* The Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has released its list of nominees for its 26th awards ceremony, to be held on June 5th in Detroit. Fox station WJBK-TV 2 Detroit received the most nominations overall. Fox Sports Net Detroit received 15 nominations- the most in the network's 7-year history.
* Toni Garcia exits as morning show co-host at Infinity Smooth Jazz WVMV-FM 98.7 Detroit. Lori Bennett will move from mid-mornings into Garcia's old slot once Bennett's slot is filled. Alexander Zonjic will retain his morning co-hosting duties.
* ABC/Disney WJR-AM 760 Detroit chief engineer Ed Buterbaugh has once again been honored as one of the 35 Most Admired Engineers in Radio by the trade publication Radio Ink.
* FCC Actions: Granted WAAQ-FM 88.3 Onsted a construction permit for changes (slight modification to tower location); Deleted W204BB 88.7 Schoolcraft (translator of Family Radio, replaced by WOFR-FM 89.5 Schoolcraft)
* News/Talk WJR-AM returned to the top of radio ratings for Detroit among listeners age 12 and above during the winter months. Last quarter's top station, Urban WJLB-FM, finished second overall. In the rest of the top 5 were Oldies WOMC-FM, All News WWJ-AM, and Rock WRIF-FM. Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM slid down to 7th overall- the station enjoyed a ratings boost earlier in the winter as a result of its all holiday music programming in November and December. Clear Channel remained the top cluster across all of its stations, followed by Infinity, Greater Media, and ABC/Disney.
* Tik Tak officially returns to evening radio in Detroit, signing on for 7-11pm at Top 40 Clear Channel WKQI-FM 95.5 starting tonight. Tik Tak was at crosstown WDRQ-FM 93.1 before leaving town two years ago for gigs in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
* Classic Rock WWKR-FM 94.1 Pentwater has applied to the FCC for a city of license change to Hart. The COL change for WWKR is part of the move of Adult Contemporary WCXT-FM 105.3's move from Hart to Coopersville that was approved by the FCC this past February.
* Radio One Detroit (WDMK-FM 102.7, WDTJ-FM 105.9, and WCHB-AM 1200) general manager Tamara Knechtel has exited the cluster for a job outside of radio. Knectel also was in the role of vice president of operations for all of Radio One.
* ABC/Disney Hot AC WDVD-FM 96.3 Detroit has named Lisa Jesswein as the station's new morning show co-host, joining Blaine Fowler. "Blaine & Lisa" will air from 5:30-9:00am weekdays. Lisa’s extensive media background includes many years in Detroit radio, including being a part of morning show teams and/or promotions departments at WKQI-FM 95.5, WOMC-FM 104.3, and WNIC-FM 100.3.
* Jack Ebling will move as morning co-host to middays at Rubber City Radio Sports WQTX-FM 92.7 Charlotte/Lansing, bumping the Jim Rome show off the station. Tom Crawford, Ebling's morning co-host will leave the station. New to mornings will be Ken Landau and Nick Chase- Lansing State Journal
* The Great Lakes Radio Consortium, the environmental news service of Michigan Radio, in May will launch "Your Choice; Your Planet", an ambitious yearlong project intended to let listeners know how everyday consumer decisions are important to the environmental health of the planet.
Environmental reporting is often limited to government regulations and industry failures. Your Choice; Your Planet will be a series of occasional reports on consumer choices and their effects on the environment. Great Lakes Radio Consortium co-editors Mark Brush and Lester Graham say the series will reveal how consumer choices are not always as simple as they initially appear. More information about the GLRC is available at www.glrc.org.
* FCC Action: Granted the voluntary assignment of the construction permit for WWZP-FM 90.9 Freeland from American Family Association to Great Lakes Community Broadcasting
* Religious/Ethnic WMKM-AM 1440 Inkster Detroit has been sold for $5.75 million by Great Lakes Radio to Davidson Media Group. The sale of WMKM is the third AM in the Detroit market to be sold in the last month; separate deals for WQBH-AM 1400 and WPON-AM 1460 were announced previously.
The sale price of WMKM is surprising- WQBH, which arguably has a better signal across the market and more listenership, sold for $4.75 million. WPON's sale price was $800,000. With FCC approval, WMKM will be Davidson's first Michigan radio station, and its eighth overall.
* FCC Actions: Granted construction permits for 2 new FM translators to: Northern Christian Radio at 99.7 Petoskey (W259AH, primary station WPHN-FM 90.5 Gaylord); Edgewater Broadcasting at 95.3 Hudsonville (K237DB, Ottawa County)
* 100000watts.com reports that WADW-FM 105.5 Pickford/Sault Ste Marie has returned to the air with Catholic-based Religious programming from owner Starboard Broadcasting. The station had been off the air for about 1 year after its sale to Starboard in October 2002. Prior to going off the air, WADW's format was Oldies.
