts. Regular programming on WNEM-AM will feature a 20 minute news "wheel" with specific times set for features such as traffic, weather, and sports updates. WNEM-AM will maintain some of the same weekend religious programming that was carried by WKNX.

* Michigan Talk Radio Network announced today that conservative talk radio personality Joe Pagliarulo will take over as the host of the Network’s afternoon show from 2 to 4 p.m. starting today. The program airs in Detroit on WXDX-AM 1310 and on Michigan Talk Radio Network affiliate stations throughout Michigan.

This self-proclaimed Independent with strong right leanings is a talented and experienced talk radio host, having appeared on WABC in New York City, WHAM in Rochester, WGY in Albany, and WSGW in Saginaw. He also has an extensive background as a television journalist, working in Albany, New York, and on WLAJ-TV in Lansing, WEYI-TV in Flint/Saginaw, and WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids.

During his years in Michigan, Pagliarulo covered Michigan politics extensively, interviewing everybody from John Engler and Jennifer Granholm to Jeffrey Fieger and Ted Nugent. Joe was honored with multiple Michigan Associated Press awards for journalism and was given a special honor by the United States House of Representatives and Rep. Mike Rogers for peace and understanding in the coverage following the 9/11 attacks. While Pagliarulo’s show is decidedly conservative, his strong opinions will surprise listeners every day. He invites people of all political persuasions to listen to his new show on the Michigan Talk Radio Network and call in, even if they disagree with him. However he warns dissenting callers, “You'd better have your argument straight -- because I'll be ready to take you on.”

* FCC Actions: Granted Educational Media Foundation a construction permit for an FM translator in Warren on 96.7 (W244BT); Granted WNBY-FM 93.7 Newberry a construction permit to change frequency to 93.9, increase power from 6,000 watts @ 262 feet (Class A) to 50,000 watts @ 463 feet (Class C2), and move its transmitter/tower location into Chippewa County.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, August 27 2004

 
The big radio news this week? Urban soft hits WMXD-FM (92.3) came in No. 1 in the monthly audience ratings - a first for any format at that frequency.

Rounding out the Top Five are personality/talk WJR-AM (760), urban contemporary WJLB-FM (97.9), all-news WWJ-AM (950) and rockin' WRIF-FM (101.1).

Let's see what happens in the full three-month summer ratings, due out in mid-October.

And speaking of news, it's 11 o'clock - do you know where your news is?

I do. It was on the radio.

Monday night, I flipped on the TV to watch the 11 o'clock news, but whoa Š there was no news. Not on Fox 2 (it was at 10 p.m.), not on Local 4 (it had the Olympics), not on UPN-50 (it ran repackaged Channel 7 news at 10 p.m.) and not on Channel 7 (because "Monday Night Football" was still running) or CBS-Channel 62 (it has no news department).

WXYZ-TV Channel 7 did get its news on the air about 10 minutes because of the game, but at 11 p.m. that night, news-talk WJR-AM (760) and all-news WWJ-AM (950) were the only places to get local and national news.

And if you think radio has a lot of commercials, put a stop-watch to your favorite television newscast. You'll come running back to radio with sincere appreciation for the "wireless."

The Woodward Dream Cruise is over for another year, and 1.6 million people have fond memories of a great time.

At the "official station" of the cruise, oldies WOMC-FM (104.3), new program director Steve Allan told me he had never seen anything like it before.

And 'OMC broadcast from five spots along Woodward.

With the '04 cruise now a memory, Steve Schram, WOMC's V.P. and general manager, can direct his attention to landing a program director for his other station, country WYCD-FM (99.5).

Among the many candidates are a Detroit native who was a popular personality at both WYCD and the old W4 Country station (who asked us not to mention his name) and long-time Detroit radio veteran Barry Mardit.

Mardit was the PD who made the original W4 a huge success, and then did the same for the "new" WWWW-FM (102.9) in Ann Arbor; he's available.

WYCD's former PD, Mac Daniels, jumped back to Austin, Texas, and a job with media giant Clear Channel.

Speaking of Clear Channel, the company, as I indicated a couple of weeks ago, has suddenly discovered liberals.

In Portland, Oregon, the left-leaning KPOJ-AM has become a huge success, offering listeners and advertisers a counter-balance to Clear Channel's right-leaning KEX-AM.

The same thing happened in Miami, and this past week in San Diego where the adult standards KPOP changed its call letters to KLSD. That stands for "Liberal San Diego" but sounds like something that could give you a bad flashback.

And in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor, CC tossed a familiar set of call-letters, oldies WHNE-AM (1290), to make room for the new progressive network, Air America with Al Franken and his team.

The little 500-watt station, which had been "Honey Radio," is now WLBY - could that stand for the LiBeral You?

If you pine for the good old days of local Top 40 radio and have a computer, check out "Super Max" Kinkel as he re-creates CKLW-AM (800), "The Big 8," on the Internet, 6 p.m.-midnight Sept. 5.

Check it out at www.maxtalk radio.com and link to the site. Mark your calendar now and hear how good the Max Man, a former CK jock, still sounds.

For readers who subscribe to XM satellite radio, Channel 6 is saluting a different great radio station of the 1960s from 4-8 p.m. each Friday.

It began with Cleveland's WKYC and Chicago's WCFL, and today, it's the "Home of the Good Guys," WMCA in New York.

You can be sure that Detroit's WKNR "Keener 13" and CKLW will be on the schedule soon.

Sixties PD Pat Clarke says "the response to these station tributes has been incredible."

By the way, the host of the show, Terry "Motor Mouth" Young, once worked at Detroit's WDFX-FM (99.5), "The Fox."

Next weekend brings the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon with Jerry Lewis. But a worthwhile organization not affiliated with MDA is the Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation.

It helps MD families, too, but gets no MDA money, so if you want to send a donation, mail it to: MDFF, 2330 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46208.

Set Your Dial: Host Tom Wilson airs Cole Porter music played Dixieland style by trombonist Pee Wee Hunt at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9) ...


Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, August 20 2004

 
Tis the third weekend of August, and all down Woodward Ave., the cruisers are upon us, which radio station will you have (on)?

Well, the folks at oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) hope it'll be them as they broadcast live from Birmingham, Royal Oak and Ferndale throughout much of today and Saturday.

In addition, they'll play their "Top 104 Cruisin' Songs of All Time," as chosen by listeners, during Saturday's official Woodward Dream Cruise. Check www.womc.com for more details.

WOMC may be the official radio station of the Dream Cruise, but that doesn't prevent other stations from carrying on with activities they want to promote surrounding one of the biggest events of the summer.

Classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) will once again have a large presence at the big cruise, hosting parties, live concerts, and live broadcasts in both Birmingham and Royal Oak.

Also on hand will be the station's Stone Soup car for this year, a restored Hemi-powered 1970 Plymouth Road Runner. Morning hosts Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison hope you'll buy a ticket to win the car, as the raffle raises money for the Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. Check out www.wcsx.com to learn more.

Over on the AM band, news-talk WJR-AM (760) will be at the Michigan State Fair on Saturday to "Celebrate the Automobile" with a full day of special programs and events live from the fairgrounds.

And all-news WWJ-AM (950) will at Jax Car Wash on Woodward and 13 Mile Road noon-6 p.m. Saturday with prizes, giveaways and lots of fun. Of course, they'll provide the necessary traffic updates every 10 minutes "on the eights" for those trying to avoid the gridlock.

Some of the other stations visible along the cruise route include soft rock WMGC-FM (105.1), live from the Avenue Family Restaurant north of 13 Mile from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; talk WKRK-FM (97.1), broadcasting from Pasquale's north of 13 Mile today and Saturday afternoon; and Top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5), once again working the street and sidewalks, passing out the usual assortment of swag bearing the station logo.

Then there's Lee Alan, who many of the original cruisers listened to in the early 1960s.

With a Detroit broadcasting career that spans more than 50 years, Alan has just released an autobiography that gives a sweeping perspective of stories of the birth of the Motown music explosion, the rise of rock radio and untold tales of today's music and pop culture legends.

As the grand marshal of the dream cruise, he'll be signing first editions Saturday outside Allied Printing, 22438 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

To buy one, visit www.detroitradio legends.com or call (305) 849-9550.

As the Dream Cruise has evolved in 10 years into the region's most hyped automotive event, it seems to have equaled excitement of the North American International Auto Show.

Besides showing what the common man-on-the-street can do to his car or truck, it gets the nod for having warmer weather than the January auto expo.

Nice that radio is a big part of both.

Not to be outdone by all the car craziness on Woodward this weekend, rock WDTW-FM (106.7) offers a high-speed alternative - coverage of this weekend's NASCAR activities at Michigan International Speedway.

The station will broadcast live all weekend from the MIS campground and will carry the Nextel Cup 400 race live 2 p.m. Sunday.

Two other FM stations in Michigan - in Grand Rapids and Tawas City - carry car racing, and both claim it's a big hit with listeners.

Gentlemen, start your microphones ...

Set your Dials: Bill Vlasak pumps out 1930s and '40s hits on the Wurlitzer organ at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9).


Mike Austerman is the publisher of Michiguide.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, August 13 2004

 
As reported in Sunday's Daily Oakland Press, Dick Purtan of oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) finally will be inducted this fall into the Radio Hall of Fame.

Being chosen for the hall, located at Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications, is a big deal. WOMC's mustachioed morning man will join such other Detroit radio legends as former Tigers' broadcaster Ernie Harwell and the late J.P. McCarthy of personality talk WJR-AM (760).

The Nov. 6 ceremony will be broadcast nationally. We'll keep you posted if any local station picks up the program.

Joining Purtan this year will be veteran public radio host Bob Edwards, legendary Chicago air ace Larry Lujack and the man who started celebrity journalism, the late Walter Winchell.

Speaking of WJR, Murray Gula, the host of the weekend "Home Improvement" show, had quite a week as ABC-TV's "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" ripped apart a house in Oak Park recently.

Show host Ty Pennington and his hard-working crew used Gula's new office on 11 Mile Road as their interview facility during the renovation.

The owners returned Thursday morning and were stunned by the amazing job the crew did renovating their house. Murray now considers the TV cast as good buddies and will surely tell stories about it noon-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Your traveling radio reporter is just back from another radio convention, the Morning Show Boot Camp, a seminar for morning DJs throughout the country.

Interestingly, the only local personality that made the trek out to Los Angeles for the confab was Mojo and his producer Chad Mitchell from the "Mojo in the Morning" show on hits WKQI-FM (95.5).

More local radio talent should attend these gatherings to help improve their programs.

An aside: Are you as tired as I am by the overabundance of political advertising and candidate bashing already?

By the time Nov. 2 rolls around, we'll be completely burned out by this over-the-air name-calling.

And while talk radio has truly been the savior of AM radio, the plethora of political propaganda and Right-eous hosts has helped turn this country into the Divided States of America.

As reported here last week, former longtime NPR "Morning Edition" host Bob Edwards is moving to a new public radio channel on XM Satellite Radio, where he'll anchor a news-feature morning show.

The move already has caused a spike in subscriptions to the pay-radio service - and Edwards doesn't start until Oct. 4.

Speaking of sat-casting, edgy New York-based FM talkers Opie and Anthony will return to the air - on satellite radio. Interestingly, they won't be heard on the Manhattan-based Sirius service but on Washington, D.C.-based XM instead.

The duo was kicked off their New York FM outlet two years ago for a stunt that went far over the line of good taste - airing a call from a heatedly amorous couple in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Now they'll be on a channel that allows them greater freedom, while charging subscribers an additional $1.99 a month. This new premium channel also could attract other racy radio hosts, such as Tampa's Bubba the Love Sponge.

Radio analysts will be watching this experiment closely. Just like Edwards, the dirty duo will start Oct. 4. That's 10-4, good buddy.

Next weekend's Woodward Dream Cruise will have a number of major stations broadcasting from along the route.

This year, for the 10th annual cruise, WOMC is once again the "official voice" for the Saturday event - and for the first time, Purtan will broadcast live from the scene. More news on this in next week's column.

Recently, broadcast publications ran a list of the most searched national radio hosts on the Internet.

The top five were Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Bob & Tom, Art Bell (who's no longer hosting) and Sean Hannity. Of course, Stern is heard locally on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.9) while Limbaugh and Hannity do their right turns on WJR.

Dropping off the list for Internet searches were former WXYT-AM (1270) host Don Imus and NPR's Click & Clack, the Tappet Brothers ("Car Talk" guys Tom and Ray Magliozzi), heard weekends on public radio WDET-FM (101.9) and WUOM-FM (91.7).

Set Your Dial: Trumpeter Ray Anthony and Frank Sinatra at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9 ... the best of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at 5 p.m. Sunday on WDET.

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, August 6 2004

 
For 25 years, Bob Edwards was the well-respected and award-winning host of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program, heard locally on public radio WDET-FM (101.9) and WUOM-FM (91.7).

In fact, he was the original and only host of the show in that time.

But in May, NPR eased Edwards out in a decision that seemed to be as much about ageism as "seeking a new direction."

Turns out he wasn't as over-the-hill as NPR thought.

Starting Oct. 4, he'll again anchor his own morning show - on XM Satellite Radio.

"The Bob Edwards Show" will be the centerpiece of XM Public Radio, a new channel that debuts a month earlier, on Sept. 1. Clearly, XM President and CEO Hugh Panero believes Edwards will bring with him some of the 13 million listeners he had each week on NPR.

Panero described his new hire as "the pre-eminent voice of public radio for decades" and called Edwards "a warm cup of coffee that helps you start your day."

"We're thrilled to be serving up to our millions of subscribers his unique, intelligent style of journalism," the XM boss says.

For his part, Edwards described XM as "the most exciting thing happening in radio."

"I think (they're) reviving and reinventing radio. It's something entirely new, and at the same time, it brings radio back to its past glory," he says.

Programming on the new 24-hour XM channel will be provided by NPR competitors, Public Radio International (PRI), American Public Media plus Southern California Public Radio and Boston's public radio, WBUR.

NPR programming is heard on XM's competitor, Sirius Satellite Radio.

Let the games begin.

Joe Pagliarulo took over the 2-4 p.m. shift on talk WXDX-AM (1310) this week. The self-proclaimed independent with strong right leanings is an experienced talk radio host, having appeared on New York City's WABC plus stations in Rochester, N.Y.; Albany, N.Y.; and Saginaw. He also has an extensive background as a TV journalist in Albany, Lansing, Flint and Kalamazoo.

During his years in Michigan, he covered state politics extensively, interviewing everybody from John Engler and Jennifer Granholm to Jeffrey Fieger and Ted Nugent.

While his show is decidedly conservative, he promises to surprise listeners every day.

He also invites listeners to call in - even if they disagree with him - with this warning: "You'd better have your argument straight - because I'll be ready to take you on."

Bob Allison's "Ask Your Neighbor," heard 9-11 a.m. weekdays on WNZK-AM (690), has added a new feature, "Nutrition on Call."

On it, Oakland Township resident Theresa Malysz discusses food, diet, and health issues for 30 minutes from 10:30-11 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month.

The segment is the only locally produced program on this subject on Detroit radio. The next one's set for Sept. 2.

Pop WDVD-FM (96.3) will add "Saturday Night at the '80s" starting Sept. 25. The show, hosted by Todd Pettengill and originating from ABC sister station WPLJ-FM New York, will feature hits from the decade that brought us President Reagan, "Flashdance," Men At Work and MTV.

Hard to believe that songs from the 1980s can now be called Oldies.

Set your dials: For thirty years, Tommy Tucker played dances at the old Walled Lake Casino and the big Detroit dance halls. He opened his programs with the tick tock of a clock and a voice shouting "It's Tommy Tucker Time." So tick, tock, it's Tommy Tucker Dance Time on this week's "Somewhere in Time" show, 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9) ... Some stations have business reports. WPON-AM (1460) has a show about labor issues, called "Working Detroit" at 1 p.m. Mondays.

Mike Austerman publishes the Web site Michiguide.com.

 

July 2004 News and Notes

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July 30:

* Clear Channel Adult Urban WMXD-FM 92.3 Detroit program director Jamillah Muhammad is set to be honored at the 15th Annual Midwest Radio and Music Conference where she'll receive the Radio Icon Award for her continued success in radio over the past 15 years- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted Edgewater Broadcasting a construction permit for an FM translator at 95.3 Forest Hills (W237BW)

July 28:

* Artistic Media Partners Soft Adult Contemporary WWLV-FM 102.3 New Carlisle / South Bend, IN has dropped the format in favor of returning to a simulcast of sister station Classic Rock WZOW-FM 97.7 Goshen, IN. In March 2003, FM 102.3 dropped its 11-month simulcast of FM 97.7 for the Soft AC 'Love Songs 102.3'; that format ended yesterday with the playing of J. Geils' "Love Stinks" over and over.

* Cumulus Rock WRKR-FM 107.7 Kalamazoo assistant program director and nighttime jock Warren Kluck will exit the station effective tomorrow- Radio and Records

July 23:

* WLCJ-LP FM 92.5 Marinette, WI / Menominee, MI is now on the air with Catholic programming from the Relevant Radio Network- Upper Midwest Broadcasting

* FCC Actions: Granted WVBH-LP 105.3 Benton Harbor a modification to its construction permit to specify a slightly different location; Granted Russell Allen Wight a construction permit for a new FM translator at 96.7 Alma (W244BS); Granted W262AF 100.3 Parchment a construction permit to increase power from 27 to 38 watts.

July 22:

* New call sign for just-flipped Rubber City Radio Sports 92.1 FM St. John's/Lansing is WTXQ as of Tuesday. The calls are similar to that of simulcaster WQTX FM 92.7 Charlotte.

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to: Radio Assist Ministry for 92.9 Alpena (W225AO), 92.1 Rogers City (W221BU), and 92.1 Cheboygan (W221BT); Family Educational Broadcasting Corp of Door County WI for 105.1 Marquette (W286BC).

July 21:

* Midwestern Broadcasting Sports WCCW-AM 1310 Traverse City has applied for a modification to its nighttime construction permit; instead of 130 watts with a 2 tower array, the station would like to change to a 7,500 watt nighttime signal with a 4 tower array from a location near Chum's Corners (intersection of US-31 and M-37 south of Traverse City).

July 20:

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to Radio Assist Ministry for 96.5 Muskegon (W243BH), 96.5 Fremont (W243BI), 96.5 East Tawas (W243BJ), 101.9 Alpena (W270AY), and 103.1 Manistee (W276BP).

July 19:

* Several Michigan stations and personalities have been nominated as finalists for the 2004 Marconi Awards:
: WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian (Small Market Station and AC Station)
: Drew Lane and Mike Clark (Mornings, WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit; Major Market Personality)
: WMOM-FM 102.7 Pentwater (CHR Station)
: WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit (Rock Station)

* Mike Dwyer, Jimmy James, and Ted Eberly have left WPON-AM 1460 Walled Lake because an agreement between them and new owner Birach Broadcasting could not be reached.

* Martin was recently let go as host of the weekend 'Martin Morning Show' on Rubber City Radio Classic Hits WVIC-FM 94.1 Jackson/Lansing.

* Former WCEN-FM 94.5 Saginaw morning man Jim Bosh has landed in Hartford, CT as morning show host at Clear Channel Country WWYZ-FM 92.5.

