Franken leads radio highlights at 'D' Party




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 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







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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on July 30, 2004 8:00 AM.

Clear Channel betting on fewer ad spots was the previous entry in this blog.

July 2004 News and Notes is the next entry in this blog.

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