* Jerry O'Donnell has exited as morning show host for Cumulus Top 40 WWCK-FM 105.5 Flint.
* WSDP-FM 88.1 Plymouth/Canton was recently honored as the Michigan Association of Educational Broadcasters' High School Station of the Year. Henry Ford Community College WHFR-FM 89.3 Dearborn won the College Station of the Year award. WSDP was also honored in March as the Michigan Association of Broadcasters' High School Station of the Year.
* FCC Action: Granted WEJC-FM 88.3 White Star/Gladwin a construction permit to change ERP (30,000 watts vertical to 80,000 watts vertical; Class C2 to Class C1)
* Fox Sports Net Detroit continues to reach more and more viewers as sports fans follow the successes of the Red Wings, Pistons, and Tigers. Each of FSN's three Red Wings playoff telecasts have established records for single-game viewership records for the regional sports network: Game 5 (4/15/04) -- 14.0 rating, Game 4 (4/13/04) -- 13.2, and Game 1 (4/7/04) -- 13.1. Tigers' ratings are doing well, too: The first 4 telecasts have averaged a 5.5 rating, up 53% from the 3.6 rating for the same number of games last year. The current rating (5.5) is 120% above last season's final average of 2.5.
* Birach Broadcasting has purchased Talk/Oldies WPON-AM 1460 Walled Lake/Pontiac from Foreign Radio Programs for $800,000. Birach also owns Michigan stations Talk/Ethnic WNZK-AM 680/690 Detroit, Classic Country WCXI-AM 1160 Fenton/Flint, Talk WMFN-AM 640 Zeeland/Grand Rapids, and Adult Standards WMJH-AM 810 Grand Rapids as well as 6 other stations outside of the state. The deal is subject to approval from the FCC.
* ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM midday host Frank Beckmann yesterday hosted a visit from David Newman, the WJR host who has been off the air since November 2001 because of the after effects of a stroke. The primary topic of discussion was Newman's interview with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice prior to the September 11th attacks where the subject of Osama Bin Laden came up. That interview came to light as part of Rice's testimony to the September 11th Commission last week. Beckmann and Newman also discussed the later's health status and his hopes to someday return to the air on a full-time basis.
* Condolences to family and friends of Midwest Radio Oldies WTVB-AM 1590 Coldwater morning co-host Kevin Ireland, who died April 12th from congestive heart failure at age 49- All Access
* The FCC has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to reserve the vacant FM channel 279A (103.7) at Hubbardston (Ionia County) for non-commercial educational use.
* FCC Actions: LPFM 92.7 Kalamazoo was assigned the call sign of WCAC-LP on March 30; Granted Rock Ministries a construction permit for a new LPFM station at 106.7 to be licensed to Mt. Pleasant; Granted WAAQ-FM 88.3 Onsted its license to cover for changes (ERP from 100 watts @ 184 feet to 250 watts @ 75 feet from slightly different location)
* FCC Actions: Granted 4 new construction permits for FM translators- 2 to Radio Assist Ministry for W295AK 106.9 Three Rivers and W292CP 106.3 Imlay City; 2 to Edgewater Broadcasting for W282AK 104.3 Petoskey and W279AP 103.7 Ionia.
* John B. Lipinski, better known as "Johnny the Polka Man", or "Jolly John", passed away yesterday afternoon at his home. He was recovering from a recent heart bypass surgery. Lipinski, born in 1935, leaves 4 adult children several grandchildren. His former wife predeceased him. John hosted several polka music programs in the Tri-City area spanning over 50 years on several radio stations, including WBCM and WXOX. His Sunday Polka Club was heard from noon until 3pm on Talk/Oldies WKNX-AM 1250 Bay City/Saginaw. His WKNX program featured a variety of styles and tempos, along with knowledgeable comments about the music and various groups. John was a Bay City native and had been a professional musician for over 5 decades, leading several groups, from the 4-piece "Polkatette & Combo", to the 7-piece "Polka Pleasure" and 10-piece "Polka Pleasure Plus" and a 17-piece big band known as "The Satin Brass". He also performed regularly with the Bay concert band "Second Wind" and "Klassic Klez", a Jewish Klezmer band.