July 16:

* Michiguide.com has been informed of a couple of changes in the northeast part of the lower peninsula. First, Northern Radio Network WCLS-FM 100.7 Oscoda has switched from a simulcast of sister station Oldies WHAK-FM 99.9 Rogers City to a simlucast of fellow sister station Hot Adult Contemporary WHSB-FM 107.7 Alpena. Also, the FM translator at 98.1 Alpena has switched from a relay of Country WVAC-FM 93.9 Mio to a relay of Classic Rock WQLB-FM 103.3 East Tawas / WKZC-FM 94.9 Alpena.

* Crawford Broadcasting Christian WMUZ-FM 103.5 Detroit has joined the growing number of stations broadcasting with HD-Radio technology. The station went live this week with the new Ibiquity Digital in-band/on-channel signal. While consumer receivers have just debuted, stations hope that auto OEMs will rapidly integrate HD-Radio capability into standard audio systems.

* For the past three summers, WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian has chosen an "underdog" charity as the beneficiary of a fund-raiser hosted and organized by the station. This year, the station selected the Lenawee Therapeutic Riding Program to receive the funds under the banner of "Rally to Ride." LTR provides horseback riding in a specially designed program involving the use of horses and ponies to provide riding for physically, mentally, and emotionally impaired individuals- especially kids.

On Saturday, July 17th, a 130 mile motorcycle road rally/poker run will be held with the hopes of raising around $10,000. This morning, WLEN morning host Jerry Hayes (who will be riding a H-D Fatboy in the rally) issued a challenge to listeners to raise $1000 during the morning show to help add to the pledges already received. Listeners responded and Jerry will have his head completely shaved for tomorrow's rally. Not to be outdone, WLEN AE Lori Sallows phoned in on the 'Mornings with Jerry and Steve' program and said if she could match Jerry's funds by 10 am, she would get a tattoo. Listeners also met that challenge as well! So, with Friday's activities and previous pledges, WLEN has already raised nearly $5,000 for Lenawee Therapeutic Riding heading into tomorrow's rally.

WLEN is a two-time winner of the NAB's Crystal Award for Public Service and is currently the MAB's Market 3 Station of the Year.

* Going strong after 42 years of continuous broadcasting in the Detroit radio market, Bob Allison’s “Ask Your Neighbor” radio program on WNZK 690 AM will introduce a new feature -- "Nutrition On Call" -- a monthly 30-minute segment devoted to food, diet, and health issues with registered dietitian Theresa Malysz (pronounced may-liss) as the guest expert. She brings with her over ten years of nutritional counseling experience in hospitals and elder-care facilities throughout the metro Detroit area, where she currently advises kidney/pancreas transplant patients at St. John’s Hospital and Medical Center.

“Nutrition On Call” is heard during the 10:30 to 11 a.m. segment of his show on the first Thursday of the month. “We talk about these issues all the time, but now there’s someone with real-world experience and in-depth knowledge,” says Allison. “Plus, we have Len’s perspective on what life with a dietitian is like. It’s a lot of fun and informative at the same time.” “Nutrition On Call” is the only locally produced program on this subject on Detroit radio, but probably won’t be for long since much of what’s heard on weekend radio first debuted on Allison’s show. “It’s good to know that we’ve played a role in helping listeners stay well informed on matters important to their every day lives.”

Together with her husband Len, Ms. Malysz has co-authored "The Duct Tape Diet" -- a weight-loss book based on his often humorous experiences of taking off excess pounds by following her healthy-eating regimen, developed while helping obese patients lose weight. The Oakland Township couple now appear regularly on “Ask Your Neighbor” to answer questions from listeners and discuss various health and food issues with Allison and his co-host and son, Rob.

“Ask Your Neighbor” has been a comfortable home for listeners who’ve been sharing recipes and household hints since 1962, when it first took to the airwaves on WWJ radio. Since then, the program has traveled to other stations, but has not strayed from its original format of “neighbors helping neighbors” over an electronic back fence. Over the years and to this day, it regularly schedules guest experts to discuss gardening and home improvement, among other subjects, which has helped to widen the audience from those who’ve been with it from the beginning. However -- with media attention increasing on matters relating to weight-loss and health -- Allison decided to make the Malysz husband and wife team a regular feature.

Even though the 690 AM signal is heard clearly throughout the metro Detroit area, many listeners are tuning into the program via audio streaming available on line at www.AskYourNeighbor.com from 9-11am Monday through Friday. The next “Nutrition On Call” segment is scheduled for August 5th.

* LPTV station W33BY Detroit has added a new program titled "Real Entertainment Television". Featuring both local and national entertainers, it airs Friday and Saturday nights on Channel 33 (and on Comcast Detroit Ch. 72 and 80). The show will highlight live performances and interviews with its featured artists, putting the "real" in Real Entertainment Television- You'll get more then a video. Artists or sponsors can contact producer Delano Glass or host Ms. J at (313) 595-2369 or by e-mail at Realenttv@aol.com with inquiries.

July 14:

* Rubber City Radio has changed the format of its WKMY-FM 92.1 St. Johns/Lansing from Hot Adult Contemporary 'My 92.1' to a simulcast of its Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Charlotte. The station had been formatted as Modern Rock 'The Edge' for several years before the unsuccessful switch to Hot AC in September 2003. Mid-Michigan General Manager Dave Johnson said “The Ticket is clearly Lansing’s fastest growing radio station. We have been challenged with a signal that many people haven’t been able to pick up in their homes and businesses. With the addition of 92.1 we answer the overwhelming demand of listeners on the fringe of our 92.7 signal. We can service a larger population and continue to provide the best in sports programming.”

* Fans of nostalgia and Detroit radio will want to visit www.detroitradioflashbacks.net- the site has recently been redesigned and updated with new classic bumper stickers and jingles. The site's creator will be adding new jingle sound files over the next couple of months.

* The LPFM construction permit for 94.3 Flint has taken the call sign WKUF-LP as of July 5. The station hopes to begin broadcasting by November.

July 13:

* Starting in September, NBC affiliate WILX-TV 10 Lansing will be producing the newscasts for crosstown Fox affiliate WSYM-TV 47. The change will eliminate the newsroom of WSYM; WILX will take over news gathering, editing and production of the 5:30 and 10:00pm newscasts on WSYM. WSYM will have its own on-air anchor team and news set, distinct from WILX's. WSYM news employees who lose their jobs could be rehired by WILX. All newscasts will be broadcast from WILX's studios in south Lansing, which will be expanded to accommodate a larger staff- Lansing State Journal

* Clear Channel Sports WDFN-AM 1130 Detroit afternoon team of Mike Stone and Bob Wojnowski will be hosting their annual "Stoney & Wojo Radiothon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society" from 3pm Thursday July 15th to 7pm Friday July 16th at O'Tooles in Novi. The pair will be broadcasting live for 28 hours straight to raise money for Leukemia & Lymphoma research. Listeners can bid on hourly and run-of-show auction items or simply make a donation as well as enjoy games and activities including volleyball, high speed wiffle-ball with former Tiger Milt Wilcox, a dunk tank, and much more.

Pistons fans can bring their camera and have their picture taken on Thursday night from 8:30-11pm with the Larry O'Brien NBA championship trophy. During the 28-hour event, Stoney and Wojo will be joined by some of the biggest names in local and national sports including Alan Trammell, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Dick Vitale, Chauncey Billups, Pistons head coach Larry Brown, Darren McCarty, and more.

Stoney and Wojo, heard weekdays between 3 and 6pm, raised over $120,000 during last year’s Radiothon and hope to exceed that total in 2004. “It’s heart wrenching every time somebody becomes stricken with this disease. Hopefully we can raise more money than ever before and continue to make a difference,” WDFN program director Rona Danziger said. “This event is very special to WDFN as Sabrina Black continues to fight the disease.”

* Call sign change: 88.1 FM Monroe has changed its call sign from WJOF to WDTR as of July 9th

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to- Edgewater Broadcasting for 103.7 Battle Creek (W279BG); Radio Assist Ministry for 104.9 Ludington (W285DY).

July 11:

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to- Family Life Broadcasting for 95.1 Kalamazoo (W236AV); Edgewater Broadcasting for 99.1 Yale (W256AU), 95.3 Rogers City (W237BS), 95.3 Mio (W237BT), 95.3 Gaylord (W237BU), 94.9 East Tawas (W235AU), and 103.3 Grand Haven (W277BB).

July 7:

* Jim Bosh will exit NextMedia Country WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock/Saginaw as morning co-host at the end of the week to take another job. Jodi K will remain in her co-host spot; Michael Sadowski exits as morning show co-host for the Smile FM network of Contemporary Christian stations across Michigan- All Access

* Spring phase 2 ratings for Grand Rapids were released today. The top 5 stations remained the same as the first phase: Country WBCT-FM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, News-Talk WOOD-AM, Classic Rock WLAV-FM, and Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM. The top 5 stations in Lansing were Country WITL-FM, Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM, Top 40 WHZZ-FM, Rock WJXQ-FM, and Urban WQHH-FM.

* FCC Actions: Granted WXLA-AM 1180 Dimondale a construction permit for changes (daytime power from 1,000 watts to 10,000 watts, add critical hours at 2,000 watts); Granted WLLZ-LP 12 Traverse City a construction permit for changes (increase ERP from 75 watts directional to 1,230 watts directional)

July 6:

* FCC Actions: Granted a construction permit for a new FM translator to Edgewater Broadcasting for 102.5 Kalkaska (W273AU)

July 2:

* WDTR-FM 90.9 Detroit has changed its call sign to WRCJ-FM as of yesterday.

* Katie Marroso has joined Greater Media Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit as assistant prodution director and will also do weekend on-air work. Marroso is a former midday host at crosstown Country WYCD-FM 99.5 and recently returned to the Detroit area from Nashville.

* Pastor Marvin Winans joins Adult Urban WMXD-FM 92.3 Detroit for an new program airing Sunday mornings. "Rhythm & Praise will broadcast from 6-10am.

* FCC Actions: Granted a construction permit for a new FM translator to Edgewater Broadcasting for 105.1 South Haven (W286BA)

July 1:

* Sean Baligian signs on for two more years as late morning host at Clear Channel Sports WDFN-AM 1130 Detroit. "It is what it is" airs from 9am-noon weekdays. “WDFN is where I want to be and I’m very excited they want me to stick around.” Baligian said. He then went on to joke, “I’m hoping to reach way beyond my current 33 listeners. Maybe up to 40 or so. My parents said it could never be done but stranger things have happened.” “Sean has been an incredible asset to WDFN and we’re ecstatic that he’ll be with us for years to come” says program director Rona Danziger.

* Public WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit was honored with five awards in four categories from the Metro Detroit Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). These awards recognize excellence in local journalism, and WDET took home top honors in four out of the five categories in radio news. WDET’s awards are as follows:
- Spot News Reporting: First Place- Celeste Headlee, "Iraqi Celebrations", Second Place- Jerome Vaughn, "Kmart Restructuring"
- General News Reporting: First Place: Jerome Vaughn, "Affirmative Action"
- Sports Reporting: First Place: Jerome Vaughn, "Fordson Ramadan"
- Regular Newscast Award for General Excellence: Joan Silvi, "5:30 p.m. 11/21/03 Newscast"

WDET is proud of its tradition of bringing the metropolitan Detroit community an in-depth, comprehensive local news service that wins awards year after year. “It is a real honor to be recognized by fellow journalists for your work,” said Joan Silvi, WDET news director and local host of All Things Considered. “We remain committed to bringing our listeners the area’s best radio news service.” Local news can be heard regularly on WDET weekdays from 5am to 9am during Morning Edition and from 4pm to 7pm during All Things Considered. Local news is also provided weekend mornings from 8am to 10am during Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday.

* Radio industry leaders have again recognized WDET with three nominations for Radio and Records (R&R) 2004 Triple A Industry Achievement Awards. WDET has been nominated for "Triple A Station Of The Year - Noncommercial". Judy Adams, WDET's program director who is celebrating 30 years with the station, was nominated for "Triple A Programmer Of The Year" and music director Martin Bandyke has been nominated for "Triple A Music Director Of The Year". "This is a special honor to be recognized by your industry peers," said Judy Adams, WDET Program Director. "These nominations validate our efforts to program WDET differently than other stations in our market, or in the entire country. Listeners in metropolitan Detroit have responded positively to our music variety programs, and WDET has gained a reputation nationally for being a leader in the Triple A format."

* Ron Pritchard has left MacDonald Garber Broadcasting Top 40 WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix/Traverse City where he had been the station's program director, music director, and afternoon drive host. Pritchard had been with 'KHQ for the last 10 years- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to- Lud's Alpine for 94.1 Alpena (W231BF); Edgewater Broadcasting for 98.5 Manistee (W253AR) and 99.5 Boyne City (W258AS)

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, July 30 2004

 
Nice to finally have summer back. Earlier this week, I almost feared hearing the weather reports with the traffic. When we don't even break 60 degrees in late July, one wonders if summer may have been canceled by one of the networks.

With the Democrats now pulling out and Bean Town recovering from the Boston "D" Party, it's time for a quick flashback on the radio coverage of the convention.

For the most part, coverage was good (if brief) and one highlight was when outspoken left-winger Al Franken took on arch-conservative Sean Hannity. Check out that debate online at www.talkradionews.com. Locally, Hannity can be heard on news-talk WJR-AM (760).

Even though the liberal radio network Air America is only available in Detroit via satellite radio, here's an interesting item: Its ringleader and star attraction, comic and author Franken, signed on calling his program "The O'Franken Factor" as a jab against Fox star Bill O'Reilly.

He hoped that O'Reilly would sue him, but it never happened, and the show is now just called "The Al Franken Show." Sometimes such attempts fail or backfire.

Yet one of the most talked-about left-leaning talk radio hosts, Ed Schultz, is not on Air America - but he's gaining in popularity and was recently picked up by 50,000-watt Clear Channel talker WINZ-AM in Miami.

The conservative Clear Channel, the biggest group owner in radio, is beginning to tilt a bit more to the center in certain markets as the more liberal stations seem to be gaining audience. Because this relates to ratings and revenue, it's now caught the attention of the mega-broadcasting giant.

Could such programs be coming to talk WXDX-AM (1310)?

Schultz was broadcasting this week from Boston's Fleet Center, far from his home base in Fargo, N.D., and interviewed a number of big Michigan names, such as Teamsters prez James Hoffa Jr. and Rep. John Conyers. We need him on in Detroit.

A number of people were sad to see the historic WDTR-FM (90.9) call letters disappear from the Detroit dial recently, to be replaced by WRJC at the Detroit public schools station.

Throughout the country, when famous radio IDs are dropped, a smaller station usually nearby snaps up the letters. Well, tiny WJOF-FM (88.1) in Monroe, a noncommercial station, swooped up the WDTR name before they ever hit the ground. Oh, well.

There's been quite a buzz about Sirius Satellite Radio inking Detroit hip-hop star Marshall Mathers, best known as Eminem, to host shows and add credibility to a new "cutting edge hip-hop music and lifestyle channel." The sat-caster says fans might even get to speak to Eminem, as it is thought that some of the shows will include phone-ins.

Can ya stand it?

Jim Bosh, who once worked at smooth jazz WVMV-FM (98.7), the old W4 Country, classic hits WHMI-FM (93.5) and most recently as Michael Bosh at pop hits WMGC-FM (105.1), is now at a country station in Hartford, Conn.

Bosh was last heard in Saginaw on "The Moose," WCEN-FM (94.5), which meant every weekday morning, he had to commute up there from his Farmington home. Talk about your morning drive.

Detroit's public radio WDET-FM (101.9) is having a big garage sale 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday on West Canfield between Woodward and Cass in the Wayne State area.

Mugs, T-shirts, bags, CDs, autographed photos and books are among the items for sale. Head on down and help support public radio.

Catch Robert Siegel's fascinating, in-depth profile of 29-year-old soprano Maria Jooste on "All Things Considered," in the 4-6 p.m. slot today on WDET, as well as Ann Arbor's WUOM-FM (91.7) and Ypsilanti's NPR outlet WEMU-FM (89.1).

Along with Toledo's WGTE-FM (91.3), Flint's WFUM-FM (91.1) and East Lansing's WKAR-FM (90.5), we have an abundance of public stations to listen to in southeastern Michigan.

Set Your Dial: With the biopic "De-Lovely" in theaters, host Tom Wilson profiles the music of Cole Porter, with a little help from Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Lena Horne and others, at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9).

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, July 23 2004

 
Beginning in October, Clear Channel radio stations across the country will cut back the "clutter" in the hopes of getting listeners to stay with their stations longer.

The company's 1,200-plus stations will first limit the amount of promotional announcements and in January, will cut back on the number and length of commercial breaks.

The plan is for some music formats to limit ad time to 12 minutes an hour during morning drive and fewer than that during other periods. Commercial breaks will be no longer than 4 minutes, or six ads, on such stations; news, talk, and information formats will have a slightly higher limit.

The chain hopes the changes will pressure advertisers to pay more for each commercial because of the supposed larger impact each spot will have on listeners.

Clear Channel's local stations include adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3); Top 40 WQKI-FM (95.5); urban WJLB-FM (97.9); soft rock WNIC-FM (100.3); rock WDTW-FM (106.7); sports WDFN-AM (1130); and talk WXDX-AM (1310).

You can bet one of the driving factors behind this is the commercial-free music channels on satellite radio. With more than 2.5 million subscribers, sat-cast listeners have a hard time returning to "regular radio" simply because of the amount of commercials.

Here's hoping this plan is followed by other broadcasters - and that it lasts!

Continuing on the Radio Innovation Front, they flipped the switch on Ibiquity digital broadcasts at Christian WMUZ-FM (103.5) last week.

The system offers CD-quality sound - and the ability to provide song titles, artists and more on the dial read-out.

While consumer receivers have just debuted for such services, stations hope that those who make car radios will rapidly integrate this into standard car audio systems, as one way to compete with satellite casters on a more level playing field.

Rock WRIF-FM (101.1) is a finalist for radio's prestigious 2004 Marconi Award as Rock Station of the Year and 'RIF's top-rated morning duo of Drew Lane and Mike Clark also are up for a Marconi as Major Market Personalities of the Year.

The awards will be announced Oct. 7 by National Association of Broadcasters.

Set Your Dials: Host Alison Harris profiles the Ron Smolen Orchestra, a Chicago big band of today, playing the music of yesterday. Tune in at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9).

Mike Austerman is the publisher of the Internet site Michiguide.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, July 16 2004

 
Sports WDFN-AM (1130) continues its seventh annual Stoney & Wojo Radiothon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

From 3-7 p.m. today, the duo wraps up 28 hours of broadcasting, live from O'Tooles Tavern on Novi Road north of 10 Mile, where they'll have the Pistons' NBA Championship trophy on hand for photos and sports celebrities to sign autographs.

Last year "da boys" raised more than $120,000, and they want to top that this year. "This event is very special to WDFN as Sabrina Black continues to fight (lymphoma)," says program director Rona Danziger, referring to the station's former news anchor.

A WDFN alum who segued to The (other) Sports Station WXYT-AM (1270) and then finally landed at hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) is in the news again.

Greg Henson, now teamed with the feisty Michelle McKormick, offered to sell his vote in the November presidential election on eBay.

Since that's not legal, the offer quickly disappeared, but not before generating an impressive 800 hits with the highest bid being a less-than-impressive $102.50.

When these two personalities were first paired, I knew they'd be noticed by Detroit radio listeners. So far, they've not let me down.

