June 2004 Archives

June 2004 News and Notes

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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.

 

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