* South Bend area LPTV station WAAT-LP channel 69 is on the air and will begin programming a full schedule this coming Monday, April 12. The station will not be affiliated with any network and will air a variety of shows from 9am until 12:30am. Overnights will carry 'The Sportsman Channel'- Elkhart Truth
* The hits just keep on coming for the Detroit Tigers, this time in the form of a record viewing audience for one of their telecasts on Fox Sports Net Detroit. Based on data from Nielsen Media Research, Thursday's telecast of the Tigers home opener registered a 8.3 household rating in metro Detroit, an average of 159,600 homes tuned in over the course of the 2:00-5:00 PM telecast (one ratings point equals approximately 19,230 households). The telecast peaked at an 11.0 rating (211,530 homes) during the eighth and ninth innings as the Tigers capped a 10-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Thursday's game easily eclipsed the previous top-rated FSN Tigers telecast, a 6.7 rating on June 1, 2003, when Yankees' pitcher Roger Clemens unsuccessfully went for career victory No. 300 at Comerica Park.
The first three Tigers telecasts this season on Fox Sports Net are averaging a 5.8 rating, up 57 percent for the same number of games in 2003 (3.7). The current 5.8 average is 132 percent above last season's overall average rating of 2.5. Fox Sports Net will televise 100 Tigers games in 2004. The next telecast is Wednesday, April 14 at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.
* Jon McGuire is the new afternoon jock at Great Lakes Radio Adult Contemporary WKQS-FM 101.9 Marquette. Kevin Downey, who works on Great Lakes Radio's coverage of Northern Michigan University Wildcat sports as radio play-by-play announcer, takes over production manager duties at WKQS.
* FCC Action: Granted Radio Assist Ministry a construction permit for a new FM translator at 105.5 (W288BH) to be licensed to Boyne City. It is believed that Radio Assist Ministry is associated with Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, ID and might broadcast the Religious Calvary Satellite Network on this station.
* Winter phase 2 ratings for Grand Rapids and Lansing have been released. Country WBCT-FM remains the top station in Grand Rapids, followed by News-Talk WOOD-AM, Top 40 WSNX-FM, Adult Contemporary WOOD-FM, and Classic Rock WLAV-FM. Clear Channel remains the top cluster among listeners age 12 and above. Over in Lansing, Citadel was the top group; its Country WITL-FM was the number one station, followed by Oldies WJIM-FM, Adult Contemporary WFMK-FM, Top 40 WHZZ-FM, and Rock WJXQ-FM.
* Last night's opening round NHL playoff game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators gave Fox Sports Net Detroit its highest ratings ever- it was the most watched game in the station's 7-year history. Based on data received from Nielsen Media Research, the game registered a 13.1 household rating in the Detroit metro area, an average of nearly 252,000 homes that tuned in over the course of the telecast (one rating point equals approximately 19,230 households). The telecast peaked at an 18.3 rating (nearly 352,000 homes) during the Red Wings third period rally which gave them a 3-1 victory. Most of the late-game audience stayed tuned to Fox Sports Net for the post-game edition of the Detroit Sports Report, which had an all-time high 13.5 rating (approximately 260,000 households) for the first half-hour of the 60-minute presentation. Wednesday night's DSR rating nearly doubled the previous high for the show, a 6.3 registered on April 2 following the Detroit Pistons-Miami Heat basketball game.
* Fort Bend Broadcasting has changed the format of WLDR-AM 1210 Kingsley from Talk to Classic Country. The station had been airing shows from the Michigan Talk Radio Network prior to its flip this past weekend.
* FCC Actions: Granted licenses to cover for changes to Great Lakes Community Broadcasting for W214BH 90.7 Mt. Pleasant and W220CW 91.9 Rogers Heights (power from 10 to 100 watts)
* Warren Consolidated Schools' WPHS-FM 89.1 hosted a 72-hour radio marathon to raise funds for the charity Paws with a Cause- donations went to the lifetime training of one dog assistant that is trained specifically to fit the needs of a client with disabilities, except blindness. The station's goal was $6000. WPHS began broadcasting around the clock, all year long this past December. Students man the airwaves from 6:30am - 8:30pm when school is in session; the station runs syndicated classical music programs during all other times.
* Detroit Public Radio WDET-FM 101.9 ended its spring fundraiser yesterday morning after hitting its goal of $730,000 in pledges. The fundraising efforts lasted 12 days. Over in Ann Arbor, Michigan Radio, the public radio stations of the University of Michigan, raised $702,437 during its spring fund drive that ended Friday, April 2nd. The total is a 16 percent increase over the spring 2003 fund drive.
* Matt Kennedy has left Great Lakes Radio Adult Contemporary WKQS-FM 101.9 Marquette where he was the afternoon jock and production manager.