Famed local musician Dennis Coffey has a new book out. Titled "Guitars, Bars and Motown Superstars," it's a must-read for Detroit music fans.

As recording artist Edwin Starr notes, Coffey "was in that elite band of musicians who helped to create the Motown Sound."

If you like the "Detroit Sound" and listen to oldies radio, you won't be able to put this book down. At less than 200 pages, it's a quick read and available at most local book stores. Check it out.

There was quite a buzz this week over Sirius Satellite Radio adding Detroit hip-hop star Eminem to host shows and add credibility to a new hip-hop music and lifestyle channel.

"Fans might even get to speak to Eminem," the sat-caster teases, as some of the shows may include phone-ins. Can ya stand it?

For another kind of music, host Tom Wilson profiles the bossa nova and Antonio Carlos Jobim, at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9) ... and remember, warm summer days are cooler when you take a portable radio wherever you go.

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, July 9 2004

 
News talk WJR-AM (760) will once again serve as the official radio station for Sparky Anderson's CATCH Charity for Children.

This year, the event celebrates the careers of local sports stars Gary Danielson, Bill Laimbeer, Lance Parrish and Mickey Redmond during its annual golf preview party on July 18 at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn and its golf classic on July 19 at Meadowbrook Country Club.

Call (313) 876-9399 or visit www.catchcharity.org.

- - -

Speaking of WJR, morning man Paul W. Smith hosted my favorite remote of the year earlier this week when he broadcast live from Traverse City's National Cherry Festival.

It's easily northern Michigan's most popular event, drawing 500,000-plus people during its eight-day run.

With its big signal, WJR and Smith do an outstanding job promoting Michigan tourism with several remotes each year from places such as Traverse City and Mackinac Island. That's worthwhile, too.

- - -

Sean Baligian has signed on for two more years as late morning host on sports WDFN-AM (1130). His show, "It is What It is," airs 9 a.m.-noon weekdays.

"WDFN is where I want to be and I'm very excited they want me to stick around," Baligian says.

He then went on to joke, "I'm hoping to reach way beyond my current 33 listeners. Maybe up to 40 or so. My parents said it could never be done, but stranger things have happened."

Program director Rona Danziger had good words about the deal, too: "Sean has been an incredible asset to WDFN and we're ecstatic that he'll be with us for years to come."

- - -

And speaking of WDFN, it'll be celebrating its 10th anniversary tonight with a party at Snookers in Utica on M-59 between M-53 and Schoenherr.

The Fan promises the event will be its biggest and best ever, with local bands and comedians, contests and the opportunity to relive some of the station's greatest moments. Attendees will even score a mystery gift just for showing up.

- - -

National Public Radio has announced a major expansion of its news operation, investing $15 million over the next three years to add reporters, editors, producers, and managers, expand the popular "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" shows, and to open new domestic and international bureaus.

The expansion plan through 2007 will be funded in part by interest from approximately $225 million in bequests NPR received from the late philanthropist Joan B. Kroc, widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. (Wonder how many Big Macs it'd take 'em to bring back Bob Edwards as a morning anchor?)

Anyway, the expansion also seeks to partner with member stations for more in-depth local news, a critically important need for millions of Americans increasingly ignored by many other broadcasters.

The growth plan for NPR News is contrary to the overall trend of media organizations eliminating resources in order to increase corporate profits. Locally, WDET-FM (101.9) and WUOM-FM (91.7) carry NPR's news shows.

- - -

Meanwhile, WDET continues to be recognized as one of the best public radio outlets in the country.

Radio and Records magazine nominated the station for three awards for its adult album alternative programming and the station also claimed five awards from the Society of Professional Journalists of metro Detroit.

The SPJ awards recognize excellence in local journalism, and WDET took home top honors in four out of the five categories in radio news.

"It is a real honor to be recognized by fellow journalists for your work," says news director Joan Silvi, who also is local host of the afternoon drivetime news show "All Things Considered."

- - -

Set Your Dial: The Glenn Miller Orchestra could play more than just dance music as host Tom Wilson shows, at 3 p.m. Sunday on WRCJ-FM (90.9)...

Mike Austerman is the publisher of Michiguide.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, July 2 2004

 
With a slow week on the local radio scene because of July 4, let's look at the industry under a broader scope. The recent Radio & Records (R&R) Convention I attended in Los Angeles was revealing on a number of levels.

First, attendance at this year's confab seemed noticeably off. Though the professionals at R&R, who publish the industry's newspaper, did an excellent job putting together a provocative agenda, there simply weren't enough people to appreciate their efforts.

Most of the big broadcasting companies, which own the majority of the radio stations in the country, either aren't allowing their employees to attend such conferences or don't seem to budget for them anymore.

Yet, the once all-Midwestern convention known as The Conclave has seen an increase in advance registrations for its gathering later this month in Minneapolis, which is billed as "The Learning Conference." This year, one of their keynoters will be Mitch Albom from news-talk WJR-AM (760).

But back in L.A., record companies, which have long supported such events, also were noticeably absent, having made cutbacks in recent months, too.

Still, one of the highlights of the R&R Convention was the Rock Summit, a sort of a conference within the conference, hosted by one of our most famous radio entrepreneurs, Fred Jacobs of Birmingham-based Jacobs Media. Along with his brothers Paul and Bill, he drew an impressive crowd of 250-300 people, while the entire convention only drew about 750.

It seems that when big radio companies like Clear Channel, Infinity, Cumulus and Citadel prefer their employees attend their own corporate meetings, it's difficult for such independent gatherings to thrive. And that's sad.

- - -

Nice guys can have such bad timing.

A few weeks ago, we were pleased to announce that former modern hits WDVD-FM (96.3) morning guy Kevin O'Neill had landed the morning show at Ann Arbor's oldies-based pop WQKL-FM (107.1), which can be heard in most of Oakland County.

Now that station has flipped its format to adult album alternative. It's not the type of music that O'Neill is famous for playing, but after doing country at WYCD-FM (99.5), he's proved that he can do it all.

WQKL's new format won't be as eclectic as many such stations, but will instead feature music that's more familiar.

Their new slogan, however, seems a bit nondescript - "Ann Arbor's 107 One: Quality Music, True Variety."

Sorry, but there hasn't been true variety on the radio since the early 1960s, when Skeeter Davis was played next to Percy Faith and Elvis Presley - all on the same Top 40 station!

- - -

A reader in Madison Heights calls with news that Sirius Satellite Radio is now available to subscribers of the Dish Network satellite TV system.

Sirius is now at nearly 500,000 customers, but rival sat-caster XM is more than 2 million strong - and growing.

- - -

Wednesday was the last day that oldies/talk WPON-AM (1460) operated under its previous owner as Birach Broadcasting took over July 1.

Reports are that the station will relocate from Bloomfield Hills on Franklin Road near Square Lake to the Southfield office building, which houses Birach-owned ethnic/talk WNZK-AM (690). The fate of the longtime oldies and talk format is unknown.

For a station that's barely a blip on the ratings radar screen, they certainly know how to garner attention.

- - -

Set Your Dial: As their Fourth of July special, the "Somewhere in Time" show on variety WDTR-FM (90.9) features the music of Frank Sinatra at 3 p.m. Sunday. Frank was known for setting off a few fireworks during his long musical career, so it should be an ideal fit.

- - -

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend, and be sure to take a radio with you wherever you go.

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

June 2004 News and Notes

|

 

June 30:

* Scott Moore shifts from weekend work at Infinity Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit to the same role at sister station Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 as of this coming weekend. Moore has been with Infinity/WYCD for the past 5 years.

* The Travel and Adventure program, hosted and produced by Michael Dwyer, is moving from Birach Broadcasting Talk/Oldies WPON-AM 1460 Walled Lake to George Koch's Classic Country WSDS-AM 1480 Ypsilanti as of this Saturday, July 3rd. The 'One Hour Trip Around the World' will air from 8-9am every Saturday on WSDS.

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to- Edulcational Media Foundation for 94.3 Holly (W232BH); David M. Stout for 92.1 Iron River (W221BP), 99.1 Manistique (W256AS), 100.9 Ishpeming (W265BM), 102.1 Newberry (W271AS), and 106.9 Manistique (W295AS)

June 29:

* Greater Media's 'Drew and Mike' show, heard on Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit, was named as Air Personality/Show of the Year in the Active Rock category for 2004 by Radio and Records in their National Radio Awards.

* MacDonald Broadcasting Classic Hits/Hot AC FM 97.3 has changed its call sign from WEEG to WMJO to go with its "Joe FM" moniker.

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to- Radio Assist Ministry for 92.1 Petoskey (W221BQ), 92.1 East Tawas (W221BR), 93.9 Sandusky (W230AZ), and 94.1 Bad Axe (W231BE); Edgewater Broadcasting for 99.3 Bad Axe (W257BO), 100.1 Bad Axe (W261AQ), 102.5 South Haven (W273AP), 102.5 Rogers City (W273AQ), 102.5 Paw Paw (W273AR), 103.7 Hastings (W279BF), and 105.1 Dowagiac (W286AW)

June 28:

* FCC Actions: Granted Radio Assist Ministry construction permits for 4 new FM translators- W225AL 92.9 Bad Axe, W227BB 93.3 Fremont, W243BD 96.5 Beechwood, and W250AS 97.9 Gaylord; Granted Edgewater Broadcasting a construction permit for a new FM translator- W262AY 100.3 Paw Paw

June 26:

* Clear Channel WQKL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor has changed its format from Gold-based Adult Contemporary 'Kool 107' to Adult Album Alternative as 'Ann Arbor's 107 One - Quality Music, True Variety'. The station will continue with the WQKL call sign and Kevin O'Neill will continue as morning host. Program director Rob Walker will take over middays and Ellen Morgan will host nights in place of the syndicated Delilah. Former midday host Teresa Lucas shifts back to sister station WNIC-FM 100.3 Detroit.

June 25:

* FCC Action: Granted a construction permit to Radio Assist Ministry at 104.9 Fremont (W285DU)

June 23:

* FCC Action: Granted a construction permit to Edgewater Broadcasting at 95.3 Alpena (W237BM)

June 22:

* The Talk/Oldies format on WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City/Saginaw will continue through Sunday, August 1st. On Monday morning, August 2nd, the station will become WNEM, NewsRadio 1250, with programming supplied by new owner Meredith Corporation. After the sale of the station was completed on May 19th from J&K Media Co. to Meredith, a brokerage agreement was put into effect to allow J&K Media to continue programming while new studio equipment is installed and details of the new format are worked out.

* The Detroit Public Schools radio station, WDTR-FM 90.9, plans to continue its current programming through the summer months. It is likely that there will not be any major changes to the station until the outside organization that will be tasked with running things is identified.

* The folks at Greater Media’s Detroit area radio stations have to be pleased with their sweep of the top three spots in the latest monthly ratings trend among listeners in the highly coveted age 25-54 demographic. Rocker WRIF-FM 101.1 was first, followed by Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7, and then Adult Contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1. In the morning race, WRIF was once again first followed by WCSX and WMGC, which tied for second. In the overall race among listeners age 12 and above, News-Talk WJR-AM 760 was first, followed by Urban WJLB-FM 97.9, and News WWJ-AM 950.

* Jerold Jackson has left the post of program director at Cumulus Adult Urban WDZZ-FM 92.7 Flint in order to transfer to sister station KMJK Kansas City- All Access

* Crawford Broadcasting Christian WMUZ-FM 103.5 Detroit hosted a very successful American Red Cross Blood Drive last Thursday, June 17th. A total of 375 pints of blood were collected from the station's generous listeners, topping last year's total of 364 pints. The station's "Mornings with Sean Herriot" broadcast live from the new car department at Bill Brown Ford in Livonia from 5-10am, and "The Bob Dutko Show" was live from the used car department from noon-4pm. This year's Blood Drive was the 10th Annual event.

* On-air: Midwest Communications' Portage translator (95.5 W238AL) of Country WNWN-FM 98.5 Coldwater

June 18:

* 100000watts.com reports that WFRO-AM 900 Fremont, OH has been taken off the air by owner ABC/Disney and that the station's license will be surrendered to the FCC. The move is to make way for the upgrade of WFDF-AM 910 Flint which has a construction permit to increase its daytime power to 50,000 watts from facilities in Monroe County. WFDF also has filed an application for a major change with the FCC that would allow it to move its nighttime facilities to Monroe County and change its city of license from Flint to Farmington Hills.

* FCC Action: Granted WRVM, Inc a construction permit for an FM translator to be licensed to Powers at 98.5 (W253AQ)

June 17:

* "Smile FM" is the new name for Superior Communications combined operation of its Contemporary Christian radio stations across the state. Programming will launch tommorow morning on WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing, WEJC-FM 88.3 Gladwin, WTLI-FM 89.3 WHYT-FM 89.1 Imlay City, WJOF-FM 88.1 Monroe, WTAC-FM 89.7 Flint and WJOJ-FM 89.7 Harrisville. The stations have been stunting with wedding music for the past two days as a way to transition the merging together of "The Light" and "Joy FM".

* FCC Action: Granted WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City a construction permit to increase its daytime power from 1,000 watts using a 3 tower array to 5,000 watts using a 4 tower array.

June 16:

* The Detroit Public Schools appears ready to pull the plug on the programming of WDTR-FM 90.9. The last day for the station's lineup of primarily Urban-based music weekdays and specialty shows weekends is believed to be June 30th. Yesterday, management of WDTR began a series of meetings with producers and staff. In small groups, workers were advised that as of the 30th, programming at WDTR would cease. Although no plans for the continued operation of the station were disclosed, the feeling is that the station will likely continue under the ownership of the financially troubled Detroit Public Schools but be operated by an outside organization that will bring its own programming and pay the school district for use of the facilities.

* Radio One Detroit (Adult Urban WDMK-FM 102.7 / Urban WDTJ-FM 105.9 / Talk-Gospel WCHB-AM 1200) has given Carol Lawrence Dobrusin the title of vice president and general manager of the cluster. She had been the director of sales for the three stations and has been working as interim GM since the departure of Tamara Knechtel earlier this year. Dennis Archer Jr. has been promoted to station manager for Radio One/Detroit. He also keeps his current role as the cluster's national sales manager- Radio and Records

* Call sign actions: LPTV W58CW Pinconning became WKJF-LP on May 24; new LPFM 97.1 Battle Creek assigned WUBC-LP on May 24; new LPFM 106.7 Mt. Pleasant assigned WRWP-LP on June 3

June 14:

* Superior Communications' two Contemporary Christian radio networks in Michigan will be coming together later this week under a common name. "The Light" (WLGH-FM 88.1 Lansing / WEJC-FM 88.3 Gladwin / WTLI-FM 89.3 Boyne City) and "Joy FM" (WHYT-FM 89.1 Imlay City / WJOF-FM 88.1 Monroe / WTAC-FM 89.7 Flint / WJOJ-FM 89.7 Harrisville) will begin a 2 day long stunt featuring all wedding music tomorrow at 9am that's designed to make listeners smile. The special programming is in advance of a concert by Tree 63 on Thursday evening at Lansing's Oldsmobile Park where the stations' new name will announced as part of a "musical marriage" ceremony. On Friday morning, June 18th at 7am listeners will be able to hear the new combined station for the first time.

* Clear Channel Country WWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor program director and operations manager Rob Walker provides these staff updates: Claire Wiley, former morning host at Top 40 WKHM-FM 105.3 Jackson has joined as the station's promotions director and morning Co-host on the “Breakfast with Bubba” show. Sean Lynch, WMIL/Milwaukee’s creative director, adds night duties via the magic of voicetracking. “Lynch grew up here in Southeast Michigan, and was the only guy we could find who knew how to pronounce Ypsilanti without coaching”, said Walker. Former promo director Jody Gross has exited.

* FCC Actions: Granted Sister Grace construction permits for new FM translators- W235AN 94.9 Marquette, W231AY 94.1 and W236AT 95.1 Ironwood

June 11:

* New to mornings at Regent Modern Rock WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids starting Monday (June 14) will be Free Beer (Greg Daniels) and Hot Wings (Chris Michels) with co-host Eric Zane. WGRD program director Bobby Duncan commented to All Access, "It was crucial we hire a morning show that is locally produced and broadcast live from Grand Rapids. These are three of the funniest, smartest, and talented people in radio today, and all three are from Michigan. All three guys are graduates of Central Michigan University- Free Beer and Hot Wings were roommates at CMU. It's not just a job opportunity to them. It's a homecoming. They will be extremely visible in the community they wish to call home for a long time to come. These guys are going to do nothing short of reinventing morning radio in Grand Rapids". The show will also be syndicated back to the two stations in New Jersey where they were previously hosting the program.

* ABC/Disney Hot AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit adds Jamie Flanagan for weekend duties. Flanagan, host of the nationally syndicated Animal Talk show, is excited about the opportunity to be involved with a music format again while continuing to maintain his involvement with the national talk show.

June 9:

* Country WBCT continues to be the top Grand Rapids radio station among listeners age 12 and above according to the first spring ratings trend. Following WBCT were Top 40 WSNX-FM, News-Talk WOOD-AM, Classic Rock WLAV-FM, and Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM. Lansing Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM moved to the top spot in that city, followed by Country WITL-FM, Oldies WJIM-FM, Top 40 WHZZ-FM, and Rock WJXQ-FM.

* Northern Radio Network WCLS-FM 100.7 Oscoda has returned to the air and is now simulcasting the Oldies programming of sister station WHAK-FM 99.9 Rogers City. WCLS had been off the air for approximately 6 months.

* Kris Harris has been named as programming assistant for ABC/Disney's WDRQ-FM 93.1 and WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit- FMQB

* Til Levesque has been promoted from general sales manager at Clear Channel Adult Urban WMXD-FM 92.3 and Urban WJLB-FM 97.9 Detroit to director of sales for Clear Channel's entire 7 station Detroit cluster- All Access

June 7:

* The 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner & the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame Inductees will be honored at The Michigan Association of Broadcasters Annual Meeting and Management Retreat August 8-10 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Broadcasters to be inducted include: Elaine Baker, retired general manager of WOMC-FM; Robert T. Driscoll, former president and general manager of WION-AM; Grace Gilchrist, vice president and general manager of WXYZ-TV; Theodore "Ted" Heusel, talk show host, WAAM-AM; Timothy Skubick, senior capitol correspondent; and Nancy Waters, owner and president of WCXT. Nancy Waters will also receive the MAB Lifetime Achievement Award. Robert Driscoll will be honored posthumously.

* FCC Actions: Granted Edgewater Broadcasting construction permits for 4 FM translators- W255AV 98.9 Sandusky, W262AW 100.3 St. Johns, W286AR 105.1 Three Rivers, and W286AU 105.1 Allegan; Granted CSN International a construction permit for a new FM translator- W274AQ 102.7 Battle Creek

June 4:

* WDWB-TV 20 Detroit has signed a three-year deal with the Detroit Pistons making the station the team's new broadcast outlet. The Pistons had most recently been seen on WKBD-TV 50 for the past several years. WDWB, a Granite Broadcasting station, said it will broadcast up to 43 Pistons games each season beginning in 2004-05. The Pistons have options to extend the deal past the 2006-07 season.

* DirecTV has added a locals channels package for the Flint/Saginaw/Bay City market effective as of today. Subscribers can tune to channel 999 for more information.

