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.