* The syndicated Wendy Williams Experience is added to afternoons at Praestantia Broadcasting Urban Oldies WOWE-FM 98.9 Flint. The show originates from WBLS-FM 107.5 New York.
* FCC Action: Granted Family Life Broadcasting System a construction permit for a new FM translator to be licensed to Lawrence (Van Buren County) on 96.7 (W244BL). The 38 watt station will likely retransmit the programming of Religious WUFN-FM 96.7 Albion.
* ABC/Disney News-Talk WJR-AM 760 Detroit investigative reporter Rod Hanson has been selected as an inductee in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. Hanson joins retired Detroit News sports columnist Joe Falls and political columnist Hugh McDiarmid in the class of 2004.
* Brad B. rejoins MacDonald Broadcasting Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing for nights and as the station's webmaster. He had exited last month- All Access
* Following the announcment that WTRK-FM 89.1 Bay City has been sold to Education Media Foundation, an application has been filed with the FCC to upgrade the station's power from 2,000 watts @ 328 feet to 14,800 watts @ 837 feet. The station would change from Class A to Class C2, become directional, and move its antenna to northeast of Essexville if the application is approved.
* Dave B. Goode exits as program director for MacDonald Broadcasting Top 40 WHZZ-FM 101.7 Lansing- All Access
* Chris Edmonds, afternoon host at Clear Channel Adult Contemporary WNIC-FM 100.3 Detroit, has added the afternoon role at sister station AC WOOD-FM 105.7 Grand Rapids to his responsibilities.
* Lisa Rodman exits as music director at Infinity Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 Detroit.
* Birach Talk WMFN-AM 640 Grand Rapids will begin airing 'Morning in America' with Bill Bennett 6am-8am Mon-Fri starting April 5th. Bennett is the former Secretary of Education who will be paired up with Tom Tradup, former president/general manager of WLS-AM & FM Chicago. 'The LockerRoom Show with the Hoss' will move to 8am-10am. Also at WMFN beginning Monday April 12th, Tyrone Bynum, former on-air host at WJNZ 1140AM, will begin hosting 'The Drive w/ Tyrone Bynum' from 3-6pm weekdays.
* Clear Channel Top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 midday host Beau has been given the additional role of assistant program director- All Access
* FCC Actions: Granted WKNX-FM 1250 Bay City its license to cover for changes (added 129 watt nighttime service); Granted Spring Arbor University construction permits for 2 new FM translators- W225AF 92.9 Somerset and W252BA 98.3 Chelsea. The translators will likely rebroadcast Religious WSAE-FM 106.9 Spring Arbor; Granted Family Educational Broadcasting Corp of Door County WI consturction permits for 2 new FM translators- W234AN 94.7 and W264AU 100.7 Houghton. These translators will likely rebroadcast WPFF-FM 90.5 and WRGX-FM 88.5 Sturgeon Bay, WI.
* Buck Head exits evenings at Clear Channel Top 40 WKQI-FM 95.5 Detroit. Tik Tak, former evening guy at crosstown ABC/Disney Top 40 WDRQ-FM 93.1 is filling in for now from his current gig in Pittsburgh- All Access
* Mark Elliott has joined MacDonald-Garber Broadcasting as its corporate director of programming and morning show host for Top 40 WKHQ-FM 105.9 Charlevoix. MacDonald-Garber owns/operates a total of 4 FM and 3 AM stations in northwest lower Michigan.
* Greater Media Rock WRIF-FM 101.1 Detroit morning show hosts Mike Clark and Drew Lane have signed on with Fox Sports Net Detroit to provide weekly commentaries during the "Detroit Sports Report" (10 pm or after game coverage). Drew and Mike will provide their unique commentary on one of the hot topics in the world of sports -- national and local. The segment, "Drew & Mike On the Air", premiered last night and is slated to run each Wednesday night on DSR. It is taped each week at the WRIF studios.
* Bea-Ver Communications Rock CKUE-FM 95.1 Chatham, ON has powered up its booster station in Windsor. The booster, also on 95.1, is broadcasting with an average of 400 watts and a peak of 2,000 watts directed over Windsor.
* FCC Actions: Granted Spring Arbor University a construction permit for an FM translator at 107.7 (W299AV) to be licensed to Deerfield (Lenawee County, along the Monroe County line). The station will transmit with 120 watts and will likely rebroadcast the programming of Religious WSAE-FM 106.9 Spring Arbor; Granted WLAJ-TV 53 Lansing its license to cover for changes (slight change to antenna HAAT)