June 2:

* Kevin Curnow adds the role of music director to his responsibilities as promotions director at Regent Modern Rock WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids- FMQB

June 1:

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of license for WMKM-AM 1440 Inkster from Great Lakes Radio to Davidson Media Group; Granted WSNL-AM 600 Flint a construction permit for changes: daytime power to 250 watts directional using a 3 tower array / nighttime power to 192 watts using a 2 tower array. The new location would be located southwest of Flint.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, June 25 2004

 
The folks at Greater Media's local stations have to be pleased with their sweep of the top three spots in the latest monthly ratings among listeners in the highly coveted age 25-54 demographic.

Rocker WRIF-FM (101.1) was first, followed by classic rock WCSX-FM (94.7) and then adult contemporary WMGC-FM (105.1). In the morning race, WRIF was once again first followed by WCSX and WMGC, which tied for second.

In the overall race among listeners age 12 and above, news-talk WJR-AM (760) was first, followed by urban WJLB-FM (97.9) and news WWJ-AM (950).

- - -

Fans of Mark Scott have been asking why his show hasn't been airing in its normal 2-4 p.m. slot on talk WXDX-AM (1310).

Scott's undisclosed health problems have taken the politically oriented show, distributed by the Michigan Talk Radio Network, off the air for now - and off his Web site, www. markscottshow.us.

No word on when, or if, he'll return, but MTRN CEO and morning show co-host Dave Scott (no relation) has expressed his concern and best wishes to Mark and said that the door is still open for the show's return.

Prior to his radio return, Scott had been hosting his show on the Internet since being released from sports talk WXYT-AM in 2001.

Now, the WXDX and MTRN afternoon schedule features Tony Trupiano from 2-6 p.m. His show is unapologetically liberal and part of the Radio Free Michigan group led by former Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Joe Collins.

Trupiano is an engaging, opinionated host who is quickly gaining the attention of folks across the state - especially those associated with labor unions. In addition to his political battles, Trupiano also is fighting to lose weight and wants to help others do the same.

Check out www.thetonyshow.com for more info.

- - -

Confusion seems to reign supreme these days at the Detroit Public Schools and their radio station, WDTR-FM (90.9).

After notifying its employees last week they would be laid off and programming would end June 30, the station will now get a reprieve through the summer months.

Right now, WDTR features a variety of music and talk programs aimed at Detroit residents during the week, while on weekends, the fare varies widely when the shows are provided by hosts from outside the school system.

What seems certain is that, with the budget problems faced by the DPS, the operation WDTR will soon be taken over by an outside organization with new programming.

- - -

Country WYCD-FM (99.5) welcomes singer Josh Gracin home to Westland for a special CD release party for his self-titled debut CD noon Saturday at the Westland Kmart (Wayne and Cherry Hill roads).

Last year, Gracin, a U.S. Marine, entered the spotlight as a contestant on Fox TV's "American Idol" show by singing the Rascal Flatts song "I'm Movin' On." The performance was noticed by Flatts and resulted in a deal with the band's record company, Lyric Street.

Maybe Josh's success will finally push William Hung out of the spotlight.

- - -

WMGC will broadcast live all day today to collect money and special items to benefit the 127th Wing Family Readiness & Support Services, an outreach center based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base that helps troops and their families while they are away on duty.

The schedule includes Jim Harper & the Magic Morning Show (6-10 a.m., Laurel Park Place, Livonia); Mitzi Miles (10 a.m.-3 p.m., Flagstar Bank, Beverly Hills); and Jim Paolucci (3-7 p.m., Andiamo Italia, Warren). Visit detroitmagic.com for more details.

- - -

Set your dials: The music of Cole Porter, the Gershwins and others will be performed by Linda Ronstadt and the Nelson Riddle string orchestra at 3 p.m. Sunday on WDTR. Hosting are Tom Wilson and Heather Novak.

Mike Austerman is the publisher of the Internet site Michiguide.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, June 18 2004

 
What a week for Detroit! The Pistons winning the NBA National Championship on Tuesday night was great for all-sports WDFN-AM (1130) and the always exciting George Blaha whose radio coverage was incredible.

My only sadness was the fact that even at my home in Novi, 'DFN was less than perfect when it dropped its power at night - as required by the FCC - from 50,000 watts down to just 10,000 watts.

With super-stations KMOX 1120 in St. Louis and WRVA 1140 from Richmond, Va., squeezing "The Fan" from both sides, I so wished Clear Channel would have opted to simulcast the game on one of their FM stations.

But the end result was still absolutely spectacular. Good goin', Pistons.

Lots of Detroit radio stations reaped huge amounts of newspaper and TV exposure with Pistons promotions in the past week.

Rock WRIF-FM (101.1) morning maniacs Drew & Mike hosted a basketball playoff with men vs. women for free tickets, and the men won. It drew time on WXYZ-Channel 7 prior to the championship game.

But the station that unquestionably received the most coverage was Top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5), known best as Channel 955.

Morning master Mojo and his cast of wacky team members offered free Pistons tickets on the flip of a coin. If heads, the contestant won tickets; if tails his car got crushed right on the spot. The gimmick was carried live on multiple TV stations.

If the station is a "cash cow," Mojo knows how to milk every opportunity to the max.

Mark your calendar for July 12. That's when our beloved Dick Purtan of oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) and Cadillac present the seventh annual golf classic benefiting the Gail Purtan Ovarian Cancer Fund.

Gail, Dick's wife, is an amazing walking miracle who's battled the disease for years, but who has the prayers and support of thousands of Detroiters. We all love you, Gail and you're a true inspiration.

For info and to sign up, go to www. womc.com.

While nobody was watching, but a whole lot of people were paying to listen, XM Satellite Radio quietly slid past the 2 million subscriber mark last weekend.

I've often been chastised by traditional broadcasters for crowing about satellite radio, but with this type of growth, it simply cannot be ignored.

Reports that a number of "shock jocks" might surface at satellite radio continue to circulate, and now Sirius Satellite CEO Joe Clayton has floated the idea of both his company and XM teaming up for a "premium" shock-jock channel. Sirius also is picking up a talk show from the National Rifle Association.

But no matter what, there will always be a need for local radio in every major city across America. XM and Sirius are simply additional choices on the dial.

One of the voices you won't hear on the sat-casters soon is Rush Limbaugh, who, after a long list of health and legal problems, has now had his wife of 10 years, Marta, leave the posh West Palm Beach compound that Limbaugh calls home.

Celebrity, marriage and drug abuse don't seem to go together. And if President Bush doesn't get re-elected, El Rushbo may go apoplectic.

A few management moves involving people who are not on the air include Jim Bollella of hot talk WKRK-FM (Live 97.1). A Michigan native, Bollella came here only six months ago from WNEW-FM in New York and now this CMU alum is headed to Denver and a job with Brown Bag Productions, owned by - you guessed it - Clear Channel.

Also, Til Levesque, who had been general sales manager at urban WJLB-FM (97.9) and pop-urban WMXD-FM (92.3), was just upped to director of sales for Clear Channel Detroit, which also should carry a few financial rewards.

Nostalgia CKWW-AM (580) will air a radio special at 6 p.m. today featuring Canada's pre-eminent jazz singer and Grammy Award winner, Diana Krall. It's an hourlong program on the popular adult standards station. It's a shame CKWW has only 500 watts, making it a tough pull in western regions of Oakland County.

Finally, fans of the big bands featured on WDTR-FM (90.9) at 3 p.m. Sundays will love this Father's Day program with the music of Duke Ellington and his Harlem Footwarmers.

So Happy Father's Day to all who qualify, and I hope you get a new radio to celebrate the day.

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, June 11 2004

 
As the country mourns the death of Ronald Reagan today with the first state funeral in more than 30 years, it seems appropriate here to recall that one of the former president's first jobs was in radio.

In the fall of 1932, he called the Iowa-Minnesota football game for $5 and bus fare for WOC in Davenport, Iowa. By 1933, he was hired as a staff announcer and his duties included playing records, reading commercials and serving as a vocal bridge between local and network broadcasts.

Reagan later transferred to WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, which had recently boosted its power to 50,000 watts. At WHO, he was the station's sports announcer where one of his tasks was calling play-by-play for Chicago Cubs games.

It required creativity, as he was not actually present at the games, but had to re-create events for listeners using only reports from a telegraph machine.

Reagan later commented, "I spent four years at WHO and they were among the most pleasant of my life. At 22, I'd achieved my dream: I was a sports announcer. If I had stopped there, I believe I would have been happy the rest of my life. I'd accomplished my goal and enjoyed every minute of it. Before long, during the depths of the Depression, I was earning $75 a week and gaining the kind of fame in the Midwest that brought in invitations for speaking engagements that provided extra income I could use to help out my parents."

Reagan's days in radio came to a sudden end in 1937 when he traveled to California to cover the Cubs' spring training. While there, he decided to pursue another dream and traveled to Los Angeles for a screen test. He was offered a seven-year contract by Warner Brothers and the rest, as they say, is history.

Although many will be watching today's events on television, there will also be outstanding radio coverage on both News-Talk WJR-AM (760) and News WWJ-AM (950) for those temporarily without access to a TV.

We hope both stations will simulcast the special programming on one of their sister FM stations for those unable to get AM inside of office buildings and factories.

Major kudos go out to the gang of the "Mojo in the Morning" show at Top 40 WKQI-FM (95.5) for their successful prank on Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm last week.

In case you missed it, co-host Spike successfully set up a fake phone call by maneuvering through Granholm's staff posing as member of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's staff.

When Granholm came on the line to propose a friendly wager over the results of the NBA Finals between the Pistons and Lakers with whom she thought was Schwarzenegger, impressionist Eric Harthen took over and pulled the ruse on Granholm.

The gag ended when Mojo finally jumped in and told Granholm that Schwarzeneger's favorite radio show is Channel 95.5's Mojo in the Morning. The Gov was good-natured about being pranked and even said, "That is so funny!"

To hear the whole thing, visit www.mojointhemorning.com and click on the Audio Clips link. It's easily one of the funniest radio bits I've heard in a long time.

Oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) morning man Dick Purtan has once again been nominated for the national Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago.

He's up against Cincinnati Reds baseball announcer Marty Brennaman, WOR New York hot talker Bob Grant, and KTAR Phoenix talk host Preston Westmoreland.

But you can cast a vote for Purtan - by joining the Hall of Fame for $15. Just visit www.radiohof.org.

Closer to home, Ted Heusel, an Ann Arbor radio legend for more than 50 years, will go into the Michigan Broadcasters Hall of Fame later this summer.

The veteran of WPAG, WOIA and WAAM has done it all - and even gave Ann Arbor native John "Records" Landecker his first radio job. Today, WLS Chicago icon Landecker does talk on The Windy City's 80 year-old WGN Radio 720.

Also going into the Michigan hall this year is retired WOMC manager Elaine Baker and WWJ Lansing correspondent (and fellow Fraser High grad and Oakland Press contributor) Tim Skubick.


Mike Austerman publishes the Web site Michiguide.com.

 

The Oakland Press - On The Radio, June 4 2004

 
When Clear Channel Radio CEO Randy Michaels was unceremoniously kicked out of the company nearly two years ago, many in this volatile industry felt that nobody was safe.

Michaels is considered either a radio genius or the man who ruined radio with voice-tracking - the practice of recording a radio show but airing it as "live."

Well, it's happened again, but out the door this week was the top guy at Infinity Broadcasting, the always colorful Mel Karmazin, who headed up the second biggest radio station group in the country.

Locally, Infinity holds the licenses for news WWJ-AM (950), sports WXYT-AM (1270), jazz WVMV-FM (98.7), hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) country WYCD-FM (99.5) and oldies WOMC-FM (104.3). Since these six stations add up to the largest ratings and most revenue on the local radio dial, the news about Mel could soon be significant to local listeners.

Karmazin was either forced out or quit, depending upon who you talk to. Things turned sour when chairman Sumner Redstone chose his daughter, Shari, to take over the reins of parent company Viacom once he retires, which is speculated to be later this year.

But cry no tears for Mel - he walks away with a paltry $25 million in salary, bonuses and deferred compensation as lovely parting gifts.

Taking over for the Mel-meister is Viacom's MTV Networks CEO Tom Freston and CBS-TV Chairman and CEO Les Moonves, as co-presidents and co-COOs.

If you need to cry for someone, make it Freston, who'll likely lose both syndicated talkers Howard Stern and Don Imus. Stern has been threatening that "if Mel goes, I go," and Imus broke the news about Mel on his morning show, which is still not available in Detroit.

Still very much available on your dial is Paul W. Smith on news-talk WJR-AM (760) and he's posting stellar ratings on the "Great Voice of the Great Lakes."

Smith is so high quality and dependable, he ought to be sponsored by Maytag. With his super-service to the community, he's done the late J.P. McCarthy proud.

Speaking of Maytag, WJR's Mr. Home Improvement, Murray Gula, is giving away $2,000 worth of premium laundry equipment on his weekend program. Tune in Saturday and Sunday for details.

Buddy's Pizza is at it again. It's introducing a new line of pizzas called the Florine Mark Collection, which is nothing like the Somerset Collection.

Seven local radio divas will be part of this roll-out set for Monday, including WKRK midday host Michelle McKormick. Buddy's also is donating a portion of the sales of these unique pizzas to Florine Mark's charity, The Mark-Ross Fund for ALS.

Thinking out loud, I wonder if Clear Channel Detroit, which owns Piston's flagship WDFN-AM (1130), will consider simulcasting the Pistons-Lakers play-off games on classic hits WDTW-FM (106.7) The Drive.

In many areas of metro Detroit, the AM 1130 signal is marginal after dark, while the FM is solid everywhere. Programmer Rona Danziger will call that shot. Go Pistons - beat L.A.!

By the way, if you see the Spirit of Detroit statue in downtown Detroit draped in a red, white and blue Pistons jersey, it will be thanks to the prodding of SportsRadio 1130, The Fan.

Sports & Freeway Trivia: The final score of the Pistons-Pacers playoff game Tuesday - 69-65 - happens also to be two of the four major interstate highways that intersect in Indianapolis.

You'll want to tune into WOMC for details on how you can be one of the 10 semi-finalists to be a Purtan's Protégé.

The winner will join the Dick Purtan show for one week on the air plus get $1,000 cash and a $250 Somerset Collection gift certificate. Sounds like a sweet deal for a radio wannabe who has talent.

During my recent hospital stay, I heard from a number of ex-Detroit radio people. Former WKNR & WABX jock Jerry Goodwin is now a broadcasting prof at the New England Institute of Art in Boston and can be reached at jg411@fac.aii.edu. Also checking in was ex-WHYT jock Jo-Jo now at WSOL-FM in Jacksonville, Fla., and former CKLW and CNN newsman Bob Losure, now out in Las Vegas.

Set Your Dial: The voices of FDR, Churchill and newsman Edward R. Murrow on D-Day 1944 (plus some songs of the era) will be heard again at 3 p.m. Sunday on WDTR-FM (90.9).

Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.

 

May 2004 News and Notes

|

 

May 28:

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of license from Foreign Radio Programs to Birach Broadcasting for WPON-AM 1460 Walled Lake; Granted WGER-FM 106.3 Saginaw a construction permit for changes (ERP from 2,050 watts @ 381 feet to 4,400 watts @ 381 feet with a directional pattern); Granted Edgewater Broadcasting a construction permit for an FM translator at 99.5 Hillsdale (W258AO)

May 26:

* FCC Action: Granted Refuge Media Group a construction permit for an FM translator at 101.5 Ironwood (W268AQ). The translator will likely rebroadcast Contemporary Christian WNCB-FM 89.5 Duluth, MN.

May 25:

* Infinity Broadcasting has taken the top spot amongst the competing clusters in the Detroit radio market in the age 12 and above category, according to the first spring ratings trend. Clear Channel slipped to second overall, followed by Greater Media, ABC/Disney, and then Radio One. Among the individual stations, News-Talk WJR continued on top, followed by Urban WJLB-FM, All News WWJ-AM, Rock WRIF-FM, and Oldies WOMC-FM.

May 24:

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for 2 FM translators to Radio Assist Ministry- W223AQ 92.5 Ironwood, W231AU 94.1 Imlay City

May 21:

* Great Lakes Community Broadcasting WMSQ-FM 89.3 Marlette has signed on. It is broadcasting the same Oldies-based programming as heard on other GLCB stations and translators in the state.

May 20:

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for 4 FM translators to Radio Assist Ministry- W227AS 93.3 Whitehall, W227AT 93.3 Manistee, W227AU 93.3 Ludington and W243BA 96.5 Big Rapids

May 18:

* Marie Osborne has been hired by Infinity All-News WWJ-AM 950 Detroit as a part-time reporter. Osborne previously worked in the news department at cross-town ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760- Detroit Free Press

* Country music fans from around the United States flocked to downtown Detroit May 14th through 16th for the 22nd Annual Downtown Hoedown, sponsored by Infinity Country WYCD-FM 99.5. For three days, regardless of weather, Hart Plaza was home to the largest free country concert in North America! Over 800,000 people came to downtown Detroit to see great local and national talent on two stages.

* Central Michigan University students and metro Detroit residents Ian Rhodes and K.C. Barney provided the winning entry in the first "Best Damn Sports Show Period" Student Film Festival, earning each a summer internship in Los Angeles with FOX and a Digital Handycam® Camcorder from Sony Electronics. Their entry, “Backyard Football,” was the winner in the non-fiction category. The film depicted the passion a group of CMU students have for playing a pick-up game of football, even with several inches of snow on the ground. Rhodes had the inspiration for the idea based on his backyard football games during high school.

* New to afternoons at Mid-West Family County WYTZ-FM 97.5 Bridgman/Benton Harbor is Jim Cafrey- he's also been named as the station's new program director. Wild Bill Lewis, who had been PD, stays with the station in his role as morning host- All Access

* Great Lakes Radio Inc. of Marquette has decided not to continue broadcasting Northern Michigan University Sports, instead focusing it's attention on local High School sports. The new line of sports is as follows-
Wildcat Country 103.3 WFXD: Marquette Redmen Athletics
Sunny 102 WKQS 101.9: Negaunee Athletics
106.7 WHTO: Dickinson County Sports
Oldies 98.3 WHCH: Gwinn Modeltowners Sports
AM 1400 WQXO: Munising Mustang Sports
Power 99.9 WPIQ: Manisique Emralds Sports

May 17:

* MacDonald Broadcasting Classic Rock WEEG-FM 97.3 has changed format to a Rock Hits / Hot AC hybrid as of this afternoon.

* Next Media Adult Contemporary WGER-FM 106.3 morning co-host and program director Jim Johnson will be leaving the station to take over as program director for Next Media suburban Chicago stations Hot AC WZSR and Spanish WZCH effective June 1st. Moving back behind the mic for morning drive duties at WGER will be Jerry O'Donnell, who had been the station's morning host for over 16 years when he left for Cumulus Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5 in the fall of 2002. O'Donnell was released by WWCK earlier this spring.

