The Oakland Press - On The Radio, February 25 2005
By: Art Vuolo
Today, it's Dick Purtan's day-long Salvation Army Radiothon at the Oakland Mall in Troy. It's his 18th annual fund-raiser, and the folks at Oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) hope they get just one more dollar than in 2004 - a tall order, considering last year's event raised a record-breaking $1.5 million dollars.
No radio personality and/or station had ever achieved that kind of success on a single day in the history of the radio industry.
Some of that was attributed to the people who donated in memory of Purtan pal Mark "Doc" Andrews, who died two weeks before the radiothon. Likewise, in 2001, Purtan's longtime head writer and executive producer Gene Taylor, who'd been very active in helping the Salvation Army, died from an asthma attack in northern Michigan just weeks before the radiothon.
The greater Detroit area is nationally known as one of the most caring and generous areas in America, and the radiothon is your chance to help out the Salvation Army's Bed & Bread program.
Get down to the mall's center court before 10 tonight, make a pledge and see some of your favorite radio and TV personalities up close and personal. Or pledge at (248) 307-1043 or at www.womc.com.
The Oakland Mall seems to bring good luck to all the stations that use it for fund-raisers.
Recently, country WYCD-FM (99.5) was there and its St. Jude's Radiothon, hosted by afternoon personalities Edwards & Lee and the return of Dr. Don Carpenter, raised more than a half-million dollars to help kids.
My guess is that Dr. Don will be back in the morning show chair soon, since 'YCD wouldn't have brought him back if people weren't seriously impressed by his obvious talent.
If that happens, look for Mike Scott to return to his midday shift. He's done an outstanding job on the morning show ever since 'YCD's last morning team left the building, but he certainly won't miss that alarm clock ringing at 3 a.m.
Warren Pierce was visited recently by one of the most talked-about hosts ever on news-talk WJR-AM (760) - David Newman, who's been an in-studio guest on Pierce's weekend morning program.
WJR listeners remember him fondly. Newman, who has been off the air for the past three years because of health problems, still has impressive top-of-mind awareness, which is rare in the radio business.
Should Newman want to come back, WJR management has assured us that the door is always open. I just spoke to David this week and he sounds great, so stay tuned.
Set Your Dial: Guest host John Penney brings in-studio music from the Django Reinhardt-inspired Hot Club of Detroit jazz group, between 1-4 p.m. today on public radio WDET-FM (101.9) ... Tom Wilson features the British big bands at the end of World War II at 6 p.m. Sunday on WMUZ-FM (103.5).
Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.