The Oakland Press - On The Radio, October 29 2004
By Mike Austerman
Tomorrow's "Backyard Brawl" between Michigan and Michigan State gives local radio stations a good excuse to throw parties.
From 6-9 this morning, news-talk WJR-AM (760) morning man Paul W. Smith broadcasts his annual "rivalry breakfast" from Andiamo Italia Restaurant in Warren.
Though he's a Michigan grad, Paul W. will no doubt be completely neutral and would never consider playing "The Victors" more than the Spartan fight song.
Also, beginning at 3 p.m. today, Stoney and Wojo of sports WDFN-AM (1130) will broadcast their University of Michigan-Michigan State bash from Snookers Pool & Pub in Utica.
Then, starting at 1:30 p.m., Parker and the Man from hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) will host their show live from the area's biggest UM-MSU party at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. Admission's free, but you must be 21 or older to watch the game on the big screen and enjoy the barbecue by Chef Paul. Doors open at 1 p.m., and at 3 p.m., two lucky people will win tickets to the game and be whisked off to Ann Arbor, to arrive before the end of the first quarter.
Those watching at home can turn down the TV and pick their favorite radio callers: Michigan's Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter on WJR or MSU's George Blaha and Bill Burke on WXYT-AM (1270).
May the best team win ...
Ch-ch-ch-changes: Country WYCD-FM (99.5) has named Chip Miller as its new program director, starting Nov. 21. The search for a new PD had been underway since August, when former boss Mac Daniels exited for Austin, Texas.
Miller arrives from Memphis, where he led a country outlet there to its best ratings success in 10 years. Prior to Memphis, Miller worked at WFBE-FM (95.1) Flint.
He says he's "very excited to return to Michigan" and be a part of the WYCD team, adding, "Detroit, get ready for a re-energized WYCD!"
If you're a fan of legendary local radio and a subscriber to XM Satellite Radio, you'll want to check out XM's Sixties on Six from 4-8 p.m. today when the station honors our own 1960s AM powerhouse Keener 13 - WKNR.
Afternoon jock Terry "Motormouth" Young will provide a total re-creation of Keener 13, complete with jingles, tapes of former jocks, old Detroit commercials, and music of the 1960s.
What's even cooler is that XM is doing the tribute on the weekend of the station's 41st anniversary: Keener 13 was born on Halloween night 1963 and transformed the Detroit radio dial forever. You know what I'll be listening to this afternoon.
For more and for those without XM, check out Scott Westerman's outstanding Keener 13 Web site at www.keener13.com. There, you'll find station history, jingles, bios of Keener's legendary jocks (including Dick Purtan) and more.
Regular broadcasters can't be happy about all the press satellite radio has been getting lately.
This week's biggest news came out of the XM camp with the announcement that Major League Baseball has agreed to a $650 million, 11-year deal that will bring roughly 2,600 baseball games a year to XM.
You'll be able to hear every game on XM next year, although you'll only be able to hear one of the two teams' announcers per game (my guess is you'll hear the home team's feed). The broadcasts will be an exact duplication of what you'd hear over the "regular" radio - including the commercials and station promotions.
XM's other announcement was the availability of a new Walkmanlike receiver that also can be used to download program material for later playback.
The Delphi MyFi has the satellite industry's first built-in antenna and includes accessories for home and car use. It's pricey at $350, but it opens a whole new potential market for XM - just in time for Christmas. And for techies, it's, like, way cool.
Finally, Sirius debuted a new hip-hop channel yesterday programmed by Detroiter Eminem.
The main marketing point other than Eminem? The channel is uncensored, giving parents something else to be frightened of this Halloween.
Set your dials: Standards CKWW-AM (580) carries on a Halloween tradition and will once again broadcast the original 1938 classic "The War of the Worlds" at 8 p.m. Sunday. This realistic radio drama starred Orson Welles and convinced thousands of listeners that Martians were invading Earth ... Public WDET-FM's (101.9) Jon Moshier also will present his yearly Halloween special of spooky songs, rare novelty records, 1950s movie trailers, and special Rhino Record giveaways starting at 10 p.m. Saturday till the witching hour. Bwah-hah-hah-hah!
Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.