* Citadel Sports WVFN-AM 730 Lansing has added broadcasts of Detroit Tigers baseball effective today. The Lansing area had been without an affiliate for Tigers baseball since they were dropped by crosstown Rubber City Radio Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 prior to the start of the current season- Lansing State Journal

* Shaun Kelly exits as afternoon jock Mid-West Family County WYTZ-FM 97.5 Bridgman/Benton for work in Fort Wayne, IN- All Access

May 14:

* Brian Olson has been named as market manager for Cumulus/Flint (Adult Urban WDZZ-FM 92.7, Classic Rock WRSR-FM 103.9, Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5, Talk WWCK-AM 1570), replacing Floyd Evans. Olson arrives from Citadel; In Lansing he was director of sales and in Flint he was general manager at Country WFBE-FM 95.1 and Sports WTRX-FM 1330.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary transfer licenses for WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City from Frankenmuth Broadcasting to Meredith Corp and WQBH-AM 1400 Detroit from Queens Broadcasting to Pennsylvania Media Associates (Salem Broadcasting); Granted Radio Assist Ministry a construction permit for a new FM translator at 92.5 to be licensed to Bronson

May 13:

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses for WIKB-FM/AM 99.1/1230 Iron River from Northland Advertising to Heartland Communications Group

May 12:

* High School WSDP-FM 88.1 Plymouth raised $12,200 in their annual auction this past Saturday, May 8th, surpassing their $10,000 goal. New Liberty Bank in Plymouth sponsored the auction, and Approved Mortgages of Canton sponsored five hours of the broadcast. The station wishes to thank its guest auctioneers, parents, and bidders for their support.

* FCC Actions: Granted WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids a construction permit for changes (licensed ERP from 108,000 watts @ 600 feet nondirectional to 108,000 watts @ 718 feet directional from a slightly different tower location); Granted Northern Michigan Radio a construction permit for a new FM translator to be licensed to Boyne City at 95.5 (W238AO). The application states the translator will rebroadcast Northern Radio's Classic Hits WFDX-FM 92.5 Atlanta.

May 11:

* Adult Contemporary WCXT-FM 105.3 Hart has applied to the FCC for a construction permit that would change its city of license to Coopersville and change its broadcast location from Oceana County to Muskegon County. The COL change is part of the station's move-in to the Muskegon and Grand Rapids markets- a plan that was approved by the FCC this past February.

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for new FM translators to: Educational Media Foundation for W288BK 105.5 Rochester Hills; Spring Arbor University for W246AU 97.1 Coldwater.

May 10:

* Citadel Top 40 WIOG-FM 102.5 Bay City/Saginaw exceeded all expectations with its first Children's Miracle Network Radiothon this Mother's Day weekend. Morning show hosts Andrew Z, Jimmy Hamm, and Trish led the 4 day event and raised a whopping $204,627 for Hurley Hospital in Flint. WIOG program director Brent Carey comments, "We had some amazing stories during the Radiothon and I am so impressed with the way our listeners responded. We raised TWICE what we expected and nearly tripled what was raised last year when the Radiothon was with another station in Flint. Andrew really led the way with his passion and commitment to helping the Children and families of Mid-Michigan."

* Jason Addams has been promoted to operations manager at MacDonald Broadcasting Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 and Standards WILS-AM 1320 Lansing. Addams will also continue to co-host mornings on WHZZ. New to nights at Z-101.7 will be Lisa DiAngelo who was last at Top 40 WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw as morning show co-host- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted WSAG-FM 104.1 Pinconning its license to cover for changes (ERP from 6,000 watts @ 213 feet to 4,600 watts @ 325 feet, tower location change from near Standish south closer to Bay City)

May 7:

* FCC Action: Granted Dean M. Mosely a construction permit for a new LPTV station to be licensed to Gladstone on channel 51 (W51DP)

May 6:

* Country WBCT-FM continues on as the top rated station in Grand Rapids, according to the winter Aribtron report for listeners age 12 and above. Following WBCT were News/Talk WOOD-AM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, Classic Rock WLAV-FM, and Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM. Clear Channel continues to be the top cluster in the market.

May 5:

* Top 5 stations in Lansing for the winter ratings period among listeners age 12 and above were Oldies WJIM-FM, Country WITL-FM, Top 40 WHZZ-FM, Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM, and Rock WJXQ-FM. It was the first book in recent memory without WITL in the number one spot- the station's share was down to 8.9 from fall's 11.5. WHZZ was the book's big gainer; it's share jumped 6.4 - 7.9. Citadel continues as the top cluster in the market.

May 4:

* Fox Sports Net Detroit reports that last night's Red Wings telecast was the highest rated game of the playoffs on the cable outlet. Game 6 became the most-watched game in FSN's 7-year history, averaging a 14.1 rating and 27 share. The game's peak rating was 17.4 between 11:30-11:45pm, the peak share was a whopping 40 between 1:15-1:30am when the game ended on a Calgary Flames goal, ending the Wings' season. The top 5 most-watched games on Fox Sports Net are now all from this year's Red Wings' playoffs: 14.1 -- Game 6, 2nd round; 14.0 -- Game 5, 1st round; 13.8 -- Game 3, 2nd round; 13.2 -- Game 4, 1st round; and 13.1 -- Game 1, 1st round.

Although the Tigers have faded back to the .500 level on the field, FSN's Tigers ratings are up 69% through one month (9 telecasts) when compared to same number of games aired last year (4.9 rating vs. 2.9). The current average (4.9) is 96% above the season-long average in 2003 (2.5).

May 3:

* Bill Fries will exit amicably at the end of June from Greater Media Adult Contemporary WMGC-FM 105.1 Detroit where he was in the role of operations manager. He's leaving to relocate to Florida in order to be closer to family and to start his own business- All Access

* New morning co-host at NextMedia Jammin' Hits WXQL-FM 100.5 Saginaw is Allison Newell, joining Big Steve; Brad B shifts from evenings to afternoons at MacDonald Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing- All Access

* Clear Channel WCWA-AM 1230 Toledo has switched format from Talk to Sports as of today. Sean Baligian, mid-morning host at sister station Sports WDFN-AM 1130 Detroit, will add the role of afternoon (4-6pm) host on WCWA.

 

April 2004 News and Notes

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April 29:

* The Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has released its list of nominees for its 26th awards ceremony, to be held on June 5th in Detroit. Fox station WJBK-TV 2 Detroit received the most nominations overall. Fox Sports Net Detroit received 15 nominations- the most in the network's 7-year history.

April 27:

* Toni Garcia exits as morning show co-host at Infinity Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM 98.7 Detroit. Lori Bennett will move from mid-mornings into Garcia's old slot once Bennett's slot is filled. Alexander Zonjic will retain his morning co-hosting duties.

* ABC/Disney WJR-AM 760 Detroit chief engineer Ed Buterbaugh has once again been honored as one of the 35 Most Admired Engineers in Radio by the trade publication Radio Ink.

* FCC Actions: Granted WAAQ-FM 88.3 Onsted a construction permit for changes (slight modification to tower location); Deleted W204BB 88.7 Schoolcraft (translator of Family Radio, replaced by WOFR-FM 89.5 Schoolcraft)

April 26:

* News/Talk WJR-AM returned to the top of radio ratings for Detroit among listeners age 12 and above during the winter months. Last quarter's top station, Urban WJLB-FM, finished second overall. In the rest of the top 5 were Oldies WOMC-FM, All News WWJ-AM, and Rock WRIF-FM. Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM slid down to 7th overall- the station enjoyed a ratings boost earlier in the winter as a result of its all holiday music programming in November and December. Clear Channel remained the top cluster across all of its stations, followed by Infinity, Greater Media, and ABC/Disney.

* Tik Tak officially returns to evening radio in Detroit, signing on for 7-11pm at Top 40 Clear Channel WKQI-FM 95.5 starting tonight. Tik Tak was at crosstown WDRQ-FM 93.1 before leaving town two years ago for gigs in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

* Classic Rock WWKR-FM 94.1 Pentwater has applied to the FCC for a city of license change to Hart. The COL change for WWKR is part of the move of Adult Contemporary WCXT-FM 105.3's move from Hart to Coopersville that was approved by the FCC this past February.

April 24:

* Radio One Detroit (WDMK-FM 102.7, WDTJ-FM 105.9, and WCHB-AM 1200) general manager Tamara Knechtel has exited the cluster for a job outside of radio. Knectel also was in the role of vice president of operations for all of Radio One.

April 23:

* ABC/Disney Hot AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit has named Lisa Jesswein as the station's new morning show co-host, joining Blaine Fowler. "Blaine & Lisa" will air from 5:30-9:00am weekdays. Lisa’s extensive media background includes many years in Detroit radio, including being a part of morning show teams and/or promotions departments at WKQI-FM 95.5, WOMC-FM 104.3, and WNIC-FM 100.3.

* Jack Ebling will move as morning co-host to middays at Rubber City Radio Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Charlotte/Lansing, bumping the Jim Rome show off the station. Tom Crawford, Ebling's morning co-host will leave the station. New to mornings will be Ken Landau and Nick Chase- Lansing State Journal

April 22:

* The Great Lakes Radio Consortium, the environmental news service of Michigan Radio, in May will launch "Your Choice; Your Planet", an ambitious yearlong project intended to let listeners know how everyday consumer decisions are important to the environmental health of the planet.

Environmental reporting is often limited to government regulations and industry failures. Your Choice; Your Planet will be a series of occasional reports on consumer choices and their effects on the environment. Great Lakes Radio Consortium co-editors Mark Brush and Lester Graham say the series will reveal how consumer choices are not always as simple as they initially appear. More information about the GLRC is available at www.glrc.org.

* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary assignment of the construction permit for WWZP-FM 90.9 Freeland from American Family Association to Great Lakes Community Broadcasting

April 21:

* Religious/Ethnic WMKM-AM 1440 Inkster Detroit has been sold for $5.75 million by Great Lakes Radio to Davidson Media Group. The sale of WMKM is the third AM in the Detroit market to be sold in the last month; separate deals for WQBH-AM 1400 and WPON-AM 1460 were announced previously.

The sale price of WMKM is surprising- WQBH, which arguably has a better signal across the market and more listenership, sold for $4.75 million. WPON's sale price was $800,000. With FCC approval, WMKM will be Davidson's first Michigan radio station, and its eighth overall.

* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for 2 new FM translators to: Northern Christian Radio at 99.7 Petoskey (W259AH, primary station WPHN-FM 90.5 Gaylord); Edgewater Broadcasting at 95.3 Hudsonville (K237DB, Ottawa County)

April 20:

* 100000watts.com reports that WADW-FM 105.5 Pickford/Sault Ste Marie has returned to the air with Catholic-based Religious programming from owner Starboard Broadcasting. The station had been off the air for about 1 year after its sale to Starboard in October 2002. Prior to going off the air, WADW's format was Oldies.

* Jerry O'Donnell has exited as morning show host for Cumulus Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint.

* WSDP-FM 88.1 Plymouth/Canton was recently honored as the Michigan Association of Educational Broadcasters' High School Station of the Year. Henry Ford Community College WHFR-FM 89.3 Dearborn won the College Station of the Year award. WSDP was also honored in March as the Michigan Association of Broadcasters' High School Station of the Year.

April 19:

* FCC Action: Granted WEJC-FM 88.3 White Star/Gladwin a construction permit to change ERP (30,000 watts vertical to 80,000 watts vertical; Class C2 to Class C1)

April 16:

* Fox Sports Net Detroit continues to reach more and more viewers as sports fans follow the successes of the Red Wings, Pistons, and Tigers. Each of FSN's three Red Wings playoff telecasts have established records for single-game viewership records for the regional sports network: Game 5 (4/15/04) -- 14.0 rating, Game 4 (4/13/04) -- 13.2, and Game 1 (4/7/04) -- 13.1. Tigers' ratings are doing well, too: The first 4 telecasts have averaged a 5.5 rating, up 53% from the 3.6 rating for the same number of games last year. The current rating (5.5) is 120% above last season's final average of 2.5.

April 15:

* Birach Broadcasting has purchased Talk/Oldies WPON-AM 1460 Walled Lake/Pontiac from Foreign Radio Programs for $800,000. Birach also owns Michigan stations Talk/Ethnic WNZK-AM 680/690 Detroit, Classic Country WCXI-AM 1160 Fenton/Flint, Talk WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland/Grand Rapids, and Adult Standards WMJH-AM 810 Grand Rapids as well as 6 other stations outside of the state. The deal is subject to approval from the FCC.

April 14:

* ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM midday host Frank Beckmann yesterday hosted a visit from David Newman, the WJR host who has been off the air since November 2001 because of the after effects of a stroke. The primary topic of discussion was Newman's interview with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice prior to the September 11th attacks where the subject of Osama Bin Laden came up. That interview came to light as part of Rice's testimony to the September 11th Commission last week. Beckmann and Newman also discussed the later's health status and his hopes to someday return to the air on a full-time basis.

* Condolences to family and friends of Midwest Radio Oldies WTVB-AM 1590 Coldwater morning co-host Kevin Ireland, who died April 12th from congestive heart failure at age 49- All Access

* The FCC has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to reserve the vacant FM channel 279A (103.7) at Hubbardston (Ionia County) for non-commercial educational use.

April 13:

* FCC Actions: LPFM 92.7 Kalamazoo was assigned the call sign of WCAC-LP on March 30; Granted Rock Ministries a construction permit for a new LPFM station at 106.7 to be licensed to Mt. Pleasant; Granted WAAQ-FM 88.3 Onsted its license to cover for changes (ERP from 100 watts @ 184 feet to 250 watts @ 75 feet from slightly different location)

April 12:

* FCC Actions: Granted 4 new construction permits for FM translators- 2 to Radio Assist Ministry for W295AK 106.9 Three Rivers and W292CP 106.3 Imlay City; 2 to Edgewater Broadcasting for W282AK 104.3 Petoskey and W279AP 103.7 Ionia.

April 10:

* John B. Lipinski, better known as "Johnny the Polka Man", or "Jolly John", passed away yesterday afternoon at his home. He was recovering from a recent heart bypass surgery. Lipinski, born in 1935, leaves 4 adult children several grandchildren. His former wife predeceased him. John hosted several polka music programs in the Tri-City area spanning over 50 years on several radio stations, including WBCM and WXOX. His Sunday Polka Club was heard from noon until 3pm on Talk/Oldies WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City/Saginaw. His WKNX program featured a variety of styles and tempos, along with knowledgeable comments about the music and various groups. John was a Bay City native and had been a professional musician for over 5 decades, leading several groups, from the 4-piece "Polkatette & Combo", to the 7-piece "Polka Pleasure" and 10-piece "Polka Pleasure Plus" and a 17-piece big band known as "The Satin Brass". He also performed regularly with the Bay concert band "Second Wind" and "Klassic Klez", a Jewish Klezmer band.

* South Bend area LPTV station WAAT-LP channel 69 is on the air and will begin programming a full schedule this coming Monday, April 12. The station will not be affiliated with any network and will air a variety of shows from 9am until 12:30am. Overnights will carry 'The Sportsman Channel'- Elkhart Truth

April 9:

* The hits just keep on coming for the Detroit Tigers, this time in the form of a record viewing audience for one of their telecasts on Fox Sports Net Detroit. Based on data from Nielsen Media Research, Thursday's telecast of the Tigers home opener registered a 8.3 household rating in metro Detroit, an average of 159,600 homes tuned in over the course of the 2:00-5:00 PM telecast (one ratings point equals approximately 19,230 households). The telecast peaked at an 11.0 rating (211,530 homes) during the eighth and ninth innings as the Tigers capped a 10-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Thursday's game easily eclipsed the previous top-rated FSN Tigers telecast, a 6.7 rating on June 1, 2003, when Yankees' pitcher Roger Clemens unsuccessfully went for career victory No. 300 at Comerica Park.

The first three Tigers telecasts this season on Fox Sports Net are averaging a 5.8 rating, up 57 percent for the same number of games in 2003 (3.7). The current 5.8 average is 132 percent above last season's overall average rating of 2.5. Fox Sports Net will televise 100 Tigers games in 2004. The next telecast is Wednesday, April 14 at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.

* Jon McGuire is the new afternoon jock at Great Lakes Radio Adult Contemporary WKQS-FM 101.9 Marquette. Kevin Downey, who works on Great Lakes Radio's coverage of Northern Michigan University Wildcat sports as radio play-by-play announcer, takes over production manager duties at WKQS.

* FCC Action: Granted Radio Assist Ministry a construction permit for a new FM translator at 105.5 (W288BH) to be licensed to Boyne City. It is believed that Radio Assist Ministry is associated with Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, ID and might broadcast the Religious Calvary Satellite Network on this station.

April 8:

* Winter phase 2 ratings for Grand Rapids and Lansing have been released. Country WBCT-FM remains the top station in Grand Rapids, followed by News-Talk WOOD-AM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM, and Classic Rock WLAV-FM. Clear Channel remains the top cluster among listeners age 12 and above. Over in Lansing, Citadel was the top group; its Country WITL-FM was the number one station, followed by Oldies WJIM-FM, Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM, Top 40 WHZZ-FM, and Rock WJXQ-FM.

* Last night's opening round NHL playoff game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators gave Fox Sports Net Detroit its highest ratings ever- it was the most watched game in the station's 7-year history. Based on data received from Nielsen Media Research, the game registered a 13.1 household rating in the Detroit metro area, an average of nearly 252,000 homes that tuned in over the course of the telecast (one rating point equals approximately 19,230 households). The telecast peaked at an 18.3 rating (nearly 352,000 homes) during the Red Wings third period rally which gave them a 3-1 victory. Most of the late-game audience stayed tuned to Fox Sports Net for the post-game edition of the Detroit Sports Report, which had an all-time high 13.5 rating (approximately 260,000 households) for the first half-hour of the 60-minute presentation. Wednesday night's DSR rating nearly doubled the previous high for the show, a 6.3 registered on April 2 following the Detroit Pistons-Miami Heat basketball game.

* Fort Bend Broadcasting has changed the format of WLDR-AM 1210 Kingsley from Talk to Classic Country. The station had been airing shows from the Michigan Talk Radio Network prior to its flip this past weekend.

* FCC Actions: Granted licenses to cover for changes to Great Lakes Community Broadcasting for W214BH 90.7 Mt. Pleasant and W220CW 91.9 Rogers Heights (power from 10 to 100 watts)

April 7:

* Warren Consolidated Schools' WPHS-FM 89.1 hosted a 72-hour radio marathon to raise funds for the charity Paws with a Cause- donations went to the lifetime training of one dog assistant that is trained specifically to fit the needs of a client with disabilities, except blindness. The station's goal was $6000. WPHS began broadcasting around the clock, all year long this past December. Students man the airwaves from 6:30am - 8:30pm when school is in session; the station runs syndicated classical music programs during all other times.

* Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM 101.9 ended its spring fundraiser yesterday morning after hitting its goal of $730,000 in pledges. The fundraising efforts lasted 12 days. Over in Ann Arbor, Michigan Radio, the public radio stations of the University of Michigan, raised $702,437 during its spring fund drive that ended Friday, April 2nd. The total is a 16 percent increase over the spring 2003 fund drive.

* Matt Kennedy has left Great Lakes Radio Adult Contemporary WKQS-FM 101.9 Marquette where he was the afternoon jock and production manager.

* The syndicated Wendy Williams Experience is added to afternoons at Praestantia Broadcasting Urban Oldies WOWE-FM 98.9 Flint. The show originates from WBLS-FM 107.5 New York.

* FCC Action: Granted Family Life Broadcasting System a construction permit for a new FM translator to be licensed to Lawrence (Van Buren County) on 96.7 (W244BL). The 38 watt station will likely retransmit the programming of Religious WUFN-FM 96.7 Albion.

April 6:

* ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit investigative reporter Rod Hanson has been selected as an inductee in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. Hanson joins retired Detroit News sports columnist Joe Falls and political columnist Hugh McDiarmid in the class of 2004.

