The Oakland Press - On The Radio, February 18 2005
By: Mike Austerman
The Purtan’s People gang at Oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) has had a busy week. Today’s guest is 70’s TV star Valerie Bertinelli (the object of many teenage boys crushes), who will be promoting an upcoming “One Day at a Time” reunion special on Ch. 62 next Tuesday. She follows guests Tom Selleck and Mary Hart from earlier this week. And don’t forget, the big Salvation Army Bed and Bread Club Radiothon will be taking place live next Friday Feb. 25 from Oakland Mall in Troy.
With apologies to all the outstanding efforts that other stations put forth to help charities, this one is easily my favorite. Maybe it’s because all of the money raised stays right here in metro Detroit. Or because you can be sure that every dollar you donate is used to help those in desperate need of food and shelter. And maybe it’s because of all the personal effort that Dick Purtan and his staff put into this one huge day. Let’s all do our part this year and help break last year’s incredible record of $1,530,836. Here’s an eye-popping number for ya: Since 1988, Purtan’s People and the folks of metro Detroit have helped raise over $8.5 million for the cause. There just isn’t enough space to say all good things that need to be said about this effort.
Over at country WYCD-FM (99.5), they tallied up the donations from their radiothon last week, and $510,529 was raised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. You also cannot say enough about how generous metro Detroit's are when it comes to helping others.
Sports WDFN-AM (1130) came up with a unique way to honor Detroit Pistons players Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups after they were left off the roster for Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. The station has ensured the players’ place in the cosmos forever by having stars named after them by the International Star Registry. Wonder if WDFN would do the same for radio columnists who provide their station with shameless plugs ...
It’ll likely get a whole lot more expensive in the near future if a radio station violates the FCC’s rules against broadcast indecency. The House Energy and Commerce Committee last week approved a measure that would increase those fines to up to $500,000 per incident. The thought behind the bill is that at the current level of $32,500, many broadcasters view the fines as simply part of the cost of doing business. The measure also included a provision whereby the FCC could revoke a station’s license if indecency rules were violated three times. "Clearly the FCC's enforcement tools could use some sharpening," said Rep. Joe L. Barton, chairman of the committee. The bill now goes to the House floor for a vote and, if approved there, would have to be reconciled with a Senate bill that calls for fines of up to $325,000 per incident. It would be interesting to see what a law with these kinds of hefty fines would do to morning radio as we know it today- would it end up more like this year’s Super Bowl? Supporters say that the regulation, if approved, will curtail the on-air behavior of radio's so-called "shock jocks."
News WWJ-AM (950) weatherman Sonny Eliot will be inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame on April 16. That makes the third hall of fame honor for Sonny, with his earlier inclusion with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Michigan Aviation halls of fame.
"Not bad for someone who is just 38 years old," kids co-worker Jayne Bower, who nominated him.
Set your dials: Keyboardist Dr. Carol Williams and a program of Scott Joplinesque rags will be featured 6 p.m. Sunday on WMUZ-FM (103.5) on the "Somewhere in Time" show, hosted by attorney-broadcaster Tom Wilson.
Behind the mic: At adult urban station WMXD-FM (92.3), Oneil Stevens hosts the midday shift 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. during the week. A native of the area and grad of Inkster High School, he began his broadcast career after attending the Specs Howard broadcast school, he has spent 24 years behind the microphone here at nine different radio stations. In his bio, he says he's a lover of music, good humor, outdoor activities, animals, motorcycles, and most importantly, people.
Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.