The Oakland Press - On The Radio, December 10 2004
By: Mike Austerman
We've got lots of radio stocking stuffers to get caught up on as we wind down the year: The market's top-rated morning show, Drew and Mike of rocker WRIF-FM (101.1), continues to score accolades. Readers of the radio/music trade publication Friday Morning Quarterback have voted the duo this year's as Best Local Morning Show in the Active Rock format.
Drew and Mike also nabbed the national award for Air Personality/ Show of the Year at the 2004 Radio & Records Awards ceremony in June. No coal in these guys' Christmas stockings this year!
Man at Large (McConnell Adams) has been let go as the evening jock at Top 40 WDRQ-FM (93.1); the station will not comment on the reason for the dismissal. A permanent replacement for the 7 p.m.-midnight shift has not yet been identified.
Across the hall at the Fisher Building, pop WDVD-FM (96.3) has tapped Ron Harrell as its new program director, replacing Greg Ausham, who exited in September. Harrell arrives in town from Denver, where he programmed a similar station for nearly 10 years. He says he's "certainly looking forward to this new challenge - Detroit is a great radio town." General manager Steve Kosbau says he's "thrilled" to have Ron onboard, adding that "his keen understanding of Hot Adult Contemporary and many years of experience in Denver will be invaluable as we take WDVD to new heights." Would that be Madison, Dearborn, or Sterling Heights?
The Detroit Public Schools continues to operate its radio station, WRCJ-FM (90.9) - the former WDTR - from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays only; there's been no word on what happened to plans to turn operations over to a third party earlier this fall.
One bit of good news: The half-hour children's show "Brady Jamzz," which features fourth- and fifth-graders from Detroit's Brady Elementary School, has returned at 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays. The program, which teaches kids about radio careers, features student DJs, their commercials, stories and radio plays.
We hope Santa Claus will bring FM 90.9 a full-time schedule.
It's a Merry Christmas for "Morning Edition" hosts Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep as the pair lose the "interim" tag and are now named the permanent hosts for National Public Radio's popular morning show.
Heard locally on WDET-FM (101.9) and WUOM-FM (91.7), Los Angeles-based Montagne and Washington, D.C.-based Inskeep have been anchoring the show since May when former host Bob Edwards had his chair yanked by NPR.
Edwards found his mistletoe earlier this fall when he landed his own morning gig at XM Satellite Radio.
You'll be hearing more Fox News on the radio with this week's announcement that broadcast giant Clear Channel has become the first major affiliate group to sign up with Fox for things such as top-of-the-hour newscasts and breaking news reports.
The five-year agreement between the companies creates a direct competitor to ABC Radio and CBS Radio and it's expected that hundreds of Clear Channel news-talk stations across the country will switch from ABC and CBS to Fox by mid-2005.
Locally, Clear Channel-owned WXDX-AM (1310) already airs some Fox News reports in addition to newscasts provided by the Michigan Talk Radio Network.
Set your dials: Nostalgia/standards CKWW-AM (580) features classic holiday-themed episodes of "When Radio Was" at 10 p.m. every weeknight through Dec. 24. Next week's shows feature the 1946 Red Skelton Christmas Eve show and the Radio City Playhouse version of " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" from 1949. For a schedule, visit www.580ckww.com/ programs/wrw.html.