* Brad B. rejoins MacDonald Broadcasting Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing for nights and as the station's webmaster. He had exited last month- All Access

April 5:

* Following the announcment that WTRK-FM 89.1 Bay City has been sold to Education Media Foundation, an application has been filed with the FCC to upgrade the station's power from 2,000 watts @ 328 feet to 14,800 watts @ 837 feet. The station would change from Class A to Class C2, become directional, and move its antenna to northeast of Essexville if the application is approved.

* Dave B. Goode exits as program director for MacDonald Broadcasting Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing- All Access

April 3:

* Chris Edmonds, afternoon host at Clear Channel Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM 100.3 Detroit, has added the afternoon role at sister station AC WOOD-FM 105.7 Grand Rapids to his responsibilities.

* Lisa Rodman exits as music director at Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit.

April 2:

* Birach Talk WMFN-AM 640 Grand Rapids will begin airing 'Morning in America' with Bill Bennett 6am-8am Mon-Fri starting April 5th. Bennett is the former Secretary of Education who will be paired up with Tom Tradup, former president/general manager of WLS-AM & FM Chicago. 'The LockerRoom Show with the Hoss' will move to 8am-10am. Also at WMFN beginning Monday April 12th, Tyrone Bynum, former on-air host at WJNZ 1140AM, will begin hosting 'The Drive w/ Tyrone Bynum' from 3-6pm weekdays.

* Clear Channel Top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 midday host Beau has been given the additional role of assistant program director- All Access

* FCC Actions: Granted WKNX-FM 1250 Bay City its license to cover for changes (added 129 watt nighttime service); Granted Spring Arbor University construction permits for 2 new FM translators- W225AF 92.9 Somerset and W252BA 98.3 Chelsea. The translators will likely rebroadcast Religious WSAE-FM 106.9 Spring Arbor; Granted Family Educational Broadcasting Corp of Door County WI consturction permits for 2 new FM translators- W234AN 94.7 and W264AU 100.7 Houghton. These translators will likely rebroadcast WPFF-FM 90.5 and WRGX-FM 88.5 Sturgeon Bay, WI.

April 1:

* Buck Head exits evenings at Clear Channel Top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit. Tik Tak, former evening guy at crosstown ABC/Disney Top 40 WDRQ-FM 93.1 is filling in for now from his current gig in Pittsburgh- All Access

* Mark Elliott has joined MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting as its corporate director of programming and morning show host for Top 40 WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix. MacDonald-Garber owns/operates a total of 4 FM and 3 AM stations in northwest lower Michigan.

* Greater Media Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit morning show hosts Mike Clark and Drew Lane have signed on with Fox Sports Net Detroit to provide weekly commentaries during the "Detroit Sports Report" (10 pm or after game coverage). Drew and Mike will provide their unique commentary on one of the hot topics in the world of sports -- national and local. The segment, "Drew & Mike On the Air", premiered last night and is slated to run each Wednesday night on DSR. It is taped each week at the WRIF studios.

* Bea-Ver Communications Rock CKUE-FM 95.1 Chatham, ON has powered up its booster station in Windsor. The booster, also on 95.1, is broadcasting with an average of 400 watts and a peak of 2,000 watts directed over Windsor.

* FCC Actions: Granted Spring Arbor University a construction permit for an FM translator at 107.7 (W299AV) to be licensed to Deerfield (Lenawee County, along the Monroe County line). The station will transmit with 120 watts and will likely rebroadcast the programming of Religious WSAE-FM 106.9 Spring Arbor; Granted WLAJ-TV 53 Lansing its license to cover for changes (slight change to antenna HAAT)

 

March 2004 News and Notes

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March 31:

* Clear Channel Adult Urban WMXD-FM 92.3 Detroit will be one of six stations picking up a new one-hour talk show hosted by Rev. Jesse Jackson. 'Keep Hope Alive' will debut this Sunday at 8am and run for one hour. The broadcast will focus on issues of cultural, political, and religious significance with guest appearances by community and world leaders and a live call-in segment. The show marks the first time the Rev. Jackson will host a radio program. "We will discuss the central issues -- local, national, and international -- of our time," said the Rev. Jackson. "We will offer information, inspiration, direction and many points of view. We will talk with and hear from you. We intend to connect the nation through shared conversation; your voice matters. Remember, in the beginning was the Word. The Word and you have the power. Keep Hope Alive."

March 30:

* Salem Communications will be entering Michigan with the purchase of Full Service Urban WQBH-AM 1400 Detroit from Queen's Broadcasting Corp. for $4.75 million. The station has been run by Trienere Steinberg, daughter of the late Martha Jean 'The Queen' Steinberg, since 2000 when her mother died. The late Ms. Steinberg had been involved with AM 1400 for a big portion of her radio career- first as a jock with WJLB-AM in 1963 and then later as part of a group she led that purchased the frequency from longtime owner Booth in 1982. She took full control of the station in 1997 for $3.9 million.

Salem owns and operates several stations around the country, many of which feature the company's lineup of talk programs from hosts Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher, Janet Parshall, and Dennis Prager. The company also programs a Contemporary Christian format titled 'The Fish' that is heard on FM stations and traditional Christian-based talk. Salem's purchase of WQBH will complete its entry into all of the top 10 radio markets in the US.

March 29:

* News-Talk WJR-AM was the top station in Detroit among listeners age 12 and above in the winter phase 2 ratings released today. WJR remains ahead of Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM, Oldies WOMC-FM, News WWJ-AM, and Urban WJLB-FM.

March 26:

* Educational Media Foundation will be expanding the reach of its Christian 'K-Love' network in Michigan with the purchase of Beyond the Bay Media Group's Christian Rock WTRK-FM 89.1 Bay City. Sale price on the deal was $800,000 and is subject to FCC approval. EMF currently owns/operates 'K-Love' WAKL-FM 88.9 Flint.

* FCC Action: Granted WBLW-FM 88.1 Gaylord a construction permit to change from Class A (3,000 watts @ 128 feet) to Class C3 (3,000 watts @ 741 feet) and move its broadcast location from near Gaylord in Otsego County to the same tower used by WFUP-TV 45 in Charlevoix County

March 24:

* Radio and Records reports that the sale price of WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City from J & K Media to Meredith Corp. is $1.1 million.

March 23:

* Sold: Oldies WIKB-FM 99.1 and WIKB AM 1230 Iron River for $1.25 million by Northland Advertising to Heartland Communications. Gene Halker, the owner of Northland, will end 50 years of radio ownership once the deal is approved by the FCC and then closed.

* FCC Action: Granted WLQV AM 1500 Detroit its license to cover for changes (daytime power is now licensed at 50,000 watts, nighttime power licensed at 10,000 watts- both using 9-tower directional array).

March 22:

* Clear Channel shuffles its programmers in West Michigan: Classic Rock WBFX-FM 101.3 Grand Rapids PD Mark Feurie is now also the program director for Hot AC WVTI-FM 96.1. 'VTI's former PD, John Patrick, is now programming Adult Contemporary WBXX-FM 95.3 Battle Creek in addition to his PD responsibilities at AC WOOD-FM 105.3 Grand Rapids. Bill Anthony exits as PD at WBXX- Radio and Records

* Along with the 12 AM applications for major changes and 22 applications for new AM stations in Michigan, Illinois station WCGO AM 1600 Chicago Heights has proposed a move to AM 1020 Jenison (Kent County). This application will be mutually exclusive with the proposed move of KTGG AM 1540 Spring Arbor to Grandville (also in Kent County) on AM 1020.

March 20:

* Information on 12 applications for existing AM stations in Michigan filed with the FCC during the recent window for major changes / new applications is now available. The twelve stations requesting major changes are: WFDF-AM 910 Flint, WMII-AM 650 Manistique, WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor, WSDS-AM 1480 Ypsilanti, WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City, WGMY-AM 940 South Haven, WLDR-AM 1210 Kingsley, WSNL-AM 600 Flint, WLCM-AM 1390 Charlotte, KTGG-AM 1540 Spring Harbor, WGTO-AM 910 Cassopolis, and WCXI-AM 1160 Fenton. Click here for details on these proposed changes.

* In addition to the 12 applications for major changes, 22 applications were filed for new AM stations in Michigan. The majority of the applications are in the northern Lower and Upper Peninsulas. Click here for details on these applications.

* Current WDIV-TV 4 Detroit weekday morning co-anchor Steve Garagiola will move to weekend anchor work and special projects when Guy Gordon takes over for him later this spring- Detroit Free Press

* WXYZ-TV Detroit's 'Action News' has received the highest honors for General Excellence in the annual Associated Press awards competition. Channel 7 was also honored with first place for Best Newscast. The station also placed first for Best Spot News for “Power Outage,” Best Hard News for “Detroit Police Indictments,” and Best Sportscast for Don Shane.

* Public WDET-FM 101.9 Detroit has won seven Associated Press awards in five categories. WDET won the Best and Honorable Mention awards for "Newscast"; the Best and Honorable Mention awards for "Spot News"; the Best award for "News Documentary"; and the Honorable Mention award for "Sports Feature." WDET News was also awarded the General Excellence award for the third year in a row.

March 19:

* J&K Media Co has agreed to sell Talk/Oldies WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City to Meredith Corporation, the owner of Tri-Cities CBS affiliate WNEM-TV 5. John W. and Kathy (Libbey) Blehm (pronounced Blame), of Birch Run, are the "J" and "K" of J&K Media Co., and they have operated WKNX since January, 1994. WKNX is one of the few remaining locally owned & operated "mom & pop" radio stations in mid-Michigan. Closing of the purchase is expected by the end of May and is subject to FCC approval and customary closing conditions. Programming changes will not take place until sometime in late spring or summer.

* The FCC has released its latest batch of indecency violations- among the latest releases is a new finding against Infinity FM Talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit, this time for an episode of the Howard Stern Show "for apparently willfully broadcasting indecent material." The Commission has proposed the statutory maximum forfeiture of $27,500 for the July 26, 2001 broadcast. This is the second high-profile violation against WKRK in recent months. Infinity has been actively attempting to appeal a similar finding over an episode of the station's Deminski and Doyle show from 2002 that was deemed indecent by the FCC.

* Jyl Forsyth is set to return to her evening shift at Infinity Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit next Monday, March 29th after being off the air for nearly 3 months while receiving treatment for Hepatitis C. After nearly a year of treatment for the potentially deadly disease, Forsyth is excited to report that she has been diagnosed as free of the disease. Jyl comments that the treatment was brutal, but worth it, and she's looking forward to reconnecting with the listeners to her 7-midnight show.

March 18:

* The construction permit for FM 90.9 Charlevoix has changed its call sign from WWCZ to WTCK

March 17:

* Brad B. exits MacDonald Broadcasting Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing where he was the station's evening (6-11pm) host. He's headed to WJFX-FM Fort Wayne- All Access

March 16:

* Bill Walters signs on for afternoon drive at Citadel Active Rock WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland/Saginaw. Walters had been doing weekend and fill-in work for Greater Media Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit and was previously at WKQZ sister station WKLQ-FM 94.5 Holland/Grand Rapids- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary assignment of license for WEYI-TV 25 Saginaw from WEYI Broadcasting (LIN TV) to Barrington Broadcasting

March 15:

* Forty finalists for the NAB Crystal Radio Awards competition were announced today by the National Association of Broadcasters. Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round community service efforts. Two Michigan stations were on the list: Regent Communications Modern Rock WGRD-FM 97.9 Grand Rapids and Xavier University's Public WVXA-FM 96.7 Rogers City.

* All Access reports on big shifts in the lineup at Cumulus Top 40 WTWR-FM 98.3 Luna Pier/Toledo: Morning host Ben Coburn has left the station; His co-host, Terri McCormack has moved middays and given up the role of program director. In addition, night jock J-Kruz is no longer with the station. New to the linuep will be 'Train' (Jeff Wicker) who will take over mornings and becomes the new PD. Wicker moves to WTWR from sister station Hot AC WWWM-FM 105.5 where he was that station's assitant PD, music director, and afternoon host. Also joining WTWR is Stoney, who moves from sister station WRWK-FM 106.5, to join Train as morning co-host. Finally, former WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw night jock JoJo will take over nights.

* FCC Action: Granted Midwest Communications a construction permit for an FM translator at 95.5 (W238AL) to be licensed to Portage (Kalamazoo County). According to the application for the translator, it is intended to rebroadcast the company's Country WNWN-FM 98.5 Coldwater.

March 13:

* Ken Daniels, play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports Net's coverage of the Detroit Red Wings, has been recognized as Michigan Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). Daniels was selected by a vote of his contemporaries and is in his seventh season of calling Red Wings games on Fox Sports Net. He also does play-by-play on FSN's coverage of the CCHA and hosts the magazine show CCHA Weekly.

March 12:

* Kevin O'Neill exits ABC/Disney Hot AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit to take the morning role at Clear Channel Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor. Kevin's first day at Kool 107 will be March 29th.

* Carroll Enterprises Country WKJC-FM 104.7 Tawas City/East Tawas drops its coverage of Detroit Tigers Baseball this year after having carried the broadcasts since 1968. The station has picked up NASCAR races for 2004.

* The Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters have launched a public awareness campaign highlighting the ongoing conversion to Digital TV. A web site has been set up at www.michigandtv.com to help explain the coversion to TV viewers across the state.

March 11:

* Fred Heumann joins Rubber City Radio Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Charlotte/Lansing for the 10am-noon shift. Heumann is also a sports anchor at WLNS-TV 6 Lansing as well as a contributor to WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit- All Access

* The Detroit Tigers have landed a West Michigan radio affiliate in Birach Talk WMFN-AM 640. The 3-year deal will give listeners on the west side of the state a place to turn for the Tigers' broadcasts after they were dropped by WBBL-AM 1340 Grand Rapids and WHTC-AM 1450 Holland for the upcoming season.

* Fox Sports Net Detroit’s seventh year of carrying Detroit Tigers baseball will include 100 regular-season games in 2004, starting with the April 5 season opener in Toronto. Mario Impemba returns for his third season as FSN’s play-by-play announcer, joined for the second consecutive year by analyst Rod Allen.

* Cornerstone College Christian Contemporary WAYK-FM 88.3 Kalamazoo and WAYG-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids recently put the wraps on the their first separate Sharatons. The stations raised $40,000 more than last year- over 2900 poeple pledged their support to the two stations. Each pledge of $10 or more resulted in the stations sending a CD to military members overseas.

* Sold: WWZP-FM 90.9 Freeland/Midland from the American Family Association to Great Lakes Community Broadcasting for $40,000, pending FCC approval.

March 10:

* The first winter ratings trends for radio in Grand Rapids and Lansing are now out. In Grand Rapids, Country WBCT-FM is still the top station among listeners age 12 and above. The rest of the top 5 are News-Talk WOOD-AM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM, and Classic Rock WLAV-FM. In Lansing, Country WITL-FM was once again on top, followed by Oldies WJIM-FM, Classic Rock WMMQ-FM, Rock WJXQ-FM, and Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM.

* The folks at Kettering University in Flint have received the blessing of university president Dr. James John to proceed with preliminary work on creating an LPFM station on campus. The group already has a construction permit from the FCC in hand for the station, which would be located at FM 94.3; that construction permit is set to expire in November. Currently, the effort is centered on fundraising- if you're interested in helping, visit the WKUS web site at www.wkus.org.

* FCC Action: Granted WYSS-FM 99.5 Sault Ste. Marie a construction permit to change its ERP from 26,500 watts @ 276 feet to 100,000 watts @ 253 feet. The station will change from Class C2 to Class C1.

March 9:

* Congratulations to the 2004 Michigan Association of Broadcasters' Stations of the Year, announced yesterday evening during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference dinner:

Market 1 TV: WJBK-TV 2 Detroit
Market 1 Radio: WJR-AM 760 Detroit

Market 2 TV: WOOD-TV 8 Grand Rapids
Market 2 Radio: WOOD-AM 1300 Grand Rapids

Market 3 TV: WWTV-TV 9 / WWUP-TV 10 Cadillac/Traverse City/SS Marie
Market 3 Radio: WLEN-FM 103.9 Adrian

Market 4 TV: WLUC-TV 6 Marquette
Market 4 Radio: WSJM-AM 1400 Benton Harbor

Public Broadcasting: WUOM-FM 91.7 Ann Arbor / WFUM-FM 91.1 Flint /
WVGR-FM 104.1 Grand Rapids

* Talkers Magazine has released its 2004 list of the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America. On the list from Michigan once again are ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit morning show host Paul W. Smith and afternoon host Mitch Albom. Joining the duo from WJR is Clear Channel Sports WDFN-AM 1130 / Talk WXDX-AM 1310 Detroit handyman Glenn Haege. Haege and Albom both enjoy syndication deals that expand their respective audiences across the country.

* New general sales manager for Clear Channel/Ann Arbor (Country WWWW-FM, AC WQKL-FM, Sports WTKA-AM, Oldies WHNE-AM) is Shannon Brown- Radio and Records

March 8:

* Midwest Communications Full Service WHTC-AM 1450 Holland has announced the end of their affiliation with the Detroit Tigers. It'll be the first year since the station signed on in 1948 that WHTC will be without Tigers' broadcasts.

* New program director at just-launched NextMedia Jammin' Hits WXQL-FM 100.5 Saginaw is Rob Ryan. Former PD 'Big' Steve Duncan remains with the station and will handle the morning show- All Access

* In South Bend Indiana, Artistic Media Partners Adult Standards WHLY has moved from AM 1580 to AM 1620, swapping calls and format with Sports WDND.

March 6:

* The Clovelly Corporation has announced that it no longer intends to pursue construction of a new five-story building at its site located along Front Street in Traverse City. Roy Henderson, president of Clovelly and owner of Northwest Lower Michigan radio stations WLDR-FM/AM, WBNZ-FM, WOUF-FM, and WCUZ-FM, acknowledged the City Council’s efforts to accommodate final approval of the construction as was planned. Instead of locating his radio facilities at the Front Street site Henderson plans on operating from recently acquired property located on West Grand Traverse Bay at 13999 West Bay Shore Drive once renovations are complete.

March 5:

* Next Media WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw ended its stunting today at about 5pm and has relaunched as WXQL 'Kool 100.5'. Early in to the new presentation, the format appears to be an updated version of "Jammin' Oldies", featuring songs from the 70's - 90's with a Pop-dance/Motown/Old-school Urban flavor.

* The FCC has summarily rejected Infinity Broadcasting's petition for reconsideration of the $27,500 statutory maximum forfeiture against the company's WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit for a broadcast of the station's 'Deminski and Doyle' show from 2002 that was found to be in violation of the Commission's indecency rules. It is not clear if Infinity will continue its legal fight over the issue by taking the FCC to court.

* FCC Action: Granted Educational Media Foundation a construction permit for a new 120-watt FM translator at 92.9 to be licensed to Perry (Shiawassee County). Educational Media Foundation operates a network of Contemporary Christian stations and translators known as 'K-Love' around the country, including WAKL-FM 88.9 Flint.

March 4:

* The Detroit Demolition women's professional football team and Radio One have announced that 2004 season games will be broadcast live on WCHB-AM 1200 Detroit. Beginning with the season opener on April 3rd, Detroit Demolition will hit the airwaves with live play-by-play action and commentary by WDTJ-FM 105.9 personality, The Tune-Up Man Walter Neal. Live game broadcasts are part of a newly formed $250,000 partnership between Detroit’s Radio One network and the Redford-based Detroit Demolition, defending two-time champs of the National Women’s Football Association (NWFA).

