July 2004 Archives

July 2004 News and Notes



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.

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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.

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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."

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.







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This page is an archive of entries from July 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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