Reprinted from the Daily Oakland Press
By: Mike Austerman
When WDRQ-FM (93.1) abruptly changed its format from Top 40 to pop two weeks ago, the move rightly grabbed the headlines and attention of area radio fans. But another change at about the same time didn't get the attention it deserved. At Christian WMUZ-FM (103.5), a new morning show hosted by Jon Culbert and Rhonda Hart debuted on April 4. The pair hope their show, 6-10 a.m. Monday through Saturday, will be a destination for Detroiters seeking a spiritually uplifting experience, thanks to its mix of contemporary Christian music and comedy segments, news, weather, traffic and guest appearances.
Culbert was bit by the radio bug as a student at Port Huron Northern High when he worked on the school's station. He's since worked in country and news/talk formats and says with Christian radio, "I can express, more fully than ever before, the personality that God created and the convictions I have."
Co-host Hart boasts more than 25 years in the business, having worked locally for WABX, WRIF, WYCD, WOMC and WCSX. Sayeth she: "I'm excited to join WMUZ, where I'll have the opportunity to openly share my faith." WMUZ's former morning host, Sean Harriott, left the station in November.
Tiger fans rejoice, not just because a new season is here, but also because the new sports talk WXYT-AM (1270) RADIOGUIDE is now available at over 200 area Little Caesar's Pizza outlets. Featuring the Tigers' schedule and a list of all the radio stations that carry the games, it's a home run for fifth year sponsor GMAC Mortgage. The guide also lists the news, talk, sports, and NPR stations nationwide. Get yours for $1 for postage and handling to: WXYT RADIOGUIDE, P.O. Box 880, Novi, MI 48376.
Show 'em the money! That's what listeners have done for public radio WDET-FM (101.9), pledging more than $600,000 during the station's recent spring fund-raising drive. The station boasts that it raised nearly $200,000 from listeners before the on-air campaign even started - a 95 percent increase over last fall's early bird drive. You still can contribute and be eligible for a 'DET vintage logo T-shirt featuring the station's 1952 logo or tickets to WDET's farewell to outgoing Detroit Symphony Orchestra conductor Neemi Järvi. Call (800) 959-WDET or visit wdetfm.org through April 30.
Metro Detroiters have once again displayed incredible support, as listeners to News-Talk WJR-AM (760) raised $1.32 million for the Salvation Army project to aid tsunami victims. "On behalf of the many unheard voices from across the world, the Salvation Army thanks WJR and its listening audience," says Russ Russell, an executive director for the organization. "Because of the outpouring of support, we will be able to build 650 homes for the displaced victims of the tsunami."
Between this effort and February's Bed and Bed Club radiothon by WOMC's Dick Purtan, more than $3 million was raised for Salvation Army programs at home and abroad. Way to go, everyone!
Wake up, baby, it's the King! Beginning at 9 a.m. this Sunday, the king of rock 'n' roll has a new home on Nostalgia CKWW-AM (580) as the hour-long program "Elvis Only!" captures the essence of this American pop culture icon. Each show will feature music, stories, and features produced and hosted by Elvis expert Jay Gordon.
Set Your Dials: This week, "Somewhere In Time" hosts Tom Wilson and Heather Novak feature the sounds of the Fox Theatre's mighty Wurlitzer organ, Detroit's largest, 6 p.m. Sunday on WMUZ.
Mike Austerman is the founder of Michiguide.com and has covered radio for The Daily Oakland Press for three years.