* ABC/Disney Top 40 WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit and WXYZ-TV 7 helped raise $376,343 for the Michigan Humane Society during yesterday's Pet Radiothon and Telethon.

March 3:

* Michiguide.com has been able to confirm the operation of FM translator W206BI 89.1, licensed to Hamtramck. The station features international programming and broadcasts from near Livernois and Davison in Detroit. It is operated by International Television Broadcasting, a company that operates LPTV and cable channels in New York City. According to the company's web site describing its TV services, it provides 24 hour programming targeting viewers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the West Indies, Guyana, and Sri Lanka.

* Ron Stevens has left as morning show host at Great Lakes Radio Country WFXD-FM 103.3 Marquette; Adrian Lewis, aka Diesel, has left Regent Rhythmic Top 40 WRCL-FM 93.7 Frankenmuth for work in Fort Wayne- All Access

* Warren Kluck adds assistant program director responsibilites to his role as night jock at Cumulus Rock WRKR-FM 107.7 Kalamazoo- Radio and Records

March 2:

* Cumulus Gospel WWCK-FM 1570 Flint dropped that format yesterday in favor of Talk as 'SuperTalk 1570'. The station's lineup features syndicated fare from hosts Doug Stephen, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Slessinger, Mike Savage, and Phil Hendrie. Legendary Flint-area newsman Les Root will host hourly news updates on the station during morning drive.

* Michiguide.com has confirmed that the new translator for the Calvary Satellite Network in metro Detroit has indeed hit the air. W208BB 89.5 Royal Oak was granted its license to cover last week by the FCC. The station's reception is not very good in Royal Oak itself during the times when co-channel station WAHS-FM 89.5 Auburn Hills is operating. Reception on a car radio was found to be better once south of I-696 along Woodward Ave. The station's tower, which rebroadcasts the feed of Religious KAWZ-FM from Twin Falls Idaho, is located near Woodward in Highland Park.

* Big D Broadcasting WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor announced the return of Lucy Ann Lance to 1600 AM with the launch of "Lucy Ann Lance in the Morning" weekdays from 6-9am beginning Monday March 15th. Lance has exited Clear Channel Adult Contemporary WKQL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor to rejoin the station where her career began.

* With the FCC's recent approval of the transfer of license for WKJF-AM 1370 Cadillac from Midwestern Broadcasting to Good News Media, its expected that the frequency will go silent sometime this week to permit equipment repairs and maintenance. Good News plans to sign the station on once again during about the second week of March with new call letters: WLJW (We’re Lifting Jesus’ Word). The new station will simulcast the Christian news/talk programming currently featured on WLJN-AM 1400 Traverse City.

Midwestern Broadcasting’s gifts of the WKJF radio frequency, three 205-foot towers (necessary due to its directional signal), transmission equipment and transmitter building are valued at $225,000. Good News Media, Inc. will be purchasing the property on which the WKJF towers and transmitter building reside (located approximately two miles west of US-131 on M-55) for $80,000. WKJF had been simulcasting the sports format of Midwestern sister station WCCW-AM 1310 Traverse City over the past several years. WCCW has recieved permission from the FCC to increase its daytime signal from 5,000 to 15,000 watts- this change will provide some coverage of the areas currently served by WKJF after that station signs off to move to its new Religious format. WCCW will also add a nighttime service area that will likely only cover the Traverse City area.

* Edward Grant of Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting has been appointed as the new president of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters.

March 1:

* NextMedia Top 40 WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw has dropped its regular programming and is currently stunting with a variety of TV show themes. The format wheel is set to come to a halt on Friday, March 5th.

* The first trend for the winter ratings period for Detroit, which was released today, finds News-Talk WJR-AM back in the top spot, followed by a surging Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM. Urban WJLB-FM, which finished first in the fall book, slipped to third overall, followed by All-News WWJ-AM and Oldies WOMC-FM. WNIC's strong trend came right on the heels of its All-Christmas format last December- the holiday music obviously gave the station momentum into the early part of the winter. Ironically, fellow AC station WMGC-FM didn't suffer a ratings decline at the hands of WNIC's strong result- WMGC's share continued its recent climb. Clear Channel continues to have highest numbers among the clusters, finishing ahead of Infinity, Greater Media, ABC/Disney, and Radio One. All of the above information is based on listeners age 12 and over.

* Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit dropped the syndicated 'Imus in the Morning' show effective today, replacing it with a sports talk program titled 'S and L in the Morning' with Marc Spindler and John Lund. The show will air weekdays from 6:00–10:00am.

* FCC Actions: Granted W52DB LPTV 52 its license to cover for changes (City of License from Big Rapids to Muskegon, tower move from Newaygo County to Muskegon County). The station is a translator for FOX affiliate WXMI-TV 17 Grand Rapids; Granted WFYC-AM 1280 Alma its license to cover for changes (nighttime power from 45 to 56 watts)

 

February 2004 News and Notes

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February 27:

* The 17th Annual Dick Purtan Radiothon received an amazing total of $1,530,836 in pledges for The Salvation Army's Bed and Bed Club in metro Detroit. The amount once again sets a record for the highest amount for a single-station single-day radiothon anywhere. Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 and Dick Purtan and Purtan's People have once again rallied the community to help the less fortunate in the Detroit area- the money raised will help feed and shelter over 4,000 people each and every day. The 16-hour event included live performances by local and national musicians and performers and live interviews with celebrities and sports figures. Since 1988, the Dick Purtan Radiothon has raised more than $8.5 million for the Bed and Bread Program.

This year's event was dedicated to the memory of Doc Andrews, who for the previous 16 years of the event served as its announcer before his death last week from colon cancer. For those that donated $240 or more, a special CD will be delivered as a thank-you. It will contain some of Doc's "Greatest Hits" as a member of Purtan's People over the past two decades.

* Steve Garagiola will exit as morning co-host at NBC affiliate WDIV-TV 4 Detroit. Guy Gordon, who had been the main anchor at ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV 7 before moving to special assignment work, will move to Channel 4 to take Garagiola's place.

* Lucy Ann Lance has left as morning show host at Clear Channel Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM 107.1 Ann Arbor after over 12 years in order to take over mornings at crosstown Big D Broadcasting Talk WAAM-AM 1600.

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of license from WKJF Radio to Good News Media for WKJF-AM 1370 Cadillac; Granted W32CV LPTV Ch. 32 Ironwood its license to cover (new translator)

February 26:

* The syndicated Don Imus morning show will be dropped on Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit after tomorrow's program. WXYT will air a sports-themed show hosted by newcomer John Lund and former Detroit Lions' player Marc Spindler.

February 25:

* Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit today announced the hiring of Steve Allan as the station's new program director. Allan joins WOMC after a successful 10-year run in Washington, D.C. as the PD of WBIG, Oldies 100. His resume also includes time in the PD chair at WODS Boston and WGRR Cincinnati, qualifying him as one of the premier oldies programmers in the country. Tom Sleeker, who had been acting as interim PD for WOMC in addition to his role as program director for Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM 98.7, will now be able to again fully focus on V98.7.

February 24:

* Last week's special concert to benefit Sabrina Black Fund hosted by Greater Media Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit raised over $23,000. The money will help to pay for the care and recovery of former Clear Channel Sports WDFN-AM 1130 news anchor Sabrina Black who continues her treatment for Hodkin's Lymphoma. Some of the particpants in the event included current WDFN staffers, Detroit Red Wings players, and Black's husband, WRIF's Steve Black.

* New program director at NextMedia Country WCEN-FM 94.5 Saginaw effective March 1st will be Joby Phillips, who was last at WCOL Columbus. Jim Johnson gives up the role of PD at WCEN so that he can concentrate on his role as PD and morning host at sister Adult Contempory WGER-FM 106.3- All Access

* Carl E lands at Midwest Communications Country WNWN-FM 98.5 Coldwater/Battle Creek for afternoons; he's previously spent time at WWWW-FM 102.9 Ann Arbor, WCUZ-FM 101.3 Grand Rapids, WWWW-FM 106.7 Detroit and WITL-FM 100.7 Lansing- All Access

* Radio veteran Al Casey passed away last night in Seattle. Casey spent time in programming at WDRQ-FM Detroit in the 1970's in addition to another of other stations across the country.

February 23:

* Obituary: Mark 'Doc' Andrews of WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit. Andrews passed away Saturday from colon cancer at age 51.

* Infinity All-News WWJ-AM 950 Detroit helped raise $209,607 for The Heat and Warmth Fund during Friday and Saturday's "WWJ Newsradio 950 Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW". Local utilities will match those contributions dollar for dollar, making for a total of $419,214 that will be made available to aid those that need assitance in paying their winter utility bills.

* Fairfield Broadcasting Sports WQSN-AM 1660 today announced that the Kalamazoo Kings, Kalamazoo's professional minor league baseball club in the independent Frontier League, will return to the station for a second consecutive season. The entire 96 game season will be broadcast on WQSN. In addition to being broadcast on AM 1660, the entire Kings season will also be available live, free of charge, on the Internet at www.wqsn.com.

February 19:

* Jim Johnson, morning co-host at Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit, has extended his contract with the station for another 3 years- Detroit Free Press

* FCC Action: Granted WGTQ-TV 8 Sault Ste. Marie its license to cover for changes

February 18:

* Great Lakes Radio WPIQ-FM 99.9 Mansitique is now on the air; the station began regular broadcasts on February 2nd. The format is Talk as 'Power 99.9, We Power Your IQ' with a weekday lineup featuring local programming from 6-8am, Dr. Dean Edell 8-9am, Dr. Laura 9am-noon, Rush Limbaugh noon-3pm, Sean Hannity 3-6pm, Dave Ramsey 6-9pm, Phil Hendrie 9pm-midnight, and Coast to Coast AM overnights. The station's web site is www.wpiqradio.com.

* Results and winners from the 2004 High School & College Broadcast Awards Competition are now available from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters web site at www.michmab.com. WSDP-FM 88.1 Plymouth will be honored as the High School Radio Station of the Year for the third time in the last four years. "I’m continually amazed by the work our students do. They’re definitely deserving of the honor," said Bill Keith, station manager. WSDP also recently resumed its webcasting service from the station's web site at www.881theescape.com.

February 17:

* The Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Broadcast Music Inc. have named Michigan State University's WDBM-FM 88.9 “IMPACT 89FM” East Lansing as College Station of the Year. The gold record award will be presented at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference at the Lansing Center on March 8. For the fourth time in the past five years, WDBM-FM has dominated the awards competition by winning more total awards than its nearest competitor by more than two to one. “As we enter our 15th year on the air, this award affirms the quality and effectiveness of our staff,” said Gary Reid, professional general manager of the station. “We are extremely proud of this accomplishment and honored to represent MSU in such a positive light.” Professional broadcasters from the state of Michigan judged the awards competition. WDBM is a 2,000 watt station which serves the mid-Michigan area from the MSU campus with a staff of about 100 students.

* The Michigan Association of Educational Broadcasters (MAEB) announced its officers at a meeting in Monroe on February 10, 2004:
President- Bill Keith, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
Vice President- Susan McGraw, Henry Ford Community College
Treasurer- Pete Bowers, Bloomfield Hills School District
Secretary- Randy Carr, Bloomfield Hills School District
Members at Large- Carl Jacobson, Spring Arbor College; Dave Downing, Lansing Community College; Jenny Stancyzk, Warren Consolidated Schools
Immediate Past President- David Legg, Novi Public Schools
Webmaster- Ron Wittebols, Bloomfield Hills School District
The meeting was held at member station WEJY Radio, at Monroe High School. The MAEB was formed in 1977 to develop and promote low-power educational broadcasting in the State of Michigan. The MAEB website is available at www.maeb.org.

February 16:

* NextMedia Country WCEN-FM 94.5 Hemlock/Saginaw helped raise over $142,000 during last week's first ever 'Moose Country Cares for St. Jude Kids" Radiothon.

* FCC Actions: Granted WIAN-AM 1240 Ishpeming its license to cover for changes (slight location change); Granted WJKN-AM 1510 Jackson a construction permit for changes (new facilities 3,000 watts daytime and critical hours using a 3-tower array)

February 15:

* Infinity Country WYCD-FM 99.5 Detroit hosted the fifth annual 99.5 WYCD Hunt for a Cure to Benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this past Friday and Saturday. The event, held at Oakland Mall in Troy, raised $369,000- over the course of the two days, Detroiters heard first hand how St. Jude has helped more than 145 Michigan children beat cancer. “It’s exciting once again to be involved with such a worthy cause and to be able to give back to the community”, says Mac Daniels, program director of WYCD. All of the money raised will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. St. Jude is the world leader in treatment and research of childhood catastrophic diseases. Nearly 400 Michigan physicians have used free research provided by St. Jude to treat other area children.

February 13:

* Obituary- Marc Avery, a longtime Detroit radio personality who started out as a 1960s Top 40 rock disc jockey on the old Detroit AM hit-players WJBK (1500) and WXYZ (1270), has died in Evansville, Ind. Mr. Avery, who also spent a decade at stately WJR-AM (760), was 74 and had been in declining health for some time- Detroit Free Press

* FCC Action: Granted Edgewater Broadcasting a construction permit for a new FM translator to be licensed to Gaylord at 102.5. Edgewater is believed to be associated with the Calvary Satellite Network, which operates numerous translators of KAWZ-FM Twin Falls (Idaho) across the country.

February 11:

* The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has announced the winners of the 2004 Broadcast Excellence Awards. Station of the Year winners will be announced during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference. Congratulations to all of this year's winners- visit the MAB website, www.michmab.com, for the list.

February 10:

* Floyd Evans has taken the role of market manager for Cumulus/Flint (WDZZ-FM 92.7, WRSR-FM 103.9, WWCK-FM 105.5, WWCK-AM 1570). The opening was created when Nancy Dymond exited last month.

* FCC Actions: Granted licenses to cover for the following stations- WBSQ-LP 105.9 St. Louis (new station); WJKQ-FM 88.5 Jackson (new station); WWKM-FM 88.1 Goodland Twp (new station); WMJZ-FM 101.5 Gaylord (increase in ERP from 6,000 watts @ 325 feet to 50,000 watts @ 492 feet - Change from Class A to Class C2)

February 9:

* FCC Actions: Granted a minor change to the construction permit for new FM 92.5 Newaygo (ERP from 6,000 watts @ 328 feet to 2,250 watts @ 543 feet, plus tower location change); Granted W206AZ 89.1 Fremont a construction permit to increase ERP from 55 watts to 100 watt and tower location change

February 8:

* FCC Actions: Granted WEEH-LP 100.5 Hart its license to cover (new station); Granted WTLI-FM 89.3 Bear Creek Twp a construction permit to increase its power from 6,000 watts to 17,000 watts (Class C2 to Class C1)

February 6:

* A major change to the FM allocations in West Michigan has been granted by the FCC; Adult Contemporary WCXT-FM 105.3 Hart has been granted a new allocation for the station, which will shift its city of license from Hart to Coopersville. The change will effectively allow the station to move in closer to the Muskegon and Grand Rapids markets once its new facilities are constructed. In order to preserve radio service to Hart, the FCC simultaneously granted Classic Rock WWKR-FM 94.1 Pentwater a change of its city of license to Hart.

* Clear Channel Ann Arbor news director Dan Martin, also known as Joe Davis mornings on Oldies WHNE-AM 1290, exits the cluster to become the new production director at crosstown Big D Broadcasting Talk WAAM-AM 1600. Martin was at WAAM prior to joining Clear Channel's Ann Arbor stations.

* WDIV-TV 4 weekend morning anchor Marcella Lee exits for a role as a reporter and weekday evening reporter at the CBS affiliate in San Diego- Detroit News

February 4:

* From today's Detroit Free Press- Kim Adams returns today to her WDIV-TV 4 weathercasting duties after a maternity leave that started late last year; ABC/Disney Top 40 WDRQ-FM 93.1 morning co-host Rachael Hunter has re-upped with the station for 3 more years.

* Good News Media has reserved the call sign WLJW for the current WKJF-AM 1370 Cadillac once the purchase of the station from Midwestern Broadcasting is completed

* Call Sign Action: New LPFM 98.9 Mt. Pleasant assigned WQOS-LP on 1/9/04

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary transfer of license for WLPC-LP 26 Detroit from Glenn R. and Karin A. Plummer to WLPC-TV 26 Detroit, Inc; Granted WAKL-FM 88.9 Flint a construction permit to modify its broadcast location (was co-located with WSNL-AM 600) to the same tower as WCRZ-FM 107.9 and change ERP from 150 watts @ 361 feet directional to 380 watts @ 263 feet directional

February 3:

* It was a scary afternoon for folks at Christian outlets WCSG-FM 91.3 and WAYG-FM 89.9 Grand Rapids. All the employees were ordered out of the station's broadcast center on East Beltline when the gas station next door started emitting nauseating odors, presumably from a gasoline leak. Reportedly, WSCG was put on autopilot and was back under full control 90 minutes later from a computer located at a backup location on owner Cornerstone University's campus.

* Christian WJQK-FM Grand Rapids recently raised over $57,000 for itself - even though the station is a commercial outlet and donations are not tax deductable - to help raise funds towards the down payment on a new studio. The station's 'Move-a-thon' featured free concerts and 3 days of on-air fundraising- All Access

February 2:

* The final fall ratings book for publicly released Michigan markets is now out- in Northwest Lower Michigan, Country WTCM-FM/WBCM-FM continues to lead among listeners age 12 and above, followed by Oldies WCCW-FM/WCZW-FM, News-Talk WTCM-AM, Classic Rock WGFM-FM/WGFN-FM, and Top 40 WKHQ-FM. The top cluster is Midwestern Broadcasting, which leads Northern Star, MacDonald-Garber, and Northern Radio of Michigan by a comfortable margin.

 

Obituary: Mark 'Doc' Andrews, age 51

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Obituary: Mark 'Doc' Andrews, age 51

Mark 'Doc' Andrews, one of Detroit’s most respected sportscasters and sports director at Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3, died on Saturday, February 21 2004 after a 10-month battle with colon cancer. He was 51 years old. Andrews lived his childhood dream of being a top sportscaster and was best known for his affable personality on the “Dick Purtan & Purtan’s People” show heard mornings on WOMC. He had been off the air for the past several weeks and also was off last summer while receiving treatment for the disease.

A proud graduate of Fraser High School and Wayne State University, Andrews was a born and raised Metro Detroiter. Doc joined Purtan’s show on January 1, 1984 when it aired on WCZY-FM (95.5) and had been on the Detroit airwaves practically his entire career. Mark was truly one of the good guys in the radio business; his positive attitude and outlook on life was contagious to anyone who either worked with or met him.

In addition to his radio work, his media career included jobs as a sports anchor for Channels 50 and 20 as well as a sports reporter at Channel 4. Andrews had also done extensive play-by-play for the Detroit Pistons, University of Michigan hockey, University of Detroit basketball, CCHA Hockey, ESPN, and the now-defunct local cable channel PASS. Other highlights of his career included work as public address announcer for World Cup Soccer, the Super Bowl, and the NBA All-Star Game. He also served as P.A. voice for the Detroit Red Wings, Lions, and Pistons.

