The Oakland Press - On The Radio, March 18 2005
By: Mike Austerman
Don't count football analyst Jim Brandstatter out of the Detroit Lions booth quite yet. It seems that last week's reports that Brandstatter wouldn't be back next year might have been a bit premature. There apparently was a communications breakdown between the Lions and the folks at Infinity Broadcasting, owner of Lions flagship WKRK-FM (97.1).
Tom Lewand, chief operating officer of the Lions, has stated that the only announcement was about the change of play-by-play voices and that there hasn't been any conclusion about who the color analyst might be. Lewand further commented that there would be further conversations and that the Lions have the utmost respect for Brandstatter.
All we know for sure is that Mark Champion is out after 16 years in the booth, replaced by Fox 2's Dan Miller. Stay tuned to this one.
Staffers at all-news WWJ-AM (950) are starting to make their displeasure with management known over the direction of their latest contract negotiations.
On the heels of the station being named as the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year in Detroit, it appears that those negotiations have stalled over health care and working conditions as management has offered about $1 million worth of take-backs in the proposed new contract.
Rumor also has it that the station might be looking to reduce its headcount, making represented workers both nervous and angry. That's not a good combination for what has been one the area's most successful stations both in terms of ratings and revenue.
Interesting, too, is that is all happening while the station is using a new revenue source - selling ads for its just-launched Web stream.
It's well established that metro Detroit is a hotbed for quality radio - including those tiny FM stations run by area schools.
The hardworking folks at WBFH-FM (88.1) in Bloomfield Hills can once again boast after being named as Michigan's 2005 High School Station of the Year for the third year in a row.
In addition, Bloomfield Hills School District radio broadcasting students won 13 of the 22 awards given out in the high school radio division - five first-place, five second-place and three third-place - from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.
Some of those individual winners included Ryan Fishman, Erin Kashawlic, P.J. Wascher and Wade Fink from Andover High School and Valenta Bedford from Lahser High - all of whom took home first-place awards. Station Manager Pete Bowers, Assistant Manager/Chief Engineer Randy Carr and Remote Supervisor/Webmaster Ron Wittebols lead the students at WBFH also known as "The Biff."
If you're in the Bloomfield area, tune in at 88.1 or from anywhere else online at www.wbfh.fm. Betcha you'll be hearing the radio and TV stars of the future.
Fine tuning: Former news-ralk WJR-AM (760) program director Phil Boyce has been promoted to vice president of news-talk programming for all of WJR parent ABC Radio. Boyce left WJR to take over as the boss at New York's WABC-AM.
Michigan Radio - WUOM-FM (91.7) and WFUM-FM (91.1) in Flint - was named as Public Broadcaster of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters earlier this month. It's the third consecutive year WUOM has gotten the nod from the MAB as the state's top public radio outlet.
Set your dials: Tony O'Brien and John Lauder, two of Detroit's favorite theatre pipe organists, will be featured on "Somewhere in Time" at 6 p.m. Sunday on WMUZ-FM (103.5).
Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.