The Oakland Press - On The Radio, January 21 2005
By: Mike Austerman
Jerry Springer on the radio? Yup.
The former politician turned trashy TV show host has started a new career as a straight-ahead radio talk host. His show, starting next month, is one of several new offerings on talk WDTW-AM (1310), which revamped its entire weekday lineup Thursday and also changed its call sign from WXDX.
Gone are offerings from the Michigan Talk Radio network and other syndicated shows in favor of Springer's new show (it'll air 9 a.m.-noon), along with Al Franken (noon-3 p.m.), Ed Schultz (3-6 p.m.), Randi Rhodes (6-10 p.m.) and Mike Malloy (10 p.m.-1 a.m.). The 6-9 a.m. morning show is hosted locally by Detroit-native Nancy Skinner, who was last at talk powerhouse WLS-AM Chicago.
The move to a progressive/liberal lineup of shows is a great move for WXDX and will give listeners a solid alternative to more conservative programming on other area talk stations.
The last piece of the puzzle to success? Adding Joey Reynolds' live show overnights instead of airing shows that were taped earlier in the day.
I'll take my crow with ketchup, please.
In November, I complained in this space about the early switch to full-time Christmas music by WNIC-FM (100.3) and WMGC-FM (105.1) and solicited comments from you to see if you shared my feelings about the early barrage of holiday cheer.
Your response was overwhelming - almost everyone agreed that switching to 100 percent Christmas music the first week of November was too much. Many claimed they wouldn't be listening at all in protest.
Know what? Some of you must have been listening. And in droves, too.
Y'know what else? WNIC, the station that switched first, had the biggest success. In the fall ratings for listeners age 12 and above, WNIC rose from 5.3 last fall to 5.8 this fall and moved into the top spot among all area stations. WNIC's bump looks even better when comparing its summer number of 3.5.
WMGC actually didn't get any year-to-year bump, slipping to 3.9 from last fall's 4.0 when they were only playing a mix of Christmas music until just before the holiday. But they, too, increased over their summer ratings number, which was 3.6.
Next year, I think I'll write about what a great idea it is to hear Christmas music the day after Halloween. After all, if they play it, people will listen - no matter what snarky radio columnists say.
Looking at the rest of the ratings, we find the usual suspects on top. Following WNIC is adult urban WMXD-FM (92.3), all-news WWJ-AM (950), and news-talk WJR-AM (760).
And Drew & Mike at rock WRIF-FM (101.1) once again were the top morning show, followed by Roberta Jasina and Joe Donovan on WWJ; Dick Purtan on oldies WOMC-FM (104.3); Tom Joyner on WMXD; and Paul W. Smith on WJR.
If the voice you heard yesterday and this morning on country WYCD-FM (99.5) sounded familiar, that's because it belongs to Dr. Don Carpenter, who was originally with the station during its days as FM Talk WOW-FM in January 1993 and stayed onboard to host afternoons and then mornings when WYCD was born in May 1993.
Dr. Don left town in May 2000 following "creative differences" between Carpenter and station bosses over the amount of blue humor being used on his program. After a stop in Cincinnati, Carpenter's appearances this week are apparently a try-out of sorts to see if there might a more permanent return.
I'm betting we'll be hearing more from Dr. Don soon.
What do you call it when radio personalities are paid to promote things and they don't disclose that they're being paid?
Some would call it payola - and that's what writer and pundit Armstrong Williams is being accused of after he got caught accepting money from the Bush administration to promote the No Child Left Behind Act on radio and TV without acknowledging that he was being paid to do so.
FCC Chairman Michael Powell has called for an investigation into the allegations.
Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.