Mark earned the nickname “Doc” from Dick Purtan early on. Since he was never stumped by a “Leave it to Beaver” trivia question, Purtan named him the “Doctor of Beavology,” hence “Doc.” “Although Doc was short in stature and stood only 4’ 7”, to our listeners, fans, and fellow workers, he stood tall throughout his life,” says Purtan. “I’ve known Doc for over 20 years and will miss him greatly.”

WOMC listeners will remember Doc also by the popular characters he voiced on “Dick Purtan & Purtan’s People” including: Alan Walnuts, Newsman Gordon Kincaid, Announcer Sterling Heights, Mr. Michigan, and his impersonations of Detroit Red Wings’ radio announcers, Bruce Martin and Ken Kal.

Reaction to Andrews’ passing was swift, with many commenting on how Doc didn’t let his dwarfism stand in the way of a successful career. Local ‘Mr. Radio’ Bill Burton of the Detroit Radio Advertising Group, who gave Doc his start in the business, told him years ago, “You can be ten feet tall on the radio.” Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo commented, “He was the little guy with a huge heart. His personality and sense of humor will be missed by the radio community for years to come.”

WOMC’s vice-president and general manager, Stephen Schram said, "Mark ‘Doc’ Andrews brought such a special, energetic quality to his 20 plus years of performance with Dick Purtan and Purtan's People. His well-respected stature in Detroit sports was also matched by the wonderful comedic character-voice sketches he performed over the decades. The entire WOMC family extends our deepest sympathy and prayers to Mark's immediate family. We were part of his "radio family" and we have lost one of the very best in our business."

One of Andrews’ passions was to be a motivational speaker and very often he would stand behind the podium on top of a box when he presented to various groups. Throughout the years, he became one of the nations most popular personal development speakers in the area of motivation, customer service, teamwork, and positive attitude. He presented programs throughout the United States as well as internationally. He was the Master of Ceremonies for the annual Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame event. Mark was a participating member of the Little People of America Incorporated and the Dwarf Athletic Association of America.

He was also a very talented writer. He was a columnist for the Detroit Metro Airport Connections newspaper and Michigan Hockey Magazine. In an article Andrews wrote shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks about how fragile life is, Doc said, “Our success in the coming days, weeks, months and years depends upon people not living in fear, but continuing on for the greater good of our lives and our Country.” He continued by stating, “Be a winner! Live life every day in an incredibly positive way.” That’s how Doc fought his cancer too. His motivational slogan was, “You Can Be As Big As You Want To Be.”

He is survived by his wife Amy, son Edward, daughter Hollis, and stepdaughter Alicia.

 

January 2004 News and Notes

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January 30:

* LPFM station WBHC-LP 95.9 Benton Harbor has signed on the air with Urban and Gospel programming- however the construction permit holder, the City of Benton Harbor, is not certain it wants to be in the radio business. The city is investigating exactly how the station obtained the CP and how the current operation of the station came under control of the African Arts and Culture Council of Benton Harbor- The Herald-Palladium

* An agreement between Fife Lake Broadcasting (Fort Bend Broadcasting) and the FCC has been reached regarding the construction permit for WTCU-FM 95.9 Fife Lake. The Consent Decree resolves issues concerning whether Fife Lake misrepresented facts to, or candor with the FCC regarding WTCU. The end result is that Fife Lake Broadcasting will surrender the construction permit for WTCU and make a $20,000 voluntary contribution to the U.S. Treasury. In exchange, the FCC concludes that no substantial or material questions of fact exist as to whether Fort Bend possesses the basic qualifications, including those related to character, to hold any FCC license or authorization. This issue likely is rooted in a report that the station had signed on briefly from a temporary facility solely to prevent its construction permit from expiring.

January 29:

* Lisa (D'Angelo) and Dylan (Forbes) exit as the morning team at NextMedia Top 40 WTCF-FM 100.5 Saginaw. The station's program director, 'Big' Steve Duncan has taken over mornings. D'Angelo had also been assitant program director at WTCF- All Access

* FCC Action: Granted W271AG 102.1 Mackinaw City its license to cover (moved from 101.5)

January 28:

* Joe Thomas has been hired to take over afternoons at Clear Channel Rock WDTW-FM 106.7 Detroit, his 2-7pm shift will be live/local and replace the voicetracked Randi West who shifts to 10am-2pm. Jay Gilbert - another voicetracker - is dropped from the lineup. Thomas arrives from Chicago where he was in business for himself doing voice work- his radio resume includes time at stations in Chicago and Toledo.

* Clear Channel Talk WXDX-AM 1310 Detroit has changed its evening lineup slightly; Gone from the schedule is Larry Elder, making room for full shows from Michael Savage (7-10pm) and Phil Hendrie (10pm-1am).

* FCC Action: Granted KQDS Acquisition Corp. a construction permit for a TV translator on Ch. 32 (W32CV) to be licensed to Ironwood. The station, which rebroadcasts FOX KQDS-TV, is already on the air under special temporary authority.

January 27:

* ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760 will be shuffling its lineup effective Monday, February 2nd. Frank Beckmann once again will be hosting a program in a weekday timeslot- the former 'Sportswrap' host will take over weekdays 9-11:30am, bumping the syndicated Dr. Laura Show to late nights 10pm-1am. Beckmann's show will feature current local and national news topics. The move of Dr. Laura prompts these changes: Sean Hannity moves back one hour and will run from 7-10pm; Dropped from the weekday lineup will be Sportswrap and Sam Donaldson's show will shift to 1-2am. Steve Courtney, who had been the primary Sportswrap host, stays with the station and will be handling the sports during Paul W. Smith's morning show. Two hours of the Midnight Trucking Show will also be dropped, that program will now only air between 2-4am.

* Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 will drop its afternoon 'LockerRoom' show tomorrow- co-host Eli Zaret will exit the station, with Gary Danielson, the program's other co-host, remaining with the station as a football analyst. Current early afternoon hosts Doug Karsch and Art Regner will shift to 3-7pm from 1-4pm to fill the void in afternoon drive. The station will add Dan Patrick's syndicated show from ESPN Radio from 1-3pm.

* Rob Walker has been named operations manager for all of Clear Channel's Ann Arbor stations and program director for three of them: Walker is now PD and OM of Country WWWW-FM 102.9, Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM 107.1, and Oldies WHNE-AM 1290. He also is now the OM for Sports WTKA-AM 1050. Jeff Defran remains as PD for WTKA. Walker replaces Barry Mardit who held the roles of PD and OM at WWWW and WHNE and Greg Carson who was PD and OM at WQKL. Mardit had been with the company since July of 2001 and formerly was PD at W4 Country in Detroit. Carson has worked in Ann Arbor for the past 15 years.

* Fall radio ratings for Kalamazoo and Battle Creek are now available. Top 5 stations: In Kalamazoo, Top 40 WKFR-FM, Rock WRKR-FM, Country WBCT-FM, Classic Hits WFAT-FM, and Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM. Battle Creek's top stations were Country WNWN-FM (with a rating of over 24!), Top 40 WKFR-FM, News-Talk WBCK-AM, Rock WJXQ-FM, and Rock WRKR-FM. The top cluster in Kalamazoo was Cumulus, in Battle Creek it was Midwest Communications on the strength of WNWN-FM's strong book.

January 26:

* Fall Arbitron ratings have been released for the Grand Rapids and Lansing radio markets. Grand Rapids' top station was once again Country WBCT-FM, followed by Classic Rock WLAV-FM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, and News-Talk WOOD-AM. Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM improved to fifth place on the strength of its All-Christmas programming during the period. Clear Channel continues to control Grand Rapids with a rating of nearly 40 among listeners age 12 and above.

* In Lansing, Country WITL-FM was tops, leading Oldies WJIM-FM, Classic Rock WMMQ-FM, Rock WJXQ-FM, and Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM. Citadel is Lansing's top rated owner, with rating of just over 41.

January 24:

* Greater Media Classic Rock WCSX-FM 94.7 Detroit Morning Show hosts Jim Johnson (JJ) & Lynne Woodison launched their 2nd Annual Stone Soup Project with the announcement that this year's Classic Car will be a 1970 Roadrunner. JJ & Lynne's Stone Soup Project was inspired by the old stone soup fable wherein everyone throws something in the pot to make a great meal. The JJ & Lynne Stone Soup Project will harnessthe generosity and ingenuity of WCSX listeners from around the Detroit area to rebuild a 1970 Roadrunner from the ground up in order to raise money for a local charity. When finished, the custom built '70 Roadrunner will be raffled off to benefit The Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.

January 23:

* Full Service WION-AM 1430 Ionia is off the air, and has been since September 2003, while the FCC reviews the sale of the station to Stafford Communications by Agricultural Resource Group. The sales agreement was reached in August but has not yet been approved by the FCC due to the fact Stafford requires a waiver of the radio-newspaper cross-ownership rule in order to take over control of the station. Stafford owns The Daily News newspaper, which serves part of the coverage area of WION- Ionia Sentinel-Standard

* Joining Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit will be Mike Valenti, who is exiting Mid-Michigan Radio's Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Lansing where he hosted the 10am-noon weekday slot.

* The Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball team will have a new broadcast home this summer- the teams games will move to WQTX-FM 92.7 from Citadel Sports WVFN-AM 730 in a five year deal. Seth VanHoven will take over play-by-play duties from Jim Tocco- Lansing State Journal

January 22:

* FCC Actions: Granted the voluntary assignment of licenses for WBUP-TV 10 Ishpeming and WBKP-TV 5 Calumet from Scanlan Television to Lake Superior Community Broadcasting

January 21:

* Damon 'The Dog' Perry has exited as midday host (10am-1pm) at Infinity Sports WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit. Until a permanent host is named for that time period, it will be hosted by a combination of fill-in hosts including Pat Caputo, Marc Spindler, and/or Scott Anderson.

* Dave Geronimo is elevated from part time status at Citadel Country WFBE-FM 95.1 Flint to full time afternoon drive. In addition, Geronimo has added the roles of music director and assistant program director to his responsibilities- All Access

January 17:

* From AM Drive to Standup: Former ABC/Disney Top 40 morning show contributor Mr. Holesome is now the host and warm up guy for a Metro Detroit comedy series.

* Call sign action: Construction permit for FM 88.1 Rogers Heights has been assigned WAQQ

January 16:

* Fall radio ratings for Flint and the Tri-Cities were released yesterday. The top 5 stations in Flint among listeners age 12 and older were Adult Contemporary WCRZ-FM, Adult Urban WDZZ-FM, Active Rock WWBN-FM, Rhythmic CHR WRCL-FM, and Classic Rock WRSR-FM. Regent was the top rated cluster, ahead of Cumulus and Citadel.
In the Tri-Cities, News-Talk WSGW was tops, followed by Country WKCQ-FM, Oldies WHNN-FM, Top 40 WIOG-FM, and Active Rock WKQZ-FM. NextMedia continued to be the top cluster in the Tri-Cities, followed by Citadel and then MacDonald Broadcasting.

* Hunter Scott has exited from Citadel Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids where he was part of the 'Man Made Radio' afternoon show in addition to being the station's assistant program director. 'Man Made Radio' was also heard on Citadel sister station Active Rock WKQZ-FM 93.3 Midland/Bay City.

January 15:

* Infinity Broadcasting, parent company of FM Talk WKRK-FM 97.1 Detroit, will fight the $27,000 indecency fine levied by the FCC against 'KRK for a program that aired back in 2002. Inside Radio reports that Infinity has filed a petition of reconsideration respectfully declining to pay the fine, and further states that some lawyers have commented that the FCC's indecency policy might not hold up in court if an issue such as this one ever gets pushed that far.

* Detroit-based "The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege" gets a spot in a revamped talk lineup on XM satellite radio beginning this Saturday at 10am. Haege's show will air every Saturday on Buzz, channel 166. The changes on XM's talk channels, which happened today, includes the shifting of some programs between channels along with the addition and removal of several shows.

* WXLA-AM 1180 Dimondale has applied to the FCC for an increase in its daytime power to 10,000 watts from its currently licensed 1,000. The station has also applied to add critical hours coverage at 2,000 watts.

* FCC Action: Granted WRDS-LP 104.3 Roscommon its license to cover (new station)

January 14:

* A couple more applications for changes to AM stations in Michigan: WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland has applied to increase its daytime power from 1,200 watts omnidirectional to 2,500 watts directional using a 2-tower array; WUFL-AM 1030 Sterling Heights has applied to modify its directional daytime signal using a 3-tower array instead of its current 2-tower one. WUFL is licensed for 5,000 watts- it only operates during daylight hours.

January 13:

* NBC affiliate WEYI-TV 25 Flint/Saginaw/Bay City has been sold by LIN TV to Barrington Broadcasting for an undisclosed amount. According to the press release, Barrington Broadcasting was formed in 2003 to acquire and operate television stations in mid-sized markets across the country. Since March of last year, Barrington has operated eight network-affiliated stations under a management contract with Chelsey and recently announced the purchase of two television stations from Chelsey. Barrington's Chief Executive Officer is K. James Yager, former President of Benedek Broadcasting, which owned and operated 28 network-affiliated stations in medium-sized markets until its merger with Gray Television in late 2002. The deal is subject to FCC approval.

* New owner Big D Broadcasting has taken over operations of WAAM-AM 1600 Ann Arbor from Whitehall Enterprises and made several changes, including dropping Adult Standards weekday programming in favor of additional talk shows. The station has repositioned itself as 'TalkRadio 1600 WAAM'. Some of the other changes include the addition of shows from Bill O'Reilly, Joey Reynolds, Dave Ramsey, Lionel, Rusty Humphries, and Michael Savage. Steve Ames, formerly at Clear Channel Ann Arbor, takes over as station manager with Jake Reading now in the role of news director. Ken Kelly, who had been the station's program director and afternoon host, is no longer with the station.

* The results for the fall Arbitron ratings for Ann Arbor have News-Talk WJR-AM as the top station among listeners age 12 and over, followed by Country WWWW-FM, Rock WRIF-FM, Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM, and All-news WWJ-AM. Among stations based in Ann Arbor, W4 was trailed by Adult Contemporary WQKL-FM (tied for 8th overall), Sports WTKA-AM and Talk WAAM-AM (both tied for 20th), and Oldies WHNE-AM (tied for 25th). Clear Channel was the top cluster among the 12+ listeners, outpacing Infinity, ABC/Disney, and Greater Media.

* Richard Appleton, general manager of CBS affiliate WMMT-TV 3 Kalamazoo, passed away after a long illness on January 12th at the age of 69.

* Midwestern Broadcasting News-Talk WTCM-AM 580 has applied to the FCC to change its construction permit to specify 50,000 watts daytime. The current CP is for an increase to 35,000 watts- the station's current licensed daytime power is 15,000 watts.

January 12:

* Cristi Cantle has exited the evening slot and the role of music director at Citadel Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids in order to take over middays at WBYR-FM 98.9 Ft. Wayne- All Access

* WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City has applied to the FCC for an increase in its daytime power from 1,000 watts using 3 towers to 5,000 watts using 4 towers

* FCC Action: Granted WBUP-TV 10 Ishpeming its license to cover for changes (ERP to 133,000 watts directional)

January 10:

* Lucy Noland will exit as morning co-anchor at Fox WJBK-TV 2 Detroit to take over a similar role at the Fox-owned WNYW-TV New York City. She'll be off to the Big Apple following February sweeps- Detroit Free Press

January 9:

* Midwestern Broadcasting has sold Sports WKJF-AM 1370 Cadillac to Traverse City-based Good News Media, owner of Religious WLJN-FM/AM 89.9/1400 for $85,001. WKJF currently simulcasts Midwestern sister station WCCW-AM 1310- that station has a construction permit to upgrade its daytime facilities to 15,000 watts from its crrent 5,000. WCCW will also add 130 watt nighttime service. WKJF is licensed for 5,000 watts daytime and 1,000 watts nighttime.

* Citadel Active Rock WKLQ-FM 94.5 Grand Rapids adds an affiliate for it's Ron and Don morning show. Sister station Rock KSYY Oklahoma City will now also air the duo- All Access

* DCRTV.com reports that Andrea Parquet-Taylor will join Scripps-Howard ABC affliliate WXYZ-TV 7 Detroit to take the role of news director, replacing Bill Carey. It's all part of a shuffle within Scripps'- Carey is the new general manager at WFTS-TV Tampa and Parquet-Taylor arrives from Scripps' WMAR-TV Baltimore.

* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary transfer of control for WQBH-AM 1400 Detroit from Trienere Steinberg to the Order of Fisherman Ministry

January 8:

* Christmas bells are probably ringing in the halls of Clear Channel Detroit with the release of today's Arbiton ratings book. Some of the CC success stories were Urban WJLB-FM returning to the top spot in the overall 12+ ratings, Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM jumping to 4th place overall on the strength of increased listenership to its All-Christmas programming in November and December, WQKI-FM's morning show finishing first place amomg female listeners age 18-34 and 25-34, WDFN-AM's increasing lead over sports rival WXYT-AM, and the fact that Clear Channel moved ahead of Infinity in overall cluster listenership for all listeners. The top 5 stations this fall: WJLB, News-Talk WJR-AM, News WWJ-AM, WNIC, and Oldies WOMC-FM. Another interesting battle is shaping up between Rock WDTW-FM and Classic Rock WCSX-FM- WDTW scored its highest book in recent memory and closed the gap dramatically between itself and WCSX- yet another reason for celebration at Clear Channel.

* Greg Kelser will miss Sunday's Fox Sports Net Detroit Pistons-Dallas Mavericks telecast for a very good reason- He'll be in Nashville as one of six recipients of the 2004 Silver Anniversary Award by the NCAA Honors Committee. The award recognizes former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves since completing their college careers 25 years ago. The award ceremony takes place Sunday at the annual NCAA convention in Nashville. Bill Laimbeer will substitute for Kelser on Sunday, working alongside play-by-play man Fred McLeod.

* FCC Action: Granted WXYT-AM 1270 Detroit its license to cover for changes (50,000 watt operations from facilities in Northern Monroe County)

January 7:

* The first format flip of the year is in Lapeer where Regent Communications WLSP-AM 1530 has changed from Talk to Adult Standards using ABC Radio's 'Stardust' format. The station is identifying itself as 'Unforgettable'- the same as sister station WFNT-AM 1470 Flint.

* Regent's Flint cluster has also announced that Zoe Burdine-Fly has been hired as director of sales. Zoe most recently worked as general manager for Citadel Communication’s Syracuse, New York cluster. This is an opportunity for Zoe to return home to Flint where she had previously worked as GM of WFBE-FM 95.1 and WTRX-AM 1330. According to Mark Thomas, Regent Flint VP/GM, “We are very excited about Zoe joining our team and what her experience adds to our operation”.

* Matt Gilcheck exits as creative services director for Clear Channel's Grand Rapids radio cluster- All Access

January 6:

* WDIV-TV 4 Detroit has announced the hiring of Mark Nicholson to the position of director of business development. Nicholson has over 15 years of radio advertising sales and management experience. He spent the past eight years with Infinity Broadcasting as general sales manager of Sports WXYT-AM 1270.

January 2:

* Ann Delisi will host a new one-hour music and interview show on ABC-Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit beginning Sunday January 18th at 6pm. The addition of 'Inside the Music with Ann Delisi' keeps one music-based program on the station- it appeared that all of WJR's music programming had come to an end with the recent retirement of Mike Whorf and his 'Patterns in Music' show.

 

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