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.